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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

36 Questions Podcast - Do you want to hear my voice?


36 Questions


So my sweet husband Juan and I started a Podcast on a lark really. We decided, downloaded the software, and recorded our first episode all within one hour! Talk about spontaneous!  And so it continues... once a week, we sit down and record a podcast where we answer one of 36 questions that lead to a deeper more meaningful relationship. This is to in turn, help the listener to copy and do likewise with the people in THEIR lives. We have had TOO MANY friends and family go down the rabbit hole of lost relationships and want to do our part to lead them, or others, maybe you, back into the daylight of authenticity, honesty, and hope for relationships with spouses, friends, family, co-workers, parents, anyone really, as long as it is a God-honoring relationship. Below is a link to check out our brand new podcast 36 Questions. Now you Blog readers have my voice to go with my writing -Yay! Lol who cares? No one. But that's okay :) If you enjoy this Blog, you may also enjoy this short fun podcast. I warn you, the first one is super off the cuff rough. But you will see as each episode goes by, we sharpen and polish it to be more enjoyable for the listener with music written by my husband for the intro, fun stories, book recommends, and more to come... 

Here is the link to copy and paste in your browser:

www.anchor.fm/36questions 


Image may contain: Juan Galloway and Tracy Lucia Galloway, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

The Princess Bride and Long-Suffering with Hope and even JOY.

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Are you of The Princess Bride generation? I remember my high school friends and I would watch it over and over and over again. A cult classic! I can't count how many times we have quoted "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!" My kids were raised on this quirky movie.

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There was something so attractive that the young farm boy would come for his love, no matter the cost earnestly looking into her eyes and saying "as you wish" which meant "I love you." Yet each adventure is lined with adversity. Each victory is after a desperate struggle - in my life and maybe even yours. We want adventure, victory, and joy without the pain, the hardship, the cost. And yet, one does not happen without the other.

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My struggle, my hardship, my cross to bear, is that out of nowhere, I am broadsided by an intensive health crisis that has no name, has no cause that we are aware of. I can go from traveling the world, speaking and inspiring hundreds of people, to laying out flat on the bed unable to speak. Sometimes accompanied by so much pain I hope for heaven to come quickly. It is a journey that has lasted for many years, over a decade. I am teased with health, and strength, working out at the gym for hours at a time, and event leading events & groups of people confidently, with deep and complex solutions to many problems that came across my desk. And then at other times, I can't even talk without a stutter and feel like a 3rd grader. This from the girl whose greatest fear was to appear incompetent is now desperately so, with this unknown neurological demon that has tormented my body with what mirrors strokes and hundreds of Transient Ischemic Attacks - TIAS and seizures. Kind of like when the main characters in The Princess Bride are traveling through the Fire Swamp and out of nowhere different kinds of attacks jump out at them/you/me and 1/2 the time they don't know what is happening to them/you/me, but somehow, they/you/me survive.

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And yet, in the midst of the dark parts of this journey of life, there is a victory that has been won this time around. This time around, (there have been about 5 times this has illness has happened to me lasting for weeks, months or years depending...) this time... I am not afraid. I am not sad. I am not discouraged. Not at all. My joy is made full in Christ. It's an unexplainable joy, confidence in God and hope. That if I must suffer, I will suffer well. If I must wait, I will wait patiently. If I must lose all the ground I have gained, all the milestones I have achieved, I freely and humbly offer all my crowns to the feet of Jesus. If I can do nothing, if I can say nothing, if I can achieve nothing, I am still pleasing to God, He loves me. I harbor no resentment. No confusion. No "why me." No, that is not my jam. My heart is to fully offer all that I am, functioning high or low, fast or slow, to Jesus, my savior and soon coming King of my life.

Back to The Princess Bride. There is this scene that is not my favorite, in fact, I think it is the saddest scene in the movie. The one where the farm boy turned pirate is captured and held underground at an undisclosed location called "the pit of despair" hooked up to a torture device that sucks the years out of his life.
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I can relate to this. The years of my life spent in bed, or in a chair looking out the window in a hazy fog of mental nothingness, the years of my children growing up around me while I lay on the sofa barely unable to move, again, with no diagnosis really, no cause, therefore no treatment besides green juices, gluten-free and dairy-free diets, vitamins and prayer. Years of my life have been sucked away due to illness. More than I want to count. And now, as I lay in bed once again, watching the day turn into night, and then again and again and again day night, day night, day night.... as I look out the window not able to think, talk... Now leaning into week 11 of being incapacitated (actually upon posting this blog I found today - we are in month 7), I could be sad. As sad as the young farmboy in The Princess Bride was after suffering pain and loss and then even what seemed to be his time of death in the movie after the torture was just too much to bear, and he cried. I cry as well sometimes.... but honestly, just like Jesus rises from the dead, even death has no power over me. For when that day comes, I will also rise, rise into my new healthy spiritual body, free from sickness, free from pain, and be truly physically free to match my spirit and my heart that already is so.

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At one point in the movie, the young farmboy turned pirate fights with such determination, that he shouts death first! Meaning he will die fighting; fighting for his Love. And I will do the same. I will fight until the end to return to health, fulfill my call on this earth to preach, to teach, to mentor, to love, to help, to advise, to guide, to start, to build, to plant. As long as I am here, which in "God time" is like a breath, I will use what mental capacity I have, what strength I have, to love Jesus, my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my church, and every person and situation He has placed before me with all of my might. Death first! Even unto death, I will fight to stand, and to stand strong in the power of His might, that no weapon formed against me would prosper and that the healing that is in His wings would wrap around my body and set me free.

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Maybe now, maybe here, maybe not. But regardless of what happens, I am thankful that I am growing in the fruit of the Spirit that no one wants to have, that no one prays for, that no one covets. It is called "LONG-SUFFERING." It looks different for each of us. To some, it may be a marriage that has found its way into a dark place, for others it may be a job that you despise. For another, it may be a person in your family who acts badly toward you continually, for years and years. For me, it's this health crisis that causes my whole life to be set on hold once again. Regardless, like the old hymn, "It is Well with My Soul" and I know that my "healing will quickly appear" in God's timing. Until then, I am thankful for each moment, each small victory, and how my story will bring Jesus glory over and over again.

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Forever Thankful for your prayers,

Tracy,

His bride.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

THE SUMMER OF BECOMING A MAN


I am known for having ideas. Lots of ideas. So many ideas that my 2 sons have trained themselves to just say an enthusiastic "great idea mom!" multiple times every day to whatever thought I throw into the air that lands on their ears. They know that most of them will never come to fruition, so they just give an encouraging nod to my latest vision of how to make the world a better place. This could be as simple as how to open a banana more effectively (peel from the bottom instead of the top) or a complete re-design blueprint for a Syrian refugee camp in Greece to be more of a village with a community vibe with jobs, schools, gardens, builders, and open markets within a healthy system. 



But this summer I came up with a doozy - and we did it. I called it THE SUMMER OF BECOMING A MAN. This idea was born out of the limited time I have left to raise my sweet son Corban. We are on countdown mode. Counting down the months until he leaves for college in 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours 20 minutes and 7 seconds no 5, 4, 3.... This makes us panic. Panic. Did we raise him as best as we could? Did we teach him all he needs to know to be a man in the world without us looking over his shoulder? Hovering by his bedroom door peeking in and asking him questions about the latest task we hoped he had completed. How will he survive without us much less thrive? This was the heart of my latest fantastic idea! 



My husband and I talked about all of the things that a GOOD man would do, know about, be aware of. We made a list. Things that he had yet to do or needed to grow in just a bit. It looked something like this:

1. Have a good job - He left Burger King job and as applying for Starbucks. Not bad for 17.
2. Drive their own car. Check!
3. Play a sport well. Ping pong and golf even pickle ball, yes pickle ball. Done.
4. Grocery shop (we can't be sexist you know, and hey, it's a basic) Love how guys just get the list.
5. Cook a healthy fresh dinner - Thank you Blue Apron!
6. Know how to change the filter in the furnace. He didn't know where or what this was.
7. Climb to the roof on a ladder (every boy's dream really) to get his Gumba's half-ball. Don't ask.
8. Change the oil in a car. We nixed this as no one needs to know how with $30 oil changes. 
9. How to change a tire. 
10. Ask a girl on a date and show her a nice time. We may have to give up on this one. He is SO SHY.
11. Play in a rock band. (Juan thought this was important.)
12. Take Dave Ramsey's Full Online Personal Financial Management Class. Check.
13. Take John Bevere's Full Online Workshop on how to know your Calling in Life. Did it.
14. Plan, prepare, pack and execute an overnight camping trip with his little brother. (It rained the WHOLE time but he had a great attitude and they had a great time anyways)
15. Help the poor. Going on The Relief Bus in NYC to help the homeless is a staple in our family.
16. Invite over friends to have a fun time and be a great host with drinks and food.
17. Run errands for the family.
18. Build something out of wood for the backyard.
19. Study 2 hours a day for the SAT with consistency and diligence.  
20. Lead a devotional that is from the heart. 

I am sure we could come up with many more things. And we did do a few that seemed more like chores in the yard to be honest, but for the most part, we tried to stick to things that would help Corban to "BECOME A MAN."



We are missing some of these "rights of passage" in our American culture. The Jewish culture has the Bar mitzvah which happens at the ripe old age of 13. But what about when a young man is on the cusp of venturing out into the world? Why not have a "Right of Passage" created by his very own family full of activities, ideas, and adventures that will help to make the transition more fun. The last night of Summer, the day before his first day of Senior year, we are going to hold a ceremony. A right of passage of our own making. 



The ceremony will consist of our oldest son Corban leading a devotional at Washington Rock. A special place in New Jersey where we live that General George Washington looked out to see the British movements to keep his troops safe. We will then give him a token, a gift to wear that will remind him of his "Summer of Becoming a Man" and of his commitment to integrity, purity, and to be a man of God. Oh, and a BIG knife. Men like that. 

Maybe you would like to create a "Summer of Becoming a Man" for your son one day? If so, enjoy every moment as the countdown clock is ticking... tick tock tick tock. 




Friday, February 19, 2016

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH...

 To The Ends Of The Earth...

Just got home a few hours ago... from the other side of the earth. That scripture in Acts 1:8 to preach the gospel in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth have now taken on a whole new meaning for me. Check. Done that. I have done lots of missions before, but never this far away. I left the iron protective gate in Dagupan, Philippines Youth With A Mission Base on Sunday morning Feb. 14th, Valentine's day, 8am. After taking a group photo with our new missionary friends and our "New York Team" - we set off home. Just got home, 11:30pm almost Tuesday the 16th... to my snow covered kitchen porch with an Amazon box from my always perfect gift at the perfect time sister. The ice crusted box that must have been sitting in the snow for days was filled with "Bath Bombs" to relax after returning home from our long journey. 

Door to door, this "to the ends of the earth" return trip was approximately 40 hours of travel by van, a short sleep in a hotel in dark and crowded Manila, taxi, plane to Hong Kong, China, plane to USA with 10 hours of mostly turbulence over the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean to a Shuttle driven by my always cheerful father-in-law and to home. A place of comfort and familiar smells. It is good to be under my soft fuzzy blanket in bed, finally. Yet I am tormented.


Tormented by the girls faces. H___l, P____a, R______e, R______a, and the others, the girls who live in the slums where raw sewage runs past their shanty homes and into the river. The place where dark hovels are the only homes they have ever known. Trying to be cool, whiting out their faces to look more pale, grasping for acceptance and a future that I pray is not in the arms of a tormenter one day. Will they follow JESUS into HIS AWESOME PLAN for their lives or repeat the generational demonic stronghold that trips up even the most hopeful of children... We taught them a drama about keeping safe in the arms of a loving God, away from drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and human trafficking, do they realize that the drama was for them? 

There is a light in these slums though, the light in the eyes of the smiling children, filling the tiny maze alleys, grabbing my hands and hanging on my arms with enormous smiles like I was a long lost mama who finally came home to visit them. 


No white people. None to be seen except a glance of an older white woman in the mall who looked as surprised to see us as she her on day two during a passing glance. All 10 days we were the only non Asian people I saw in Dagupan, Philippines. People don't usually travel this deep in. 7 hour drive from the city into the Northern Philippines. We were far away, very far away from home. To the ends of the earth. Thanks Missionary Gina for taking good care of us.


We stayed at the "Youth With A Mission Beach Base" 1 block from the "red light" prostitution district that was dangerous at night. This beach was not what you would imagine. Beautiful, but a prison just down the street with shanty's on the beach. A prison built to hold 250 but currently holds 850 men in mostly open air minus the thick cement walls, all wearing yellow t-shirts. We ministered there with testimonies and music in what could be called a courtyard but was more like an abandoned factory with 1/2 a tin roof, and tarps rigged up to keep the hot sun off the necks of the prisoners. It was an uncomfortable feeling at first being locked in with hundreds of criminals sitting right in front of me. 


After they started to praise and worship, my soul was put at ease. They enjoyed my husband's band with our 2 sons and great friends playing alongside. The prisoners sang the na na naaas with gusto. Seemingly truly touched by the messages from our team. Genuinely thankful that we would visit them. Prison. That was on my bucket list. I could not believe that after being a Christian for 29 years I had never visited Jesus in Prison as He had asked me to do. I was so thankful to finally get this opportunity. Scared a bit at first, but truly thankful. Thanks Missionary Coy & friends for taking us there. 

You see, God never said He would keep us safe. I was in multiple dangerous situations throughout our time in East Asia. Danger of sickness, danger of being robbed, danger of motorcycle side car wreck or an open air Jeepney fall (not really). Danger of being taken advantage of in multiple ways. Danger. It is dangerous to follow Jesus sometimes. And therefore many people decide not to go. Not to put themselves or their children in danger. It is in the danger though where new levels of faith, miracles and trust come into our hearts. 

You see, our light does shine brightest in the darkness. But if we do not go where it is dark, we may never notice any light in us at all. Thanks Missionaries GiGi, Queenie, Analiza, Aldelfa, Dreb, Fronie, Coy, Joel, Novie, Gina & Manny and all wonderful missionaries for shining your light daily.


So back to the girls. I used to lay awake at night for years thinking of what it must be like to be human trafficked, to have to prostitute oneself to survive, to be forced to do internet porn to satisfy the nasty desires of sinful men and women and in return get paid a pittance while the evil men and women fill their pockets with cash to exploit me.  Now I have names, faces, of girls my sons age, pre-teens and teenagers, women, men, even young children to this horrific practice. I was able to spend time with them. Minister to them. Speak to them one on one and try to help them to find a way out. Their faces are flashing in my mind as I attempt to adjust, to sleep after this 12 hour time change adjustment. 

What will I do now? In the coming weeks I will be recovering, praying, seeking God as to what could I possibly do from 1/2 way around the world - it really is 1/2 way around the world. There are many things that are possible, but what is Jesus calling ME to do? I will seek His face and take action. As usual.


Above is me preaching with missionary GiGi translating.
Thanks for listening, now Go. Go into all the world and preach the gospel. What are YOU waiting for?


Serving Jesus to the ends of the earth and here with you,
Pastor Tracy Galloway

A Shout Out to our AMAZING sons Corban and Connor with whom we are so proud of for sharing their stories so eloquently, loving on the people, and experiencing a new culture with gusto and a great attitude. You rock. Literally! Thanks to my adoring husband for "making me go" it was fun; far away, but fun!

Where are you going to go? Pray about it.

www.ywam.org
www.garwoodchurch.org
www.newyorkcityrelief.org

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Daughter and ISIS

My 17 Year Old Daughter and ISIS



It is crazy what things come down my path of life. ISIS for instance. It is so far away, so terrible, like many injustices around the world. But when it knocks on our families door, how do I respond? Let me start from the beginning...


This past winter, our younger daughter joined University of The Nations, also called Youth With A Mission AKA YWAM, that is just the start of all of their acronyms that can be so confusing to the newbie. Like DTS. Short for "Discipleship Training School." Maybe I have lost you already but basically, there are over 1000 YWAM locations around the world where teens and young adults can grow in their Christian faith by doing a 3 month intensive Bible training called Discipleship Training School (DTS) then go on a two month outreach (helping local people with acts of service) to a country not to be revealed until after the students are about midway through their courses at DTS. After completing the outreach, they graduate DTS, then move onto college, a job, or more YWAM AKA University of the Nations classes at whatever location worldwide they like. These courses are varied from deeper bible courses, first-aide, journalism, performing arts, photography, teaching, and more. They even have a surfing school. Yes, it is that cool. www.ywam.org 


Our daughter's goal has been to go through DTS with YWAM and then attend what they call a "Secondary School" in Taiwan for Sequential Arts (Basically Comic Book Art) as she would like to be a graphic novelist one day.  Great. Perfect plan for our younger daughter who has been passionate about reading, writing, and drawing most of her life. Out of many YWAM locations for her DTS, she picked Orlando as she worked there last summer with their SOS - UGH another acronym, standing for "Summer of Service." Ever heard of "Christianize?" This is "YWAMize!" Lost you yet?



So, our girl loved her DTS in Orlando this past semester, great program. She was learning more about God, the Bible, Jesus, and preparing for her outreach. We were told it would be in Northern Africa, great! My husband, his father and mother, myself and our oldest daughter have all done missions/relief work in Africa. Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Africa. Yay. We are all for it! 



Then the beheadings happened on the beaches of Tripoli, Libya. Northern Africa. Hmmmmm. I googled where that was as they replaced geography with sex education when I was in high school. I was not sure how close this chaos may be to Tunisia where our daughter was going weeks from then. Bam. It was the country next door to her outreach location, and right on the border of her country. She was even headed for the coast north of there less than a days drive.

At this point, I figured she was bound for a different country, 9 hours drive from where the Libya ISIS was currently infiltrating, which when you think about it,  it is the same distance from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina. Not too close right? I was not too worried, but I did want to do my "due diligence" and research more about ISIS which I had limited knowledge of, find out more about why ISIS was in Northern Africa instead of just the Middle East, where they were headed, and why? 

This began my late night hours of research online for the month of March. I searched every news outlet in the US, BBC, as well as Al Jazeera. The more I learned, the more I became concerned. So I dug deeper. I read blogs by people in the Middle East, surrounding countries of Northern Africa, local towns, news in Tunisia and Libya, the most up to date reports daily throughout. I dedicated about 1- 3 hours a night to educate myself on the situation. 
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Mass graves of Christians with their organs removed, sold for money to buy weapons. Killings of women, grandmas and grandpas, children, entire villages. Forcing young girls to marry them for one week only to have as a personal sex slave, then divorcing them so the next soldier can do the same, repeat, repeat, repeat to help with their guilt of sex trafficking and rape. The new knowledge that they actually want a war with Europe and America as some militants feel called of Allah to bring about the last holy war, the battle of Armageddon, well, that was worrisome. 
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After a week or two, when I felt like I had a grasp on the movement of ISIS in the region, I contacted the leadership of YWAM for Orlando to see if they were aware of the recent events in the area they were bound for with their DTS team of students. Their limited knowledge concerned me. Besides the beheadings, they were unaware of the movement of ISIS headed West toward their relief work location. In addition, ISIS had the most recruits in the world from the country of Tunisia, my daughter's destination. The muslim extremist men were currently returning from the war in the Middle East with the goal of taking over their local North African towns for ISIS to carry the same clout and power locally that they felt on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. Here is a Map of their movement from early in 2015:




We wanted to pull our daughter from the trip. Who would send their teenage child to the middle of a war zone? It  would be like sending her into Nazi Germany as a Jewish girl in the 1930's or sending her into Rwanda during the Rwandan holocaust of the 1990's. It was crazy. Our long time friends who are missionaries in Muslim Burkina Faso Northern Africa even said "Don't send your sweet daughter there."

But, our family, being a family of missionaries, who does crazy things most of the time, like working with the homeless of New York City, helping the poor in Haiti during Hurricane Sandy that struck that Island first, heading into Uganda Africa with a youth group weeks after many Europeans were murdered (hacked to death) in the forest, and many more adventures that most "normal" people would never consider an adventure much less ever consider doing, that is sort of our "thing." Maybe because all of the above experiences are truly the highlights of our lives... so we prayed about it. We found this to always be a dangerous thing. So dangerous that I regularly say, "I don't want to pray about it." But at our daughter's request, we prayed to see if God would have this team go into this area, and maybe even change the heart of one young suicide bomber that would in turn save many lives if they were to let go of hate, and learn about the love of Jesus for all people. 




I then in addition thought about United States military moms who have their children in the thick of battle carrying guns, and knowing that their sons and daughters are currently walking on the most dangerous parts of the earth. They let their children go to protect the innocent. Would I as a Christian parent allow my daughter to go into the battle zone to win hearts for Jesus and in turn hopefully turn people towards peace, restoration, healing, blessing?




Lastly, my youngest son reminded me of the story of Abraham and Isaac in the bible where God actually asked Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son:

Genesis 22:1-2  "After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son."

 I always thought this story was crazy! Why would God tell him to do that? We know that it is a foreshadowing of God offering His son Jesus as a sacrifice for all, but still... Abraham just seemed like a crazy man right? Was God asking me to be a crazy person like Abraham? Was he asking me to sacrifice our daughter? 



To top it all off, I just happened to be doing a sermon series at my church the same week of this decision called "Heroes." That particular Sunday, I was highlighting the Green Lantern who spread light in the darkness and I connected that super hero to Stephen in the bible who was Martyred (stoned to death) and his face shown like a light. I also highlighted in that sermon a modern day hero: Steve Saint - yes that is his real name -  whose father was a missionary that was speared to death trying to reach an unreached violent people group in the Amazon. Steve Saint later returned and led his father's killers to Jesus and even adopted his own father's killer into his family as his children's grandfather to replace his father. It's an amazing story of forgiveness and restoration if you ever want to watch the movie. My brother-in-law Mike did the movie poster :) Hey Mike!



Our daughter grew up around missionaries and loves superheroes. Super Heroes are her passion. She is one of the few girls who has loads of comic books and watches every superhero movie with gusto, repeatedly. She loves the idea that an underdog, or mutant, or someone of not much significance in the worlds eyes, can change the world for the better and defeat evil. That is one of the reasons she is willing to live all the way out in Taiwan, just to perfect her comic book art skills.



The more I prayed, the more I felt, I should let her go. I knew that this choice was going to make a mockery of my mothering abilities, that all mothers and most everyone would disagree and think I was crazy like Abraham. But I was sure, that God was asking me to take a step of faith, and for us, being wild missionaries already who have done our share of loads "are you crazy" things, it would actually take something this crazy, this insane, to test our faith in a very real, heart wrenching, challenging way. 

Before I called to give the "okay, she could go" I just had to speak personally to one or two missionaries on the ground in the city she was going to. All the smaller local North African news blogs and reports seemed to show ISIS was headed in the direction of her destination, and even that ISIS was already there underground waiting to attack. I needed to be reassured that this was media hype, and she would most likely be okay. After contacting our large network of missionaries friends worldwide, I got a connection from the Philippines who had an old friend who was a missionary in Tunisia. After e-mailing back and forth a few times, being reassured that he and his family were enjoying the Mediterranean Ocean, shopping at the mall, and eating out, with many tourists from around the world, in perfect safety, I made my final decision. She could go. We felt good about it. We released her to God fully, whole heartedly. She was going!

I proclaimed on Facebook, "We decided to let her GO!" I shared with my worried congregation Sunday morning who thought, like everyone else, we were insane. But they were too kind and gracious to tell me so. We only had one stipulation. If there was a terrorist attack in the city she was headed to, we would then pull her from the trip, her Orlando YWAM leaders agreed. Otherwise, we were letting her go, hoping and praying that a terrorist attack would not happen during her 2 months in that region, which was a very real threat.


It was a Wednesday morning, just a few days before my daughters planned departure. I was at my Ladies Life Group Bible Study where I talked with my friends and had to let them know "yes, I am letting my 17 year old daughter go into an ISIS area to do missions." But even though I am sure my friends were sick with worry, and wondering if I was insane (I had questioned my sanity myself a few times), I felt a peace that was indescribable in that I knew, come what may, I had passed this test. I was laying my daughter on the alter as Abraham had with Isaac, as the Father God did with Jesus, and saying, come what may Lord, we will follow you. Little did I know what was happening that exact same hour of my announcement. Little did I know as I was telling my friends that I was letting our daughter go to North Africa, that over 64 tourists and locals were being shot or injured in a museum in the exact city she was headed towards in just a few short days. 24 people murdered in cold blood by local ISIS militants who had come home from the war, out of the underground to kill the infidels (which surprises me that they don't consider themselves infidels as killing women and children seems pretty infidevilish - I made up that word) 
(running for their lives outside the museum)

Genesis 22:9-18
11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”[c]

That night, during my nightly ISIS research, I learned indeed a terrorist attack right where I thought there would be one weeks previous, had actually happened in the city I predicted.  I could not believe that my research was actually right. After warning YWAM  that this looked like it would happen, it actually did. I was surprised and saddened by the loss of life, the poor families, the 10 years of democratic progress Tunisia had made, was shifted into a hard reverse, all in one morning. The area was suddenly extremely volatile. 




I felt the Lord tell me, "this is your ram in the thicket, you can pull her from the trip; well done good and faithful servant."  We passed the test, we were willing to give her to the Lord and let her go, but did not have to make the ultimate sacrifice we thought would be required of us to worry every moment she was over there, and quite possibly receive devastating news. Like I am sure Abraham did, we breathed a sigh of relief and called YWAM to let them know she would not be going with that particular team. There was an ISIS attack. That was our ram.

YWAM being responsible, decided to cancel that particular location as they are not allowed to send DTS teams of students into "Hot spots." They would not be going to Tunisia anymore after the ISIS attack. But the new location was likely going to be in the middle east, and we did not know where yet. So we waited a week to hear. Then we were told they were going to Turkey as well as Algeria in Northern Africa. I was not thrilled about Algeria as that borders on Libya as well, but after finding out that the refugee camp she would be building a school at out of sand bags in the dessert was very, very, very far away from the ISIS activity, we were okay with that. Turkey would be fine if it was Istanbul or on to coast, as it is very European and safe generally, and I have a wonderful friend from there, but if they were going near the Iraq border in Turkey, we could not let her go, as ISIS was in control of that region, it was way worse than Northern Africa in that part. After multiple calls and emails requesting where in Turkey the students would be going, and not getting a response from her leadership, we sadly had to decide to pull her from the trip all together. We could not let her go close to Iraq and no one was telling us otherwise. So the Ram in the Bush for us was also a different trip. But our journey was not over, she needed a replacement outreach to graduate from DTS.

15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his[d] enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 

So we did not withhold our daughter. We were willing to send her, but where? I went into "Full-Time Find an Outreach Mode" I spent up to 6 hours a day contacting YWAM bases in Africa, Europe, Asia, India, South America, Central America, Australia, America, asking if she could do an outreach with their DTS team so she could graduate her DTS and go onto secondary school in Taiwan next year. I must have contacted and personally talked with over 50 YWAM bases. I got no, after no, after no, after no, after no. Every door closed. Finally I was able to reach The Big Cheese of DTS Leaders with University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii and he was able to ask his good friend to do a personal favor and allow Hailey to join their missions outreach team to Haiti. Thank you so very much!

Our daughter was so kind to be okay with not going with her friends to the Middle East (at least on the phone with us). She said "Dad, Mom, if you guys think it is not safe, I trust you because I know you both do crazy things for God, and if you think it is not safe, it must be pretty bad." When she found out she was going to Haiti she was excited as her good friend went there last year and she was actually familiar with the Haiti training from helping with that team during her Summer of Service (SOS), last summer. Also, her Dad, sister and friends from New York City Relief had all been to Haiti to do relief work a few years back. We were excited to get her plugged in somewhere even though the additional cost was a significant blow to us, somehow, it all came together down to the last day and off she went. It's funny to be relieved to send your daughter to Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, that is not known for it's safety in itself. But we were. We were relieved. It was nice to have a good nights sleep, finally. 

It is crazy what things come down my path of life. ISIS for instance. It is so far away, so terrible, like many injustices around the world. But when it knocks on our families door, how do I respond? Hopefully with wisdom and faith. 

Haiti report coming soon... here is a sneak peak at our daughter in Haiti:
as well as Israel missions report from our oldest daughter who returns next week.... and West Virginia Appalachia relief report this summer from our oldest Son of 15. Yes, we are all about that. That is how we roll, almost ISIS and all.

The Galloway Family 

To learn A TON about ISIS in a riveting video great for Christians, Muslims & Jews go here:

 http://www.liquidchurch.com/isis/1/

  

Monday, February 9, 2015



I am amazed at the Lord. I am amazed at how His hand is upon the pen that is continuing to write my life story. It is a wonderful thing to follow Jesus into what ever adventure He calls you to. Yes, there are years of sitting and waiting, years of suffering, years of nothing special happening at all even. But overall, when I look back at my 42 years of life thus far. I am amazed. Amazed at His hand holding me up when I can not stand on my own. His direction when I feel lost. His patience when I feel like I can not wait another day. His blessings and unmerited favor that I am still surprised by. Jesus is Good. Really Good. He never promised I would not suffer, but I know that when I do suffer, I am not alone. Never alone. My prayer is that when suffering comes, that I may suffer well. He is always with me. Yet, in the midst of possible suffering always looming on the horizon, wether it be health challenges, or difficult situations that rear their ugly head, I am excited that 2015 is actually the "Year of Jubilee"



The Jubilee (Hebrew yovel יובל) year is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years), and according to Biblical regulations had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel; there is some debate whether it was the 49th year (the last year of seven sabbatical cycles, referred to as the Sabbath's Sabbath), or whether it was the following (50th) year. Jubilee deals largely with land, property, and property rights. According to Leviticus, slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest. Leviticus 25:8-13 

 I am excited to see what the Lord has next for me, my family, our churches, our ministry, our country and the world in this "Year of Jubilee" that some say is set to start this Fall. Jesus is holding the pen and may I let His love and mercy flow through me continually into the next chapter of our lives here on earth. 

Amen.