Spiritual Warfare

These past seven weeks have been a very hard very stretching time. 
There is no doubt that God has been moving. 
We have gotten the opportunity to do all kinds of ministry.

Doors have been opened for us to go into prisons, disabled homes, villages and slums, high schools, locals’ homes, parks, churches, and temples. We have seen several healings and even more salvations. 

It has been so cool to see the way God works. 

One of my favorite things was getting to sit with some high school girls in their classroom and just talk. Several others and I were able to share our testimonies and encourage them in their true identity as daughters of God. It was so incredible how open they were to hearing about God and ask questions and then to just talk about life with them. 
Such a God ordained time that I will treasure for the rest of my life. 
But that is the glamorous part of missions. 
I want to talk about the not so pretty part. The part when Satan realizes what you are doing and gets upset. 
When you hear/learn about spiritual warfare it’s hard to truly understand it. You never can fully grasp it in its entirety until you experience it first hand. 

It has been interesting to see the different spiritual strongholds of every country. Each place has its own struggles and we knew that going into this. When you go into a country with the goal of spreading the love of Jesus it’s normal to experience some set backs and we have had our fair share from sickness to plan mess ups, and personal struggles. But from the very first day in Romania things were a little more off than normal. I realized almost instantly that there was something different. 
Underneath the beautiful and mysteriously captivating exterior of the country lies a very dark heaviness. 
Over the course of our time here, we all individually experienced a load of struggles. 
For me, the common theme was an attack on my core fear. 
Things I haven’t struggled with in years, things I haven’t thought about in months, and feelings that were out of the ordinary. 
There were times when I felt depressed and useless. I experienced anxiety, physical sickness, restlessness, bitterness, apathy, anger, frustration, hopelessness, inadequacy, numbness, feeling unloved and unwanted, and most of all simply wanting to give up. 
I questioned my purpose, my dreams and passions, and even who I am as a person. 
I didn’t want to do ministry. I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything at all really. I didn’t even want to get out of bed most mornings. 
All I wanted was to go home. 
Most nights I had trouble getting to sleep but one night in particular I had really hit a low and as I laid in bed I just started crying. I got up and went into the hall of our hotel and just wept. I had absolutely no desire to finish the trip. I didn’t feel good enough to be doing this. I thought “I can’t believe I thought I was the kind of person who could do this. Im not cut out for this, I’m not good enough, I don’t measure up, my teammates and leaders don’t want me here, none of them take me seriously or genuinely love me.”
I actually believed all of this for a minute. 
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 6:12 
As soon as you begin give in, you give the enemy the upper hand and we were fading fast.  

However as soon as you so much as crack a smile, you engage in battle. 
Even though these struggles were hard and everyone was experiencing them to the max, we found it encouraging that we were going through it. 
The enemy wouldn’t be attacking our team if we weren’t making an impact and growing the Kingdom of God. 

Struggles produce growth. 
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James 1:2-4
Spiritual warfare is a very real thing. 
It might not be fun in the midst but it teaches you so much about both yourself and God. 
I have learned so much about myself in the last 2 weeks and I count that as a victory. The past two weeks were rough but we are still pushing through and going strong. 
We have arrived in the beautiful country of South Africa and I am so stoked to see what wonders God has planned for our time here. 
Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers and support, our team appreciates it so very much. 
All my love, 

B.

P.s. Please continue to pray for our team. We experienced a pretty big set back on the way into South Africa that will affect our whole team until we reach Argentina. Please also pray for a continued strengthening and health for our team as sickness has been a constant battle. 

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