A Word of Encouragement to Refugees

          As I sit here on the second day of the week long festival of shelters I can’t sit here and recount God’s instruction without recognizing the parallel that so many of you are living in today. When God delivered the children of Jacob out from under the slavery of Pharaoh, he led them to a desert. He didn’t take them to the Mediterranean, or the Red Sea. They didn’t camp on tropical waters reclining with their feet up with God. He meant business with their hearts, he wanted relationship.
          And in their new year with him, there’s this festival he wants them to celebrate before they’ve really ever had the experience of the next forty years; originally they were only going to be in the desert for something like eight days until their journey brought them to the promised land. During this time, in this place, God was interested in one thing: worship. He wanted not their riches, or their children, or their wives, or their land; he was after their hearts.
          We all know how the story plays out. God sent these new displaced people, that had suffered great persecution and oppression, and God’s next plan for them was to stare new, unknown enemies in the face–and with God on their side–overcome them. He wanted to give them so much more than they had ever hoped for in Egypt.
          During slavery their only hope was freedom, but when they were given that, what was next for them? God wanted to show them his ways, introduce himself to a nation, speak with them, be their strong tower, be their king, and show himself near on their behalf. Ultimately God wanted to show them through his love, that he was worthy of theirs.
          They didn’t believe he was that good and they feared this new unknown land, and these new unknown enemies. They couldn’t see the goodness awaiting them past all the fears that stood in their way. And so they continued in tents. A new generation grew up as a people who were tied to God more than land, a people who didn’t find their strength in the size of their homes and estates, a people who were transient, a people who God was raising up to be tied to Him more than anything else.
          Right now I look into faces of children refugees who have lost their toys, their bedrooms, their transportation, their towns, everything that was familiar to them. They are encountering unfamiliar languages, unfamiliar people, and enduring unanswered questions. Where are we going to live? Where is home? Who are we without money? Without jobs? These are all very scary prospects; especially for well-meaning adults and loving parents.
          But inside, despite all the ciaos I see around me in the lives I people, I carry hope. As we celebrate the second day of a week of God commanding people to live in tents, he is saying, “Remember.” “Remember this road I walked with you, remember this place of your complete dependency upon me. Remember when I led you apart from you knowing where you were going. Remember when I fed you supernaturally everyday by my own hand. Remember when you weren’t tied to a land. Remember when you were mine, and I was yours.”
          Some of you, thousands of you, not by choice know all too well the feeling of when God led his people, by his wisdom and foresight, into a desolate place, into a land where they could depend on nothing by their own hands for survival. There is a reality to God and a vastness to him that many never see or experience because they never venture further than the control of their own two hands, but it is here you have been forced, and it is here you will find him. This week as God has called people to remember when he dwelt among his people in tents; I will remember him now as He is dwelling among you.

Enlisting Prayer Support


Joel and I have a tentative date of departure to return to the middle east. We are planning on being there for an indefinite long period of time, pending review in a year. I am overwhelming grateful at the amount of support and encouragement Joel and I have received as we’ve risked to take these adventures and I have a specific request as the time of our departure approaches again. I am interested in putting together a list of people who are willing to commit to pray for Joel and I for this upcoming period of one year. I love sharing stories of what God’s doing and what we’re seeing but this wouldn’t be that list, our group of Jordan Adventures on facebook is going to be great for that platform.

This would be more like people just willing to respond in prayer for us when we have a spiritual need or particular situation that requires spiritual reinforcement on the ground there. If that excites you and is something you would look forward to partnering with us in, you are the perfect candidate. I don’t know the best way to gather this group together, either email or Facebook, but this is what I’m interested in. Like I say, you are coming with us, and it’s like I feel others standing on the ground with us there even though other people won’t be able to see you. And just being honest, I need it! Sometimes I get distracted from the big picture and lose focus. Anyway, just enlisting your help. Thank you so much for what you already have given. Feel free to private message me “I’m in!” if you’re interested, or have been doing this along our journey already. Or if that’s everybody in the Jordan group on Facebook, I guess we’re going over there an army of love, but I guess I was just interested in recruiting spiritual reinforcement before our departure!

Frolicking with God in the Middle East

Joel and I have written ‘off the grid’ about our adventures in the Middle East for three months followed by spending the holidays in Puerto Rico and now we’re writing again to announce “We’re heading back!”


GOING BACK        That’s right, in the midst of our goodbyes with a plan to return in our hearts, the Lord orchestrated an open door for us.  While spending our last day in the old city of Jerusalem on Thanksgiving, God had a date prepared for us with one of the most prevalent Christian influences in Iraq.  20141127_122857Unplanned, we spent our morning with a man known as the Vicar of Baghdad or Canon Andrew White.  After exchanging hearts, he extended an invitation to join him in his efforts towards peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.  In tandem with this effort is relief towards the poor, the displaced, and the suffering.  Andrew started an organization called Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East that focuses on providing food and medical care, while also meeting with leaders on all side of the divides that are alive in the Middle East, aimed at restoring the essence humanity in their midst; the compassion that enables peace.

Dome_of_Rock,_Temple_Mount,_JerusalemJoel and I are possibly going to be involved in Israel, Jordan, and Kurdistan region in Iraq but we will see what God has planned for us as the time nears and as we arrive back on the ground there.  All we know is that God is inviting us in the overflow of his heart towards a very hurt and defensive region that he loves so much.  His glory and his image covers the land, and everyone is invited to participate in the heaven that Christ embodies toward all of humanity.  God is not waiting for human dispute to end before continuing in his celebration of who he is and what he’s done; we get to participate in his rejoicing.  God is not worried, intimidated, or uncertain of the path towards peace.  His love is mature and patient without end towards a people who are hurting and have experienced much pain.  Freedom is free and available to all.  Hopefully we will get to be a part of highlighting the way to that peace.

20141021_155734OUR PLANS NOW      Joel and I have another three months in America before our return.  We will be traveling across the country in our sporty Montero with stops in Ohio, Paducah, Cairo, Missouri, and more, on our way to northern California for two months.  We have a return trip scheduled towards May through Oregon, Minnesota, and back to South Carolina.  We look forward to seeing friends and family, meeting new faces, and seeing some of God’s beautiful creation along the way.

OPPORTUNITIES     We’re inviting you to come with and join us along the way!  So many people have been so encouraging, supportive, and have believed in us!  Our hearts are forever entwined with yours as you’ve sowed into our adventures with God, and this glorious journey continues!  I’ve attached some more information to our happy giving page of how you can sow into God’s plans for our lives in this season if you like.  One way we always need is prayer!  Thank you so much for responding to the spirits leading in basking our journey in prayer.  We couldn’t do this without the Christ in you and we love having your blessing and strength along for the ride.  Prayer matters and changes reality, isn’t our partnership with God awesome!?

John-Crowder1Here’s another opportunity we’re going to post on our announcement:  Do you want to come join us for a week?  A mutual friend of ours John Crowder is hosting a trip to come and help the Syrian refugees and minister to the church and the lost in that place.  Never worry about finances.  Ever.  Only say yes to the desires God births within your heart and he will make a way.  I only say this because when its him doing it, its worked for me every time he’s sent me.  We’d love to have you.  We’re going to be ministering in a town that Joel and I have visited and we’re super excited to partner with the church there as well.  It will be the adventure of a life time to be a part of what God is doing on the ground in the Middle East.  The deadline to sign up is March 1st.  Here’s the link… see you there.





With love and blessings always from us to you, thank you!