Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Peace be with you and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. This month in a conversation with someone, I was reminded about a similar conversation in 2013 in Zimbabwe about fear. Let me set the stage. I was helping with a youth camp with 2 dear friends of mine, Corky and Jo Sheppard. Over dinner one night, Corky asked me what was my biggest fear. I gave my usual response, "sharks." What I appreciate about Corky is that he was not accepting of my initial response. After further conversation, I confessed that my biggest fear was I felt the Lord was asking me to do great things for Him-for His glory and His kingdom-bringing freedom to those in captivity, which lead to my questioning of what if I am not capable, what if I am not confident, what if I fail Him? These are questions maybe you have asked yourself as well; they are certainly questions Moses asked of the Lord. You see, the Lord placed on my heart a few years before that a vision of traveling and training-helping equip and empower others to bring hope and healing to their communities. But I had no idea how this would work or what it would even look like and I had definitely never voiced this out loud to someone else. Isaiah 61:1-3 was the Scripture the Lord revealed to me-seeing people be free from their brokenness and experience healing only He can provide.But I did not know the tools or way to make it happen. Please do not misunderstand-not that I am special or intending this in a prideful sort of way. I have wrestled with even sharing this in my newsletter but after prayer, feel it is important to be more personal. God has a calling for each of us but I was truly afraid of failing Him-not recognizing that it is in His strength that His power is made perfect in my weakness.
Corky had some great insight and wisdom and encouragement on patience and continued seeking and reliance on the Lord for both vision and subsequent provision. Two weeks ago I was driving to church and thinking about how Trauma Healing is going to be a huge piece of ministry moving forward. I was reminded of the vision years ago of "traveling and training." (I never could figure out a better way to word this). As I was praising God that this vision was starting to come together and really more make sense, I felt Him urging me that He is planning to expand the territory. Again, I had no idea of how this would look but I am committed to serving Him wherever He leads. The next week I was in Memphis for a variety of meetings. One of those was with Global Outreach. We were talking through some ideas of incorporating trauma healing into member care for 2019. No firm plans are finalized but if the various pieces come together, we will be serving in Southeast Asia in February and April, Latin America in May, and Eastern Europe in August as well as plans to continue to facilitate Trauma Healing in Eastern and Southern Africa. Wow...what confirmation right away of the Lord expanding the territory! I am now understanding that Trauma Healing is one of the methods and tools the Lord will use to fulfill what He has placed on my heart.
What else have I been up to this month? Well, I spent one week in Memphis. It was a time of various meetings but also catching up with my friends who serve in Ethiopia that are stateside as well as connecting with ministry partners. We were able to do some strategic panning as I will spend 2 weeks in Ethiopia in September. We also held an Advanced Equipping Session in Abingdon, VA for Trauma Healing. We had 12 participants attend, where 6 became Training Facilitators and 6 Healing Group Facilitators. While in VA, we had a chance to visit inmates in the Abingdon Regional Jail who participated in a healing group. They had testimonies to share of how the Lord has used those groups and unpacking their trauma to bring healing and change in their lives, Each one was quick to give glory and honor to the Lord, with one saying, "I was saved in here but this group helped me get to a place of freedom." It was such a great encouragement to hear this before we stepped in to facilitate the training.
We then traveled on to Dulles to a conference held by Kairos-a ministry that serves in the correctional setting. There was much excitement among the attendee's about Trauma Healing and here is where I was reminded about fear. One of the participants in the workshop had quite a testimony to share about the Lord's hand on her life and the changes He has made in her since time served in prison. She spoke with me one on one about the fear she has had as she felt the Lord prompting her on to share her life and testimony to those currently in prison. She was fearful that the Lord wanted to use her in a powerful way but in her brokenness and past, how could she be used by Him to speak into other's lives? And I was suddenly in a conversation 5 years prior where I was asking similar questions. I look forward to staying in touch with her and hearing how God is using her to impact others. One final note: Zimbabwe has just held elections. It is the first time since their independence in 1980 that Robert Mugabe has not ran for president. Results have not yet been posted but please continue to keep the country and its people, whom I love deeply, in your prayers.
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Misty Bodkins has a Master's degree in clinical psychology. She has worked both stateside and internationally doing counseling, training, teaching, and research. Her passion is working with people who are in crisis.