Well I suppose it's time for a little updating.
God has been moving so mightily in my life, it's hard to know where to begin.
I guess I'll start with my heart and what God has specifically called me to.
While in Africa, Heidi Baker talked a lot on Mercy and Justice and how those themes are all through out the Bible. It is so important for us to be the voice of those who don't have one. God started to stir in me a real passion to stop child slavery and sex trafficking. We were hearing stories of children being sold into slavery and prostitution by their parents for a small fee. The injustice that's happening all around the world and even in America is unfathomable. Children are sold for $6. Parents do this thinking their kids are being sent to school or others do it because the family needs money.
A guy named Lyle came to my school in Africa to share his testimony and what he has been doing. He is 26 and went to my school a couple years ago. After Africa he had a real heart for India and to stop child slavery/trafficking. So he went and followed what God told him to do. He made a connection with a slave owner of 9,000 children who work in his mine for 10 hours a day and then are raped up to 3 times a night by the owner and his friends. Lyle's heart broke for what he saw, he prayed asking God what to do. By the grace of God, and through a powerful testimony, Lyle was able to show the slave owner the love of Jesus and change his heart. The owner released 50 children to Lyle freely and gave him land and a building for them.
Lyle has started his own non-profit called Mercy29. The name comes from Job 29 specifically verses 11-17, "Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing. I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth."
After reading those verses, which I had before, but now with deeper meaning, it totally wrecked me. That's what I want to do with my life. To me there is no better way to live than to 'break the fangs of the wicked and snatch the victims from their teeth'. Upon hearing Lyle's testimony, I realized what a laid-down life can do. By giving your life completely to God and just pursuing His will, and following His voice, things can change, things can happen, more importantly- lives can be saved. God is just waiting for radical believers who are willing to give up their lives and agenda and believe His word for what it says. God wants to so use us to bring His kingdom down on earth. It's that simple.
The whole time Lyle was talking, I was thinking about Thailand. About the huge sex industry in Bangkok and how kids are being sold on the borders for only $6. Before this I already felt that God was calling me to Thailand, but now I was receiving direction and why specifically I'm to go there.
Matthew 13:44-46 says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. "
I've discovered how rich the Kingdom of God is and that's all I want. I'm ready to sell everything and move. In Africa I realized how much God loves me, how much He loves all of us. That He's not mad at any one of us. All God desires is to know us and to have a relationship with us. That's why God created us. To love and to be loved. It's that simple. God made us to love us and for us to love Him. But He gave us freewill, because if He made us love Him, it wouldn't be real love. We have to choose Him. God is longing so desperately to have a relationship with all of His children. And so it's God's Love that compels me to GO. To leave what I know and what is comfortable and GO.
Iris Ministries is all about LOVE and what does Love look like? Love looks like something to people. It may look like school for a child in India, or food for a child in Africa, or clothes or shelter for someone. It could look like stopping for the man on the corner, looking him in the eyes, and asking how he's doing, what he needs and praying for him.
Next month I have a one-way ticket to Thailand leaving on Nov. 28th. God has called me to Go, so I'm going in full obedience, not looking back, and not worried or fearful about a thing because His grace is with me. He is going to provide and protect me, just like His word says.
I will live with my brother for a few months as my second niece is due around Christmas, then in April/May I will move up to Bangkok (10 hours away). I plan to get my own apartment, study at a Thai Language School, and then follow God's leading. I'll plug in with other Non-profits and Christian ministries that deal with child slavery and trafficking and just see where my heart leads.
I am fully expectant to be used by God. I am so happy, I have never been this happy before. There's just something to being fully abandoned and obedient to God and I know this is what I was made for, what I was destined for.