JSL | Waco

LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. LORD our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor.
— Isaiah 26:12-14 NIV

This passage has been our sustenance, it’s been my personal hope, it’s been the the unseen truth and the experienced reality for JSL here in Waco.One temptation I have recognized in ministry is to forget on whose land I am trodding.The incredible honor of collaborating with God in bringing His Kingdom on earth can be twisted so quickly, so easily into believing it is WE who establish, build and conquer.  This is when things fall apart, this is where disappointment and failure gain ground, where the darkness starts sweeping over a once green and fertile pasture. It is not WE who establish anything….especially PEACE.  Peace in our calling, peace in the calling of others, peace in knowing that even in the midst of crisis situations and emergency interventions God is reigning….and we CAN WORSHIP.

Since the New Year, we have witnessed multiple women blossom in brand new ways, all for the glory and honor of God! As I share their stories with you would you fight for them in intercession? Would you, as their brother or sister, ask of the Lord how you can be a part of His work in their lives….because God is most certainly moving! We are watching more and more women call us for assistance and make their move toward hope …. toward Jesus.

Our “Day Away Retreat” program is always powerful. A generous family from Antioch Community Church allows us to retreat in their home for a full Sunday. We share a meal, we exercise, we study the Word of God, practice meditation, and guided small group time. One woman who has transitioned out of the sex industry for four months still came and was able to share with other women what God had been doing in her life. She encouraged the women still in the industry to “lean not on your own understanding” and “trust in Jesus”. In her own dignified way she raised her voice in praise and shouted: “I turned in my t-backs for my big girl panties!” We all were dying. What a trip! Love it!

Another woman and single mom shared how she had been having dreams of Jesus nightly.  She said everytime she sees Him, he always says, “come, follow me”, but she never does. She shared how she is afraid that if she follows Jesus in her dreams, that she won’t wake up. Right there we identified fear and were able to say, Jesus IS THE LIFE!  Her dream the night before the retreat was mind-blowing:  she dreamed that Jesus came to her and said, “come follow me to the ocean”. she did, walking behind Him to the shore. When she got to the shore Mary was there and Jesus went onto the water, He then turned to her and said, “Follow me!”.  She didn’t and woke up.  The amazing thing is that in worship that morning at Highland Baptist Church, before she ever shared her dream, we sang “Oceans” by Hillsong: “You call me out upon the water, the great unknown, where feet may fail.” God still speaks in dreams!

And yet perhaps the real life-miracle we watched that day was Summer (aka Elliana on our previous blogs), who came to teach us. Summer is our friend who recovered from much deeper things than drug addiciton at Perpetual Help Home in Victoria, TX.  Summer did in four months what many can’t do in a lifetime. She didn’t run away from her fear. She stayed put. And the hardest part? She waited on God. She learned submission to the Good Shepherd. She began to own her part...and how to keep owning her own mess ups in order for maturity and growth and joy and freedom to flourish! I sat there astounded as a healthy, centered, healed and yet still healing, beautiful and fun woman led us through God’s Word, meditation and her story to empower others. Four months prior when I saw her last she had been up for days on meth and hallucinating. We saw transformation before our very eyes! The Spirit was thick under those treetops and the Lord was surely honored.  

 

For His name alone,

Emily

Waco GO Team