“The word of God is not chained” – 2 Timothy 2:9
I have thanked the Lord during Covid-19 for the simple analogy the Lord gave our ministry with the Butterfly cocoon. Going into a global shut-down I felt reassured that our butterflies world-wide were equipped for this turbulent season in a global cocoon!
“We did not know this was coming but our three years with LUV has prepared us for this. I am not going into this out of shape because I have been learning how to go through the cocoon. Many people are in difficult circumstances, but we have learned not to feel crushed by bad news but to be able to navigate through it with God’s grace.” (Orlando Butterfly leader commissioned in February 2020). Understanding that the darkest seasons in the cocoon are where miraculous transformation takes place, has prepared our butterflies to trust God, listen to Him and to wait for Him to work out His purposes in dark, difficult times.
Nonetheless, the cocoon can be a painful, confusing, and traumatic time, as it has been for so many in Covid-19. Stripped of normal life and routine, many women found themselves struggling with the very basics of their identity and purpose.
Our butterfly leader in Arizona shared “We have realized we have been living Jesus “plus”, but He has taken things away so that we will live “Jesus only.”
Admiral, Jim Stockdale, after years of brutal torture in the dark cocoon of a Vietnam prison wrote…
“I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted, not only that I would get out, but that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event in my life, which in retrospect I would not trade.“
In the cocoon, faith is believing that this is not the end of the story, and recognizing that it is a defining moment, preparing us for the future.
Our ministry like others, was affected by cancelled workshops, conferences, weekly groups, and travel plans changing for me, and for our leaders worldwide.
At first, I thought it would be a season of physical rest. But as I watched doctors and nurses pour out their lives to save others, I realized this was not time to close the doors of our Butterfly hospitals – but to find a different way to respond to the spiritual and emotional needs of women arising out of their pain, anxiety and confusion.
The small group format of our ministry easily adapted to meeting on-line. We quickly (not without great frustration) learned how to set up meetings for our weekly groups and workshops. Our leaders globally were experiencing their own challenges and needed a place to pray, receive healing and be encouraged. We encouraged them to also provide online meetings when possible for their own disciples. Many did so and have shared how meaningful it has been to women who were struggling with the roller coaster of emotions during this crisis.
Personally I was stretched and challenged to new levels of faith adapting to leading, teaching and ministering online and over the phone. The needs were great and with the restriction of the screen ever between us, I felt my hands and mouth were muzzled!
Were we making a difference? Did I believe God could work as powerfully through a screen as when we meet face to face? It was a daily opportunity to depend on the Lord and experience His power working in this new dimension.
Inspiration came from Paul’s words written in prison “the word of God is not chained.” (2 Timothy 2:9). This has been my prayer before each online meeting; Lord release Your word in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Nothing can hinder Your word. There is no barrier between the women and Your Spirit and truth. Please move in every heart. Do Your work, even when I cannot see it.
God answered that prayer. Over the last two months the Lord has brought women from pain, anxiety and depression – to freedom, healing, and peace. One Orlando butterfly leader shared, “the Holy Spirit brought deliverance during an online lesson when one butterfly was set free from a major strong hold!”
God has been working and we are seeing His blessings coming out of the darkest cocoon…
- Across 10 time zones butterflies from different countries have come together to share Communion, praying for each other from across the USA, to West and East Europe, Asia, and South America.
- Through our butterflies we have had a window to the world. Women shared similar challenges in each country – homeschooling, making meals for families home all day, personal fears, anxiety, guilt, feeling out of control, depression, loneliness, forsaken, sickness, pain, confusion, loss of loved ones.
- We have prayed for families and relatives who had Covid-19, for marriages under stress, for women and children at risk, for those in suicide attempts, increased addictions, self-medication, porn, and those grieving over lost loved ones.
- Workshops were cancelled but we have continued online group meetings, weekly and monthly to strengthen, disciple and equip our women in the Word. It is not the same as meeting in person, but women gain strength seeing each other’s face, and growing in the Word.
- S. Florida Jail ministry has multiplied! Early in the shutdown Tanya and volunteers visits stopped. The women in our LUV jail unit were dispersed to other parts of the jail. But they soon began sharing the word with other women in the jail. We had to send more LUV workbooks to the jail to equip them! Tanya answers any questions they can’t answer, by letter.
- New groups started online in countries we would not have reached in person…
- Marli learned new ways online to develop her butterfly leaders in Brazil. She then started a new butterfly group online in Germany. One of those butterflies is now discipling a woman online in India!
- God opened another door for Marli to disciple 12 hungry professional women online in a closed country in Asia. Angie is helping me adapt our LUV materials for this special situation.
- Orlando butterfly Masako is discipling a missionary butterfly disciple in Japan weekly online.
- The Butterfly Story video for Lithuania recorded by Diana has had 3,000 views! (Love Unveiled, YouTube).
- Video messages and teaching we have recorded to encourage butterflies during Covid-19 have also reached women we have not previously reached.
God has proven His word is not chained – Over and over He has answered prayer in the Covid-19 shutdown bringing women from depression, fear and frustration to greater dependency on, and deeper relationship with Jesus.
French butterfly leader Marie Carmen shared “God has been working, it has been a season of tears, but good tears.”
There are many more wonderful testimonies I’d love to share with you from our Butterflies all over the world! Click this link if you would like to read more about what God has been doing in the Covid-19 cocoon.
Thank you so much for your faithful support financially and in prayer, for which we are so grateful. Your partnership allows us to continue to equip women, make disciples and bring the healing love of Jesus to the broken hearted during this difficult time.
Yours in the love of Jesus,