One of the most God inspired moments I had at Prince of Peace had nothing to do with the girls. I was actually talking with one of the interns Yolanda, asking about her experiences, and sharing my fears about them having so many in and out of their lives, and hearing her journey of faith that God has begun in her. After less than an hour of sharing our hearts she says, “I have a book that you should read. I got it for my birthday. Do you read fast?” I laugh thinking about it, and the thoughts that filled my head, “Yes, I do read fast, and I love to read, and I rarely have time to finish a book.” I started to decline, but then I felt an excitement in my Spirit and I knew I had to read that book. “On a mission trip, ministering to girls and serving them, I should take up her offer to borrow her book?” As we often do, I tested the prompting. There was no doubt about it, the answer was, “Yes!”
The book was “Compelled by Love” by Heidi Baker. I had never heard of her before, but Yolanda had shared with me a little of her testimony, her amazing miraculous wake, and I was very interested. I should add here that I am not from an Apostolic background, but I have seen miracles, have witnessed them, and I believe that nothing is impossible with God. Immediately I was pulled in as Heidi’s husband writes the forward expressing her character and her personality, and how just being around her you could feel the love of Christ. I was jealous. If there is any characteristic of God that I feel most acutely it is His love, but I don’t exactly put off that aura. I dove into the book thinking to learn her “secret”.
Heidi’s is a testimony that you have to read to believe, and I highly recommend you reading it. But, she talks about her surrender to the love of Christ, the love that compelled her to go out of her way and do the unthinkable so that she could share what she had found. One day she was in an intense prayer time and she felt the Lord say to her that she would be a vessel of healing. I say vessel because only God can heal. The first miracle she heard Him say she would do is to heal the blind. Immediately she believed it. She looked for it, and the time came. She brought healing to a woman, an elderly woman, and she was amazed…she was even more amazed to hear that the woman shared her same name! The next time she brought healing it was also to a woman, a younger woman, and remarkably again she shared the same name! When it happened a third time with another woman named “Aida,” she knew that she was missing something. So, she asked God, “What are you trying to say to me?” God is very intentional. He answered, “You are blind, Heidi.” As I read this exchange I felt the Father speak the same to me, “You are blind, Leslie.” Even as she asked it, I also questioned how. His response was, “You are blind to my works, to my purpose and to my power.” Heidi asked, “Father, heal me! Help me see!” And she did, and the works that He did through her far surpassed what her faith before would have been able to see!
I read through some more, more miraculous works, more missions that she had led that brought life and healing to so many. “Is that what you want me to do, Lord? Go to another country and take in orphans and live and share Your love?” I asked with anticipation, almost a sense of eagerness, that He was indeed asking exactly that. I thought about everyone I had chanced to meet and had spoken to in the last week: Yolanda was going to the Philippines to minister to women in sexual slavery. Ann was going to India to start another girl’s home, modeled after Prince of Peace. A friend was considering leaving the States to help another mission. It wasn’t hard to believe that He might not be asking the same of me. He wasn’t. As I read, He told me to look deeper.
“That would be too easy.” I wasn’t sure I heard that right. Too easy? To uproot my family, to move thousands of miles away, to start a church or a mission or a ministry – Who was I kidding? There was no part of that that would be easy. I heard His voice again, “Where does your heartache lie?” Immediately I started to cry. I thought of those that I minister to, those that I write for, and all of those that I meet and have yet to meet. Teen girls and women – my heart breaks daily for broken and used and scared and deceived girls that are longing for answers and hope and Truth. And, the truth hit me, and I wailed out loud, “It’s so hard, God!” He was confronting me with the truth that the hardships of leaving and ministry in a foreign land wouldn’t be easy, but what He had given me, the ministry that He had laid on my heart, His aching heart for His daughters, it was hard work.
I’m a runner. Not in the sense that my husband runs half marathons, I escape. When I was molested in boarding school, I ran to furthest recesses of my mind. When I was afraid that I was about to lose everything that I had ever known and faced never seeing my friends again, I tried to leave Earth. When I was raped in college, I ran to the ledge of reality and refused to believe it was happening. When I am scared or tired or overwhelmed, I try hard to find a way out…only there wasn’t one this time. With each passing day over the last couple of years, God was reminding me over and over in a million different ways exactly what He had called me to do, and still, I was looking for a way out! I argued with Him, “You don’t know what You are asking?! I am old. I am irrelevant. Let others, like Abbi, do this thing!” I gave a million reasons and excuses and better options, and at the end of my rant God said, “Are you quite finished, Moses?”
In the stillness, I realized there was no running. To run away was to abandon everything that He had gifted me with and had broken my heart over. So I did what a defeated, weary, and surrendered soul does, I cried out, “Help me!” And His answer came back, “You will bring them healing.”