Tracey's journey to Swaziland
Tracey Moyes is leaving life in London behind and heading to Swaziland as a full-time missionary.
Following a call to Africa, Tracey will see her life transformed as she relocates to serve at one of Challenge Ministries Swaziland's (CMS) bases called Mission Impact in Hawane, which is a stunning location in the mountains in Swaziland. Continue reading as Tracey shares her story...
The move to Swaziland is coming very soon, time is flying and I'm already shifting and removing things from my world that I will not need. In less than 8 weeks, I will be permanently living in Swaziland!
I'd like to share the journey of how I got to this place, but I need to go back a few years for it to make sense. Some of you know some of the journey I've been on, as you walked it with me, but some only know me now and not in the season of great pain and struggle.
My husband Les was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October 2007 just 6 months after I was told I could never have children. It felt like my world had completely fallen apart everything I had been living for was being stripped away.
I was a Christian but it was in this season that I realised how I had held so tightly onto the wrong things. Please don't misunderstand me, loving your spouse and desiring to have children is not a bad thing but I had such a strong hold on them that I had let go of my grip of God. Yes, I loved God but I wanted children and for Les to live more than I wanted Him.
It was only in losing what I held as the most important in my life that I realised I'd forsaken my first love, the One I met as a little girl of 6. The One I had sung songs to at night as I went to sleep because I was totally in awe of His love and His presence. It was my response to the pain and the loss that showed me how far I'd moved from my first love.
I can see that clearly, now that I am looking back, but at the time all I felt was pain. I tried everything to make it go away but everything I tried only made it worse. After many, many months of struggling and falling deeper and deeper into despair it was as if God tapped me on the shoulder to remind me He was still there. It came from an unusual happening.
My sister shared a story with me of her young son falling off of a small wall. She ran to him to comfort him and to check he wasn't badly hurt but he kept pushing her away and was yelling at her for pushing him off the wall even though she had not been close enough to push him, he had simply fallen. He was angry and refused to be comforted by her because he blamed her for his pain.
All my sister wanted to do was comfort him. As she held him and comforted him through his protesting and struggle God said gently to her that I was doing the same thing with Him.
His desire was to comfort me yet I was so upset with Him and so busy yelling at Him for hurting me that I couldn't receive the comfort He so desperately wanted to give me.
It was through this prophetic picture that I turned my face back towards Him and I found that His face was right there as if He'd been looking over my shoulder the whole time. His arms were open and I was able to receive true comfort for the first time since I saw my husband die of a pulmonary embolism.
It was then that I realised a lot of the pain I had been feeling was because I no longer felt God's presence with me - I'd pushed Him away and refused His comfort. Some of the grief I had been feeling was grieving His presence. I still had a long way to go in undoing some of my wrong thinking and yes, it was still a painful journey, but now I was walking it with Him, comforted and reunited with Him. And the season of restoration had begun.
Through this I recognised that my grip on God was the most important, that I should never allow anyone or anything to take the place of my love and devotion to Him. And strangely enough as I did that it gave me greater love for people as I was loving from the right place - a place of freedom where I already have all I need in God so I can truly love with freedom rather than from fear of losing them or being rejected.
His healing presence
There were also incredible moments in His presence that brought a depth of healing that no counselling could ever bring.
A key moment was at a conference in Pasadena, Los Angeles in April 2014. After worship, I was again overcome when Winnie Banov and Heidi Baker hugged me. As I lay on the floor weeping and asking God why my heart was hurting so much, He showed me how He was massaging my heart.
As He massaged it there were broken bits of glass that He was pulling out and as He pulled them out my heart was bleeding. He was crying at the pain I had been through and as His tears fell onto my heart the bleeding stopped and the wounds healed. I began to laugh as I felt complete peace once the last broken bit of glass was removed. But then I felt God squeezing and breaking my heart again. "What are you doing?!" I cried out to Him.
He gently but clearly responded "I restored your heart of things that it shouldn't remain broken for but now I am breaking it for the things I want it to be broken for and that is the homeless in London and the Widows of Africa."
I spent many hours on the floor in that conference as God so gently and so graciously worked on my heart and reassured me that He would turn my brokenness into a purpose.
So, fast-forward to the beginning of 2015 and I became more and more frustrated. Work was draining and I was struggling with motivation. I kept having a sense that “there must be more than this”. The council had moved on a lot of the homeless I had been building friendships with and I had to go further and further to find them. Some weeks I was so tired from work that I wouldn't go out to find them. This hurt me as building friendships with them was what I knew God had called me to do - and I was missing that interaction with them as they had become friends of mine. Yet, I was also feeling a shift and a stirring that a change was coming.
Realising the call
I knew God had called me to Africa to the widows and I felt it was going to be sooner rather than later. So I began to plan. I called it "the 2 year plan". I was going to go to Swaziland to work 3 days a week to support myself and then I would volunteer my time for the other days to ministries supporting widows and broken women. That was MY plan.
So, on Wednesday 22 April, I sent "my plan" to my sister who had suggested I put it together and she would show it to the leader of their church to find out if I could volunteer at their women's refuge on the off days.
That same night at North Kent Community Church's evening school of supernatural life someone came to me and said she saw me stepping into a slipstream and it was moving really quickly. She felt I shouldn't be surprised if God called me into a new thing and it happened sooner than I thought.
On that Friday my sister met with her leader and his wife about another matter but my email came up and the couple said they felt it was an answer to prayers they'd prayed for a volunteer position they needed filling at one of their bases. Only thing is it was in September 2015 not 2016 or 2017 as I was planning in my mind set. But, they were willing to wait for me! I knew that my 2 year timings were way out and I felt November 2015 was the month God was telling me to go. I felt completely overwhelmed at His goodness and His acceleration of my dream.
Serving in Swaziland
So what will I be doing?? I will be serving at one of Challenge Ministries Swaziland's (CMS) bases called Mission Impact in Hawane, which is a stunning location in the mountains in Swaziland. I will host teams of volunteers that come for a few weeks or months at a time to serve the widows and orphans or teach at the school or work in the hospital.
I will work with the Swazi women who need help and serve them in any way that God leads me to meet their needs. I am so excited for this new season - to lay down what doesn't matter for what does matter, to lay down my desires for His purposes and to dream again with Him as the source of my dreams.
I'll end with this, if your life feels like it has been dashed into a thousand pieces by a knock in life and it is the most painful thing you have ever experienced and you feel disappointed in God, angry even..... Just turn your face a little towards Father God and allow Him to hug you and to comfort you.... Be willing to receive His comfort and love... I know you will find, as I have, that while He is comforting you He is also picking up the broken pieces and putting your life back together again, not the same as it was before, it will look different, it will feel different but it will be beautiful and full of fresh purpose. Let Him love you and rebuild your life..... He is so good, so so good!
Find out how to support the work of Elim Missions and Elim Missionaries at www.elimmissions.co.uk