“No eye has seen, no ear has heard no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him,’ but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit,'” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).
On April 26, 2014 exactly 5 years ago, I said, “yes” in my heart to the Spirit’s leading to launch Oceans Ministries. Prior to the decision I spent 4 days praying and meeting with a spiritual director. During that time I listened over and over to the song Oceans. Yes, I knew it was time to respond.
I had no idea where God was going to take this encounter imprinted upon my heart, but I did know God placed the words from Habakkuk 2:14 upon me way back in 2002.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the water cover the sea,”
I had a strong sense from the Spirit saying-one day you will be apart of a ministry called Oceans that will share the love of the Father all over the world.
The Father’s faithfulness has been displayed through His loving hand and provision-and we stand in awe of the doors opened and closed along the way. We praise Him for the many miracles displayed over these past five years!
This past December one of the doors that was shut was to a retreat center in the Colorado mountains. We thought this was the perfect place to make the Father’s love known to spiritual and physical orphans and be a place of prayer, discipleship, and healing rest for those in need.
Yet, as Abba closed one door He propped open another door. We had no idea what God’s plan and purpose was and we waited. As you may recall in January of this year Mike Verkaik and I traveled to Cape Town South Africa to make preparations for upcoming mission trips as well as visit with ministries interested in partnering with Oceans.
That was a life changing trip. We were introduced to the needs in the townships for the gospel, discipleship, and the Father’s transforming love. We sensed the Spirit saying this is where I want Oceans, right between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. One of the results of that trip was Oceans Board extending an invitation to Ray & Sue Haakonsen to join Oceans concentrating on pastoral and leadership training in the townships.
During this time we also became aware that Azusa Pacific University was selling Wellwood Lodge where study aboard students had been housed for the last five years. (Which was the exact place where my daughter Sarah stayed while studying abroad.) Conversations with APU ensued and it was evident that a purchase and partnership was a possibility. The next step was to fly to Cape Town, so with good friend Steve Budnack we boarded a plane so we could meet face-to-face. The crazy thing is Wellwood is located about 1 mile from where Ray & Sue live AND a mere 15 minutes from the two townships we have been invited to work alongside.
A series of meetings and divine appointments left Steve, Ray and me in tears, after sharing all this with the board and much prayer, we all agree it was time to put in an offer. We sensed Wellwood was a place that the Father’s love be could be made known to spiritual and physical orphans. It could also be a house of prayer for all nations, discipleship for mission teams, a place to offer training to leaders in the townships, and a healing/ retreat for those in ministry.
On April 26, 2019 in a miraculous move by the almighty hand of God, a door was opened and the offer was accepted. Only God could have planned this out- and to think it was exactly five years ago! What an amazing Father!
One of the major spiritual lessons He has been teaching me over the last five years is that He IS a Good, Good, Father and I can trust Him with the impossible. I just need to keep stepping out of the boat, keeping my eyes on the face of His son Jesus, and He will lead the way.
I have also learned that the Father uses His children to carry out His purposes. Oceans would not be here today if it wasn’t for His incredible children who have also stepped out of the boat by praying, serving on the board, being part of mission teams, helping publish books and building websites, joining the ministry team, and by sacrificial giving. It is truly humbling to see the Father work through His amazing kids, a million thank you’s are not enough.
We know this next season will not be easy, in fact it will be impossible on our own. Yet the Father has proved Himself over and over again to be faithful and will move in His children’s hearts to use their gifts for His glory. So please join us in prayer as we take this faith step. I know Abba is up to something beyond understanding. In fact when Steve and I were out in January we heard over and over again that the battle in S. Africa is intense but God is about to bring the fire of His Holy Spirit and Waves of His life transforming love that will hit the southern tip of Africa a move up through Africa to the World with Revival.
We pray that Oceans could be a small part in the fulfillment of Hab. 2:14, and that you who are reading this blog my join us as we step out on to the water and see where the Spirit leads us.