First, let me sincerely apologize for the delay in continuing this blog!! I was overly optimistic about the time it would take to readjust and under estimated the amount of processing that would result from two weeks of going all the time. Needless to say, it was quite the journey!
Anyhow, I would like to start with more of a general overview of the trip and some themes of the trip. This is part 1, focusing on the Istanbul portion which launched our trip.
It started at a prayer conference. We arrived at the conference in Istanbul on March 26th after quite a journey (see We are not in Kansas anymore.). I was not sure what to expect from the conference, but knew that if God was sending us there, He had something pretty awesome planned. The first day of the conference was more of an overview of what the remaining three days of the conference would be. However, it didn't take that long before we were having awesome encounters with some amazing people, doing awesome things out of their obedience to the Lord. The conference was a gathering of primarily missionaries and pastors from around the world who were working in predominantly "cousin"* communities. It was an amazing opportunity to get to encourage them and intercede for the nations which were represented at the conference. But, true to form, God didn't just use us... He poured into each of our hearts as well!
During the conference, there were times of impartation, workshops, and some downtime to engage with others. Each day, we spent at least five hours in intercession for a particular nation and God totally showed up! Various forms of worship were encouraged and we were all encouraged to allow God to broaden our view of worship and prayer. Dance, art, and singing were among the forms that worship and intercession took at the conference and, for me, it validated what God had already been encouraging me in! I walked away from the conference feeling freer than I ever have to just do what God is inviting me to!
What struck me most about the conference was that it was made up entirely of "ordinary" people, simply being obedient to the Lord and His calling!! Now, some of you may say, "well of course! We are all ordinary!" And I am not here to say you are wrong. This struck me because, as an American, I think I had on some level bought into the idea that only really extraordinarily special people with tons of education and training can or end up doing great things for the Lord. But this conference was full of people who were quick to admit that they didn't have it all together and that they were simply being obedient to what God was calling them to do right then! It was so encouraging to be reminded that God doesn’t need us to have all the information before He can use us… He only needs our yes.
Well, these are my thoughts for now. I pray that each of you are encouraged as you read about our adventures on this trip and I look forward to sharing more of them with you!
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
*see blog description for explanation :)