Saturday, 16 February 2008

MY STORY - Chapter 19 - Forward and Onward

Having been pressed to learn how to walk in gut level faith in what was for me at the time terrifying experiences; God continued to take me on into more and more of His purposes for me at that time. That first faith trip, flying alone across the Atlantic culminated in my taking 64 flights over the next 6 years, to the States, internally in the States and to Europe and Ireland. What a mighty God we have, He can take us where of ourselves we could not go. As I am sitting here writing I am reminded of a piece of inspirational writing called ‘The Will of God’ that has helped me and the many people that I have shared it with and it certainly fits this part of my story so I print it here. I do not know however where this piece originated from.


The will of God will never take you,
where the grace of God cannot keep you,
where the arms of God cannot support you,
where the riches of God cannot supply your needs.
where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
where the Spirit of God cannot work through you,
where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
where the army of God cannot protect you,
where the hands of God cannot mould you.

The will of God will never take you,
where the love of God cannot enfold you,
where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
where the peace of God cannot calm your fears
where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
where the Word of God cannot feed you,
where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

During my 5 weeks on this trip, once the conference was over, I traveled on an itinerant trip from Mississippi to Massachusetts. We visited homes just like we had done the previous year in England, where we stayed and had meetings and times of sharing with folks. It would take many chapters to relate the whole trip but a few things stick in my mind as worthy of mention.

For some of the trip our missionary friend Norman, who was then well into his 90’s was traveling with us. Having spent his life on the mission field and traveling the length and breadth of the States himself by car, he found it difficult to reconcile the luxury of flying from place to place. He had been used to shunning the luxuries of life. But now however he was old, ill and in a wheelchair so it was necessary. I remember on arriving in the airport in Connecticut, I was looking after the luggage while my friend took care of Norman and the wheelchair. I knew he had 2 pieces of luggage but I had forgotten that his typewriter (he was a prolific writer and had written many books) was counted as luggage by the airline staff. So in counting up 2 pieces of luggage for each of us I counted the typewriter instead of a suitcase. It was not until 1.0 am in the morning, well after the airport had closed, that it became apparent that one of Norman’s cases was missing. I tell you this story to demonstrate how just being around this man was a spiritual learning curve in itself. When I felt concerned and worried that I had not only left his case, but left the most important one, his answer to me was, “Well dear, I can sleep in my underwear, I can trust God for this old ‘ticker,’ (He was frail and needed medication for his heart) but I will pray that all those letters from dear people around the world will be kept safe.” He did not want to disappoint the many people who had written to him and would be waiting for replies. This was a man who thought of others and not himself.

When later we were traveling back south to New York, we stopped for a meeting in New York State. Having shared my testimony a lady who was there asked me if I would travel back with her to her home in New Jersey as she was going to a ladies meeting the following day and she would like me to share my testimony with the ladies there. I knew that God had wrought immense changes in my life when I was able to temporarily part company with my traveling companions and go alone and stay with a lady I had only just met, to a home in a place I had never been to in New Jersey. A journey of a thousand miles certainly begins with a single step as the saying goes. God takes us on one step at a time and as we are obedient and faithful in that then He takes us on to the next.

Somebody drove Norman back to his home in Washington and we ended this particular trip staying in a hotel and chilling our in New York. Another friend who was an heiress and deeply involved in the ministry treated us to the hotel and paid all my expenses in New York. In New Jersey I had become unwell with flu but in spite of this I was determined to enjoy all that was on offer. On my last day this included a make-over, a visit to Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and some shopping before flying home in the evening. An incident that stays in my mind from that day was walking along a side street and thinking that I recognized the person walking towards me. As we drew alongside 3 voices in unison called out “It’s Dustin Hoffman.” Poor man, there he was taking a quiet stroll with his wife when 3 middle aged ladies went weak at the knees and embarrassed themselves.

The day eventually ended with my being ripped off by a taxi driver on my way to the airport, but managing to find 4 empty seats in the centre of the plane where I was able for the only time on an aircraft to sleep for most of the journey.

So followed some 8 years of traveling, organizing conferences, hosting in my home, visiting and sharing. I was also invited to the President’s Prayer Breakfast in Washington but I didn’t go as I could not justify the cost of the airline ticket for such a short time. I was pressed during all of this time to learn gut level faith in some very hard situations, traveling and being away from home the hardest but this was also mingled with some rewarding and fun times. In the next chapter I shall share some of the many faces of itinerant travel.

I think my make over on Maddison Avenue sent me home looking more

American than English


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Barbara, I enjoyed reading your latest installment....absorbing and full of interest as always. That verse "The Will of God" is wonderful. Isn't it funny to look back at what we once considered the height of fashion...I used to have some big huge glasses just like those! I like the hairdo.

Paula said...

What a testimony to God. He took you-a woman who was afraid to fly and gave you the strength and confidence to do it over and over again. Wow. Norman sounded like a neat guy. Do you mind if I cut and paste the poem? I love it.

Vee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vee said...

(Oops...can't spell!)

Your story is always amazing. Speaking of amazing, you look pretty adorable. Now, can you tell me, what is the difference between the way an English woman and an American woman looks? THAT, I am dying to know!

So you turned down the President's Prayer Breakfast...

Betty said...

Once again you amaze me! God certainly has used you and continues to use you in a mighty way....

I, too, like the is so true.....

Thanks for visiting with me...I'm always happy to see your name on a comment....Betty

Willow said...

I am so touched by Norman's testimony of living a life of simplicity and thinking of others more than himself.

Your faith in trusting God in all the circumstances of this trip is inspiring to me!

Susan said...

What an exciting venture you had.

a woman who is said...

64 flights!

I want to know more about what you were doing during all that travel?

Oh ya, and what Vee wants to know too???? :>)

This is an extraordinary testimony.

Teresa said...

I can feel your terror when you have written about your fears. Gut level faith is right. Wow! It seems to me that your love for God, and your desire to serve Him, was more important to you than your fears were tormenting you. And you trusted Him in the midst of those fears. What an amazing testimony your story is to the love and power of God, and the reward of a yielded heart. I am eager to hear of those things and/or people you will be sharing about your travels in future entries of your story. I am hoping to hear more about your role in these travels and conferences, too.

I have been meaning to look Norman, up on the internet as I had never heard of him. The humbleness of spirit you write about in this post gave me cause to stop and do that. There was quite a bit to read. I chose to go to and do some reading. Barbara, what a blessing to have spent time with this man. He led an extraordinary life. I saw some books on that web site that I think I will read. What an incredible man.

I want to tell you that when I read where you wrote,
A journey of a thousand miles certainly begins with a single step as the saying goes. God takes us on one step at a time and as we are obedient and faithful in that then He takes us on to the next.
I had to stop for a bit. The Spirit really ministered to me that I need to take that and apply it to my life. And, there was nothing mysteries about His leading, I knew exactly what He was sowing into my heart. Thank you, for writing that.

I am sorry about the taxi driver thing again. There is greed and deception and heartlessness out there, all over the states. I think you have seen that before with a taxi driver and helicopter pilot. So, I am really glad you have had some positive and good encounters here.