THE LORD IS GOD OF THE MOUNTAINS AND OF THE VALLEYS. 1 KINGS 20:28
Praise God for the victories He gives in the valleys as well as on the mountains! I arrived safely back to the UK this week, (overcoming the latest Covid travel regulations) after a wonderful and a challenging week in Thessaloniki, Greece where I was meeting with European leaders for our first “in-person” Workshop for 2 years. Thank you for your prayers!
It was so good to be together again after two years on ZOOM. But times have changed. It was much more challenging to lead the group as we sat socially distance from one another and wore masks for most of the time. Also, although nine women joined in-person from Spain, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus, five others unable to join in person joined us on Zoom from Switzerland, Lithuania, Portugal, and France.
At first with Zoom, masks, and distance, it was difficult to hear each other, to read body language and to share freely. And we encountered other challenges when the sister of one of our Greek butterflies was taken to hospital with Covid where she continues to fight for her life on a breathing machine, and her husband isolates at home also with Covid. Another Greek butterfly, our logistics and ZOOM coordinator faced many distractions with her daughter also at home with Covid, and concern for her mother who had an asthmatic attack during the workshop. Marf, my ministry partner and support in the group became very sick (not covid) after the second day and had to join us on Zoom for the rest of the time.
Yet these were all opportunities to trust the Lord, and to experience His love and His power working in the valleys. He drew us together moment by moment to pray and depend on Him to overcome all the physical hindrances and distractions. We experienced incredible moments of worship, freedom, healing prayer and revelation in the word as the Holy Spirit moved among us in the room and on ZOOM.
All the women, ministry leaders with Agape Europe (CRU) in their own countries, needed this special time of healing and restoration. I was encouraged by their testimonies of transformation on our LUV journey with Jesus as they grow in intimacy with Him and in leading others… “3 years ago, before I started this training, I was anxious, empty, and fearful. But I have experienced transformation and freedom. The analogy of the caterpillar and butterfly and living in the image of God, or the image of the enemy and his bondages impacted me. The process of how to be a butterfly, helped me to identify roots in my own life, to recognize the battle of the mind, and how we identify negative thoughts and take them captive so the Holy Spirit can fill us. It’s a healing and cleansing process. I feel much better now and much less anxiety.”
“2 Corinthians 3: 18 has been a key text for me. It is a clear principle about transformation. My life can be up and down but always in progress. “To know God is to love Him, is to trust Him, is freedom…” has also been very relevant. To know God is the reference point for living a significant life according to His will.”
“The most transforming moment for me was the lesson on the roots of fear and inner healing prayer. It was a separation from me and the spirit of fear. I realize I can feel fear about many things. It is a battle, but I must fight for freedom.”
“Learning to love God with all my mind was a revelation.”
“I realized in the years of this journey, how broken we are, how proud and how much I need God in my life. I am learning each trial and cocoon is an opportunity for God to transform me – if I let Him.”
“2 Corinthians 3:18, glory to glory reminds me, “yield to Me as you are and let Me transform you.” Also, from John 15, I need to remember every moment to abide in Him. It is freedom to realize I am not enough – but HE is!”
“We think we are fine, but then idols make our hearts grow cold, one by one. Are we really walking where the Lord wants us? It is not how you start but how you finish. It reminds me I need to follow Him wholeheartedly and be connected to Him to the end.”
“The journey has changed my life in a big way. Fear of man was a struggle for me. Focusing more on God and what He thinks of me brings me a lot more freedom.”
“This journey has shown me how much I need God in my life. Two years ago, when I began, God was preparing me for a difficult time and now my ministry with my husband is stronger. When I heard John 8:31-32 I realized we were watering down the Word and doing lots of activities. But now we have made a decision to speak Jesus and the Word in truth because this is what changes people. It meant we had to make changes in our ministry, and it brought many attacks in the ministry. But the butterfly family became important, made a difference and prayed for me in Covid and when my sister was sick and died, and through the attacks in ministry.”
“Over these 2 years you all became so precious to me. God is good and faithful. It is so important to get to know God, and get to know Him intimately, not just intellectually. It became important to me to know that God wants us to know Him. I learned the more I know Him, the more I love Him, the more I trust Him, the more I live in freedom to do what He wants me to do. It’s also important to realize we are in real warfare and as a sheep I cannot resist the wolf. But if I stay close to the Shepherd, He will keep me close and safe.”
“I learned more about intimacy with God. It has been a very intense time in my life, and I have needed to hear His voice. The lesson about the heart touched me. Many things come from our minds, but I now realize that my heart can keep bleeding. I need time to heal.”
“The renewing of the Mind – it’s one thing to know it and another to live it. Put off your former conduct and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind. My reaction is to hit back at those who have attacked me, but God is giving me grace to walk in His light.”
“Sometimes the Lord allows painful deep pruning. This year was painful for me, but I trust the Lord and He led me to let go of some things. I am learning to listen to His voice. John 15 tells me we will bear much fruit when we learn to “abide” in Him.”
“Before this journey, my life was very challenging. I had a lot of uncertainty. I was insecure. My identity was on shaky ground. I was too focused-on circumstances and myself, I had no victory. But in these last 2 years I have found rest and peace with the Lord. I had to confess lies and strongholds. But I have learned in the word that I am enough in Jesus.”
“Twenty years ago, I experienced a personal transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Participating in the workshop has helped me to name that process, to identify steps and to understand that sometimes I can feel that I am inside the cocoon but that does not mean that I am a worm again.“
“I liked what we read from Andrew Murray – “the whole Christian life depends on our position in Christ.”What a privilege to participate with the Holy Spirit in HIs work of transformation, and to witness His work in these women’s lives as they grow in their identity and position in Christ. Thank you for praying for those who are sick, and for those committed to growing in knowing God, loving HIm, trusting HIm so that they are free to follow Him and minister where He leads.
With warm love in our Lord Jesus.
Founder & Executive Director