For me the week Kate and I spent receiving from God at RTF was like having a blindfold taken off. I thought I had been close to God, I thought I had known the plans that He had for my life. I thought I had understood who God was to me. I was wrong.
At a worship service run by our church, I was praying for a friend when I saw a picture of Jesus kneeling washing his feet. I really struggled with this picture. When I got home I felt that it was actually for me too. That Jesus wanted to wash my feet. Everything in me recoiled & reacted in the same way Peter did. Everything in me said “no! You shall never wash my feet.” I started to think about why I was willing to accept Jesus being beaten and then dying on the cross for me. But not the idea of having my feet washed? I started to ask was it not the same thing? Washing away dirt in our lives? Then I realised, I had not truly accepted the cross. I was hiding behind the world. It was ok for me to accept that Jesus died for the world, but not for me exclusively. I realised that even though if asked, I would say I was a son of God, I had not embraced what sonship meant. I did not realise what it meant to live under the adoptive Spirit of God the Father. Everything I was doing was trying to make myself worthy to be included in the “world”. I desperately wanted intimacy with Jesus, but every time it was offered my response was “no! You shall never wash my feet.I am not worthy!” I was pushing Him away. I felt God challenge me to read the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet, through the eyes of a father.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, that he had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean.
John 13:3-11 (NIV)
These words changed everything. I suddenly saw the beautiful Father heart of God like I never had before. Jesus, acting out of the security of His Father’s love for Him and His true identity as Son, treats the disciples as brothers because of the adoptive Spirit of God and the worth God has placed upon them. I realised that I have to accept who God says I am for no other reason than His love for me as His child. I thought I had been doing this but realise now I was holding Him at arm’s length.
A few days later, I felt God ask “what do you want the world to see when they look at the haven? What part of me do you want them to see?” It was easy to answer, I want this haven to be a prophetic act of the Father’s Heart. I want this to be about the adoption He offers us, and the home that is available to us in His presence. This isn’t just about the children, it’s about being the church and showing the world that God cares for us in the same way He cares for these children. He has offered us all adoption into His family, as co-heirs with Christ. We are worth so much. Not as a collective but as ‘me’. We must choose to make God the final authority on our who we are. “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you..” (John 14:18). Because Jesus said it, that settles it.
It has been a time of increasing freedom for Kate and I. As far as our plans go, we are finally ready with a bank account to accept donations towards the running costs of a haven. We have also taken huge steps forwards towards gaining charitable status.
For the sake of clarity & transparency, all donations into this new bank account will go toward project running costs. My family and I are supported and will continue to be supported through a separate account, run for us by Belfast City Vineyard. Thank you so much to all of you, who have given to Kate and I personally. Without this support we could never have started this journey, nor could we continue pursuing this dream. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Account name – Penuel Children’s Foundation
Account Number – 40152854
Sort Code – 402055
We also have a standing order form that you can print and send to your bank. In the next, while we will be posting a blog about how you can support this haven in greater detail. Thankyou so so much for all of your involvement, support & love. Without you we simply would not be in a position to do this.