There’s something very comforting about having a keyboard beneath my fingers. Perhaps its the fact that I have not had a computer since May, and writing is one of the dear loves of my life. It feels so good to have an outlet to express myself in this way, even if it’s only for one hour.
Most often, when I update this blog, I share heart updates rather than life updates. Because so many people are asking for the life update, I will do my very best to intertwine them. It is the life happenings that really set us up for the heart shifts anyways, right?
June and July offered me circumstances and challenges that knocked me down and kicked me in the rear. When I think about that time in my life, I honestly cannot help but laugh. Looking back, it is easy to see how God was aligning every little thing in my life and preparing me for what was to come. From rafting the Nile River in Uganda, to spending a week in the hospital in Rwanda with malaria, to spending a month on my face in prayer over relational challenges, God was positioning me to receive knowledge and wisdom that was essential for what was to come.
I visited Mozambique in August for some much needed rest and fellowship with my dear leaders, Nick and Marlene Boyd. While we were there, we took a road trip to Beira, a city on the coast. Where there, the three of us were blessed to have a man named Pastor Mario pray and prophesy over us. The words that he spoke to me were more powerful than I can express. Knowing nothing about my situation in Rwanda, he spoke into places that were so very difficult, and encouraged me greatly. He reminded me of who God has called me to be as a woman, what God has called me to as a missionary, and what God has called the nations to. This was something I had not heard since the beginning of my journey as a full time missionary in Rwanda.
Also while I was in Mozambique, Nick and Marlene asked me some very difficult but essential questions. One thing in particular that sticks out is a conversation I had with them over breakfast. Nick, who I love so dearly, looked me in the eyes and said, “alright, you want to change Rwanda? What are you going to do about it? What steps are you taking to see the kingdom come down there?”
I did not have an answer.
I went back to Rwanda with this question in mind. No matter where I went or what I did, I could not get this question out of my head.
As I sat with my friends on the streets, I would think, “this is great but what steps am I taking to see the kingdom come in their lives?” I absolutely could not shake it.
So I began to ask God, all the time, “What is the next step? What do you want me to do?” I felt so inadequate. I felt I had nothing to offer these people that I love so much.
One day, during a conversation with a dear friend, God spoke to me so clearly and said, “the next step is easy. You won’t believe me because it’s something you love. I want you to teach these people how to bake. Give them a skill.” So I began shadowing some people at a bagel company and observing the way they operate. After two months, God told me the next step.
“Open a bakery.”
If you know anything about me, you know how beautiful this truly is. If there is one thing I love to do more than any other thing, it is to cook. It is my favorite way to serve, my favorite way to love, and my favorite way to spend my spare time.
Needless to say, I said yes to this instruction. God made it very clear that the purpose of this bakery is bigger than I can imagine. This bakery training center will give people who have never had anything an opportunity to have their lives changed forever. Not only will we give vulnerable people a life skill so they may become self sustainable, we will also disciple them and offer them the food that does not perish. I truly believe that God will use this to transform the mindset of those in Rwanda concerning the disabled population.
I asked God to give me the name of the bakery, and He said Bloom. As I listened to the song “beautiful things” by Gungor, God showed me how I had felt that there was nope hope for these people in Rwanda, but in His name, beautiful things would come up from the ground there. He said new life would Bloom in Rwanda through this plan of His.
So Bloom is now officially registered in Kigali, Rwanda. We are in the beginning stages of development, and believing God for provision for all things. For those interested in supporting this effort, we have created a wish list on Walmart.com. These are things that we desperately need for this development, either they are not available in Rwanda, or the price is very high and the quality is very poor.
Please be in prayer over this as we seek all that God has for us in Rwanda.
As I write this, I am sitting in the Holy Land. I have been here in Israel for a week now, and I am in a constant introspective state. I know in my heart and my spirit that God is doing a very deep work here. In addition to being overwhelmed in the best possible way by all that I am seeing and feeling in this place, I am experiencing a bit of first world culture shock, as well as processing all I have experienced over the past year.
I feel like God is going to give me a lot of perspective about many of the things I walked through over the last year, and specifically the last six months. Everything happens for a purpose, and God uses all things in our lives if we allow Him to. Being removed from various circumstances, situations, and relationships is offering me a point of view that I could not get in Rwanda. I am eager to watch as it all unwinds.
I found myself a small bit discouraged because I have not been able to grasp much of what God is doing in my heart here. I know that God will reveal so much to me in His perfect timing, but I cannot help but long for wisdom and revelation every step along the way.
Even as I don’t fully comprehend all I am experiencing concerning the Israel piece, I feel a sense of urgency in my spirit that others might receive the revelation that I know is to come in my life, because of this experience.
I know God is up to something good, for He only does good things. I am seeking to find a balance between patience and determination in this season. I eagerly long to know and see certain things and pray earnestly for them, but I want to also find a place of rest as I wait on the Lord.
I believe that God also is planting seeds in me here, that will grow in Rwanda upon my return. There are steps that He will reveal to me for Bloom, and although I want to know them now, I am confident that they will be evident upon my return to Rwanda.
So, for now, I wait and soak up every beautiful moment with the Lord, here in His home. I am so abundantly blessed to walk where He walked. I believe that scripture will come to life for me over the next few seasons in my life, as I read and connect the Word with what I have seen and experienced. I am eager for that revelation.
As I finish writing, I am reminded of the word, “encourage and exhort one another daily.”
I pray that you would each be encouraged in some way. I pray that you would know my love for you, but even more, that you would know the love of the Father. He is good and His desire is for us. Let us rejoice in that.