***This is Part 3 of this story... To read the beginning, scroll down or click on the Nashville tag***
We believed God was speaking, but we weren't sure. Don't you love how God confirms things? It's so beautiful!
The next day, I told my coach about east Nashville almost flippantly and he responded with, "you know there's an unreached people group in Nashville, right?"
Uh, no!! Why would I? I've been there literally about 80 hours in my entire life! Although I knew there are a few unreached people groups in America, I had no idea Nashville was on that short list of places. So, I go on the joshuaproject.org and sure enough, Nashville has a red dot (unreached people group)! -- THE KURDISH PEOPLE!
1. We had no idea
2. We've known for quite awhile that someday we'll work with primarily Muslims
4. God put a love for the Kurdish people in me (Josh) several years ago when they were helping fight ISIS. News stories of the fierce Peshmerga fighters got raised to prominence in those days, along with a group of primarily Muslim people who even have women fighters?!
6. No joke... I dressed up as a Peshmerga fighter for Halloween (I feel a little embarassed about this one!)
Ok, I'm a little dramatic... or says my wife! Nashville is a beautiful city and we are so excited to head there in March! We just never had Nashville on our radar of places we may be for an extended time.
Now let's get to the confirmations. I'm not sure how we would operate without hearing from God. He still speaks today and He is a prophetic God. Our calling to GO (on the road back in April 2018) started with Mary feeling like we were in transition. Then came two prophetic words, one of which was scripture (Acts 13:2). Next, God speaking to me (Josh) probably the most directly He ever has. Finally, when I told my pastor, he already knew! That was just the beginning. We had many confirmations in the 4 months before we left North Dakota for the first time in 2018, and many more over the past 2 years.
So, back to Nashville. I love Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." I believe that is a promise for all believers. So, we do that, and we wait on Him.
Confirmation #1: The Sunday after I told my coach about East Nashville, we went to hear some friends who work overseas at a church conference in Rapid City, SD. They live on the other side of the world and they "happened" to be 20 miles from where we were for one day while we stayed in Keystone, SD for the month of DMM training. I think that alone was not by chance, and before we ever talked with them, I knew we were suppose to meet.
We heard them speak, and shared stories. When we were about to leave, we asked to pray with them. We prayed for them and their work, and then they prayed for us. As they prayed, Mary and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. We were both crying as our friend prayed prophetically over God calling us to a "specific Muslim group." She prayed a little longer and said, "The Kurdish people."
We were stunned! Did she just say that? We hadn't told her anything about Nashville or the Kurdish people up to that point, but here was God, using a willing vessel of His goodness. He was confirming his whisper in a profound way. They spoke some other encouraging words over us that confirmed previous prophetic words, and we left seriously in awe.
Confirmation #2: I have been reading the prophets over and over in the Word of God lately. There's so much in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, etc. During this time, I was reading about Daniel. Was he great or what? Serving an idolatrous regime and society... with excellence? Whoever heard of such a thing?
Anyways, in my research of the Kurds (which I had started very curiously), I found that many people believe the Kurds are descendants of the Medes in the Bible. Of course, Daniel served several rulers, one being Darius the Mede. What are the chances I'm reading about the Medes, while learning our call to the Kurds of Nashville? Not high considering most of the Bible doesn't deal with them. As it turns out, Mary was also reading the book of Daniel during this same time frame.
Confirmation #3: I love dreams. Among Muslim peoples, dreams are very important. It's one of the few ways many of them believe God speaks. Sunday night we met our friends and Monday night came the dream.
I was in a small classroom and somehow I knew all 10 or so people in the room were Kurdish people. I was slowly walking around the table putting my hand on peoples' heads and saying, "Fire, fire, fire..." As I did this, a few fell over and then I woke up!
Even writing this stuff down now excites me for the future of what God is going to do. God spoke to us near the beginning of this journey about Jeremiah 30:2 - This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. I would like to write everything down from even before we left North Dakota until now, but so far we've only done bits and pieces. Writing down God's words for your life helps you remember what He has said and promised. He will not lead you astray or leave you alone.
Confirmation #4: The news! I use to hate the news. Mostly because I hated politics. I feel like politics is the opposite of the ways of Jesus. I know God calls people to work in this area of society, but it's definitely not me!!
If you do a quick search online for the first or second week of October 2019 you will find the Kurds at the top of the headlines. This people group had faded from the headlines after the defeat of ISIS several years prior, but all of the sudden, there they are. One headline read, "US pulls out of Northern Syria, exposing Kurds to potential attack." Another one said, "US ending support for Kurds in Syria will lead to genocide..." Aside from all of the politics of these events, we believe that the timing corresponded with what God was speaking to our family!
I have to say, I don't hate the news anymore. I pray that God would speak to our family all the time, and that we'd be listening... all the time. All of these confirmations came in the span of one week. It was so intense, that we almost went to Nashville at the end of October. As we prayed and listened, we new March would be the right time to head that way. So, what will we do in Nashville? Is there more to Nashville than the Kurdish people? I will answer those questions thoroughly next time!
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!