We are in transition. Again.
Don’t you just love that charismatic language? I mean all the mention of transitions, and seasons, and hearts, and communities? For us, there’s no other way to put it, and no it’s not because we saw a bunch of 11:11’s on our clock. This transition though. Does it ever end?
◦ Let me give you a bit of history for a minute. My husband, Trevor, & I planted the Burn 24-7 Westman back in 2014. It started with a fiery prayer meeting, coincidentally, around a fire in our backyard in Brandon and grew to a large furnace that burned in towns, cities, and reserves across Manitoba and into Saskatchewan. What an honour it was to see the Lord move and work in such a great way, tearing down walls of division across Churches and denominations, races and distances, seeing new callings and ministries birth from hours and hours of worship and prayer. God moved. He saved people from the grip of the enemy. He healed and set free. He saved us from ourselves. We honestly couldn’t understand how or why we were even leading it. He gave us grace for the moment that’s for sure.
–Some said we weren’t REALLY part of the prayer movement. Some said even worse, but we didn’t care because we knew differently. Better yet God knew differently. At the heart of it all was humility and a pure love for Jesus.
◦ Over the past year or so we felt the Lord start to lead us out of this movement; not worship and prayer and definitely not the Way of Jesus, just the Burn per se. Even while the Burn was going, I was feeling a drawing back, in a sense, to my roots in the prayer movement that had come out of Kansas City. Was it a drawing back to the structure and model of the International House of Prayer? Not necessarily. I do think though that it was a drawing back to the silence of a prayer room, the ministry to the Lord that didn’t include advertisements and mass organization; a desire for the organic simplicity that I once knew. In the last couple years of doing Burns, I longed for a place to just sit in the Lord’s presence and worship through the Word, intercede, and devote my time to Him that didn’t involve planning and putting on large-scale events with lots of volunteers, “event-goers” and unfortunately sometimes hype (not to mention exhaustion). I guess in a way I longed for the good old days, really the heart of what drew me to the Burn in the first place. Somehow the shine had gone out for me and we came to realize that running around the Province wasn’t for us anymore. Neither was long hours in ministry. And neither was the warfare. And boy was there warfare.
–I remember finding Sean Feucht on the web not long after he had first started the Burn out of the stairwells of his dormitory at ORU. It resonated with me. I mean really resonated with me. Up until then, I had been sitting alone as the only intercessory missionary at a house of prayer plant in Saskatoon and spending my weekend nights worshiping and praying for hours on end with a little group of young people in our garage. This was about the time Sean was starting to grow the Burn in 2009 and when I read his posts, it gave me a “YES! YOU TOO!” deep in my Spirit. Yet, we wouldn’t meet again for 5 years; timing is always of the essence and God’s timing is the best.
◦ Over time, the Lord showed me that a House of Prayer would be planted in the Westman region. At this point we had moved outside of Brandon to a peaceful little town, into a big white house – an old church manse no less. God knew we needed the rest so we gladly took it. Yet, amongst the mornings spent on the deck in the beauty of our back yard valley, the call to prayer got louder and louder again (and so did the migrating Canadian geese but that’s another story, or is it?) Why call to the reluctant wounded one that was so tired, I slept most days. I don’t know the reasons behind what God does, but trust me I ask Him.
–Years before, we knew our move from Saskatoon to Brandon had to end in us finding our people. It had to. You know, the weird tiny remnant that actually LOVES to be in empty prayer rooms ministering to the Lord while the world seems to pass them by. As long as He was there that’s all that mattered. We were led to the Vineyard through mutual friends and had a meeting that ended in me saying: “I’m an intercessory missionary. Can I start in your church?” Weekly mornings on the keys, when our son had preschool, led to 5 years later. Then things changed. Things always have to change for more growing and rooting out, for maturity to happen. So really, I guess there is always a transition of sorts. God does not stay still and never move. He’s like the wind and the rushing water. Let’s face it. A stationary stream leads to rot and stink.
◦ In 2018, I had a picture of the next phase of life so I obeyed and started Keystone House of Prayer out of my basement. The old cracked foundation that held a century old home that had seen many winds come and go and had held decades of prayer within its walls was breathing in life again. Me and a keyboard. It was a meager offering but an offering still. I would sometimes livestream on social and other times it was just me and Jesus. The camera wasn’t there to show off or get attention, it was there in case anyone else cared to join in. It didn’t matter, there were no rules to love. True worship is obedience.
–Did you know that a keystone is a central stone at the summit of an arch that locks the whole together? Manitoba is actually called the keystone province for this reason and there is an anointing here to link the rest of the provinces together from sea to sea across Canada. In this respect, I saw an anointing on Keystone House of Prayer to link the parts of a greater whole and region together. Perhaps it would be a family of sorts, of worshipers and intercessors and other houses of prayer. Perhaps.
◦ And here we are today, in this big white house. Some have come and some have gone but mainly I remain. Me and my keyboard. Me and my bible. A couple others see the same thing and they are welcome in this virtual house. There’s others in our region that have the same vision and instead of competing we lay down and prefer one another. I don’t know when things will come together or if they even are supposed to within the box of what we think it’s to look like. That’s the thing. God is so much bigger in His ways and thoughts than we are. One thing I do know though is that it’s ok to just be. So I’ll just be. In my house. With Jesus.
–I think the “house of prayer” jargon can put expectations on things to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to be a certain way. Sometimes the removal of a title allows room to breathe and does away with extra mess. It also allows God to transition you how He will not how we think He will. When your heart cry is just to be with Jesus, it’s easy to lay down the rest. Titles, names, and agendas burn up anyway at the altar. It’s best to go low and then go lower still. It’s best to just be yourself.
◦ From the garage to various house of prayer plants and expressions, to the Burn 24-7, to keyHOP, to today…here we are in our Big White House. The colour might change and the size too but the heart that beats inside remains the same. We are just simple Jesus lovers simply loving Jesus. We will continue until God says not to in worship, prayer, and biblical study, while connecting, equipping, and helping prayer & worship communities thrive. Our main expression remains in an online space where anyone can join in, anyone can hear, and anyone can discover this amazing Jesus that we know.
—Encouragement and equipping is my favorite. I can really be your best cheerleader. Speaking of which, I actually used to be a high school cheerleader in Grade 11. Never once did I give it thought that it was actually part of a calling to make others look better, to rally, to motivate, inspire, and applaud. So to all you young people out there who think you’re just doing things to do them, look beyond and see what gift it speaks of in you. There might just be more than meets the eye.
◦ If there’s anything you can garner from me, or I from you, I’ll be here. In this Big White House. I will continue to support and undergird others how I can with the energy and time I have. I’ll coach if I can and pass down what you need. I’ll step out of the way if it’s better and pass the baton when led to. Someone else might pick up the organization, and schedules, and volunteers, and hours of work and we will be grateful for them if they do. But, I will continue to be me in all my weakness, creativity, slight strangeness and callings. I won’t lay that down until God says. And if you’re feeling a little weak one day I’m good with that. Trust me, I totally understand.
“I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”” – Psalm 122:1
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah” – Psalm 84:4
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11
There’s joy in the presence of the Lord. There’s joy in His house.