Thinking Toward the Future (In the Past)

Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴

As promised, here is another older writing of mine. This flowed out through my keyboard in April of 1998, partway through my first year as a missionary here in Iquitos, Peru. I smile reading this, because our youth ministry here did grow to well beyond the 600 I was dreaming of back then. How faithful is the One who makes things grow! He has given me the privilege of being planted in a place where the spiritual harvest fields have been ripe ever since I got here. I know that many sowed in tears before I arrived here to the jungle, and I have been privileged to rejoice in their harvest of sheaves.

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600 youth lifting up one voice in praise of their glorious Savior…Young men and women of fourteen, fifteen, sixteen years of age learning to serve, teach, evangelize…encounters with the living God where I think heaven must be standing open…weekly, new souls pouring into the kingdom, crossing over from death to life…a generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors birthed into their ministries…drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, abuse victims becoming “the light of God”…a mighty army raised up, brought to life, empowered by prayer and by the Holy Spirit, marching to take Iquitos, the jungle, the nation, the world…

“Oh, excuse me, were you listening? I was just dreaming about all that God has breathed into my heart. Actually, we’re well under way to starting to live the reality that He has planned. In a little over two months, JIEL youth church has grown from a little over 30 youth to just about 100! At our Good Friday communion service, there was standing room only, and fifteen more young people came forward to give their hearts to Jesus.

“That weekend, several of the youth ventured out on their first-ever house to house evangelism effort and prayed with over 140 people to receive Jesus into their hearts. The discipleship program is in full swing, and with those who graduate (right now we have about 30 students), we are going to go on missions trips down the rivers of the thick, green, mysterious Amazon jungle. God is on the move! Do you also feel, like me, that the days are short?

“I want to stay in Iquitos. In the time that God has had me here, He has planted Iquitos into my heart and me into Iquitos. He has provided everything, and most of all ministry and close relationships, for me to be here. Planted here, I have become a Psalm 92 palm tree, ‘flourishing in the courts of our God. In just the three months since my arrival this year, I have personally been able to lead hundreds of people to the Lord in door to door and street evangelism! 

“’The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’ (Hab. 2:14, NIV).

“‘We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His purpose He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith’ (2 Thes. 1:11, NIV).

“Love, mercy, grace and peace be yours in abundance!”

 

10 thoughts on “Thinking Toward the Future (In the Past)

  1. Love this so much! Praise You, Jesus. Reminds me of this verse:

    1 Corinthians 3:7
    So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

    And it reminds me of dreams God has given my husband, my spiritual Mama friend and I – that all align of me speaking around the world. There are specific tasks He’s given me to complete (including getting my Dutch driving licence – I still have my NZ licence also). This is such an encouraging reminder to set my eyes upon what God is declaring over my life, my mind, my heart and my whole body and NOT what the enemy is! I declare blessing, healing and abundance over myself that I may do the good works God has prepared for me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was so important for me to be reminded of those dreams: to trust in what I cannot yet see physically and to actively walk into it by faith. It really convicted me and I almost immediately made an appointment for something He asked of me to do (the outcome of which was visible in my husband’s dream).

        BTW I asked my Prodigal friend to pray for my driving lesson at that exact time – wow! What a different experience this time. My instructor actively built me up in encouragement, while also pointing out what needed to be different. He was gentle, kind and compassionate and in that space God revealed what my husband has kept saying: Anna, you CAN drive, you drove for years and haven’t suddenly forgotten everything: believe that you can do this and you will. Thank you also for your prayers and encouragement. Very little encouragement is given in this country (it’s really a cultural stronghold) – my former pastor also said that England (where he did his theological training) was like a warm bath in encouragement and it made him realize how very lacking that is in his home country. But this reminds me that I can always pray for God’s love to shine through others to bless me also – so that I can become a blessing to others (with my Dutch licence).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are most welcome, dear! It is my joy to speak encouraging words because they are flowing from God’s heart, and getting to be a part of what He is doing and saying is always such a special privilege!

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  2. Thank you. Your early life was so different to mine. I journeyed through so many paths to find for myself the TRUTH of how awesome this God of Trinity really is. I am eternally grateful for those like you on the mission fields of service. Through His Spirit in 2022 we must STAND absolutely for HIM,

    Liked by 1 person

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