Monday, June 24, 2013

My Story Expanded

This is the testimony of what the Lord has done in my life through a gut-wrenching season.  Part of it was published in 2010.  Here is the expanded version:

In 2003 my husband, myself and 2 of our children moved to Alaska to carry on a small church who's Pastors died in a head-on car crash on Christmas Eve 2002. We arrived and ministered to a small grieving congregation. Our church began Community Cafe, a free dinner open to the public a couple nights a week. Faithful volunteers would prepare the meals. Our sole purpose was to eat dinner with our neighbors, building a trusting friendship across the table and help them in their journey to Jesus. We would accept and love people in a non-judgmental way. As the friendships grew we had the opportunity to lead many to the Lord and baptize them. The discipleship began with Bible Studies, Home groups and INSTE (Institute of Theology by Extension).

We developed a website that caught the attention of many around the nation and on the continent of Africa and Australia. Over the years several churches sent short term mission groups up to our church. We expanded the kitchen, restrooms/showers and property through generous gifts and the short term missionaries.

We added a food bank that quickly expanded to over 400 families per month (representing about 2,000 people that were touched through the ministry). For a small community of 2800 (2010 census) that was about 70% of the community. The church then added a clothing give-away every week.

The enemy did not like what we were doing and began the attacks on our church, ministry and our family personally. I stood in the gap, praying, speaking forth the Word, combating spiritual warfare, fasting and believing Jesus would prevail and the enemy would be defeated.

Our marriage suffered. We went to marriage counseling for several months. My husband finally announced that he needed to resign the church to work on his marriage and be a father to his children. However, everyone was duped. He left the church and a week later he left me and my son permanently. He moved in with another single woman from the church.  He served me divorce papers on my birthday. There are no words to explain the agony and deep pain I suffered through all this. Dear friends were praying for me and I had friends close by that took days off work to be with me for hours. My mother flew up within 4 days after he left. I am so thankful for my family and friends.

That year following was heart-wrenching.  All I could do on some days was try to breathe for one hour at a time.  Later I seem to make it through half a day.  I pressed into the Lord because I had nothing left emotionally. Completely empty. My son was in his senior year of High School.  He has epilepsy and ended up having several convulsing seizures that year so we were in and out of the hospital.  He missed over 35 days of school and was failing classes. His dipolma was in jeapordy.   My son and I felt like the Apostle Paul, "we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die." (2 Corinthians 1:8) Through the grace of God, allowances were made and he was able to pull his grades together and passed High School.  "We stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God" (2 Cor. 1:9).

Next up: The Trial  I tried to get a mediator to work through the divorce proceedings without going to court but my (former) husband would not agree and we ended up having a grueling three hour trial.  All in all things were split fairly and he did not get all he demanded.  The Lord was on my side. For months I claimed the verse in 2 Chronicles 20:17, "You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you."  Because we had a "high profile" divorce (meaning it affected hundreds of people in the community besides just our family and friends), many people in the community were watching the proceedings closely.  Some people walked out of the court room that day describing an "aura" or glow about me.  Most said, "Wow! I just witnessed the hand of God move on your behalf!"  I had people across the country and in Uganda, Kenya, Germany and Russia praying for me on that particular day of trial.  Many were fasting with me 24 hours before.  A few people were on the front line and praying in the court room through every word and every decision. The divorce was final and things were settled.

Since then the Lord has called me to a small bush Village in Alaska where I work with the Yupik Eskimos. So far I have been given the priviledge of helping over 20 people accept the Lord.  I have seen other leaders repent of addictions and bootlegging and whole-heartedly live for Jesus.  I have been accepted into the culture and given the honor of a Yupik name.  But that is another blog....

Through all the deep agony I  experienced Jesus has been so close, walking me through every moment of every day. This is a blog about my journey with Jesus during tremendous suffering and pain of losing 32 years of marriage and closing a church I poured my life into for years. My purpose is to offer a glimpse of hope for those who are suffering one of life's death blows.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Cor. 13:7

Rev. Shelly Blocker

1 comment:

  1. Love you Shelly! You are an amazing woman of God and your life is a true testimony of God's love!