Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"My Favor is on You..."

For a while now I have been wanting to share a story here...
A story about God encouraging us, reminding us of His favor. 


 A few months ago we went to a little party for all the missionaries serving with YWAM Belo Horizonte.  At the party there was a raffle type game.  All the names of the women present were thrown into a one pot, the men's names were thrown into another pot, and all the names of the children were thrown into a third pot.  Then the drawing of the names began!  Ladies went first and my name was chosen!


I was excited because I never win anything.  My prize was a nice glass jar, that is supposed to be used to store pasta or cookies, but we are using it for something else.
(It's our Love Jar- where we save money to invest in our marriage. I got the idea from Ann Voskamp.)

Then a man's name was drawn and it was Felipe's name.  He won the book, A Cry From the Streets,  (in Portuguese- Um Grito das Ruas) written by Jeannette Lukasse one of the founders of YWAM Belo Horizonte.   (Awesome book, by the way, that tells the story about how the missions work here at YWAM Belo Horizonte began.)

Next a child's name was drawn and yes, you guessed it... Sophia's name was chosen and she won a CD of Christian children's songs.



Our whole family won something!  I was so surprised because like I already mentioned,
I NEVER WIN ANYTHING.

But then it gets even funnier... The drawing continues, and the next name pulled out is the name JESSICA!

I turned to our friend Jessica and pointed to my pregnant belly and jokingly said, "It is for this Jessica, not you..."  We all laughed!

Interesting enough every single name in our family was CHOSEN during this drawing.

I know this whole situation may seem like something small and maybe even silly, but on this day God began speaking to my heart in a BIG way. He said to me, in that still small voice, 
"Laura, my favor is on you and your family. Believe Me. Trust Me."

During the days leading up to this party I had been struggling in my heart about believing God for the impossible.  At this moment God gently and lovingly reminded me of who HE is.  He is the God of the impossible!  He is a God that grants favor and  He wants me to believe in Him and trust Him with my family, our finances, and our future.
If He can cause each name in our family to be drawn in a random game, surely He can do even greater things.  He is with us and His favor is on us.


The Challenge Before Us


As many of you know, in January of 2013 we are planning to go to a YWAM base in Kona, Hawaii for 3 months so Felipe can participate in a photography training school.  God has given this amazing opportunity to Felipe, and I know He will use this time in a unique and special way in our lives.

I am the money manager in our family, so when we started taking steps of faith towards participating in this photography school, I constantly would think about our financial condition.   We receive no salary and live completely by faith in missions, trusting God to provide for all our needs through donations, but in order to do this school we need MUCH more money than usual.  We need miracles to happen!

Felipe, full of faith, continually proclaims how God will provide for us as a family if it be His will for us to go Hawaii, but I have moments where I really struggle with believing God for the finances.  ( I am improving though. God is working on me...)

I look at the numbers and the amount of money we need to raise to make it possible to even cover the travel costs and I am overwhelmed.   I see the reality of the challenge before us, financially.  In the whole process  I have prayed, pouring out my heart over and over to God asking Him, "How are we going to do this financially?"  
It really seems impossible to me at times.  Yet God keeps sending reminders of His favor and love.

Recent Reminders

Just last Friday, I woke up to an email from our dear friend Kate, who served as a missionary here at the Lighthouse a few years ago.  Now she is a YWAM missionary in another city in  Brazil, is married and has a precious little girl.    

Kate felt God prompting her to write us to encourage us. She shared her own personal testimonies of God's amazing provision for her family, as they are serving in missions.  Kate encouraged us that God would provide for us in miraculous ways just as He has been providing for her family.

  I was in tears as I read her email and was encouraged deeply in my spirit.
  Again, God reminded me of His favor, telling me,
"My favor is on you..."

Then the very next morning I woke up to another encouraging email!  This email was from YWAM and it was a financial statement listing all the donations that we had recently received. When I opened the statement my mouth dropped.  I was shocked and overjoyed.  One of our dear and faithful supporters (which I lovingly call "the faithful ones") sent us a VERY generous donation.  Thank you- you know who you are!!!  I woke Felipe up immediately (it was 6:30 am) and told him the great news.  I just couldn't wait to tell him! 

As soon as we received this special donation we knew exactly what the money was for.  We had been praying about how we were going to buy our airplane tickets to Hawaii.  The earlier you buy tickets, the better the price and since the school begins in just 4 months, we really needed to buy the tickets soon. The special offering was a direct answer to prayer.

So with GREAT JOY we can share that we just purchased our airplane tickets this week, thanks to the money God provided for us.
GOD is faithful!  We still need to raise funds to help pay for the school and to cover other various expenses, but God is really encouraging us.
He is repeating this same message to us over and over, 
"My favor is on you..."



So, now I feel like I can finally say with confidence and certainty, 
"We, the Matias family of four, are FOR SURE going to Hawaii (for 3 months) so Felipe can do the YWAM photography school!"

Also, since we will be in the USA already, we will be visiting South Carolina and North Carolina for 6 weeks after our time in Hawaii.  By paying just a little bit more, we were able to purchase tickets to pop over and visit the continental USA before heading back to Brazil to continue our missions work.  We are looking forward to visiting dear family and friends in the USA after our short season in Hawaii.

  We are thankful and excited about the doors God is opening for us.
I just wanted to share here what God is doing and give Him all the praise and all the glory!
It is all for His Kingdom!

2 comments:

  1. Congrats to your family for winning the raffle prizes! :)
    And I'm so happy to hear that you'll all be going to Hawaii so that Felipe can go to the photography school! Wish you all the best.

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  2. Thanks for this post Queader! Now I've got to get on and implement more thank you..




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