Dear Partners & Friends,
This last year has been the most challenging time in my life. I was faced with difficult realizations of my past that caused me to question a lot about what I believe, who I am, and what changes I want to make moving forward. I have talked countless hours with my wife about our core values, our faith and trials, and our future. Both of us have come to the understanding that we have needed to make major adjustments to continue to make Jesus our center and our foundation stronger than ever. I have never been a perfect man, Christian, or leader. I regret that I have hurt people over the years and that I at times, lost who I was in Christ and ultimately hurt Him. I’ve been reflecting over the last year about my entire walk with God. All the challenges I have faced - my health, marriages, the ministry, my relationship with God but now I can say, “A miracle is happening to me.”
“And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
There were times I threw myself upon the rock and asked the Lord to evaluate me and make me Holy. Other times, I have felt the crushing and the grinding of the Lord. Which is better, to fall upon the Rock or to be crushed? I think the Lord is looking for the end result more than the initial response. He wanted me to submit my heart fully to Him. He isn’t after anything that I consider valuable or a threat, He is 100% after me. All of me. So that HE can continue to transform me into His likeness. At this moment in my life, after the breaking and the rushing, I am learning how much God is really for me and wanting to remove all the suffering, trauma, and pain in my life, caused by me or to me. The Lord always comes through! I am finding a new life and intimacy in brokenness. This is the womb of resurrection.
I sat on my rocking chair on the front porch. I was praying in tongues and just was reminiscing about all the great times and encounters with the Lord. And I heard the Lord’s voice so clear for the first time in 9 months. He said “When you are ready, ready or not here I come”. And boom! He exploded a dream into my spirit that I will share more of later in this letter.
“When you are ready, ready or not here I come”
I couldn’t believe it. God would really let me dream again? God would still use me? God you still have plans for me? Plans to prosper me and allow me to flood the kingdom with Souls? Again God? I was shocked and humbled. How great is our God! How amazing that He never gives up on us and He never abandons us. This is our God. There is only one problem. I can clearly say that I am not ready right now. I am getting honest with myself and right now, I want to build my relationship with God to a point where it can never be shaken again. A place where no man, no situation, no fear can touch it. Jessa and I have decided that we would like to take more time to receive healing and rest. We are in no hurry to return to anything other than the reason why we are here in the first place, relationship with God. Since last year, we have been seeking counseling from the same counselor we have seen over the last 7-8 years. In the last few months, we have come to a place where we want to attend a healing intensive retreat for our marriage and for our personal healing. Out of that retreat, we plan to continue seeking counsel for 6 months and will follow suggestions of counseling through their network for our personal healing and recovery. We are very excited about this next 6 month journey of choosing our marriage and ourselves. We are choosing the most important value of all, relationship with each other and our relationship with God. Last week, Jessa had a dream about taking the guest bedroom in the house and building a prayer den. She hadn’t mention it to me yet and the Lord spoke to me and said “Build a Secret Place for me in hour home”. Then Jessa shared her dream with me and we knew…God was speaking. We will not only seek more healing but also seek His presence as we build a Prayer Den with God. It is amazing to be in this time not feeling any pressures or stress to return to the structures of past ministry. I am hearing his Voice again and so many powerful divine signs of turnaround and new vision is happening. I look forward to the future. In this season I have set aside now 6 more months with one focus: Jesus. I will be pursing that in many private ways and will be sharing my Journey with friends, family and partners.
I do not have time to fully process or describe the miracle we are experiencing these last 15 months working in the marketplace and building our new business, Magnificent Man Co. We are still focused on this opportunity as we are outside the four walls of the church. The current national pandemic has caused us to make unfortunate changes to ensure the safety of our family and all those who come in contact with us and our business. Nonetheless, we have seen the Lord bring people to Himself just because we sold them beard care products.
Now the dream placed in my heart once again: “I DREAM OF AFRICA!”
Many of you know how in the beginning of my ministry God called us to Africa. I went to South Africa at 22 years old sent by the Lord like a “Macedonia Call”. I preached for 14 days in the streets, bushes, churches, slums and anywhere the raw Gospel could be preached. I took only one worship leader with me and together we saw God both over 20 years of healing crusades reaching millions with the saving, healing, delivering power of God. We saw so many lives transformed and only heaven will know the millions that have been saved in 73 countries.
Some of my favorite encounters have happened in the open-air meetings we held in South Africa that first time I went. We simply visited different locations (mainly lower income dwellings), set up the sound equipment and played music. Different people shared their testimony between songs and then we’d give the message of salvation. A few people would come out to hear and see what was happening, but soon Holy Spirit would begin to touch people and heal their bodies and then hundreds would show up. One lady showed up drunk, was healed and delivered, and went away a free woman.
I remember in one open air meeting that there was a man who had a stroke and could barely walk; he left carrying his cane instead of using it. In other meetings there was a woman who was almost blind from cataracts and she also had an arm that was bent and frozen. Before she left that day she was beginning to see and could raise her arms over her head. A man whose facial skin was pulled toward the left from numbness and paralysis was healed. A woman who could not see well enough to read began to read from the Bible.
As part of our recovery and healing, I want to return to my first mandate as the Lord has been speaking to me for nearly 2 years saying, “Do what I taught you to do from the beginning.” I have come to fully understand my purpose and I am excited to worship my way to His feet.
I am setting a goal, vision, mission of what I have fully purposed in my heart to do. It will be 14 days of bush with no fanfare or fluff, real ministry to hard and remote areas of Africa like I did 20 years ago. This is a mandate and a part of recovery. Join me and come be a part of this dream and partner with us. I do not know all the costs but with a limited team that is willing to stay as cheap as possible, and a limited budget, we will not be budgeting for any mass crusades. We will be looking to achieve this goal in 2021.
This will be a raw, organic, and grassroots adventure and we are beginning to fundraise for this mission. If you feel led to sow into this adventure then click on this link https://freshfireusa.com/donate and choose Missions and enter into the comments “Africa 2021”.
If you wish to participate as part of the missions team, please contact email@example.com and enter into the subject line “Africa 2021”. Please also, keep me and my family in prayer as we continue to receive healing and seek His presence.”
Thank you for your support!
TODD BENTLEY – Servant and Harvester!