Decade Reflections

As each new calendar year rolls by, I always find myself reflecting back on my spiritual timeline with my Lord and Savior. I am so grateful for the way that He has led me over this last decade – well, the last 3 decades really. I could not have planned any of this if I had tried! While I was pondering the steps that brought me here, some noteworthy events were highlighted to me that happened a decade ago. These decade reflections have a fun way of tying into my more recent journey.

Emigrant Wilderness Reflections -2017

I was thinking about how our recent decision to jump into a 3-month internship at IHOPKC in September 2016 resulted in a significant spiritual shift for our little Atkins clan. This triggered a memory to surface from when I had a similar event in September of 2006 that radically changed the course of my life. As a young 19-year-old I was faced with these two options; art school in Los Angeles, California or “the unknown” in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had already made my plans and enrolled in the art school and I was a few weeks out from paying a hefty tuition cost when this alternative route popped up on my radar.  I ended up choosing ‘the unknown’ out of a sheer desire to get free from my past…and I was just desperate enough to take a chance on God. It turned out to be exactly what He had planned for me! At the last-minute, I had the choice to go an entirely different direction. Saying yes to stepping out in faith with Him has caused me to hunger for more of His presence ever since.

Young 20 Year Old – Me (2006)

I wish I could cover everything that happened during my 8-month sojourn in the wilderness of ABQ, but I do not have enough time. In a nut shell, I was discipled by an amazing pastor, baptized in the Holy Spirit and then baptized in the Rio Grande.  It was a time when my heart matured in the place of worship while attending the local vineyard church and it grew in love in the context of community with weak and broken believers. But it was there on my 20th birthday (11/7/2006) when Pastor Gerald took me to a Christian book store and bought me a Zondervan (NAS) Life Application Study Bible with black, genuine leather, and my name imprinted on the front. On the ‘presented to’ page he wrote my name with a bible verse, Matthew 5:6. I encountered more of Jesus as I grew in the Word and I became discontent with yesterdays manna.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.


This has since been one of my life verses. Let’s warp speed exactly a decade later, to my 30th birthday on November 2016. We were a little over a month into our internship and we were really feeling good about our plans.  But it was on that day that I realized I was at a crossroad and God was giving me another alternative route. I could go back to my plan after the 3-months and continue working at my job and continue to develop my skill sets to lock in for the next 30 years at a very successful and enjoyable company; or I could step out into ‘the unknown’ with God.  It was hunger that got us out there and it was His ‘filling’ that was stirring us up to trust in Him. I really felt the Lord leading me to lay down my job and continue to pursue Him in this way with my family.  So, just like I trusted Him to lead me to Albuquerque for 8 months, we leaned into Him to lead our family as we spent a consecrated season of growing in the Word, in prayer and worship and in greater friendship with Him. We ended up being at the International House of Prayer for a total of 8 months, knowing that God would show us what was next!

Our track 2 along with track 1 interns (2017)

It was during that time that the Lord strengthened our dependence in Him as well as our confidence in what He has called our family to. He made it clear that we were to pursue full-time ministry once the extended internship time ended. Ministry was something that both Aimee and I had in our hearts from the beginning of our relationship and we had even pursued it earlier in life. We had thought the door closed for full-time ministry once we had the kids, the house, and the job (yes it was in that order for us). We are now very confident that the Lord opened the door for us again so that we could do ministry as a family. So, in May of 2017 we took 6 months to develop a partnership team so that our family could go into full-time occupational ministry as intercessory missionaries at the International House of Prayer.  We could not do this without the leadership of the Lord and our amazing team that has so graciously partnered with us. We arrived back in KC just in time to celebrate my 31st birthday and wrap up the year.

This last event really triggered this whole ‘10 year train of thought’. In December, our whole family attended the 2017 Onething Conference. 10 years prior when Aimee and I were dating, we attended the same conference. It was at the Onething Conference 2007 that I was first introduced to the message of intimacy, intercession and the global prayer and worship movement. After that conference in 2007 my heart started to burn for prayer and worship. In fact, a month after that conference I had considered applying to IHOPU (International House of Prayer University), I even found my incomplete application form for the school when we were packing up boxes to move to KC! Yes, it would have been easier to transition out here during that time in my life when I was single, but the Lord had my whole family in mind – even before Aimee and I were married! Now 10 years later our family of 5 was able to be a part of the conference. Plus we now get to serve and help others burn in the place of prayer and intimacy with Jesus.

Emigrant Wilderness 2017

I will just throw this in for fun. I found a journal entry in January of 2008 when i was considering doing IHOPU and moving to Kansas City.  Aimee and I had been dating for 5 months and I  was at another fork in the road. I was in a serious wrestle with this decision! My prayer was, “Should I be here (Tuolumne) or Kansas City, also give me clarity on Aimee and our relationship.” Well, it turns out that the answer was yes to all of it, the Lord answered my prayer!  I don’t know if I was able to clearly connect all the dots. But it reminded me that the Lord is faithful to lead and He has a much better plan for our lives.  I love looking back at those marker points to where the Lord actually pursued me by interrupting my plans in order to  bring me closer to Him. Having a history in God brings me great joy and it teaches me to feed on His faithfulness. He truly is the one that satisfies those who hunger and thirst for His righteousness and He satisfies that hunger with Himself. 

Family Picture – Pinecrest Lake, CA 2017

Can you look back over the last decade and see the Lords hand in your life? I know He has great plans for your life!

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Zach & Liz: When God Remembers His Oath

In my study on the book of Luke, I have come up with some thoughts that I wanted to process.  First of all, I enjoy reading the gospel of Luke because of the insightful details that are highlighted in it. The main theme of this study is for me to take a deeper look at the life of Christ. However, all of the extra looks given on the life of John the Baptist have me fascinated with this little narrative.

Luke gives us more detail on the parents of John the Baptist than the other gospels. We find out that he is from a long family line of rich priestly heritage.  His father Zacharias is a faithful and devout priest from the division of Abijah. Zach must have made his dad proud when he diligently trained and worked to enter into the priesthood. I believe his entire family was pleased when he found a wife from the daughters of Aaron. It was a requirement for a priest to marry from a pure Jewish lineage and Elizabeth being of priestly decent, was the ultimate catch!  

From the start, things were looking really good for Zach and Liz. They were the ideal couple; young and giving themselves to the work of the Lord. He had a wife that came from a long line of ministers and understood what ministry life was to look like. I presume they were well liked in the religious community and were excited to raise a family and pass on these strong bloodline traditions to their children. They served whole heartily and probably expected for things to continue on just as it did before them.

However, it must not have been long after a year into their marriage when the rumors started swirling around.  People in the community eventually started to question if Zach and Liz were really living righteous and holy lives before the Lord. What were they doing wrong? How could Zach bring such a bad name to his family line? Why is Elizabeth still barren? A few years became 10, then 20 and then 40 years, all the while this ‘curse’ was testing their marriage, ministry and social standing. I can only imagine the heart CRY from Zach and Liz as they walked down a road that was different than they had pictured.

The Lord had a superior plan in mind for this couple, He wasn’t looking to resume comfortable, ‘business as usual’ religion for them or His people. He promised deeper intimacy with His people and He was looking for a family that He could birth a forerunner to. He was looking for a family that could withstand the pressures on the outside and the pressures from within! He was watching their heart response over the decades in the midst of the trial and accusations. Would they still be obedient? Would they still serve? Would they still relate to the Lord? Would they still believe in His promises? He was looking for overcomers that could persevere and run the race with endurance.

We see that even when they were well advanced in years, “they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” They overcame!  They held fast to the faith! And just like Abraham and Sarah, in the midst of advanced years and bareness, God breaks in with His promise. He moves on the scene of impossible circumstances and brings forth life!



Quick pause – I found some significance in the meanings of their names – As they are intricately tied into the prophetic word!

Zacharias means: Yahweh Remembers

Elizabeth  means:  Oath of God


In an instance, there is a swirl of angelic and prophetic activity! It was like God broke in and said, “I REMEMBER, ZACHARIAS and I HAVE REMEMBERED MY OATH ELIZABETH”, “for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son.” This was to fulfill their prayer and to continue to fulfill His oath. Then after 9 months of pregnancy, Elizabeth with John and Zacharias with the prophetic word, (remember Zach could not speak or hear for 9 months!) John is born and Zacharias speaks forth this word –

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them…

and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath
he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days
. (Luke 1:68,73-75)


 A great shift in history had taken place and Zach and Liz discerned this transition. They laid down their old dreams of raising a son in the religious environment that had been passed down to them. They laid down their reputation and stepped out into the deeper calling that the Lord encountered them with. John the Baptist was still going to be a priest unto the Lord but his parents brought him to the wilderness to intentionally fashion him to be a forerunner. Not so that he would be anti-social, estranged, or a mystical maniac – he was brought into the desert so that he could be focused on God –“to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all of (his) days.” We don’t know how much longer Zach and Liz lived after the birth of their son – but we do know that they made this radical decision so that their son would be able to recognize the Lamb of God when the time came.


I believe we are entering into another shift in history – will we see the signs of His coming? How will we recognize the Lamb of God? And what are we doing now to prepare for His second coming?



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Simple Obedience Changes History

Just as Bilbo Baggins shouts back to his neighbor as he leaves the beautiful comforts of the Shire,

“I’m going on an adventure!”



Greetings friends,

We are praying that the year 2017 is full of blessing and breakthrough, ‘That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’ We are excited to be starting this year off with momentum from our last 4 months out here at the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) in Kansas City, Missouri. Last year had its peaks and valleys for our family; looking back on it now we can see that there was a transition that brought us into a greater obedience of running after Him.

We shared in our last post, ‘Read it, Sing it, Pray it’, about what things have looked like out here for Track 1 of the internship and we want this post to fill you in more and give you an update on what lies ahead. As we have been in a posture of reflecting back on God’s FAITHFULNESS and the road that brought us to this point, it has been amazing to see how the Lord has been cultivating our hearts over these last 10 years!

Jumping back to some past history, 2006 was the year of “the black sheep” having Jesus encounters! I went from darkness to marvelous light, from lost to found, from hopeless to hopeful. After becoming friends with Aimee and seeing that she really lived for Jesus  <<MY LIFE CHANGED>>. She dragged me to a Jesus Culture conference and by the power of Christ I was set free from the addiction to marijuana and I started living for Him. From there the Holy Spirit led me into the Wilderness of Albuquerque so that I could be discipled, baptized, and commissioned. He brought me back so that I could be with Aimee and together we have been running after Him ever since!

December 2006
November 2016









Much has happened from then to now and we look forward to another post when we can take you through some of those pivotal points on our path. But our latest season concluded with more intimate knowledge of our Bridegroom King, growing deep in prayer and worship, developing beautiful friendships from around the world, and most importantly growing in our understanding of the WORTH of CHRIST and ministering to Him as a family.

It was in this 3-month internship of growing in the things of God where we really felt another tug to continue down this road. So, we have decided to take track 2 of this internship which will run through the end of April. Our hearts are being fed and our vision is being strengthened to see corporate prayer and worship expressed in every tribe tongue and nation until the return of the Lord. In light of the hour we are living in, we feel privileged to have our kids growing alongside us so we can run as a family in all that He has for this generation!

Letting go of our financial stability to walk this out has been stretching us, but we know it is worth it. Our motto this season is, “have a gratitude attitude”! We find joy in seeing our girls witness us living by faith and praying with us for each step forward. It would feel comforting to say we have it all figured out and know exactly what is coming next for us, but we don’t.  What we can say with confidence, is that we have been given tracks to run on and have been encouraged to pursue Jesus with all of our hearts!

Thank you for following along with us.  If you have a heart for what we are being called to, we would love to connect with you! Please e-mail to follow up with any questions! We could use your prayers as we continue to step out to pursue the Lords calling in our lives.


•• // We really do feel that simple obedience changes history – and we are on a beautiful adventure that we could never have imagined! // ••

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Growing in Prayer

Growing in Prayer – By Mike Bickle

(Charisma House • 295 pages • 2014)

If you have a desire to see your personal prayer life grow, then this truly is the book for you!

“The best thing all of us can do to improve ourselves, our lives, and our relationships is to grow in prayer.” Mike Bickle

I know we all have our new year resolutions, dreams and goals – BUT, what does your prayer life look like?  Seriously?  The more I read about past revivals, the more I see the deep connection to a praying people.  When I read about saints of old who walked in ‘truth, love, & power’, I see a depth of prayer in their lives.  Even more so, when I study the life of Christ – I cannot see ALL that Jesus did and neglect the fact that He valued and lived a life of prayer!  If growing in your love for Jesus and loving others well is on your new year resolutions list (hopefully at the top) then it would do you a great service to get a prayer life!

This book, Growing in Prayer by Mike Bickle, is thorough, practical and encouraging! It will guide you through some helpful ways on how to engage with God and His Word so that you can maintain an enjoyable prayer life with the One who delights in you.  Your understanding on the Biblical importance of prayer will increase and it will connect you to why your prayers (personal and corporate) matter today!  And seeing how the unique dynamics of prayer and worship is exploding across the globe today in partnership with mission’s organizations to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission, will encourage you!

There is a wealth of knowledge in this book that can be applied to every believer’s life.  Mike Bickle has 40 years of ministry experience and has been setting himself in the place of prayer for longer than I have been around! I have been revived by the content in this book and I pray that it will stir you up too!

If you want to get started on growing your prayer life today – then I will give you Mike’s 3 quick points. But I encourage you to get a copy of his book for yourself!

  1. Schedule your prayer time _ WHEN to PRAY
  2. Make a prayer list _ WHAT to PRAY
  3. Cultivate a right view of God_ WANT to PRAY

Often times we use the start of a new year to improve our finances, marketplace skills, relationships, bodies, eating habits, etc.. I want to encourage you to start this year off with growing in your prayer life.  Developing a lifestyle of prayer, to engage with the Living God, will be one of the greatest things you give your time, energy and resources to!

“We have time for what we truly care about.” Mike Bickle

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Read It, Sing It, Pray It

Hello Friends –

I can’t believe that we are already on our sixth week out here in the Barbecue Capitol of the World!  The Intro To IHOPKC internship has been an extremely impactful track so far.  We have been challenged and stretched doing this as a family and yet we have gotten a great deal of training and prayer room time thus far.  It still feels crazy that we are actually out here walking out something that we have been seeking the Lord about – off and on for about 9 years now! The YES in our hearts is to love Jesus and to bring Him glory. There are many more aspects to this yes, but there is no greater commandment than to LOVE HIM. We have a burning on our hearts to give Him the worship that He deserves and to lift our voices in intercession.

Choosing to leave the familiar things in our lives to have a season set apart for our family was not easy, but has been a treasured journey. Jesus asked His disciples to leave everything and follow Him… When He moves our hearts for a season to get up and follow Him I want to be found obedient and lovesick after Him. He created longing and when we ache for His presence He wants us to be active in seeking Him out. We are now immersed in a time and place dedicated to worshiping Him and standing in the gap as intercessors contending for the things on His heart.

[Previous Related Posts: Road TripIntro to IHOPKC , But the Lord Establishes Their Steps , & Insight to IHOPKC]

We wanted this post to fill you in on what a typical week looks like to help you better connect with what we are doing out here.  Monday is actually our day off – yes, we have one day that is a compete free day.  We typically take the kids to a park since there seems to be a new one to discover each week.  All the parks have been completely different and the girls have thoroughly enjoyed them.  There are parks with ropes, parks with playgrounds, parks with roses, parks with ponies, parks with fountains and parks with gardens and so much more.  We are saving the rainy days to explore the museums! Mondays have been full of fun family time.


Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s have been packed with teachings and testimonies from the IHOPKC staff. The topics have all flowed out of these three themes: Passion (Intimacy), Intercession (Night & Day Prayer) and Preparation (Urgency of the hour and Jesus’ return).  These themes also correspond with the Biblical aspects of the person of Christ seen as Bridegroom, King and Judge. It is powerful when we see that our identity is hidden in Christ (Col 3:3) and how these facets of His beauty will unfold who He desires us to be before Him.  Some of the teachings have been completely new and have rocked us for the first time.  Others we have heard before but have a new take away that we may not have caught the first time.  The biggest thing this time around is going into the prayer room afterwards and chewing on it and actually wrestling with it and in some cases, applying it!

Thursday mornings we meet at our Core Leaders house and get to connect with our team (there are 2 teams in track 1) and hear each others God stories.  We gather and have breakfast together and get to connect and prophesy over one another.  Our team has people from Virginia, England, Australia, Scotland, Egypt, Pennsylvania, and Texas.  It is a great group of friends and fitting that we all chose to leave our ‘normal’ lives at the same time to pursue Jesus in this way. What a blessing to be around people that are in a similar season as us!

Our Friday class time is focused on practical tools for prayer in a private and corporate setting. Some of these topics have included: Participating in the Prayer Room, Developing a Prayer List, Cultivating a Consistent Devotion, Praying Biblical Prayers (The Apostolic Prayers and Praying the Psalms).  Then on Friday nights we attend the Encountering God Service. Mike Bickle is teaching a series called, Studies in the Life of Christ, I highly recommend for you to jump in and listen when you can!  Saturday’s we pick 4 hours of prayer room time and then usually go out to a park and try to prep for the week. On Sunday’s we go to the early service at Forerunner Christian Fellowship as a family and then one of us stays to serve in the 2 year old class for the second service.


Our time in the Prayer Room has been phenomenal!  Overall we spend 22 hours a week in the prayer room and this is where the rubber hits the road.  It is not always easy to dial down and actually connect with the prayer and worship, but there are powerful pockets where there is that presence. The thing that I am learning to understand about ministry to Jesus is it’s not always about the ‘goose bump’ moments or the ‘feel goods’; it’s about directing my time, attention and heart  to the Man Jesus and saying He is worthy of it all regardless of what I feel in that moment.  We have also found ourselves growing in love with the written word as we read it, sing it, and pray it – ultimately to encounter the Living Word.

The girls are growing so much in their time out here.  They also have classes in the morning that run concurrent to ours Tuesday-Friday from 9am to 12pm.  This is not a child care system but a powerful equipping center that they are plugged in to!  I love hearing all the things that the are learning about each day.  Some days they join us in the prayer room and other days we trade our time at the house with them.  Our whole family has been able to sit in on a two hour prayer cycle a handful of times and that is always a good day!  Liberty has an evening class once a week where she learns the Harp (Worship) and Bowl (Intercession) prayer model that IHOPKC uses.  This is not a scaled down version for the kids, this is the real thing! Liberty gets to sing or prayer lead on the microphone! It warms our hearts to see the treasures of our lives receiving such depth in their early years.




Thank you for reading and joining in with us on this journey!


We are so grateful to be able to do this and we could not have done it with out you!


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Road Trip


My last day of work was Friday September 2nd and it was a strange feeling walking out of the office at the end of the day.  I didn’t realize the significance of the timing as it coincided with Labor Day weekend.  Labor Day is a holiday given to have a day of rest from work and to celebrate all that the American Workers have accomplished.  Looking back, I felt like the Lord was saying to me that I am taking a rest from my ‘labors’ so that He could further accomplish a good work in me.  I know that there is a negative stigma with doing this kind of thing, especially in America, and yet I know the timing is right despite the obstacles.

[Previous Related Posts: Intro to IHOPKC , But the Lord Establishes Their Steps , & Insight to IHOPKC]


We gave ourselves a week for the tedious task of packing up the essential belongings and cleaning up the house for renters; it was exhausting.  Not to mention all of the plans we made to connect with friends and family before leaving.  It was a very emotional week for us but also rewarding as we were blessed by so many people.  I love how the Lord shows up in unexpected ways!  The prayer that we were able to receive from our family, church body, and friends was very encouraging!

By 9:30pm on Thursday, September 8th,  , we finally departed from our house and drove through the night to San Bernardino. The following morning Aimee and I were able to leave the girls with her parents so that we could drive down to San Diego to celebrate our 8-year anniversary. The actual day was August 16th but we did not have time in our schedule to get away then.  It was a great ‘escape’ together and I am so grateful that we made it to the 8-year mark! The number eight means new beginnings and starting this journey felt like the beginning of a new chapter for us.

After spending time with family in San Diego and Los Angeles we officially headed east on Tuesday, September 13th. Our first stop was to Joshua Tree National Park, it was a fun stop with the girls as we looked to see the beauty in the desert.  From there (Indio, CA) we drove to Flagstaff, Arizona and listened to some of Charlottes Web and Winnie the Pooh Audio books to keep us entertained along the way; as well as a stop in Seligman off Route 66.  We were able to spend a day at The Grand Canyon and made memories that will last forever. All of the views were breathtaking and we all learned a lot. On our way out from there we hit up Walnut Canyon National Park, Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest National Park.  These were great destinations to include in Liberty’s  new homeschooling journey and we thoroughly enjoyed the unique southwest desert landscape.



In the midst of our ‘mostly’ planned out road trip the Lord set us up with A DIVINE APPOINTMENT! We were on the tail end of our stretch and I was holding out to stop for as long as I could. I knew we were over due, but I just kept going for some reason. Then I exited and pulled up to a Flying J. Aimee got out and picked us up some coffee and then we were back in the car and started driving back to the interstate. Before we fully exited the entrance, I saw three white vans pulling in and the driver of one looked like someone I knew. I yelled at Aimee and said, ‘ hey I think that was The Call team!’ I flipped around and sure enough it was! A lot of them were the same ones that stayed with us back in February when we had a Pre-Call Rally in Tuolumne City. It was the most random place to stop in the middle of nowhere and yet God had something for us there. Aimee and I got out as the kids were sleeping in the van and we had the whole team (SAFA – Spiritual Air Force Academy) circle around us and pray. This was so encouraging and it felt like God was letting us know that we were on the right path.

We rolled in to New Mexico and waves of old memories started flooding my mind. It had been too long since my last visit. We were welcomed to Albuquerque by beautiful smiles and hugs as we entered one of my most cherished places. It was the very place where the Lord had brought me to get my life back together. In a nutshell it was: family, community, Holy Spirit, Baptism and proposal. It was wonderful to catch up and chat with Liesa our gracious host who has now turned much of the living area into an artsy and creative AIR BNB.  My favorite part was taking the girls with us on a walk through of what we did the day that I proposed to Aimee. We enjoyed a breakfast burrito at Frontiers and then a trip to the Rio Grande. It was a great stop and I know we will be back there soon!

Was it really over 8 years ago? Photo Credit: Liberty


The Girls enjoying tea at the Girlie Bird and Co.


Our time in Albuquerque was relaxing but alas we had to face, THE DREADED 12. Yes, there was a 12 hour stretch from ABQ,NM to KC,MO and it was rather flat and…long. More audio books and worship songs please! The girls did extremely well and we did not have any surprise potty stops! I guess the fun part was passing through NM, TX, OK, KS and MO all in one day. By the time we arrived at the International House of Prayer, it was 12:30 AM. Of course we drove straight there thinking we would go in to the Prayer Room… because you know, it’s going 24/7! However, we were exhausted and thought it best to go to our Kansas City House (as Adessa puts it) to get some sleep. We had finally made it to our destination and it just so happened to be the 17th year anniversary of IHOPKC.

Here is a short video of some road trip footage: (click link)

SOUNDTRACK SONG: Another Wave – Lindy Conant Feat Chloe Brennt)


Thanks for tuning in to our Journey! We will be sharing more soon about what we are doing out here – and give you a look at our day to day.  In the mean time check out this clip from one of the first prayer room sets we sat in on (You might be able to spot Aimee and LIberty). God Bless!

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But The Lord Establishes Their Steps

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”   Proverbs 16:9


In the midst of the hard times it is good to remember the why. This update precedes our first post because it has taken us a while to fully process all that has happened since we said yes to this journey. We quickly found ourselves in the middle of a fight as our launch date got closer and closer.

When our hearts were settled and in agreement with setting a side a season to pursue Jesus as a family, a challenging series of events occurred. Not long after coming back from Azusa Now, which we had felt was the first step on this journey; Liberty had her first scary injury. She had sliced her inner thigh on a broken piece of glass Tupperware and barely missed an artery. This was not only a physical test for our parenting and emergency response, which we failed miserably, but it was the first spiritual attack on our family. Liberty ended up having 6 stitches after our long wait in Prompt Care.

Liberty Reign Atkins (5 years old)


Fast forward a couple of months and we found ourselves in another round of warfare. A guest speaker from Germany gave the Sunday message and he was sharing a powerful word on dealing with the little disappointments in life. I snuck out early to drive around until Riah Joy fell asleep. I came to a stop and pulled out of an intersection and before I crossed the centerline a car flew right in front of us and ripped off the front end of our van. Surprisingly, Riah did not wake up after the crash, but a half second later and we both could have been majorly injured as the car was coming from the side that we were both sitting on.

This was a close call and thankfully no one was injured, however the front end of our van was pretty smashed up! This is the family chariot that is chartering our little adventure to KC. Fixing the front damage was a financial set back, especially since we had recently purchased 4 new tires on the Minion Van.   As difficult as this situation was, certainly one of life’s little disappointments, we felt the Lords hand of protection over us that day.

Riah Joy Atkins (16 months old)
Riah Joy Atkins (16 months old)


Then towards the end of July we had our biggest scare to date. Many of you may have heard that our second daughter Adessa, had a near drowning experience at Pinecrest Lake. She was pulled out of the water face down and unconscious. Thankfully her Uncle Noah reacted quickly and grabbed her out and gave her CPR. She was then medi-flighted to UC Davis Children’s Hospital to have all of her vitals checked out. Aimee was at Disneyland and I was at work when we got the call. Having our family all separated made the situation even more heart wrenching. Adessa was a true champion and had such a brave countenance during the entire ordeal.


Adessa Promise Atkins (3 years old)


This could have been the knock out blow as it was the most terrifying thing we have ever gone through. We still have waves of processing the ‘what ifs’ for all of these situations. However, we are stilled by the present wave of His faithfulness as we have witnessed His divine protection. The thread that ties this all together is not the attack of the enemy but the prayers of our friends and family that we have felt over us during this time of our lives.


In the midst of all that was happening around us, we were reminded that the Lord establishes our steps! Dreams that had been planted in both of our hearts long ago are now being made possible. So whatever trials we go through, we pray that we come out refined like gold in the fire.





Previous Post:  Insight to IHOPKC – Read to hear more about what it is like spending an extended season at the International House of Prayer.

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Insight to IHOPKC



Hello Friends –


I wanted to give you guys some fresh insight to what takes place at IHOPKC as our family prepares for the internship out there(Click for previous post).  Aimee and I have been tracking with IHOPKC for our entire relationship and have even gone out there on several occasions, so we have some idea of what to expect.  But I wanted to share something that my dad wrote from his time out there earlier this year.  I love and respect my dad very much and hope that this will give you a clearer picture of the heart and mission behind this ministry of the International House of Prayer.

The worship and prayer that continues on stage in the front is what dominates the atmosphere in the room. The worship of Jesus is sincere, humble, and authentic throughout the rotation of worship team sets. Each of the twelve worship teams of young singers and musicians is responsible for one two hour set. They rotate throughout the day and night, so that Jesus is being honored and praised continuously. Most singers, worship leaders & musicians have committed to a three to four-year lifestyle of prayer, fasting, purity before the Lord, training in voice & instrument skills, Bible teaching, works of volunteer service in the community before they have earned a place on a prayer room worship team. The integrity is noteworthy. It’s not like someone just walks in off the street and starts singing worship songs.

 All staff at IHOP missions base – which includes all singers, musicians, media technicians, university professors, maintenance folk, administration & clerical staff, internship team leaders, etc. – do not receive a salary. They are “missionary intercessors” who generate their own financial support base in order to do what God has called them to do. Besides the responsibilities of their individual staff assignment, they also commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week in the prayer room, a weekly one-to-two day fast, and monthly 3-day fast on the first Monday – Wednesday of each month.

 Is everything perfect in the prayer room? No. When compared with the worship and adoration that surrounds the Lord in heaven, there’s a long way to go 🙂 However, the devotion and sincerity is as good as anything I have experienced in my life. Is there room for improvement in the prayer room? Of course. And the senior leadership team here will be the first to say that “We are weak and broken people who, by the grace of God, are doing what He has called us to do as we grow in becoming closer to what He desires.”

 The quality, sincerity, and reality of devotion and worship of Jesus Christ is the heartbeat of what happens in the Prayer Room. Anyone who desires to worship Jesus may quickly enter in.

 Let me put this question to rest in case any of you have read online or had someone say to you that IHOP is a cult. It is absolutely not a cult. It is not filled with misdirected and/or demonically deluded charismatic fanatics – like some – even in the Church – might say. The people here are just like us folks back home. They are fully Christian. They love Jesus, and what He has done for them. They love the Word of God and are seeking to align all of their life with what it teaches.

 So what in my mind distinguishes them from much of the “Church in the West”? It’s not religious. It’s real. There is no hype or manipulation. It’s a missionary & service mindset – from the senior leadership down to the part time volunteer. From one who has been a Christian for over forty years, what I have seen & experienced so far I am encouraged, refreshed, inspired and challenged. The community of believers that I witness here at IHOP all have a high level of commitment to the Worth of Jesus, His love for them, and His love for the earth & all of its inhabitants, and His Word.

This comes across in the classes we are taking, in the people we meet, in the services we attend, and in our hours in the prayer room. The Missions Base at the International House of Prayer is one of the bright spots in our darkening world (TY ATKINS – FEB 2016)


Our family is very much looking forward to joining in the prayers and worship of the saints as we are trained and equipped in the Word. Again, please be praying for us as we prepare for this trip and let us know if you have any questions!


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