This weekend I returned to east Tennessee . . . a place where I have memories of a crazy guy who pursued me like I think every girl deserves to be pursued . . . with intentionality, honesty, vulnerability, discernment…and a dash of self-control, may I add? (Courtship is a serious matter, certainly not void of passion–you better have some self-control!)

This (Johnson City, TN) was the place where David & I lived for the first two years of our marriage. This was the (exact) bench where I would sit and wait for David to get out of class . . . This was the place we didn’t notice that we only had 600 square feet of living space (things like that are insignificant when love is so captivating). It’s where we ate meals of royalty–many a grilled cheese sandwich and bowls of chicken noodle soup (while we lived off of my $23,000/yr salary) . . . until I forsook that lucrative compensation to travel with him during his senior year of med school at which time, we lived off of loans and my temp jobs in Dallas & Rochester (MN).  It was the hottest place I had ever been in September (with no air conditioning in my 130K mile Sentra) and the coldest place I had ever been in November–where I was the only female living in a house where we rented a room. Five males. One female. One bathroom. Love makes you do CRAZY things! Captivating & Crazy . . . that IS how love should be, isn’t it? So captivating that you don’t notice the things that are less than perfect. So crazy that 600 square feet or one room just means you can’t get too far away from each other–and that was just fine with us.

That was 1997. But this is 2012, and this weekend, I took the children to some of those nostalgic places and tried to paint some memories of a man, their daddy, whom they can hardly remember.  I am confident that second-hand memories are better than none at all…and they love the stories…and to hear family talking about their daddy.  I love to see them catch glimpses of who he was and who they are in that reflection.

Yet, though I have been back to many sentimental places David and I shared, this weekend, I was confronted with the fact that it leaves me, personally, in a place of “rubble & ruin,” much like I think the Jews must have felt when they were called to return to a Jerusalem which had been destroyed.

How do you return to places that once embodied such love and joy and hope and happiness and dreams, and, yet, not stay in a place of ruin & rubble? It used to be part of my life. And historically speaking, it will always be a part of me . . . and my children. But practically, outside of imparting memories to ensure my children have knowledge of their roots, I’ve come to accept, that revisiting ruins are a part of rebuilding, and it’s okay to ask God to grant me a “double portion,” in the latter half of my life, just as He did Job. (It just seems a little selfish to me when I start to request that) . . . How could I ever be given twice the life that David & I once had? How does one pray, “Lord, give me more than what I had in my first husband,”? It doesn’t seem quite right. But . . . if I want God to RESTORE my life to that capacity, then I must ask with faith, believing that He will do it.

Nehemiah 1:3 says, “Those who survived the exile…are in great trouble…the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and it’s gates have been burned with fire.”

I will say that I do feel like “I’ve survived the exile” over the last 5 years since David’s death (June 4, 2007), while experiencing my own broken walls and burned gates. All that was once “fortified,” is now proverbially destroyed.

What I have found in this process of healing and rebuilding is that there is no choice except to “return” to places of ruin & rubble, hard places (geographically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) with the expectation that God WILL heal and rebuild and restore.  He certainly doesn’t want to lure us to those places to trap and torture us or to tether us to pain. I believe, on the contrary, that He asks us to Trust Him to travel with him in order that He can be all we need in order to give us more than we ever thought we would otherwise be capable of experiencing: His Word, His Peace, His Bounty, a Hope and a Future . . .

I have frequently heard God whisper, “Come let us rebuild…” (Neh 2:17), just as Nehemiah encouraged the Jews to do.

Thankfully, that is an exhortation that I heard the Lord impart in the deepest part of my heart in the earliest moments of my grief & despair…the conflict was the competing volume of the ruin & rubble–which was piled quite high.  Or perhaps it was that I was buried underneath it, and I had to dig out from under the weight and the pressure in order to hear at all.  And since those early moments after destruction unraveled, I have been choosing between

RUIN & RUBBLE

and

REBUILDING & REPAIRING…

Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. Practically. Spiritually.

REBUILD & REPAIR. REBUILD & REPAIR.

That is what you do when the walls crumble.

But as the story goes, the rebuilding of Jerusalem was not without opposition and, “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed'”(Neh 6:9).

As was then, is now: the enemy’s role is to thwart REbuilding.

thwart REpairing.

thwart REstoring.

thwart REdeeming.

So just as Nehemiah prayed, I have prayed many times & continue to pray,

“Now strengthen my hands.”

God has, indeed, so faithfully strengthened me & has been RE-making me after I fell to pieces on June 4, 2007…you may not have seen all the pieces that laid around as collateral damage, but they were there. The only reason you may not have noticed the mess is because that’s exactly how God’s grace works…He empowers and strengthens us to do things that we can otherwise never do on our own…and for me that began with learning to breathe again. Literally. Once you catch your breath, then you can start to build…again…slowly.

Jeremiah 31 promised that the Jews would be restored after they were exiled…

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt…” (v 3-4)…

I will refresh the weary & satisfy the faint (v25).”

NeverTheLess, I will bring health & healing to it;

I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace & security.

I WILL…REBUILD THEM… (33:6-7).

“This is what the Lord says:

‘You say about this place, It is a desolate waste, without men [David]…”

Yet…there will be heard once more the sounds of joy & gladness,

the voices of bride & bridegroom…saying,

Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; His live endures forever.
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before, says the Lord (33:10-11).

There is still a lot of rubble that I trip and fall over as I walk the paths that God has called me to walk.  However, I have come to know that when His Word says

NEVER-THE-LESS,

it means, NEVER-THE-LESS.

God NEVER intends to give us LESS than what will facilitate a life full of eternal impact . . . and though that is not void of pain and hardship, though everyone has some degree of ruin & rubble to crawl out from under & to overcome, God will be faithful to build and re-build, if need be.

He is faithful. He will complete the work He started in us.

He will rebuild.

He will restore.

He will redeem.

I was cleaning out and up some electronic files tonight when I stumbled upon the letter below.

I penned it to about 40 of my faithful sister friends in April 2008 who knew me well and walked with me through the previous 9 months immediately following David’s death.

It was the inception of my teaching ministry (though not named Her Passion at the time and obviously having no idea Passion Partners global missions was anywhere in sight)!

Here it is…

April 2008

My Dear Soul Sisters,

. . . I am coming to you . . . as I set out in formal ministry . . . which I believe God confirmed His call last November (2007). As I have lived out the fruit of many of your prayers over the last 9 months, I would not dare undertake such a weighty assignment for the Lord without supplication and intercession.

I have been involved in women’s ministry for years . . . so the idea of ministry is not a new one. Ministry to women is where my heart has been for a long time. In 2003, God began speaking to me increasingly more about what this might entail.

First, it meant I had to try my hand in my own sales consulting business (as I had professionally been a sales rep and corporate trainer) which actually did not manifest into a full fledge “business.” I just dabbled. And though it led me in part to my eternal desires, it really just kept me away from God’s authentic heart call. It was a fleshing out—literally, of my own desires and my own plans. God allowed it. And then began to say, “Why don’t you use your God-given talents specifically for the Kingdom instead of for the secular world?”

It took 2 years for God to transform my thinking and lead me into a deeper understanding of His call on my life. It wasn’t until February 2007, just 4 months before David’s death, that I literally trashed my “library” of training materials. I had ignored God’s leading to do that previously. “What if I need that for something in the future?” “I can’t get rid of that . . . that’s what I did for all those years in my ‘professional life’ which I enjoyed so much and received so many accolades.” Though I knew my identity did not lie in my arsenal of training creations, I held onto it pretty tightly. Until . . . that day in February, when I was cleaning out our basement as I looked forward to moving and came to my “training materials.” And God said, “Are you serious about this ministry thing or not? Because if you are, and I think you are, you are going to have to GET RID of that stuff.” And I knew that in order to get rid of it in my mind, I had to trash it, literally.

It hadn’t been an outright rebelliousness that kept me away from God’s call. I believe it was God’s very gentle wooing that has drawn me thus far. I think He knew that had He beat me over the head, I would have gone kicking and screaming. I appreciate the way He has drawn me into His Great Commission.

So, the answer I gave the Lord on that February day (and I could probably find the date in a journal somewhere), was “yes, I am serious. This is history.”

Ironically, I remember when David came home that day, I took him down to the basement to feast his eyes on my heaping pile of paper (and binders and CD’s and DVD’s and whatever else I had cleaned out) that was in the floor. Then I asked him, “This is all of my training stuff. Do you think I’m going to need it, because I am throwing it away? God has told me that if I am going to take writing seriously, I have to get rid of this stuff . . . .” I waited, with raised eyebrows, not knowing how to interpret his thoughts as he just looked at the (large) pile.

Knowing my love for training, I think he just wanted to console me in the burial of that part of my life and said, “Are you sure you want to do that?”

It was far too late to reconsider, because even if I had, I would never be able to put all of those notebooks back together like they had been. I remember saying something like, “Don’t even suggest it!” And it wasn’t until then that I told even David, that I felt like God had given me a lot to write about—and that was before June 4, 2007. But in order for that to become manifest, I had to purge some of these other things once and for all.

For the several months preceding David’s death, it was really sweet. When I would share some things with David that the Lord had been teaching me, he would say, “That’s good . . . you need to put that in your book . . . that’s really good.” Or out of the blue in order to encourage me, he would say, “You know what we talked about the other day, you’re going to put that in your book, aren’t you?”

My prayer has for years been, “Lord, use me where ever You will.” I meant it. But I have realized that I must not have expected God to do very much with that desire because I stand in shear awe that God would use a broken vessel like me to share His love and redemption story.

This past November, at the annual LifeWay National Women’s Leadership Forum (which I had been attending for years), they routinely wrap up the conference by asking us, the participants, to identify at least one thing that God had spoken to us about individually. I have my 5×7 card pinned to my cork board in my room. It was then that God very simply, yet clearly, said, “Name it and proclaim it.” And I knew that He meant to name my own formal ministry and put plans in place to tell the story He had given me. I had no details of exactly how that would play out. But as my Christian heroine Elisabeth Elliot, who lost the (first) love of her life, Jim, to the Auca Indian tribe to whom he was evangelizing, says, “Just do the next thing.” I knew I just had to be obedient “and leave the consequences to God,” as Charles Stanley says.

I had felt impressed almost immediately after the tragedy of David’s death that ministry would be in my future. I still do not know exactly what that entails, but do know that I need to move forward in faith to be obedient to that command He has given me. I have been waiting until some of the “business” was complete and in place, but believe that God would have me go ahead . . . After all, I do believe that the “business of ministry” is not “business” at all . . . but the heart of His people.

Years ago, God placed “something” in my heart and my head. It was My Husband, My Ministry—I’m not even sure whether to underline it or put it in quotes or what . . . perhaps it was just a vision of what was to come. Little did I know the truth that indeed would come . . .

So, why do I tell you all of this? To let you know that the event of June 4, 2007, was a confirmation, as unpleasant as it was and as it is still, that the Lord intended for me to follow Him down this road and proclaim the Good News in spite of bad news.

AND . . . in order to do so, I have got to have His sovereign leading, guiding, confirming Presence in the midst of this. Intercessory prayer by His people, you, has been an ever present help of my ability to move forward. I would be sadly misled to think that God could reveal His grandest plan without beating on Heaven’s door for His blessing and His glory—not mine, but His.

So, it is with greatest eternal reward in sight that I ask you to formally serve as an intercessory prayer partner for Sustaining Word Ministries. [now Her Passion ministries and Passion Partners global]

My prayer is that the Lord would use your prayers, not for my selfish gain, but to bless your own heart and encourage you into a deeper knowledge of Him, His goodness, and His willingness to always lead and guide and direct us when we seek Him.

Now I want you to know, [sisters], that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

As a result, it has become clear . . . that I am in chains for Christ.

Because of my chains, most of the [sisters] in the Lord have been encouraged . . .

Phil 1:12-14

Thank you, dear ones, for walking this road with me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Eternally grateful and anticipating God’s glory,

Candice

That was 4 years ago…this is where we are now… http://www.herpassionministries.com and http://www.passionpartners.org

I can testify that God WILL bring life from death…Resurrection is around the corner! God is faithful. God is good. God is waiting to manifest in your life ” more than you can ever ask or dream or imagine!” (Eph 3:20)

Thank you, sisters, who joined us in February at St. Paul Community Church!

I am so honored that you would choose to spend your time with us. I (we) do not take that lightly.  Please know that you are being prayed for before you take a seat in that pew, and that I continue to pray that God would use the Words which He gives me to share with you and transform your lives!

We experienced a beautiful time of worship led by Michael Boggs, and I’ve been teaching on SEEING God–even when we can’t SEE Him!

Indeed . . .

His Word IS alive and active (Heb 4:12) . . .

It IS an anchor for our souls (Heb 6:19) . . .

It IS a light unto our path (119:05)!

To our friends who were not with us, we are praying for you, too, and hope that you can join us this month, THIS WEEK (same time, same place, St. Paul Community Church) on Thursday, March 29.

Here is a recap from our February gathering:

“How can we see God when we can’t see Him?”

• By Faith . . .

We live by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Faith is being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1).

Blessed are those who have not seen & yet have believed (John 20:29).

Remeber: SEEING GOD IS NOT A SIGHT ISSUE, IT IS A FAITH ISSUE.

What we are looking at will greatly determine what we see.

We are usually more intent & content being seen rather than seeing (God).

They have…eyes but cannot see (Psa 115:5).

• By Fixing . . . 

FIX your eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2).

We FIX our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen (2 Cor 4:18).

FIX these words of mine… (Deut 11:18-21).

We MUST be aware of distractions and be careful of “first glances.” The enemy is subtle and our eyes are easily seduced, particularly if we are not fixed on things above. One simple first glance at something or someone could be the distraction to our destruction…it was for Eve.

• By Filtering . . .

Nothing will be clear if we do not filter what we are seeing through God’s Word which gives us the view God desires to impart on us. Using the lens of God’s Word is imperative to filter the circumstances and challenges of this life.

When you are having trouble fixing your eyes on Jesus, ask Him to SHOW you if you can’t see Him.

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul (Psa 143:8).
Show me your ways, O Lord… (Psa 25:4).
Show me, O Lord… (Psa 39:4).

“Now show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:18).

In summary:
If you SEEk Him, you will see Him.
FIX your eyes on Him.
FILTER life through His Word.
Ask Him to SHOW you–big.

Often times, we must forsake the seen for the unseen, and then, and only then will matters become clear–after we are willing to TRUST.

Sisters, God  wants us to SEE Him! And, when we do, there is nothing He won’t do to keep our attention!

He loves you!

He created you!

He has an amazing plan for you!

Just as Jeremiah 1:5 & 29:11 says, “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope & a future…”

He is proclaiming, “SEE, I am doing a new thing…Do you not perceive it?” (Isa 43:19)

He is asking “What do you see? What do you see?” (Jer 1:11,13).

What DO you see?

I pray you are looking for Him…Resurrection is around the corner…

Join us Thursday night for more on “recognizing Jesus.”

Love and blessings this Easter season,
Candice & the Her Passion Team

Dec 3, 2011

On fighting the right battles . . .

I seldom feel the palpable intent of the enemy . . . David’s sudden death was one of those times. Scripture returned to me, as it did many times, when I doubted and fretted:

“You intended to harm me, but God intend[s] it for good . . .” Gen 50:20.

I don’t like to blame “bad things on the devil” . . . because I believe God is ALWAYS & ULTIMATELY in control; however, I do believe the Word which says in 1 Peter 5:8, “your enemy the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour.”

So . . . I’m feeling a little chewed-up and spat out right now . . .

Last week, during preparation for the first Her Passsion local worship & teaching event, I had a severe allergic reaction after a field day with Annabelle, my heat went out upstairs, my toilet stopped working downstairs, and my external drive which had many of my personal and ministry photos from Africa, crashed. (The ministry photos were backed up…the ones from the last 6 months of my dad’s life, many particularly with his “little man,” my little David, were not . . we are still praying they can be recovered. Breaks my heart.)

Though I was troubled, it did not surprise me terribly, as we (Her Passion) are in the midst of producing our first ministry magazine . . . and we were on task to have the photos selected in a matter of days. On the ministry front, God is using a small, yet amazing, group of young women to help me execute the vision God has given me… partnerships & projects in Africa (Kenya and Uganda) which include a medical clinic, a restoration home, purity programs, and locally, a long-had vision of teaching the Word on a regular basis . . .God is doing some exciting things.

But it is easy to forget exactly what He is doing and become distracted when you are being devoured. Life sets in and instead of being propelled into the purposes for which you were created, you are paralyzed by the circumstances of the day. I know. I was reminded this week of how that happens.

Anyway, as for the distractions, I’ve lost much more than photos in the recent past, and besides, people lose photos everyday, and more consequently, many people in the world have no heat—nor a toilet—at all. . . Which ironically, encourages me to continue doing what I’ve been called to do . . .

Teach the Word.
Reach the world.
All for the glory of God.

I came across this verse in my quiet time this morning,

“Only . . . fight the Lord’s battles.”
1 Sam 18:17b.

Which reminded me that the battle is “not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the spiritual forces of evil . . .” (Eph 6:12) and that my challenge is to fight the right battles.

Is it insignificant that I lost treasured photos of my sweet dad with “Papa’s little man?” No.

Is it more significant that there are little people in the world who don’t have a “papa” to love them, much less have pictures with him? Yes. (I know this one personally, and well.)

Is it insignificant that my heat went out and (one) of my toilets? No.

Is it (much) more significant that many don’t have heat nor one functioning toilet? Without a doubt.

So . . . it didn’t happen immediately, but I am thankful that God used these rather inconvenient (and heartbreaking) events to affirm “that to which I have been called.”

And I am ever reminded to walk away from battles that are meant only to devour and distract me from God’s divine plan.

“I have fought the good fight…” (2 Tim 4:7b)…but only if it’s the right ones.

Choose your battles.

It can be the difference between being devoured and being delivered.

Life Support

This week has been a blur to say the least. Monday, I left for Gadsden (AL) planning to return home that same day after spending the afternoon with my dad who is in the hospital. At that point, he was being treated for infection in his feet and legs that had spiraled out if control after a podiatrist failed to recognize his need for timely medical intervention. But on Monday afternoon, his hospital admission for iv antibiotics, evolved into full fledge respiratory distress that put him into cardiac arrest, and he flatlined. His heart was shocked back into rhythm, and needless to say, or perhaps it needs to be said, praise God, he is alive…however, after being revived, he ended up in the critical care unit of the small hospital in Gadsden.

After the horror of watching my dad turn blue and stop breathing before my eyes on Monday, I then watched him lay in the unit that night and all day Tuesday sedated, unable to talk, having many unanswered questions about exactly what happened on Monday afternoon.

My father has been in declining health over the last 4 years. And at this point, I’m sure he has exhausted more than 9 lives…he has had many close calls, all of them having to do with the immediate consequence of alcohol or the long-term effects that it takes on one’s body. He is a living, breathing example that God ordains the day we come into this world and that our times are in His hands…and that means he also ordains the day we leave…and my dad, Dickey, believes that, too.

Tuesday night, we were preparing to go in for visitation. As we had been doing, we, the family (my 2 siblings, my step-mom, and my dad’s 3 siblings) would take turns going into his room, stand around his bed, watch him sleep, as he had been all day, and listen to each other tell him that he was going to be fine, and they were working on getting him off that breathing machine. (He was weened down to 35%, but his doctors were saying 2 more days before we could expect him to come off.) So, we expected to see him, as we had seen him, with tubes hanging out his mouth, an occasional twitch which was present from the medicine (and possibly symptomatic of other health complications), and hear the rhythm of beeps of the heart monitor.

Well…next, was the “Mary moment.” His youngest sister had gone in first, only to skip back to the waiting area, telling us to, “Come! He was awake and talking!” He had pulled his vent tube out himself…so much for the wrist restraints that had been keeping him from that. Part of the miracle is that he didn’t code again from removing the oxygen! He was breathing on his own and wide awake and talking. As we all stood around his bed, we listened to him testify that he knew he hadn’t done everything “right” but that being alive gave him the opportunity to “go out” (whenever that would be) doing good instead of not. He went on to say that he didn’t know why the Lord was keeping him around, but he knew God would use Him, “all you have to say is, ‘God use me’.”

After the sermonette that he delivered, we left him for the night. I was still somewhat befuddled at the fact that he was awake and talking. I knew he still wasn’t out of the woods, as he has such a complicated health history, but thanked God for those words he spoke if it were to be his last night with us.

Friends, on Monday night, I did not believe that my dad would leave the hospital this time. Despite the fact that he has some hurdles to overcome, I do believe he will will leave again…and perhaps “live” again.

That’s the plea if my heart. I do believe he wants his life to count for something…don’t we all. I also know, that’s where the real battle for “life” begins, as the enemy wants us to count our mistakes, misgivings, shortcomings, inadequacies, grievances, entitlements and on and on….count anything except the Purposes for which we were created–firstly and primarily being to have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Then to glorify Him. Then all else. Sometimes the “all else,” even in the guise of God, becomes destructive.

My prayer for my dad for years has been this…that God would restore my dad’s relationship with Him before He took him to Glory. Well…my dad is alive (again) and that is still my prayer.

So, would you pray specifically for that.
And…in the meantime, that God would restore his health in order that he may testify to God’s purposes in his life.

As of this Friday morning, my dad has been transferred to a private room still in the critical care unit. He is still in VERY FRAGILE health. His kidneys are on the rebound (we pray) from near kidney failure this week. His heart is being stressed due to his kidneys being marginalized. If you don’t see the miracle that he is even breathing, let me share for the context of prayer and healing, that…he has had multiple heart attacks. He had triple bypass surgery 4 years ago. He has nueropathy in his lower extremities. He has had both hips replaced. And he has been hospitalized, now, probably 4 times in the last 2 years due to fluid retention, that, mind you, becomes life threatening every time. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, he has a pacemaker. See what I mean…that he is even here testifies to God’s timing over our lives, and my dad’s will to live. And, that, I pray God will honor.

So, will you pray for his coordination of care as it has been non-existent to say the least. We are praying for his kidneys to rebound in order for fluid retention to relent and to take dialysis off the table as an option and a decision that would have to be made.

We pray his heart is strengthened miraculously, physically, but even more so in Spirit, as this is going to be (another) long recovery. I pray God protects his mind from pride and lies of dillusion and destruction. As he has returned to conscienceness, he is struggling with being stir-crazy just lying in the hospital bed. Before he can be released, they need to do an angiogram on his legs to look at potential blockage to his lower extremities. They also have been waiting to do a CT with contrast on his chest to confirm whether a pulmonary embolism (or not) was the cause of the cardiac arrest.

Wew…and, yes, would you pray for me and my family as we drive back and forth from Nashville and Huntsville and those spending long hours at the hospital.

This is what I thought as I listened to my dad asking God to reveal his purposes for his lifeTuesday night after he pulled his own tubes…

We can be alive physically, all while dying in the places nobody ever sees.
We can live forever physically while hooked up to artificial means of sustenance, yet be dead to the bone in Spirit.
It is being hooked up to and plugged into the purposes and plans that God created us for that we really “live” and breathe and find joy. The enemy presents the “alternative breath” every day…succumbing to the things we THINK we need to keep us alive, but really, they do nothing except keep us away from the purposes for which we were created, and thereinlies death. I pray that you are “alive” and that the very breath of God is what is sustaining you…I am certain that is what my dad would say.

Thank you for praying with us.

His grace is real,
Candice

What a day…

I am writing, literally, from the road–which has new meaning after driving many hundreds of miles in vans over the last 2 days–in Africa. We are driving back from Saiya, the village in north western, Kenya where the clinic was built. “Out in the middle of no where” also has new meaning. God has used that literal, “distant” fact quite vividly to teach me several things.

I don’t know that I’ve fully grasped until today what distance or length God goes to in order to reach people with His love. That is one of the things He is impressing on me. It baffles me to try and understand that God would use an ordinary woman like me, living in Nashville, TN, to fulfill the dream and vision He gave a family in Kenya, Africa, years ago. Go there…

About 5 years ago, a woman named Joan Abungu (pronounced Joanne) lost her brother to a common African sickness because he did not have access to medical care within reasonable time to save his life. She then told her grandson, Peter, that if God would provide the resources, that she would give part of her land on which to build a medical clinic.

Peter, being the Kingdom minded servant that he is, began praying to that end.

Fast forward 4 years…

Last November as I, myself, was continuing to pray through and attempt to discern how God was calling me to expand my ministry, I met Peter through a dear friend and ministry partner, Benny Proffitt of First Priority Global.

Very simply through natural conversation while Peter was visiting in the States, he shared with me his vision for a clinic.

I had been praying.

Peter had been waiting.

Peter’s grandmother had been praying.

That is where prayerful, expectant faith meets The God who answers over and abundantly, greater than anything we can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).

This year ground was broken on the medical clinic in February.
We dedicated the clinic today, and we anticipate it to be fully operational by years’ end. Manifest redemption.

I met Mrs. Joan today. We hugged so long, I didn’t want to let go of her. Tears of joy for both of us…manifest redemption.

I stood next to Peter’s aunt at the ceremony (who was the widow of his uncle who inspired Joan to build the clinic.)…manifest redemption.

I could NOT imagine this happening in a million years. But I COULD see how intentional God is in loving and caring for our needs and reaching those who are unreachable…three women (2 of them widows), two colors of skin, separated by continents. Common denominator: trusting God to redeem. Trusting God to rebuild.

I am humbled beyond belief.

Earlier in the day, we also visited 2 schools of which the details and emotion I will have to share later. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience. One of the schools, Peter attended as a young boy…by the way, Peter’s mother was killed and his father died when he was 12 years old.

Strange how death brings amazing opportunity for redemption…

I will write more about our experience
later…much more to share.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Hello from Africa!

We arrived in Nairobi last night, all 10 of our team, safe and sound, eager to ready our hearts and minds for that which God has called us here.

I am lying in my hotel bed at 4am listening to the sounds of Africa…I am not exactly sure what or who it is but my best description is a gentle (but loud, obviously) chanting. It has been coming and going for the last hour. My flesh prays that it does not wake the children as they do need the sleep from the 24 hours behind and for the days ahead. However, my heart prays this morning, on the outset of this adventure, that God accept my praise as loudly as my African neighbor who is calling out to someone.

I have experienced a great overwhelming as to the opportunity God has provided me here, and humbly come seeking your support in prayer.

The 4th anniversary of David’s death has just passed and with it comes continued petition for God to glorify Himself and use me to that end. It is surreal almost to think about having exchanged my husband and father of my children for this sort of duty. Dare I say I would have done so if God had asked me to participate knowing what my life would entail. However, I have learned that being a follower of Christ means being willing to give all we have if He so asks. So that is the reason which I comply and respond, just as Moses did, “Now show me Your Glory.”

We drive tomorrow for 6 hours to Kisumu in order to dedicate the Ashburn Ohuru Medical Clinic in a village where medical care has not been within reach of the local people on Wednesday.

Would you please pray specifically for:

• Our health while we are here and upon return.
• Our ability to rest, whether it is while in the van as we travel on land or in a bed where we get to lay our head.
• Safety to and fro. We head to Kisumu tomorrow. Nakuru Wednesday. Enjoy a safari on Thursday and travel back to Nairobi on Friday where I will spend the weekend teaching.
• Saturday I get to share a message of self-worth in Christ and purity to a group of about 350 teenage girls in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. It is called the Jitambue program which my ministry partner, Peter Abungu, founded.
• Sunday I will be sharing in several churches in Nairobi and that afternoon teaching at the Her Passion Women’s Conference.
• Please pray for the hearts of those there and that I would speak the words they need to hear. And that God would refine the messages He wants me to teach. May the Holy Spirit be very present.

We leave Nairobi late Sunday night and arrive in Uganda for our stay, the 17-26. I will send requests for that week then.

Thank you so much for walking with me down this path. Though this all sounds so exciting, and it is, and somewhat glamorous-i it is not, it is not easy. Circumnavigating the globe with 3 children hopefully makes God’s grace all the more apparent…I hope. Make no mistake, I do not do this for fame nor to appear well-traveled. I do it because of a human being who willingly gave His all, so that I would never have to experience being separated from God. Jesus is His name. It is the least I can do. And I will gladly continue to serve at the honor of my King.

Thank you for praying.

For His Glory,
Candice