Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lebanon, Macedonia, Greece

Hey friends,

It's been a whirlwind tour over the last week and a half.  As stated in my previous post, our beloved Rick Sizemore was with us in Lebanon.  After we returned, I traveled with him to Macedonia for several days where he preached and counseled in Veles and Skopje.  It was great to be with Rick and run around with him, observing how he preaches, teaches, and counsels.  I've been around him for a few years now, but the Lord always teaches me something new.  He's a great brother and a great example.  I had several opportunities to pray for and speak with people throughout the trip.  I even got to mow grass!

On Thursday night a group of young people met for prayer at Phil and Anna Evan's home where we were staying (Congrats on the birth of their son, Oscar!).  Igor shared that a friend of his had been in the hospital for some time with fluid in her lungs; drain-tube and all.  We prayed for her that night and when we saw Igor the following day, he said the fluid had almost completely dried up.  Praise God!  Jesus heals!  It was great to spend time fellowshipping, encouraging, praying for and alongside one another in Macedonia.  One girl gave her life to Jesus in a home we stopped in briefly, while another three gave their lives to Jesus Sunday afternoon.  God is saving people!  He is transferring them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son.

After returning from Macedonia we rested for a day.  Then a group of 15 from the Network Community, together with Rick, and Danielle from Serbia, traveled to the island of Thasos to spend time with our brothers and sisters there.  Dimitris and his wife Mario, along with Swedish missionaries, Kenneth and Lena are doing a fantastic, persevering work there.  It was a great time of bonding and relationship building amongst ourselves; as well as, with the church in Thasos.  Rick preached on the heart of the Holy Spirit and I believe many were touched by the power and word of God through prayer and the ministry of the Spirit.  You can't begin to talk about that Guy without things happening.

It's good to be back in Thessaloniki.  Rick and Danielle returned to their respective nations today.  Victor, Tommie's son is here for spring break and Tommie's wife Gunilla will visit for a week next Thursday.

We're believing for a job for our friend, Nikola, potentially on the island of Thasos; as well as, for God to break in on the hearts of many of the others he has given us relationships with - For those that don't know Him, to have a revelation of Jesus and for those that do, to continue to have life-changing encounters with His love.

The motherlands of the gospel will give birth again.

I've been sick for the past several days and I would appreciate your prayers.  I want to be back full swing, meeting guys on the basketball court and campus.

Below are some photos from Lebanon - Click on this link to see more.

Love you all,


Emil (Syria), Craig Westhoff, Myself, Christine Westhoff, Hassan (Syria)

Tommie Naumann, George (Syria), and Joseph Zorob (Lebanon)

Mazin (Lebanon) and Rick Sizemore

Monday, April 11, 2011

1 Chronicles 14:11

"God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters."

Lebanon was amazing.  The power of God was so strong.  Tommie hosted a conference on spiritual breakthrough among some of the local churches that he has developed a relationship with in Beirut.  Craig and Christine Westoff, Nancy Devito, Hans Joachim, Rick Sizemore and many others shared the word of God and ministered over the course of five days.

Sunday morning, the majority of us attended a church comprised almost entirely of Philippino women.  These women have left their homes in the Philippines in order to support their families back home.  You must understand that these women are like slaves.  They work all week, all day, for very little pay.  Many are mistreated and abused on multiple levels by their employers.  There must have been close to 70 women that packed out Joseph's church building, a relatively small two-room flat on the seventh floor of a downtown apartment building.  This Sunday morning service is their only breathing hole.  It's the only time during the week they are free from their employers.  After Chris preached about acknowledging and surrendering our pain to the Lord, we began to pray for people.  God displayed so much grace and healing power as He touched people through us.  I had the great pleasure of finding myself between a powerful, loving, jealous God and the beautiful people He wanted to encounter and heal.  Many wept and experienced freedom through the power of the Holy Spirit.

They were a truly inspiring group of women.  They worshiped God fervently in spite of their circumstances.  It was a testimony to me that He is most certainly, always good.

If there is one thing the Lord has been teaching me, especially on this trip, it's about being bold and taking steps of faith to express the impression He gives me - to speak out the words, thoughts, or questions He puts in my mind and on my heart.  Whether it be for my Syrian brother George, Pastor Joseph, our Greek taxi driver, or the Lebanese grad student in the airplane seat next to me.

"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?" (1 Cor. 2:11)

These thoughts and impressions come for a reason and I'm learning to act on them; to give what I receive.  I don't know what step 2, 3, 4, and 5 are.  I can't take 5 steps at once anyway...  so, why do I try?!  He puts one step before me at a time.  Speak it, say it, do it.  We don't know where God will take us and lead us.  The end-harvest of salvation decisions, healing, deliverances, all begin with the planting of a seed - a decision to take a step, speak a word, extend a hand.

David asked the Lord if he should go up against the Philistines, and the Lord responds, promising David the victory.  Afterward, David declares that God broke through his enemies by his (David's) hand!  
God could breakthrough our enemies in a thousand different ways; but He has chosen to do it through our hands - alongside of us.  Thankful to be a part of it in Beirut last week!

Photos to come soon!

Oh, and watch this video.