Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hello, I'm Heather. Beloved daughter of the King.

Ava, me, Amber and Dusty
These are my peeps.  
It was really encouraging to introduce my self after a long break from writing.  
Having moved to a Muslim country and all, the risk of blogging and 'fear of man' took over and I took a break.  It was a sad time of inner-blogging, like where one might store up a years worth of stories in their mind and one day explode!   I almost did just that, but then our Father prompted me to get back onto the blogger field.  
Whew, it was a close one! 

Dusty, a team from Russia, our girls and Khloe.  Beautifying the community by picking up trash.

I almost forgot about or 5th family member, Khloe Purple.  Our American Bulldog pup that we brought with us here.

Thanks for your questions about my journey.  
Here I go sharing with you our story, I will try to keep it PG13. 

Loving on the unlovable, the thrown away race of our city.  These 13-15yr. old girls are at a high risk of prostitution and some are known to be involved.  

How did you and your husband meet?

This is a tale for the ages.  A real cinderella story.  I was a hot mess.  Just like Cinderelly was.  Broken home, no earthly daddy, and a mama that desperately longed for a touch from God, but found it in the arms of men.  This was my model growing up.  I had a pretty face,  a great personality and a bag of hurts that I carried around from one relationship to the next starting at about 15.

At 10 yrs. old I had a vision from God that shook me after my grandfather died, at 14 yrs. I read the Pentateuch while grounded to my bed for a month.  At 15 yrs. I went to church with a friend for a few Sundays.  At 16 yrs. old I met with Mormon Missionaries at the public library, and at 17 yrs. I called a synagog to ask about who Jesus was to them, when they did not answer I drove to see them and the Rabi told me I could not come in and that I needed to consult my pastor.  

I never once as an American Teenager, seeking for truth had an adult share the gospel with me.  Never one time. The day I turned 18 yrs. old I moved out of my mom's house and into an apartment with a friend.  Together we clubbed, drank and did cocaine.  One night after the club my roommate sat on our kitchen floor and wept.  She had come from a similar home as mine, but an aunt of hers took her to church and helped her see who Jesus was a few years prior.  She called out to Jesus and asked him for forgiveness.  At 3 am, after making a lot of bad choices.  She talked to God like he was there with us in that apartment.   I could not believe it, this was the God I had been searching for since I was 10.  I began to pray to 'her' God to meet a boy that loved Jesus like she did, like I wanted to.  It was a funny process, my prayer life at first.  I was like, "God, I know your real, and I want to know about Jesus, my friends' Jesus..."   

Literally , at that same time my now hubby  was on Spring Break on an Island off the coast of Mexico.  He walked out of a bar at 3am, with no way to get back to his hotel. A man was waiting there for him to give him a ride.  A youth pastor that was asleep until  Holy Spirit woke him and told him to go to the parking lot Dusty walked out into was waiting for him.   He took Dusty back to his hotel, asked to pray for him and then left.  4 hours later the pastor returned to Dusty's hotel room and woke up the group of people and offered to take them to breakfast.  Free food could not be turned down so they all went.  They ended up in a church, for a "Spring Break Outreach".  But, there was endless pancakes so they stayed and ate.  2 weeks later the same pastor called my sweet hubby and over the phone he gave his life to Christ. 

 We met at a bar a month or so later and it was love at first sight.  I was 18 he was 21 and my mom was there in person partying with us, she approved so we decided then and there we would become a couple.  Not for real, but for the night.  I remembering asking him after the bar closed as he sat on my couch if he knew God.  He told me he did and then he LEFT.  It was nice actually.  He treated me with as much respect as could have been had, considering the circumstances we met under and called me the next day and then every day since then for 15 years or more.  

We were engaged 5 months after meeting and married a year later.  We knew no believers, not one.  Not even a granny or cousin.  It was truly a 1st generation pioneering process for us as a couple.  It was messy and raw first few years of marriage.  I gave my life to Christ somewhere along the way.  I do not have a date, just a season of exploration and Him revealing himself to me in real ways.  My prayer was answered, I did meet a Christian boy.  I believe God used that prayer to save me from possible years of drug usage or a party life at least.  Dusty was a cops kid and did not date girls' that did drugs.  I remember how easy to was to give up the party scene and be Dusty's girl.  For the first time I felt safe, loved and  protected. 

Ephesus, Turkey
 How did God call you to your country of service?

How about that!  I moved to Germany with my mom at 13 and more than half of my friends were Turkish.  As she sought after her birth parents for 1 year, I made relationships.  Years later our family went on a Missions trip to Honduras where God spoke to my hubby and told him to pursue a life of missions.  We sold everything we owned and went to be trained up.  Week one of training the 'Turkey' words of the Lord began.  One of the times we prayed as a family our youngest then 5, had a picture in her mind that she described as the exact image of Cappadocia and the persecuted early church.  We spent 3 years in and out of Turkey before moving in April of 2012.  Looking back over the events of my life it looks like a tapestry.  Woven are the parts together that I can look back on to see the path that led me here.    

 Kids camp for under privileged kiddos .

How is the adjustment phase going for you? 

We have been living here officially for almost 18m.  It was the best ever first couple of months I tell ya.  (We lived for 6 months in a different city and then went back to the States for Christmas then moved, so really we have been here for 2 years.)
Then, something happened.  I had to learn to ride a scooter with 2 kids on it and I freaked out.  My hubby left for a month and I at that point was still a none walking American so I had to learn how ride it.  This was about the time where I had the "What have I done, I have ruined my childrens' lives coming here and, so on season." It was hard to get through, and I felt really alone.  Our team mates were both MK's themselves &  could not at all relate to the major life change we had just made.   It was not a sacrifice, more like an adventure we were embarking on that Father had been waiting for us to walk into.  We now have a car and a scooter and I drive both, and I even go on the highways too.  In all honesty, I feel like I have adjusted well to living in the field.  

In your experience, are the hardest challenges the
constant mundane that weakens you, or the infrequent extreme that has potential to break you? 

Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

I was afraid someone would ask a question like that!  Glad you did.  You know, I was the queen of challenges in my old life.  I was a Celebrate Recovery alum,  bible study leader, served all over the planet really over the years.  Challenges are what come about when dealing with relationships.  I thought I had mastered it all.  I had not really under went suffering though in the church up until now. His glory is being revealed, I will share in it! 

Then, I moved to Turkey and all my perfect little American church experience went out the window.  (Figuratively speaking) The same window that does not have a screen in it that let the mosquito in that's buzzing in my ear right now....  The day to day things have been fine here really.  Nothing comes pre made in Turkey. Not the corporate times of worship that we are used to or the food that were are used to eating.  I have become the cook I always dreamed of being.  And am on the way to having a authentic deep relationship with my Father as a result.  

I have gotten used to always having to have my house spotless incase of the random unexpected guest (that expects my house to be spotless).  Homeschooling my girl's is actually going well and I am in a 2 month season of daily commuting 2 hours to a city of 1,000,000 for language school.  Hard, yes but necessary.  The only months I can go are in the summer when the kiddos are not in school.  Mundane, I am cool with it.   

It is the infrequent extreme that has rocked us recently.  We are well known at our local church in Kansas and with our training/sending agency.  But here, we were not well known and have been miss understood.  Very. It is part our fault.  It has been really hard explaining who we are as a family.  And in the end, we are this week asking God to reveal His path for us as we were released from our team to do so.  Extreme.  A clean slate, a fresh start and one Good Father.  I am feeling rejected at times, and bummed at how unfair things seam.  I have 3 year old tantrums occasionally.  My Father comforts me and reminds me of His great sacrifice to us. In the most gentle of ways. 

After the final round table meeting was finished I wept.  Somehow this feels like a failure.  

Then, the 3 ladies on our team went to Greece together to meet with some folks that have a heart for the exploited over at  A-21.  IT was an incredible 4 days of choosing love, choosing relationship, and choosing to lay down my flesh.  The trip had been planned for 3 months, I did not want to go, but God spoke to my heart to 'go away with Him'.  So I did.  He helped me choose love.  The old me would just run.  It is easier.  Much easier.  But the reward was immediate, I got to eat pork steak for the first time in a year and a half. We ate pork pizza, pork sausage and we were blessed.  Really blessed. 
Choosing Love while enduring the Storm is not easy.  It stinks a lot.  It does not feel fair.  I imagine how our Savior might have felt as He chose love.  It was not fair, it it was not easy and He endured the storm of the ages.  We serve a humble, forgiving Father.  I am honored to be made more into His sons' likeness through this difficult time.

Pork hotdogs wrapped in Bacon in Thessaloniki, Greece

I am going to wrap 'er up.  It is a tad bit late and I have a worship set to sing at church in Turkish in the morning.  I hope this encourages someone out there dealing with what seems like extreme circumstances.  My family will recover, we will seek the Father and He will speak to us a new path.  I will not fear it, because I trust in his plans and guidance.  

New Covenant Church of Ephesus 

To wrap up.....
I was encouraged by another sister from England to talk a bit about çay, or tea.  Turkey is the worlds' largest consumer of this this tasty dark friendship potion. There is a special thing about çay. It is just plain delicious. 
Also, it is a fraction of the cost of a Starbucks peppermint mocha.  Score!  It demands a smile, a conversation and teaches hospitality.  I never ever drank it as a Kansan, ever.  (For real, I never had a glass of tea ever.)  Now I am proud to say I do and I really like it.  More than coffee even.  I am becoming Asian, and I think I like it.   If I brought you to my neighbors' house she would make us çay, and insist on us staying for dinner, at 10pm.  

This is a night culture we live in here.  
Because it is just too hot to fellowship in the heat of the day. 
And it's no one is eating until then anyways right now.  

Blessings sister and fellow Heirs!  His glory will be something marvelous to behold!  Never give up the good fight.  

In His love-


  1. Oh, Heather, I wish you lived closer! I could see us becoming best buds. ;) Your story shook me up. I've always worked with youth and to imagine how long you sought God and no one reached out to you to show you how to find Him, that just breaks me. I love your story start to finish, how you asked God for help, He sent it, you gave your life over to Him, and you're living it out. I know you must be a huge blessing to the kingdom where you are.

    I'm saying a prayer as soon as I click publish, that God gives y'all the direction and wisdom you need for figuring things out right now. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. :)

  2. Beautifully expressed! Thanks for sharing your story, Heather!! :)

    1. Thanks Chrysti-

      It's funny how good God is right? How he gives us beauty for ashes. The women of the BOC are one beautiful sight to behold. We are becoming his bride, just imagine the celebration to come. Bless you sister.

  3. Christie-
    I am so thankful for you reply. Your passion for youth is beautiful and much needed in the nations. Thank you for the prayers sister. Every part of my journey is covered in the powerful grace of our Father. Trials are not meant as a stopping force, but as an opportunity to grow and thrive. Bless you

  4. I'm just today reading your post, Heather, my heart reaches out to you. May the Lord shine the light of His face into your heart as you continue on your path.