Beloved, thank you so much for praying. I returned home to Yei because Jesus told me to “Go home and lay down.” Our beautiful kids greeted me all clad like royalty as we got rid of all their rags and exchanged them literally for lovely clothes. You could see orphan complexes just drop off as they realized they really WERE part of a family who loved them enough to make sure they had beautiful clothes to wear. I was greeted by 50 kids screaming “mama ja” (mama’s come) who all swarmed the car and before I even got to my room all laid hands and prayed heaven down on me. I am so sooooo happy to be home.
I am trying to be good, restricting seeing visitors and business to 2 hours a day for the next few weeks. That is honestly about all my tired body will handle. Our staff family is amazing and if they see me up too long, one of the mamas comes and herds me off to rest. 😉
A few days ago we had a visitor. He was a precious elderly American, one of those nameless faceless heroes whose reward will only be seen in heaven. I met him in an airport and he decided to pay me a visit. He had a word of the Lord for me. He slaps his hand on my head and starts to prophesy:
“THINK BIG! You’re thinking too small. There’s more. God is opening the floodgates of revival over your life. THINK BIGGER. Signs and wonders are about to break out. Sign and wonders. You are thinking too small. God has bigger plans for you than you imagine. Ask bigger. God is giving you a nation. He is giving you Sudan (the south and the north) and it’s bigger than you have dreamed. The blind are going to see, the deaf are going to hear. He is giving you languages: how many do you want? And people: 100s, 1000s, no millions. God is giving you a nation. The revival you have seen is but a glimpse. The impact will shake nations. Think bigger, pray bigger, dream bigger, trust bigger: Jesus is giving you a nation and you will have unprecedented favor even with government. Yes I am giving you a nation,” says the Lord.
Then he teaches our kids a precious little worship song, puts some money in my hand and leaves. I went back to my room and just cried. I barely know how to trust and believe for 2 churches and 50 kids. We are praying for and planning to take in 1,500 at this center one day but even that boggles my brain. Not to mention the ministry school, the primary school and everything else. Think BIGGER? We barely have our land secured. Are You serious Jesus? He replied, “You’ve gone home and laid down and now I am giving you a nation”
But to see the transformation in our kids in little over a week; it is just so Him. Each night we worship and wait on Holy Spirit together. One night since arriving home, I came out to them kneeling and lying facedown in the dirt crying out for more of God’s presence, lavishing worship on our King, asking for an outpouring of signs and wonders and healing for their land. We didn’t teach them to do that. They just are doing it. It undoes me.
Jesus has been talking to me as I have been very literally laying down much of the day here: Run in by laying down. Run in by laying down. You don’t run into My heart by pushing harder but by laying down. Run into My heart by laying down and then My heartbeat propels you out to the nations. Into My heart, out to the nations. Run in by laying down.
And then again and again He takes me back to John 12 and the beauty of a wasted life. Lavish worship outpoured, undignified, costly, inappropriate: scandalous extravagance spilled forth on the feet of our King, the fragrance filling the room, changing the atmosphere. Martha served the meal. Mary spilled forth the perfume of her life wasted in love. Martha brought the food. Mary bowed low to wipe His feet with her hair. I know which part I want to be. My goal is to waste my life on Jesus; utterly, completely, to live in such an abandoned place I will barge into any gathering any time if Jesus is there just to pour the perfume of my love on Him. Even in Sudan. Or America. I have wanted a “Toronto” encounter of my own variety ever since I read about Heidi’s 7 years ago on my way to my 2 years in India but I am coming to realize, He is my “Toronto” as well as my Everything. I still want more, everyday: more love, more power, more Holy Spirit, more Jesus.
Last week we had an amazing Resurrection Sunday Celebration starting with a special breakfast. We worshiped in our new structure that is doubling as church and school. We talked about Php 2 and lower still. Our kids got it as I had one of them climb up on the table (how undignified!) and then join me on the ground we got lower and lower till we both had face planted in the dirt to make a point. Then it was off to my second service to preach again this time in our second church and to present some funds so they can put a roof on. We will officially welcome them on their 1 year anniversary later this month. We also had the privilege of dedicating out littlest family members to Jesus.
I recently met an evangelist with a passion for outreach and church planting. He told me a story of one time a person came to a meeting to throw a hand grenade on the stage. He saw him, was filled with boldness and told him if Jesus is Lord then you will not be able to throw the grenade and if not, you will. The man lifted his hand to throw the grenade and was knocked back to the ground under the power of the Holy Spirit still holding it. It was simply taken out of his hand and secured without harming anyone and the man gave his life to Jesus. That’s a new twist to power evangelism!
On Resurrection Sunday, I wound up preaching impromptu a third time at an open air in a village with this new evangelist friend of ours. Outreach is always on of my favorite treats. We saw healings and well over 40 people gave their lives to Jesus for the first time. But after the healings, when I asked who wanted Jesus the whole crowd of several hundred raised their hands.
So the fruit of lying down is already being seen. My heart is rejoicing more so everyday in God’s faithfulness. We had QUITE the day today. Our normal church size of 55 or so swelled to almost 80 with neighbor kids and parents. I shared a really simple and what felt like totally unanointed and incoherent message. But when I asked who wanted to give their lives to follow Jesus EVERYONE including the ADULTS rushed the altar. So we hired a lorry for baptisms this afternoon and baptized at least 50 people and prophesied over them. We became the main attraction at the local watering hole.
This one takes the cake. Meet Mandelina from Mundari Land. Our friend and contact there brought her the LONG 2-3 day journey here because all the hospitals said no hope, even the really good ones. (Good is a relative term) She had such a bad case of scabies that were infected it rivaled cases of leprosy I have seen. We prayed for healing and we baptized and prophesied over her. I had the privilege of leading her to the Lord a few nights ago and while praying with her Jesus showed me a picture of her being baptized and coming up healed. When I got home (I had another meeting to go to) I asked to see her and the sores that had covered her arms and body were virtually gone. The swelling had gone down so much and the sores dissolved it was like looking at a different girl from the one I saw a few days ago. She was beaming with Jesus love and had hope in her eyes where before she was listless and spent the first 2 days curled up in a ball on a mat. Now she was out there dancing and worshiping with the rest of the kids all celebrating what Jesus has done in their lives today.
The Mundari are one of four major unreached people groups in the Central Equatoria State that we are in and by some estimated the largest. John Light, our contact guy there has been crying out to God for years to send someone to reach his people. He’s a young guy and ravenous for more of Jesus. From everything He’s told me, the Mundari sound like a harvest field RIPE for revival. We so look forward to seeing Jesus love be made known there.
Can a nation be saved in a day? If you lay down until Jesus stands you up.
None too shabby. Go God! Thank you for your prayers and please keep them coming. Only eternity will tell the impact of these days. We are standing in the predawn hours of a new day of revival in this land. I believe God is raising up an army of lovers of Jesus to carry His glory to the ends of the earth from here. Yes I know: many of you think we ARE the ends of the earth! But there are darker, lower, more unreached, more devastated places in this nation and beyond to go. And some of these ones you are seeing are going to be at the forefront of what I believe will be the greatest revival the world has yet seen. It will be a nameless, faceless tribe of those who are so in love with Jesus they will follow Him anywhere. They are an Enoch generation who will live from heaven to earth and change atmospheres with the glory love of God. So thank you for praying for us and being a part of our family through your love and prayers.
Love and hugs in Jesus, Michele