What if you knew with absolute certainty that a divine voice had spoken to you?
What if that voice gave you a glimpse into a possible future? What if you saw a possibility that had never crossed your mind before, but the prospect was overwhelmingly good and exciting?
What if, logically, it seemed impossible, but you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that divine voice could (and would) make a way through any obstacle in your path?
Would you listen? Would you respond? Would you walk confidently in the direction of that dream?
January 20, 2016
Yesterday during quiet time, God conceived a dream in me. It kind of came out of nowhere – I don’t think I was really thinking about it? Just writing down some dreams for 2016. And then the huge dream.
I believe we are being called to help establish a Lifegate in the Balkan nations. Maybe teach, lead worship, I don’t know. But I believe our family is meant to move to the Balkan region and establish a Lifegate.
Oh God. I’m so excited. My heart caught on fire with this dream of what it could mean for my family and the people in that part of the world – for music and worship and life-giving faith.
Oh Abba. Please don’t make me wait 10 years for the fulfillment of this promise…
Just over six months later, we were on a plane, headed toward our Lifegate campus in Novi Sad, Serbia. This trip was already in works – it had been for almost a year. But now, in light of this seedling of a dream, our trip to Novi Sad carried an even deeper mission for me. I wanted to walk in this part of the world I had only seen in pictures to seek God’s face for confirmation or for a shift in direction.
The confirmation I received was overwhelming.
First of all, the team. We took some time before we left Novi Sad to share how God had brought each of us to the team, and the stories are amazing. (This included Bethany, whose trip overlapped ours in the most divine way.) I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more incredible group of people to travel the world with. The team was also a worship band, which presents a unique dynamic right off the top (not saying musicians can be emotional/dramatic or anything… haha), but God knit our hearts together in unity, and each individual contributed greatly to create overall harmony, even in the midst of uncertain circumstances.
Speaking of teams, the crew on the ground in Novi Sad is AMAZING. I had heard wonderful things from other people, but nothing could have prepared me for the hospitality, love, and grace extended to us. Every person at Lifegate Novi Sad felt like family from the start. They gave us a beautiful place to stay, fed us more delicious food than we could ever hope to consume, shared their hearts with us, put up with our cultural/language snafus, threw us a surprise Fourth of July party, threw us a going away party, and carted us all over town (including a huge outdoor market, twice!). My “Thank You” was about to fall off from being used so often. I was reaching the groveling mark, truly. Hvala, everyone. ❤
As far as the work we did while in Novi Sad, it felt as though we offered up an apple seed, and God grew it into a blooming grove overnight. Everything we did felt magnified by His grace and purposes. Our first weekend, we played a set for Lifegate’s Open Days festival right on the Danube River.
The Novi Sad team did a great job of promoting, and the crowd was amazing. Most were passersby – those who just happened to be hanging out at the beach on a Friday night. They were welcoming and kind to us, and we were able to promote the Music Camp and show a little bit of what we had to offer.
We also had the amazing opportunity to lead worship at our Novi Sad campus on Sunday night. The room was full and the team did a wonderful job. It was a truly special experience in the presence of God with our brothers and sisters.
Then, there was the music camp.
I cannot say enough. It was a huge success to say the least. We were able to form three bands out of the 30 or so kids who attended, and they all performed a song for our Thursday night closing concert! I was so proud of them and how hard they worked over the four days of camp. We had a blast getting to know them, getting to love on them, getting to teach them about music and about how to live in harmony with each other. We played games, got messy, created band t-shirts, flags, and a ton of memories. We concluded the week with sore muscles, worn out voices, and hearts burst wide open. Kids were in tears as we closed, and some of us may have shed a tear or two in our goodbyes as well. 😉
Beyond camp, we just spent time getting to know the heart of God for Serbia and surrounding nations. We spent time in worship and prayer, pushing back darkness and inviting God to move in power in the region, in the hearts of the workers on the ground, and in our own hearts as well. I don’t think the power of prayer can be underestimated in any way. We definitely felt the covering of those praying over our trip, our travel, our health, and our impact. Whatever we had to offer in the physical by our own planning and preparation would have fallen completely flat if not for the supernatural infusion of grace we felt.
To those who partnered with us in prayer or financially, you have to know that your words and dollars made an actual, tangible impact in Novi Sad and beyond. We saw hearts moved, bridges built, relationships forged, walls broken down, and darkness flee. We saw encouragement shared, peace given space to reign, refreshment and hope offered… And I know so much more that we can’t begin to see with our own eyes. God is shifting a generation of hearts toward Him. We absolutely cannot underestimate that movement. It’s overwhelming. And we could not have done it without you. Thank You.
As far as what is next?
My heart is full to bursting. And I am waiting patiently. I have some ideas about what a few next steps may be, but it’s too soon to tell. While I’m clear about our trajectory, I’m not sure what the timing will look like. So in the meantime, we will continue to be faithful with our current assignments, and we’ll see what opportunities God presents for us next! 🙂