Our church council meets on the second Tuesday of each month (our Council is like a “board of elders” ). The meeting was over, and one of the council members asked if she could speak to me. At the time I didn’t know that Betty had prophetic gifting, but I was soon to find out! She asked me if I had applied for the pastoral position, to which I told her yes, that I had, but I had not told anyone. Then she told me that she needed to share something with me. It was a recurring dream that she had been given and God wanted her to share it with me. I also asked her to write it down, which she did and emailed to me so I had it in written form (for such a time as this!).
Email from Betty, sent June 17, 2003 ~ Subject: Women at the Well Dream
Betty writes “I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I feel that my dream meant something to you. I will attempt to describe it for you: You were wearing a blue robe with long sleeves. It had a tie at the waist, but tied to the back like a dress. You didn’t speak, but your expression was calm and searching, and you were very focused on seeking need and meeting it.
You went to the well (which had a few other women around it too, but they didn’t interact with you) and dipped in your dipper. You then proceeded to seek out a woman who needed a drink and you went to her with your dipper. I wondered why you didn’t use a bucket, as this would be more efficient. It came to me that you were meeting people’s needs individually, and that what one person may require from the well is very different than what the next person would need. You were indeed honoring people by quenching their thirst on an individual basis rather than being efficient and thereby risking missing needs. This use of the dipper also ensured frequent trips to the well for yourself. It also seemed that the women you were ministering to couldn’t quite make it to the well themselves, and required you to intercede on their behalf. Perhaps that is why you didn’t interact with the women who were already at the well (actually, it was not that you didn’t wish to interact with them, but I had a sense that they were already engaged amongst themselves and it would have been an interruption if someone had approached them). You seemed focused on going where the need was, rather than where a need was already being met.
This dream struck me as quite significant, and I experienced an ongoing nudging: that I needed to share it with you.”
The night that Betty told me in person, once she was done I asked Betty if she knew anything about my story, to which she said she did not. I told her what God had entrusted me with ~ His Vision for women! Women Refreshed at the Well! Her eyes filled up with tears, and I felt like the hair was standing up on my arm. To this day, as I recall that story, I still get that feeling!
Well, little did I know that God had even more in store for me! Later that week, on Thursday morning, I received a phone call from another woman in our church named Ellie. Ellie also had prophetic gifting, which included receiving visions. I remember asking her that morning, how the visions happened. Ellie told me that when she had a sense that she needed to pray for someone, she also would ask God if He “had something that He wanted to give her, to give to the person that He laid on her heart”. And then the vision would roll before her eyes like a movie clip. She is fully awake, but seeing something that God gives her. After Ellie shared her vision with me, I asked her if she could give it to me in writing. Here is what Ellie gave to me:
“I saw you standing outside looking up at a night sky. You were alone looking at one star that kept getting brighter and brighter. The start suddenly shot out of the sky like a comet and swirled around you. You kept dodging the comet, but showed no fear. Suddenly the comet shot away and you began to follow it into a dark tunnel. You lit a match because it was pitch black and the light seemed to comfort you. Moving ahead in the darkness a train appeared and you stepped aside just in time. The tunnel came to an end and train tracks continued on far as you could see. To the right, and left, were sharp drops so you had no choice but to follow them. You were fearful of another train coming, (thinking) where would you step out of its path. Suddenly a stair case appeared on the left side of the tracks so you began to descent, relieved to leave the tracks. You saw a hut ahead that was black and burned, though whole. You walked past it into darkness. Hope this blesses you Joy.”
Now this vision was strange. Betty’s dream seemed very straightforward. Ellie’s vision had me wondering. Ellie told me that she did not have the gift of interpretation. I asked her what her “gut feeling” was, to which she told me that she felt this vision had to do with my work at church, and directly related to WRATW. She encouraged me not to lose sight of what God had called me to with the Vision. Even though she said the work at church was very good. This was an encouragement to me to keep moving forward with the Vision. Don’t lose sight!
Later that month, the Prayer Ministry team at our church, met for a prayer evening. I went, and they spent some time praying for me, and for some intrepretation of the vision that Ellie had given to me. One woman (Ursula) who was there that evening had a strong impression of the train track. Her words to me were “You are where God wants you right now.”
Regarding the part about the hut that was black, burned and yet whole ~ some of the impressions were that perhaps it was the death of the original vision ~ or a “changed” vision. These are some of the things that I tucked away in my heart and have pondered often over the last 6 years!
Well needless to say, I went into summer with these many thoughts on my heart! Here is an excerpt from my journal, dated Sunday, July 13th ~ “And Father ~ WRATW ~ what is your will for us ~ please reveal it to us. Thank You Lord for this opportunity!”
During the summer it became clear that more women were hearing about the Vision, understanding what it was about, and aligning themselves with its purpose. One woman told me that if I needed someone to clean toilets, to count her in! I had many offers of help during the summer months. I felt a peace and an assurance that the Vision God entrusted to me, was growing. And even though He had affirmed that I needed to apply for the pastoral position at our church, that He was still ultimately in control, and had everything in His hands…even though I could not see it all at the time!
During the summer, I also heard God speak again, and this time He gave me the number “93″. At the time I was not sure exactly what that was about but had no doubt that this number (for whatever reason) was a detail given to me ~ from God (and some people have told me they don’t think God cares about the fine details!!).
In fall the “search” committee did a formal interview with me. At one point, one of the men asked me if I realized that there would be a vote (if my name went forward as the candidate) and if so, what would I expect? I said without hesitation “93”. People looked a little surprised. One of them even said that “that’s a little high!” Me ~ all I knew is that is the number God gave me ~ and if there was one thing I had learned was that God speaks and I needed to listen! Little did I know how hard that would be over and over again!
All summer I fretted about applying for charitable status. Ken Neufeld encouraged me one day through a phone call, to just complete it and get it in ~ and not to see it as so daunting. So I did! And that fall we were excited to see that our application to become a registered ministry was processed! Women Refreshed at the Well was officially a non-profit ministry with a charitable number! Now, we could give tax receipts for donations given to WRATW.
** note: Should you feel that God is calling you to invest financially in this Vision for women ~ please contact us. All donations are tax receiptable and will go into the bank account for this ministry! There will be many opportunities to donate in the future too, BUT perhaps God is nudging you now, just let me (Joy) know. Thanks in advance for your participation in this ministry.