beauty for ashes

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper." This verse holds hope. Promise. It also holds an undeniable fact. If weapons formed against me shall not prosper, it means there will be weapons formed against me. Saturday night, the roof of our dining hall caught on fire. Somehow, sparks from the fire in the fireplace made it all the way up the chimney and set the thatch roof ablaze. After six hours of prayer, hard work, and brave efforts, the fire was completely out.

While the entire building suffered extensive damage, things could've been much worse. We were experiencing strong winds up until just minutes before the fire broke out. Had they not suddenly stopped, the fire would have spread much quicker (and affected other buildings). The temperature was only 40 degrees, and we were soaked from all our efforts to douse the fire with water. Although we were all exhausted and freezing, no one was seriously hurt.

We had a mission team with us from a Spirit-filled church in Michigan. We were so strengthened by their prayers and faith, and their eagerness to jump in and help however they could. Our staff and interns were also all involved; everyone really pulled together as a team. It was a blessing to see unity at work.

While facing the possibility of losing the entire building, Niel and I felt our resolve strengthening. The enemy could take our "stuff", but he could not take our vision. We were determined that we'd find a way to continue reaching people and raising leaders, with or without a dining hall. We knew that there was more at stake than just a building. The enemy's aim was to discourage us, to distract us from the vision, to cause us to lose heart. He did not win.

We are now faced with the challenge of figuring out how to feed our interns and host mission teams without our industrial kitchen and eating hall. We are faced with the uncertainty of how to rebuild and where the money will come from. It's hard. But the decision to not give up isn't.

We will move forward. We will continue doing what we've always done. We will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and on the vision He's given us. We will not give up. We will not slow down. We will not wallow in our losses.

Yes, a weapon was formed against us. But it did not prosper.