Whats Going on in the Life of the Ward's
This Blog is my quarterly update's on what's happening in our life
Well this is not your normal update blog….. this is a big announcement! The Wards are moving to Kona!!!!
Here is the story…… In December there was a lot of very challenging thing’s going on in our life. In the area’s of ministry for me things where good, but life outside of that was super challenging. Phillip was working a lot of hours for Harley Davidson for very little pay. I was still traveling and ministering but its hard to do life and marriage this way. We felt like we were doing our best to obedient to the Lord in it all. Financially we where not making it, a crisis was going on with one of the kids, Phillip was working all the time, all of that puts stress on the marriage. It came to a point t that we knew we could not keep going like that that the Lord wanted to disrupt something.
I was out with one of my close friends sharing my heart in vulnerable way and in that moment I had a encounter with the Lord. The gift of faith hit me and I heard the Lord ask me if I would take another risk and give Phillip a 3 month window to quit his job and fully focus on alignment in all areas of life and to see things “turn” so that we could step into what the Lord had next for us. I said “yes” but then I thought of how much money would would need to live for 3 months without Phillip working and I knew the number. I then heard the Lord say that I would have it 2 days and He showed my my step of faith. I grabbed my friend’s hand and I said “agree with me I am going to get this amount of money in two days and Phillip is going to quit his job and we are going to see a breakthrough”. Its an amazing story but Phillip came home from work and I told him what happened and I spoke into his life and he was hit by the Lord with faith and said “yes” to it all. The middle of the second day he put in his resignation at work and I flew to speak somewhere. When I landed at my destination on the end of the second day all the money we needed was committed. We were undone and knew God was in this and life was going to change.
The next month and a half was all about alignment and the Lord did such a deep and real work in our lives and marriage. Phillip was stepping into a new place in the Lord that he had never been, and it was amazing. It was a time of healing and restoration and some of that was challenging to work through but the Lord is good. Phillip felt that we where not to ask the Lord what was next until the middle of February. That was hard for me as I like a plan.
The end of January we got to go on our first international ministry trip together to Thailand for our first Fire & Fragrance annual missions community gathering. Where all the mission communities that we have sent out of Kona come together over a few days to connect, cast vision, worship and be a family. It was such an incredible time. The stories and fruit from these long term communities was AMAZING. They came from Oman, Nepal, Berlin, Turkey, India, Lao and other Middle Easter places. During this time I saw Phillip come even more alive as he stepped into new places of influence and ministry. It was the first time we both fully voiced to each other that our greatest desire for this next season would be that we would both be in full-time ministry together. We did not see how that could happen with our circumstance’s but it was one of the main reason we felt God brought us together in marriage. With this new alignment in our lives and marriage we saw the vision and purpose of why the Lord brought us together.
The following week I went to teach two weeks in Kona and Phillip came and joined me for the second week which was also the middle of February. We had felt like the Lord was going to speak to us while we were there but we had no idea what He would say. Nothing brings me more peace then hearing God’s voice and having a plan! We really went with open hands and hearts. It was just a good time for Phillip to get to connect with the Kona family and even minister alongside each other… so much life for us!
In these last few years the Lord has really given me a gift and blessing with a relationship with Darlene Cunningham (co-founder of YWAM). Often times when I am in Kona we get a little time together which is so life giving for me. On the trip to Kona we were going to connect and I asked to bring Phillip. From the start of our marriage the Cunningham’s have gone above and beyond to welcome Phillip and the kids into the mission. Phillip and I went and had lunch with her one day. Now prior to this Phillip had also said he would love to move to Kona and I was always saying “no way”! I am an Alaskan fair skinned red head that does to like to live in the heat and humidity. Kona is on island in the middle of the pacific ocean and …. I lived there for 5 years and it would fell like going backward instead of forward to me. I talked with Andy Byrd about it one day and I told Phillip the same thing, the the only way I would consider moving back to Kona would be if I had an encounter with God or the Cunningham’s asked us to. Now we have ing lunch with Dar and we tell her about our season and what God was doing. She was so excited and started just speaking into us about Phillip and I being together and whatever was to come in this next season that it should be together. Then she says “what about Kona?”. That led to her saying getting excited and sharing more on why Kona could be the next thing for us, but I was thinking “she is not saying this!”, as I kept a poker face. She goes on to say we need to talk to Loren because of the timing and some new things possibly developing that could involve Phillip. It was such a wild lunch for us! We go strait to from there to meet up with a friend who we had asked pray for us, and we did not give her details of what was going. As we sit down with her 15 min after being with Dar, she says she was praying for us and the first thing she heard was “Kona”. She starts talking about how the Lord spoke to her about Phillip and I being together in this next season and goes on about him. Over the next couple days it became more and more clear that the Lord was possible speaking through all of this to move back to Kona. We had some time with Andy & Holly Byrd and they were stunned and excited. Clarity started to come to Andy and I as to “Why” we would be going to Kona to run tougher again in pioneering and foundation laying. To preparing for the wave of missionaries being sent out and to establish these key missional communities and hubs in the nations. Even though I was not thrilled about the location of Kona, at the end of the day I just want to obey the Lord, and be in the will of God. I want to have a healthy family and marriage and to do life and ministry with Philip. The night before we left we went out with Loren. It stared out with Loren walking up to us saying “I hear your in transition” and then he literally beings to sing to us “come home, come home”! This night will be forever etched in my memory as we where chill’n at Burger King late at night, the only ones in the place eating ice cream and talking about discipling entire nations. He shares with us this whole idea around a Trade School in Kona training missionaries in trades and using it to disciple nations. Its Loren so it was a huge vision and there was other parts to it that are still in such a developmental stage I can’t get into it all yet. It was like in one moment Phillips entire life and background right down to the exact language he uses all made sense and fit. We where really quite stunned. We went back to California and had time with Brian & Christy Brennt who we walk with, and they felt the Lord on it as well. Phillip and I went and prayed together again as we needed to hear the Lord clearly for ourselves and we asked the Lord the question “are you leading us to move to Kona?” and we both heard “yes”. A couple days later we told Loren and Dar that we where coming!
Well as you might imagine there was so much to set into motion and figure out. We already where planning on being in Kona in July for our annual 21 Project School that we are running there this year . Our lease is up in August so it does not make sense to come back. So we reserved a shipping container to ship our stuff and our car. Now we are going full force in support raising as Phillip and I will both be full-time missions and we need to raise the finances for out monthly support and for the move there. There is still a lot of unknowns like where we will live and how all of this is going to work exactly but we are all in and moving forward in faith. Our youngest Bob will be going with us as he still lives at home and possibly the other two kids will join us as well.
I still have some ministry travel with speaking in schools in these next few months. The rest of the time will be traveling for fund raising, getting things ready to move, Phillip working on a few projects and Bob finishing up school. Since all this happened its been full on for us and I don’t see any slowing down for a long time.
With Phillip having not done a DTS yet, he will do one in the Sept quarter. I will still be traveling and speaking some and being on staff in Kona. I don’t know all that is to come but I do know that God is good, He is faithful and we are saying “yes”.
We are launching a new website with a video of us taking about all of this. A video of the Cunningham’s, Andy Byrd and other friends talking about this and all the information on how to be involved. Go check it out www.phillipandamy.com
Thank you for all your love and support we are excited about what is next.
We will be doing fund raising events in: Let me know if you want more info on any of these events.
Petersburg, Alaska April 20-21
Costa Mesa, CA April 29th
Wasilla, Alaska May 21
Chicago, IL May 26-28
Nashville, TN June 2-4
The Ward family adventures by Amy Ward