Let us start with the ‘sweet’: The tree of Life ministry is going well and God is blessing and moving. From the beginning it has been my biblical hope to see and organic, spirit-led and sustainable ministry that will guide people to the Truth of the Gospel and also foster healing in their relationships to themselves, others and creation. I wish I could announce the thousands who have flocked to our classes, yet our numbers-driven culture needs a check-up, nor is it a fair assessment of God’s hand at work, and that is a sermon for another day. ;-) I was reminded by a friend of the prophet Jeremiah’s 25 year ministry: and the result was two believers that followed him. Many call him the “Weeping Prophet”. But I would like to call him the “Persevering Prophet”.
One who has followed his example is Pastor Emmanuel who is working with me as an instructor/church planter with Tree of Life. Despite obstacles, he is bent on serving God and pastoring the flock God gives him. He has now begun his 4th and 5th classes. The first class has 20 students who began this week. Please pray for them as they learn holistically what health really is: spirit, body and mind. His second class has been born out of a new convert we will call “A”. “A” lives in a village not far from pastor but is an area that is very staunch in other religious beliefs. He is meeting with three people at “A’s” house weekly. God has given him a vision that this will be the first church plant from the Tree of Life ministry. It is exciting and challenging at the same time. I ask you all to pray for pastor, the classes, and particularly “A” who has a growing hunger to know our Savior.
My class graduated a couple of weeks ago in Makeni, and I am praying now that a leader will emerge to continue the work here as Pastor Emmanuel is doing in Freetown. Please also pray for an unspoken request for me as I seek wisdom and guidance and several major decisions in the coming months.
There seems to be a universal law that couples opposites purposefully. James chapter 1 tells us to “Rejoice in your suffering…for it makes you mature and complete”. Often we are blinded to this truth and tend to look at our current circumstances and think, “What the heck is going on?” We fail to see from a Divine perspective and want answers and solutions now. ‘Lament’ is not a very nice word in Christendom, yet necessary in our faith to not only show our dependence upon a Sovereign God, but to reveal the honesty of a hurting soul. I confess I have been in a season of lament with the losses that have come into my life, the betrayals and just serving in a very difficult and dark place. Many of you have, through divine timing, sent so many encouraging emails that God has used. Thank you. Keep praying as I pray for you. Keep loving God and people.