Friday, March 21, 2014

The Call

SO, did you figure out the answer to my Cuba trivia question: Does Cuba have elephants? The answer is NO! Cuba does not have elephants! Strange but true! This blog’s Cuba trivia question is: What is Cuba’s national sport? Take your guess and write your answer in the comment section if you like! I’ll reveal the answer in my next blog!

As followers of Christ and being in relationship with Him, God often ‘calls’ us to do certain things, go certain places, and say certain words to people. When God has called me to any of these I’ve listed, some I’ve found incredibly easy to do and others not so much. Though God never changes, the things He calls us to often do, sometimes in great degree.

At times I question if what God has called me to is legitimate, but with time I know that it is and, indeed, it comes from God and it’s not something I’ve made up. But how do I know FOR SURE, that it’s God calling me?

In my own experiences, the call has come in different forms. At times it’s a pressing on my heart and spirit that is undeniable and hard to ignore. Other times it’s the internal, yet, audible voice of God that speaks to my heart and spirit in that still, small voice. I can know that it’s God’s voice and not my own (which is difficult to distinguish at times) when I have an energy within me and a great peace that is unexplainable. Of course, there is also the Word of God that I can always be sure will point me in the right direction.

Above all else, for me, it’s been dedication to praying about something specific that the Lord has called me to and asking Him to confirm that it’s what He wants me to do. He confirms in various ways; through situations, godly conversations, His Word, or His voice along with His peace. A peace in my heart and in my spirit tells me that it’s from God (John 14:27). This is the same peace I received when I first got God’s call on my life for Cuba over two years ago.

Now, as I look forward to what this vision trip will mean, the peace remains and it grows stronger as I progress in the details and planning of this next adventure with God! It is this same peace that might be filling you as you are reading this and wondering if being a part of my vision team to Cuba is something God wants you to be a part of!

If it is, the experience will be transforming for you and God will do great things in and through you during the trip! J So, now here is where you might come in! If you feel that God is placing it on your heart, calling you, to be a part of my work team to Cuba this summer, please email me and I would love to chat with you further!!

I will continue to pray and wait on God to bring those He desires to see on this trip. In the meantime, would you please join me in prayer for the following:

- Please pray that the preparation that God has already been doing in hearts would bring them forward in   becoming a part of this work team to Cuba.
- Please pray that God would continue to go before me and prepare the way to Cuba for me and my team to come. That God would oversee the details and that I would remain submitted to His timing and way in doing things, that I would NOT push my own timing and agenda.
- Please pray that God would grant me continued wisdom and discernment as I prepare to lead this team. That God would fill me with the fruit of the Spirit for the many wonderful personalities that will be in this team.
- Please pray that God would prepare the hearts of those who will come alongside this team and project to give financially.

Many thanks!

Friday, February 14, 2014


I’m trying something new….Cuba Trivia!! Okay, so, does Cuba have elephants??? The answer will come in my next blog but feel free to make guesses!

Sometimes when God opens a door it can be to something pretty cool. Like a new job that’s greatly needed, a new friendship, or lunch with a friend you haven’t seen for a while! Other times, God opens a door to something ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING!! Like the door that God recently opened for me!

In early January, after having sent out three fleeces (feelers) to three different Cuba-oriented organizations that I’ve been prayerfully supporting over the years, one returned. It returned in a pretty big way and was from WorldServe Ministries (!  Check out their website to see what they’re about and their ministry focus!

What began with several email ‘conversations’ with WSM, turned into a phone call (Jan. 14, 2014) that included an in-depth discussion about God’s present call on my life for Cuba. I chatted with the Director of Teams and Humanitarian Aid with WSM and he mentioned there would be some upcoming teams training in Calgary that I could sit in on to get a feel of WSM’s vision and ministry and how it all ties into my call. Without hesitation I said, "Yes!"

Our conversation concluded with some homework, that is, my homework that came in the form of reading two books prior to the training that was, at that time, just two and half weeks away: When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert and Ministering Cross-Culturally by Sherwood G. Lingenfelter. If you feel called to be a missionary, in whatever form that might take (ie. Mission trips, pastoring a church, etc.), I would highly recommend these books.

After reading both books, my heart was affirmed with what I had come to already believe about the TRUE meaning of missions. That it’s not about swooping in and taking over. Sure, there are a lot of things that need to be done in needy places but, like the Bible, it really begins with relationship. It’s about empowering those who are poverty stricken, not just materially, but personally and spiritually. A poverty that makes people feel powerless, humiliated, shamed, depressed, and worthless due to their state of material poverty.

Without a doubt, I know that it‘s not about a/some ‘Mission’ Trip(s) for me, it’s about a/some ‘Vision’ Trip(s), my vision which had been God’s vision for Cuba. A/some trip(s) that will get work done, yes, but more importantly is the work that will get done in the heart and soul of a person to change them in powerful ways and for eternity. Change that will bring worth and value to raise people up out of their spiritual poverty so that they can bring themselves out of material poverty!

Change to empower and encourage the indigenous (local) people, to help restore the foundational relationships (relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation) so that they become the very people God designed them to be!

February 1, 2014: This is the day I sat in on a teams training session for 2 hours. I can tell you that it was an incredible time of blessing and affirmation. Not only was I entering the right door that God had opened for me but it was also with the right organization for Cuba.

As details unfold, I’ll keep you up to date on the what’s, when’s, and how’s of my progressing call to Cuba!

In the meantime, would you please join me in prayer for the following:

 - Please pray that God would grant me wisdom, guidance, and discernment about the steps to take and how soon to take them in this partnership with WSM. I don’t want to get ahead of God!
- Please pray that God would begin to prepare the hearts of those who will be a part of my calling to Cuba.
           - Please pray that God would continue to prepare my heart and the way before me for Cuba.
      Thank you!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

God's Timing

I don't think I've ever been a fan of God's timing. I know I'm not alone in saying that. As believers who have committed our lives to following God, as much as we desire to do so we often find ourselves wanting things to happen now. I've lost count of how many times I've tried to force, cajole, beg, or bargain with God to go along with my timing. It's never happened. That's a good thing. I think.

Hard to believe it's been over two years since I returned from Costa Rica. Even harder to believe is that what I thought to be God's next and immediate assignment for me has taken this long to come to life again. It was the moment I stepped foot onto Canadian soil again, back in late 2011, that the loudest and clearest word to come from God was, "CUBA." 

I was so excited that in preparing the summary presentation of my Costa Rica trip for my home church and supporters, I included my confident next step on my presentation's last slide. It contained several pictures and the word 'Cuba'. That's how sure I was. 

After giving that presentation, I became poised and ready to jump into action again in spite of not knowing what God's next assignment looked like. Little did I know that there was more training, waiting, and patience involved. Waiting and patience are definitely two words that I'm not good at or fond of. 

Nonetheless, in being prepared to go to Costa Rica, it was inevitable that some preparation would have to be done in me and in my life in order to take the next steps God now has in mind for me. As I sit here typing I can see a snapshot of what God did in my life and in me to prepare me for what's coming in this new year.

They say that hindsight is 20/20. I think it's invaluable. That as I continue to seek a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe, there have been some amazing lessons these past two years that I've come away with. Lessons that have opened my eyes even more to the revelation of God Himself. Here is a list of some marked events and lessons/blessings that emerged from each event.

Event (Jan. 2012): One month after returning from Costa Rica, I'm hired full time to work a well paying job in a small oil and gas company. God then called me out of that position in July 2012.
Lesson/Blessing: Through obeying God's call for me to leave my position, He blessed me by calling me into full time prayer ministry with Him for 5 months.

Event (Feb. 2013): Led to a non-profit organization (HART) to work full time in reception/administration.
Lesson/Blessing: In accepting the position, God blessed me with a promotion prior to the end of my probationary period.

Event (Apr. 2013): Evangelism training for the Billy Graham My Hope Canada project at my home church.
Lesson/Blessing: God preparing my heart and spirit as well as blessing me with a short reunion with former colleagues and friends from the BGEAC.

Event (June 2013): Involved in a car accident, not of my fault, and sustained a minor whiplash and concussion.
Lesson/Blessing: God led me to the clinic that helped me with the pain of my recovery and blessed me with a return to pre-accident status (Dec. 2013) and freedom from some financial burden. He also helped me to make improvements in my life by reducing stress, adjusting my nutrition, and making changes to my existing exercise program. Doing all of these things brought me more wisdom, discernment, and understanding about my body and what it needs to stay well. This has all made me healthier and stronger!

This snapshot brings me to today, January 4, 2014 and the resurrection, as it were, of my blog. A time of sharing with all of you what the next step, Cuba, might look like. As some of you might know, Cuba is still very much a communist based country. Like many places under similar rule, communism tends to be oppressive, manipulative, and controlling with very few 'freedoms' to the people under that rule. 

Cuba is often thought of as a tourist destination with its tropical weather, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear blue water.There is, however, a dark side of immorality, spiritism/cults, and persecution against Christians.

Cuba has a thirst and hunger for the Gospel. A need to know Jesus Christ, not just to know OF Him. A country in need of people who are willing to go and speak the truth of the Gospel and make Jesus known to Cubans. I believe that I am to be one of those persons. I believe that my training in Costa Rica and the events of the past two years have been in preparation for God's reignited call to Cuba as of recent.

Of course seeing Cuba is a communist country, only those who are Cuban citizens can reside there permanently. Foreigners or non-citizens are restricted in their length of stay depending on where you're from. I believe as a Canadian, one could stay there as a tourist for up to 90 days at a time. 

At this point, I don't know what my time looks like in Cuba. I don't know the 'when's' or 'how's' of my start there and for how long God desires me to be connected to Cuba. I only know that most of it involves evangelism. Only God knows the timing and the logistical details. In the meantime, I have begun preliminary inquiries with a couple different people within organizations and am continuing to pray and wait on God for the details to be made known. I know that they will be in His timing.

There will be regular updates to you, my followers, supporters, and fellow prayer warriors. I am  hoping to do updates more often so as to keep them shorter in length. I'll share more as I know more. Until then, please join with me in prayer for the following:

- Please pray that God would continue to feed the fire that burns in my spirit to do His will until such time it becomes God's time for me to go to Cuba.
- Please pray that God would widely and clearly open the right door of opportunity in Cuba for me to enter into.
- Please pray that when the time comes for me to 'GO', that God would provide everything that I will need at that time. Whether it is finances, prayer, or otherwise, may God grant me a trusting heart.

Thank you everyone!