Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Story: Part 2

My Story: Index
Continued from Part 1...

Working for Friend Ships was a truly life-changing experience.

It allowed me to be around fellow believers all the time, which really led me to study and practice my faith intensely.  I remember putting in long days of volunteer work while listening to sermons on my mp3 player, and staying up late nights while reading the Bible, Christian books, websites, biographies, etc.  I especially loved the real-life stories of answered prayers, healings, and living by faith.

At that time, my prayer life was really taking off.  Especially after I read authors like E.M. Bounds, I would set aside large chunks of time to lose myself in prayer.  In those days it felt easy to get up early before work and get on my face before the Lord.  I would pray about my friends, my family, miracles, provisions, lost souls, everything!

My theological views were getting increasingly more charismatic.  I preferred going to Pentecostal churches where the worship got a little wild.  I wasn't that crazy of a worshipper, especially in public, but I liked the emphasis on prayer and the acceptance of praying in tongues.

I was young and naive at the time, and I thought praying in tongues was quite great.  I hardly prayed in tongues out loud, however.  When I did it, I was quiet, unless I was alone.   At times it felt really good, like I was able to express things that were deep inside of me, things inaccessible by real words.  It was occasionally a very emotional experience for me.  I can remember times of being alone while doing it and sincerely laughing or crying.  It was powerful, and, looking back, quite strange.

Toward the end of my first 6 months at Friend Ships, I learned about Heidi Baker, and her ministry called Iris Ministries.  This woman just knocked my socks off.  I was truly inspired by her life, and that of her husband.  They were super charismatic, and totally on fire for Jesus and mission work.  And they lived by faith, which was big for me.  Not only that, but they lived by faith in Africa, and where it was poor.   That really got my attention.  I was living by faith in the richest country in the world.  How hard could that be?  We have plenty here!  But Heidi and Rolland (her husband) Baker were living by faith in the poor regions of Africa.  Now that took a lot of faith!

I decided I needed to live more like the Bakers.  So, I left Friend Ships.  I wasn't really sure what I was going to do, but I knew it was going to be faith-centered, prayer driven, and aimed at the goal of spreading the love of Jesus to the world.

Go to Part 3...

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