I was not expecting the visit. I was not expecting the encouragement and reassurance I felt I needed so deeply to come in this way on this day. But it came. Though this wasn’t something I was expecting, I found myself gladly accepting this gift from God.
I was in my house studying when Rachel stepped over and asked if I had a moment to meet the Peruvian conference president, Hermano Isaís and his wife. They had been here on the coast for the anniversary services at the Lagunas church and wanted to stop by to visit before they headed back to their home in the mountains. I closed my books and walked down my stairs, across the small courtyard, and up the steps into the institute building. Introductions were made and conversation ensued.
Since this was our first meeting, Hermano Isaís was curious to hear of my calling, and I gladly began answering his questions. I was able to share with them how God had placed a passion in my heart for building Christian schools in countries outside of the United States in order to help children and young people become established at a young age and help grow a strong church for the Kingdom of God. Hermano Isaís responded encouragingly to all of this, and then his wife made a simple comment,
“Where there are children, there is a future.”
Our conversation continued, and I did my best to express my heart even while my mind was processing what had brought me to this place. What had transpired to allow me to be sitting across the table from this couple whose language I cannot understand as yet, but whose hearts are obviously in agreement with mine? What had brought my life to the place that this man, who has known God possibly longer than I have been alive, would quietly say, “Hermana Joanna has faith” as I tried to convey the promises that God has given for the journey ahead? Was this real? Was it even true?
That evening, as soon as the requirements of the day had been met, I sat down to sort through these questions and what this conversation really meant. Did I really have faith for the future? I had barely quieted myself before God when He opened my heart and showed me that I did have faith. I had faith because of Him. I had faith because of His promises. This faith for the future that Hermano Isaís had mentioned was not about me, it was about the God my faith is in.
Immediately upon this recognition, I turned to God’s unchanging Word, and His promises began filling my heart all over again. But He didn’t stop with promises, He gave me a picture of bold faith as I was reading 2 Samuel 7:18-29. Here David is basically saying, “It is only because of your promises that I can even say this. But . . . because you are God, and because you are true, and because you have promised . . . would it please you to go ahead and fulfill your promise to me?” (AMP)
Emboldened by this, I turned to the wall where I had placed my personal promise from God in full view. I read it and prayed it over again with a heart full of faith because He is God, and He is true, and He has promised. Through this process I found that His promises and my God-given faith in those promises bring new life. From new life springs the hope of a future. Where there are children there is a future!
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