Journey Church

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The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” Isaiah 61:1
One of the things I love most about traveling is visiting different churches around the country.  I truly hope and pray the good Lord above keeps me traveling, keeps me visiting, keeps me worshiping with believers all over the country, even the world.
Today’s experience was, what I believe a divine appointment.  Simply because of how we found it.  I’m not sure why yet, but I know I was meant to be there.
Yesterday, my husband and I were driving to Harlingen, TX for the memorial of his beloved Aunt Nancy.  A wonderful woman who we still can’t believe is gone.  We were traveling from San Antonio along I-35 when we missed our exit.  As a result we went one mile further and had to turn around.  The one mile led us to Journey Church.  As my husband was making a u-turn, I was googling service times.  I knew we would be passing by the next day on our way back to Houston to catch our flight home.  That is how we ended up at Journey Church this morning.  We woke up early, I asked my husband if he wanted to go.  Off we went.
When we arrived, it felt very much like our home church.  It’s located in an old bowling alley.  They’ve been there 8 years.  I know this because as soon as the lead pastor’s wife spotted us she immediately introduced herself and welcomed us to their church.  The gentleman who greeted us at the door greeted us with God’s blessings.  It was a very welcoming and warm church.
The pastor’s wife told us they had a guest speaker.  A missionary serving in Africa, originally from West Virginia.  I have to be honest, we weren’t enthusiastic.  We were bummed we weren’t going to hear the lead pastor.
God however knew exactly what He was doing.  As He always does.
The missionary was enthralling.  The service lasted two hours yet it seemed like only minutes.  His passion for God, his story was unscripted and real.  From his four years in high school when he led a “two faced” life.  In church on Sundays and parties on Saturday.  His eventual wife who all through those years kept steering him back to God.  Kept challenging him and encouraging him to serve only one God, not two.
I found myself leaning forward on the edge of my seat as he shared how they ended up in Africa six weeks after their wedding.   They were put in charge of 54 orphans, one of whom still lives with them and their three kids to this day.  He was 22 years old, fresh out of college managing a 10,000 acre farm with a new wife and 54 orphans.
He talked about his six hour ride one way on a dirt bike into the bush of Africa every week.  A backpack with water and a tent in it as his only supplies, to minister to a forgotten people.  To introduce them to Jesus.
He talked about being thrown in a Conga jail.  Being released because of an African Emporer who had been praying for four years for someone to come and minister to these people.  The first thing they did when he arrived was throw him in jail.  The Emporer was not pleased.
He is 36 years old as of this writing.  He’s on a three month break, traveling the country to build support for their mission before he returns to this land he has come to love.
His challenge to us was simple.  He didn’t want money.  He wanted us to follow God’s call on our lives.  To say yes to whatever God has in store for us.  He talked about how saying a simple yes to God has led him and his entire family on an adventure of a lifetime.
It was a beautiful testimony to a life well lived for the Lord.  It left us speechless as we walked out the doors today.  The spirit of the Lord was so evident in his life.  In the life of this church.  It was truly breathtaking.
I don’t know why God wanted us there.  I do know He did.  I know that because of how we found it.  What I thought would just be another encouraging opportunity to worship with people from a different community has a deeper meaning.  I’m not to fear what lies ahead.  I’m just to say yes and wait for the Lord’s direction.
Easier said than done.  Easier said than done!

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