I have been thinking about how to express my feelings about this incredible couple for weeks. As I sit here I am concerned that I will not properly convey what I think about them and their ministry...and what a blessing they have been for us.
Last year in May we graduated Charis Bible College and thought the natural progression of things is that we would move back to Nashville. However, there was a nagging lack of peace about this decision. After a strong Word from Andrew Wommack that confirmed what we were feeling, we knew we were supposed to stay. We also knew part of that Word was to come under Dan and Penny Funkhouser at Heartbeat Ministries International Church.
It was in the Fall of 2011 when we began our Treasure Hunt Sunday School class with Dan's prompting. You see, we had read the book "The Ultimate Treasure Hunt" and had a heart for prophetic evangelism, but we had no experience. We were WAY out of our comfort zone. But Dan told us to go ahead and start it. So, with MUCH reluctance and fear of looking like idiots, we started the class.
Josh did go over a chapter of the book each week for about 10 minutes, but we wanted the class to be more about fellowship and learning to hear God's voice and becoming confident that you can hear Him. We did this mainly by hanging out with each other and doing prophetic exercises. Josh and I have led several bible studies through the years, and I remember the phone calls, emails and various other reminders to get people to come. But with this class we never really told anyone about it and pretty soon, we had to move to a bigger classroom to accommodate all the people! Josh and I in NO WAY take credit for any of the success of the class. It was a class led by the Holy Spirit. And it was the most amazing ministry I have ever experienced.
Dan and Penny Funkhouser have a ministry I would not wish upon myself. They welcome countless students from CBC into their congregation, only to see them graduate and leave to start ministries or churches of their own. The amazing thing is they not only embrace this incredible calling, but they thrive in it. They openly pray, support and send out people into the local communities with no jealousy or concern about it taking people from their own congregation.
They run their church with open hands, meeting the needs of the people all around them. They bring single moms up to the platform in the church and let the congregation shower them with monetary blessing. They bring in missionaries that the church monthly supports to speak about their ministries. They encourage people to give, not only to the needs of the church, but to God's Kingdom all around us.
I see myself when I get to heaven seeking them out. Bringing my family and friends to them and saying, "This is them! This is the couple I told you about!" And I have a feeling I won't be the only one...
Josh and I will forever be thankful for Dan and Penny. I believe for the rest of our lives we will look back on this last year and know...this is where our ministry started.