Oaks of Righteousness

One Sunday morning in the Spring, I was in a church service, enjoying our time of worship.  Often my mind drifts to the kids in the countries where Caroline's Promise serves.  This particular Sunday I was overwhelmed by the need in Guatemala City for a new school building for Casita Adonai.  As I was praying for our partner church and their needs, I realized that we were singing a song about Jesus being our healer.

"Nothing is impossible for you.  Nothing is impossible."

I realized that God was clearly reminding me that all things, even this new school building, are possible for Him.  

As I continued listening to the lyrics about healing, I sensed God saying that He would use the new school to heal the community.  I asked what He meant, and almost immediately I was given a vision.  The current school building changed - and I saw a new building with multiple levels.  It was beautiful and full of children.  My doubt came back and I said,

"But God - a building like this will make the school a target for the gangs that are active in the area."

I sensed God saying that the school would not be a target - but would be a light to the community.  Since we don't currently have the resources to build the school, it will be obvious to all that God built it; that He provided everything needed.  And people will be drawn to the church and school.  They will be drawn to God.

In the vision I saw a current student, but she was a young adult, walking with a husband and two children to church on a Sunday morning.  I sensed God saying that, just as I have invested in youth and watched them grow into adults-with children of their own, serving God - so I would live to see the kids at Casita do the same.  

I quickly wrote the vision down and spent the next few weeks asking God to provide a scripture to confirm it.  A month later He led me to Isaiah 61. I've read this chapter many times but I could hardly contain my excitement as I read it in relation to Casita Adonai!  When you have a few minutes, please take the time to read it.

Verse 3 really stood out to me:  

to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor. 

Over the next few weeks I couldn't get the image of "Oaks of Righteousness" out of my mind.  One of our CP Board Members and Guatemala team leaders challenged me to share the vision with the adults at the church in Guatemala this summer.  I resisted, not wanting to draw attention to myself.  However, God made it pretty clear on a Sunday morning in Guatemala when it was my turn to share after one of the youth on our team.  The teen shared how God had given him amazing parents who had led him to Jesus and helped him to grow into an "Oak of Righteousness." God opened the door and I walked through it.  I shared my heart for the church and school, the vision God gave me, and Isaiah 61.  I talked about partnership and believing God to do the impossible.  

Over the next two weeks I watched God use Isaiah 61 to change lives.  Children began to believe that they were Oaks of Righteousness and adults accepted the challenge to nurture them.  

Banner made by our first Sewing Class for Moms. Leaves were made by children at Casita Adonai
Not a day goes by that I do not claim God's promise - the vision that He gave me that Sunday morning.  It's such a powerful thing and an honor to be able to partner with the church in Guatemala as these children become Oaks of Righteousness.  Will you join us?

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