“So…” my aunt transitioned in a recent Marco Polo, “are you living in Israel now?” I laughed at how easy she had just made it for me to break the news. The timing was also funny to me as I had just gotten off the phone with my grandparents where I’d had another grace-filled conversation about that very topic. “If you called me to say you were moving to Israel,” my Poopah had informed me, “I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”
“Well Poopah,” I said, in part nerves and part excitement, “This is the call.”
It felt good to have some answers and be able to talk about the whirlwind of the last three months. This past December (2021) Michael and I got to road-trip with our dog, Koda, and see my family in North Carolina. It was a much-needed getaway after significant work and personal shifts that kept us very busy. On our way back from seeing family and friends on the East Coast, we went through Dallas, Texas to go to UPPERROOM’s End of Year Conference.
Among many highlights, we enjoyed hearing from a Messianic Rabbi who imparted revelation about the vital relationship between the Jews and Gentiles in modern times. In the context of “Maranatha,” the theme of the conference, there are many prophecies and events that the Jewish nation needs to fulfill before the King returns.
At the end of his message, he invited people to stand if they wanted to commit to praying for and blessing Israel. We stood. We asked the Lord to reveal His desires for Israel. And then we recentered on the call of “Maranatha.”
This word– meaning “He came,” “He is here,” and “He is coming”– is a beautifully succinct and powerful embodiment of the Gospel. And it marked us.
By the time we arrived back at our front door, we had clarified ministry plans and reworked our schedules to include more worship and prayer time. I personally had the desire to go through everything, downsize, and organize what was left. Thing after seemingly random thing started to happen, like Michael deciding to sell his desktop one night to buy a portable laptop setup.
A week and a half after asking the Lord to reveal His heart for Israel, a friend asked Michael if he wanted to go on a trip to Israel with him- all expenses paid. It wasn’t more than two days later that God, through some very dear friends of ours from our church, provided all the required funds for me to go on the trip as well.
The two weeks leading up to the Israel trip were filled with research, packing, and lists– lots of lists. We were blessed at work with grace, favor, and I even had a substitute for my groups at the school. During our prayers and preparation, we had friends share prophetic words about the trip that seemed too big for a little weeklong trip, but we embraced it in faith and kept moving forward.
When the second of February came, we were on the road to Boise at four in the morning. One foot in front of the other, we started our long trip to Jesus’ home country. Words cannot fully describe the beauty, the history, and the friendship we encountered there, but we intend to detail the entire experience in a later blog post. The most momentous encounter took place on Mt. Zion, the place where we met Kate Hess. It was from here that we followed her into the Mount of Olives, traversing streets that barely fit one car, let alone two and winding up the mountain. And then we arrived, “the Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations” the sign said. We traveled up the four-story building until we came to the top, the Prayer Room. It was in this place that we found Home.
We returned to Idaho filled, refreshed, and excited to return in April. As we worked to overcome jet lag and get back into our rhythm, I found myself not just excited to return, but longing to. The more people inquired about the trip, the more people asked if we were moving to Israel. The thought was so incredibly wild to us that we consistently replied with, “What? No!” But ever increasingly, coincidence started to look more and more like the supernatural intervention of God. Suddenly, we had a thought, four days before Mike asked us if we would go to Israel, we had specifically asked God to show us the next step in our journey. In a moment, God opened our eyes to the many ways He had been preparing us and to the many doors He had been opening for us. And there it was, the highway to Israel, paved by God.
Thus, we are happy to officially announce that we will be moving to Israel to join the Jerusalem House of Prayer as full-time staff!
Our contract is for twenty-seven months and we will be serving as worship and prayer leaders, as well as serving around the base. At this time, we are planning on an early August departure in order to give ourselves time to graduate college, finish our work contracts, raise financial support, and get ready for the journey ahead. We are also eagerly preparing for our April trip to Israel with the Bridge Gospel Academy! We are excited for the students to experience Jesus in the context of His Jewish history in the land He chose to walk in.
God continues to open more doors and prepare each part of the journey before us. His faithfulness is ever evident in the ways He moves in and around our lives. Even our bosses were in agreement, and happy for us, something we would never ask of them but gratefully received. This is just a snapshot of the river of events that have knocked down our walls of expectation and washed us into this new adventure with God.
Please join us as we continue to unveil the goodness of God in our story! We will be consistently sharing updates and stories via this blog, Email, Facebook, and Instagram. Sign up for email notifications for updates through our Connect page! For our most recent list of prayer requests, please click here. To support us financially, please visit our Give page. Thank you for visiting our blog! We are so grateful for our team of prayer warriors, generous givers, and Kingdom family! Love and shalom from the Stevens.
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