It’s about that time…
So I rolled into the US yesterday, waited in Miami for a while, and got home last night after 3 am. The trip was amazing beyond words. Here’s the last of my journal entries, which I wrote on the 8-hour plane ride back:
“Currently, we’re over the Caribbean. ‘Why is the rum gone?’ Bad joke. But anyway, the trip was more successful than any of us could have imagined. I saw the greatest harvest of souls in two weeks I ever have. Everything that might have hindered us, the Lord conquered. The preparations for the trip seemed impossible, but with God’s help, we raised all the money we needed for our airfare and our visas and got our passports and visas all within the two weeks before we left. We were exhausted, but He gave us strength. There was a language barrier, but the Lord always placed a translator nearby. If some of us were short on money during the trip, our team shared what we had. We needed a place to stay, and God gave us a church and several host families. We couldn’t preach the Gospel in the school we ministered in, but the Lord used KB, our resident rapper, to draw people to the church. These and a million and a half other things were all miraculously conquered by God Almighty. Our host families were absolutely amazing, the translators worked as hard, if not harder than, we did, and the bonds we formed will last for a lifetime because the Lord poured out His anointing on everything.
Our group got split in half, with 10 of us flying home now, 8 flying home tomorrow. My question is ‘Why?’. Was our work not finished completely? Is there something God has for the two groups of us to do that the whole group couldn’t have? I’m not sure why, but I’ve learned it’s wise not to ask. The Lord is looking for trust and humility, not logic and reason. In fact, in order to live boldly and unashamedly for God, we need to be quite illogical sometimes. Enduring persecution, going on missions trips, etc. all require a faith that seems illogical. ‘The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,’ but it’s such an important message, and even if people don’t want to hear it, people (or popular opinion) can’t save the soul from Hell. Only Christ can save us and change our lives.
If all goes according to plan, I want to return to Brasil (not Brazil, as I was corrected by a local) in July and continue to minister and water the seeds we planted. We started a reaction that’s gonna keep going even after we’re long gone. I’m so excited to see how our efforts have grown in just four months. I’m praying for a 100% increase or more. God is greater than all of us, and everything we have done down there was to glorify our Father and Savior and Comforter. We made a few mistakes here and there, but we didn’t let that cripple us. We pressed on with the Lord’s strength, and He blessed our efforts so we saw conversions almost every single night we were in the country. Indeed, ‘His strength is perfect in our weakness.’ He doesn’t want fine china, only earthen vessels. It’s the normal, fallible, weak people He like to use the most. He takes pleasure in ‘using the foolish to shame the wise’ and ‘the weak to lead the strong.’
I return to the States with renewed vigor, vision, and veracity for sharing the Gospel, not just in words, but actions as well. The Lord really used my experiences there to make me realize I wasn’t doing right by God’s standards. To use a metaphor from a sermon one of our team members preached, God hit me with a bus and it broke me. Now that I’m seeing more clearly, I pray He’ll continue to bless my efforts as I strive to live boldly for Him and for the will to ‘take up my cross and follow Him’ wherever I go, whatever I do.”
Throughout next week, I’ll be periodically posting individual excerpts from my journal entries to more fully explain exactly what we did and what God did down in Brasil. Peace and God bless!!!