Monday, July 27, 2009

Journey Stories...

What stories a week can bring! I left last Sunday afternoon for Cherokee, IA to visit some dear friends. We caught up, talked about ministry, and they even took me boating. What a blessing! I took off from Cherokee Monday afternoon. This week was full of ups and downs. I had 9 meetings scheduled in MN, and stayed at my old apartment with the two roomies. Here are a few cool God stories, or ways in which He worked in my heart and the hearts of others this week...

The Challenge: I was reading in 1 Samuel 18 about how Saul, the king, rushes to make a sacrifice before Samuel, the prophet of the Lord, arrives. Samuel rebukes Saul and as the story goes on, the Lord removes His blessing from Saul because of his lack of obedience. It made me think, how often do I rush and make decisions before seeking the Lord and His guidance as to what I should do or how I should act? It was a challenge to put the Lord first in all things, including fundraising, and be patient.

Coincidence or Providence? As I was reading in 1 Samuel, I continued to read about when David must flee the presence of Saul because he is afraid for his life. David runs to a place where the king is Achish (Samuel 21). Now, this king has heard of David's reputation, and many in the town were saying, "Saul has killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands." David was again afraid he would be killed, so he pretended to be insane before the king. In the book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges, I read about the author's favorite Psalm to read during times of discouragement, which happened to be Psalm 34, one David wrote when he pretended to be insane before the king. Coincidence? I think not. It's amazing how the Lord orchestrated that I read that passage of Scripture along with that chapter in Jerry's book. The day before I read that chapter, the Lord had placed Psalm 34:8 on my heart as well, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." Amazing...

Caribou Ladies: So, it was Wednesday night in MN, and I was feeling rather tired, and discouraged. I was crying out to the Lord for strength, and feeling overwhelmed by the amount I yet had to raise and the quickly approaching deadline of August 15th. I knew and continue to know that God is good and faithful, but at the time my emotions were trying to take control. Little did I know that one of the friends I was staying with recognized my discouragement, and began praying the next morning, "Lord, please allow Sarah to feel encouraged this day. Help something happen to her just to remind her You're with her in this process." So, I had a meeting at Caribou Coffee, and afterwards was doing some work and my devotions. I overheard these 3 ladies talking about "born-again Christians" and differences in denominations. Eventually one lady struck up a conversation with me about my MacBook. We all started talking, and eventually I told them about the ministry of The Navigators and what I'd be doing. It was amazing! They were all Christians, and wanted to get updates on the ministry at ISU this upcoming year. They prayed over me, and one of them even provided me with a monetary gift. When I shared this with my friend, she exclaimed, "That's crazy, because I prayed for you this morning that something encouraging would happen!!" What an answer to prayer, and encouragement.

Wedding Friends: After my week in MN, 2 of my friends and myself traveled to Sioux Falls for a NWC friend's wedding. We sang 2 songs during the ceremony. To be honest, I was slightly concern with the cost of travel, etc., along with losing 2 days in the fundraising process. Yet, I was super excited to celebrate my friend's big day! I didn't want to miss it. What blessings the Lord had in store! One of the friends I traveled with blessed me with free lodging. Another purchased me breakfast! I also received a call from my mom about a friend blessing me with a significant gift towards the ministry. Isn't it incredible how the Lord provides?

I hope that these stories are encouraging to you. I pray that whatever life circumstances you are going through, you will truly "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is that man that takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

In Christ,
Sarah Ann


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