Years ago, I was part of a mission team that went to serve orphans in Tijuana. It was my first experience with sharing the love of Jesus in an evangelistic way. There are months of planning that go into organizing a trip like that, so naturally it was saturated in prayer. Our goal for the mission to Mexico was to determine a need, meet the need in a tangible way and pray for the presence of Jesus to show up. Jesus did not disappoint and we saw Him do super amazing things. Last Saturday, I got to do it again; in Federal Way.
Our church has the privilege of serving alongside a tremendous leader, our Outreach Pastor, Michelle. She and I have served in ministry together for many years so I have seen firsthand that she is a woman with a heart to do missional things. She was with me in Mexico. She saw God move in mighty ways and wanted to see the people in our own neighborhoods experience the same thing.
So, she planned an Easter Egg hunt for a community in Federal way that most people probably just overlook. I signed up to help but I did little compared to Michelle. She prayed, planned, prepped and pulled off a beautiful Easter celebration for a community that needed to know the love of Jesus. I simply put my name on a piece of paper and showed up at the correct time and place (which for me is slightly miraculous in itself.)
The story I want to tell is how I saw Jesus move. I want to include enough detail so you can catch the gravity of the miracle but not bore you death either. Hopefully, I can nail it.
A few weeks ago, the hubby and I got to share about the miraculous things we see Jesus doing in our lives. It was crazy and awesome all at the same time. I started a blog post about it but then I hit a road block and never finished it – probably because my road block turned into a five-car pileup in a matter of moments. I will admit that I wasn’t praying about what Jesus was going to do at the Easter Egg hunt because I was too focused on personal stuff. My conversations with God all last week were not very friendly. I was angry, fed up and convinced I had no ability to keep going.
Have you ever found yourself there? This whole following Jesus things is great until you hit a wall. For me, it is a place where I wonder if it is all worth it. It’s a place where I’ve prayed every prayer I can imagine. I’ve begged, pleaded and bargained with God. But still I’m stuck. I’ve been in this place so many times. Each time, I’m convinced Jesus isn’t going to come after me because my pride is too strong or my indignation will prevent it. Each time I am wrong. My Savior has never failed me. He’s always present, always working. And when I thought I just couldn’t keep going, he told me to be still, to remember what He has told me in the past, and to listen to only His voice.
It wasn’t really a choice. I know the outcome of my circumstances when I choose to go my own way. It’s ugly. Thankfully, I have also experienced the outcome when I choose to go God’s way. It is always a beautiful, life-giving, joy-filled experience. Always! On Friday, with my emotions warring within me, I made space for Jesus to do His thing. As always, he showed up in a powerful way. Jesus spoke truth into my situation and confirmed it with His Word. He identified the source of my brokenness and by His Presence made me whole. He enabled me to once again see who I am in Him. Without knowing it at the time, Jesus called in me into my destiny. Just in time too, because he had a mission for me.
The mission was to show the love of Jesus to the Westway community of Federal Way. After my powerful encounter with my Risen King, I was super pumped to get to it. My job for the day was to go door-to-door passing out donated bread and praying as we had the opportunity. This is a perfect job for me because it combines two of my favorite things, walking and praying! I set out with our Senior Pastor with a cart full of bread and a heart full of anticipation.
The first house we came to we prayed for a family who had a close family member that was in a serious accident. This family was not English speaking so an older sibling translated a little but mostly the two older ladies were unaware what we were saying. That didn’t stop the presence of Jesus from touching them. We prayed for another young boy who had a growth on his chest. I’m not sure how much his mother understood but the presence of Jesus touched her too. Another young man, that happened to go out for a smoke as we were walking by, spent several minutes talking with us. He shared details about his life and his family. Although, he did not let us specifically pray for him I know that Jesus was at work in our conversation.
When we were down to our last loaf of bread, we found ourselves at the home of a mentally disabled man and his caregiver. We had a delightful encounter. The caregiver was a believer from Kenya and she was so excited to talk to people who loved Jesus. The man kept asking over and over if she would take him to church. We extended an invitation, prayed with them, and then went back to see how the egg hunt had gone.
Upon returning, most of the festivities had wrapped up. There were still people milling about but mostly the crowd had moved on. I noticed three people sitting at a table in the back by themselves and I felt a promting to go sit with them. This mom and her foster kids had thought they were coming to an egg hunt put on by people they knew. That had not been the case but Jesus wanted them in that room. Again, simply by introducing myself and being open, this woman shared details of her life. When I asked if I could pray with her she gave honest answers to very real needs she has. As I prayed for her, I saw Jesus touch her. It was precious. I probably will never find out the outcome of this encounter but I’m praying it is the beginning of her beautiful journey with Jesus.
Following Jesus on hard days is tough stuff. But when we decide to do it in spite of how we feel the blessing that comes in simply incredible. I didn’t spend months praying and preparing myself specifically to go on a mission trip to Federal Way. What I did was say yes to what Jesus was asking me to do; to be still, remember His promises to me and listen for His voice. In doing so, I got to be a part of God’s mission to spread the love of Jesus. That IS totally worth it and I want more.
Oh and Sunday, guess who came to church? The caregiver and the disabled man. Praise!