a leap of faith

Called to Cameroon

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This past summer, August to be exact, I had the honor and the privilege of being called to Cameroon. Five of us went on a mission trip to train church leaders in Restoring the Foundations ministry. This was my fourth mission trip in the past two years. I have come to learn to expect the unexpected and was very exciting to go on an adventure to Africa.

IMG_1313We left on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning right after our church service. We arrived thirty six hours later in Buea, Cameroon. I could say so many things about this trip but that would take a small book, so I will share some of the highlights and a video that I put together.

I have always dreamed of traveling the world. Two of the many places on my list are Paris, France and Africa. I could never have imagined that I would travel to both at the same time. Though, I also never would have imagined that I would only be passing through Paris and not even get to see the Eiffel Tower, but that is a story for another day. This story is about Africa. Cameroon to be more exact, and its beautiful landscapes, like Mount Cameroon, and it’s beautiful people.

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We first arrived in Douala, Cameroon in the afternoon and were greeted by our wonderful hosts. There was a SUV to pick us up, a poem written just for us, and beautiful bouquets of flowers from their region. We were then taken over to a nice restaurant for dinner. This was just the beginning of what ten days of hospitality would look like.

Our first evening in Cameroon was spent having dinner in Douala and then heading up to Buea. Rush hour in Cameroon is like nothing we would imagine here in the states. The roads and traffic make I-95 look sane and slow paced. Since traffic is so bad, we stayed in the city for dinner to give a chance for traffic to die down a little bit. It was a nice dinner, and I ate goat for the first time. It was very good, and at first, I thought it was beef. The cuisine in Cameroon is rich and earthy, with many types of fish, greens and fruits to choose from. We were never left wanting for food, though some of the offerings, like Cameroonian plums, are much different than our food here in America. After dinner, we were off in the craziness of the traffic from Douala to Buea. The journey took several hours. Along the way we encountered multiple lanes of traffic, multiple types vehicles, such as taxi motorcycles sometimes carrying as many as four people on one motorcycle. We also encountered goats, cows, tolls, and fog (it was the rainy season). At last we arrived in Buea at the base of the beautiful Mount Cameroon. Since it was the rainy season, everything was lush, green, and in some places muddy.

Our time in Buea was very busy. It was full of teaching, prayer ministry, worship, and visiting. We taught seventeen pastoral couples, each from a different church, how to do Restoring the Foundations Issued Focused Ministry. They caught on quickly and were already very familiar with deliverance ministry. They all were very excited to add this powerful tool to their ministries. All together we had six long days of teaching. During this time, we got to know these couples well, and I fell in love with the Cameroonian people. I made a few friendships that I hope will last a lifetime and look forward to seeing them again this summer.

We had many opportunities while in Cameroon to pray for people. We were invited to the Mayor of Buea’s home. We got to spend time with him and his wife and pray for both of them. We also had the opportunity to visit one of Cameroon’s senators in his home and pray for he and his family as well. We also got to pray for and encourage many of the people who took care of us. We prayed for our drivers, the ladies in our house who cooked for us, and the many people who we met during out trip. It was and honor and a privilege to be used in such a way and I was blessed as much as they were.

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We had many rainy days and many rainy nights where we went to bed to the sound of rain on the roof and African singing. We had a wonderful day out to see Cameroon. We saw the lava flow from where mount Cameroon erupted many years ago. We saw a beautiful waterfall that had once been a place where witchcraft was practiced and now is a place for people to come and pray. I had a nice little tumble down the hill at the waterfall and was thankfully caught by our driver who was looking out for me. I spent the day very damp, but it only dampened my mood a little. We saw the Atlantic ocean, which is Africa’s west coast, and that fact sort of still boggles my mind. But most of all, we just got to be with the people of Cameroon, here their stories, worship with them, and share life together in the beautiful presence of God. The first day there I had a moment where it really hit me. Here I am in Africa and the Lord is here with me. He is everywhere and the same everywhere. Sounds so simple, but yet the revelation was so powerful to me in that place. In gave me new insight to the scripture “I am with you always, even to the end of time”. There was not a day that went by on my trip, that I didn’t think and repeat to myself “I’m in Africa” over and over again…. I would think it “I’m in Africa” The entire trip was amazing. It was a dream come true. It was beautiful. It changed me. I grew in the Lord. I made new friends. I loved it and I can’t wait to go again.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

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Let It Out

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is “Let It Out” by Chris and Conrad. It is a beautiful song about letting go, being free and no longer hiding. I love these lyrics. I hope you do to. Be Blessed my friends. (shout out to my beautiful friend Zoe for introducing me to this song.)

Let It Out

How long can you keep building
Those walls around your heart?
And how long can you keep running
From who you really are?

And don’t you know that He knows you
Sees everything you’ve done
So tell me why you keep trying
To fool everyone

Do you wanna feel true redemption?
And do you wanna be free?

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know
Yeah, let it out

Be weary and be broken
Be everything that’s true
And admit how much you need healing
Let Him bring it all to you

Do you wanna have true salvation?
Do you wanna have peace?

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know

And trade it all for love and freedom
Ooh, let it out
And trade it all for saving grace, yeah

Let the past go ’cause you can’t know
It never will define you
Everything has made you
Nothing’s gonna be the same

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know, yeah
Let it out

The Point of No Return

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Haiti Tree Journey

Many times in life we pass a point of no return. Whether it is good or bad there’s no turning back. No going back to the old ways. No turning back to how things use to be. No turning back to before we had the knowledge that there was more out there to be discovered. We are only left with one truth. We must press forward because it’s the only direction that is left.

Fail or succeed. The direction is forward. It’s the only way to get more. To become more. To see the unseen. To discover the unknown. To find the answers to the questions. To go to the next level. To quench the thirst. To feed the hunger. Forward. No looking back. Completely abandoned to this only option. The point of no return.

Through it may be scary. And it may feel like my feet will fail. I will press forward. I will not look back. I will take the next step. Then the next one after that. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even the greatest journey starts with the first step. I can do this. You can too.

Be Blessed my friends.

Catching Kayla

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This is such an inspiring story to me. Talk about paying a price to do what you love, she certainly pays a price. Kayla’s story inspires me to be more, to try harder, and to depend on those around me. I hope you enjoy this beautiful story. Be blessed my friends.

 

Kingdom Journey

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Today’s Poetry Tuesday feature is hot off the presses by yours truly. I hope you enjoy it. Be Blessed my friends.

Kingdom Journey

How deep is your love?
No way to measure,
No beginning, no end,
More valuable than treasure.

How far does grace abound?
There’s no place it can’t reach,
Overcoming all things,
And repairing the breach.

How high was the price?
Paid on the cross,
Creating the bridge,
Enabling us to cross.

How close are you Lord?
When we draw near,
When we abandon it all
And step away from our fear.

How powerful is our shout?
When we give you praise,
When walls fall down,
And trails are blazed.

How defeated is the enemy?
When we take a stand,
Fight with your truth,
And take back our land.

How powerful is the faith?
You give to all,
When mountains are moved,
And we follow our call.

How will we feel?
When we see your face
Well done my servant,
You’ve finished your race.

All questions answered,
In your perfect time,
And together we’ll be
My beloved and mine.

© Leah Jacobsen

Our Deepest Fear

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The first Poetry Tuesday of 2015 I would like to feature one of my favortie poems. Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson. The first time I heard this poem was in a movie many years ago. I have loved it ever since. My prayer for 2015 is that each of us would let our light shine, and make manifest the glory of God within us. Be blessed my friends.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

By Faith

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Faith changes everything. In fact, the bible says, without faith it is impossible to please God.
Living by faith has been very hard throughout my life. Especially when faith leads me out of my
comfort zone and doubts flood my mind. Sometimes I walk in fear, rather than walking in faith. A
great war rages inside me, as fear and faith duke it out. I would like to say that faith wins out
most of the time, but truly, I am not for sure. I do know that my life has been transformed again
and again by faith. I am thankful for that and left wanting more.

When I think of faith, I often think of Peter walking on the water. It is one of my favorite stories in
the bible. Peter says, Jesus, if it’s really you, tell me to come and I will. When Jesus said come,
out of the boat Peter went walking on the water. It was only when Peter saw his circumstances
and took his eye off Jesus that he began to sink. Jesus said “oh ye of little faith why did you
doubt?”

Jesus took Peter’s hand and said oh ye of little faith. My question has always been if Peter had
little faith, what about the ones in the boat? In my life, I feel too often like the ones in the boat,
when I really want to be Peter walking on the water. I am in a season of my faith growing. Back
in the summer I talked about the times in life when we must take a leap of faith. I find that the
more times I leap, the more faith I have for the next leap. Not that it becomes easier, but my
faith has given me more courage. Like Peter, even when I have taken my eyes off of Jesus, he
has stretched his hand out to catch me. I am learning to trust Jesus more, even when I don’t
understand how or why. I guess if I knew the how or why, it wouldn’t be faith anyway. For the
true definition of faith is ” the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” so if we can see
it, then we don’t need faith.

As we go into 2015, I hope to live my life more like Peter by getting out of the boat. As the war of
faith versus fear rages inside of me, I will try to have at least a little faith and take the first step
out of the boat. I will remember Hebrews 11and hope for the evidence of things not seen. I will
hope to live my life in a Hebrews chapter 11 kind of way.

I love Hebrews chapter 11. I love to go down the scriptures and look at them reading by faith…
By faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God, By faith Abel offered a
sacrifice, by faith Enoch was taken away, by faith Noah built the Ark, by faith Abraham obeyed,
By faith Sarah conceived a child, By faith Isaac blessed Jacob, By faith Moses was hidden, By
faith they passed through the Red Sea, By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, By faith, by faith,
by faith. I want that kind of faith. I’m renewing my mind and seeking that kind of faith. I just need
a mustard seed size right? Just think what our lives can look like with a little more faith. Be
blessed my friends.

Hebrews 11