"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Dancing in Grace

Our family moved to Abilene in 2001. We lived there for almost a year as we trained with our team to prepare for our move to Porto Alegre.

Our first month there we had a retreat at a place called Camp Butman. It's okay to laugh right now. We all did when we first heard the name. It's a funny name. Butman.

I think we stayed 3-4 days there. On one of those days a man named Jim Clark was invited to come and share with us. We had an amazing time of prayer together and I immediately felt a bond with him. He quickly became a person I looked up to spiritually. He is a man who is quiet and humble and loves the Lord. And he believes, really believes in the power of prayer. He and I would get together for times of prayer. We ate lunch together. I enjoyed spending time with him whenever I could. He taught me a lot in our brief time together.

Right before we left Abilene he invited us to a prayer room at a Methodist church. He had two of his prayer partners, two women, waiting for us and the three of them prayed over us and blessed us greatly. It was an amazing send off for Benay and myself.

During our time in Abilene we also got really involved in a small group. They were our family and really took care of us while we were there. During our last couple of weeks there our brother Daryl took us into a shepherds meeting so they could bless our family and ministry. I will never forget Daryl's kindness in blessing us that way. Our small group then met us one night and took us into a room at the church building and each family read scripture over us and washed our feet. Each family. It was something that blessed us greatly.

Honestly, it was tough to leave Abilene because of this group and Jim Clark. These people continue to be a part of our ministry to this day.

We go back to the states every two years and we've always tried to visit Abilene to see our family there. Daryl and his wife Rebekah always open their home to our big family. Always. Every time we are there it's like we were with them just yesterday.

I also try to see Jim when we are there. We've met for breakfast. He's come over to the Zeller's to pray. We do our best to see each other.

The trip to Abilene has become even more important for us now as we have two daughters and a son-in-law there.

We got to go there in February. We spent as much time as we could with our kids and their friends. It was a busy weekend at their school and our Abilene friends were busy with other commitments and friends visiting so we didn't get to be with them as much as normal.

We did get to share a meal with the Zeller's and we, as always, laughed a bunch and got caught up. Here they are, along with Jenna, the creeper, behind them.
I was worried that during our Abilene visit I wasn't going to get to see Jim. Our schedule was really busy and I had just resigned myself to the fact that this would be one visit where we wouldn't be able to get together.

We went to worship at our old church on the one Sunday we were there. Our family arrived late. Bronwyn, Stephen and Stephen's family had gotten there before us and saved us a seat. The place was packed. There were hardly any empty seats. As I walked in I was looking for people that I knew from our time when we lived there. I saw no one. I sat down and kept looking. I came in last and sat down. I had one empty seat beside me and then it was the aisle. I happened to glance across the aisle and who was sitting right next to me? Jim Clark. I love it when God does stuff like that.

I whispered his name. He looked over at me and we got up and gave each other a hug.

After worship we got to spend some time together. I would love to have spent more time with him but thanked God for getting the chance to see him. I had heard that he had written another book. He told me yes and then went to his car to get us a copy.

All of the above to say the book is something you need in your library. Jim is a man of God and what the Spirit put on his heart will, I believe, bless you as it has me.

Here is what the cover looks like.
I found it on amazon. You can click here and get a copy.

I love how God used our brief time in Abilene to bless us so much and He continues to do so. I pray He will use that connection to bless you through this book. You will not regret buying it.

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