This summer I’ve been on mission in Europe; Poland, France and the UK. During this time Europe was plunged into political, economic and social chaos, the UK was facing our greatest crisis since WWII with the Brexit vote, and Orlando had a horrible massacre killing 50 people.
I have struggled for weeks to write to you. It has been hard not to let my focus and emotions be derailed by the external events going on in Europe and the US. Yet I can’t ignore it. It is traumatic to experience the turmoil and rapid changes taking place in countries I once considered “safe” and “free.” If it was traumatic for me, how much more so for those who have no faith in God.
It increases my awareness of what it’s like for the millions of others in countries around the world today who are experiencing the trauma of having no safe “home” country or identity. Western Europe, seemingly so stable in my generation, has experienced its share of trauma in recent months.
I watched and felt my home country, once a sure foundation in the free world, being shaken to its roots as the Prime Minister resigned on the morning of the Brexit Leave Vote, the Opposition party fell apart, Scotland declared they wanted to break out of the UK, people were scared, and confused, there was division, hatred and blame stirred overnight between old and young, neighbors, families, cultures and race. It was something I could never have imagined in my own country. Yet it was a vivid reminder, of my visit to the Schindler Museum in Poland just 3 weeks before, and of the shaking that took place in Poland in 1939 when Nazi forces rolled in and occupied Poland overnight. How quickly a nation can be shaken!
When I left Poland to fly to France, Air France was on strike, the trains were on strike, the garbage men were on strike, the gas stations were on strike and there were demonstrations on the streets of Paris. The European Soccer Championships held in France at that time brought with it Russian and English hooligans who were destroying French towns. There was a sense of heaviness hanging over France after the tragedies in Paris last year – and all of this was 3 weeks BEFORE the tragedy in Nice.
Arriving in the UK after France, I stayed a few days with my cousin, an incredible mum of four and foster mum to three children. Her latest foster child is a 14 year old refugee from the Middle East, whose parents were both killed by the Taliban. He fled from his country making his way on foot through Iran, Turkey and Europe, finally making it across the English channel into the UK hanging under a truck. In the UK he sought the help of the police and was put into Social Services care who contacted my cousin. He spoke no English and was in a state of trauma.
His story is a look into the reality of the refugee situation in Europe where thousands of these traumatized minors are arriving every day – young men whose whole lives have been shaken, with no country of their own to provide them protection and freedom and where if they stay they will be recruited into terrorist armies, or killed. These young men are open to radicalization on the internet because of the internal and emotional trauma they have experienced. One such young man in foster care in Germany was radicalized, brainwashed and last month stabbed 5 people on a train in Germany. My sister, an elementary school principal received warnings from the police about how to look for signs of radicalization in children at school.
While experiencing the trauma and shaking of our “safe” Western countries, the Lord reminded me of Hebrews 12:26-27: “Yet once more I shake not only the earth but the heaven. Now this “Yet once more” Indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken as the things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptable, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”
This is the Lord’s challenge to me and to our ministry as we move into the coming season – that we continue to focus on building the things that cannot be shaken, but will remain forever.
As much as I have experienced the trauma of our world being shaken this summer, I have also found peace, comfort and joy in seeing seeds of His Kingdom that will grow and remain forever…
- The loving home opened by my cousin and her family in the UK, to a broken young man with no home or country
- The joy of witnessing the Holy Spirit moving among our Butterfly groups in Poland where is God is moving through our leaders Jagoda and Dorota as they lead women to spiritual transformation, healing and freedom in the Catholic and the Protestant churches. Many women are learning to live in spiritual freedom and to disciple others. Many have come to know Jesus as their Savior.
- The joy of spending time with Marie Carmen and her husband, leaders of ministry in France, meeting their team and discussing and praying with them about a national conference to encourage and mobilize women in France this November using the Transform and Multiply LUV teaching.
- The joy of being with Marie Carmen as we searched the shops in a French seaside resort for a postcard to send to her Prime Minister. She found a picture of a lighthouse surrounded by stormy waves. Thanks to her obedience in following the nudging of the Spirit, she had the perfect card to send the Prime Minister right after the Nice tragedy. She encouraged him that she and many believers were praying for him. She was blessed to hear back from him.
- The experience of spiritual and emotional rest and refreshment, taking time with the Lord on Florida’s beautiful beaches with two dear friends this month.
- The joy of receiving reports of all God has been doing as He builds His kingdom among our women this summer in Poland, France, UK, USA, India, Brazil, Honduras and other places!
In the next few days I hope you will allow me to share some SNAPSHOTS of what God is doing in each of these countries thanks to your prayers and financial support – thank you for watering the seeds we are planting for His Kingdom!
If the Lord lays it on your heart to partner with me and support the ministry of Love UnVeiled around the world, you can give online at www.loveunveiled.org and click “donate” in the top menu. Or simply click here and you will be directed to our online giving page.
I give God all the praise and the glory that He continues to build His unshakeable Kingdom in our hearts by His grace.
In His love,
“To Know God – and To Make Him Known”
“Expect great things from God, Attempt Great things for God.” William Carey