Be on the LOOKOUT

DSC_0009editedFrom the time the first words were spoken– I was on the lookout.  I’ve been given bad news before–and truthfully, I think my mind was sort of in shock with this.  Cancer.  This was not what I was looking for–and not part of our plan.  I totally was not expecting what my doctor just said…but I was on the lookout for what God was about to do.

Recently I pulled my prayer journal out one morning and let my fingers and eyes trace back all the places in Scripture God had been leading me and all the whispers in the night that He had revealed.  There was a distinct line…it was written seemingly in a dot-to-dot,

“be on the lookout”….

God had been preparing me–even a year ago.  No, I didn’t feel the lump a year ago, but I felt and heard from my heavenly Father.  We had been praying and seeking God about the mission field….we were still waiting on an answer.  Tears come quick to my eyes as I re-read the words that the Holy Spirit spoke to me over the course of about a week in the month of August, 2015 (that’s why I always encourage people, KEEP A PRAYER JOURNAL!).

I shake my head right now, in disbelief, NOT in what He’s doing–but in the incredibility of how He does things…it AMAZES me.

I don’t feel at liberty to share all the things He said in my private prayer time with you right now, except for this:  “Expect the Amazing.”

Maybe one day He will release me to tell you the full story of what He was doing–for now, I continue to keep track of His steps, trace His fingerprint in our lives and praise Him all along this mission journey.

Let me update you quick in case you are wondering about my health and progress.  Diagnosed with breast cancer on August 2, 2016.   Cancer was removed August 5, 2016 by way of lumpectomy and partial mastectomy.  Pathology report a week later revealed–the mass was self-contained, the margins CLEAN and lymph nodes CLEAR.  I will have 5 days of radiation and then pack for Bolivia! (Kidding on the last part, I have been slowly getting ready for a MASSIVE yard sale in September THEN we will be looking at getting some trunks and packing.

We have been blessed with amazing family and friends who have encouraged us, fed us, and liberally prayed for us.  Thank you.  For every cookie crumb and slice of ham!  We need to be on a diet today!

We are still planning to leave by January 1 since language school begins January 4th.  BUT, all final decisions are God’s…and I completely trust and wait on His timing.  There are new expenses to work through, but honestly, we both truly believe God will somehow –someway, get us through all of that–in order to get us there.  Two words God has told me over and over–for over a year–through every single road block:  “Trust Me.”

Can I ask you something?  Do you trust Him?  This is one of the passages I have continually been led to over and over while on this journey–not the cancer journey, the mission journey.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.  Psalm 33:20-22 NKJV

Jeff and I don’t have all the answers, but if you are believing God for something bigger than you can even put down on paper, or even whisper in the dark, can I lean towards you this afternoon and tell you, He’s trustworthy….

No matter what happens tomorrow, or next week, next month or even next year, my soul rejoices in God alone. He is my hope-my salvation comes from God and the gift of eternal life through His only Son, Jesus Christ.

And I, for one, am on the look-out for the next miraculous thing He has up His sleeve….

What about you?

 

© Angie Knight 2016.  All rights reserved.

Photography  © Angie Knight 2016.  All rights reserved.

 

 


Getting Results

2012-02-26 mother daughter retreat feb 2012 008Good morning!  It is raining again in the sunshine state–but that’s okay.  I know some areas have had their fill–but it’s been so dry here at the house, everything was getting crunchy.

First-let me share the awesomeness of our God!  I got my drain tube out yesterday! HALLELUJAH!  You probably heard me shout from Dothan – (naw- I didn’t do that) – but I was so relieved- I just KNEW I would go back to sleeping like normal!  But that didn’t happen.  Still propped up and only sleeping bits and pieces every night–but hey– it’s a good time to read the Bible on my phone, or talk to the AUTHOR….of course, if you are a pinterest follower, you will see that I do a bit of pintresting –you know, for when I am 100% and getting ready to move to Bolivia!

The ARNP that saw us was amazed at the progress– she would ask me questions– then look at Jeff as if to confirm I was telling the truth! HA! Imagine that.  She unbandaged, complemented my nurse/daughter, April on the good job she did- and examined the incisions. The one for the tube was the most painful, but I guessed that was normal….but then I don’t think it was.  She asked me about my meds, pain levels, and she did a double take when I told her I had stopped taking the pain meds a few days prior.  WHAT?  She didn’t say it LOUD like that implies, but she stopped writing and turned around and looked at me.

Every question she asked, I could tell she didn’t believe my answer…she kept saying, “are you telling me the truth?” HA! Of course I am!  I repeatedly told her– “THIS WAS ALL GOD!”  and that I had had LOTS of prayers going up!  To break that down, I took only 2 days of pain meds.  I am not bragging on me–I AM BRAGGING ON GOD!

When YOU prayed for me–didn’t YOU EXPECT RESULTS??

Well friends, YOU GOT RESULTS!!

The pathology report is not in yet, but honestly I expect to hear GOOD things.  They said initially I would have 5 days of radiation–I don’t expect it to be any more than that.  She even reiterated what the surgeon had said in the beginning, “you should have no trouble meeting your deadline to leave for the mission field”.

Before you think I’m all that and a bag of chipsstop right there.  I voiced my concerns (worries) to Jeff that morning– I was afraid I would pass out when they took out the drain.  I could feel it in me and I am not a nurse–nor do I like anything to do with medical stuff.  he assured me I’d be fine–and I know that as he went about his day–he prayed.  I didn’t pass out.

I deal with the same worries -(probably) anyone else does, I just follow a rule–I hand it over to Jesus.  I learned that a LONG time ago.  I don’t do a Scarlett O’Hara, you remember the statement, “I’ll worry about that tomorrow”….

I hand it off to the Team Leader to handle.  HE CAN.

Elaine Olsen’s book has been such a powerful instrument in keeping my mind geared right.  Letting God use this to do things in my life that I need.  If He allowed it, He is going to USE IT.  Can you keep that in mind the next catastrophe that strikes your heart/home/life/family?  If He allowed it…He will work it for YOUR good…and for HIS GLORY… If you keep your faith and trust in HIM.

I will not kid you and tell you it will be easy.  Likely, it won’t.  It will be a hard lesson to learn, a high mountain to climb, or deep water to wade….BUT, He will take us through it!

Let me share with you what I read this morning–God has been taking me to different strengthening passages:

“This is what the LORD says:  Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the LORD.  He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives.  

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence indeed is in the LORD.  He will be like a tree planted by water:  it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green.  It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-8 HSCB

God has opened my eyes and heart in a way that I might otherwise have missed.  I could break that passage down and share with you what it does in my heart–but I won’t for blog lengths sake.    God has brought us to this place–and I can guarantee you–HE will see us through it!  We have ministry to do.

Another cool thing that happened yesterday in the doctor’s office, the ARNP wanted to know how SHE could get involved in our mission!  Well, of course I DID NOT have a single prayer card on me–but next visit I will be PREPARED!  (Side note:  if we had every single contribution from every single person who said they “wanted to be in on what God’s doing”, we could be 100% at this point….but people tend to get excited then forget.  My prayer today is, LORD, remind those who YOU have purposed to help us get there.  The devil wants us to think it will be harder–medical expenses now added on to the normal stuff, but you know what?  God is in charge. And it’s exciting to watch Him work His wonders.)

Friends….GOD IS FAITHFUL.  If you don’t know Him, or don’t have the relationship you wish you had, it’s easy to change right now.  Simply tell Him you want Him in  your life.  That you recognize your NEED for a Savior and that you believe that His only Son, Jesus Christ was sent to this world -as a ransom to pay for our sins.  Jesus is ready right now to accept you as His beloved.  He wants to come in and have a relationship with you–  He wants to restore your joy!  Talk to Him as if He were right there….HE IS.

Can I pray for you?

Father, right now I come to you on behalf of this reader.  I have no clue who they are or where they are right now, but YOU do.  You know every intimate detail of our lives and the longings we have inside for more of You.  LORD, I ask that you would draw Dear Reader close to You, speak into their hearts/minds and let them know that You have a purpose and plan for their lives… Receive glory LORD for everything in our lives– help us live in such a way that YOU are seen, and not us.  Bless them today and allow them to see something special–from Your heart to theirs….in Jesus’ most holy name I pray, Amen.

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Interested in missions? In helping?  Go here:  www.tinyurl.com/sendjeffandangie, then simply scroll down to find the “commitment” or “give now”.  Thank you in advance if God so leads you.  No worries if you don’t feel so led or inclined.  He has a plan.  And He’s working it.

© Angie Knight 2016.  All rights reserved.


Christmas Day Excitement

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Friday morning seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r   to get here.  Really.  It was not that anticipatory excitement of Christmas presents “forever”…more of the wisdom teeth cut out “forever”.  Except, not exactly wisdom teeth.

For a couple of days, I had texted with two dear friends, one who is currently undergoing radiation for the same type of breast cancer, and one who had walked this road and found peace in the storm a few years ago.  It’s her book, Beyond the Scars,  and  her words that have encouraged me to keep talking.  I suppose–I would talk either way.  One way would be in my filled up prayer journal- only a few pages left–or the other way would be here–out in the wide open spaces of the world wide web.  I can’t let things harbor, sit and fester–I have to let things go.

The initial check in began quicker than I thought- it was later that the waiting nearly drove me nuts.  Our daughters, Tiffany and April had spent the night with us the night before–neither one slept.  They were nervous–anxious.  I had been covered by the peace of God that truly passes all understanding.  I had more than a handful of prayer warriors in their war rooms on my behalf.  I actually slept pretty good.  I laid down–God wrapped me up–and I drifted off–waking only at the usual times during the night when someone my age wakes up.

Once we were taken to a room, I was handed a precious looking gown to wear for the duration of my visit.  If you know me at all–you know I’m kidding.  I was still calm.  Fairly.  The nurse came by and welcomed me–told me what was going to be happening–that someone would come get me and take me somewhere and leave me and then someone else would pick me up and take me somewhere else and leave me then someone else would come pick me up and….. No.  They forgot that part.  I’m not upset–I just thought it might have been nice to mention the times I would spend alone in a hall and empty waiting area.  That actually sounded like a dream didn’t it?

Well, it did kind of happen that way–it was standard procedure I am certain–every single detail of the day worked like a well oiled machine–I could tell they had LOTS of practice at this. And this hospital and staff were awesome.   I told you that part to let you know what God did:

Before we arrived at this day, a friend sent me a facebook message.  Shortened down, it said this:  You are My daughter–I will be with you.

It did say a few more things–but the point I needed to know…He was my heavenly Father–and HE wasn’t going anywhere.  At anytime.

On the way to the hospital God did this:

A dear pastor/friend send me a text message:  “I’m praying for you.  Isaiah 43:1-2”.

…“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you. (NKJV emphasis mine)

Do you see what God did there–in both cases?  Told me the same thing…I was HIS…and He’s not leaving my side.

When the first nurse wheeled me out to another floor-in another area to have a wire inserted (yes, gasp!) in the mass, and an ultrasound, and then radioactive dye shot IN (yes, please gasp again!), she was very kind and when she told me in advance, “this will hurt -but he will be as quick as possible”, I thought at least she gave me warning– I clinched my eyes shut, but then she said, “you can hold my hand if you want to”….uhm, YES please–hold my hand.

I grasped her right hand and thought of His Words that He would never leave me nor forsake me….

‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  Isaiah 41:9(b)-10 NKJV

With my family in another part of the hospital, I was longing for my husband’s hand to hold.  His hand had always brought me security–and peace–and I had relied on His strength for 34 years.  But God was reminding me of something I knew, but perhaps had packed it up already for the mission field…It has always been God’s hands that has held us BOTH in all our times of struggles in life.  No matter what the struggles have been –it’s been HIM.

Once the doctor and nurse had finished wiring me up, making me a little radioactive, I was wheeled off to another area of the hospital and left outside in an empty waiting area–in a dimly lit hallway.  I suppose it was to make it more private and intimate feeling–I do think it did help.  At least I didn’t feel quite so exposed out there alone…but I did feel alone…but just briefly.  It was in that brief minute of feeling alone–that I felt God wrap me up.  Tears rolled from my eyes as Fear tried his best to come in the room, but God in all His power and glory showed him the door.  The next nurse came out and got me, ushered me gently in and did a new mammogram for the surgeon.

Once she finished up, she took me back to my room–where apparently a party was going on while my brother-in-law was telling the family some funny story.

With the larger portion of the family in the waiting room it was just my girls and darling man– April helped me in the bathroom and I collapsed on her in tears.  I think the reserve from the past months of wondering had just exploded.  I don’t know what happened–or how.  Her skills as a nurse had not stopped kicking in–she is one amazing nurse.  If you ever need a nursing home–you would be wise to move to Florida and find the one she works at–for real.

As I sat down, a memory from when she was a little bitty girl, dressed in ruffles, bows and lace came racing back to my mind.  A church bathroom–she needed to potty.  I held her dress and the bow in back so that it wouldn’t fall, handed her tissue- and helped her grow up to become the woman she is today.  I remember all the bathroom trips at church and anywhere else where she learned how to do things on her on–but until she was ready…mom was right there.  I did that for both my baby girls.  When that image of her in blonde curls and ruffly dress appeared in my movie-mind–I cried all the harder.  Time had reversed and here she was in a tiny bathroom stall with her over 50 year old mama, holding the hospital gown and handing me tissue.

God is so good.  I cannot tell you that enough.

I don’t like to cry.  I will hold it in as long as possible.  Elaine Olsen told me to cry.  Let it out.  It needs release, it is cleansing.   So, since coming home, I’ve done that a couple of times, both after dressing changes. Lest  you think I’m super-woman, let me assure you–ask Jeff or April–or Tiffany.  They will tell you  I’m not super woman.  I cried uncontrollably during and after my first shower-   Although the shower didn’t hurt –my heart ached in a place I had never experienced before.

It’s very humbling to need someone to help you with your shower.  It’s very healing too though.  I see that this morning.  Tiffany reminded me of the showers I helped her with –after all her babies.  I never thought twice–she was my baby, thus I help my child.  I am sure she, nor April never think twice.  I am their mama.  I think at some point we have to remember to let people help.  But that is so hard at times.

I think God deals with that side of us often.  We are inept at dealing with some of our issues, and HE is standing at the ready–yet we don’t ask Him.

Didn’t He tell us time and time again that He would “be there” for us?  Never leaving us….

It’s in times like these when He really shows us the truth of His Word–it’s in times like this week, I lean back against Him and feel the Presence of a Holy, Sovereign God take over.

I woke up in the wee morning hours on Monday and came to the living room to see and hear from God.   I actually had a question that I wanted to ask–but when my feet hit the cool floor of the wood in the dark, something made me change my mind.  I wasn’t going to ask any questions.  Instead, I would just listen and see what He said.

I don’t know if you have just looked at the screen in disbelief, as if the God of the universe would actually take time to say something–anything–to a nothing-of-a-woman like me, but He did.  He does.  Often.

With my unsaid question –not hanging in the air– He said this:

“I’ve been preparing you”.

I am a bit taken aback at this — THIS?  Cancer?  This disfigurement in the mirror?

This.

Everything.  I’ve been preparing you.

Today, I want to tell you–whatever is going on in your life–God is RIGHT there–He will never leave you–

If you say, “I can’t SEE HIM”, you aren’t looking close enough.  I promise He’s there.  ASK Him to show up–He will.  Ask Him to speak….HE will.

Often we aren’t quiet enough or still enough.  We want to do our own thing and we want God to work AROUND our agenda.  Hmmm…. I hope you know by now He doesn’t do that?

When I sat in the wheelchair alone in the hall…HE was there.   I might would have rathered He show up with me on a picnic–and hike–but this empty dimly lit hallway was where I was that morning–and I needed Him then.  He showed up.  I felt Him as the tears rolled–I felt Him push fear back and send in the Holy Spirit to bring peace and comfort.

Friend–He will do the same thing for you.  All you have to do is ask–expect–believe.  Move on with God and don’t give Fear your forwarding address.  If you do….I have to say, you must be a glutton for punishment.  Where the Spirit of the LORD is…there is freedom and PEACE–and Fear cannot be in the same room where God is….

Tomorrow-the tube comes OUT (PTL) and the next phase will be laid out.  Thank you in advance for praying and believing with us–Bolivia is waiting.  The people are waiting… and my eyes are focused on my healing and being able to complete the mission He assigned…with GREAT anticipation!

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© Angie Knight 2016.  All rights reserved.  Photographs © Angie Knight.  All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Curve in the Road

100_4486focusforwardonwardWow.  That is a word I use a LOT.  It lends itself to describe my feelings on a lot of things…from the good to the bad…even to the ugly.  It depicts my astonishment over many things… It’s what I wanted to say when my doctor looked at me in a sort of nervous way- and said the words “cancer” quickly, as if to get them out there in the open air–might relieve some of the stress she was feeling.

Her first words, “Well, I don’t have good news for you” hung suspended and I wanted to hit the rewind button and back track and maybe even have a re-do of the past few days events.  But that wasn’t happening.  It was there.  The test run- the mammogram and the ultrasound with the biopsy all told the facts of what was under the skin of me…but just so far.  It couldn’t get to the heart of me… that’s for God to see.

I sat on the back porch, ignored the obvious humidity and heat and drank my coffee at the beginning of last week and I felt a weariness and dread come over me–it knocked me backwards in my spirit.   A few months before I had discovered what could be a life altering lump.  I followed all the routine and advised things- and it went from “we see it”–to “it’s shrinking, must be a cyst”.  But then things changed.  And last week Fear sat on my porch–had the stinking audacity to do so with my Bible right in my lap!  And Fear whispered all the nasty stuff in my head….All the what-ifs played out in my mind.

What if you have cancer?

What if you can’t get to the mission field?

What if this is it?

What if you …….?

I cried.  Admittedly that was a bad day–an emotional day.  A break-down day.  A day when I didn’t want to see anyone… but I had my Bible in my lap and it was open to the Psalms… I had been doing a lot of journaling from the Psalms…and praying.

“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.  Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil…” Psalm 46:1-3

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You, In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear.”  Psalm 56:3-4

Then I reminded myself (do you ever have to remind yourself of things?), I reminded myself WHOSE I was.  What HE had told me–and that HE had set our course–it was not something I designed and picked out…it was ALL Him, baby!  And if He went to the trouble to set so many things up– HE had a plan to use this.

My baby girl and my sister both said they had asked God to give it to them.  I reminded them, God doesn’t “give” cancer.  God gives good gifts.  

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!   Matthew 7:11 

BUT, God will take the things that happen in our lives and work them for our good–or someone else’s.  It may not be about us…granted it may be happening to us or in our lives, but it may not be about us.  He will strengthen us–and help us–but it may be for someone else all together.

I know you want to say, “do you mean God will allow someone to go through something tragic just for someone else?”  Remember Jesus?

Don’t think for one second that I have it all figured out and that I’m totally good with it all.  I’m not.  I don’t have it figured out and honestly, I am afraid of what Friday will be like, and the disfigurement that comes with breast cancer….and the pain.  No, I’m not good with it–but I’m good with my Father–and I know HE has me in His hand and I’ve never left His sight…nor will I.

God has given me His Holy Spirit in advance…so that in times like these….His Presence never leaves me…ever.

I cling to this–HIS Word is true and He is faithful-throughout all generations.  His faithfulness didn’t end when my God-fearing, Bible reading- church going grandparents passed away.  His mercy is brand new every morning–and He is faithful to see and care for His children…of which I am one of.

Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me,  for I take refuge in You.  I will seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings until danger passes. I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.  Psalm 57:1-2 [emphasis mine]

I don’t have all the answers.  Honestly, I couldn’t sleep.  And I had been rolling it around in my head for 48 hours–how I would even say this.  But it’s said now.

If you are a mission supporter for us–Jeff and I want you to believe with us that we WILL be on the field at the time God has already picked out and the time we’ve had on our hearts.  We are still believing for our budget to be 100% by December of THIS year.  Whoa!  Did you just do a doubletake?  I believe God can do anything.  I believe this is a curve in the road and that up ahead is a victory none like we’ve ever experienced.  We kindly ask that the mission supporters keep supporting… be a part of what God is going to do through your hands and our lives–in Bolivia!  Don’t stop just because we can’t see what’s next…HE CAN!

You do know that the enemy will pull all sorts of stunts to keep the Gospel from getting out there… and he’ll stop at nothing–so that means we’ve got to be more determined than ever before.  We must be ever diligent about fully giving ourselves to Him–even if we have to do it every-single-day.  All over again.  At every obstacle…and around every curve in the road.

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© Angie Knight 2016.  All rights reserved.


Trust-God.

There was a week in Bolivia we spent without social media.  Can I just tell you it was great–with one problem:  I couldn’t let my mother know or “see” by way of pictures (unless we went to town) that all was well.  She had to trust God.  Wow.

I have been reminded of the years we spent raising our children that THAT is the ultimate thing to do–and then keep doing and pass it down to our children!  TRUST GOD.

This morning, I was reminded of a time of major trust in God when I was a young mother myself.  Jeff was at work on the oil rig somewhere off the coast of Texas, and I was alone with our little girl getting ready for church one Sunday morning.

We lived on a dirt road out in the country–the nearest Piggly Wiggly was about 12 miles away.  Walmart was just beginning to appear in small stores across the nation, but the nearest one was about 25 miles away.  We lived in the only house in Alabama on our dirt road because the nearest neighbor was across the Florida line.  Sounds deep wooded doesn’t it?  Actually, it was only a mile to the nearest house.

It was a normal Sunday morning with the rushing of getting ready for Sunday School–me and my one little girl, and it was pouring rain.  It had rained all night and since our dirt road was clay and known for its slipperiness when it rained, I was already planning the best way to get out and get to church.  S-l-o-w-l-y.  Very slowly.  In low gear.

I was in the bathroom, having completed the dressing and hair-bowing of my girl, and almost ready myself when I hear “kah-thunk”– then a scream.   I ran from the bathroom to find Tiffany in the floor beside the dresser with a huge goose-egg already forming on her temple.  I have to say it scared me to death!  I immediately called my mother-in-law.  She was nearest to me.  I told her what happened and after I put two and two together I felt like I knew what Tiffany was doing.  Jumping on the bed and watching herself in the mirror.  I mean, what little girl doesn’t like to do that?  Any other time I might have spanked her or at least scolded her for jumping on the bed but that morning–all I could do was hold her and pray and cry.

I was holding a cold cloth to her head and imagining the worst when Grandma, Mitch and Jeff’s uncle J.L.pulled up. I was surprised to see him, but Grandma explained that as she was coming this way, knowing the road was bad, she stopped at Whitaker Methodist Church, as she saw him getting the church unlocked and thought he could be of assistance.  He had served his country in wartime and she knew he had some sort of medical something–surely.

My memory is vague on what else she said, but she came and looked at her and immediately said, “Well, I think she will be fine”.  Uncle JL looked at her eyes and observed the knot on her temple and wanted her to let him hold her, but of course, no one but Mama could hold her now.  They both said that since it was swollen on the outside- it was better.  I should watch her closely and keep the cold cloth on-and she should be okay.

Then they went on to church- and I know – without a shred of a doubt that both, New Teamon Baptist Church Ladies Sunday School class, and all of Whitaker Methodist Church prayed that morning for our little girl.  I didn’t feel compelled to rush to the hospital- I felt compelled to pray.  My mother-in-law didn’t feel compelled to urge me to rush her to the hospital, she was compelled to trust God.

The rain had stopped, we finished getting ready for church, I packed a bag with extras to stay at my mother’s house that day after church and loaded the truck and we headed off to church. I did keep an eye on her all day–but I kept a solid conversation in my heart with God too.  And, before we got to Sunday School, the swelling was noticeably lessening.

Recently, Jeff and I left Bolivia-what will soon be home to us, and saw the needs-and the way they trust God.  There is no alternative for them.  There is no alternative for us.

Sometimes it is necessary to seek expert medical attention–but when we are faced with circumstances that are so remote –we trust God.  He has never failed us!  He will not fail YOU!

When was the last time you trusted God?  Explicitly.  Fully.  Totally? 

The sweetest and best feeling comes from fully trusting God–Who saves, heals, and delivers.  Does that mean I am exempt from troubles?  Not at all.  As a matter of fact, we spent many times in an emergency room with both of our girls at different times over the years of raising them.  It means my Source of strength comes from God alone–and no matter what comes my way–I DEPEND ON HIM to see me through…no matter where that journey takes me/us.

So, to get back to the earlier statement that my mother had to trust God while we were gone… she has done it all my life.  Trusted God.  She taught all her children to do the same thing.  While we were in Bolivia, she couldn’t see what we were doing, with the exception of the two days we were in town at a wifi connection and I posted pictures to facebook.  All the other days she got up wondering what we were doing–praying for our safety and leaving us in God’s hands.  She reminded me this week–that’s her plan for when we move to Bolivia.  “I will have to trust God, Angie”.  She didn’t say it like she had an alternative, but that it was just a fact.  A way of living life.  Trusting God.

When you can’t see the road ahead–or what’s around the corner…Trust God.  I needed to know how –she provided that example-and I passed it on.

Today, I am passing it on to you.  I have no clue what’s ahead for us, for this nation–or the church…but this I can do:  Trust in God.  icecream

 

(c) Angie Knight 2016.  All rights reserved.


Expressions

Dictionary.com says- “indication of feeling, spirit, character, etc., as on the face, in the voice, or in artistic execution”.  

We see it everyday.  We do it everyday.  When we get excited about something–it shows up in our face-our voice-our attitude.  When we get mad…or disappointed…well, same things-only not so good.

I saw expressions in our team members–and in the people we served and ministered to.  This is one example after receiving a new Bible. 01111DSC_0149

Isn’t it beautiful?  Her expression makes every hot plane ride worth it.  (I forgot to tell you that part–yes the last planes coming home were hot.  I guess American Airlines needs an A/C repair person.)

Other expressions I saw were on the faces of our team.  Can you imagine people smiling and laughing while shoveling scoops of dirt for hours?  Even with the last shovel full -there was a tired smile. It’s part of the gift of giving to others….it pours forth from the heart.

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Christ is seen in these expressions…

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In the rain, working yet not affected by the outside circumstances.

I have been on several mission trips–and it always amazes me when I get back home and begin to go through pictures at the expressions on the faces.  There was pure joy felt at the end of the day–at what was accomplished despite the weather, God used this team of men and women to create a place of worship for a church full of beautiful Bolivians.  This, when complete, will be a safe harbor from the elements of life.  This wall was completely finished when we left.  The labors of these men, along with their fellow Bolivian laborers made it so.  It was a beautiful sight to behold.

One pair of workers I especially loved watching, Billy and Sarah.  Father and daughter.

I thought of how God allows me to come along beside Him and work…and when the job is too much, He does the heavy lifting.  But all along the way, He is teaching me the Trade.  Win souls for the kingdom–Introduce them to His Son.  Jesus.

Billy Guettler, you are an amazing servant of God–and you have a precious daughter.  Thank you for all that you did on this trip–and all our other trips together!  Jeff and I always feel it is a joy and honor to serve with you!

I watched everyone–and their reactions to their surroundings…I wanted them to love Bolivia as much as I do (as much as Jeff and I do).

Pastor Danny Carnley was another one who made me smile every time I saw him!  He absolutely adored the children’s crusade visit–and the privilege of praying with kids in school was not lost on him.  He revelled in it.  How the United States of America needs to return to that privilege.  Our nation’s leaders have tossed it aside like a discarded –out of style garment…but there are others who want it.  Jeff and I gladly carry the gospel and the privilege of praying in school to those God has called us to serve.

Oh the joy of serving…it makes me cry knowing that God has allowed us to play a small part (at our age) in bringing Jesus Christ to other nations!

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Photo credit:  Pablo Morales

Last but not least for today, our worship leader from our home church, Sam Toole.  “Tooley” as I heard him called a few times, has an amazing heart to serve God–and he seeks God with a passion.  He loved showing his friend, Andrew, Bolivia and telling him all the things he experienced the first time.  They “tag-team-preached” on Sunday night at one of the two churches we visited.  I heard the message at Grace the Sunday before we left–and I knew it would be a good one.  A little bit about the Pharisees was lost in translation–something about “fantasies”??? I don’t know.  You will have to ask Andrew, Sam and Joel that one.  Fun times and great memories though.

Music is one of Sam’s gifts, but I believe as the days proceed, God will be showing him MORE than he dreamed possible.  Thank you Sam–for sharing your joy of serving so much that you were contagious and Andrew came to experience it too!

This mission trip was more than a work trip- It was a time of worship.  We worshipped with our voices, our prayers, our service, our labors; we worshipped with the joy the flowed from our mouths and heart.  When an obstacle arose, we took it to our Father-our Master.  He intervened.  Every time.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel[a] of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.  Psalms 34:1-7 NKJV

Until next time, joy in the LORD. May His praise be continually in your heart and mouth.

 

(c) Angie Knight 2016


You Have Arrived

I don’t know if this video will play properly or not, but we will give it a shot!  I was so excited to see those two buses roll in–the first time we’ve not traveled together on a joint trip–and I missed my man!😉

The cook team had gone down 2 days early to purchase the food and supplies for the week and generally get set up.  We had MIRACLE number ONE at the airport in Bolivia when we landed.  Always there is several of us who have to have our bags searched and questioned.  SOMEONE was praying us through–God gave us ALL green lights!  Meaning–no one had to be searched!  Wow! That is a first!DSC_0161

Floyd Aycock, VP of Focus Forward Ministries, headed up the first team and we had a great couple of days.  Figuring out the grocery store was quite an experience.  Imagine if you will, looking for the things you normally buy…and you can’t read Spanish…and there are not pictures on most of it to hint at the contents….well, that was US!  But it was a lot of fun trying.

We had to go back the second day–and I thought we were at the same grocery store–so when I asked for bacon from the meat counter and the lady told me they didn’t have any–and I said to my friend and translator, Fabyana, “I got it right here yesterday”, the lady gave some sort of hand signal to say I might be a bit loco.  We laughed.  It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t understand her that day or I might have had my feelings hurt….naw.  I wouldn’t have.  It’s all a learning process and I will be GLAD when we are fully funded so that language school can begin!  I saw how incredibly necessary it is to know the language and more of the culture to be able to share the Gospel….not to mention buy bacon.

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The first crew to arrive.  A mix of construction, crusade and cook crew!

We were blessed to have the absolutely best team. As I’ve gone back over the pictures–all the work going on–and all the smiles and laughter!  It was truly beautiful.  And to watch as Bro. Harold Thurmond shared with the children, as well as adults–I got the feeling that they were as interested in what he had to say as I was.  The two translators that were helping the evangelism team, I believe got as big a kick out of him as anyone.  83 years old…and still going strong on a mission trip.  They were hard to keep up with!  Truly a beautiful couple–we were honored to have them (even though I was a bit worried in the beginning–I soon saw he had more energy than I did!).  I learned some valuable things–watching him share the love of Christ with the people in the village.

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Kay King was another one that just blessed my heart as she shared the salvation cards and bracelets with those they passed on the slippery dirt roads, or in their yards.  If they came to their home and no one came out, they simply came back later–or the next day!  They didn’t give up.  I loved being with them!  I hope to share another trip with them one day–they are truly amazing people.

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Kay led this young man to Christ using the salvation  bracelet!

I won’t talk about everyone tonight–but I have to say this, my biggest surprise was found in a new friend, Carolyn McAllister. She had me laughing while we were filling in the bricks with cement by hand and slapping on the mud for the next layer of bricks…so much laughter in fact that Jeff thought we were playing and not working.   Of course we were working!  Laughter and a wonderful spirit of unity is exactly what kept things rolling along at such a good pace.  Even when things were hindered because the supplies and materials were not there as normal-there was a lighthearted–“get-er-done” kind of attitude that just made the work lighter.

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I’ve been sick since we returned–my first cold in 2 years and I have felt bad, fevered, achy, and generally in a fog.  I am praying it passes soon–for it was even hard to pray this morning during devotion.  You probably never get like that–but I do.  So since the creative juices aren’t flowing as they do sometimes, I will keep this blog short.  I want to encourage you–if you want to go on a mission trip for one week–and have your eyes and heart opened, your life changed and challenged to get closer to God–contact us via facebook or email.  The FFM website is here.

There were several key things that happened this past week, I hope to unfold for you soon, but the second miracle is needing to be shared.  Floyd’s team was working on the set up and Pablo Morales, Architect for the church project, came driving up pretty fast–(not entirely uncommon), he quickly came and got Floyd to go with him.  We automatically began to pray in our hearts–not knowing exactly what was going on but knowing it was medical (or at least strongly believing it was) and that it was serious.  Soon they came back and Pablo called for me to come to the truck.  He said, “Angie, would you pray?”  Immediately I gathered the team and called for April.  I cannot explain this now, but I had a reason for calling her.  Not just because she’s a nurse–but because I felt led that she needed to be the one to lead us in prayer over the man named, “Renay”.

Renay had saw one area that needed attention on the roof of the church and proceeded to tend it–then somehow lost his balance and fell from the roof to the ground onto one foot and his knee hit his head.  That’s kind of hard to picture I am sure, but as he was rubbing his jaw and head, I figured he somehow jarred every bone.  Okay–the ankle was swollen already when we saw him–but the thing that I remembered was a flashback from one of my cousin’s uncle’s who fell from a roof onto his feet and crushed both his heels and ankles.  This was what I felt may have happened in my “non-medically-trained” opinion.  We don’t know.  THIS we do know, prayer was heard.  There was NOT a broken bone, but a bad sprain when they got the test results at the hospital later.  Our team prayed for him off and on all night.  The man was the son of a pastor in another city.  I don’t know if he was living for God or if he was a prodigal.  I do know this–God knew everything about the situation.  So, when you pray, pray for a man named Renay.  God knows who he is and where he is…and he saw the tears falling from his eyes while we prayed.

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Friend, I don’t know where you are in Christ tonight–but know this:  this world is much bigger than you think.  And God wants us to all do our part to reach it in all the ways that we possibly can.  A week long mission trip is one way–praying, sending and going are other ways.  Pray and ask God to open your eyes and heart to the world around you.  You mission field is in your own back yard.  Down the road from your home… perhaps your first mission trip is to go to your neighbors house and ask them,  as Bro. Harold did each person he met, “Is there anything we can pray with you about”?

Where you have arrived–is wherever you are right now.  Make a difference.

 

 

 

 


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