I took this photo in 2006 in Petra, Jordan. It makes me smile.
On September 6, 2009 an airplane handed me back to my home country. From August 26, 2006 to September 5, 2009 I lived in Israel, mainly in the precious city of Bethlehem -or “o little town” as I often call it. Looking back and looking forward, I am rapturously thankful and awed by the gift of those years in Israel. That season was certainly a bootcamp for my future life in the Middle East. And that was precisely what I needed. It was also overflowing with miracles, healings, surprises, birthdays, friendships, and glory. It was better than I expected, and sometimes worse. Yet overall, most certainly BETTER.
Moreover, these past two years in America have been precisely what the Master Physician ordered: refreshing, regrouping, re-establishing, re-envisioning, and relaxing. Two years of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry has been really restorative as well as catalytic. I am now positioned to return to the Middle East with new strength, perspective, techniques, and SUPPORT. I am reminded of a family Christmas video of me around seven years old in which I say upon opening many of my gifts, “It’s just what I ALWAYS WANTED!” These two years have been that.
THANK YOU to my friends and family who have supported me and encouraged me when they didn’t understand what I was doing, but miraculously did understand WHY I was doing it. I know your investment in my life and your willingness to stand by me will reap a harvest, throughout the Middle East and throughout your own life. I bless you today with checks in the mail, gifts and surprises, and debts paid off. haha! The delight of the Lord is gushing through the threshold of your home and into every heart therein. It is an honor to journey together. You are priceless; and you are royalty.
<Thank you, Father God for your wisdom made manifest in my life. There’s no one else I would rather have write my story. I’m happy with where we are and I’m expectant for the chapters ahead. Your sweetness is beyond what my skin can hold, my mind can grasp, and my words can tell. I LOVE YOU.>
Here’s to endless adventure and matchless love!
A year ago I wrote this blog post: http://upsidedownbethlehem.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/a-dress-that-made-me-cry-and-other-reflections-on-a-year-back-in-america/
Here are some of my favorites images from my three years in the Middle East. They are a visual necklace of gratitude framing my voice of praise:
Psalm 22:27-18 (AMP)
Sometimes I feel I’ve been pregnant for 15 years. Other times I am sure of it.
The child is a vision, a passion, a calling. The vision is for the Middle East: to thrive, to be at peace, to be madly in love with the Savior.
Much of that vision centers on Iraq.
In 2001 I had a dream I was in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in Iraq. I was leading a secret church meeting. I knew Saddam’s regime had fallen and he was dead. I knew it was a prophetic picture of a scene which would be fulfilled.
In 2003 Saddam’s regime fell. In 2006 he was killed. In 2008 I was told about a man named Canon Andrew White who was leading church meetings in one of Saddam’s former palaces, a mutual friend told him about me. We began emailing. On March 23, 2011 Andrew was in Redding and we had dinner. He invited me to work with him in Baghdad.
In 2012 I plan to semi-move to Baghdad to be part of rebuilding and transforming the nation.
For preparation and vision-casting, I’m going to visit Baghdad this November. I’ll spend 2 weeks in England and visit FRRME’s home office; then 2 weeks in Baghdad where I will get to know the land, the people at St George’s Church, the folks at FRRME’s medical clinic, the Tigris River. I will also deliver paintings to high-profile leaders in Iraq.
To say I am excited would be to say the sun is handy or shoes are helpful for hiking; it is decidedly an understatement. Setting my feet upon Iraq is a moment I’ve burned for, lived for, prayed for with a zeal and a compassion that still electrifies my heart and beckons my soul. Iraq and I are a match made in heaven.
For my trip this fall I need $4,000.
If you’d like to contribute toward transforming this nation, do so here:
“The hour has come for the Muslim people to see Jesus and know the Father. We as a Church must discern the times we are living in and hear the sound of Heaven. We must intercede for the Muslims like a mother would for her dying child. Some of us have walked away from Ishmael, just like his own mother did, because the condition of Ishmael seems so hopeless in many ways; but we must yield to the Spirit of God and pray that God will awaken the cry that is in the hearts of the Muslim people . . . God will hear the cry of the Muslim people in this hour. God named Ishmael before he was born, in His wisdom, because one day he knew there would be 1.6 billion Muslims in a spiritual wilderness. Church, get ready – an entire generation of Muslims is going to come into the Kingdom. I believe that all of a sudden, 800 million to 1 billion Muslims will enter the Kingdom of God.”
I merrily, passionately, hopefully encourage you to let your compassion blaze for the Muslim world and READ THIS BOOK! It’s wonderful!