Tuesday, April 1, 2014

connecting the dots to a blessing...



Have you ever had the experience of saying, “Yes!” to something our Lord Jesus Christ has placed on your heart, and then having the veil lifted just a little to see how God used your willingness to say, “Yes!” to connect-the-dots to a blessing?


Linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart Encouragement Challenge to share one of my very encouraging connect-the-dots experiences…

The missionary from Burkina Faso, West Africa, Jay Shafto, had a table display set up at a small mission fair in my hometown. After speaking with him for a few minutes about his family’s need for a teacher for their three young children, I agreed to leave my name and contact information and take their photo prayer card and lift them up in prayer every day. Beginning in November, 1999, I faithfully began to pray for them daily. One day in January, 2000, I received a phone call from Jay’s wife, Kathy Shafto. The minute she identified herself, I shrieked, “I prayed for you and your family this morning!” She thanked me for praying for their family, and she asked if I would be willing to make copies and distribute a flyer that she had created with a job description for the teacher they needed and their contact information. I was more than willing to do such a small thing. I made 50 copies of the flyer and distributed them at my local church and continued to pray for them every day.

A few months later, I received another phone call from Kathy Shafto, in which she excitedly told me that God had used me as “His willing vessel” to connect them with Elsie McCall, a dear 64 year-old single woman who attended my church. Elsie had picked up one of the flyers I had copied and distributed at our church. She generously responded to the call to Burkina Faso, West Africa, as one of the first people to serve with the International Mission Board’s Masters Program which gives people who are 50 years and above the opportunity to work alongside career missionaries for a two-to-three year term.

During her time over eight years on the field, Elsie generously homeschooled the Shafto’s three children, Madelyn, Robby, and James. Through her teaching, Elsie was able to free up Kathy Shafto to minister along with her husband, Jay, through women’s and literacy ministries among the Bissa people of Burkina Faso. The Shaftos refer to Elsie as an answer to prayer, and so do I. “The neat thing is that it was a whole God thing,” Kathy Shafto said. “I felt God was calling me to be involved in full-time ministry. So, the only way I was going to do that was if I had a teacher. Without Elsie, I would not be able to do that."

I am still in awe at how God answered my prayers for a teacher for the Shafto family.



It gives me hope in my prayer life today,
even when something seems impossible or very unlikely, I’ll say to myself, “Nothing is impossible for our God—remember how He used your prayers and willingness to copy and distribute the flyers, to connect a sweet missionary family to the teacher for whom they were praying.” The generosity of these missionaries and memory of the effective power of prayer has strengthened my faith and my belief that trusting God means looking beyond what I can see to what God sees. God already saw Elsie as the answer to the Shafto’s prayer, and He used my prayers and willingness to copy and distribute the flyers as His way to connect-the-dots to get Elsie to Burkina Faso. What an awesome God we serve!

How about you? Have you ever had the experience of saying, “Yes!” to something our Lord Jesus Christ has placed on your heart, and then having the veil lifted just a little to see how God used your willingness to say, “Yes!” to connect-the-dots to a blessing?

Please feel free to share your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

8 comments:

  1. Beth- I often leave comments on blogs and think no more about it. Imagine my surprise recently when a blogger went to a lot of trouble to find my email and asked me to be an intercessor for her and her husband as they prepare to answer a call to mission.
    My word[s] for this year are " listen" and "encourage". The blogger asked me to listen to what God was saying in regards to them going on this mission.
    When I emailed to tell her this she told me she is writing a book about listening to God !
    So, I began to pray for this family, and got the strongest anointing ever and sent them a message to say God would use them to open doors in the U.K. for the King of Glory to come in.
    I kept hearing an old hymn: ye gates lift up your heads on high....... that the King of Glory may come in.
    I sent this message to them and God has since confirmed it over and over.
    He has given me a glimpse of a mighty move of God this couple will be pivotal in introducing and I have been lost in wonder, love and praise that I could have a small part to play in such an event as one of the intercessors and supporters.
    I sense this is going to be HUGE.
    I hope this actually answers your question to your readers?
    Love and many blessings,
    Mary :)

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    1. WOW! Mary, yes! What a great example of God at work in your life! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

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  2. I love how God can use even our "small" things to do "big" things -- amazing! Visiting from Holley's page this morning. :)

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    1. Thank you, Kristin...I so agree with you :)

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  3. what an encouraging post. So glad I visited your site today. It's funny . The Lord has been whispering a theme to me to keep saying yes. .. that this is a season of being willing to say yes and believe Him to connect dots and do more then I could have ever asked or imagined. What a sweet confirmation as I read your beautiful post. I love this.

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    1. Jenn, I'm so glad the Lord connected-the-dots between us, Spirit bears witness to Spirit :)

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  4. Hi Beth! I love to connect God's dots!! I can't wait to get to heaven where the design will be bigger and so much more intricate than we can ever imagine here on earth. Nice to meet you :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lisa! I so agree with you...love to imagine that intricate design we will see one day...moving closer to Jesus every day <3

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