Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Week of Encounter

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence” (Isaiah64:1 NKJV). “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24).

These two scriptures offer a glimpse into the cry that has been stirring in our hearts as we (our group and those from Herrnhut) have been coming before the Lord in worship this week. On Monday evening, after a work day of practical service, we had a time of worship with just our team. This was an intimate time and brought a great release to our team. We had several young people from the region who were with us as guests this week, and the Holy Spirit encountered each of us in such a powerful way. The Lord really came to encourage and break off heavy burdens and shadows of discouragement that have attempted to trap and torment young men and women of purpose. Not only did our great God come to set us free, but also to set us free into abundant life, into joy, and into the hope of the more that is on offer. After such an encounter on Monday night, we were stirred and ready to go for it every day with our friends here in Herrnhut. During our morning and our evening times of worship, we have cried out for God to come and shake our lives, and His Spirit has brought courage and strengthened our hearts to a greater measure of hope in our LORD. Thursday evening was especially beautiful as one of the Jesus Haus staff played out prophetically on her flute while people were singing the song of the Lord. We are blessed to see the Lord draw his servants into their identity as lovers. And as we continue to live the lifestyle of worship and prayer we have cultivated in Cyprus, we are committed to living out the fullness of what God has placed in us and not relenting until we see the release. Join with us in praying for even greater breakthrough, that every wall and limitation would be completely devastated, and that the German people would be free to arise and shine.

As those of you who have spent time in Cyprus know, our spiritual life does not end in the worship room, but it carries into every aspect and action of our life and day—that scrubbing toilets can be an act of intercession, sanding walls a prophetic picture, and painting benches an expression of worship. This is some of the ways we were blessed to be able to serve the Jesus Haus this week. I was so impressed with the hard work put in by our guests who did not hesitate to commit their energy alongside us. It was a great experience to see the way the community here reaches out to the government workers, most of whom are unbelievers. We started our work day together with a short time of worship followed by an evangelistic testimony. Then we all had breakfast together before setting out for the day’s work. We worked alongside these men and ate with them again at lunch. I was really grateful to see the efforts taken to reach out relationally to them.

During our times of prayer and preparation throughout the year, we received many impressions from the Lord regarding our time here. One particular night in April, the Lord stirred us in a deep way as to His heart for this land, and we began to burn with a vision for what He desires to do. A phrase from that night has become our theme for this trip: “Forgotten Seed: unveiling the treasures of our inheritance.” The seeds of revival have long been in the soil, and though the ground may be hard and cracked, we serve a God who brings streams in the desert. And when the rain of God pours upon this land, those seeds that have lain dormant and silent WILL spring forth from the ground and bear a mighty harvest. We did not want to just have this vision in our heart, but we wanted to “write the vision and make it plain.” We wanted a banner cry to proclaim in faith; thus, through the creative gifts of Rachel F. and our guests Sietske and Livia, we now have that banner to inspire us to greater faith every time we see it. In the picture at the top of this post, you can see our banner and the fire that is in the seed. The seed has mighty roots that are grown deep into God’s love, and it is breaking forth through the ground.

We are driving to Marienberg today, where we will spend the weekend with the church there. We look forward to sharing with you. Also, you can look forward to a soon-coming post about the deeply significant and transforming day we had on Tuesday. It was such a special day; I thought it deserved its own blog post.
Many blessings and Shabbat Shalom,
Hannah for the GBI Germany team

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a Weekend

In our first weekend here in Herrnhut, we already have been encouraged to see the very words birthed in our hearts in Cyprus so evidently align with God’s heart for this region. Thursday evening we had our first “Staun Mal” (Be Amazed) worship night with the Jesus Haus. This is a worship gathering that we will be participating in Mondays through Fridays. On Friday we hosted an erev-Shabbat dinner and were about 50 people total. It was a great time of fellowship and getting to know people, and the presence of the Lord was sweet throughout the evening. The church usually gathers for a meal on Friday evenings and then has an open time of fellowship and worship. This is an unstructured event that is meant to feel more like a family coming together than a regular “service.” We liked this, and were blessed to see community in action. Ruben and Joel led us in a time of worship, and Melissa coordinated a very entertaining, audience-involved Bible story for the “children”—though the adults perhaps laughed the louder. The story was narrated in German, and the English speakers were instructed that they must watch and guess the story at the end. Helmut (founder of House of Mercy Ethiopia) played a convincing Ethiopian, Ruben played Philip, and Norman and Joel were very lively horses pulling the chariot.

On Saturday Norm F. had the opportunity to teach in Pastor Frank’s Bible class he holds once a month. Those who come to the Bible class are from all different ages, but they share in humility and hungry hearts for the Lord. The focus was to be on the supernatural, and Norm shared personal testimony and inspiring stories from Scripture and life about how God does not need scholars or great and mighty men, but delights in using each of us for His Kingdom. Throughout the teaching, Norm led the room in declaring aloud that “God can use me,” and the cry grew louder and more confident as the teaching went on. We could see on their faces that the people were greatly encouraged by the teaching. This is exactly what the Lord has placed on our hearts, to see Germany rise up in her identity and allow their gifting and callings to be released.
Saturday evening we joined with the YWAM students for a night of worship and intercession. Our team led from 6 to 9pm, and then a YWAM student took over for the rest of the evening. The beginning of the time was definitely an opportunity to “press in,” but the Lord came with His sweet presence in such a beautiful way. After close to 3 hours of worship we had a short time for people to share what the Lord had been speaking and doing in their heart. It was so great to hear some of the guests and students testify with joy. Pastor Frank had a word of the Lord and two people responded. We had a time of praying over them, and the Lord broke through in their lives in a powerful way. We thank God that He is eager to come from the very beginning, that we don’t have to plea and beg, but just seek His face and desire His presence.

Sunday was a delightful day. We went to the church service and then enjoyed a peaceful afternoon. Some of the guys played some soccer while some of the girls enjoyed a long walk through the forest. We had several guests join us this weekend, and it has been such a blessing! Dan and Kristina Hippman and their daughter Truth joined us from Texas; Sietske and Sem Schaap from Netherlands; Michael and Kristina Mehner and Elias from Marienberg, and Livia from Dresden.
Since I wrote this text on Sunday evening, already so much has happened! Just looking back to this morning seems like long ago because God has done so much in just one day. I am so joyful to keep you updated through this blog, but I confess I will really have to stay on top of it because there is so much to testify every single day, praise the Lord! So, I desire to write often and capture the moments to share with you. So, please check back often and feel free to leave your insight. I will try to get many pictures posted along the way. Many blessings, and thank you for your continued prayer.
Hannah for the GBI Germany team

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Together in Herrnhut

After almost a week scattered throughout Germany, our team has finally come together in Herrnhut--almost, for we are still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Frederick family. It is so good to finally be here after the months of prayer and preparation. Before we came together, we each had our own itinerary of visiting family and friends. Norman and Kerstin and family visited different family members, as did Marissa, and I (Hannah) was in the region of the Ore Mountains taking in the serenity of the small villages, the beauty of the rolling hills, and the majesty of the forests. I also spent time with three of the students from this year’s GTS, Michael, Kristina, and Katharina. We all enjoyed our time and were very happy to reunite and at last begin our time in Hernhutt, a place very dear to our hearts. We arrived in the evening on Wednesday the 22nd and were so happy to get to see Pastor Frank. We had our first meal together as a team and enjoyed the fellowship. This morning we started off with a powerful time of worship and prayer. Norman spent time praying for several of us individually, and we were greatly encouraged and strengthened. Already, prophetic songs and pictures are being released. We had a team meeting today and went over the many details of our upcoming schedule. We are already grateful for the abundant grace that will be poured out for us as we embark on a very busy schedule. We look forward to our time of worship this evening with the Jesus Haus.

We are full of anticipation at what the Lord has in store for this time and for this region. We appreciate all of your prayers and support. Some specific ways you can be praying for us are as follows: Norm and Norman as they lead this team; strength and health for the entire trip; a greater level of prophetic insight and works of the Spirit; a full release of financial provision; and team unity of heart and mind. We love you and pray that you will be encouraged and stirred through this blog. May you feel the love of Yeshua deeply today.

Hannah for the Gateways Germany team