do you know, that you know?

I am still trying to wrap my mind around everything that I experienced in Ukraine. Trying to find words adequate enough to express the way God spoke to my heart, and showed me his love for people groups across the world. God is good, and his love endures…forever. But today I feel lead to share something else with you, in response to everything that has been going on in this country and around the world.

Coming home, after being truly unplugged from the news, social media and everything for 2 weeks I have seen that it is clear that we find ourselves living in dangerous times. We see mass disaster, and now have to grieve with the losses from the Las Vegas shooting. We are paralyzed by fear not knowing if this could happen to us.

And here is the truth. Anything could happen to anyone of us. At any given moment. We are not even promised or guaranteed that we will be here tomorrow, the next day or next year. And I am not saying this to create fear, I am simply asking you this, do you know that you know that you know that if something terrible happened to you today, where you would spend eternity? Do you know right now where you are going? I pray that God our father would even use this situation to draw people closer to him, to trust him, and to know that their eternity is promised when we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Christ died and rose again for us to enter into an eternal life with him, when we say yes and invite him into our hearts.

I want to challenge you to live boldly and decide today that I will not live in fear. Do you know that 90% of people never step into God’s will for their lives, because they live a life rooted in fear.

“For God has NOT given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7

I can admit that there was a time in my life where I feared being alone, I was so fearful that something would happen to me and no one would be around to save or help me. As you can imagine moving to Africa, alone seemed scary for a girl who feared being alone. Yet God worked within my heart and showed me how to trust him, so I would not live in fear, but step into his will for my life, one that I could have missed out on, had I lived with fear inside my heart. As I grew to understand the power of God and how he PROMISES to protect the ones who call upon his name I grew to understand how I am not growing spiritually if I allow fear to cripple myself. My mom taught me the importance that every believer should read and know Psalm 91 so we can speak his word of protection in times of trouble or danger. I challenge you to read this Psalm today and find one verse that speaks to your heart and memorize right, so if a time of trouble comes, you can speak out the word of God which is our protection.

I started to have dreams as God showed me that even when I was alone with no one around me, and once danger began to come near me I called upon the name of Jesus and was delivered, every. single time. It was through these dreams that God showed me I did not need to be afraid. And slowly as I began to read his word, and reach onto his promises as the spirit of fear left my life and God’s peace filled its place. I had grown with confiednce that if the Lord was calling me to Africa and he was the one to send me, He would protect me and I could be in peace about it. You see God’s people don’t always realize that they are fireproof until God’s will for their life is completed. Know this, and walk confidently in his protection that he will protect you until you have completed his work here on earth. I choose to live in peace knowing that even if the worst thing shall happen to me today, there is confidence that I know where I will spend all of eternity. And God wants you to know the same exact thing, right now.

I know a lot is going on in the world, it seems everywhere we look we see headlines indicating danger and predictions of even worse things that lie ahead. Don’t allow this to discourage you, open the book that promises to give you peace, to give you rest, to find a refuge in God, to seek purpose and meaning in his word which is life. Find your peace from the word of God, don’t allow these headlines to keep you in a place of fear. God doesn’t want you there.

Can I ask you this? What does worrying about a situation you have no control over add to your life? What do worry and fear add to your life, other than stress? Isn’t it better to give those fears to God and lay them down at this feet and take peace knowing that he is worth laying our fears and burdens down for?

When I was flying home from Ukraine I had a layover in Germany. I was on a long security line and God put on my heart to speak to the girl behind me. I felt him say “She’s afraid” so I turned around and decided to speak on what God had laid on my heart. We began talking, we were on the same flight back to New York and I simply asked her if she was afraid. She looked at me as if I saw right through her. She started explaining how she used to travel a lot but has grown with a recent fear of flying because the percentage that it may lead to a death. The fear she really was communicating to me was the fear of death. Which is actually the largest common fear of people. With little time left to speak to her before I walked through security I told her that she doesn’t need to fear, she could trust God and he would protect us on our flight, and we weren’t going to die. She smiled and shook her head, “yea we are going to be just fine, you are right, God will protect us.” I walked away and never saw her again, but I was praying God’s peace over her during the flight.

Please do not allow the enemy keep you in a place of fear, where you stop living your life, and you stop from stepping into the will of God because of fear of the unknown. Don’t be the person who calculates everything that could happen to you. Be the person who walks confidently in the peace God gives us! It is such a beautiful place to be. Start your morning with a simple prayer of asking God to give you peace, to protect you and your family and to keep you from any plans or schemes of the enemy, ask him to send his angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways, and he will do it!

You have not, because you ask not! Don’t miss out on the amazing promises God has for those who love him and dwell under the shadow of his wing, don’t be afraid, don’t worry about tomorrow, when God has given you today! We were given ONE life so don’t spend yours being afraid, God has much bigger plans for your life, and you will only experience his goodness when  you step out in faith and peace.

If anyone has any questions or wants to know that they know that they know where they would spend eternity if something happened to them today, please feel free to email me!

Today live boldly and speak of good things, do not fear, ask God to give you his peace for today and take it a day at a time, and join together in prayer for the families and loved ones of those who were taken too soon, that God would comfort them and give them peace. Today I challenge you to choose one of these bible verses and tape it onto your mirror and speak it every morning, as a reminder that God has NOT given us a spirit of fear, that he will protect you and keep you in all your ways. From driving to the grocery store, to taking a subway, attending a concert or traveling around the world. Take peace in his love, because perfect love casts out all fear.

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Psalm 94:19
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

John 16:33
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:6-7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Proverbs 16:7
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Isaiah 26:3
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 

Psalm 23:4
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

You are all loved,

Dev

encouragement today for the fruit you have not seen

Guess who is packing again!? Any guesses on where I am heading tomorrow afternoon? (Here is a hint, it isn’t Africa, it’s a part of the world I have never been) I will keep you updated along this special journey!

Today I felt lead to share this bible verse

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

I am not sure who needs to be reminded of this but I felt lead to post this verse and remind you in the struggle of your work, family, jobs or ministries that apart from him we can do nothing. Sometimes we have mentalities that it is through our abilities that we can do everything. Unfortunately that can only take us so far.

I believe that everyone can experience seasons of dryness, discouragement, lack of faith, or depression I believe that it is also through these times that God proves to be faithful throughout the desert where we cannot see a way out. I encourage you today to press on, to keep on believing him for his promises, and when the time is right you will see the fruit when you do everything onto his glory.

I remember my first few months in Ghana when I would doubt myself, tell myself that I wasn’t able or worthy to be doing such a large task that seemed bigger than my abilities. Little did I know that the Lord only needed me to trust him, so that I could see how big of a God he is, who epuips us for tasks so big, it could only be achieved through him. In those exact moments I realized that it wasn’t through my abilities anyway, it was through him, and if I trusted him and allowed him to work through me, then in his time I would see the fruit of my labor.

Here is a clip from my morning devotion that I felt tied in beautifully

I understood what “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23) meant but was never sure which of those qualities, if any, would be apparent in me from day to day. God let me stew in my anxiety until I was fully committed to finding out if His Word was true or not. I encountered my answer in a biography of Hudson Taylor, the founder of China Inland Missions. For a long time he, too, felt that his efforts fell short of the Lord’s expectations. But Taylor came to realize that God wanted believers to trust Him fully and rest on His promises. So when Jesus Christ said to abide in Him, He meant that His followers were to stop striving and struggling. Instead they were to trust Him to subdue their flesh.” – this passage was taken from In Touch Ministries daily Devotions 

I was able to recognize that christians doubt themselves, we feel that our efforts fall short everyday, but when we come to realize that God is worthy of being able to trust with the big things and small things, we can remain in Christ for what God has called us to do.

Over a year later, looking back on this moment where I couldn’t fathom seeing any fruit, I see the fruit through my children. I have seen their sorrows and tramua turn into joy and confience. Through loving them everyday, even when I questioned if it was working, I now see how God works in the small moments and produces bigger results than we could ever imagine. I see their love for the Lord, for each other. Their compassion for the needy in other communities and their desire to serve God in their future. I see how when we press on even when it looks as if nothing is happening, our little day to day tasks will amount to something magnificent if we truly abide in him. It is amazing what God can do when we are willing to allow him to work through us, even when we don’t “see” or “feel” him.

Today I encourage you to abide in him, and fruit will appear in his timing, continue to press into his goodness and hold onto his promises when all odds look against you! He will never leave you for forsake you, the Lord your God is mighty to save and he wants YOU to keep pushing into him. Apart from him, we can do nothing, with him we can do the impossible!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

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Here is our Sammy who has a passion to farm. He is able to collect his harvest from months and months of attending to his farm 🙂 Have a blessed day

You are all loved,

Devon

 

 

1 1/2 till takeoff!

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It’s about that time where I pack up after three weeks at home, and head off, only this time not straight to Ghana. I’ll be in Europe with my friends and family (blog post coming soon about that) It felt so strange to walk past the flight boarding Accra, part of me wanting to just jump on, but in two weeks time I’ll be flying back to Africa.

Being here at JFK setting off for another summer away with so many new adventures it makes me reminisce about leaving and setting off for Ghana last year jumping into so many unknowns, and trusting God to take me through it all! side note- he did! as he always will, even when we doubt and have fear, he never fails to take us through!

As I sit here I still feel as if this summer holds so many unknowns, which holds within itself a new journey and a new adventure that I am excited about

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20

A year ago I started this blog, unsure of what I’d be writing about, how often I’d use it, or who would come along this journey with me, or be reading on the other side of the screen. And then an hour until takeoff I wrote this…. a blog post of everything I was feeling jumping into the great unknown boarding that flight with my dad

To read or look back on that post click here  

Somewhere along the lines I started to love “blogging” and reading about other people’s experiences all around the world and connecting with so many new friends.

I got to connect with people living all over the world who have felt a strong burden on their hearts for orphans, particularly in Africa. I’ve spoken to some of you with dreams of starting a non-profit, and have been invited on other adventures occurring all around the world.

And it inspires me. So much.

To hear from you, to hear your dreams and read along with you, feeling like I was in Asia, East Africa or other parts of the world with you through your posts.

My first blog post was called “Home” about a year ago I was packing my bags to head off to Europe to explore 5 countries with 4 of my best friends. Then I came home unpacked and started putting my life back into a suitcase this time for the big move, to Africa, not knowing how long I’d be there.

to read that first blog click here

Where is home for you? I’d love to know! Comment down below 🙂

My first blog post I talked about home. What exactly that word meant to me, and looking back on it, I feel the same way. Home becomes the people you are surrounded that make “a place” become “a home.” And now a year post starting my blog I’m back where I started yet everything has changed. I leave today for Europe (my best friends the same 4 girls are coming next week) and and after I’ll  be heading back to Africa for a busy and exciting summer of new experiences as God is continuing to take me places I’d never imagine going.

It’s amazing what 365 days can do. What you can learn from them, how you have full circle moments of relearning the same lessons you have in new contexts and situations.

so many lessons. the good, the bad and the ugly, they are still lessons, and God will never stop using them for OUR GOOD!

So cheers to one year on the blog, and many more sharing adventures, stories, lessons good and bad, sharing God’s story and connecting with many more awesome and inspiring people. I look forward to so much this summer!

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Hopefully I’ll have time to blog about what my next two weeks will look like and why it is so exciting/special to me personally and how awesome God has been through it all.

Next stop Greece!

You are all loved,

Dev