In 1996 I embarked on this adventure with God and it was this photo in the middle of a brochure that drew me into applying for this missionary training course.
Jeff Pratt, the director of the course write so well what J was experiencing in my heart.
I was captivated, awestruck by these words written on this page, but even more so, the image that is reflected.
Jesus hanging on the cross. While He was hanging there He had the multitudes in mind. And within that multitude was ME. He thought of ME. He thought of YOU.
I could not help but acknowledge a deep confirmation in my spirit that this was the place I had to be.
It was in the middle of the United States of America, Lindale, Texas. It was a place I had never heard of or ever had been.
As a foreign 19 year old from the Netherlands I set foot on a journey that would change my life forever. I would never be the same, the love of Christ, the life of Christ became my passion, my all and it has not changed after 23 years.
Upon arrival that day in late September 1996 I made a decision that He was going to have it all.
On September 28th, 1996 I wrote God a letter:
I want to let you know why I am taking this course. I really believe you brought me here with a special reason. To be a missionary was not something I had thought of before until a year ago. I believe it was you that put this into my heart and mind.
I desperately want to know you more, know more about you and know what it is you want me to do with my life.
What I hope is that you will touch me so intensely and speak to me so deeply that it makes my relationship with you more meaningful and that I will know and feel you on my side every day……”
A small excerpt from my ‘letter to God’ and how prophetic it was without me understanding that. The prayer was answered. Jesus has become to me more important than any other thing. I have had to fight the darts of the enemy on several occasions in these 23 years, but I have overcome because He in me the hope of glory.
In the world we live in today, 23 years later people are literally laying down their lives almost daily as we watch the news. I pray our hearts of those of us who are in the west truly are embracing the surrendered life to Jesus in a way that He is worthy to be persecuted for.
I pray for the persecuted church, those who are being killed for their faith, churches being attacked almost weekly because of their faith. Lord have mercy, Lord stretch out your hand over their lives, Lord show us the way forward in this generation. You are worthy, You are worth it.
I have given my life in another nation for the past 23 years, there has been absolute hard times, struggles, learning to hold on to the truth of who Jesus is, but He is all worthy.
Today, hold on to the truth of who Jesus is. He is no longer on the cross, He is alive, but when He was there, he thought of YOU.