Possible spot where Peter preached and 3000 were saved
After a month travelling throughout Israel, we are home again in Cyprus. If you find it strange that I am calling Cyprus my home, please know that I will always feel at home in Texas. Somehow, I feel at home in many places. When I am in the Negev Desert I feel at home and the sense that I could live that life, that I could be a desert rose blossoming in the rugged beauty of the sandy hills and wide open sky. When I am in the villages of Ethiopia, Turkey, or China, I feel at home and long to give my life to mother the children and befriend the people. When I am in Jerusalem, I feel perhaps the greatest sense of home knowing that one day the King of all kings, Messiah Yeshua, will physically return to this place and will reign over all the earth. A sense of home for me is the feeling I get when, deep inside, my spirit connects with the truth that I am where I am supposed to be and living for that which He has called me to live. I am so challenged and encouraged by the apostle Paul’s words, “Not that I have already obtained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (Philippians 3:12). Yeshua has gripped my life with His love, and I am His. And I know that my life is for His Kingdom. How amazing to know that God has a vision in His heart for my life, and that by His grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit, I can live that vision out! I want my life to be a living sacrifice, and with that I know persecution and challenges will come; nevertheless, I want to count it all joy, knowing that I can fully trust in the Lord and “few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly” (George MacDonald).
Right before a hail storm interrupted our hike
For the details of the trip, I would like to refer you to our team blog because they did such a great job on it and I think that you would really enjoy it. Here is the link to our first year trip (the one I was on): http://www.gatewaysbeyond.org/gts2010/?page_id=594. If you are interested, you may also read about the 2nd year team’s trip at http://www.gatewaysbeyond.org/gts2010/?page_id=597. I will, however, say a few things. This was truly a special trip. It was my fourth time in Israel and my third time to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem. The students this year are a special group and the team dynamics were so great. There are two significant things to mention that this time meant to me. First, this past month has been a very hands on, practical leadership training experience, not just for me, but also for all of the staff and interns. I feel like I grew so much in leadership in both practical ways and in being a mentor and a spiritual covering for the students. I really love the talks I get to have with the girls—they each have such a hunger for the Lord and questions about their walk and discipleship. I really love them. The second is the revelation of Yeshua’s return. The Lord did something in my heart while in Jerusalem of a greater reality that He is really coming back and that the focus of my life is to live for His return, to give myself to the spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom so that He can come back to a prepared Bride. I also enjoyed making some new friendships of a few remarkable women of God.
Left: using my headlamp to cook after electricity went out (I got a lot of use of my headlamp in this way).
As we returned to Cyprus, we learned that we weren’t going “back” to a place but we were going forward to a place and the new things God wants to do in us. We look back to see how far we’ve come, but now we set our gaze forward as we prepare to run into all that God has. I know there is much in store. There is so much stirring inside of me, so many things I am asking the Lord to speak to me about. Leadership may seem glamorous, but it is not easy; yet, it is more rewarding than I could ever have known. The students are not the only ones being discipled and growing—oh no—most of the staff agree that we feel we are receiving more training and discipleship and character building than when we were students in the school. And I couldn’t be more grateful. So this is my life. I just wrote what I was feeling because that is what I want to share with you. I could give you a play by play of every event, but I would rather share the part of me that those events are shaping.
There are several things you can be praying for in this time. Perhaps you could pray over the whole list and then maybe just one or two points will stick out to you that you can really carry in prayer and intercession as the Lord puts on your heart. Thank you, sincerely from my heart.
• Pray for a successful shift in gear for the final stretch of the school before outreach (for the students, myself, and community)
• Pray for all of the preparations and fund raising for the outreach trips. The first year team (myself included) will be going to Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland. I am so stirred for all that God wants to do in these lands, and have a real sense of expectation. The second year team will be going to France, Italy, Switzerland, and Holland.
• Pray for supernatural protection and covering for our community and all the families.
• Pray for the work here in Cyprus. We have many gatherings and events throughout the year, and God is really moving on the island. In July, Gateways is doing its first summer camp for the youth on the island. We sense an urgency to reach this generation: we want to pull this generation out of hopelessness and depression and into the light and life of Jesus Christ.
I hope each of you is enjoying the coming of spring. If it is a beautiful day, don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy it. Give love to someone who really needs it today, and praise the Lord for something you have never thought to praise Him before. May you be filled with joy and peace.
Your friend and sister,