I've recently transitioned into doing ministry at the local church. My time on staff at church has taught me the invaluable role that the local church plays. But it has also taught me the value of a solid leadership team.
The leadership team that I was blessed to be placed under taught me way more than one blog post could allow, but the one thing they taught me that stands out far about the rest is a lesson on prayer. Expectant prayer.
They pushed me and encouraged me to pray like I never had before. Expectantly and specifically. Constantly reminding me that the more specific my prayers were the more glory God could flash when He answered them.
I began to pray fervently over my life. My family who doesn't know the Lord. The congregation we would minister to every Sunday. I would pray for a revival to shake Denver, CO. I would ask God for the feeling of His presence. I would expect God to show up, to come through, and to do His work.
Then someone on that leadership team asked a question that I will remember forever:
"If families in Syria could hear every prayer you have prayed for the last 5 years--would you wish your prayer life looked different?
Well, would you? I did. That question wrecked me. I was praying over final exams and production ministry transitions, but I wasn't praying for my brothers and sisters who desperately needed Christ.
The question changed my prayer game. Forever. Take out families in Syria and replace it with anything. People at McDonalds. Those you do ministry with. Those you minister to. Any number of chaotic countries.
Fight for them in prayer in a way that if they heard your words they would feel loved, they would feel supported, and they would want to pray more.
When was the last time you had someone in your corner 100%? How confidently did you walk? Pray for people like that--100% in their corner.
And then, have faith that God is going to answer those prayers.
The president of Master Plan Ministries always talks about "the room in heaven that's filled with all the stuff people didn't ask for." While I'm not sure that room exists, it is a great mental image. God has everything right at His finger tips waiting to give it away.
God IS love. He can't help but be love. He can't help but shower blessings.
We just have to ask (to expect) in faith.
Jacque is the Missional Women Intern and a college student in Denver, CO who balances her time between trying to go to class and learning about His saving grace and perfect love as much as she can. She is a twenty something, DIY attempting, Jesus loving, Denver living, small town rooted, Colorado sports fan. She loves black coffee, long conversations and watching people do what God created them for. You can find her Christian Twenty Somethings blog at Desperately Dependent.
All the walls around me were stark white as I stood in front of the doctor for my leprosy screen. Yes, leprosy. Yes, me wearing next to nothing for a leprosy screen. I remembered thinking, “ I didn’t even know leprosy was still a thing. Really?”
With a sigh I tried not to roll my eyes when the doctor remarked disdainfully about my red toenails. I guess this Hungarian doctor was not accustomed to such toes.
To live as a missionary in Hungary many years ago, I had to complete a series of medical tests in order to receive my visa. And you know, when I signed up to be a missionary nobody told me that.
Nobody said, “hey, by the way, after you get there you will have to go and take off all your clothes so their doctor can make sure you aren't a leper. You will also have to have a chest x-ray done in a machine that most certainly leaks radiation.” Of course, if someone had mentioned that I very likely would have changed my mind altogether.
Such were my days in Hungary. For two years I lived in a small Hungarian town sharing the gospel with the the university students who resided there. Those two years were filled with memorable moments both of the marvelous and exasperating variety.
My missions experience there turned out to be . . . not what I expected. Not in the least.
I certainly did not expect the whole leprosy thing, or the craziness of the post office bill paying system, or riding the wrong trains in the wrong directions, or the mouth-watering goodness of their food, or the helpful nature of its people. I least of all expected to fall in love while living there.
For me, living in Hungary was a turning point in my life, a stepping stone into a future I did not expect. Those two years turned into eleven years of full time foreign missions. Now, I'm back. Back in the land of my birth and itching to tell my story in the hopes that I can encourage other women to step upon the stones waiting for them.
Read my book and journey with me and laugh at me as I share with you the years that changed everything.
With love and thankfulness – Stacy Dyck