Last night was bonfire night for our 12. They gathered around a very wet fire (it rained all day on Tuesday leaving very wet wood and a gasoline soaked fire) and braved the biting ants and hoards of mosquitos to hear testimonies of things The Lord has done in all of our lives, our little bits of truth from where God has taken us and where he has brought us.
It was beautiful and full of hope.
When he spoke of how God surprised him with messages of encouragement after serving The Lord quietly for such a long time...that we never know who we are influencing and what we are doing for the Kingdom when we simply serve.
When she spoke of forgiveness and release.
When he spoke of being sensitive to the voice of The Lord.
When she spoke about believing the truth God speaks over yourself and having confidence that what God has called you to do, He will equip.
When he spoke about finally finding freedom in The Lord by humbling himself and crying out for a heart softened to the things of our Great God.
When she spoke about living testimonies of those who have followed God all their life, not needing or even desiring to taste from the world.
When he spoke about releasing his worry and stepping into true dependence on The Lord.
When she spoke about John 8 and God raising up in her a heart of such deep compassion that it would change the face of how this world views His Church.
When he spoke about God's great provision for his life when only he stepped back to see the bigger picture.
When she spoke about choosing God, even if it meant leaving behind family and friends.
When he spoke about God bringing him from nothing, placing the vision before himself and crying out for God to answer his deep heart cries.
And God did answer.
And He will continue to.
Because He always wants the best for us.
So, we are praying these things will go down deep into the spirits of our 12, so that when they run into these same places, they will run to our Father because they already know the consequences of choices made wrongly; they already know God can do great things in their lives because He has done it in others; that God will move even in the midst of pain, suffering, frustration, defeat.
We left last night truly encouraged...a little bitten up...but filled and encouraged and powerfully ready for God to continue His work in us, whatever that looks like.