My husband and I are ministers with Miracle Arena for All Nations. We have been pastoring a branch in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories for the past 3 years. We were recently reassigned to plant a new branch in Edmonton, Alberta. While overseeing the Western branches of Miracle Arena for All Nations including Yellowknife, Calgary, and Fort McMurray.
I had just given birth to our youngest daughter when we got the green light to go ahead and publicly announce that we would be leaving our current location and moving to Edmonton in a few short weeks.
My husband, Pastor Lovingson went ahead of us to make preparations. He passionately set to work. He put together a team of people to coordinate an opening conference, he found us a home and he arranged for church services to start the following Sunday.
We prepared to leave our community of seven years where we had met and been married, the church branch that we had planted as well as a growing business. I stayed behind for 3 more weeks with our two-year-old and newborn baby to pack up the house. It was a period of intense work. Many people felt sorry for me, offering sympathy for the fact that I was caring for our young children on my own. But even though it was definitely a struggle I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
I wonder how Peter’s wife reacted when he told her that he was giving up life as a fisherman to go follow a man who called himself the son of God.
Was she upset? Why hadn’t he discussed it with her before he went off and made such a big decision that would change their lives?
Was she frustrated? How come he got to go have an adventure traveling the countryside with a bunch of guys while she had to stay home and take care of the kids and her sick mother?
Was she scared? How were they going to pay their taxes if Peter wasn’t out fishing? Did this Jesus fellow offer a pension plan? Would Peter get a salary? Were there any bonuses? What about vacation time?
Was she confused? Who is this Jesus and why did he pick you?
Or did she see a side of Peter that she had never seen before? Maybe she was used to Peter coming home tired and sore. A little grumpy if he hadn’t caught much the night before.
That night, when he came home after meeting Jesus, everything about Peter must have been different. Maybe his countenance had changed. Maybe there was a light easiness about him. Maybe his wife saw a deep joy and enthusiasm in his eyes that she had never seen before. Maybe it was contagious so that when he began to tell her the plan there was inexplicable joy and laughter throughout the house.
The bible doesn’t say anything about how Peter’s wife and family reacted but I believe it was positive. When my husband travels I like to think of myself as being in the company of the military wives. Brave and courageous women who know that their personal sacrifice is serving something so much greater. Of course there is fear and loneliness. Of course it’s hard. But it is so worth it!
We have made many sacrifices to serve the Lord, but we have lost nothing. In fact, there have been more rewards than I can count. Like Peter, who was able to invite Jesus into his home to heal his mother in law, we have had the opportunity to invite Jesus into every aspect of our lives to heal the brokenness. God has opened so many doors for us and taken us to places we could never have gone on our own. My mind and spirit have developed and grown stronger and sharper as a result of these times of trial and difficult decisions. Our marriage grows stronger as we lean upon one another, bringing out the very best in one another. As iron sharpens iron.
These conferences are life-changing events where Jesus Christ our King is glorified and worshiped. the Holy Spirit is adored and God our Father is honored and obeyed. People come to be taught the uncompromised word of God. They are healed, trained and equipped to actively fulfill the commission of Jesus Christ as outlined in Mark 16:15-18, to make disciples and to demonstrate the power of God through miracles, signs, and wonders.
Just like these Men of God, each one of us has also been called to leave everything and follow Him. Our ministry may not be global, it may be in our own backyard or neighbourhood. No matter how big or small we are all called to the ministry of reconciliation. To bring Jesus back into our homes and share his love, healing, and peace with those around us.
Sometimes the only place we need to leave is our comfort zone. We might be asked to share the love of God with a neighbor of a different color, financial status, or lifestyle. Sometimes the people who are closest to us are the hardest to reach. Yet we must do our best to demonstrate to them the transformative power that God has had in our lives, and accept his invitation to fish for men.