Friday, November 20, 2009


So I have been meditating on Proverbs 3:5-6 lately--"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." The depth of the power in this verse is profound. We hear it quoted so often that we don't let it resonate in our hearts. This is a life-changing, a life-yielding word. It is a challenge and an invitation. We are invited and commanded to trust. Can I trust Him with all my heart? It is easy to answer yes, so perhaps I should ask myself if I can refrain from trusting in anything(one) else. My job, family, friends, abilities, all are gifts from God who is my true and only source of strength. It is so easy to lean on our own understanding, but this is exactly what can lead us astray so easily. How often I catch myself trying to "figure things out" rather than listening to the Lord. How often I excuse my actions or lack thereof based on how I feel or what I think I know. But when we get down to it, here is the beautiful invitation, "in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." With every step, every breath, every desire in my heart, I get to think on Him. I get to set my gaze on Him, to praise Him, to ask Him his opinion, and listen for His answer. I get to "roll off onto" Him the things that try to weigh me down; decisions, desires, hopes, fears, accusations, praise, everything! I give it all to Him! It's like we're hiking through a mountain in thick woods weighed down with a heavy pack full of cares, following a compass of half-conceived dreams and hopes, led off-course by trails blazed by lost wanderers, and following a map that leads to fools gold. When all the while we have the option of following a guide who knows the journey (both the short-cuts and the scenic routes), who will personally carry our bag of dead weight in exchange for His lighter and easier pack, and who is leading us--not to fools gold--but to a treasure field more vast and beautiful than our wildest dreams. I want to walk in this guides ways, and follow His steps. Lord, help me to trust in You with all my heart. Help me not to lean on my own understanding. I acknowledge you in my life and say that my desire is to do your will. Lead me and guide me according to your good pleasure. amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

cooking, creating, laughing

So I just had my birthday on Sunday and I must say it was one of my favorites. My family and just a few friends got together and we had a make your own pizza party. Even though I was standing in the kitchen for hours making pizza dough, I was enjoyin myself so much. I loved seeing everyone's individuality and creativity come out as they decorated their perfect pizza. I loved how much thought my brother Josh put into tasting and judging each creation, being sure to comment on each one. It is so fun to make a nice meal for people, but it was a blast cooking together. I think kitchen memories are often the fondest memories. I love how we can come together and enjoy each other's company over food. And now I think of the holidays coming and I get very warm and fuzzy. Rather than focusing our efforts on creating the perfect meal to impress people, maybe we can just have fun and spend some time together in the kitchen as well as at the table. Just a thought

Germany 2009

If you would like to read a brief artical about our trip to Germany, you may click on this link: It was such an incredible trip, and I am still processing all that the Lord did. You can also read my trip blog for more details:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's a church to do?

I believe most of you reading this are members of Shady Grove Church, and this blog is for you.
At church on Sunday morning it was announced that Nathan and Courtney and their family will be moving to Brussels, Belgium in the spring. I am sure there were many who were very surprised, but also many of us were excited to hear the news officially announced. Jonathan and Destiny are also moving to Brussels, only much sooner. This got me thinking about the many leaders in Shady Grove that have been sent forth into the nations, and this got me thinking about different leaders and members who I see a calling on for the nations. And the common question is, with so many leaders being sent out, what's a church to do?
I understand the challenges of restructuring. I understand the tension between being excited for people stepping out in faith to follow God's call and feeling somewhat bewildered as to who will take their place or what will happen when they leave. I understand these challenges, but I have to admit that the challenges make me excited. Call me an enthusiast if you will, but my faith is stirred.
You see, I just spent a month and a half in a small village in eastern Germany called Herrnhut. We have been talking about Herrnhut lately at the Grove. When God's Spirit fell in Herrnhut in the 1700s, not only was a 24/7 prayer movement begun that lasted over 100 years, but also this little village of refugees became a missions sending community that birthed the modern day missions movement. At one point, Count Zizendorf was exiled from the country for 10 years. When he returned, there were only a handful of people he knew because so many had been sent out on the mission field!
Now I am sure this constant turnover of people being discipled and then being sent out was difficult and challenging; nevertheless, the people chose to live this life, to sacrifice those who were probably great leaders to reach the uttermost ends of the earth with the Good News. This inspires me. I am so grateful for the different leaders at Shady Grove. And I have watched as some have faithfully stayed to support the church even though they felt that their portion was in the nations. And what I am suggesting is that our gratefulness transfer into generosity in releasing those who feel called to go. It takes courage to go and it takes courage to stay, and I believe that there are people who are called to go and people who are called to stay. But I do think that as a church, we are called to send. Let us rise up in courage and complete dependence on the Lord. And as we send people out, let us rise up and say, "Here I am Lord, use me." One benefit of being a sending church is that people who perhaps never thought of themselves as leaders are brought to the place where they can stand up, where they can serve, where they can lead. I don't think that Shady Grove will ever be the "comfortable" place, but I believe this church is called to be a family, a community, of those who will say, "all for Christ!" "We will sacrifice, we will give, we will send, we will serve, we will pray, we will worship, we will look to You for our sustanance, we will fear not but will hide ourselves in the shelter of the Almighty."
I know that it might sound funny for me to say all of this since I myself have been sent out; nevertheless, Shady Grove is still my home, still my family. But I believe I speak for many missionaries when I say that I still care deeply for everything God is doing back home. And so much of the strength I feel is from the support back home. I may have physically left, but I have not abandoned. And just as I am encouraged by your support, I want to encourage you with what I see that God is doing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Light and Beauty

I have been spending a lot of time on my other blog about my time in Germany with the Gateways team. Being in charge of the team blog, I have been put in a situation where I have to be faithful with writing. And it has been such an amazing experience. Writing about things really helps me to process what God is doing, and it is also a way of declaring those things and encouraging others. Posting pictures and telling stories helps me to remember--life changing moments and moments as trivial as what I had for lunch. All this to say, I would really like to endeaver this same faithfulness with my own personal writing. I created this blog for two reasons. First, I wanted a way to begin to cultivate the habbit of writing. My desire is to be a missionary and a writer, and I realize that to be a writer I must write. The second reason I created this blog is because I had a cry in my heart to see people cast off the limitations they have lived under, and discover their beautiful destiny and life in Yeshua. It is interesting because this is very similar to the theme of my other blog and our time in Germany--"Forgotten Seed: Unveiling the Treasures of our Inheritance." So, through this blog, "Hidden Royalty," and my Germany blog, "Field of Pearls," I want to release my gifting in writing to call others to break forth into theirs. Let us allow the light and beauty God has placed in each of us to be revealed today.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


It is so easy in our doing to lose sight of our motivation—our calling—our vocation. Throughout the world, God has created men and women with a myriad of differing gifts and talents, and not all are meant to perform the same function; on the contrary, our diversity is what makes us beautiful and serviceable as the Body of Christ: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:12-13). God’s heart is not for division—neither is it for all to be the exact same. If you look up into the sky on a brilliant, cloudy day, it isn’t simply the clouds that take your breath away, but the host of shades, shadows, textures, and colors. What makes a family so special is the common likeness intermingled with the individual personalities and characteristics. Our Creator God made no two snowflakes the same; no two people the same and no culture the same. So often, we give way to the secret villain of arrogance that creeps in so cunningly. In our desire to fashion our lives after Christ, we begin to think that our measure of revelation must be the fullness, and we find no room in our theology for different expressions. Yet this is not the heart of our Messiah. We have a picture of God’s heart because we know whom He will draw to Himself: Revelation 7:9-10 tells us, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” To help hasten the soon coming of our Lord, we must seek unity with our brothers and sisters; for Jesus is coming back to one Church, for one Bride. We must also allow diversity amongst our family in the Lord, for God is worthy of a complete, beautiful, and radiant Bride; and He is worthy to have every feature of His Creation to be turned back to His praise. Let us not rob God of the glory due His name by attempting to mold His Bride into our own image. Let us rather seek to see every nation, tongue, and tribe be transformed into His likeness and bring to the Body of Christ the beauty and gifts that God has placed within them. “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them in the body just as He pleased” (I Cor. 12:17-18). Let us love one another, “For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (I Cor. 3:3). It is so important that we come together as the Bride of Christ, and with all of our differing gifts and callings, lend our voices in unison to agree with the Spirit and cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” This is our motivation—our calling—our vocation: to devote our lives to preparing the way for the Lord’s return.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Greatest thing since sliced bread? really?

I am currently in Germany, and enjoying the country emensly. One side effect of my time here is that I have come to discover that a certain cliche I have heard my entire life is, in fact, erroneous. Whoever came up with the phrase, "the greatest thing since sliced bread," has obviously not spent much time in Saxony, wherein one may stop by the local bakery and purchase various rolls and loaves of fresh-baked bread, then go home to one's own kitchen where he or she indubitably has an electric bread slicer to cut just the right amount of slices the right side for whatever meal was at hand. So, after experiencing the pleasure of personally slicing my fresh and wholesome bread, I pose this query: is it really the greatest thing since sliced bread, or is it perhaps the saddest thing since sliced bread?

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Blog!

Hello from Germany!

I wanted to let you know that I am now writing a blog about our trip here in Germany. We will be here until the end of August. Check out my blog at this link: The link is also posted on this blog in the links section.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
Happy Holidays! The time of Passover and Resurrection celebration is so dear to me. I love to go through the Passover Seder and remember how God brought His people out of slavery and bondage and into a new land of promise. I love to see how Jesus the Messiah is revealed through the Passover traditions and imagine what it was like at His last Pesach (Passover) when he broke the unleavened bread and told his disciples that it was His body—He was completely without sin just as the Matzah is without leaven or yeast. He also took the cup of wine and blessed it and said that it was His blood poured out for us. Just as the blood of the lamb was spread on the doorposts of the Hebrews’ doors and everyone inside was spared and passed over, He shed His blood for us on the cross and He said that He is the door and the way to the Father. When we receive the blood of Yeshua, we enter through the door and are saved for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. When Jesus was in the garden praying, He asked the Father if there was any other way; nevertheless, He was willing and He gave His life completely for us. I think about Father God hearing His only Son in his distress asking if there was any other way, and in this moment is where I realize the depth of God’s love for me, to be able to look at His Son and not change His mind, but knowing what Jesus would suffer to say yes, this is the only way, I want my children reconciled to me, I will not be separated from them forever. And, of course, the rest of the story is that Yeshua did die and shed His blood for us, but then He rose again in victory and defeated death, and through Him we have eternal life—we are reunited with our Father and have become the Bride of Christ! And not only that, but also He sent His Holy Spirit to fill us, to give us abundant life, and to empower us for holiness and to tell the world of His great love. What a wonderful God He is!
I wanted to share with you a quick update about my trip to Israel. I have blogged about the entire trip in detail, and if you are interested you can read it at This is just a quick note on how the trip impacted me personally. I want to thank all of you who sowed financially into this trip and who prayed for us while we were gone. We were in Israel for an entire month, and it was just so good to be back in the land. I got to experience many new things this time that I had not done before on my two previous trips. For example, I got to spend over a week in the south of the country in the Negev desert. We stayed in one place that was literally right on the Egyptian border. I have a picture of some men in Egypt that I took from Israel. I really think I would love to just spend some time with Bedouins or Gypsies one day because I really like that lifestyle, though I admit I also really like hot showers and coffee shops. Another highlight of my trip was spending time with Israeli youth. I have been involved in youth ministry since I was a youth (which I still am by the way) and I love just hanging out with them, talking about their lives, encouraging them, and simply showing them love. I’ll just mention one more highlight; that is, we were able to stay in an old Armenian hostel inside the Armenian quarter of the old city Jerusalem. I have been to Jerusalem before, but it was so different living inside the old city walls and walking through the narrow streets on the cobbled stones smoothed from so many years of footsteps. On Shabbat, I walked alone through the streets down to the Wailing Wall and watched as people came and went on their Shabbat to pray at this spot where they feel closest to God. And as I pray for them, I look forward to the days spoken of in Revelation 21 and 22 where Yeshua is ruling and reigning from Jerusalem and there is no need for moon or sun because He is our light.
Well, I’m back in full swing in Cyprus now and getting excited about going out to Ethiopia in May. I will write more, but I just wanted to send out a hello and Happy Holidays. I miss you all and pray for you continually. Be blessed and enjoy time with your families and friends. And give each other hugs for me when you get the chance.
Much love,
Hannah Briscoe

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Update from Cyprus

Greetings! I hope you enjoy this update on my life and what the Lord is doing. I miss you all and send you my love.

I have now been back in Cyprus for a month and a half, and I cannot describe the pleasure I feel to be in the will of God. I know I am where I am supposed to be and doing what makes me come alive. So, I wanted to write and tell you a little bit about what I am doing here.
This year I am a part of the GTS I team. The program is divided into three parts: a first year school, a second year school, and an internship. My main focus is with the first year students. I live in a beautiful, warm house where I am the R.A. over seven first-year girls. I joke with them that I am Marmie and they are my “Little Women,” even though some are my age or older than me. They are a great group of girls and I love having each one of them in my house; however, being an R.A. does produce many challenges that help me grow. I must enforce the house rules, make sure everyone is keeping everything clean, and ensure that any problems that arise are resolved quickly and in a righteous way. As the R.A., it is also my responsibility to lead the morning runs twice a week. I have never much enjoyed running, but just being surrounded by so much beauty makes it worth it. My weeks are very full and I am definitely working very hard; nonetheless, it is a joy to be working alongside others in a community of people who love the Lord and care for each other. My other responsibilities include writing and editing the GTS blog (, helping with child care once a week, preparing lunch for the community on Tuesdays, creating all assignments for the student journals, monitoring class on Wednesdays, and creating the service schedule and supervising the service time. Service time is every day from 4-6pm when the students do all of their chores. Creating the chart for 22 people may sound like a breeze, but it proved to be quite a challenging task. There are 16 first-year students this year—11 girls and 5 guys. The theme for the school is “Shine” and God has already done so much in each life. He has been shining the light of His love on all of our hearts, and you can already see in the faces of the students that their lives are being changed and they are being filled with His goodness. They are shining!

On March 8, we leave our beloved island and head to Israel for a month. In the past, the Israel trip has been a two week trip to experience Israel. This year, we will be there longer and we will continue with our program while there (worship, teaching, etc.) as well as traveling around and experiencing the amazing land. Personally, I am most excited about camping in the Negev desert and doing a 16 kilometer hike! We did not get to do this during my school, and I have always wanted to. It has been 5 years since I have been to Israel, and my heart is longing to return. I am so excited!

I am thrilled to announce that we all (1st year, 2nd year, interns, and staff) will be going to Ethiopia for our end of the school outreach! I have never been to Africa before, and I have especially wanted to go to Ethiopia for the last 6 years. Gateways Beyond has a long history of reaching out in Ethiopia and has a strong relationship with many in that land. While in Ethiopia we will be reaching out to the large Jewish community there, ministering in orphanages and prisons, and encouraging the Church. Ethiopia was one of the first places to receive the Gospel as is seen in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8; we know their heritage is rich.
I want to express my deep gratitude for all of my family and friends back home who have been such an encouragement to me. Thank you for your prayers and support—they are so vital to what the Lord is doing in and through me.

This is a faith based community and none of the staff receive a salary. We are all here through money that we have earned back home and by the sacrificial giving of so many of you. I still need around $800.00 for the Israel trip, and I am also beginning to raise support for the outreach to Ethiopia (probably around $2000.00) If you would like to give a one-time gift or pledge a monthly commitment, any amount would be a blessing. You can follow along more closely with me through my personal blog ( as well as through email. I am also writing a weekly blog for the GTS at I would love to communicate with you more, so feel free to write. Blessings to you in the name of the Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Hannah Briscoe

P.S. I am sorry, I have not been able to get any pictures to upload to the email. Hopefully soon I will get some pictures up.

Giving information: (You can make a note that the funds are for me)
Or you may send a check to the following address:

Gateways Beyond
PO BOX 155101
Ft. Worth, TX 76155

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Break Forth

A land swollen with hidden seed,
A land hungry, with unspoken need.
They yearn to cry out,
But it is caught in their throats.
They desire to shout,
But have said that they don’t.

Oh God, hear a cry
Of a nation in pain,
So much shame held inside
That is keeping them lame.

Muted and silent,
Or so they have believed.
But a cry is growing
That must be relieved.

I see an earthquake
That is coming to shake
Every heart and mind
From this lying snake.

As a tongue is released by
The first obedient sounds,
Let the groaning break forth—
Let the seeds break through the ground.

The fields have been planted,
And the Lord sends the rain.
The heavens are being released,
And is washing the stains.

Daughters and sons,
It is time to untie.
Your chains are released;
You have been waiting to fly.

Righteousness spring forth.
The ground is not dead.
Sing out for joy
For Jesus is your head.

O Germany, arise.
O Germany, you will shine.
O Germany you shall release
What has been growing inside.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

treasure hunting

Wow. Today was an amazing day. We took a team of staff, interns, and 2nd year students into Limassol for an outreach. We split up into small teams and we walked around on the water front looking for opportunities to pray for people and tell them about God's love. We prayed ahead of time that the Lord would give us specific words and pictures of people that we would meet so that when we saw them we would be ready to speak directly to their hearts what the Lord had shown us beforehand. There were so many testimonies from the day. There was one man with a cast on his hand that got prayed for by five different teams. He started out looking really hard, but was lightening up as more and more people came up to him to tell him about God's love. Later, we were all sitting together having lunch by the water and then this man came walking up to us with another man. He had gone and found a translator so he could find out what it was we were about! Both men were Muslims from Iran, but were so encouraged as the team just poured out on them the truth of God's love for them. We told them about God's healing power and prayed for them in Jesus', the Son of God, name. They were very touched and wanted to find out how they could learn more and where they could go in the future. We were able to invite them to an event in the city coming up, and one of our team members got their phone number so he could follow up. God is so amazing! He took a handful of people from a Messianic ministry to go and used them to touch these Iranian men. God is so good! The great thing is that it wasn't this big event that took lots of preparation. We just drove down to the city with the purpose in our heart to shine God's love around us. You can be used by God at any time and in any place! All you have to do is to make yourself available to Him. Most of the time the people we approached did not even speak English, but we were able to smile and tell them God loves them and pray for them. Well, I hope this encourages you. Step out in faith. You will never go wrong telling people God loves them. It will always be true.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Consecrated Ones

Every morning, here in Cyprus, we begin our day with worship. We believe that every moment should be lived in worship to our God; nevertheless, there is something special and powerful when we come together with the specific purpose of praising our King and seeking His face. The amazing part is that when we seek Him, He comes! Daily we are drawn into His presence and our lives are being changed. There are so many aspects of God and of His love that you can never have enough. His love is wider and deeper and stronger and purer and lovelier than we could ever fully know. The more we gaze at Him in worship, the more of Himself He pours out and we are daily growing more and more hungry for more of Him. Could I use the word “more” anymore? Yes! I want More! I have been in Cyprus now for over 3 weeks, and there is so much I could write about. Already, God has spoken so much to me and kissed me with His presence again and again. Since I cannot possibly tell everything, especially when I am still processing most of it, I will just write a little bit about some special revelation the Lord has been walking me through.
Before worship begins each day, all of the staff and the interns meet in the office for a time of communication and prayer. Most of the time before we even go down to worship we have already had an encounter with the Lord in our staff meeting. Last week, Mrs. Rudolph shared with the staff an exhortation reminding us that we are “consecrated ones.” She said that those of us who are not married do not need to think of our identity as “single” but rather as consecrated ones. As she was sharing, my heart was lit with an excitement deep within. It is not that we are taking any vow of singleness, but it is the fact that we realize what a special time this is that we are able to fully devote ourselves to the One we love—singleness of heart. And this does not apply only to the unmarried, but the married as well can be consecrated to the Lord as ones with singleness of heart towards the Lord. Since I am not married, however, I will write about what this means to me in my state. What a privilege I have to be able to put all of my focus and zeal towards the Lord. I have more time to be filled with His love and healed in His presence so that when the day does come if the Lord should bring to me a partner in this adventure of life, I will be a whole person whose identity is rooted and grounded in God’s love. I am going to give it my all to let my roots go down deep. It is so easy to allow ourselves to be unaware of the days in which we are living. But we must awake! This is not a time to sleep or a time to get comfortable and make our lives nice and cozy. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are part of the Family of God. Your life cannot be lived in isolation from the rest of the Church and God’s plans in this earth. You may be satisfied to know that you are going to Heaven, but God gave us His Holy Spirit and the great commission so that we might play a greater role in this amazing redemption story. God has not made you to be an extra taking up space on the stage of life—He has created you to play an irreplaceable role with deeper significance than it may at first appear. It does not matter where you were born or what your background is, He is ready to fill your life with more meaning and purpose than you could ever hope for yourself. With this in mind, my excitement continues to grow as I begin to see myself as a consecrated one. We are so close to Yeshua’s (Jesus’) return. I am locking my gaze on Him and not looking around to try to find things to fill my life. My life is not my own. I lay it down gladly for the One who laid His life down for me. I am marching to the rhythm of His love wherever it leads. I am choosing to lay myself down on His table and ask Him to do surgery on my heart. He may cut away anything and everything that is not from Him. All of the hopes, dreams, and plans I have for my life, I present to Him as a gift. Because of His amazing love, I know I can FULLY trust Him with my all. I lay down all expectations and choose to follow Him. I pray that I would be found willing even unto death. I love Jesus. I love Abba, Father God. And I know that He loves me and His plans for me are good. I am part of the Jacob generation who will seek His face.