“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Matthew 14:14-17, 19-21 NIV
This past week we saw the power of 5+2=7.
I am usually back and forth between the construction team and the crusade team, taking pictures and recording the journey in words and pictures. But it has been a long while since I’ve been able to do that.
Blogging the mission journey was a big passion of mine. But with everything that has happened in the last couple of years, I had my doubts that I could feel and participate in this passion again.
This was the smallest team we have ever brought—BUT as always, God knew what He was doing. This was the absolute perfect size to do what we were able to do. Any more and it wouldn’t have worked exactly as it did.
After every team, we’ve always said: “this was the best mission team and trip ever.” However— this time God allowed us to share with this small group some more personal things that we are blessed to be able to be a part of in Bolivia. We were able to visit the homes of the seven young girls we now sponsor—with the help of each of our own supporters. YOU make it possible for these little ones to receive an education- empowering them with the resources necessary to be productive citizens in their country- and as they are also given the opportunity to know Jesus Christ— their world takes on a whole new perspective and they can see there is something for them to do as well. We believe they will also become givers and not just receivers.
Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, our source of strength- we were able to greet and minister to over 2,500 people. The two Sunday services, Jeff preached and Pastor Tim Russell preached, then Jeff preached again with Dr. Deborah Willis sharing her amazing testimony in an older teen session, two spot-on messages, over 2,000 children, and over 500 adults, young adults and teenagers. Visiting four schools each day- adding in 3 new public schools this trip— all with invitations to come back again soon, Heather Jordan, Kristin Stevens, and Chase Curti ministering daily, along with the rest of us, we saw exactly what happened when Jesus broke the bread and blessed the meal to feed the 5,000+. We were the packed lunch. We were the little to feed many. He is our Source and we were the bread and fish He used as supply for others this week.
Just like the disciples— we may have all wondered. We had all seen larger teams in action. But we had yet to witness what God would do with a group whose hearts and souls were steadfast into the mission as these.
What the devil, through cancer, couldn’t do in 2016-17, he tried another tactic to make us stop leading- stop ministering— stop working for the LORD. And I soon saw that he would stop at nothing. He set out to actually destroy us. Both.
I left this country last year in a very broken place in my life. The enemy uses whatever he can; circumstances, other people, health, and intense spiritual warfare to stop us from proceeding with God’s call on our lives.
I remember distinctly one morning when we lived in Bolivia, I had been in our office/prayer room for a longer than usual time that morning- heart so heavy— emotionally hurting for what I had no control over, I stood in front of my closet and made the simple daily statement: “what am I going to wear today?” On top of my question it seemed, the answer; “your armor”.
Later that same day I received a text message from my sister that she was praying for is and she added a passage from Ephesians:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
We are the ones who have to go into action. Yes, God is always working on our behalf— but He needs our submission- willingness and obedience. “Put on…. take up…..” actions by us— not Him.
I had to choose way earlier than when we first began to itinerate to submit. We both did.
Then when difficult things came our way, like sickness, and a financial mountain that it brought with it, we had to keep on choosing to remain on the path set before us— even though we had no clue what God was doing.
Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us the HE knows the plans He has for us. And I have clung to that fact that He knows— therefore in trusting Him— I have to be okay with not knowing. (Although I admit at times it could drive me nuts if I let it.)
He has shown me— it’s in the breaking that the blessing comes forth. As a matter of fact, often it is the breaking of the shell of what we think we are supposed to be— that’s when the fruit is exposed. So maybe…. just maybe, what we thought we were supposed to be was not exactly what He had planned….maybe it was just the precursor or -maybe it was way-way more. I’m ready. Or, should I say, we’re ready.
This— this trip brought some healing in unexpected ways.
If you feel broken and unusable— you are in the perfect place to be used… just yield. Watch His hand at work in your life when you submit and say “yes” to His perfect plan.
You may wind up feeding people you never even get to meet this side of heaven through your willingness to be bread in His hands.
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
(C) Angie Knight 2019. All rights reserved.