And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
We were living in El Paso, Texas at the time. We were just starting out in this venture called spirit filled living. We were newly baptized in the Holy Spirit. We were following the leading of the Holy Spirit when we moved to Texas. It was brash, bold, and scary. Taking two little kids and launching out into the unknown. We knew that when we arrived and met the folks that knew us that the moment they knew we were baptized in the Holy Spirit that they would want nothing to do with us. So it went.
But God is good and does not leave us stranded. The wife of one of the elders was searching for more of the Lord and came to us. She received the Holy Spirit and then made all kinds of connections for us in El Paso. At that time there were a number of traveling ministries that came through El Paso. One of them was a prophet that ministered in several homes meetings at Ft. Bliss. We met him and spent some time with him.
One day we took him for a ride with us up into a park that was located in one of the many canyons. We parked the car and the kids and us began to hike up the canyon onto some high rocks. The prophet stopped us and began to prophesy world ministry and travel to us. We were in our 20’s and hardly making ends meet, had no church to pastor, no ministry of any significance. We were fresh out of the Church of Christ. I was teaching school and Cathy was caring for two active kids. The prophecies were wonderful and oh so grand and impossible to imagine. World travel? I hardly had enough gas money to get to church. I walked to work.
However, I did not dismiss the prophetic words, but held them for the time of their fulfillment. I did not try to make them happen. An international trip I could afford would have been to cross over to Juarez, Mexico and be sure to get home before you had to buy a meal.
But God did not lie or give me something that he would not perform. So, here we stand, ready to leave Monday with a team that will touch Europe and then on to two African nations. We will be ministering to pastors and leaders and churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. This will be my third time into the Congo and the rest of the team’s first time. It will be my first visit to the Republic of Congo even though we have ministered to the church in Paris and have been asked to go there for probably ten years. This time we will make it.
Missions of this nature are expensive, but the responses from those in the church and friends from other churches and family have made it possible for such investments to be made into the lives of saints around the world.
I guess part of what I want to say in this article is not to give up on your dreams and visions. Do not quit the prophetic words that have been given to you. Some of them may seem like pipe dreams and so far fetched that you will never see them come to pass. While I know some prophets can weave words that are grandiose, we must remember the kernel of truth and vision God has for you. What resonates with your spirit is what you want to hang on to.
We were just a couple of kids when we received that word and it was confirmed again and again. So, we allowed God to work and to bring it to pass in his timing.
And his timing has taken us to Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Grand Cayman, Haiti, Wales, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and new this time, the Republic of Congo.
Starting with that one little, unbelievable moment, it has grown into all these opportunities and ministry. I often wonder what did I accomplish preaching through interpreters and praying and prophesying through all the interpreters? How did I contribute to the Kingdom of God? When you minister at home and in your church, you work along for years and see some good results. When you minister in other countries, the results are not well known, if at all. Yet, for those who go, there is the contribution to the mandate of going into all the world and the blessing that carries a residue of impact for life.