Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NGM Update 191 Amy

Pam & Paul with Amy
Kathy & Mark Lucas
Wedding Day with Cody
A New Friend & Eternal Sister
November 30, 2010

It was a challenge to simply know what day of the week it was and what state we were in.  After living for nearly seven weeks on the road and driving for over 7,000 miles, they all seemed to run together or overlap.  But, there was something strongly familiar to me as we were slowly lowered into one the clefts of what I presumed were the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Although it was our first time to be in this area, the spiritual atmosphere was familiar.  It was pregnant with potential to manifest the glory of Jesus Christ.  The environment was like a headline announcing the release of individuals passionate about the King of the Kingdom of God.   We had arrived at a house where we would gather with about 70 people the following night.  But, this one had the kind of activity, anticipation, joy, and embrace of the next generation who are among the new creation.  It became obvious why the environment and venue were so familiar.

New Friend & Eternal Sister
Our exposure to our hosts was almost like running into ourselves.  We speculate that Mark and Kathy Lucas share a heart similar to ours.  They are average people like most of us.  She seemed busy with life while resisting the cancer that was attacking her body and he is seeking to find employment that will sustain them.    But that common activity is not the focus of their lives.  We progressively discovered six young adults within this house.  There was a sense that those in this house were experiencing community of the spiritually organic kind.  They seemed to be together for eternal reasons.  The relational climate was pregnant with opportunity.  Within mere moments many of us were engaged in animated banter; the good natured challenges exchanged among us were punctuated with eruptions of laughter.  The engrossing conversation was hardly random.  It may have appeared that way to some, but it was definitely going somewhere.

I felt like Pam and I were home.  We may not have known what day it was or what state we were in, but we recognized the familiarity of the venue.  It was a setting with huge boundaries intended to provide preparation, mentoring, and equipping.  Our significant dialogue resulted in a pursuit to satisfy my curiosity about these new friends.  “What’s your story?”  While some responded, “I don’t have a story” or “It’s just an average story,” I remain convinced that every person HAS a story and every story is fascinating.  Amy was not actually a resident of the household, but has a significant history with those who are.  I found her story riveting.  May I please introduce you to my new friend and my eternal sister, Amy Reese Spahr?

Born in the August heat of 1978 Amy's childhood background was somehow typical to those raised in America.  While taken to church for a couple of years as a child there was no connection with Jesus.  In her late teens she attended church again, with a friend, but found the services boring beyond words; still no connection with Jesus.  Later Amy worked for a married couple who knew Jesus and started attending church with them.  Chosen before the foundation of the earth and prepared by the Holy Spirit on August 29, 1999, Amy was captured by the message about Jesus and what He had done for her.  Yielding her life to Him was the turning point in her life.  The change in her was obvious to me.  She oozes Jesus.

Several years into her journey with Jesus, Amy attended the Discipleship Training School at the Youth With A Mission base in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Customarily, the end of this entry level training is consummated with a short term mission trip somewhere in the world.  Her trip would last for three months in the nation of India.  It was a miserable experience for Amy and she honestly confessed that she hated it!

Amy fell in love with and eventually wedded her life partner, Cody Spahr, on October 20, 2007.  Together as one, with a love for Jesus, they became affiliated with Surfing the Nations resulting in working with Feeding the Hungry, doing outreach with the homeless, and committing their lives to interceding for the nations.  Little would anyone suspect that her life together with Cody would only last 11 months and one day.  Cancer took his life and ended Amy’s brief marriage on September 21, 2008.

Amy returned to India last year as a short term missionary and loved it.  It is so obvious that this young woman of God has been through something so terrible that most of us can only imagine.  Yet the real love of her life remains Jesus.  Her heart is to see Him use her life and what she has experienced for HIS glory.  Just moments ago we prayed together that Papa would reveal the next step to her regarding how He wants to use her.  We both believe He will answer.

Amy is the snapshot of the next generation that captures my attention, respect, and passionate support.  Although the stories vary, I have met many like this young lady.  She told me about a friend of hers, who came from a strong religious background, but without Jesus.  After being captivated by Jesus, Amy’s friend worked for a couple of years in Iraq.  Recently she had to return home to face a horrible reality.  After unsuccessfully pursuing employment for the past two years, Amy’s friend’s father wrote a note to his wife apologizing for not being a provider and then took his own life.  Many of the next generation seem to experience social, economic, and personal challenges, but rise from the devastation of them with their feet firmly planted on the Rock.  They are passionate about the King of the Kingdom and intent on knowing Him and making Him known.

Amy’s passion includes a love for the nations, children everywhere, and the children of Ishmael (Muslims) in particular.    Would you please pray for her?  Would you pray for a spiritual connection between her generation and my generation?  We need each other.  Together we can do together what we can never do apart.  My generation needs the God given passion of the next generation and they need the God given wisdom of my generation.

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