Land of the Saxons.

[Risks No. 318 - 357] Several months back my family was kindly invited to visit Steiger International in East Germany, a ministry committed to reaching secular global youth with the Gospel via creativity and the arts. We prayed for confirmation; God provided. This trip was unique in many ways but especially as it marked the first time ever for our family to travel together for the exclusive purpose of missions. I was insecure and uncertain how things would go down. What I found was that two are indeed better than one and Jesus was there in our midst. What I am not including here are the countless sweet stories of God allowing Beth and I to pray over couples of individuals. Our hearts were massively encouraged, together, as the same God who heals and delivers when I'm working solo was repeatedly proving Himself faithful. My marriage and family is so much better for this time. Honestly, I'm still a bit awed by how smooth the trip went and how powerful the experience was. Thank You, Jesus!

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As I usually do when summarizing risks on a trip, here are brief, simple overviews. Saxony is a land once torn by war, oppressed by communism, closed to the Gospel, and now ripe for the love of Jesus. Someone informed me that many of the people are now Atheists and Anarchists. No matter, Jesus' love is greater.

1. Karen, an elderly TSA agent who was super friendly and kind to the kids. God gave me a word that her back was in pain. She confirmed and accepted my prayer offer with joy. We held hands and prayed. She rejoiced that I would be willing to pray for her.

2. First risk in Germany, Philippine lady at coffee counter whose name I didn't catch. Asked how David and I could pray for her and she nearly blushed from shock. "Has no one ever offered to pray for you?" "No, this is a first." We high-fived to firsts! Held her hand and briefly prayed over her need to rent a different home. Looked up, her eyes were full of tears. David and I walked away talking about why we pray for others.

3. Munich airport, lady at Jeweler shop. Told her God loved her and reminded her she was a blessing. She was utterly beside herself with a good kind of confused look. Asked if she had any pain in her body, she didn't.

4. Two ladies at ice-cream parlor in the beautiful city of Meissen. Prayed over them and they were enthusiastically smiling. I missed a word of knowledge about one of their backs.

5. Katie, pizza parlor owner in Meissen. She has a desire to live/work in the US. Prayed God would help her in that. She was super grateful.

6. Man with right foot in boot nicely rejected my offer for prayer in Meissen. I found that language is a real struggle and proved my greatest barrier. Most people in East Germany and Poland do not speak English.

7. Woman in H&M at the mall in Meissen. She was in a wheelchair and I had spotted her twice but figured she probably didn't speak English. David wanted to try out some green skinny jeans and it just happens this woman was waiting by the dressing rooms for her husband. I asked if she spoke English. "Nein!" Right then a store employee walked by and I asked him the same. "I do!," came the quick response. "Please ask this lady if she is in pain and if I can pray for her." She had back issues and she welcomed my request warmly. Kneeled down, held hands and prayed quickly over her. I asked my new translator if I could hug her. She smiled so wide and flung her arms open. She then planted a kiss on my cheek! Love!

8. Beiber runs a horse farm in Krögis. We asked him about horse-riding lessons for the kids and God gave me a word that he had back and leg pain. He did and we prayed. God healed him on the spot. Thanks Jesus!

9. We spent a day in Poland at a cool art festival called, SLOT Festival. It was by far the most creative expression of a fest I've ever seen. We took note of kids trying to do back flips with the assistance of gymnasts. We watched and I noticed one girl get up from the flip grimacing with pain. I walked over and just laid my hand on her ankle and rebuked pain, commanded bones to hold fast. Couldn't communicate with her but love always wins.

10. I passed 3 different volunteers at SLOT and felt the Holy Spirit told me to pray/encourage them. I did. All 3 allowed me to pray and speak words of life over them. I'm learning more and more to feel God's heart for others - this is mission critical to living a life of love.

11. Demitri, at SLOT, had developed a rash with swelling. I prayed for him and told him to try walking 10 steps - he returned instantly healed (and naturally, shocked). Great conversation about Jesus and he was truly in awe. A friend approached and the first thing he shared (in Polish) was how Jesus had healed him (His hand motions and facial expressions said it all). He was studying to be a sea captain - Beth and I were able to pray over his future.

12. Edvard, outside SLOT, elderly man who we couldn't understand but David had noticed him hunched over and wanted us to pray for him. I didn't know what to do so I just hugged him and he broke down crying. "I have no friends but you made me feel like family!"  We prayed over him and loved on him. Jesus is family to the friendless. He later hugged me and kissed my cheek. Two cheek-kisses from strangers in one trip!

13. Two girls at SLOT rejected prayer in a very polite and friendly way. I'd call this rejection light.

14. Adam & a girl he was with, he had fallen while skateboarding and had his ankle bandaged up but didn't want prayer. God began giving me prophetic words for he and his friend and then I was able to pray over them. God taught me much about the critical role the prophetic plays in reaching people with love. Prayer scared them but words of life moved them, ultimately opening their hearts to receive prayer.

15. Agnia, girl with bandage on left knee. We had prophetic words for her and then prayed a blessing over her. Keep in mind all of these SLOT risks were with my whole family which was so incredibly sweet.

16. David prayed for a girls hurting leg (she was experiencing pain in her calf) outside SLOT in the small city of Lupietz. Her pain was instantly gone. She was shocked and he acted like it was a normal day in the life of David. I pray it was and always will be. God!

17. Prayed over Spanish girls leg - pain from kerosene burn. 80% better and then prayed for her friends ovaries/cyst-issues. She felt warmth and "bubbles". Sydney's hand was shaking and Beth was like "did you see her stomach?" My eyes weren't on her stomach but Beth described the feeling of her stomach leaping out. Crazy.

18. Elderly lady in Lupietz, prayed over her wrist and head. She felt better and allowed me to pray over her and hug her.

19. 10-12 handicapped teenagers/young adults. We were walking around Lupietz when I noticed a man unloading a whole slew of wheelchairs from the undercarriage of a bus. I was instantly overwhelmed! What do I do, God? Beth prompted me to keep walking, but I couldn't. Just because I haven't seen breakthrough in people suffering from mental and physical handicaps does not afford me the privilege of passing them up. I ran over to them, yelled an impassioned American "hello!" and asked the man in the suit if I could pray. In rough English, "We are Catholics. You may pray." Done! I was able to get them all in a circle , holding hands and prayed healing/blessing over them all. God continues to challenge my heart not to look differently upon the physically or mentally disabled. Let's learn to pray believing!

20. Security guard at SLOT. Big intimidating guy. To top it off, I missed a word about his knees but was able to pray/encourage him anyway. Do not be intimated.

21. Prayed over little boys right elbow and his friends wrist. They ran off before I could ask our translator to interpret and test.

22. Seba, right wrist broken as a fighter. God gave me words for him and prayed with him. He was a nominal catholic and we were able to share the Importance of a personal relationship with Jesus. He didn't accept Jesus on the spot but said he was greatly challenged and would begin allowed us to pray that Jesus would reveal His true self to him.

21. Horse-riding instructor. The kids were floored to take riding lessons. The instructor asked me to help get the kids on the horses as her back wasn't strong. Before we left I asked if I could pray for her back. We did and all pain left. She sensed heat and her muscles growing strong.

Sweet beyond measure that God enabled me to take multiple risks in Germany and Poland with my whole family. So amazed to watch my own kids praying and seeing God move. Jesus, You never cease to amaze. Thank You, Abba!