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Bait and Switch

It was time - I knew it was time - but I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing.

September 2000 God called me to 30 days of intercessory prayer. Every night I went to my church sanctuary and prayed. Sometimes for an hour, sometimes for 5 or 6 hours. 30 days turned into 60, then 90 and finally, in February, almost 6 months into this prayer thing, I knew God wanted me to resign from my position at the church.

This had not been the expected outcome of this journey in prayer. I was looking for revival in my life, in my church, in the city. Instead, I lose my job. I put in my letter of resignation. Friends and family ask, "What are you going to do?" I don't know. I have no job - so - I buy a house. This doesn't make sense. My uncle, who is a banker, says no one is going to give you a home loan. It's my first house, I don't have job. Why would they. But they do.

I find out about a youth mission ministry on the internet "YouthWorks." It sounds like a great ministry and I don't have to raise support(remember - it hasn't been to long since my two year support raising venture) - in fact I get paid! I have a job for the summer, but I have to move to Red Lake, Minnesota. A Chippewa Indian Reservation becomes my home for 10 weeks. It is an amazing summer of God's power at work. I love it.

I'm offered a full time position with YouthWorks. I didn't apply for it - they just ask me to consider taking the job. But, it would mean that I have to move to Minneapolis. It's a great opportunity, the perfect job as far as I'm concerned. But the timing doesn't feel right. I just bought a house and I'm looking forward to living with my brother this next year before he gets married. I love my new church and I have been growing spiritually in new and exciting ways there. I turn down the job. A week later, they offer it to me again, this time with chance to continue to live in Springfield and commute to Minneapolis. Whoa! God opens the door for my perfect ministry opportunity. I take it.

Fall of 2001 and Spring of 2002 are amazing and exhausting, wonderful and challenging. God shows me a lesson in His faithfulness all year long. Random meetings and opportunities are not random, but God's supernatural working on my behalf to accomplish His will. I'm learning some very important lessons here. Fall of 2001 I visit Cairo, IL for the first time (except for the random times that we drove through the town on our way to somewhere else). I'm shocked by the poverty and decline of the town and am excited that YouthWorks will be here this next summer. At the end of 2001 a GreaterWorks Intern comes to work with me in Springfield. I meet Anna, who will become one of my closest friends, ever.

Late Spring 2002
I think it may be time to consider moving to a YouthWorks community - I love this GreaterWorks Internship thing, but I really need to live in a community where we have a summer site to make it work. Maybe St Louis. Maybe next year.

Summer 2002
I help to get the Cairo site started - I love our summer staff there and am looking forward to the last week of the summer when my church, Glad Tidings Assembly will take their first YouthWorks mission trip to Cairo, IL. God is tugging on my heart about something but I'm not ready to acknowledge it. The summer is a wonderful whirlwind of God showing up. Second week in August, I'm in Cairo and my life get's turned upside down.

I'm supposed to move to Cairo. I know it. I don't want too. Small town - uggh. I'm a city girl - St Louis - that's my choice. Cairo - that's God's choice. End of the week - I'm driving to St Louis. I cry most of the way. Yes God. Yes God. I want you more than my own way. I'll go. BUT, you're going to have to make a way. Where am I going to live (there are hardly any rental properties), what am I going to do with my house in Springfield, will YouthWorks even let me move there, what will my parents think? (In the back of my mind I'm thinking - that's a lot of variables, maybe it won't work out, and I will have a way of escape!)

YouthWorks not only says yes to me moving to Cairo, but wants me to try to be there and set up to receive an intern by January. WOW - that's quick. Mom and Grandma Lindsay come with me to Cairo to look at houses. I'm assuming that I will have to be making the mortgage on two homes (the one in Springfield and now one in Cairo) so I set a max house cost of $50,000. There are a lot of homes and they are amazingly cheap, but I'm just not finding what I'm looking for. I really want a two story with two bathrooms, to accommodate all of the people that will eventually live there. My grandmother doesn't like Cairo, and she's afraid for me to live there.

I come to Cairo a second time.

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posted by Fragrant Burning @ 10:51 AM, ,