"Now to HIM who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to HIM be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." ~Ephesians 3:20-21
My cousin gave me his verse before I left for Romania and has been praying through it for me and for our team. Let me tell you what, today, this verse was so true in our lives. If you read my previous post, you know that Brian didn't sleep last night. He was exhausted this morning (to say the least). Before we left for church, we prayed for him and this verse immediately came to mind. No, Brian couldn't do a fantastic job on no sleep (although he IS an amazing teacher) but God reminded us to wait and see what HE WOULD DO.
Guess what? God did. No surprise there....
We got to to Brian's friend Chris's church and were able to see some old friends that meet in the same building earlier in the morning (what a fun surprise). The music was wonderful as always--I love hearing Romanian worship. Brian taught on the book of Jonah, and God certainly brought the Word through him.
If you haven't read Jonah in a while, go read it. Its four short chapters are packed with such truth. I'll try to highlight a few things in a Reader's Digest version here.
* God was clear in his command to Jonah to ARISE, GO, and CALL OUT to the city of Nineveh.
* Jonah, unlike most prophets of his day, was disobedient to God and fled as far away from Nineveh on the map as one could go.
* Jonah's circumstances (there just happened to be a boat waiting for him and he just happened to have the right amount of money) may have led him to believe that he really was following God's will, BUT he was in clear opposition to the word of God.
* In the end, God showed Jonah mercy.
* We are all called to ARISE, GO, and OBEY God's commands (make disciples, honor our father and mother, keep the wedding bed pure, etc.).
* Like Jonah, we are often disobedient and run from God rather than to him.
* Like Jonah, we often confuse our circumstances with God's will rather than sticking purely to God's word and his commands.
* In the end, we can ALWAYS run back to God and receive His mercy.
* WE ARE ALL JONAH.
So, what word do you want to describe your life? OBEDIENCE? or DEFIANCE?
Powerful stuff, huh?
After church we went with Chris and his family to the mall to have lunch. Spicy chicken strips and garlic sauce from KFC anyone? How has America NOT gotten this memo? That stuff ROCKS!
We enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch before going back to the same building for another church service--this time with the Teen Challenge church.
The atmosphere was quite different from the morning service. There were more people and the music went on for quite a bit longer. We even sang the chorus on a couple of my favorite songs in English--it was powerful! Brian was going to preach the same sermon, but I have to say, it was COMPLETELY different. He was able to pick up on the nuances in the crowd and let the Spirit lead him in a way that would so clearly reach their hearts. It was amazing to witness that. Prayer is powerful. The Spirit is powerful. God's WORD is POWERFUL. As we drove home after church, the pastor (who wasn't even there because he's out of town) called to tell Brian that he had already received texts and calls about how powerful the service was.
God's power was made PERFECT in Brian's weakness (sleep-less-ness). I am so honored to get to hear that guy speak every Sunday.
As I sit here typing, John just arrived safely--so thanks to all who have been praying.
Tomorrow morning we'll get to see all the staff (I'm so excited) and Mom, DeAnn, and I will spend a couple of hours with the Mamas from the Home of Hope. PLEASE be in prayer over that. It is our heart and our desire to love on them and encourage them however we can. Pray that they would be open to sharing their needs and that the Spirit would speak through us (ESPECIALLY Mom and DeAnn) and show us how to best meet those needs. In the afternoon we'll travel to an orphanage that I've gotten to spend some time in, so I'm quite excited about that as well. I'll keep you updated!
Thanks for all who are praying. This wouldn't be possible without you.
- SLEEP (especially for Brian)
- that we're open and obedient to the Spirit
- that we'd be a huge encouragement to all we come across
- a van (CTL desperately needs a van ASAP to cart around kids--especially those sweet Home of Hope girls) and we're in the process of fundraising for it. Pray that more money will come in.
- that God would do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think
Keep checking FB/ Instagram/ Twitter for more updates and pictures (when I'm able to). Love to you all!
Noapte Buna (Goodnight!)!