The only way home

You might wonder, why is she writing so much these days. Well I guess that is what “quarantine” does. Though our government here in Costa Rica has not made it a ‘law’ to stay inside, they highly recommend not going anywhere and stay put. I guess it is the same for many of you.

When you get more time at ‘home’ you get time to ponder, reflect, listen, evaluate and if you are like me, write it down.

I have lived in Central America since 1998. My husband is from Costa Rica, our children were born in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This is home, but I grew up in The Netherlands. This is home, I could not imagine being anywhere else at this time and still yesterday I realized that within perhaps a few days or weeks, if things keep going the way they are, there might not even be a way to go to my other ‘home’, where I grew up. The place where my parents and sisters live.

Me and my dad spoke years ago that there might be a time when we would not be able to travel to see each other. Alas, here we are, we are living in such a time. Even if I wanted to go see my family and had the money, there still wouldn’t be any way to get there. There would be no way ‘home.

Where is home, what does home mean? 

Again, I was thinking of those in the Second World War. Many had to leave their physical homes to go into a ‘home of hiding’. They didn’t know whether, what they left behind, would be returned. Many understood they were most likely never going to come back home. Those who went into hiding had to create a new home. Filled with unknowns, filled with the fear of being hunted, this ‘enemy’ was coming after them to take from them, their very lives.

So many are faced with fear today. The fear that this enemy (virus) will reach them where they are in the safety of their ‘homes.’ It feels we are in ‘hiding’ in our own ‘home.’

Fear, anxiety and loneliness might be filling some of you as you think about staying ‘home’ for an indefinite period. For a few days we embrace this new normal, but for some of you things are starting to shift and feelings of desperation might start to set in.

Can I offer you another a thought of hope?

I was brought again to the Word of God. It is what I live by, what I hold on to as my foundation for life. It is what sustains me, now more than ever.

Hebrews 13:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

Oh what a great reminder to me. This world is not my permanent home, the permanent place to depend on. As my personal physical citizenship has changed from one nation to another, I might not have a way back to the ‘home’ I grew up in, but what an incredible thing to be reminded that I can look forward to another kind of home, (city in some versions) even better than this one.

Philippians 3:20-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

And the book of Galatians reminds of this:

Galatians 2:20 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[a] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Christ now lives in me. My new ‘home’, my citizenship, this place where I find complete rest is in Jesus.

In response I bring a sacrifice of praise to God, even amidst this current situation, I proclaim my allegiance to His Name. I am reminded to do good, to share with those in need.

Do you need rest while home? Do you need that assurance that you will be ok in the midst of the uncertainties?

Jesus is the answer, read His Word.

Just look for an online Bible, download “You Version” if you do not have a physical Bible. 

Write me a comment here if you want prayer and I will pray for you. 

Middle of the night flights

I wonder why I decided to buy a plane ticket that leaves at 1am??

Must be because the deal was amazing and I figured I can handle the lack of sleep…but can my 9 year old, who is with me?

She has been fast asleep since we left at 1am this morning and has continued while waiting on the next flight.

It is not even that far away from Costa Rica to Mazatlan, Mexico, but when you fly at those hours in the night everything gets broken up and you loose that precious sleep that the majority of us really needs!

I just walked into the beauty & health store “the Body Shop” at the Mexico City airport and got offered a cream for puffy eyes and against black circles….

I GUESD LOOKED THAT BAD??

Ok no more night flights from now on…

But then again I like to think that the Gospel message is worth those late nights, or early mornings, right?

When Holy Spitit calls us to get up and pray in the middle of the night, can you obey, knowing you might have somebody make a comment the next day on how exhausted you look?

Is it worth staying up late into the night, take a flight to another country to be able to participate in raising up and equipping the next generation of leaders who will go out with the message of hope?

My answer is yes!!

The disciples of Jesus had a hard time staying awake when Jesus asked them to keep watch, that one important night.

Sometimes we struggle with staying awake when Jesus asks us to pray, intercede, travel….

But keep in mind that what you do is spiritual warfare! It is worth so much more than you think..

So bring on the comments on my sleepy face and bags under my eyes, I am about to participate in seeing a new wave of missionaries released, who cares about sleep!!! (Well maybe I do a little bit 😉)

Something to die for

Brochure sent to me in 1995, written by Jeff Pratt

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.

“Waiting to be invaded by a fresh, relevant wave of the life that is Christ.”

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:

“Dear God….

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.

 

Week #4 Jesus is everything

What can I say but this week, even after walking with Jesus for 22 years now, Jesus once again became the center of everything.

He has always been the center, the reason, the truth, but this week again His life, death and resurrection have become the main objective and the reason for why we do what we do.

Being part of a Discipleship Training School and getting to lead this September school has been one of the greatest blessings! Not only do I get the blessing of walking alongside young people who are discovering more about who Jesus is to them, I also get the blessing of being like a student again myself.

We never stop learning no matter how long you have walked and followed Jesus.

This week was a special blessing as we had Jeff Pratt teaching. He led the DTS I did in 1996 and his testimony and teaching impacted my life as much then as it did this past week.

Why? Cause Jesus does not change! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! His truth is truth whether you want to believe it or not.

His truth has changed my life! His life effects my life, His Love reaches out to me still every day! He takes me deeper into the understanding of His heart for me and for those around me. His patience with me is so incredible, yet He doesn’t let me get away with feeling sorry for myself and will confront me like a loving Father/Mother would, gently leading me into truth and application of that truth.

Four weeks flew by and how amazing to look back and see how the Lord orchestrated the sequence of these weeks:

Week 1: our foundations and beliefs, what are our roots and what is the soil we are rooted in?

Week 2: character and nature of God, who is God, who is the trinity, how deep is God’s Love, how does God respond? Always according to who He is…

Week 3: the person and work of Holy Spirit as lived out and exemplified through the life of Jesus. Dependency on Him, being led by Him, listening in prayer and intercesión to what He would have us pray instead of what we feel to pray.

Week 4: the person and work of Jesus, Jesus wants to be the Lena through which we see the world, but we have a wall of divide that we have built that keep us from walking in the fullness of what Jesus has for us and keeps us from seeing through His eyes. The work on the cross was the ‘finished’ work of Christ and we are invited to walk in the freedom of that finished work. We take up our cross daily to follow Christ, we die to self to become alive to the love of Christ.

Wow such amazing weeks and such a richness to keep pondering on. It is like being in my own Discipleship Training School all again….

Celebrating a student’s re-birth in Christ day!

I love going deeper with the Lord and what a joy to walk alongside a new generation and together experience greater freedom in Christ!

Have you ever wondered about going deeper in your relationship with God and knowing more about Jesus. Come join us in the January quarter for the next DTS! Email us today dts@ywamsj.org!!