April 21, 2015
We arrived in Amsterdam around 1:30am eastern time though it is 7:30am here. Jim and I are already experiencing jet lag, but becoming more excited about the opportunities that lie before us. After a week of non-stop preparation and intense busyness, it is nice to de-stress from the chaos and focus on the God of the Impossible task at hand. I was reminded as I walked through the airport here in Amsterdam that it's a BIG world...so many people and lives, different languages, cultures, and backgrounds. But the one constant is that we are broken by sin and in desperate need of the redemption, reconciliation, and restoration that only the Gospel can bring. And because of this Gospel, I am loved by God whether I'm in Luray, VA or in the Netherlands. Beautiful amazing grace has been lavished upon me like mighty rivers...this grace is no longer held back by my sin because He nailed my transgressions to the cross and I bear them no more. Now at Christ's expense, His perfect record for my resume of complete failure, I sit here in Amsterdam free. Free to forgive, free to live, free to be pure, free to pray, free to rejoice, free to pursue, free to be courageous, free to believe, free to trust, free to minister, free to love Him and others, free to proclaim the Good News! I am loved, completely loved, and that love does not waver because it is based on the finished work of Jesus Christ. And now He has promised to give me all things needed to fulfill His will for my life for His glory. So Zambia....get ready for Yeshua to show up and show off.....get ready to behold the beauty of the King of Glory...His name is Jesus and He has something too marvelous for words on His heart for you.
April 22, 2015
We are 10 minutes away from landing in Nairobi, Kenya. We've been traveling for 30 hours now between layovers and air time. Will be in Nairobi for a couple of hours and then on to Lusaka, Zambia. After a 3-hour flight from Nairobi to Lusaka, we will then take a 4-hour bus ride north to Luanshya, Zambia where will be ministering in the general area for our time here. We are physically and mentally exhausted and jet-lagged at this point and praying that spiritual and physical renewal will come soon:) Thanking the Lord for family and friends back home who are praying and staying in contact through Valerie's Facebook and blog. It is such a wonderful privilege to serve on behalf of Mt. Carmel and represent hundreds who have invested through prayer and finances in being one, making one, and sending one in the country of Zambia. We help people make their entire lives about Jesus Christ and it is a transformational story that is worth telling the nations for He is the "Desire of Nations." Every tribe, tongue, and race is in need of the one and only Jesus Christ and I'm so thankful that He goes before us, is with us, and has been with us moment by moment since we left home. May we prepare for rain by looking to Him in faith, preparing our hearts to set Him apart as Lord, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to pour out His glory in and through us. I know that my life is never going to be the same within hours and the days ahead. And I'm overwhelmed by a God who has invited me to join Him in His work to bring a world to His glorious self. I'm just one beggar telling a lot of other beggars where to find Bread and Living Water. Come Lord Jesus! Come!
Officially on African soil. In the airport in Nairobi. It is a unique feeling to think that I'm sitting on a continent that I've read about, seen on t.v., and known about since I was a child, but here I am! It's beautiful and I haven't even been out of the airport yet:) When I stepped off the airplane and saw the African horizon, I thought about the Newsboys song, "And all God's children singing glory, glory, hallelujah He reigns....on the African plain." Zambia glory, here we come!