Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If your Presence does not go with us...

Last week my team and I had a wonderful prayer/planning day out of town.  These two ladies (pictured left with me), Galina and Yuliya have worked under my leadership for 3 years now and enable me to do much of what I do.  I always joke that these two, Galina and Yuliya, are my right and my left hand here in Ukraine. I depend on them for so much!  In addition to all they do for me on a daily basis, they also stepped in and picked up all my responsibilities while I was away in England and the US these past 4 months.  They bless me day in and day out, and it is an honor and a privilege to get to serve the Lord together with these Jesus-loving women. I love praying with them, dreaming with them, crying with them and living life together as we see God do amazing things in our midst.

the view from our 'retreat' spot
While in England I sensed that God was preparing me to enter a new season of life in many aspects. To expect newness.  And more than anything, while I was away, I was praying for the Lord to bring newness and rejuvenation to much of the ministry projects we currently have going on through Orphan's Promise. It is so easy to do things just for the sake of doing them, or because it is the way something always has been done, instead of asking God for what he would have us do and follow him with a deeper level of trust.

So we took a day away from the office last week and spent some good time remembering why we do what we do and prayed about things we'd like to see happen in the future. We also spent some time praying for the many adoptive families that we've seen come and go over the years and for the sweet children we know that still remain in the orphanages-- praying for a revival and a spirit of adoption to fall on this country.

In the morning, prepping for our day away, I was reading in Exodus, and my day's reading had me in Chapter 33.  Moses is speaking to God and is basically saying that he cannot lead the Israelites further if God will not go with them.  v. 14 "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?"

As I read those words, they resonated with something deep within.  It is so easy to spend our days, weeks, months and years doing 'good deeds' for the orphans of Ukraine, and to do so without asking for the presence of God to go with us. I have been guilty of this before.

 Ultimately if God does not go with us, if He is not leading our feet, our work will not produce fruit and will be done in vein.  Above all this year, I am praying for God's leading, for God's sending and for His Holy Spirit to show us where to put our time, money and efforts.

Our prayer this year is the prayer of Moses...that the presence of God will go with us and give us rest and that we will not move forward if we are not moving forward with God in sight.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
 Isaiah 43: 18-19


Heidi and Felix said...


I love that you are here doing God's work and I know it pleases Him. Surely, His prescence is with you and your mission. See you soon.


Rachael said...

Love this post

Natasha said...

As always, my dearest friend, I LOVE your post. Blessings to you. I'm so glad you've been there. If you weren't there, we wouldn't have our Oksana. And she wouldn't have us. I'll have to scan a Valentine's card she had made for me yesterday - she's really starting to show her acceptance of me. It took a while, but it's happening! :)
Love you!!!