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Here we go…!

Well, the time is finally here! Missions Trip – here we come!

I remember seeing the thick wad of information we were given on our upcoming Missions Trips, as we gathered our papers together at the beginning of our school year in September 2013. It all seemed so far off and nothing to think about amidst all the other information we were being submerged in.

Starting this week, for 2 weeks, 1,600 BSSM students will disperse all over the world to 46 countries on 75 different missions trips, with 151 team leaders. WOW!

Now, we only have 1 more ‘sleep’ left and then we’ll be winging our way to Guadalajara, Mexico.

This is a photo of the amazing group of people that we get the privilege to travel with. We’re a mixture of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students as well as a Bethel staff member, so there’s tons of love for God, experience with God and love for His people that we’re taking with us.

Missions team3 350x350 Here we go...!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our main aim is to serve the people that we’re going to, by equipping them with everything we’ve learned and experienced about starting and sustaining Revival. They are so hungry for more intimacy with God (as are we icon smile Here we go...! )!

So, I’ll keep you up to date with what happens, as we go! Here is a link to our FaceBook page on which we’ll be posting the amazing testimonies of what God is doing! https://www.facebook.com/groups/720787294618916/

See you in a few days…

Love

Frans & Lisa

share save 171 16 Here we go...!

Garage Sale Adventure – 16 Nov

Frans and I have started a new tradition that we both love. Every Saturday morning, we go to ‘Garage Sales’!

The process looks a little something like this…

Vendor:

  • I have some things I no longer need/want.
  • I will put all the things outside my house (usually by the Garage) and invite people to come and have a look and buy.
  • I will write ‘Garage/Yard/Estate Sale’ on a luminous pink, green, yellow or purple piece of paper and tape it to the roadside, with more signs leading to my house.

Garage Sale addict:

  • I will leave the house at 7am on a Friday and Saturday morning in order to feed my ‘have to get a bargain’ fix.
  • I will follow the luminous signs as they lead me to treasures unknown!
  • I will relieve the vendor of as much as I can for as little as possible.

So, with great glee, we are up early every Saturday morning, ready to see what treasure awaits.
We start the day by asking God to lead us where He wants us to go. We do no research before we go out but literally just pick a direction and go where we’re lead to go. It’s an adventure all of itself.

Over the months we have:

  • Seen miracle upon miracle.
  • Met, talked to and got to know so many wonderful people. We’ve given words of encouragement, prayed for people, sat and listened to people’s stories, cried with people, commiserated and grieved with people and we’ve also laughed a whole lot!
  • We’ve had the privilege of getting to know so many of the wonderful residents of this beautiful city. Redding is one of the friendliest places we’ve ever been.
  • We’ve furnished our entire apartment with bargains galore – literally saving hundreds of dollars.
  • We’ve helped people to get rid of what they no longer wanted/needed (and Frans’ bargaining skills have vastly improved)
  • We’ve grown closer to each other as we’ve shared our love of adventure.

 

So… I wanted to share the story of what happened to us today – just to give you a little insight into how wonderfully God works in, and through, all of us on a daily basis.

We started the day by asking God to lead us to where He wanted us to go. We asked for divine encounters. We asked for people to encourage, pray for and give words of knowledge and prophecy to. We thanked Him for the adventures that the day would bring and, in true bargain hunter style, we asked for bargains!

We headed down Hartnell Ave and saw our first sign! With mounting excitement, we drove slowly down the residential street, waiting for the next tell-tale directional arrow, leading us deeper into our adventure. “There it is on the right hand side’, I yelled. We pulled up outside a typical 3 bedroom house and saw two gentlemen in the yard. We got out and said “morning”. The owner of the house was standing next to the other gentleman who was sitting on a small chair. As we approached, the seated gentleman took a swig from a bottle hidden inside a brown paper bag. As we got to him, he looked at us through the most beautiful pair of bloodshot blue eyes I have ever seen. He had obviously come across this yard sale and the owner had invited him in to have a chat. The two of them were just passing time in the early morning sunshine. While we were talking to them about how beautiful the weather is for this time of year, we looked through the assortment of goods on offer. In amongst a whole pile of ‘purses’ (handbags), I found this little gem. Small enough not to be intrusive, big enough to carry what I need, leather and with straps so that I can carry it on my back.

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I bantered with the 3 men about all that fits into a woman’s handbag and how it’s a necessity to have something of everything in there in order to cover all emergency situations. I handed over two dollar bills and after wishing them a wonderful day, we climbed in the car. As we were driving away we prayed fervently for the gentleman who had been drinking and left him in God’s very capable hands.

The next two stops yielded little, but we are not so easily dissuaded from our adventures.

Next, we came across two brand new sports bags that are just big enough to pack a couple of days clothing in and they were $2 each. Frans snapped them up.

bag 350x350 Garage Sale Adventure   16 Nov

 

At the next stop, this little beauty put a big smile on my face…

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Following another sign bearing our favourite words ‘ESTATE SALE’, we came upon the house of an elderly couple that we’ve seen for the past 3 weeks running. She has developed Dementia and they are thus having to move to a Retirement Home. The family have been there week after week, helping the couple to sell whatever they can’t take with them. It’s been lovely getting to know them over the weeks. Grampa who sits on his walker and ‘directs’ operations, must have been a military man because he’s blunt, direct and takes no nonsense from anyone. He looked at Frans one week and said, “you’re really gonna bargain me down on these things?” (with a w.i.t.h.e.r.i.n.g look on his face). When we saw him last week, he looked quite down and we stayed and talked to him and the family a little while looking through the years of accumulated treasures. When we got there today, he had gone out to breakfast because he was getting really sad about having to leave his home.We stayed and talked to the younger members of the family who were all shouldering the bulk of the move so that the old couple could have as peaceful a move as possible. It feels so humbling to have ‘done life’ with this family through this snapshot of their lives.
Today, they blessed us with staples for the stapler we bought from him last week.

Stapler 350x350 Garage Sale Adventure   16 Nov

The next house turned out to be an absolute treasure trove full of goodies. We found…

A pie dish in which I can make ‘Melk Tert’ (a South African dessert), to take with to the friends who have invited us to share Thanksgiving with their family.

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A Sausage making kit, to give to our friends who said they wanted to make Boerewors (South African spiced sausage)

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A hard, portable hairdressers kit for the first year student who earns money for her tuition by cutting hair in her apartment. She did an amazing job on mine.

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An ottoman for us to put our feet up on when we watch TV. We’ve been using one of the dining room chairs and if you leave your legs on it for too long, you lose all feeling from your knees down!

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And a little cabinet for our bedroom, which almost exactly matches the wood that the rest of our bedroom furniture is made of!

Cabinet 150x112 Garage Sale Adventure   16 Nov

 

 

 

 

And all that for the princely sum of $10 

 

Our last stop was at a house out in the country. A young man had come to live in his Mom’s house because she’d decided to go and live in Hawaii for her post-retirement years! Now THAT’S the life hey?!

I lost Frans for about 10 minutes as he dove into a box of computer cables, surfacing only for air when he was losing consciousness icon wink Garage Sale Adventure   16 Nov . He got a handful of cables that he needs/wants for the various projects he’s working on for people and was very pleased with himself. As we were walking away, the young man pulled out a portable USB floppy drive. For those of you who have just glazed over, that’s a rather extinct and seldom needed piece of hardware. He asked Frans if he wanted it and he felt led to say that he’d take it.

As we were driving away a young woman text us. Her and her husband have recently had a baby and we’ve been trying to help them set up their PC and TV so that they can watch Bethel TV on the big screen. She told us that she’d been trying to install the software for the hardware we’d found for them, but that she needed a FLOPPY DRIVE because that’s the only way this could be installed. We looked at each other and were literally astounded. We were round the corner from their place so we dropped it off for her to use. God is so amazing. Within a few minutes of texting us about needing a rather difficult to find piece of hardware, we had delivered it to her house!

While we were on the way there, another friend text us asking for our help with his computer. We said that we were out and about, so we’d drop by. Frans fixed the issue within a couple of minutes and so we stayed to talk and have some tea and chat with the other people in the house. The 5 of us sat and talked about the things of God – sharing testimonies and loving on each other. It was lovely.

 

We love to support local businesses so, on our way home, we stopped at a little diner on the corner and ordered burger, fries and a strawberry milkshake. While we were there we got to encourage a lady who is a Carer who looked after her young lady so beautifully well. I looked into the eyes of the young woman in the motorised chair and told her how beautiful she was. Her whole face lit up as she said ‘thank you’. They both looked so happy.

Bartells Garage Sale Adventure   16 Nov

By the time we got home it was around lunchtime and we unpacked our treasures while remembering all that had happened in just 4 short hours. We got blessed, others got blessed and we blessed God for the adventures we get to go on with Him every day.

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If you’d like to partner with us on our Missions Trip to Guadalajara, Mexico, then click here to find out more!

Until the next update – love to you all xxxxx

 

 

share save 171 16 Garage Sale Adventure   16 Nov

Coming alive

We’ve been here for 11 days now and it’s been a whirlwind! Lots has been done, organised and put in place so that the foundations are set for the next year.  Anyone that knows me, understands that it’s important to me to have the basics done.

On last week’s blog we left off on a Saturday, before we’d even visited the Church we came over to be a part of. So, today, let’s start off with our very first visit to Bethel.

BETHEL CHURCH

IMG 3437 350x350 Coming alive

We picked up the two young South African girls that we met at Walmart at 7.25am and all arrived at Church at 7.40. The first of the Sunday services starts at 8am, with the following ones being 10.30am, 1pm and 6pm. There was PLENTY of parking (which is a huge novelty for us) and as we walked in we were greeted by a lovely lady at the door. The lobby is about as big as our minor hall at E5 yet the auditorium is about 1/3 larger. The atmosphere was very friendly, with people greeting each other and lots of little pockets of conversation happening all over the place. It felt good. As ever, I was eager to go and see all that was happening and all that was on offer, while Frans was content to sit and drink in everything from where he was seated. I sat by him and the girls and I got talking about life and things and IT began to happen. You see, the overriding aim of me coming here was to grow into more of who I am. To become fully who I am created to be, free of history and patterns of behaviour that I’m not sure were really mine. I want to get into the groove God created for me – and stay there. As soon as I started talking to the girls, the encourager in me  just came to life and by the end of our conversation, I was on fire and their faith was supercharged! That was the first confirmation that being an encourager is an innate part of me and definitely one of the gifts that I am to walk in.

The worship was fabulous, but what I noticed most was that the quality of the sound was really rich and beautifully balanced. True surround sound. It was like you were being enveloped in the physical sound of the worship and it felt wonderful. On the other hand, Frans hasn’t engaged with the worship at all. Our different journeys, together, are so interesting.

Bill Johnson did a sort of welcome and intro and then the worship continued and then he came back up to preach. It felt like we were all sitting in his lounge having coffee and he was just chatting to us. The atmosphere was laid back and simply friendly. It felt like we’d known him for years. Just as we’d seen on countless episodes of Bethel TV, the revelation poured out of him and I found myself making streams of notes, until I realised that it would just be better to listen and absorb and go into deeper study later when I listened to the recording. It was lovely.
During the ‘say hi to your neighbour’ time, we introduced ourselves to the couple in front of us who had just come to drop their daughter off for First Year. As we were worshipping, the Lord gave me a message for them. At the end of the service, they snuck out because they had a 10 hour drive ahead of them and I followed them out. I gave them the message and they both started to well up with tears. They looked at each other and then at me and said,’ You have no idea what those words mean to us. It’s the answer and confirmation we’ve been praying for!” I LOVE it when God does that.  What a privilege to be a part of changing someone’s life! Second confirmation icon smile Coming alive

The girls and I went back for the evening service. The prayer room is open from 5pm and it was lovely to see people just praying and loving on God and on each other, in preparation for what God was doing. We went in at 6pm and had a lovely easygoing session of worship. There were 3 painters on the stage and each did a painting that portrayed what they felt God was saying to them. Look at how beautiful they each are, but also how very different. That really spoke to me. We are all amazingly created by a loving Father, but we’re all unique and each of us will show our gift and anointing in a different, yet equally significant way.

IMG 3439 350x350 Coming alive

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THE WEEK SO FAR

Over this week, we have seen more and more favour as we did the basics of setting up electricity, gas and internet at our new apartment. We’ve collected pieces of furniture from all over – charity shops, garage sales, estate sales etc and now we have almost all of the basics that we need. We’ll be sleeping at our place from tomorrow and then we can finally gear down and settle in now that all the foundational things are done.

We’ve met loads of people on our travels around the various stores and I think the thing that has struck me the most is the impact this Church has had on the town of Redding. Everywhere we go, people ask about our foreign accent. As we get talking and say we’re going to school at Bethel, without fail everyone knows what we’re talking about. Everyone from the guys that helped us load our furniture at the Goodwill charity shop to the guy that opened our bank account for us. From the salesman at the car dealership to the checkout lady at Walmart. It’s quite astounding. Each of them then have their own story of how either the Church or the people from Bethel have impacted their lives. Every one of them. Wow!

Over the week, we’ve seen a lot of things that we thought we’d share with you…

This is Sundial bridge. It’s a ‘one-of-a-kind’ bridge that is a landmark in this town. It’s beautiful and a real gathering place for people.

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This was the reading on our car thermometer for most of the days this week. 105 fahrenheit is 40 celsius! We have truly discovered the meaning of ‘keep hydrated’.

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Frans loves to have a treat every now and then by getting a ‘Caramel Frappuccino’ from Starbucks. As we were walking through a supermarket, look what we found in the dairy section. Too funny!

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Look at this jacuzzi that I saw at Costco! Can you imagine switching on all the jets at the same time? Bubble heaven icon smile Coming alive

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I need to plant some flowers etc in our new little garden, which is just a patch of dirt at the moment. I walked into the ‘Dollar Store’ and saw these ‘dancing daisies’. As soon as the sun hits them, they start to move. They were so cute that I took a picture to show the lady we’re staying with and told her I was going to buy them all and fill the garden with smiling, dancing flowers.

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There are so many grocery stores to choose from over here. One which was recommended to me is a place called Winco. Look at how huge it is! It was like walking into a warehouse. I spent about an hour and a half just walking through and looking at all that was available.

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FRIDAY

There have been several socials that have been held over the past week. It’s basically people opening up their houses and inviting students to come and get to know each other. We arrived at Steve and Jen’s house, along with 3 young girls we’d given a lift to, and over the next few hours, we got to hear testimonies from all over the world. Stories of how God had met with each person and what their journey to Bethel looked like so far. After most of the youngsters had left, we sat talking to the hosts. Again, our (Frans and my) individual gifts and anointings began to flow and by the time we left people were encouraged by all that God can, and wants to, do. Third confirmation.

SATURDAY

Last week at Church they advertised a ‘Shindig’ that was being held at the Civic Centre. We were up early and got there at 7:40 to see what we could do to help set up. I was struck by several things:

  • There were more volunteers than were actually needed
  • The different giftings of the individuals that were serving, seemed to be honoured and enabled to flourish. People were encouraged to use what they had in order to serve all of those that were coming. Those who were creative were arranging flowers. Those who were technical, were doing sound and video. Those who loved kids were setting up the bouncy castle. Etc. etc, etc.
  • Everyone seemed to be working together with only the goal of blessing those who were coming.

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 Us filling balloons with water for one of the stalls.

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We left a couple of hours later as we had to go and pick up our ‘U-Haul’ van. It was so cool picking it up because it’s such an iconic thing that we’ve only ever seen in the movies – and here we were driving one!

U Haul 911 Truck 350x233 Coming alive

We picked up the first lot of furniture and then went on to the second lot. We sat and talked to the couple whose house we were at and found that they needed a) encouraging and b) their computer fixed. Fourth confirmation!

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The overall theme of this week seems to have been “whatever your gifting is – embrace it!”

We’re starting all over again in a place where no-one knows us, and the same stuff is flowing out of us that did when we were in a place where people did know us. Our calling is  having the same impact here as it did there!

So, we want to encourage you (;-)) to be all that God has created you to be. Let the gifting and purpose that He put on the inside of you be activated. Embrace what He’s put you on Earth to do – it’s the most amazing way to live. He gets to show off and let the world see how awesome He really is. He gets to love on people, heal them, help them, encourage them and draw them closer and closer to Him. He gets to turn their lives right side up and the result is that He gets a huge smile on His face, you live life ‘in your groove’ and the world at large is thoroughly blessed as His love flows through you.

You are amazing! Please embrace what God has created you for and see what He will do! You’ll be blown away icon smile Coming alive

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In the coming week, we’ll be creating an opportunity for you to partner with us as we travel the road of finding out what God is calling us to do and what our ministry is to look like. It will be such a privilege to be good soil into which you can sow a seed in faith. I’ll give you more details in next week’s post. icon smile Coming alive

Please use the links below to like and share this adventure with your Facebook and Twitter friends. The more love we can spread, the better!

See you next time! Have an amazing week as you begin to embrace all that God has planned for you to do. We look forward to hearing all of your stories. xx

 

 

 

 

share save 171 16 Coming alive

So far, so good!

California 350x240 So far, so good!To say that a lot has happened since the last blog post, would be a bit of an understatement! God is so good and He’s teaching us so much along the way. So, here is the tale of the adventure that started at Heathrow…

 

 

 

TUE 13th

We woke up at 6am on Tuesday morning and ended up getting to bed 26 hours later! I’ve never been quite as tired as I was on that day. Even Frans, who can normally stay awake for much longer than I can, was almost asleep on his feet. The time difference between England and California is 8 hours, so our Tuesday was actually 32 hours long instead of the normal 24. Ever the theologian, Frans likened it to when God lengthened the day for both Joshua and King Hezekiah. Isn’t it amazing how God stopped the planet from turning, at the request of His children?

We had a good flight and despite leaving almost an hour late, we made good time and landed at San Francisco Airport only 20 minutes behind schedule. We left Heathrow at 3pm and landed at SFO at 5.20pm. Talk about messing with your internal time clock!

We picked up our hire car and began the 3 hour drive to Redding. Even though it was 7pm, we got stuck in the traffic that was leaving the city for the evening. Look at this photo of the Golden Gate Bridge lighting up in the dark. We will have to come back and take a longer and closer look sometime soon.

GG 350x350 So far, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After hours of driving we thought we’d better pull over at a Services and get some coffee because even Frans felt like he might fall asleep while driving. So, we pulled up to this Starbucks (which had a Drive Thru window) and sat outside at 10pm, sipping our coffee in the lingering heat of the day.

SB 350x350 So far, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we left, we asked the Lord to please put us with a couple that could mentor us and look after us. I’m a firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel. If someone else has done something successfully, then I’m happy to learn from them and build on those foundations. So, I wanted to stay with people who know the Redding area and could help us with info like which area was safe to live in; where to buy a car and how to get gas &  elec turned on at our new place as well as give us a safe and spiritually rich place to adjust to our new lives. I logged on to the Student website of BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry) and ran down the list of people offering accommodation and my eyes settled on a small advert. The heading read something like “Need a place to stay while you find permanent lodging?”. Just what we were looking for. We corresponded and it turned out that the couple had a double room in their house that they could rent to us for exactly the dates we needed (someone moved out the morning of the day we arrived and someone moves in the day we leave!). They are a lovely retired couple who have gone through the 3 years of BSSM themselves and now have the time and heart to help others who come to Bethel for both school and the various conferences that are held throughout the year!

We eventually found their house and followed the instructions to get to our room (it was midnight by the time we got there), and it was then that we saw a little plate with cookies on it, welcoming us to their house. It felt like coming home!

 

WED 14th

We fell into bed and got 5 hours sleep, but found ourselves wide awake at 6am because that’s 2pm in the UK! We love to explore, so we decided to go for a walk and see what the area was like. It’s really beautiful here and while it was still cool, we got to walk around and see what there was to see. The sprinklers were on in almost every garden because it’s the best time of day to water everything and the smell of grass, water and fresh air was lovely. God knows that I love that time of the morning and so He’s blessed us with a beautiful place in which to go walking with Him.

Frans was itching to go and explore, so we left the house and started driving towards town. There’s a story he tells of a time when he was working away from home and he was feeling pretty lonely. He decided to take a drive and took a wrong turn, ending up in a back street. As he drove he came across an Elim Church that was having a midweek service. He went inside and everyone welcomed him in. By the time he left that city a couple of months later, he’d been to many midweek services that had helped him feel better about being away from home. Ever since then he’s been convinced that everywhere we are led in a day (even if it seems like a wrong turn) is all part of God’s plan for us that day and, if we’re willing to be open and receptive, we will see a blessing from it. So, as we drove, we ended up passing a car dealership. We decided to go in and have a look and ended up being shown a vehicle that had come in as a part exchange the day before (first confirmation). We both loved it the moment we set eyes on it (second confirmation). We’ve always asked the Lord for a car with lots of seats that can also fold flat. We want to be able to give lots of people a lift as well as help people to move anything they need moving. We’ve had cars that fit this description for the past 5 years. The moment we saw this car, we knew that we’d got another one (third confirmation). As we looked through the car, we found a handful of Gospel tracts tucked into a holder (fourth confirmation). After some serious negotiating, we got the car for just under what we were willing to pay (ker-ching).

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We had got some advice about mobile phone providers and so we went along to the local AT&T store. While we were there, we got talking to the sales lady. We let her know that we were here to study at Bethel and she shared a story with us of how God had healed her. She had a cancerous tumour and had been invited along by a friend to go to the Healing Room at Bethel. She had been badly hurt by Church when she was younger, but after much nagging by her friend, she grudgingly went along. They prayed for her and when she went back to the Doctor for her pre operation check up, the tumour was completely gone. It was the coolest thing to be standing in a shop, talking to a stranger who had been touched by God in such a fabulous way. This church has really made room for God to do amazing things through it.

That night, we got our first full night of sleep and it was lovely!

 

THU 15th

We got a phone call to come and pick the car up after she’d been safety checked and valeted. Frans had the biggest grin on his face. He loves driving the car!

So, we’d sorted out a car and a cell phone. Now we needed to start looking for a place to rent. Again we just went driving and ended up finding ourselves outside the Civic Centre, which is where we’re going to be going to class. As we drove round the parking lot, I noticed the offices of one of the Realtors! Once again, we’d randomly gone somewhere and ended up finding what we needed. We had a budget in mind and found a couple of places that met our criteria. We made an appointment with the Realtors and went to see the first one.

Oh my word!

The smell of smoke hit us like a wall and everything was dirty! Not nice. The second property reminded me so much of what we see in American movies. It was what’s known as a ‘fourplex’. Two apartments on the bottom floor and two on the top floor. As we walked up to the apartment block, there was rubbish, toys and broken BBQ’s etc lying all over the place. The spiderwebs were huge and the wood siding on the outside of the building was falling off and rotten. We carefully went up the rickety staircase and the smell of animal wee hit us as we opened the door. Things weren’t looking promising!

Time to revise our plan and rethink the budget.

As we drove away, we saw a man sitting on a deckchair and a woman sitting in the doorway of one of the apartments. I have never before seen such looks of hopelessness. I was so struck by it that I asked God what it meant that He’d brought us to this place. He said that firstly He wanted us to see what kind of place we didn’t want to live in and secondly, He wanted us to see the hopelessness that pervades places like that, so that we would be open to coming and praying for and helping the people who were stuck in that cycle. My heart has been etched with compassion and a deep desire to see them encouraged and given real hope for a better life. I’m open to see how God wants that to develop.

 

FRI 16th

On our travels, we went to Walmart to get a couple of things and, as we were walking around, we heard two girls speaking with South African accents. I went over to say ‘Hi’ and it turns out that they’re going to First Year at BSSM too! They were buying bikes because they don’t have a car and so we said to let us know if they’d ever like a lift anywhere. We got a text from them and we’re giving our first people a lift to Church on Sunday! We’re also giving people a lift to Redding from San Francisco Airport when we take the hire car back. It’s so cool when you make space for God to work (asking for a big car) and He then fills the space with what you’ve asked for. Blessing all round!

As we were driving around a light came on on the dashboard of the car. We looked it up in the manual and it was one of those that said ‘stop driving the car and take it into the dealer immediately’. You know the ones that strike fear into the heart of anyone that isn’t a mechanic? You don’t know whether you should even be driving the car to the garage in case the engine block falls out on the road!

We decided to stay calm and just gently drove to the dealership. They told us that it would be about an hour to do the diagnostics and so we decided to walk across the road and have a sandwich at ‘the best sandwich shop in Redding’ as recommended to us by Alan the salesman. With all the ups and downs we’ve experienced over the past year, we’ve learned to realize that, just like taking the ‘wrong’ turns, everything in our day is ordered and we get to choose to celebrate and let God do what only He can, or moan. So, instead of feeling bad, mad or sad about the car, we held each others hand and walked across the 6 lane road and headed for the ‘San Francisco Deli’.

By this time it was so hot that we could literally feel our skin burning. You know what it feels like when you’ve pre-heated the oven for a Sunday roast and you open the oven door and you’re hit by a wave of heat that melts your mascara so that you end up with one giant eyelash? That’s what it feels like when you leave an air-conditioned building. It’s been over 40 degrees here for two of the days so far. I’m not complaining though. The sun is bright, the sky is blue and I’m warm!

We got to the Deli and ordered a pastrami sandwich and a roast beef sandwich. They smoke the meat themselves and it was absolutely delicious.

Deli 350x350 So far, so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got back to the dealership and it turns out that the light coming on was just the result of a faulty sensor and once they’ve replaced it with one they’ve ordered, everything will be back to normal. It’s all part of the ‘God Adventure’ that we all get to go on every day. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

 

SAT 17th

We went to look at two more places today and Frans is definitely leaning toward the one with a pool! He reckons he’ll be swimming even when there’s snow on the mountains. Do you think this has anything to do with the fact that it’s over 40 degrees Celsius at the moment?

We have several more to look at tomorrow, so we’ll see which one feels right to both of us and then we’ll post pictures for you to see.

Tomorrow we go to Bethel for the first time. We’re going to the 8am and 10:30am services, just to soak it all up and see what’s what. This church has had such a profound impact on not only the city of Redding and the state of California, but also on every nation to which it sends out graduates from BSSM. We get to be a part of that from tomorrow onwards and we’re very excited to see what God has in store!

Well, I’m off to bed now. We’re sending lots of love to you all and we’ll post again in a week’s time, sharing more of what God’s doing in this part of the world. If you want to automatically receive notification of the next blog post then pop your e-mail address into the space provided at the top of the page.

Let us know how you’re doing by commenting in the Facebook comment box  and feel free to share and like by clicking on the buttons below. It’s always great to hear how God is working in our lives all over the world. Sleep tight and we’ll see you in a week!

share save 171 16 So far, so good!

The Adventure Begins…

“I’m sorry to have to tell you, but your test results reveal that you have Cancer”Adventure 350x271 The Adventure Begins...

That really was the catalyst that started this whole new episode in our walk with God.

Frans worked away from home during the week, returning on Friday and leaving again every Monday. He managed to get time off to be with me during the operation to remove the tumour, but had to return to work when I went through the 6 weeks of radiotherapy treatment. He descirbes this as a really critical time when he began to see life beyond work in a ‘corporate’ job. He was so torn – wanting desperately to be with me as I went through this phase, but unable to get transferred closer to home so that he could. So, we just held on to God and went through the period emerging with an ‘all clear for the moment’ prognosis.
During this time we both learned the power of trusting God through the difficult bits of life and we came out stronger and more in love with Him than ever.

18 months later, another life transforming event took place. After years of being so broke that we sometimes couldn’t afford to eat, I decided to immerse myself in the Truth of what God says about the blessing and wealth that comes from Him. The result? A true miracle that meant we received an insurance payout that caused us to be very well provided for financially. We were in total awe of the way God moves and how He is faithful to His word. If we’re serious about believing in Him, He’s serious about looking after us.

After both of these experiences, we decided that we’d like to take some time out to spend together and booked a three month sabbatical to the States. While we were there, we realised that God was preparing us for a whole new phase in our lives. We both distinctly felt that we were passing from one stage to the next and that we were to take time to hear what that was. It was clear . The time had come for us to move. We returned to the UK and got busy being obedient.

We talked to the LORD and He began to make sure that everyone and everything we were responsible for were looked after and taken care of. It was as if He worked with us to love on everyone around us and miracle after miracle began to occur.

We started to clear our house and literally opened up the doors and just gave everything away. 11 years of hoarding and we were systematically cutting ourselves loose from the past. We’d just given something away that was worth well over £300 and the Holy Spirit whispered to me that in Heaven’s economic system, He would return to us far more than what £300 could buy in the natural. It has truly been such an eye opener to be able to let go of ‘things’. It brings such a release when they no longer have a hold on us. Along the journey we have been given the opportunity to trust in God or trust in us/things and, day by day, we’re choosing to trust in Him more.

So, as often happens on a journey of faith, everything was flowing really smoothly – until we hit the wall! We were eagerly awaiting a decision that would confirm that we were on the right path and, within the space of a week, everything we thought would happen – fell through. It was quite surreal. There we were, looking at each other with tears streaming down my face, shocked to the core. In an effort to console each other we were quoting scripture and trying so hard to be brave, but all the while it felt as if the world was falling apart. We had passed the point of no return and, to be brutally honest, we were really confused and afraid.

The next few days passed with all the fears that had surfaced running rampant in my head. I asked the questions we all usually ask when it seems as if everything is falling apart. “Why is this happening to us God? Why would You bring us this far and then pull the rug out from underneath our feet? What on Earth are we supposed to do now?” After a couple of days (and many tears), I heard the Holy Spirit say something that has forever altered my thinking. He simply said, “you’re asking the wrong question. Ask Me why you’re feeling so bad about what’s happened?”. So, I did. As we began to explore this question and its unfolding answer, He showed me that all my hopes had been securely anchored on the outcome of my faith – not on the One in whom my faith is based.
It had seemed that if what I was believing for had come to pass, then I thought it would solve the specific things that I was most fearful about. When it all fell through, it was like all the fears crowded in at the same time and I completely lost hope. And that felt absolutely awful.

As the Holy Spirit and I unfolded the fullness of the truth that I had all my hopes wrapped up in an outcome that I thought would ‘solve’ all my problems instead of in the fact that when my focus is on God He then looks after everything, things became more and more clear. The answer was simple – keep my focus on God!

After accepting this new revelation and asking for the Holy Spirit’s help to live it, hope returned and we were able to ask the next question. “LORD, if our journey doesn’t look like what we thought it did, then what does it look like?”

As soon as we asked this question, the answers began to flow again. It was like the decision to realign and put Him back into first place where He belongs, removed the blockage. We prayed and sought wise counsel and a new direction emerged. Once we had it, we went full steam ahead, asking for guidance all the way.

One of the most powerful lessons we’ve learned on this journey is to be open and willing to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When He puts His finger on an area in our thinking or behaviour that isn’t good for us and doesn’t glorify God or accomplish His will, we try to get out of the way and let Him heal us. We’ve found that the quicker we do this, the more we flow in His plan. And, to be honest, that’s where we want to be more than anything else.

So, when we received new direction, we applied to go to Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and, after a vigorous interview process, we’ve been accepted. God worked so miraculously that, through a demonstration of the saying ‘if it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill’ we’ve received another payout that will pay for most of 3 years tuition at the school!

We’ve now reached the stage of the adventure where our flights are booked, visas approved, accommodation secured and house rented. We’re saying our last goodbyes to the people who mean so much to us. Those who have walked with us on the adventure thus far. And, as we step into the relative unknown of the next stage of our lives, even though we both have butterflies, we’re also very excited. The vision we have is of an adult holding the hands of two little children as they pass through the airport turnstiles. God in the middle as He guides us, His children, into this new phase. For our part, we’re holding on tight and letting Him do what He loves to do – lead us to a whole new level, as we trust Him completely.

Phew…

That’s the journey, so far. If you’d like to see what Episode 2 holds, I’ll be blogging as we go – sharing what God is doing in the lives of two of His children as we take the next step in faith. We’re expecting Him to show off as only He can do and we’d love it if you joined us as we go!

Pop your e-mail address into the space at the top of the page and I’ll let you know when the next blog post is published. Simple as that.

Thank you for walking with us to this point. We pray God’s richest blessings on you and encourage you to ‘keep on keeping on’. Hold on tight as God takes you on your own awesome adventure and, if we don’t see you again here on Earth, we’ll catch up and have a  coffee in Heaven icon smile The Adventure Begins... .

 

share save 171 16 The Adventure Begins...