March’s weather is very unpredictable. You have these moments where the sun is shining, if feels that it will get above 50 degrees and there is even the signs of flowers trying to break through the recently thawed soil. The very next day there is three inches of snow on the ground with no signs of spring on the horizon. This tension or battle for winter to come to an end is how ministry can feel.
We met Aya, a student in the local high school, in December. She seemed hungry to know Jesus and filled with questions. Yet after two months, it was as though she had decided to move further away and we might not see her again. Surprisingly she send a message that she wanted to go to church. The battle to believe something she knows would cause tension with relatives and friends. Last week she had so much anxiety and trouble breathing she went to the hospital. Caroline (my roommate) prayed for her. Aya continued to pray to Jesus that week. Then one night, Jesus came to her in a dream. She said she felt so loved. Then Jesus put his hand out and touched her forehead. She was healed. She woke up healed and even days later she was rejoicing. Aya will move in with us this week to take some pressure off so that she can have space to get her questions answered and finish school. Please pray for Aya.
In September, we were eager to start an investigative bible study with Marsi and Asiyeh. After a few videos looking at the Old Testament pointing to the Messiah, it seemed the interest had died out and the pressure of studies took over. Struggling with how to continue to the conversation, we decided to wait and just be with our friends. Last Sunday, Marsi out of the blue asked if there were any more videos for us to watch. “Yes, the next one is about Mary and Jesus’ birth.” we responded. The ladies asked if we could continue the series. Please pray for these two women to meet Jesus these coming weeks.
We never know when Spring will come, but we are promised it will come. I have been learning how to remain in joy during winter knowing that I have a Living Hope that does not disappoint. The battle for fruit to come is real. Please pray for the season to change in our neighborhood (Tensta/Rinkeby) and that many more would seek and find Jesus.
Living in a city, there is always construction happening. New apartment building are in demand and the old ones need renovations. You may have remembered from the last update, the building I live in decided to change every pipe. The bathroom was gutted in what felt like forever. Two months of breaking down. Many weeks of watching and waiting and thinking will I ever have a functional toilet inside again. Then within a three day period, it appears that we are close to the finish line. Just like that.
Of course there is the adventure to coming each night and learning what has happened that wasn’t planned, which decisions got made without your consent, and what features did you not ask for but got anyway. Construction…the beginning stages take the longest, yet ensure the best result.
In many ways, the ministry work feels this way. We are still in a tearing down of darkness, strongholds that have been secure for generations. The demolition is taking longer than hoped. Some foundational pieces have started, but it is hard to tell from out side perspective. Yet, knowing that God is building something with a foundation that is secure and will last for eternity brings constant hope.
Our team is in a great place of getting to know one another, encourage the areas of influence that are opening, and enjoying doing church as family. We are six adults and five children. We are networking, reaching out and praying. Here is an encouraging story from this month:
S & M (my teammates) were on a prayer walk. S felt that the Holy Spirit wanted her stop and pray that God would move mountains. They prayer for the mountains to moved to engage central asians to here the gospel. From there they continued there walk to local grocery store as this particular culture they were hoping to meet always is shopping for fruits and vegetables. Sure enough, they ran into a uzbek lady in the produce section. The woman invited the family over dinner that night. After gathering the children from school, they made there way to the address. When they arrived at the door of the building, it was the exact place the Holy Spirit had stopped them to pray earlier.
Please pray for us as we look to sow seeds. Pray for open hearts. Pray we would be bold and courageous in sharing the good news. Pray for wisdom in building relationships.