Posts Tagged ‘missions’

Missions Trip to Texas, Part 3

Monday, December 10th, 2018

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Let me summarize day 1 of our missions trip to Texas: my two ministry partners and I drove away from Spokane on Sunday, November 11th, 2018. We drove through Idaho and Montana, spending the night in Butte. God prompted us to go to a specific motel (extremely cheap) where He wanted us to stay, and the next morning I understood why: to minister to the woman at the front desk.

It had started to snow, and when we checked into the motel, we were exhausted. Even though the ministry car was straight off the lot, the battery was dead BEFORE I left the car lot, and the car had to be jumped by a worker who worked at the car place. Furthermore, even though the car was in perfect condition when I test drove it, the check engine light came on (and another light came on) when I drove off the lot. I asked the Holy Spirit if the car was okay, and He said yes very loudly into my spirit. I had complete peace that was supernatural.

You see, when you are effective for God’s kingdom, everything comes up against you to try to scare you from obeying what God is commanding you to do. The next morning in Butte, the check engine light and the other light were OFF. I knew that it was an illusion by the enemy. We had been leading people to Christ non-stop for a full month, and we have ticked off the enemy.

That said, I was a little nervous to shut off the car that first night. So when we stopped for gas, I held my breath. The car started right back up again. I praised and magnified the Lord. I take absolutely nothing for granted, and I lean on Him for everything now.

In the middle of the night God woke me up and prompted me to go pray for a man. I got dressed, and one of my ministry partners came with me. While driving down the street of the quiet city of Butte in the middle of the night, God said loudly into my spirit that He loved this city, and that it was His. We prayed over the city, that God would bring revival. God led us to an overlook where we could see the whole city. It was beautiful as its lights twinkled in the night. As we passed several churches, we prayed specifically for revival in those churches.

God amplified a man in a parking lot who was sweeping garbage. Twice I was prompted to stop at that gas station—once on the way out (faintly) and once on the way back (strongly). I parked the car and walked over to the man and asked him if he needed prayer. He was surprised that a red-headed lady was standing in a dark parking lot in the middle of the night asking him if he needed prayer. He finally said yes, and I spoke to him about Jesus. He was visibly moved. After finishing with him, I drove back to the motel for the night.

The next morning the woman at the front desk was sharing with me that she needed prayer for broken relationships in her family. Her kids wouldn’t speak to her any more, even though she had been clean from alcoholism for 26 months. I prayed mightily over her, and she was grateful with joy in her eyes afterwards. This was day 1.

Stay tuned for part 4 of our missions trip to Texas.

Missions Trip to Texas, Part 1

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

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I let my family know that God was urgently putting on my heart to do a one-week missions trip to Texas, sharing Jesus with everyone the same way that the Holy Spirit had been guiding us throughout Spokane. If you missed how powerfully God had been ministering through us the month preceding the trip, here are some of our testimonies:

I sent out a quick email to those who have been following me for years, and some of them thought I was insane to be prompted by God to share the gospel on such short notice. Literally, they were alarming my husband by telling him I was mentally ill. I laughed out loud. It reminded me of Peter and John in the book of Acts, being commanded to stop speaking about Jesus (but Gamaliel telling them that they might end up finding themselves fighting against God), and Paul in front of powerful people who said he was out of his mind to proclaim Jesus to the lost.

“Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Acts 5:38-40

While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad.” Acts 26:24

I prepared my teens ahead of time so that my husband’s food was cooked and his laundry done during the week I was gone. I had assigned my third teen son to cook hot meals from scratch each night (because he likes to cook more than the others). My teen daughter did the laundry. They had their homeschool assignments and completed them while I was gone the one week. My 16-year-old son who works and goes to college has a car, and he took his siblings to Youth Group on Wednesday, where my third teen son runs the sound system for the Youth Group. I have raised competent and bold self-sufficient teens who love Jesus Christ. I did not neglect any duties. My husband went on a 3-week missions trip to the beautiful Czech Republic back when the children were young, with my full support.

A one-week road trip where we literally slept in the car several times, and each day we drove an average of 8-10 hours was NOT our idea of a good time. I don’t like driving. I don’t like car trips. This was not a fun trip to Italy to build a building and then go home (which is fully supported by churches). No—we were led by the Spirit from city to city, fasting and praying for revival for each city and church. We prayed over about 50 different churches on this missions trip—most of the churches were labeled Baptist.

Many people are commanding me to stop sharing Christ and stay at home all day to serve my husband. But he is at work. He is not at home. My teens are self-motivated and are doing a lot of independent study. To accuse me of mental illness or of sinfully neglecting my duties is ludicrous. The house is organized and runs smoothly.

As long as I am doing all of my duties, there is no reason for me to be prohibited from sharing the gospel with the lost, at least in the city of Spokane. And I did not sin by going on a short one-week trip across half of the United States, proclaiming Jesus Christ to everyone we met, encouraging believers and building up the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit was the One who prompted me.

I saw our car like a matchstick with the red part down, lighting a spark of revival wherever we went. We don’t pray wimpy prayers. In some cities we prayed for over an hour, begging God for revival because we felt the spiritual oppression over some of the cities. The trip was urgent because the time is short before Jesus comes, and now that we have returned, the snow is falling heavily in the passes, and we would have lost the window that God gave us to proclaim salvation to the lost before it’s too late for some people. What we accomplished in the Spirit for each city is something only God can say.

Instead of looking at logic or at the appearance of something, ask God to show you the truth. Often the enemy uses false accusations to silence those who are most effective for God’s kingdom.

I will address the monetary concerns of the trip in the next post (especially the ministry car, which ended up costing zero), but needless to say that we spent almost nothing–only gas and inexpensive places to stay–at very cheap motels, at friends’ houses, or sleeping in the car. We mostly ate the food we brought in the car, so the first half of the trip we spent 99 cents total on food. We honored God in everything we did, bringing Christ to everyone in our path.

Here is a quick synopsis of our first day on the road. My phone memory was full after this video, and since it took so long to upload (2 hours!) and we wanted to focus on the mission rather than on social media, we ended up waiting until we got home to share the rest of the trip, which I will share in future posts.

Events Leading to the Missions Trip to Texas

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

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This is part 4, a continuation of the wonders of God in reaching the city of Spokane for Christ. God has been sending me all over the city to specific places to pray with people and to encourage them in their walk with Jesus. God does not only send us to people who need salvation, but to believers who need a word of encouragement or of exhortation. Or He gives them vital information that they need.

One evening God sent me into a grocery store. He told me which grocery store, and we had to drive across town to get to it. I had to go to the bathroom, so I went into the restroom. When I exited the restroom, I saw people sitting in the deli area of the grocery store, where there are tables and chairs. God amplified a couple of women sitting in one corner and prompted me to ask them if they went to my church. I did not recognize them whatsoever, but since God gave me those words, I said them.

The lady I was looking at said no, and the lady beside her looked white as a ghost. She said she had been wanting to go to this church I mentioned because a relative had recommended the in-depth women’s Bible studies. She was not a computer person, and when I asked this gray-haired lady that she could google the address of the church, she said she didn’t know how to do that. I left my phone in the car, so I asked the Holy Spirit for the address, and He gave it to me. I wrote it down on a piece of paper. God prompted me to add, “You are going to make it” on the scrap of paper. She asked how much the Bible study cost, and I told her the price, but that if she came, I would pay the price for her books.

Every expenditure I’ve made (including gas to drive around the city) has been exactly what God wanted me to do, out of obedience to God. Since we don’t have any savings and we have two kids in college, this ministry has been a financial strain on our family. Obviously this affects my husband more than anyone else, and his concern is legitimate.

I’ve always been extremely frugal, but one day when I picked up a woman who had been physically beaten by her husband, I took her stuff in my car to her mom’s storage unit so she could move in with her mom. God showed me a clothing store and amplified it to me, to get this trembling woman a new outfit. When she walked into the store, she saw a woman who had been involved with her abusive husband, and it was too much for her to bear. This is why God took us to this exact store.

We had a wonderfully healing conversation, and God caused a restoration to occur. God prompted me to ask her to pick out any outfit she wanted, and that Father God would pay for it. She couldn’t believe it. She got a pair of jeans that fit her and a beautiful blouse. Her abusive husband had led her to believe she had no value, but God said differently.

I called my husband and asked if we could take her out to dinner, and he said yes. I’ve noticed that my husband has the gift of giving; he’s helped people for years, including last year when took three beggars off the street in the middle of the night to get pancakes at a restaurant and filled their car with gas and talked to them about Jesus. In reality my husband and I have the same heart for missions and for being selflessly giving to the point that we are always broke.

The worst expenditure before the trip to Texas (which seems ludicrous based on the fact that we have no money!) was an overnight stay at a hotel for a prayer vigil in the heart of the city of Spokane. My ministry partners and I were specifically led to a hotel where we later found out a Christian women’s conference had just taken place. We prayed and sang praise songs and interceded for revival for the city of Spokane the whole night long. It was exhausting. I did not choose the hotel—God did. He said the name of the hotel loudly into my spirit, in the same way that He has been leading us to other divine appointments throughout the city to lead people to Christ or encourage them. We felt something break through spiritually over the city that night. Because of our obedience (and other people’s prayers), our city is beginning to experience revival.

The morning after the prayer vigil, we were prompted to go to Shari’s Restaurant for a divine appointment. While we were eating, one of my ministry partners pointed out the back of an oriental man, and told us that was the man we needed to speak to. I gathered my courage and asked the Lord what to say. When he returned to his table with two other men, I asked if anyone needed prayer. They said no. Then I asked if this oriental man would pray for us. He said yes and came over to our table. We told him about our upcoming road trip that God had put heavily on our hearts, and I gave testimony of all that God was doing through our ministry for the past month in Spokane.

Even though I didn’t recognize him, this oriental man was a missions leader at my church, he knew my parents who were missionaries, and he knew a board member from a Christian group where I was a board member for two years. He had so many connections in common with me! (This is why God commanded us to go to this specific restaurant, even though we had been fasting all night and normally don’t eat at restaurants and could have gone straight home.)

We asked this oriental man how to get our church to back our ministry financially. Even in the city of Spokane, it was costing my husband a lot of money in gasoline and other incidentals, money we didn’t have. And the cost of a road trip to Texas seemed prohibitive. But he told us we didn’t need money, and that we should just go and stay in people’s houses (and bless them), or shake the dust off our feet of those who reject us. He used lots of Scripture to back up what he was saying, and this random man confirmed what God had put in our hearts to do.

This was just one of many confirmations that led to our short-term missions trip to Texas. Because we needed to leave before the first snow (there was an urgency in my spirit that this was the time), there was not enough time to get people on board financially. The few people that gave financially were prompted by the Spirit and will be rewarded in heaven for the gasoline we needed to get to the cities where we prayed for revival. Thank you to all who prayed for us. I will be sharing more testimonies in future posts.

Dark Streets, Meetings, & Oreo Cake

Friday, November 30th, 2018

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One night God was taking us down dark winding roads. One of the houses was on the far right down a long street, and we parked in front of the house. God wanted us to say, “Is this where the Bible study is?” We had our Bibles under our arms. God had randomly chosen this house, so we were at God’s mercy as to what He wanted us to say and do for this woman. We talked with her for a few minutes and offered to pray for her. She asked a lot of questions, and near the end of the conversation, the Holy Spirit said through my mouth, “You are a true follower of Jesus.” She looked at us with amazement.

A friend of my ministry partner was visiting from five hours away from Spokane, and my ministry partner wanted me to come over and share my testimony with her friend. It had been her friend’s birthday earlier that week, and no one had called her. We wanted her to feel special, so we had my daughter pick out a gift for my ministry partner’s friend. (My ministry partner paid for it.) My daughter said she’d always wanted to put together a themed gift basket, so we were at Ross, and my daughter picked out all the items and arranged them in a basket. We prayed that God’s Holy Spirit would lead her to pick just the right items. When her friend opened her birthday gift, she was surprised that she saw her favorite brands of things that she needed. This could only have been God.

After sharing my testimony and praying and sharing Scripture, we got a spiritual breakthrough for her friend. She left for a get-together with family members, and my ministry partner and I went to buy a cake to celebrate her birthday that night. God prompted my ministry friend to go to Baskin Robins. I asked the Holy Spirit which cake? I asked God yes or no for each cake, and the Oreo cake was the only yes. It was a weird-looking cake, so my friend asked, “Are you sure?” I said, “God is saying yes to this cake and to no other cake, so let’s get this one.” When we celebrated her birthday later, the lady exclaimed with joy that every year in her childhood, she had gotten an Oreo cake for her birthday. She knew she had never told her friend, and so she knew that Jesus was near. Only God could have picked out the exact cake out of hundreds of cakes in the city.

On a different night God took my ministry partner and I to a Chinese restaurant. God drove us there. He literally was taking over my hands when I said, “Jesus, take the wheel.” I laughed because I knew when He was turning because He would put on the blinker. See, I have so much joy because God does everything. I just sit back and watch. Then if I have to get out of the car and say something, I look up and say, “What do You want me to say?” and He tells me the sentence that starts the conversation. Then He takes me over, especially when I am praying for people. Yay!

We parked in front of a Chinese restaurant, and after we had eaten (we had fasted all day and prayed while ministering to people in the city, and my ministry partner paid for this meal), we saw a gray-haired man named Larry in a booth. God pointed him out to us, so we started a conversation. He invited us to sit in his booth, and we talked about our ministry for maybe an hour. Larry had paid for hockey tickets that night, and God’s Holy Spirit had blocked him from entering the hockey building. God brought him to this Chinese food place for a divine appointment. These were his words. We were shocked. His heart was the same as our heart. He heard the Holy Spirit in the same way we did. His best friend was from our church, which is a nondenominational Bible church in Spokane. He was fed up with the way Christians stay in the church building, and he felt that we needed to get out of the church building and bring Christ to the world and actually DO what God commanded us to do.

He tested us with Scripture knowledge and rebukes, to see how we could handle rebuke. We passed every test. There were maybe 20 tests in total over the course of the hour. I have a strange feeling that this man will financially back our ministry at some point. He has my name and address and email. Please pray that God will send more people to support our ministry so that we don’t have to stop obeying the Holy Spirit’s promptings with regards to meeting a physical need before sharing the gospel with many people. And that people won’t have to be dead before they support the ministry. It’s one thing if people put your ministry in their will, but Jesus is coming soon, and there is no reason to withhold funds from people who are doing His work. My husband should not have to suffer financially because of my obedience, so if God is prompting any of you to give to pay for gasoline or any other expense in our ministry, email me at castlesusan@gmail.com. I never spend money on myself, and I am extremely frugal. Ask anyone who knows me. Every penny of what you send will go directly to ministry. I am paid nothing. Everything I have belongs to God.

Stay tuned for “Events Leading to the Missions Trip to Texas.”

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