God took me to this quiet place with Him where the music and voices faded and it was just He and I in total silence. We sat for a while and simply enjoyed each others presence. I had never been in a place so still and pure; it was perfect peace and delight in Him. It was a special moment that was and still is unique to that specific moment with Him. I was in complete awe of Him. And in the midst of that beautiful encounter with God, He spoke,
“Sergei, I want you to move to Brisbane, Australia to help pioneer this ministry called Beth-Biri.”
Emotions flooded through my entire being. I was filled with joy and excitement as tears streamed down my face and into my lap. “He sees me fully and completely and He sees me as worthy and adequate.” I thought. “He knows me better than anyone and He believes in me and trusts me.”
“Oh, how gloriously gracious and kind you are, god! how IMMEASURABLY perfect and wonderful are your plans.”
These words from God fulfilled, or elaborated on, a word that He spoke to me years before. When I was about fourteen years old God told me that He was calling me to missions. It was a simple word and it was something He spoke quite early in my friendship with Him, and I held onto it for five years.
During that time of waiting patiently on the Lord, not knowing what the future looked like specifically, He developed desires in me that collectively built up to that special moment with Him. He stirred in me a desire to use the things that I created to be used for His glory and His Kingdom. All through high school I drew and painted and sculpted, wanting to create something that not only looked good to one’s eyes but drew attention to their beautiful Creator and King. I had such a simple understanding of the things that he could do through my artwork but it was foundational for me.
In the meantime I also desired deeper friendship with Jesus. I knew that above everything, this was what I was made for. It was these two journeys side-by-side that took me to Youth With a Mission in Germany and in turn brought me to this monumental moment with Him. You see I flew to Germany for a Discipleship Training School with a theme of the creative arts because I desired to know God more and to pursue the thought of Him using my creative gifts for His Kingdom.
“Maybe I can be a MISSIONARY and an ARTIST…”
Boy was I on to something! I just had no clue the extent of not only how possible that idea was, but ALSO how deeply God desires his children to BE who they are and in that walk in the ways of His Kingdom.
I often stared into this landscape at my home in PA and deeply contemplated what the future may hold.
I remember the first time I heard the words “BETH-BIRI”. It was about a month into DTS and I had walked into a room and sat down with some new found friends whom I had gotten to know over the month or so leading up to this moment. As I sat down they went quiet and the conversation ceased for a moment. Then Bronwyn said, “Can we tell him?” with a smile of excitement. Yaz nodded her head, “Yeah, alright.” They proceeded to tell me about this beautiful and profound thing that the Lord was doing.
“Beth-biri, It means ‘house of the creative one!'”
They described a place for young people to create freely. A place that hosts the presence of God and inspires people to be who they were created to be; little creators. In this place people will know that they are loved by God and they will be invited into the family of God with open arms of Love.
This blew my mind! Everything they described resonated with every fibre of my being! They also shared how the Lord confirmed to them that they had been carrying the same dream in their hearts, individually and on opposite sides of the world. They had the same words in their hearts, “BETH-BIRI, House of the Creative One.” I was astounded and deeply moved by the things the Lord was doing in them.
A few days later I was in that quiet place with my Heavenly Father, sitting in his sweet presence about to learn of the adventure that He wanted to take me on. And in my spirit arose the biggest, “YES!” Then a year and half later I moved to Brisbane. And now I write this post from my new home, Australia.
It is so breathtaking and a bit surreal to look back on the journey the Lord has taken me on to get me here. It is particularly wild because we have officially launched BETH-BIRI! This dream that has been in labour for a long time, has finally been birthed. In this time of nurturing and growing this vision the Lord has been reminding us so beautifully of everything that He did along the way. He is so faithful and good.
I am so thankful to my wonderful King for his kindness and gracious heart toward me. And I cannot express the excitement and hope that is running through my veins for what’s to come.
Would you like to read Yaz and Jael’s Beth-Biri stories too?
Yaz and Jael have also written about their own stories of how the Lord put this vision on their hearts. They are inspiring stories and insight into how they ended up where they are.