Sunday, April 13, 2014

Will You Fight?

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." John 15:1-8 (I wanted to quote the whole of John 15, but I know that the more is quoted, the less tends to be read!)

Hi Precious Friends and Family :)

So I was reading a book by Bodie and Brock Thoene. If you've never read their books before, basically they are extremely well researched historical fiction. To the extent of extremely well researched in Hebrew and Jewish culture and even going deeper into the text of the original scripture :) :) Some of their books are set in the time of Hitler and the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. Some series are set in the time of Jesus. I recommend their books to anyone!

I was reading this book called "When Jesus Wept". In this particular scene, David ben Lazarus (Lazarus who was raised from the grave) was the owner of a great vineyard. There was a plague of locusts and while Herod Antipas' vineyard was destroyed, Lazarus' vineyard was saved. Why?

From the book:
Jesus: "How did your vines survive and Herod's did not?"
Lazarus: "We fought to save them. Patrick, my servant, fought because now he's won his freedom. Samson, my vinedresser, fought because he loves me and loves these vines as if they are his own. We didn't give up. And when the oil from the smudge pots was gone and we could do no more, the Lord sent a wind and a flock of quail to eat the locusts."
Jesus focused on the contrast. "How is it that the vineyard of Herod is completely stripped? Not a shred of green remains. All his crop lost."
It was a simple question. Easy to answer. "The labourers hired by Herod's overseer gave up before the battle began. When the insects dropped down, the men didn't fight to drive them off. They were paid to work, but they have no love for the vineyard. No care for the outcome. It's nothing to them if everything is lost."
[Jesus replied]: "The hireling doesn't care, but the one who owns the land and plants, and the vinedresser who tends the vines, now there are lions who will fight to save the vineyard!"

I read this and was struck by thinking about who is the vine (JESUS) and who are the branches (me, you, the kids in Mozambique, every believer...)

So, He said to me in that moment of realisation:

"Will you fight?"

Will I fight? Do I truly love the vineyard (thinking of Jesus the vine and his people the branches)?

Intercessor, will YOU fight!

Yes I will! Because of my love I will fight in prayer and obedience! Jesus is worthy of His inheritance from every nation, tribe and tongue! He is worthy of wholehearted love!


Now just to clarify: HE is the one who fights for us- the Father is the vinedresser. But because I am His - because I was bought by the blood of the lamb, set FREE by the blood of the lamb; because I am released from my sins by the blood of Jesus - I am now free to minister with Jesus as royalty, as a priest! (Revelation 1:5-7). I will fight WITH my Jesus, FOR my Jesus, and for HIS heart, HIS people!

I will go to Brazil and help coordinate this 24/7 house of prayer in Fortaleza with a small team of myself and 4 others... 24/7 for 31 days! (Holy Spirit help us). I will go to Brazil and love the prostitute, the trafficked, the child who has never known freedom... I will go to Brazil and commit myself to unity with my team and to serve, teach, train, and lift up the Brazilian church to become labourers in the house of prayer, calling forth Jesus' purpose for the nations and to become abolitionists of human trafficking in their own nation!

I will go to Mozambique and lift up the hands of my Iris family who are labouring in Pemba, where the floods have devastated the villages, the roads, people's lives... where Iris doesn't have enough to even rebuild some of missionaries homes which were destroyed (all are safe), yet are working hard to do what they can for their friends in the villages.

I will also come back to Kansas City and commit myself to growth - being equipped and able to give more to those He sends me to!

I will pray. I will love. I will go! I will commit myself to living out a life of truth, integrity, standing for King Jesus and preaching (AND teaching) the whole gospel of the coming Kingdom, so that the Lamb will receive His reward. I will sing, I will pray, I will fight for the heart of my King!

Will you fight?

What does it look like for you to fight in your sphere, the place God has planted you? I would love to hear from you :)

Much love and prayers
Serena xoxo


Praise!
I am loving this house the Lord has set me in! My 4 housemates are from America and from the Ivory Coast in Africa. 2 are on nightwatch and 2 on days. 3 are in IHOPU and one is saving up for it next semester! We are between the ages of 21 and 27! They all love the Lord and I am soo happy HE has set me here! Of course there are challenges like how to handle noise from neighbours (townhouses, very thin walls, I have been an extreme light sleeper), but the housemates make all the difference! Plus, the weather is getting warmer and we are in a predominantly black neighbourhood - we have kids of all ages playing in the front yard, back yard and across the street! sooo cute!!

Prayer requests:
Continued physical healing and to walk in complete health!
Intimacy with the Father, with the Son, with Holy Spirit...
Grace to be able to do everything which is required of me schoolwork wise... I want to have the ability to soak up, retain and grow fruit from everything I can!
Grace to lead my worship team well. To prepare well, to set them up for success, and to love well.
Grace to labour in the house of prayer (yes, intercessory prayer is both a joy and a labour!)
Abundant provision soon, for tickets for Brazil and Mozambique.

Random fact:
It was 82F degrees (28C) yesterday. Today was thunderstorms almost ALL day. Tomorrow it is going to snow. Oh Kansas City.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brazil- Liberdade 2014

So... I'm going to Brazil.
What?

Liberdade - it means "freedom" in portuguese. 

I have the opportunity to go with Exodus Cry, a department of the International House of Prayer Kansas City, which exists for the ending of human trafficking.
Liberdade is the project to partner with the nation and church of Brazil in prayer and intervention leading up to and during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup will see an increase in the demand for commercial sex in each of the 12 cities it is being held.

"The battle for human trafficking will never be won in the courts of men until it is won first won in the courts of heaven through the prevailing prayers of the saints" - Benji Nolot

I believe that prayer is the most effective strategy that we have for ending this injustice. In prayer, we are partnering with the Lord's heart, partnering with the Great Intercessor Himself: Jesus Christ, and saying that we want to weep with Him, we want to rejoice with Him, and we want to be a part of releasing HIS purposes on earth as it is in heaven! It is out of this culture of prayer and intimacy with Him (in the red light districts of each city) that we will be fueled to go out onto the streets in intervention teams to the ones He loves.


More about Exodus Cry:

Exodus Cry: Every Person Should be Free from Exodus Cry on Vimeo.


Exodus Cry seeks to mobilize a 24/7 prayer room within the red-light areas in
each of the 12 host cities that will pray for 31 days, the entirety of the World Cup, for the ending of sex trafficking and spiritual awakening in the nation
Out of this 24/7 prayer reality, intervention teams will be sent into the red-light areas to reach out to those being exploited.

I will specifically be going as part of a team to Fortaleza, which is on the North-East coast of Brazil. It is a city of over 500 favelas, and is known for it's trafficking, corruption, gangs and inequality. It is currently said that Fortaleza is the capital of child sex tourism in the Americas, and ranked 3rd in the world. But I know that the Lord does not agree with this! 

The LORD has great plans for the children, the women and the men of Fortaleza. HE has great plans for His church! Fortaleza is also known as the land of light, and I know that there are believers in Fortaleza who are believing this and claiming this truth about this city. It is a place for the light of JESUS CHRIST to shine and for the church of Fortaleza to be a light to the nations, as well as being sent out to the nations to preach Christ and Him crucified. To be the hands and feet of Jesus and to spread the good news of His mercy and freedom!

Here is a 7 minute video on what the Lord has been stirring in my heart for Fortaleza...





My team has the privilege of partnering with Iris Fortaleza for this trip, which I am so excited about because it is like my two families are coming together! Iris and IHOP-KC!

So, how am I preparing for this trip?

  • Learning portuguese - I'm using apps, a course from the library, and spending time translating self assigned portions of the bible, songs and other books to force myself to learn more :)
  • Serving in the Portuguese team - I am an intercessor in the All Nations Prayer Room at IHOP-KC, where most of our team are Brazilian portuguese speakers, and one is even South African, with Mozambican and Portuguese heritage! (Jesus loves me so much)
  • Training - our combined teams are having training at Exodus Cry here in KC, in the offices as well as on the streets (yes the United States is the 3rd largest destination for human trafficking. This happens all around the world. YOUR country likely has human slavery going on right now. Pray and get aware!
  • Prayer - I am asking for more of FATHER'S heart, JESUS' heart through HOLY SPIRIT for His Bride in Brazil. And this prayer is already being answered... I am praying over Brazil, singing over Brazil, and sitting at HIS feet asking for HIS heart!


http://www.ihopkc.org/anpr/#asset/140313_ANPR_2000/auto/true Go to 0:42 mins - praying out of Eph 1 for a spirit of wisdom and revelation – encounters, the raising up of intercessory singers and musicians out of the youth in Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon) – one of the cities for the World Cup. 0:46 mins is praying that they would know the exceeding power He has to them that believe. Visions and dreams. That they would step out for righteousness and justice.
http://www.ihopkc.org/anpr/#asset/140320_ANPR_2000/auto/true Go to 1hr 30secs - praying for the children in Iris bases in Mozambique out of Eph 3 (a lot of people are away in this meeting! But it was such a sweet time).

In Brazil
I will be spending at least 6 hours a day in the prayer room, 6 days a week
At least 3 days a week I will also be a part of outreaches (as intervention teams on the street). I am section leading for Fortaleza so am assuming it will be more time than this, and of course it will be day to day life in loving the ones who are in front of me :) and letting myself be loved by my Papa God, and my team.

Mozambique
The Lord also gave me the sweetest invitation to go to Mozambique right after Brazil, for around a month until school starts again. I will be putting my hand to whatever the Lord gives, and am so excited to see my Pemba Iris family again, and get to sit in on classes with Mama Heidi and Papa Rolland and others! There is always plenty to be done in Pemba, and I am open to whatever HE needs me in most. It will also be partly a time of refreshing after Brazil, as school will start as soon as I arrive back in Kansas City.

Time period: 2 1/2 months
Brazil approx 5th June - 17th July 2014.
Mozambique approx 17th July to 16th August 2014.

Most teams already have their tickets or are getting them this week. As it is the World cup, tickets are selling out fast, so I'm asking the Lord for the ability to buy plane tickets ASAP in His timing! :)

Flights all up, if I can buy tickets asap, come to $3200 for both Brazil and Mozambique all the way there and all the way back from Kansas City ☺ I’m quite excited about this as the original quote was over a thousand more! Praise Jesus for cheap flights! KC→ Chicago Bus; Chicago → Sao Paolo plane; Sao Paolo → Fortaleza → Sao Paolo plane; Sao Paolo → Maputo, → Pemba → Maputo → Sao Paolo → Chicago plane; Chicago → KC bus ☺

Total estimated budget: (high end is more flexibility/able to give more)
Low End: $5100
High End: $5500

Ask me if you would like more information on the budget breakdown ☺

If you would like to partner with me in prayer, keep in touch see below for a prayer guide for Liberdade! If you would like to partner financially, let me know as well ☺ We can see the Lord move on behalf of the nation of Brazil, together!

More information:
http://exoduscry.com/liberdade - you can download a Brazil field guide, as well as a 31 day prayer guide to join us in prayer leading up to and throughout the World Cup.
http://irisbrasil.org - Iris Fortaleza website