For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Over the past few years, the constant theme on our hearts has been giving--more of ourselves, our time and our money. Take, for instance, our home. We found ourselves often saying "when we have our farm..." or "when we have a bigger house..." But God challenged us on that and we were confronted with the fact that if we weren't stewarding well the small home He had given us, then it's likely we wouldn't steward a bigger home very well either. So, instead of seeing the limitations of our house, we began to seek the possibilities. And for the last 6 months to a year that we lived there we made it a point to welcome at least one person or family into our home for dinner each week. Sometimes our home was bursting at the seams as elbows were flying around the dinner table. But no matter how tight, the atmosphere was always filled with joy and laughter, and as we would wash up the dishes after our guests had left, we would always remark about how much we were blessed by each encounter. But that's how kingdom giving is. You get so much more than you ever give away.
You see, for us, our journey brought us to a place where we were left with two options: either God was the God of the Bible and there was so much more in store or God really was dead and we might as well just walk away. We couldn't bring ourselves to admit the latter, so we began getting into the Bible and walking out the things we found there. Because if God was God then they had to be true. So that meant that we didn't have to worry about tomorrow or our finances or anything really. We simply had to be obedient and watch Him show up like He's always promised to do. So for us, it wasn't all that hard to cash in Ben's IRA to get out of our home even though it was the only cushion we had. And there was barely a moment's pause when God showed us the door to Ethiopia despite the fact that we had no idea what we were getting into or didn't have the money to get there. And we're not scared by the fact that in just a few weeks Ben will resign his job of the last 10 years, leaving us without a regular income and a nice health insurance package. Because all of this means that there are some pretty big miracles about to happen and we get to be on the front lines to see them!
We have seen the truth in St. Francis' prayer that in giving we receive. In giving up our life, we receive eternal life. In giving up control over our circumstances, we receive freedom. In giving financially, we receive a double portion. We cannot wait to give ourselves away even more as we travel to Ethiopia and to give away everything He's ever given us. We know that you may not be called overseas but we pray that you'll listen for where He may be calling you to give more--whether it's yourself, your time or your money. And we pray that in whatever you give you will receive a double portion and be blessed beyond measure as you are used to be a blessing.
If you feel led to take part in the miracles that God is doing through Freedom Gate, you can donate online or send a check made payable to Freedom Gate to Freedom Gate, P.O. Box 7673, York, PA 17404. We thank all of you who have donated to our mission! And we thank all of you for your prayers and support!