After training a spent a month in Ecuador with a native of the land, Fausto, that went through training with me. We did an investigation trip up in the north of Ecuador of a people group we are looking to engage in the future with Xtreme Team. For some reason, many reasons, I just really struggled spiritually there. I had a few highlights, one of them being with my brother Mateo Baker and just be really encouraged by his walk and seeing how the Lord is working through him. It was, however, a time I just really struggled to maintain time with the Lord and stay focused. The actual people group I am working with seemed to be lifetimes a way and I started listening to the lies of the enemy that the Lord would just not use me, that He could not use me. On top of this it just seemed like I found myself around everyone else´s family around Christmas time and I just felt terribly lonely.
During Christmas time I got really sick, some kind of infection, and it just deepened my valley. This prolonged my meeting up with my partners and being able to head to Bolivia.
I was finally able to go and I took an almost two day bus ride from Guayaquil, Ecuador to Lima, Peru, that day took a day long bus ride to Cusco, from Cusco to Puno, and then from Puno another bus ride to Copacabana in Bolivia. We were headed to La Paz and eventually our base camp when there was Paro, or a blockade that Bolivia does every now and then, and all the roads were shut down. So, we were stuck. That day I got really sick again. This is when I felt totally defeated and attacked from every side.
I wish I could explain this situation, and I hope to do it justice because it was something so profound, terrible, and wonderful all at the same time. My struggle was that I was attacked with all these feelings of doubt, fear, and guilt. I felt so weak, so helpless, so worthless and I had been crying out to the Lord asking for some kind of relief. And to be honest, ashamed as well, I could not understand why I was struggling so much with all these feelings. I had been in the continent away from family and friends, spending so much time alone for many months, and I was proud that I had survived and was keeping on. It had now felt that the Lord had taken away His protective Hand and was now leaving me to myself, to my weaknesses, to my overall inability.
I began to search for sin in my life, disobedience, anything that was hindering my relationship with my Father. The one glimmer of hope that I did have was that it might have been from the enemy and the Lord had something truly, wonderfully special for me, that He was going to use me and it was something that the Enemy was trying to prevent.
In the end I was really, truly, desperately seeking the Lord, for answers, for understanding, for endurance, for fellowship, anything to save me from the mire that I found myself in, and absolutley helpless of getting out. And one thing that I have to confess is that over the previous months I had been not having much time with the Lord, not in the sense that I was seeking Him, and not satisfied until we had our fellowship. I knew at the time, even was confident, that it had been the Lord who had carried me this whole time, had been my strength, had pushed me along the road, and with out His Hand I was utterly, hopelessly, tragically lost.
The Lord had been walking with me so intimately despite my neglect, my lack of passion, and in order for me to realize what a grave, dangerous position I was in, He let me walk alone for a bit. How lonely I truly was. It wasn´t just that I had been away from friends, family, and any type of thing familiar, but the Lord, my King, my passion, my life had been removed from me and I could not feel Him.
But it is in the absence of something that one finally realizes what it meant to them.
So, to try to describe how it was, it felt as if God had been wanting me to come into His presence, to be in The Holy Hill, to be consumed by His righteousness and goodness…but I was settling for just getting by, walking alone. And by withdrawing His Hand, His presence it brought me to the point of desperately seeking Him. It is really only in this place of desperately needing Him that is an accurate description of our relation to Him. I must be in this state of desperation at all times of constantly seeking Him and not being satisfied until I am on top of that terrible, beautiful mountain, that Holy Hill.
¨O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your Holy Hill?¨
I also have to give a thanks to all those who prayed for me that knew I was struggling, and to those who prayed without knowing what spiritually was going on. Being without contact at times can bring me to a place that I am utterly alone and I feel that I am fighting this uphill battle with no support. But part of the lesson that I learned, that the Father wanted to show me, was that I have so many warriors praying for me, lifting their hands on the hill interceding for me, and that I am not alone. To all of you who pray so conistently, you are so important to me, so dear to my heart. God is using you in such a mighty way to carry me through all of this. From the bottom of my heart I give you thanks. I am eternally indebted to you.