Posts Tagged ‘missions’

Events Leading to the Missions Trip to Texas

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

events-missions-trip

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

streets-meetings-oreo-cake

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.”

Tattoos, Hookahs, & Dumpster Diving

Monday, November 26th, 2018

tattoos-hookahs-dumpster

This is part 2 of reaching the city of Spokane for Christ, being led by the Spirit to specific locations to minister to all kinds of people that I would normally never associate with.

People who are refreshing and real hang out in dark places, trying to help those who are in misery and addiction. While paying the phone bill of an underprivileged friend who had no way to pay it, I saw the man behind the counter had a tattoo that said, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6) The tattoo took up his whole arm! We asked him to pray for us, and his prayer was wonderful!

A few days before, God had guided us to a tattoo parlor with a skull painted on the side of the building. Because I’m a sheltered missionary kid who always tried to do the right thing my whole life, I was scared to go into a store with bad people in it. My judgmentalism was sin, and I had no idea how self-righteous and cold-hearted I had been. I certainly never meant to look down on others. I was blind to the ugliness of my own sin.

My ministry partner and I walked through the door of the small building with a skull, and we saw different designs of tattoos and body piercings crammed all over the walls. A man behind the counter came up to us and asked if he could help us. I gulped, and my ministry partner began some small talk about body piercings. Soon we seemed to be wrapping up the conversation, so I blurted out, “We were wondering if you would like us to pray with you—we like praying for people…”

He said yes, and his face was so sweet and beautiful and he came out from behind the counter to hold hands with us. He told us about himself, and that his name was Jeremiah, and my ministry partner burst out with praise to God saying, “This is all a front for ministry! The prayers you have been praying have been to the true God. All you need to add to the end of your prayers is ‘in Jesus’ name.’” She then asked him to pray for us. As he prayed for us, I was filled with so much joy I thought I would burst.

When we exited the tattoo parlor, I jumped up and down and cried out, “If I had known how easy and fun that would be, I wouldn’t have been scared! O Lord, send us to more dark places, that we might see You shining in those places!” That was my favorite of many places because of the sharp contrast from going in to coming out. I repented of my sin of judgmentalism and asked God to give me a greater love for those who are in dark places.

Less than five minutes later, we were led by the Spirit to a hookah place. I was no longer scared. By the way, this was Halloween night, so we were really bringing Christ as a treat to different places that had candy for trick or treaters. (You must know that I have always hated Halloween and looked down on people who celebrated evil and witchcraft, not asking Jesus what He wanted me to do to redeem the day for His glory rather than look down on people. Once again, I repented of my hardened heart and asked God to change me to become all things to all people that I might win some to Christ.)

Entering the hookah place, we saw a woman with two large dogs behind the counter. My ministry partner loves dogs and was speaking to them. The dogs acted as if my ministry partner was their owner. The lady led one of the dogs out from behind the counter, and the dog lifted his paws and danced with my ministry partner. I was so shocked and exclaimed, “The dog is dancing with you!” She commanded the dog to dance with me, too, and the dog put his paws on my shoulders and danced with me. I’m scared of dogs, so I was in disbelief.

The real owner behind the counter said she had never seen her dogs act this way. Her heart was open to us because of it. (She keeps the dogs behind the counter to protect her.) We talked about Jesus. She said she knew Jesus but she didn’t go to church because she doesn’t like church people. She also judged people who came into her store, and she looked down on them. My ministry partner shared some words straight into her heart that applied to her situation, and told her to tell her clients that Jesus loves them. She said yes, she would. She was still in awe of what her dogs had done and listened to every word we said. When she was convicted by what my ministry partner was saying, I wiped tears from my own eyes. Then we left. We spent the rest of the night ministering at the mall.

On a different night, we were going back-to-back to different places where God led us. My ministry partner asked me, “Where next?” I bowed my head and closed my eyes and asked the Holy Spirit, “Where do You want us to go next?” I saw in my spirit a building that looked like a castle with a tower on either side. I said it looked like it could be a church. By now we had picked up our third ministry partner, and she recognized my description as a church not far from where we were. When we arrived there, I exclaimed that it was exactly what I saw in my spirit. My ministry partner said, “God wants us to park there.” I parked right next to the dumpster according to God’s command, and we saw a man ducking behind the dumpster. We prayed briefly and then got out of the car.

I walked straight behind the dumpster with no fear, telling the man that Jesus sent us. He was dumpster diving, and he had removed some fruit from the dumpster. He said he wanted fruit, and I told him, “I can buy you some fresh fruit from the store. Why don’t you come with us? I can drop you off anywhere you want to go.” He was astounded. We asked if we could pray for him, and he said yes. He had given his life to Christ years ago but had lost his way. After praying with him, he said he was okay and decided not to come with us. “Jesus loves you, and don’t you forget it!” I shouted joyfully while getting back into the car and asking God, “Where next?”

My Most Popular MK Memes and Pins

Monday, January 1st, 2018

popular-mk-memes

Having grown up as a missionary kid and written a book about it, I decided to start a Facebook page that would resonate with missionary kids. If you’re an MK or enjoy reading about MK’s, you will love our community over there. I post original MK memes, videos from my recent trip back to Guatemala where I grew up, blog posts I’ve written about being an MK, poignant blog posts from other sites that apply to MK’s, news that would interest MK’s, travel stuff, humor, etc. Come join us by liking our page!

Top 10 Popular MK Memes on Facebook:

So far I’ve created 86 original MK memes. These are the 10 most popular, in case you missed them. I’ve linked to the actual FB post after each meme {in brackets}, in case you want to share the meme to your friends and family, to reminisce and sigh and re-live the good old times:

1. Furlough: a fake vacation where you drive all over kingdom come, only stopping to visit churches and have your cheeks pinched. (“Look how much you’ve grown.”) {FB} 199 likes, 181 shares

furlough-is-a-fake-vacation

2. You know you’re an MK when singing in front of an audience was not optional, even if you were mortified… {FB} 157 likes, 32 shares

singing-mks

3. You know you’re an MK when you’ve heard the same furlough sermon over and over. {FB} 94 likes, 32 shares

same-sermon-over-and-over

4. You know you’re an MK when this looks normal. {FB} 70 likes, 66 shares

this-looks-normal

5. You know you’re an MK when you hesitate before drinking tap water. {FB} 68 likes, 15 shares

hesitate-drinking-tap-water

6. You know you’re an MK when you spread out American food like it’s contraband. {FB} 63 likes, 27 shares

contraband

7. You know you’re an MK when you will never see your childhood home again… (Hey, when I wrote this meme, I believed it, but guess what? I saw my childhood home last summer and filmed it! Watch it here.) {FB} 61 likes 20 shares

never-see-home-again

8. You know you’re an MK when you can pack all of your belongings into two checked bags and a carry-on. {FB} 60 likes, 11 shares

packing-bags

9. You know you’re an MK when you see your family picture hanging on someone’s refrigerator. {FB} 56 likes, 14 shares

prayer-postcard

10. You know you’re an MK when you long for the beauty of another world. {FB} 51 likes, 2 shares

beauty-of-another-world

My first MK meme ever: Missionary Kid Bat Mobile (aka furlough car) {FB} 47 likes, 12 shares

mk-bat-mobile

My 10 Most-Pinned MK Posts:

1.2K pins = You know you’re an MK when you hesitate before drinking tap water. {pin}

709 pins = You know you’re an MK when this looks normal. (bus packed with people) {pin}

144 pins = You know you’re an MK when open markets remind you of home. {pin}

open-markets

133 pins = Furlough: a fake vacation where you drive all over kingdom come, only stopping to visit churches and have your cheeks pinched. (“Look how much you’ve grown.”) {pin}

109 pins = You know you’re an MK when the maid was a part of your family. {pin}

maid

106 pins = You know you’re an MK when your thoughts are not the same as a typical American. {pin}

not-a-typical-american

95 pins = You know you’re an MK when you’re homesick for a place you will probably never see again. {pin}

homesick

94 pins = You know you’re an MK when you long for the beauty of another world. {pin}

93 pins = You know you’re an MK when singing in front of an audience was not optional, even if you were mortified… {pin}

91 pins = Missionary kids have to be perfect (blog post) {pin}

If you would like to follow my MK board on Pinterest, click here.

To watch the video playlist on YouTube of our Guatemala Adventure, click here.

Buy the book here.

 

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