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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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48

Tuesday 14th February 2012

When He Answers Your Prayer With A Beautiful Life

It’s the day I go in for the last of the immunizations. That’s when I pray it … when I really pray it.

It has been — what? — a month since I’ve asked?

“Here I am, Lord. Won’t you send me?” 

I’m ready to go to Haiti, I tell Him.

I drive south on the gravel, with rocks knocking against the fenders, and I pray the whole way to the doctor’s office. A nurse will inject the last of the Hepatitis vaccines into my arm. My husband went to Haiti in November, and he said after he got home that I may as well get ready.

“Just get your shots, then you can go when God calls.” That’s what he said.

I believed him. So I started my shots the next day.

That was two months ago.  God hasn’t called. Maybe I left the phone off the hook? Maybe He forgot my number?

I pull onto the highway, an asphalt ribbon leading straight to the doctor’s office. It’s time for the last shot.

I’m spiritually ready. And in 15 minutes, I’ll be physically ready. But I’m a traveler without a destination. I’m a missionary without a mission. My heart aches to love the least of these, and I don’t have a place to deposit.

I steer into the parking lot, pull the Acadia between two yellow lines, and walk through the glass doors.

The nurse calls me back right away. I hike up the sleeve, and she asks just two questions:

Which arm?
And when are you headed for Haiti?

Left arm, I tell her.

But regarding the “when?”

“Um … I don’t know. Waiting for the Lord to lead there. Waiting for Him to tell me when, I guess.”

She presses the syringe through the flesh, and I draw in a deep breath. I close my eyes.

With one little prick — a single puncture through the skin — I remember three nails. I’m ready to go to uncomfortable places for my Savior, ready to serve the least of these … for the Most High. I’m ready to live the words I write and speak. No need to fear, right? Isn’t that what I just said straight into the camera?

But who am I kidding? My knees knock. I don’t even know what I would pack in a suitcase. I’m half-afraid, and I’m fighting back fear, but didn’t I just say that the best way past it is to walk straight through it?

I did. I did say that. And yes. Yes, I would. I would walk straight through the fear. If He called, I would. 

I tug my sleeve down. I take gravel home, arm still burning. And I say it again: “Lord. Send me.”

***

Home now, I check the email. A woman, she’s written.

She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know what I’ve prayed. Doesn’t know I’ve just gotten my last shot. Doesn’t know that I’ve even had my first. She has no clue that I desire to serve in Haiti.

But this woman … she has written.

She writes:  “We were wondering, would you consider going to Haiti with us?”

And I tell her I will.

*****

 

 

I am heading to Haiti March 19-26, with ViBella Jewelry!

ViBella means “Beautiful Life.” He answers a prayer with pure beauty.

 

ViBella is a mission with a redemptive purpose. Haitian boys collect plastic bottles littering the Haitian countryside, and Haitian women serve as artists.

Look at the beauty they create!

They make beauty from ashes, treasure from trash.

These women “upcycle” the material from a littered landscape, transforming it into beauty. ViBella then invests all profits back into the artists’ communities, which brings the transformation full-circle.

 

***

 

Have you come by today to share you own God-Incidence or God-Bumps story?

What are the God-Things that make you go “Hmmmm?” How has God been stirring in your life?

Write your story,
grab a BUTTON here,
then link below.

I’m eager to read your stories. Your stories are more than coincidences. They are, indeed, God-incidences.

 

 

  • this is all kinds of amazing!!!!

    • Hi Tara!

      I was pretty pumped.

      And always, always amazed by the ways of God.

  • Jennifer–“all kinds of amazing” indeed–I agree with Tara! It is just like our Lord to give us the next ‘Go’ after we’ve said yes. You’ll be stretched and blessed–can’t wait to hear what God does!

    • Jody — I imagine that I’ll be blessed in ways that I cannot fathom. Over and over again, after people return home from Haiti, they declare that more than being a blessing, they were blessed themselves.

      Thank you for being here today.

  • This is certainly one of those goose-bump moments! Prayers for you.

    • Thank you, Susan! We’ll need those prayers. Love to you …

  • Wow!

    So many times the way to finding God’s direction is to take that first step, in obedient faith, without yet knowing the next step.

    What a blessing! Thank you for sharing, Jennifer!

  • Powerful. Beautiful. Just when we least expect it, He answers. May God work in and through you to shine His light to the people you meet in Haiti. Loved this post!

    • Christina,

      Thank you so much! I’m really excited. It seemed to obvious when I got home that this was an answer to prayer, but I didn’t answer her right away. I did take a few days to pray about it, talk to my husband, my pastor, a few friends who’ve been to this particular region. God confirmed this trip with about half a dozen other God-incidences in that little time frame. 🙂

      • Regarding this last comment of yours, this begs to become your second book! 😉

  • Oh, Jennifer! This sounds like the perfect group for you to go with. Jewelry! And that you get to go so soon! It’s that darn obedience thing again.

    • Megan —

      LOL! Yeah. You’ve seen me in person, all blinged out. 🙂

      As I’m sure you can guess, the trip is less about jewelry, and more about Jesus. … It’s such a redemptive program, Megan. So amazing how this business has made art of trash, while helping at-risk women out of really bad situations (while letting them discover their inner artists!)

      Additionally, we’ll be doing some important work with an orphanage down there. I’m so excited. And um … a little nervous. 🙂

      • We’ll all pray! Plus, my father-in-law has been going to Haiti for 20 years. And Dan’s there now–again. You’ll be OK.

  • Love the way you bear witness to God and His amazing ways here, friend. What cool jewelry!

  • God is so sweet… unbelievable how He works in empty vessels. You’ve woven your story beautifully. I have no doubt we’ll all be blessed come March. God speed…

  • Our GOD of wonders is on the move…

    I’m glad you didn’t just jump right in, but prayed and sought counsel to be sure.

  • Deb Russell

    Your story today gave me real “God-bumps”! That is awesome, can’t wait to hear about it!

  • I am so excited for you and your journey, Jennifer. You are led to the hard places to bring the light of Christ to the least of these. I just love the transformation of littered landscape into beauty.

  • Trudy

    Yay!!!! You’re going to Haiti!

    I’ve never been, but my daughter went after graduation, and her brothers are all waiting to go when they graduate. Our cousins are missionaries there.

    That jewelry is gorgeous! I don’t normally wear jewelry, but I want to order and enjoy something so beautiful as trash picked up by a boy, and skillfully turned into beauty–just like God did us!

    Thanks for sharing! Many, many blessings!

  • Wow — I love this story, evidence of His perfect, all-knowing timing. Stories like these are what grow our faith.

  • Gasp! I’ve missed a couple last-minute out-of-country mission opportunities, but I don’t even have a passport. I’m going to get on this now.

    • I can’t wait to hear where this one leads, SHK! Love you, friend.

  • I am so glad you started this series Jennifer. It encourages and blesses and makes my heart grow.
    I will be praying sweet girl. I know He has a wonderful plan. Isn’t He just a miraculous “planner”?

  • Patricia

    WOW ~ that’s all I can say

  • Now THAT is what I call prepared!

  • My spirit is jumping, rejoicing with you. He shall continue to bless you as you delight Him with your obedience ♥

  • I’m so happy that God gave you the ‘OK’ to go! Wish I had a tenth of your courage to do something similar *sigh* maybe I need to listen harder for the ‘OK’

  • Wow! So excited for you; what a privilege… will be happy to pray for you, Jennifer 🙂

  • What a beautiful story and I am so excited for you. My husband is going to Tanzania in March. Be blessed!

  • Oh, wow! That’s completely awesome! We step out on faith and He always comes through. I’m so glad you shared today. 🙂

  • When God opens a door – NO man (or woman) can shut it! This is so awesome that you prepared ahead of time, knowing that God was working behind the scenes. Go and bless many as you share about Jesus!

  • Jennifer, I will be praying for you in the preparing, the emptying, that He give you the heart and mind of Christ, to be an extension of His personal touch to others. I pray He fill you, and give you front seat to see the depth of His love toward the world through His beautiful eyes, deepening your understanding of the grace and Love He has for you…

  • Talk about a match made in heaven! Wowza, girl. Perfect – in every way. This is a story you’ll read again and again whenever you need encouragement along the way. When do you go? And for how long?

    • Diana,

      I will be gone March 19-26. So excited! Just booked the tickets today.

  • Praise Jesus! Isn’t God’s timing perfect. He is singing over you and rejoicing with you. Can’t wait to hear what He does in and through you.

  • Laughing and crying here. Isn’t God just simply amazing. And I just know that Haiti will challenge you, change you and bless you in ways that you (and I) can’t even begin to imagine.

  • I am so happy that God has answered this cry of your heart! As I was reading about your preparations (but before I reached the part about “the call”), I was thinking, God is sure to call you, since you are so ready. It will be an adventure of a lifetime – in so many ways.
    P.S. Maybe after Haiti, you should come to Uganda. 😉

    • Oh boy! That would really be stretching me, Ruthie. So far away! But when God is leading, we never know WHERE we’ll end up, right?

      Thanks for your encouragement.

  • Oh girl,I type through tears pouring out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I know that place you were. I am there. It aches, it hurts, I know he’s laid it on my heart ’cause it just longs so much, yet like you I am a traveller with no destination. So happy for you, the Lord will bless you most amazingly in this. Rejoicing and praising Him with you!

  • I just love…love this story…it hits close to my heart…such an encouragement…Blessings as you go with a heart ready to love and serve…

  • I am soo excited for you Jennifer! I can’t wait to hear all about!

    Hugs!
    Julie

  • Yay!! I’m so happy for you. You will see God there, in Haiti, loving in the darkness and sunshine of that place. I’m so glad you obeyed and waited. When I responded to go to Ethiopia, the fear and self-doubt nagged at me even on the airplane ride over–so worth it in so many ways. God loves to bring storysharers along in ministry — there are still so many who need to hear!

  • Wow.

  • Jennifer –
    So funny — I just got my immunizations for Honduras TODAY! A Hep A, Hep B and Typhoid! My arms are SO SORE….but reading how you spoke of the nail going through…wow, what a connection. I am thrilled for you, my dear friend! ViBella looks beautiful!! What a great opportunity! May God use you to do His work. Much love!

    • Lisa! Ah … the timing! My arm was a little sore, too. I have some malaria pills to take, and instead of a Typhoid shot, I’m taking pills.

      Remind me, Lisa: When is your trip?

  • I was cheering when I reached the end of your post. God’s timing is always perfect.

    Will be holding you up in prayer

  • Dea

    Back from the Ukraine, fighting jet-lag and trying to settle back into the place God has planted me. Thought I would catch up on some reading and read this post 🙂

    Of course, you know that I absolutely love this!! I had to keep myself from skipping down to the end to see when He was sending you…but wouldn’t miss the beautiful story writing in between so I read every word and waited for the bumps to come!

    Jennifer, you will be a blessing and be blessed. I am so excited for you. What a neat ministry!!! It will be my joy to pray for you and your team while you are there!!

    Hopefully, I will have my brain back soon so I can write again! I was gone for 17 days so it may take some time :)!

    God bless you my friend.

@BethMooreLPM In the body of Christ, you are totally the funny bone. Thanks for making us laugh with your stories, Beth.