Sunday, 11 November 2012

I sometimes forget...

I sometimes forget…

that I live in West Africa. Living on a ship means I easily forget that there’s an outside world where rain falls and thunder clatters, that there are cool breezes (and hot ones too) and flowers that smell and butterflies that flutter – huge ones, tiny ones, in all sorts of colours. I sometimes forget that there are rainbows in the tumbling waterfalls and that there’s lush lush greenery blanketing the dramatic landscape – mountains and never ending plateaus. I sometimes forget the beauty of village life – the baby having a roadside bath, held precariously by one arm over a bucket, the girls - necks bent, having their hair braided ready for a new week, the squealing chickens and goats tied to the tops of taxis and the flamboyant colours that make up a woman’s dress. I sometimes forget the giggles of small children at the sight of a ‘white man’, the awe I feel as I look onward at a woman carrying a heavy load on her head and a baby on her back, or the beads of sweat on a young boys forehead as he carries tonight’s firewood home. I sometimes forget what it’s like to laugh – really laugh – and I remember as I stand under a waterfall’s pounding flumes. I so easily forget the joy and deep peace that sweeps over me as I hear birds tweeting in the tress and the bright yellow weaver birds tending to their nests.

I remember thinking the same when we were sailing last – those twinkling blues seas and leaping dolphins, the flying fish showing off their iridescent blues and the incredible starry night skies. It took a weekend away a few hours north from the hustle and bustle of life in a steel can to remember… but it leaves me wondering – are these beauties there all the time? Does that rich rolling landscape get folded up and put away when I’m not there to look at it? I wonder if the trees and butterflies are just playing along? Where does it all go when there’s no-one to ‘wow’ at this creative bliss? Does it all get packed up and filed away? Does God run a few steps ahead of us saying, ‘crikey! she’s on her way! Butterflies - take your place, Mountain - get back there! And Thunder, I thought I told you to clatter! That’s it… good job guys, she’s enjoying it’….???!!! But truth is, it’s there all the time. I need to marvel more.

The reason this all touches me so much, why I find myself saying, ‘ohhhhhh… sorrrry! I’ve been living life in my beige steel box… forgetting that there is beauty and butterflies… sometimes I forget’. And it makes me think of all the ways I choose beige over butterflies. Where I choose disappointment over hope, guilt over grace, incessant worry over peace, bitterness over forgiveness, lack over praise and thanks… and all the time, God is so desperately wanting to invade my life with love, life, colour, power, joy, laughter, hope. God is so good… and sometimes I forget. It’s there all the time.

And even on this beige steel box, there’s plenty of beauty. You should see the ortho kids walking up and down the corridor with their legs all in casts, cheering each other on, ‘bravo, bravo!!’. VVF surgery starts this week and I can’t wait to sense their joy as they put on cloaks of joy and leave behind their spirits of despair. I’m encouraged as I see tumours disappearing and life being poured in. It’s sunday evening and a new week is about to begin.. bring it on….

Love always, KWW

Sunday, 4 November 2012

It's never the end of the story

I’m so thankful I’m on a journey and that I’m not ‘there’ yet. I’m not satisfied with where I’m at. Or with where the world is at. I’m more than happy in many respects, but I know there’s more to come. I’m so thankful it’s not the end of the story…

I’ve been re-reading Bill Johnson’s ‘When Heaven invades Earth’ and could pretty much write out the whole thing for you – it’s amazing. It speaks a kind of truth that leaves me speechless. In there he says, ‘… it is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible. It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow to the name of Jesus.’ He describes miracles involving cancer disappearing and legs and muscles growing from nowhere and suggests that the reason these things aren’t more normal for the church is not because it’s God’s will, but because of what we believe about who God is. He begs us to stop making up excuses for God’s powerlessness and urges us to understand more of who He is.

We hear story after story in the New Testament of Jesus performing miracles. I love it, because I love anything that brings life… and as I read, I hunger for more of it. Not for any other reason but for God’s glory, so that others would come to know Him and be in awe of the God who loves them so dearly.

It leaves me wondering, though. Why don’t we see more miracles and what makes Jesus different from us? The key elements seem to be that Jesus didn’t have any sin that separated him from God and that he was completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to help Him. For us, despite our mess-ups, they don’t separate us from God because of Jesus dying for us (thank you, thank you, thank you), so it seems the only difference is the measure to which we allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us.

Day after day I find myself broken and realizing that there’s stuff in the way of God’s Spirit flowing through me. It feels like life’s journey is about getting the lies I have believed and mis-truths about God or the walls I have built up, out of the way and I often wonder… are we there yet??! Just as with Adam and Eve, the only way satan has power in our lives (blocking the Holy Spirit flowing through us), is through our own agreement. We might not even realize it - we may be living through such deeply entrenched lies, that we have no idea. But it is through these kinds of agreements that we empower satan and disempower God.

It is never God’s will for us to suffer. Last year, a treasured friend of mine died in a tragic accident and someone said to me, ‘ you must find it so hard to look at God and try to understand why He let this happen’… I wasn’t actually angry at all, but I was at that statement. How could they speak about my God like that? I wanted to respond by asking, ‘Do you not know, He is full of love? He didn’t cause this, this wasn’t His will for my friend’s life’. What kind of God do you believe in? God is only good. And then I guess I had a revelation… that we really sell God so short and we really have such little understanding of how good He is. This makes me more sad than mad. We need to get how good God is. Otherwise we start thinking that it’s God’s will for us to suffer and it makes my heart ache. He’s not like that.

I’m sure there’s reasons we think this – perhaps just lack of understanding or we lack a deep revelation of the goodness of God. Perhaps we’re so stuck in our disappointments, we’ve forgotten the truth that God is good and provides generously for all our needs. We’ve limited God by basing our faith on our experiences and not on who God is. Or perhaps we’ve not been willing to step out in obedience and missed out on the good that God has for us. We need to get out of the rut that says, ‘this is as good as it gets’ and start praying more, ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’, just as He taught us to do.

In Bill Johnson’s book he says: ‘Faith lives within the revealed will of God. When I have misconceptions of who He is and what He is like, my faith is restricted by those misconceptions. For example, if I believe that God allows sickness in order to build character, I’ll not have confidence in praying in most situations where healing is needed… Faith is much more free to develop when we truly see the heart of God as good…. Unbelief is anchored in what is visible or reasonable apart from God. It honors the natural realm as superior to the invisible.’

He goes on to point out how people say, I know God ‘can’ do it as just being nothing more than hope. Faith knows He will do it. ‘Faith is based on experience and knowledge of who God is – not on our own experiences of something that isn’t God.’

I’m not saying we should step out and believe God is who He says He is and that we can expect more because I want everyone to live happily ever after. It’s bigger than that. I’m saying it because it’s what God tells us to do and He doesn’t want us to miss out. Have you ever wondered why He taught us to pray, ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’ – if Heaven is a place without sin? Pain? Fear? Disease? Grief?... is this really what we can expect on Earth? Or is this too good to be true? So many of us – myself included have settled for less. We have thought it’s the end of the story. We’ve thought this is as good as it gets. But it’s not true!!!!!! God’s heart is shouting, ‘come closer, I have got so much more for you, stop settling….;

Just look at the story of Joshua. In Joshua 3, we read that he wasn’t intimidated by the task to lead 2 million Israelites across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land, but instead he acted immediately in obedience to God. So often we hinder our own progress with God because we are limiting His activity in our life because we won’t obey, we just won’t do what He’s asking us to do.
Priscilla Shirer, another writer I admire, says that one of the ways the enemy keeps you and I from achieving whatever God’s purpose, plan and will is for our lives is to simply stamp a spirit of fear on the very thing that He knows is the last thing you need to conquer before you get into the Promised Land.
The Egyptians in Exodus 1 were intent on enslaving the Israelites, wearing them down so that God’s chosen people would become disillusioned and not live up to their destiny. Of the original two million Israelites who received God’s invitation to enter the Promised Land, only two actually entered it! Similarly, we often hear and understand the promises of God but then rarely choose to experience them in everyday life. So, of the 2 million, it was just one in a million who were willing to put abundant life to work, no matter where they were or no matter how easy it would have been to blend in with the others. Only Joshua and Caleb were willing to walk in brave obedience to find the ‘more’ that God had for them. The rest just stayed on the edge of the promised land.

Are we going to be people who say ‘enough is enough, let’s have all that God has promised us’? Because the next one in a million could be you. The minute you realize you’ve had your fill of halfway faith, the moment you realize a week is a long time to put off what God has told you to do, is the moment your stories will start to change and you will start to see the abundance that God is calling you into.

Get over being average. Don’t settle any more. Break out. Live it. Believe God is who He says He is.

This is why I’m so happy to work with Mercy Ships – I’m so glad it’s not the end of the story for the patients we get to care for. Not just in the physical changes we see but in of all the changes going on in these people’s lives that we don’t even see. The renewed self confidence, how it feels to receive love, to feel valued, to feel known. The destruction of the lie, ‘I am nobody’ to realizing, ‘I am somebody’. The impact of a changed life on their family and on their community. I continue to be so happy to be able to be part of all that goes on in this place.

So… What do you want to ‘expect more’ in? I’m not suggesting you should expect the happy ever after ending – but I do suggest that we need to expect the ending to be good. It might look different to what you first expected or hoped for, it might take some realigning and fixing your eyes on God, seeking Him first, but I can promise you that it will be good. How about some… More Love… More Power… More Grace… for each other, for ourselves. How about knowing God as a Redeemer?

I want to expect more for my friends and family who don’t yet know Jesus… I want the results of my disobedience to be forgotten, for my messes to be cleared up, I need to know there’s a Redeemer who makes all things new. I need to know there is hope. I want to know the young guy who will have surgery on Wednesday who has a facial tumour bigger than I have ever seen in my life, will do well and be left with a result that saves his precious life and leaves him wondering if there really must be a God who can do more than we ask or imagine. I need to know it’s not the end of the story for him, I need to know it’s not the end of the story for me.

I pray that as God does the ‘more’ in your life and in all that you hope for, that He will be glorified and that as He helps you overcome and helps you enter the abundance He has for you, others would begin to expect more too and that we’d all become the people He made us to be…. may His enabling Spirit come over you right now as He begins to speak life and truth into some of the stories you feared had ended already… it’s never the end of the story.

So happy I’m on this journey with you precious friends, with love always, KWW x

Sunday, 9 September 2012


‘For Hope to be credible in the future, it needs to be tangible in the present’ (Robert Sieple)… and this is why I love my job. The dispensing of Hope has been in full swing this week with our mass Screening Day on Monday where around 3500 people passed through our teams to see if we could help them. It was a loooooong day which left my feet pounding, my heart aching and my spirit soaring. For so many, the answer was ‘no’. I am always surprised at the ease with which most receive the ‘no’s’ but this year the no’s felt harder as I realized that these beautiful people weren’t accepting ‘no’ because they were kind and gracious – well perhaps they were that too, but more than that, it dawned on me that their reaction was the result of years of learning that this is how life is – a kind of sick fatalism that has wrapped its ugly fingers around these nations of West Africa. There’s not much point in hoping too much if you’ve been waiting for years to get your dodgy heart fixed or your chronic skin disease cleared up or your leg that broke a few years ago mended… when the answer has always been ‘no’… so they accept another no like they almost didn’t expect anything else. And this breaks my heart. It’s ok – I know it’s not my responsibility to fix the world and it doesn’t weigh me down because there’s a God bigger than me and with more love and compassion than I could ever have who will continue to go to extraordinary lengths to help these people. But it hurts. These people shouldn’t have to live with so many ‘no’s’ – how are they supposed to hope for the future when there is no ounce of tangible hope… right now? So the day left me with a resounding cry in my heart – not just for Guinea, but for the World – for us all to be doing our part to bring Hope. Whether that’s helping someone down the road or restoring a relationship or working in a floating Hospital. It’s up to us to be doing it. We need to be the face of tangible hope. Let’s do it, people!

‘When a poor person dies of hunger it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed… even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own…’ Mother Theresa

But oh, it looks so good to see hope in the eyes of those who have waited for so long; the ones who got the ‘yes’s’. I wish I could somehow bottle up the sights and emotions found as the ship becomes a Hospital again and erupts into the first day of surgery. Only 2 days previously, the now patients had no idea what was about to happen and now find themselves being tucked up into our ward beds being prepared for surgery. I always wonder what on earth is going through their heads – how it feels to climb the gangway of a big white ship and enter the freezer like conditions of the a/c. The first to walk up the ‘Hallway of Hope’ from the Ward to the Operating rooms were 3 kids with cleft lips, a man with a large lump on his forehead and a couple of guys with hernias. A few hours later, they were all fixed. Tangible Hope. I love it.

But Hope isn’t all about ‘us’ helping ‘them’. Hope is about these beautiful people showing me more about what it is to love, to keep going when life is tough, to smile with a depth of joy and gratitude that I have never seen anywhere else in the world. It’s about them sharing the wisdom that comes with living life in a country like this and all it has been through. This puts hope in my heart. When people are real and I realize again that life is so much richer than I thought. That life is about relationships and about us all helping each other to become more of who we were made to be. That life is about helping each other get rid of the stuff that gets in the way of us living in the freedom that we were created to live in. This is what fills me with hope and as much as I look forward to all the ways we can be dispensers of hope these next 9 months, I look forward to all the things that I am going to learn too. Teach me sweet Africa, I need you so much.

May you too know that tangible hope in all you long for. Love always, KWW

Sunday, 5 August 2012

dispensing hope

How can I explain how it feels for a country loving girl, living in a cabin without a window where only a clock reveals the time of day, on an air conditioned ship of steel that spends most of its time in some of the poorest ports in the world, where the view consists of shipping containers, shipping containers and... some more shipping containers.... and where the horizon is filled with cargo ships waiting to shed their.... shipping containers... how can I explain what it feels for a girl who lives there, to... come home? How does it feel for a heart to get hugs from those it misses... so much... how does it feel? It's hard to put into words and all I can say is it's like discovering new treasures each time.

Do you know how it is to walk through an English country garden? The dew fresh on my flip flopped feet - my senses bathed in aromas of blooming roses, lavender, sweet peas, honey suckle and the sweet smell of tomato leaves on my hands. Heavenly. I feel like I am being romanced from on high as I take the 'walk through' garden cafe and grab a fruit salad - strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, loganberries and a nearly ripe blackberry... juicy tangs on my lips... oh, how I miss you! Do you know how this feels? Do you? I can't explain it you see. How it feels to be around those who know me... who know I prefer raw carrots to cooked and my wellies more than... well, more than I should. It's a taste of Heaven in my heart. I've so enjoyed my time at home. There's never enough time to see and do all I want but I am thankful for the time I had. It speaks to me of a generous and loving God and gives me fuel for all that's ahead.

... it's that time of year again when we prepare to embrace getting on for nearly 100 new Hospital Staff as we approach our start up in a new country. I'm passionate about what we do - I'm excited for the 'hope and healing' we can bring on our big white ship to the people of Guinea for the next 10 months. I've just arrived in Tenerife and we set sail next week and surgery begins in the beginning of September. We want to be 'dispensers of hope'... not just to the patients but within our incredible community of 450 people as well. After all, we all need hope. I do anyway. I need that strong confident expectation in the promises of God. I need to know that this isn't the end of the story, that there is more than this, that the hurting bits can get better. And this little romanced heart is ready to get dispensing.

I'd love it if you could pray for our sail ahead, for our new team as we get together and form our visions for the months ahead and for the hope we dispense - that the little we can offer would multiply and would transform the nation of Guinea. Not just a little but beyond our wildest dreams!

Thank you for loving me, supporting me and for putting hope in my heart.... may your heart be filled with hope as you pursue your passions and may you know the joy of giving it away... Love forever, KWW

Saturday, 9 June 2012

my heart is full

My heart is full. Full of God’s extravagant goodness.  Full of moments I know were brought together by the God who made the world. Friendships, new life and healing in the lives of our patients, a continually bustling ward full of hope and laughter, fan choco, long swims at Ghis Palace… the excitement ahead for the sail to Tenerife for the ship to get some much needed attention... and meanwhile sneak off for a month myself for some much needed attention too… for the sail back in August to begin 10 months in Guinea  – we haven’t been there in 12 years and it’s likely the need for the kinds of surgery we can provide will far outweigh the opportunities we can bring… but hope none the less… I can’t get tired of this adventure. My spirit feels too alive…. and I thank God for every single moment that He’s allowed me to be part of so far.

We’ve spent the last 5 months in Togo doing the usual array of surgeries. I won’t go into them this time but I will tell you that I am SO thankful for such an amazing team – check out this little video of our nurses made for International Nurse’s Day.

But aside from the usual, were some unexpected adventures. The highlight of which was a trip to Nigeria a few weeks ago to retrace the steps of where my mum and dad and brother Phil, lived 43 years ago. It started as an inkling of an idea – one I’ve pushed away many times because it seemed too tough to pursue – perhaps just not the right timing – perhaps there were things God had to prepare on the way first… but a few weeks ago, the time came. It seemed so impossible from the reaction of others, just getting a Visa sounded like it might never happen, let alone getting out of Lagos Bus Station alive! But the doors flew open wide and a friend and I got the Visas… the bus tickets… and the time off work… and off we went.

We were met by Ben at the ABC bus station in Nigeria’s capital, Lagos, after an 11 hour bus ride from Lome (Togo) and a memorable nights ‘sleep’ in the ‘VIP’ lounge which consisted of 4 sofas – shared with 6 or so others who provided a symphony of snoring to add to the beeping horns and background of loud trashy music. Miraculously, I think I slept – for a few hours at least. We set off at 0630 with Ben – a contact of an ex-Mercy Shipper who would be our driver for the next few days. We’d been told Lagos was not a safe place and it definitely had that feel to it. So off we were, on our way to Ibadan – then on to Illesha in search of the Hospital where Phil was born. A few hours later, we arrived at Wesley Guild Hospital – most of me in disbelief – the rest just in awe. We were shown around the hospital, saw the maternity ward, met some midwives and took some photos to try and match the ones mum had given me from all those years ago. It was a moving time, to say the least. We left Ilesha and went on to Ikole-Ekiti – the town where they had lived and another 80-90 miles on. The journey seemed to go on forever and we went through a million different towns called something-Ekiti and to be honest, I wondered a few times if we’d lost our way. But I needn’t have doubted… we arrived. A much smaller town than Ilesha – who knows how big – lots of shacks – market stalls – goats running across the road. African life right there, more rural and surrounded by lush lush greenery and palm trees galore. It was nearing dusk, so our plans were to find somewhere to sleep and do the exploring in the morning. Ben asked where the school was where Dad had taught and where they all lived, so we would know where to head to the next day… but it just so happened to be around the corner, so we stopped on by. As was with the midwives and hospital staff, the security guy at the gate listened to the story of the white girl coming to find her parents home from 43 years ago with loud African, ‘ey????!!!!’s’ and laughter. I think they thought it was pretty cool

We walked around the school grounds and then got permission to go up to the house. I honestly couldn’t believe it as I climbed the little hill I had heard Mum and Dad talk about many times. As I sat on the verandah, my mind was full of what thoughts - how it looked like then, how it was for them and realizing that, I guess, may be Phil made some of his first steps right there. Weird. Awesome. Moving. Very, very moving. I love that Phil got to spend his first 2 years there. Around the back of the house were the now occupants – cooking over the fire, right by the water tank and the banana trees Mum had spoken of. I was really there!!!!! More ‘eh???!!!!’s’ and even louder laughter and exclamations. I wonder what they were thinking – crazy white girl? Or… wow… precious moments. I think it was the latter from the look in their eyes. I called Mum and Dad as I stood by the fire and cooking pots. That was special too. Almost unbelievable. In fact it was. Unbelievable. A moment only attributable to a loving God. How else did it happen? How else did these beautiful moments coincide? Dusk was falling rapidly and we made our way down the hill. 

We kipped down in a guest house, just a few minutes down the road. Simple, no flash, no glitz – a bed, a bucket of water and some broken crackers and a few handfuls of dried fruit to form our evening meal. I love that. I loved the simplicity of that – so refreshing and freeing.  No traps, no pretence, just life. And perhaps that is why I love Africa so much. Perhaps some seeds were sewn into me back in those days. Who knows. But I love the fruit simplicity brings.

We popped back to the school for a daylight photo – the day much cooler than the ones before. Cloudy skies and an almost chilly breeze met us as we chatted to the security guard there. ‘He was my teacher – John Randall’, he said, as we told the story again. Too hard to believe? It is kind of, but he seemed pretty sure! We were led to a group of teachers being addressed by the Headmaster. They were seated on plastic chairs in a group out on the football field! Most of the kids were parading in long lines to their classrooms, except a few – 8 or so – all standing on one leg! I wondered what they were being punished for. Bless them. We waited in the sidelines until the Headmaster beckoned us to join the group. He thanked me for the seeds my parents had sewn and said that the school was growing and doing well. I brought greetings from Mum and Dad and Phil to the group and asked God to bless them for the work they do. More ‘eh!!!!’s’ and laughter and nods of respect as they heard the story.

I breathed it in, I took in the sights, I thanked God for these very precious moments… and we drove away…. Through the lush green bush, going at speeds I’d really rather not repeat, weaving precariously along winding roads and avoiding other cars and trucks that got far too close. We made it! God made it! He kept us safe – we survived… but we did so much more than that. We saw people doing that - surviving – just selling enough produce to survive another day – these beautiful people work so hard to survive each day. But we got to do so much more than that. The privileged, the ones who get to choose, who get to do more than just survive. I’m so thankful for my life that is so flipping rich… 

So what now? What just happened? – on that trip and these last 5 months? More displays of God’s extravagant goodness, that’s what. I could tell you story after story of what God has done in the lives of patients on board. As we pull away from the port later this week, I think there may be a few tears in my eyes, reflecting on the goodness and holding those who still have wounds that need to heal, up to a God who loves them and will not leave them… yep, there’ll be a tear or 2 for sure… but you know what? There’s plenty more goodness where that came from… and I look forward to more adventures with renewed passion for a God who loves us, who pours out so generously and has a life full of adventure and life and love for each of us… let’s embrace it…

Love you all so much! kww

Sunday, 12 February 2012

love has a face

We’ve been in Togo for just over a month now and the hospital is in full swing. It’s soooo good to see the collection of hope filled faces on our wards. I always wonder what on earth is going through the minds of people who didn’t even know they would have surgery 2 weeks ago and now find themselves on a floating Hospital with air conditioning that can produce arctic conditions. About ¾ of our Hospital Team is brand new and this remains the biggest challenge to the work we do in my eyes… yet each year more amazing people leave the comforts of their homes and dare to set foot on our Hospital Ship and once again I am in awe of the beautiful hearts I get to share my life with. I love the new life they bring and the new eyes that give fresh sight to the daily miracles that I realise I have come to find so normal.

We’ve had busy weeks orientating new staff, refining our policies and procedures and holding our big Screening day where an estimated 3500 people came for our team to assess whether we could help. We were selecting people to be scheduled for our usual array of Plastics, Maxilla Facial, General and VVF surgeries over the next few months. It was a challenging day but full of richness in the form of great team work and opportunities to meet the humble faces of those who have waited years for a glimpse of hope. Whether our answer was a yes or a no, I pray each one left having experienced a love they may never have experienced before and with a life changed in ways we may never see.

For me it has been a few weeks of feeling slightly overwhelmed at times and I have loved reading ‘Love has a Face’ by Michelle Perry which has drawn me out of myself and reminded me what it’s all about. I could pretty much type out the whole thing and quote it to you because it speaks to me so much. This lady is full of compassion and is about as selfless as you can get. She works in Sudan and sees God do amazing things every day. She believes God is who He says He is – she hasn’t settled for half truths and compromises of who God is based on fear, disappointment or human limitations. She has inspired me. Here’s an excerpt for you:

‘It was the first time I had slowed down long enough to realise that Jesus was watching my busy pace, my overflowing days and my crowded life. He was just watching me and waiting for me to notice that He was not as intent on my schedule as I was. I looked into His eyes and realised that I was getting the loving others part right. I was seeing and stopping for the one in front of me. But I had forgotten that He was the most important one I could ever stop for. His gaze held no condemnation. It held only invitation.

Suddenly I was taken into a vision where I was standing in a vast harvest field. It expanded as far as my eyes could see in every direction. It was lit with faint pre-dawn light. The sun was just beginning to touch the distant horizon.

The picture was so immense that I was overwhelmed. Where would I even begin to harvest that field? How would I start? I looked around me. I saw no tools, no bag, nothing at all to begin gathering this huge harvest.

In this vision Jesus walked up to me in the middle of that field. His face was shining. His eyes were smiling. He came so close to me that all I could see were His beautiful eyes. I could not look away, not even to see the harvest. He took me by the hand, and we began to dance. The field twirled by out of the corner of my eyes, but my gaze was locked with His and He alone was my focus.

‘This is what I want,’ He said. ‘This is what I want. I want you to live a life with your eyes fixed on Me. As we dance together the harvest will come in. It is not about a plan, it is about a dance.’

Was I planning great exploits for Jesus? Or was I dancing with Him, letting Him fill all my vision and become my Everything?

I realised I had been lamenting my lack of resources and the huge task ahead of me. I was fixated on the field when Jesus wanted me to be focused on His face. He did not want me to settle and get by with romantic notions about Him. He wanted my heart, the core of who I am, to surrender being romanced by Him, to be overtaken by his love. He wanted me to be so captivated by His gaze that He would become all I see… all I have to do is find who I am in Love’s eyes. All I have to do is be a little girl in the arms of her Papa, knowing she is loved not for anything she has done or achieved but simply because He has loved her. I can stand on His feet and let Him lead, knowing that as we dance together, the harvest will come in.’

I want to be that little girl standing on her Papa’s feet. I’m not OK with letting God be as small as I have made Him. I’m so tired of that. I’m so hungry to see God be all He says He is, to break into people’s lives – for people to get angry at the brokenness and suffering and disease we see. Is this Heaven on Earth? No? Well that’s how He taught us to pray and I am not settling for anything less. May Heaven come to Earth in my life – in your life and in the lives of every beautiful person we get to meet during these next four months in Togo. I look forward to testimonies of people being free to be all they were created to be with nothing holding them back. Bring it on!

Love you all so much, KWW xx