Mutual Encouragement

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The Timna oasis at dawn

For the past several years I’ve been friends on Facebook with Miriam.  She had visited Italy and felt God’s call here, but began suffering issues from a trip to Africa sometime previous to the visit.  The doctors told her that it was some kind of parasite.  So she began treatment and asked for prayer.  I committed to pray for her every Friday morning.

One day a few weeks ago, God released me from my prayer commitment.  I didn’t tell Miriam because I didn’t know what that release might be saying to her, to me, or both.  The next thing I knew, Miriam announced that she was visiting Italy.  I took this as a very good sign for both her health and for coming to Italy as a missionary.  Both thrilled me because it showed me that I had truly heard from God about praying for her health.  It also represented an answer to my daily prayer for more missionaries to this mission field.

I sent Miriam a message, asking if it would be possible to meet.  I wanted to meet her in person because we really only knew each other on Facebook and through our mutual friends.  I also wanted to tell her about God releasing me from the commitment to pray for her healing.  But her answer came back that she has been very busy with planning her daughter’s wedding.  She was too tired to commit at that moment.  I realized that she may still be suffering symptoms, despite God’s release.  I gave her my phone number.  She responded that she’ll only be in Milan on Saturday and Sunday, the last week of April.

I had an appointment with missionaries in Turin that Saturday, but I just left it up to God to connect us or not.  Upon returning from Turin I found a message from Miriam waiting for me, saying that she would be teaching on Sunday afternoon at a local church I like to visit.  Immediately, I knew I wanted to go see her.

It had been several months since I had visited this church, but surprisingly, I remembered how to get there.  I found the church as friendly as ever.  Miriam came in just before the service was to start.  She saw me and came to say hi.  I think my presence encouraged her, as is often the case.  Sometimes just showing up is very encouraging.

Miriam gave a great message, and it was followed by a very intense time of seeking God.  Several of us were called out as people with a special burden—including me.  I fell to the floor and groaned in birth pains.  I understood what it meant, too: prayer.  I am birthing something in the spiritual atmosphere in prayer.  Then there was a time of prophesying.  Several people got prophetic words, including me.  Miriam came to me (I think I was still on the floor) and said to me: “The wind of the Spirit is blowing over you.”

Immediately I got the image in my mind of the oasis at Timna, when the wind whipped up ripples across the surface of the water.  As early as 1976 the words oasis and spring were pronounced over me prophetically (see The Prophecy Fulfilled) about my present ministry.  So I understood that the oasis in the vision was me.  The wind was the Holy Spirit moving in my life.  Then in the vision my attention was drawn to the paddle aerator in the center of the oasis.

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You can see the white water splash of the aerator just in front of the pergola

While we were at Timna Park in October (see Desert Foxes), someone nightly turned the aerator off because it makes noise.  I found the noise soothing, but I guess someone there didn’t.  The problem was that they didn’t bother to turn it on again in the morning, and the park employees didn’t always get to it right away.  Without the aerator, the water quickly became full of algae and the fish were endangered because of both the algae and the lack of oxygenated water.  So as I gazed at the vision in my mind’s eye, I heard the Lord say: “Stir up the gift that is in you.”

Then there was a time of testimony, and I told Miriam what I had come to tell her: that I had been released from praying for her health, and that I believe the reason is because she is already healed, even if symptoms remain.

When the service was over, I went to Miriam to tell her what her prophetic word meant to me.  She was encouraged.  I love how God will use two people like Miriam and I to encourage each other.

Now the thing I want to see is when God brings Miriam to Italy, and where He places her.  I know that He will do great things through her for this land, and that will be an answer to my daily prayer: Lord of the Harvest, please send more missionaries to this Harvest Field!  God is good!

One thought on “Mutual Encouragement

  1. Pingback: Trained Circus Poodles | Walking By Faith in Europe

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