One of my favorite stories I have ever read was by Corrie ten Boom. Most of you know the author of The Hiding Place. This story is in a lesser known work entitled In My Father's House. In it, Corrie tells her readers what shaped her into the woman that was able to faithfully serve those around her in the concentration camp. She tells of starting a large girls' club in her town and many other volunteer roles she undertook. She talks about the kind and purposeful way Papa ten Boom taught her to live. The thing that stuck out to me and has become a perpetual prayer of my life is her service in a hospital that specialized in special needs and mental health. She gives this place credit for teaching her how to be ready to love and share the gospel with anyone. She learned how the communicate the gospel and every story of Jesus in the most simple way so that anyone could understand while serving these people and she saw miracles. Later when she was in the concentration camp, she was able to speak plainly and calmly to women in panic. Many came to know Jesus there. She took her Father's teaching on relying on God, her sister's deeply grateful heart (You may remember her thanking God for the lice that kept the guards away), and the ability to articulate the gospel to the least of these and she became a prophet of the goodness of God in the darkest place most of us can imagine. She spoke life in hell.
That has long been my own prayer. Don't let me piddle around leading a nice churchy life, Jesus. Train me and send me in. Teach me to speak to people with words that give dignity and life. Send me to the offensive. He has. He has been teaching me. He has been repeatedly putting my heart through the wine press using pressure to create beauty. He has led me into dark valleys. Where I used to know of people hurting, I now know people hurting. I am constantly asking Jesus to remove the things in me that make him hard to see. I keep asking to be sent out to serve. Send me to the homeless. Send me to Haiti. It has only fueled a fire to do more. Send me more. He is. I'm ready to go again.
This whole thing has morphed into something more for me. We have been praying about breaking off from the people who run our non-profit and starting a new one. The vision is expanding. The call is expanding. My need to sit with and hug the people on the fringes is expanding. My intercession is expanding.
At the end of last year, I wrote out some of the top ministry needs I have. This is probably 1/3 of our total needs, but they are what is on my heart. I went to Haiti for 10 days. That changed my life. I have been able to feed the homeless more than ever before (food is an excellent gateway to relationship and hugs). God has put around $11,000 of the $35,000 needed in our laps. He has given us clarity to our call and vision. Now, we are going to step out on faith and follow Jesus to the edges of society where I hope to learn to share the gospel in the most clear and dignifying way. Come with me.
I am humbly asking for you to pray for us. Pray for protection. We walk in some dark places and come up against much warfare. Thank God for the money we have to start with and ask for the remainder. Pray that we hold on to the words he has spoken into our hearts.
I am adding new items to my shop every day. I am always thankful for those of you that use your purchase for purpose in my Etsy store. Thank you.