An organic movement of people drawn to see the weak and vulnerable with God's eyes, and respond by faith with practical love.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Moving In Step With Mercy

I have to confess that sometimes fear wraps it's icy tentacles around my heart and tries to choke out hope. I've done an odd dance between the two for the last few months. At one moment believing that I'm a crazy dreamer, destined to fail and the next believing it's God who has called me and makes me strong to walk in step with mercy.

I'm okay with the ups and downs, they keep my heart close to Jesus. As I wrestle with the questions and risks I ask myself why. Why go to Serbia? Last night Christine Caine reminded me why, I go because light searches out darkness.

I will never, can never, forget an institution full of people without family. The staff certainly cares for them, but how can three women caring for 50 immobile people take the time to be a mother, it's impossible. Both the residents and the staff need others to help shoulder the burden they bear.

It's more than that though. Serbia is a country searching of herself. With a long, rich history in the Balkans modern day Serbia is trying to find her place in the world. Unfortunately not so many years ago the price of war took it's toll on the region. Fracturing relationships with neighboring countries, debilitating the economy, etching unseen scars across hearts. It was a time that opened the door for vulnerable people to suffer more than others, taking it's toll on the unborn, disabled, poor, and women.

But Serbia is shaking off the past and reaching for the future. What will she find waiting for her there? My prayer is she will find mercy. Mercy to wash away the stains of the past, mercy to usher in hope for her future, the mercy of adoption into God's family. I'm praying for an awakening. I believe across the Balkans it's beginning to happen.

God is whispering to each country by name. Stirring hearts. It's what I pray for, it's what I believe. I pray for the church there, on the ground, to boldly hold out Jesus.

I'm excited this July to be a witness to this movement of mercy, and even to join my small voice in calling out for the church to be brave in offering mercy to the very weakest of their community. My friend Heather Guy will be traveling with me. I'm anticipating an amazing trip together.

If you want to be a part of spreading the message of God's mercy to the people of Serbia will you join with me in prayer for our trip?

  • Pray that we will be light when we visit the mental institution, witnessing to God's love for each precious life.
  • Pray that God will give me a message of truth that encourages the hearts of Balkan Christians to live in gutsy faith as I speak at SOZO worship festival.
  • Pray that God would give me more opportunities to speak about being a partner in mercy, here at home and in the Balkans.
  • Pray too that God would establish relationships while I'm there with people who will help carry out the vision of Mercy's Refuge to provide support and love to the vulnerable of Serbia.

We couldn't do this without you, travel across the world and back in search of people to love. Thank you for being a partner in mercy with us!

If you are within driving distance of southern Alabama and would like me to speak to your church or organization about Mercy's Refuge, or God's call to his followers to embrace all life, please contact me. Or if you would like to partner financially with Mercy's Refuge you can donate using the Paypal option at the top of the page.

I'm looking forward to sharing stories of God's provision and love as we walk in his mercy this summer! Do you have your own story of walking with mercy to broken people? I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Relationship Is Where It's At

This is what I know about Serbia. God loves her. He's called me to love her too. Relationship is the best way to make a difference. That's all I've got.

It may seem like an overly simple way to go about making a difference but that's how I'm going to roll!

There is no doubt that God has called my heart to lean in close and watch what he's doing in Serbia. No doubt he has initiated relationships I couldn't even fathom.

I'm not an organizer or administrator. I've tried to organize a response to the needs of the institutionalized in Serbia but honestly it's just been spinning wheels. So I'm going back to what I know. Relating.

As God tunes my heart more to his and teaches me to walk in step with him he makes the path clear. This July I've been invited to be a part of a team that just excites me to no end. I'm joining up with SOZO worship festival to be a part of loving Serbia and equipping the church to worship God through action.

I will travel with a team from the US to meet up with a group of people from around the world coming together in worship. Along with that we will reach out to the staff of Dom Veternik and hopefully city officials to show our respect and appreciation.

One of my personal goals for this trip, that I would love for you to join me in prayer for, is to find a local Christian to become a part of the vision of Mercy's Refuge. It would be so helpful to have someone in Serbia to work on that end to build relationships and take care of practical details. I'm praying that God would clearly orchestrate our meeting this summer.

Which brings me to another dream. More relationship, on a larger scale! I would love to pair families in America and Serbia with a child or adult in the mental institution. My dream is to provide the sponsor family with a picture and basic information of a resident. They would then send letters, small gifts, and a small donation to help provide for that resident's needs, and most importantly pray for them.

I don't know of a better way to improve someone's life, and for us to be more like Jesus, than to engage in relationship. Of course there is no doubt that this dream has all kinds of challenges to overcome and details to be worked out. But think of the possibilities. Taking someone who for years has been virtually invisible and then to bring them into a family as it were, to be loved, cared for, prayed over, and valued. Investment, even from a distance is worthwhile and I believe a great change agent.

What do you think? Would you be willing to be a part of that type of relationship building?