Now that I am through posting the book Evidence of Things Unseen I can tell you about some of the good news that is going on here. I had some exciting news a couple months back. The good news involves my daughter. First let me tell you about my daughter.
Kristin was born 30 years ago and has been a solid Christian from the time she was a young girl. She is our oldest living child, and has been a joy her entire life. She is not the oldest child we had, for Tony and I had a son before Kristin. That son was stillborn, being full-term. His name was Joshua Caleb. I wept a great deal over the loss of our firstborn son. I remember well that I was still deeply saddened by the death of our son when the Father met me one day when I was returning from work. He said, “I have seen your sorrow, and I am going to restore your joy. I am going to give you a daughter and her name will be Kristin Noel.”
To say that Kristin has restored my joy is a true word. She has always been a sweet little girl. I don’t remember ever having to spank her. One time Tony asked me to spank her and I took her in our room and sat down on the bed with her. I began to tell her what she had done wrong. As she heard that she had done something that was displeasing to her father her lower lip began to tremble. I had only talked to her for less than a minute and she was in tears. Her heart was so much directed toward pleasing her father that she couldn’t bear the thought of having caused him pain. I picked her up and consoled her without having to spank her. I knew the difference between children because we had a son a year and a half younger than Kristin. I loved Josiah also, but I had to spank him. He was a lot like me when I was a little child.
Kristin had heard about the word that God spoke to me from the time she was very little. She knew she was given to me to restore my joy. Over the years as she grew older she has always borne a missionary heart. She has gone on short trips to Honduras, Guatemala, and Germany. When she has been back at home she was planning trips into the local neighborhoods of the church she attended, and teaching the girls from the sites she visited. She would also go with the singles and young people to Macon on Friday, once a month or so, to share the good news with the college age youth who were out on the town.
Kristin has also been a musician since she was fourteen. She wanted to play guitar, so we got her a Yamaha guitar and she has continued to play it over the years. Also she has gotten a Djembe, an upright drum that you beat upon with your hands. She has a Taylor guitar that she got a number of years ago as she has stayed with it. Right now Kristin is recording an album with two of her friends. George Young, my friend, is also serving as the production manager. They are hoping to have it done by the end of May.
Time is getting short for Kristin. On July 19th Kristin is flying out of Atlanta to go to Poland. This will not be a short trip like her previous missions trips. She will be going for two years to work with a missions organization. She will be teaching the Poles English and she will have as much opportunity to share the gospel as she desires.
Kristin met a family who has been in Poland for at least 18 years. They were staying this past year in Montezuma, our home town. The family had girls aged 18 and 16, and were here on a stayover for about a year. They had many other children, too, but these were the girls that Kristin was close to. At the end of their stay they invited Kristin to come with them to Poland for one of their missionary girls was at the end of her two year stay and would be returning soon. Kristin spent at least a month praying about it, for she knew her being gone would be a big thing. Not only would she need to quit a very good job that she has had for years, but she would be leaving her two parents who are getting up in age and have some health problems. Kristin does not have an assurance that her parents will be around for many more years. She definitely wanted to know what Yahweh was saying.
I have a great comfort in listening to Kristin. She listens intently for the voice of the Lord. During the month or longer that she was seeking the Lord she spent many days fasting. The Father knows how to talk to Kristin. He does so in much the same way He speaks to me. Kristin shared with me what she had been asking the Father, and the things she had been hearing. I am going to share a few things that she wrote down for me briefly in her own words.
-November, committed to fasting and praying during this month, and to seek the Lord for direction regarding Poland, while not talking with (family returning to Poland) or sharing anything that was on my heart before the month was out. During this month, a number of specific answers to prayer (signs?) happened:
1. I was praying about my dad and my house, not wanting him to have a difficult time finding a new place to stay if I would leave. The best idea I could come up with would be if George would move into my house, and I prayed about this and considered asking George about it in December, if it was still on my heart. Well, November 4 was Nick’s birthday, and we had a party at my house. During the party someone mentioned how cozy my house was, and George looked at me and said, “Yeah, Kristin, be sure to let me know when you leave so I can get your house. I mean, I’m sorry- I don’t know why I said WHEN, I mean IF…”
2. One day when I was fasting and praying, I felt I didn’t even know what to pray for specifically as far as how to know what God was leading me in, and I just told God that I don’t know what to ask for, but He knows how to get my attention. That day when I was at work I got an email from Mid-GA’s (her employer) bank asking me to take a survey, and below there were three links for different languages- The first two were normal- English, Spanish- the third looked super weird and it struck me- That’s Polish! I don’t believe I had ever seen Polish as a language option for anything in the South before… This happened two other times.
3. I was praying and not sure how things would all go down if I felt like God was indeed laying this on my heart to go to Poland. I specifically prayed one day and told God if He wanted to lay it on my heart and have me go to (the married couple from Poland) and share it I would, but that I would really feel way better about things if they would ask me to go teach, not me just volunteering. I believe it was that weekend that C and I took (two of the young girls from this family) up to Virginia to their family, and spent the weekend there with them. While we were there they invited a family to come have church at home with us Sunday morning, and this family had been in Poland with them. That afternoon I walked in on them discussing something, and they told me I caught them talking about me (discussing options for teachers). The guy had some questions for me, which I casually answered to the best of my ability, without telling them I was already praying about this or considering it. That evening after the family left (the couple) started seriously questioning C and I about our views on missions and such, and (the wife) shared she wanted to know some of these things in case I would get contacted by the mission to teach. I also found out that the guy that was there earlier was actually one of the board members for the mission in Poland.
So December arrived, and I didn’t know quite what to expect or where to go with these things building in my heart. But mid-December I got a message from (the husband) one day asking for my email address, and telling me I would probably be receiving an application from the mission in the next few days. The following Monday I got an email from the field director of the mission, asking if I would be interested in teaching there, and sharing that the (family) had recommended me. I wrote back a couple days later saying I was interested, but definitely wanted to pray and seek clarity.
Thursday I shared with MaryAnn about all this, and Friday morning she texted me and said she had a song she wrote a couple weeks ago that she wasn’t planning to do anything with, but she felt God was putting it on her heart that the song was for me, and she needed to send it to me. She sent it and these are the words to the first verse and chorus:
“Fear is a weight you carry around. It holds you back- It drags you down. But God’s got a work for you to do, so friend, allow me to remind you:
You’ve got no reason to fear his leading. You’ve got no reason to doubt the King of Kings.
He’s so much bigger than any giant you could meet, so throw off your fear and run free.”
I also received another email from the mission that same morning- they asked for an answer by the second week of January, and included an application if I feel led to move forward.
So that afternoon I talked to my dad about all of this. I knew I would want his blessing if I would move forward, and I didn’t imagine he would be opposed, but I was a little surprised how instantly in favor of it he sounded. He right away said he’s excited about the thought, and that he’s been thinking recently about me and wanting me to be involved more in ministry.
After this I met with (the family from Poland) and just asked all the questions I could think of, and also had them share what was on their hearts regarding the mission, what my role would be, etc.. Everything seemed to be answered in a way I felt very at peace about.
(This family) were leaving to go back to Poland the end of the first week of January, on Saturday, and that following week was when the mission board has requested an answer by. I was praying and asking the Lord to allow me to have clarity to give them an answer in person before they left, because I felt either way I would be relieved to have a face-to-face conversation and share my heart, whether it was a yes or no. With all the evidence building up, and the thought of Poland not going anywhere but staying in my heart, I felt pretty sure God was asking me to go. The final week (the family) were here I was battling feeling like I was on the edge of a huge leap of faith, and feeling pretty certain it was of the Lord, but still just having that little bit of hesitancy of not wanting to make such a huge decision in any error. One morning that week I laid all the evidence out before the Lord, told Him how I was feeling, and basically said “Lord, I believe I’m supposed to do this, but if I am somehow misled in this, I am begging you to put a check in my spirit and stop me.” That same day I got to work and had another Polish survey from the bank- I almost laughed.
After that, I reached a point where when I would even pray asking if this was for sure the right thing to do, it was like a disconnect, almost like God was saying “why are you still asking when you know what I’ve said?” Then a settledness entered my spirit where I knew what I was supposed to do, it was just a matter of doing it.
I did a lot of praying, and on Friday afternoon I met with (the family from Poland) and shared the whole story with their family. They had no idea what my answer would be, and were bracing themselves for a “no.” I had never shared with them any of the things that had been happening, or how God had been laying this on my heart before they even asked me. The look of amazement and excitement on their faces when they realized I was agreeing to go to Poland was a wonderful moment.
God has continued to bring together all the details, and I have truly felt my heart sealed with a tremendous peace through the whole journey. I have a ticket for July 19th, and can only imagine what the Lord has in store for this adventure. It’s exciting knowing that He has been clearly leading in this.
Come July 19th Kristin will be boarding a flight for Poland and George will be moving into her house, which is a rental. I will not have to relocate anywhere. I know by the things Kristin has shared that Yahweh has spoken to her. That she is thirty years old brings some focus to these things. Joseph, David, Solomon, and Yahshua were all thirty years old when they entered into that ministry that Yahweh had prepared for them.
Additionally, the song that MaryAnn has written contains the very thoughts and words that Yahweh spoke to Tony, my wife, in following Him. Kristin is going on where few of us have trod. Many fears have to be faced, and confidence in Yahweh must be met with real faith. The disciples feared when they were faced with the stormy waves, and with many enemies. It certainly is a large thing to consider giving up all that you have gained in the previous years of your life. Kristin will sell her car. She will put all of her things that she wants stored in a room in her house. George will live in the rest of the three bedroom home. Kristin has confessed to me that she knows that she may not come home in two years. What God has in store for her in two years time is up to Him.
What excitement is this life of ours. Walking into the unknown with Yahweh is a wonderful trip. Going to another continent where the language is very different will be strange, and yet it will encourage her to trust God all the more. I look forward to seeing my daughter give an account on that day of judgment. To have met God and said “Yes” is a tremendous thing.
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