What do you get when you mix iced coffee with a Japanese missionary, a big nudge from the Holy Spirit and a God-mother who is a writer? You get a blog post I am so pleased to present as it was written by my God-daughter Kirbie Brakefield. She had an amazing conviction as she took a coffee break with God.
Hello my name is Kirbie Brakefield. I wish I could be present to share my thoughts as Junko, my Japanese missionary friend speaks before you. I live in Florida and my God-mother Polly lives in Indiana where Junko is visiting and raising support for her ministry. Junko and I have both attended Word of Life Bible Institute and further pursued the internship program. I have only recently met Junko and as I reflect on her life and her courage to visit America in order to spread the gospel to her unsaved country of Japan, I pray even now as I am writing this that you will listen, not only with your ears but with your heart. I pray for the Holy Spirit to impress upon you the importance of what I am to share with you.
In The World With a $5 Iced Coffee
There is a problem within the body of believers today. The problem lies in our priorities as followers of Jesus our Lord and Savior. It lies in our being conformed to this world instead of being refined to be set apart in it. I am one of those people who said ?not me, no way. The problem is illustrated with a cup of coffee. We think nothing of buying a delectable cup of $5 frappiness dressed in chocolate and whipped cream 4-5 times per week. We seldom think ?how may I worship my God and make Him the priority in every aspect, in every moment of my life including when it comes to giving. I can?t even begin to wrap my mind around how much work that sounds like but instantly my God whispers ?Hard for you but not hard for me. Who am I if not God?s child? I can?t be both a new creation and someone who is trying to be ?all in? in this world. I fail, we all do.
Why Not You?
I am screaming loudly for change in my own life, for change I believe we are all hungry for within our lives within the body of believers because let?s be honest, the church isn?t what we read about in Acts. Radical Christians hide behind their own short comings especially here in the United States of America. I could make you all gasp with the list of sins I commit every day and how crummy my testimony is among my coworkers and even family. I am not a good example of who I am speaking of becoming but then God whispers ?was Moses? How about David or Peter or Paul? What other excuses can you find and what other examples of failures, of doubters, of big mouthed prideful people can I use for you to see that I don?t need you to be perfect I need you to be willing and moldable because if not you, maybe someone else, but who? Why not you? Do you not have faith in ME?
Conviction Over Coffee
I want to now share with you someone who God has laid on my heart and has used to convict me of a sin I knew I had but was doing a good job at ignoring. I met Junko a couple of weeks ago and she shared her testimony and her passion to share the Gospel with the people of Japan. These are her people and we are her family. She shared that she had been trying to raise support for several years now and needs quite a bit more. She has come to us her family because there are hardly any Christians in Japan so she has humbly come to us to ask for partnership in helping her deliver the most important message there has ever been and will ever be, the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Turned it Over to Mom
I heard her story and at the time I told her I could not commit to anything financial. In my mind I told myself I already support missionary people and do it actually above my means. My God told me something different. I was told she was going to Indiana to try and meet with some people there and I knew my God-mother was the perfect person to arrange a meeting with because she ?is a story teller and she knows everyone and is known by everyone, so I gave this task over to Polly Riddell and arranged for them to meet over Facebook and then I then went on with my life.
A Double Shot
A couple days later I was at work with my large caramel iced coffee from Dunkin? and my co-worker (who is not saved) just happened to ask if I get one of those every day. I laughed and without skipping a beat replied ?every day I get an iced coffee from Dunkin? with a double shot of espresso. And whether I am working or not, it?s how I start my day and sometimes end it. We both laughed and she then asked ?Do you know how much you spend on Dunkin? in a month then? My daughter does the same thing with Starbucks. She did the math and spends about $125 dollars a month on just coffee from there. I laughed but then I looked at my coffee and I pulled up my calculator and in that moment, through the conversation I had just had with a non-believer, God had convicted my heart and brought down a wall I had built around one of my own desires. I was blinded to the idolatry of it. I was speechless. I silently spoke very few words to God about it because I was ashamed. I could no longer be in denial about who I was with my finances. I could honestly give more, a lot more and it was time for me to be honest.
Are You Listening?
I believe it?s time for all of us to be honest. I have responsibilities. Some come from being irresponsible or selfish and others are about just giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. In that moment, I made a commitment that my God and His Will come first from now on. My money is His first and last and I have said that before. Which was before my loving and patient Father brought the wall down revealing my true intentions of really ?what I want. I am not going to pretend this radical change in my life will not take time to be perfected but I know He who has started a good work in me will continue to perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ amen. I am starting to write down how I spend my money and why. My prayer right now is that you are listening. Are you listening?
How Radical Can You Be?
It may be coffee or spending the extra money on the fancy shampoo and conditioner or whatever it is. Those are just two specific things I do but I know I am not alone. How radical can you be in giving more to people and causes like Junko. Do you know someone with a need that you swear you can?t meet? It took everyone going around the wall of Jericho 7 times for 7 days and then 7 times in one day for it to come down. Do we have that kind of faith today? We often say I will pray for you? and honestly I believe most of the time ?it?s a copout because if that were true, God would have had this girl fully funded a long time ago. Please forgive me if I sound too harsh or straightforward. I promise you that I am guilty of this sin and no better than anyone but this is what God has laid on my heart to share and I must be obedient to Him. I have to.
Blind Us and Bind Us
Junko needs our help to go where God has so clearly called her to go and to share the most important message that can be shared. Read Junko’s Story, hear her voice and her passion for these lost people and take a good hard look at your life and if it?s anything like mine then do something about it. Give to God more than anyone else. Let Him direct your wallet and tear down the walls that blind us and bind us to conforming to this world because we are either set apart or we are not.
Boldly Asked for 100
We have boldly asked God to provide 100 people in Indiana to provide for this girl in monthly support to give $20 a month and that is what she needs to get her to 100% support. Can you give $40, please do. Can you give $100, Amen. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in coming alongside this young woman who has devoted her life to serving God and bringing Jesus Christ and salvation to all the Japanese people. We are too afraid of speaking out in love of what is right anymore and we are losing touch with our faith and who it is in. I pray right now that you hear me and that God would open your eyes and hearts to what I am saying. I know I am not a gifted writer and I trust that my God-mother will shape this up before she shares it with others. I praise Him for calling us out no matter the mess we are in or how blind we are. I praise Him for what He has done in my life and is doing now in yours. Will you join me?
Polly Riddell writing under the pen name of G. Polly Jordan is The Story Teller. A freelance journalist in love with telling the God stories and encouraging her God-daughter Kirbie Brakefield to write a few of her own.