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A Wide Door for Effective Ministry- Part 2
March 11, 2010

Standing in line at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

A Wide Door of opportunity - Part 2

[I am just now getting the chance to place my journaling online. Better late than never, right? I'll add my entries as I would have had I posted them while in Jinja, so the most recent post will be the most recent journal entry. Thanks to all who prayed for us and supported us back home. We appreciate you all!]

My previous entry had us in the air, on our way to Amsterdam, but I need to backtrack some to share some things about which the Holy Spirit had spoken to me.

During my prayer and study time the Holy Spirit had brought several scriptures to mind. First was the one I opened this entry with...1 Corinthians 16:9. Then there was the incident that Mark records in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus had been teaching the multitudes by the sea of Galilee all day, and when the evening came He looked at His disciples and said, “Let's cross over to the other side.” He was already in the boat with them, so they shoved off to head for the distant shore. Jesus went to sleep on a cushion in the boat. While He slept a great storm arose with gale-force winds and huge waves that swamped the boat. Jesus slept through all of that until the disciples woke him up. They were afraid for their lives and as they woke Him, their question was, “Master, don't you care that we're going to die?”

We stood in line at lot those  first two days...

I've always loved this passage...Jesus got up (V. 39), rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,”Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased. The waves stopped. The Bible tells us that “...and there was a great calm.” Jesus then turns to His disciples and in verse 40 says, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” You have to think about it. By this time, these guys had been with Jesus for a little while. They'd seen Him cast out demons, heal lepers, restore the hand of the man whose hand was paralyzed, turn water into wine, and heal the multitudes of their various illnesses and afflictions. They had already been commissioned as apostles. And yet, according to Jesus they had “NO” faith. I can picture Him looking at them, shaking His head in disbelief, saying, “I told you we were going to the other side. I don't care what storms may try to stop us...we're crossing over to the other side. Period.”

The storm didn't come up because the disciples were out of the will of God by heading to the far shore. It didn't come up because God was mad at them. The storm came up while they were following Jesus' instructions...”We're going to the other side.” How many times in life do we hear a clear directive from God. We know that we've been called to do a certain thing. But then as soon as the wind starts blowing and the waves kick up, even just a little bit, we say, “Oh, I must not have heard God right when I thought He said to go and do such and such. If God wanted me to do it, then things would go smoothly. I wouldn't run into any roadblocks. Things would fall into place!”

Yeah, right! It's when we are following the plan of God for our lives that the enemy, satan, comes against us with the gale-force winds and tries his darndest to make us turn back, or swamp our faith. And I knew, standing there in Washington, DC that Monday night that that was exactly what was happening. The enemy was stirring up some “wind and waves” in the form of a snowstorm, mechanical failures, airline cancellations, and two of the biggies: doubt and fear.

Since the enemy's M.O. is the use of mind-games, we all have to deal with doubt and fear. And we are all susceptible to caving in to that doubt and fear if we aren't certain of the word we have heard from God. That's why Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Once we are sure that we've heard a word from God, then we can attach our faith to that Word and walk in obedience to it.

A few people began doubting whether or not we should go. They were afraid that if they hung around all day that our flight would be canceled a third time. They doubted that we could do any effective ministry in the shortened time period. Fear and doubt not only cause people to miss out on fulfilling the plan of God for their lives, but many times they hinder what God wants to do for others through them. Fear and doubt caused us to lose 3 very important members of our team. And in losing those 3 team members, we also lost 225-pounds of supplies that were being carried in their checked luggage and the corresponding projects we had to cancel. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. God still loves them and we still love them. That doesn't, however, change the fact that people missed out on many blessings by their dropping out of the race.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport:

Our plane was quite late arriving at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and some of us literally ran to the gate to make sure they wouldn't leave without us. God is so gracious! Psalm 5:12 in the New Century Version tells us: “Lord, you bless those who do what is right; you protect them like a soldier's shield.

Loading the baggage into the truck

The airline was holding the plane. Which is a good thing since the ticket agent at Dulles had messed up some of the tickets. Only part of the team had boarding passes all the way through to Entebbe, and one person was in the system with a wrong flight number. It was a hour after we were scheduled to depart before we were all seated on the plane. There had been some tense moments while trying to get the messed up tickets straightened out, but God prevailed.

The flight to Entebbe was uneventful. We and most of our luggage arrived and were met by Pastor Rick and Stephen. I say most because apparently two large duffles had only been checked through to Amsterdam. It was anybody's guess at that point as to what was in them or when we'd see them, so after the required “Lost Baggage” paperwork was filled out we loaded onto the waiting bus. Our baggage was placed inside a large truck and off we headed toward Jinja.

I think we arrived at the Palm Tree Guesthouse around 3:00 am. I can't remember for certain as the rest of that evening/morning ran together like a watercolor that has gotten wet. There were bags to unload, rooms to check into, and personal belongings to sort out. It was only then that I found out that my incredible new roommate, Alice, had been “attacked” by the escalator at the Entebbe Airport. Her pantleg had caught in the moving step and caused her to take a nasty tumble. Both legs bore large “chew marks” from the unforgiving metal jaws. Doc Jim came in to clean and dress the wounds, and both Alice and I collapsed into our respective beds...Sleep came quickly for me...



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