[3/13/2012 10:43 PM] We woke up this morning to a very sunny morning in Skopje. Very springlike. It has been very cold out on our walks up until now, so we really appreciated it. The only thing on Tuesday’s schedule is for me to teach a group of women about marriage in the evening. I used the Marriage Rx material…..the part about oneness/one flesh, and submission. There was a great response. I shared all about Marriage Rx and how it works…..the small group exercises and assignments. They want us to send them the first chapter. They will begin to translate it. Then when we bring the School of prayer, and the School of Ministry here, they could help with further translation and help lead the small groups. Earlier in the day, we walked and prayed….and walked…and walked. We came upon a memorial to Mother Teresa. She was born here. Many of her letters and personal belongings were on display. It was very interesting. We leave for Istanbul midday on Wednesday and will spend a day and a half there. Three meetings have been arranged for this time with a key woman leader in the country, and various prayer leaders. We so appreciate your continued partnership in prayer.
Woke up this morning and asked the Lord how we were to spend our day. We prepared ourselves to walk toward town, and began to pray. We submitted to the Lord and asked for His direction…believing that He could open up profitable opportunities for His Kingdom. We felt led to purchase gifts for the wonderful friends we have met here. One is about to be married, another to have a baby. Then we went for coffee at the restaurant of a friend, and another opportunity came up for a significant prayer appointment. We believe the Lord will use this afternoon in exciting ways in the future. Later in the afternoon we were picked up and went to the mountain overlooking the city to pray for the spiritual ‘iron curtain’ to be broken. We blessed the work of God and the workers in this city. We ended the evening with a meal and much encouragement and prayer. Tomorrow evening is the only planned event left on our trip. I will be teaching a class on marriage. I intend to share many of the insights we have been given from Marriage Rx. Please pray that the Lord will continue to build up the Body of Christ in this city and protect the work of unity.
Today we gathered for a short version of a prayer summit. We had a sense last night that the Lord wanted us to begin by honoring Him as King. There are giant statues in the main square that depict many of the ancient kings of this region….the largest for Alexander the Great. We began by worshipping from Psalm 95:1-3 and ps 24—asking for the ancient doors to be raised and the King of glory to come in. After praising Him and honoring His authority as the highest….we submitted ourselves as His Bride and asked for His scepter to be extended to us…that we might pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. I asked the ladies to listen for who they should extend blessing to. They began to bless other nations that are offended with them, the poor, the young, the Albanians, the poor gypsies. I had shared with them from the end of Numbers 6 where the Lord says that who we bless, He will bless. It was during this time of blessing that we prayed that any gates that remained in place since the fall of communism would come down. With Claudia’s dream in mind….we asked the Lord to interrupt any iron curtain that remained spiritually. We prayed blessing on the spiritual soil. We prayed for wisdom as well as understanding. After intercessory ‘blessing’, we proceeded to have each woman get into the chair and ask the Lord to bless them…..and then we each listened for how we were to bless each woman. These women experienced a powerful time with the Lord. We made very good connections with them, and the Lord really encouraged each one with scriptures, pictures, and prayers. When we had finished with each of them, we asked if they would pray with us about an open door for the School of Prayer. We left them with Isaiah 60:18-22—sensing this was a promise for Macedonia.
After the close of the mini summit, Claudia and I moved to a new place to stay. It is at least 3 times larger, 4 times nicer, smoke free, and the same price. We are blessed. Thank you all for praying for us today. We went to dinner, and now have arrived back at the hotel. We were able to connect with Gordica and will meet with she and Bruno tomorrow after church. We will attend the church of the pastor we met with yesterday.
Blessings….we miss you…..Jody
6:30 AM, Saturday in Skopje~
Just got a Skype call from Jody and Claudia in Macedonia. They are headed for a day-long prayer session at a local space where they will facilitate the gathering. They didn’t have a lot of details yet, so I’ll forward prayer requests along as they become available.
Their plan at the moment is to pack up and take their suitcases to the summit with them so they can find another hotel at day’s end. Jody’s lungs won’t handle the cigarette smoke at the hostel for another night. As I talked to her, I could tell that congestion was setting in. She uses a “puffer” for asthma but it’s a steroid that amps her up so using it before bed isn’t a good idea unless she intends to jog around the room for a couple hours :-). Anyway, you can be praying that they’ll find the right place for sleep and clean air.
Thanks for keeping the girls in prayer. You are much appreciated.
10 PM, Thursday in Skopje~~~
Today we got up a bit later (yesterday I woke up at 4am) and had breakfast then spent the morning walking around the city…probably walked about 5 miles….praying for Macedonia and asking for the gates to open for us. I took pics of gates when we came to them. This is the location of Alexander the Great and his image is everywhere. We prayed for the King to be lifted higher. We sang Dennis [Childers] song….”lift up your heads o ye gates, and be lifted up ye everlasting doors….that the King of Glory may come in.” We continued to ask the Lord to arrange for every moment of our time to be filled with what He had arranged to have us do.
This afternoon we met with the same Maria that we traveled with yesterday… and with Biljana and her fiancé, Francis. The conversations over the next 6 hours were kingdom business. It was very encouraging. We were able to share about the schools of prayer, ministry and leadership. My prayer is that the Lord would specifically confirm which cities over here we are to include as we plan for the school of prayer.
Would you pray for Claudia and I and our ability to get clear breathing. A few hours in smoke triggers asthma for me…and it has now been two days of smoke. I am getting a bit hoarse and will use my puffer tonight. I am able to receive your emails and the words from Karen and Marilyn were very encouraging today. Blessings to all of you from Macedonia!
Talked to Jody via Skype a few minutes ago. She looked good and sounded encouraged after a day of teaching concerning marriage and relationship. She spent the day with some wonderful ladies in a city called Veles, returning about 6:30. After a walk to a local restaurant, they returned ready for a night’s rest.
The itinerary tomorrow includes, spending the day with two local leaders where Jody hopes to share the vision the Lord has given about the School of Prayer, Ministry and Leadership.
Please pray for continued positive connections, health and opportunity to advance the kingdom.