Almost every night, lightening tears across the sky in jagged flashes, reflecting off the sea below our home.
Across the Bay, we can see a thick haze that is settling low and dark over the mountains, a volcanic cloud of sulphur dioxide from Taal Volcano, that has been threatening to erupt since last year. Twice last week, small phreatic eruptions happened as magma rises.
The earth has been shaking, quaking, groaning.
The last several months have been full. I look back and see, spilling and overflowing from the edges of our life, goodness. So much goodness.
Our team has been going deeper into the heart of the Father this year, learning God's love so powerfully. The Holy Spirit began to speak to so many of us individually that He was shaking things, moving, bringing in a new season where He would pour out His Spirit. We felt as the shaking began, and the excitement and joy was immeasurable. He began to forge in us a ravenous hunger for more of Him.
At the end of April, many of our teammates as well as Francis and I, contracted Covid. My case was moderately serious, and Francis was severe. Most of our team felt mild symptoms and recovered quickly.
Francis was in bed with high fever for 18 days, and did not leave the bed for 21 days...he cannot remember any of it. As I sat in bed beside him, treating him, watching him struggle to breathe, and saw the gravity of his condition, I heard the Holy Spirit say,
"Worship. Even this I am using for good. Worship."
Francis could not speak, and rarely could respond... when He made a sound, it was "Abba",
God rescued, He brought us through, but before He did-- He held us and poured out His presence and spoke in the dark. He always speaks in the dark..
We are still weak, and having many residual Covid symptoms months later, but getting stronger.
For the past several months we have also been walking beside a beautiful family as the wife/ mom battled cancer. Rowena was a dear friend of mine, and when her breast cancer recurred, we walked through every part of the battle with them. Her children are 10 and 4. She was only 37.
I had the profound honor of sitting with her and walking through inner healing of her heart, breaking of bondage from the past, and reconciliation with her husband, family, and the power of releasing blessing and love over her children.
The week before her death, each day was filled with powerful times of connection, love, reconciliation, healing and freedom. She held my hand and shared that Jesus had released all the pain and heaviness in her soul and brought her freedom so miraculously.
We had been praying for healing of her body as well, but one day before her death, she looked at me and her face glowing, said that she knew Jesus was calling her home with Him. He had healed her in so many miraculous and powerful ways... He had healed the things that will last. He had healed things that were eternal. She was ready now...
We provided palliative care in her home where her family could surround her with so much love.
A friend and I sat with her and provided oxygen, IV fluids, pain medicines, and facilitated an environment of worship, peace, and grieving together, blessing and releasing her to take Jesus' hand as she took her last breath. Rowena went with Jesus last Thursday. Our hearts grieve with peace and hope.
There is no palliative/ hospice care in the Philippines, and we are often called to help families as they walk through this difficult and sometimes frightening time.
We provide medical care, but mostly offer Jesus... His love comforts, blesses, and holds us up. We cry, hug, pray, worship, and facilitate a space where nothing is left unsaid, where love and blessing are released.
We feel profoundly honored that we get to be present and serve others as they go through birth, and some as they walk through the valley of death.
As our team has been growing hungrier for God's heart, Holy Spirit began to pour out powerfully... Many people are coming to our fellowship each Sunday, and each Sunday, and throughout the week there are powerful breakthroughs, Inner healing, physical healing, deliverance from demonic spirits... God is taking orphans and making them Sons and Daughters, and people are walking in their identity as God's children. Many are choosing to be baptized.
We are in a season like no other... There is shaking, and new, fresh wind is blowing though this place.
One pastor and his wife walked though powerful healing in their hearts and were able to experience God's love more fully in the past month. They sat at our table yesterday and cried, sharing that for the first time, they are now able to connect with their 20 and 18 year old children, and share affection and love. They are able to forgive those who have hurt them and walk in freedom. Their children are beaming, crying, celebrating the love their family now has.
The Holy Spirit is healing the hearts of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters. He is filling His children with His love and freedom.
There is nothing, nothing, that I love more than to see people set free by the love of our Father. Ever single thing He tells us is true... He has so much love and freedom for His children.
As the earth shakes, the winds blow, we are setting our faces excitedly on Jesus, and so grateful that we get to live this adventure and walk with Him.
Our children Julia, Avea, and Justice are growing and flourishing. They climb mountains beside us and bring so much joy to our hearts.
We have been able to fund expensive medicines, medical tests, dialysis treatments, and hospitalizations for more than 100 people (like Rowena) who could not afford it on their own, in the past couple months alone, as well as provide home health care, and continue to buy truckloads of rice every 1-2 weeks to distribute to the hungry. We're thankful for all of you and your generous hearts that give-- God is using you as you pray and give, to fill hungry bellies, help sick bodies, and show people the love of the Father.
We're so grateful for you!
Grace and Peace,