Praying for healing in Prague.
During my trip to Texas last year I was invited to lunch by Silvia and her daughter, Stephanie. I had stayed at Silvia’s house two years previously, and she wanted me to meet Stephanie—or rather, she had wanted Stephanie to meet me. The reason became clear immediately: Stephanie is very interested in becoming a missionary. She wanted to know specifically about fundraising.
I told her: “If God is calling you to missions, then He will provide the funding. All you have to do is get ready to go and don’t worry about the money. It will come right on time.” The thing that trips up lots of would-be missionaries is that they respond to God’s call by looking at their bank balance. Wrong! Of course your bank balance is not going to be enough! God will provide in one of two ways:
- Supernaturally by touching the hearts of people to give you money or by making the money appear when you need it. God might want to grow your faith in this way. Or
- God will instruct you to start fundraising, and how to go about doing that. By asking people to help you financially, you’re actually giving them the opportunity to share in your blessing as a missionary. Fundraising can actually be a way to bless people.
Stephanie felt encouraged and excited to launch into the mission field. But then I didn’t hear from her for several months. Then this summer she contacted me, saying that she’s booking her flight to Milan to come stay with me, and asking if her flight date was good for me.
At first I wanted to say no. What am I going to do with this girl? But then I realized that she’s one of the answers to my daily prayer for more missionaries to Europe. If God’s sending her here, then He has a purpose for that. So I told her to come on. This is what I had been encouraging her to do back in December last year—I just hadn’t expected her to come to me.
So after much communication, walking her through issues that she hadn’t known about, like only being allowed in the Schengen Zone for 90 days out of every six months. Stephanie finally got her tickets and came. Her first flight was delayed and it made her miss her second flight. She spent the night in the Barcelona airport and flew to Milan yesterday.
I couldn’t go meet her flight, so Tim offered to meet her for me. I had an appointment at the police station to get my Permit to Live in Italy. It turned out that it was not granted, but it was also not denied. I need to return in February with a more current tax return, showing proof of my income. This is all going to be interesting for my future homeless state in Europe. I may be the one who has to exit the Schengen Zone every three out six months of the year. We’ll see.
When I returned to the house she was here. Stephanie’s first official day as a missionary was very low-key. We went to lunch at my local pizza place and then went on the walking tour of Milan that I show visitors. She enjoyed seeing the cathedral, the castle, and chocolate shoes at La Rinascente department store the best.
This gave us the chance to get to know each other better. Stephanie told me about some of her health challenges. She has faith for healing, but has not seen it manifested in her body yet. Healing is one of those issues that really seems to divide Christians. Most of us profess to have faith for healing, yet we deny it with our own mouths by the things we say. When I pointed out something that Stephanie said as an example of something to quit saying about herself, she immediately agreed. We talked about strategies for expressing a present truth without making a negative confession: “I suffer from . . .” instead of “I have . . .” is a good example. She agreed to the strategy.
I also shared something I heard in a sermon about how God provides for those whom He has called: “God’s will, God’s bill!” Stephanie laughed, agreeing with the idea.
Because she had slept in the airport, Stephanie had slept very little—and that after a long day of travel over nine time zones. And since I had kept her walking much of the day, when we returned to the house, she was exhausted and enjoyed an early bedtime.
Early this morning, Stephanie came to me for prayer, saying that she hadn’t slept well, feeling like she is under a spiritual attack. This neither surprised nor alarmed me. But I prayed for her, proclaiming God’s perfect shalom over her body and mind. She slept like a baby after that.
Today Stephanie starts her first day of ministry. Please pray for her to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit today and all the rest of her life and ministry. And thank God, too, for this living, breathing answer to my daily prayer: a missionary who has faithfully answered God’s call to Europe. Bless her! God is good!