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Friday, May 27, 2011

Going to the outback...

Well, I am back in Perth for a fast and furious two days... We landed and started preparing for the next leg of our journey. We are going to be headed up into the northern territory called the Kimberley's. We are going to be working with aboriginals community for the next three weeks. There will be 5 teams headed up there.. so a convoy of many vans and people!
I am so excited and growing in excitement about this experience. The aboriginal people have so much history and need so much of Jesus. The situations that are happening up in the communities we are going to is unreal, especially when you think about the fact that this is australia. A completely western nation. This is the first time perth is sending teams up into the communities so we hope to see lots of doors open, relationships built, and learn as much as possible for the people up there.
To get there will be long! We take a solid three day road trip to get to our meeting point where we will have orientation and met some of the tribal elders. We are talking three days of 10-12 hours of driving through this beautiful country! I am so excited and at the same time praying a lot that the Lord will sustain all of us drivers! (myself included since I am now a driver of the left side of the road!) =)
We will be camping the whole time... so all the way up and then in all the communities that we are staying we are camping, in fields or footy fields (kindof like football fields)  I have little experience with camping but am sure that my knowledge will grow tremendously in the next few weeks... bahaha...
Apart from being able to do all sorts of things with the people like discipleship, prayer, kids programs, youth programs, dramas, and showing movies on Jesus and forgiveness and reconciliation. We will also be learning and letting the locals take us around and show us things like hunting goannas, kangaroo, snake, and taking us on bush walks (don't worry - not swimming for us - we don't need anyone pretending to be crocodile dundee!)
okay well i will be offline for a while, but I am really excited about this trip. The holy spirit has really been stirring in me as we prepare and hear about the people and their needs. I think I am really getting God's heart for their needs and situations. I love when that happens!

you are blessed to be a blessing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

You are always on the Lord's heart...

This past week we spent some time doing more "open airs". Publicly proclaiming about the gospel, and sharing through songs, dramas, and testimonies. One morning as we were praying, we felt that God was calling us to go to a specific park to do an open air. We had other things that we were obligated to that day, so fitting it in was a bit difficult. We ended up at the park in the late afternoon. There was a fair going on, so many people walking in and out of the park from the fair. We did one set - (or went through one open air) and were able to share with a few people. Two of our team members needed to leave after that to be at another youth obligation we had in the city. So we were without two of the main people in our drama and weren't sure if we could continue on and do another set or open air.

We decided to go to the opposite end of the park at the other entrance and do it again. We would replace the people and just go for it. (the biggest thing was the guy that plays Jesus was gone and we had to replace him with a girl - haha we weren't sure how that would look - but we figured it was better to just be sharing truth than worry about a little detail like that) As we began the next, a young guy walked up and stayed through the whole open air.

Afterwards I was able to talk with him, and found out that he didn't live anywhere near the park but that something had drawn him to the park that afternoon on his way home from work. That the park was in the opposite direction of his home. He was a christian and believed in Jesus and when he saw us performing our dramas he took off his headphones to listen to what we were doing. He heard and realized that we were talking about Jesus so he stopped to listen. Through our conversation I came to know that he didn't go to church and he had no sort of support community that he was involved in. He didn't see the need.

During the course of our conversation I was praying for him and asking God what do you want to say to this guy... It was obvious that the holy spirit lead him to the park that day... God began to say to me purpose... he needs to know I have purpose for him. So i began to try and work that into the conversation, knowing that God really wanted to encourage this guy in his purpose. At the end of the conversation (not feeling like I had really gotten my point across) I encouraged the guy to really look into going to church. That as believers it was great to come together, get encouragement from one another, and I told him that there were people in a community somewhere that God wanted him to disciple. That if he wasn't even apart of a community that not only was he missing out but that he was stealing from people that needed to learn from him. Where this came from, i don't know (ugh holy spirit =) But we told him that there were very little men discipling other men, and that he would be really influential in a community. He laughed and pointed out that we only had one guy with us.. I laughed and said yes the ratio of 1 guy to 7 girls isn't so good...

His whole attitude changed and he literally lit up. You could see that he had never even considered the fact that he could be important to someone else and really be used in that way. We saw the revelation happening right before us as the holy spirit was just igniting his spirit! It was incredible.

We didn't see anyone get saved that day but I saw that guys life change. I once heard that one person can influence 60,000 people in their lifetime. This guy was already saved, but the Lord was still pursuing him. He wasn't done with him, because he sees the potential in us and He desires to take us into our purpose. God doesn't just want us to choose Him, but He wants to take you to a place with Him that is beyond what you think your life is for. Its not just about eternity with God, You are on His heart right now. He is pursuing you, ask Him about it.

"Awake, awake, O zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor. .. Shake off the dust from your feet; Rise up, sit enthroned o Jerusalem... you were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed... How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.... Depart, depart go out from there! Touch no unclean thing.. come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessel of the Lord. But you will not leave in haste or go out in flight; for the Lord will go before you! "
Is. 52:1,2,7,11

You are blessed to be a blessing

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What if you didn't know...

So I am in amsterdam... I arrived here two weeks ago. My team and I have been on the ground moving every day. We are staying with the ywam base and I continue to fall in love more and more with europe and its culture! It is spring time here and man is it cold. By the locals standards we are having beautiful weather. The sun shines most days and the air is crisp and cool. Such a change from the weather that I have been in for almost the past two years, which is hot, dry, hot, and hottier! =)
The city is BIg and full of people. So many different people. We aren't just dealing with the dutch here but people from all over the world.

One of the ways that we plan our schedule is as a team, were able to sit down and ask God what He wants us to do for this city. My co leader and I had 5 areas that we were able to pick out in the city and the team spent an afternoon listening to what God said about the areas and what ways we could break into communities or serve. We got things from chalk drawing on side walks, playing chess with people, to cleaning up trash in areas, and then all sorts of ways to proclaim truth in places and to people. We have also been able to really get involved with a local church that my co leader has been apart of for many years. It is her home church and since we are in her home city it has been a huge encouragement and blessing to be involved with them on sundays and also during the week!

Today we went to a place called museum square. It is a big square that has all sorts of different museums around a flat, grassed off open space. When we prayed for this area we really felt like God was telling us to publicly proclaim the gospel, so today that is what we did. Before this, last night, we did a little bit of evandalizing (bahaha) (evangelism mixed with vandalism) we took our side walk chalk and prayer walked the area writing down scriptures and words that God gave us for the people and area. (don't worry, it wasn't illegal) Then this morning we went back and performed what we at ywam call an open air. A series of different things like songs, dramas, sharing testimonies, and gospel messages. Usually you do something ridiculously silly at the beginning to draw a crowd and then you can go into different things to show/tell people about Jesus. The great part is that people that are interested stop and watch and the people that aren't keep walking. So after everything is finished you have people around that have stopped and are generally interested in what you were talking about.

After we did our open air we have four highschool boys that had watched the whole thing. Some of the guys and myself included went over to talk to them. They were all around the age of 16, and had never heard the gospel message that we shared with them that day. When we asked them if they believed in anything they all said no. No. They didn't believe in anything and that was okay...
I was blown away at this. maybe at first because in america, i feel like most kids that age would at least profess to believe in Jesus or christianity or something. That we have this understanding that you have to believe in something. So living it out or not, people will answer, and not want to say nothing. These guys, had nothing and that was okay.
I found myself so consumed with desperation for these guys. I kept asking them things like well what is life about then? What do you want to do? What do you look forward to? If you don't believe in anything where does that leave you?  After listening and sharing more with these guys we were able to find out what they wanted to be when they finished school, heard about some medical problems one of them had, and really encourage them to ask God about their life. Ask Him for help, ask Him to show them He is real. Tell them more about His character, who He is, Who Jesus is and share life experiences with them. They even let us pray for them at the end of our conversation. It was a great time and I know God is working in their lives.
This is a little taste of what it is like here. Lots of people who are very knowledgeable, but that have no understanding. We have over a week left here... I have more stories but will wait a few days! God is so good!

You are blessed to be a blessing.

Friday, May 6, 2011

West Papua

A short summary and some stories of West Papua.

We spent three weeks living on a YWAM base with some amazing christians in a town called Santani. We jumped right into visiting as many people as possible. We were able to go to a school that ywam started about 8 years ago and do dramas, teach, and play games with the kids. The story of this school starting and growing is amazing. The teachers and leaders have really trusted and seen God do miracles to see those buildings be raised up and now they have about 200 kids that they teach from grades k-6.

A few days after that, my team and I traveled by boat to a village where we were able to teach about forgiveness and the power that it brings to your life. We also where able to share about who God is and more about His character. We were able to pray for many people, and really see God bring understanding through these messages and through prayers. The people of this village claimed to be christians but were without the discipleship to really know how to live out being a follower of Jesus. There was one man that was so excited about the message on forgiveness and the impact it had on him. In his eyes, you could see the spirit of God moving and touching his life. They sparkled and there was a renewed hope.

We were also able to travel up a mountain to this very remote village and spend a week there. We stayed in a pastors house, across the yard from his church. During the day we were being driven by motorbikes to various villages to teach about God, His character, being in unity, and we did lots of dramas (mostly in the dirt, outside a bamboo hut - it was great). At night, we met with the church and where able to teach them, encourage them, and get to know them. The pastor of this church is amazing. Humble, loving man who has been serving this community for years. He travels to many different villages, miles away, to preach because they don't have a pastor on top of all the work he does with his own church. This is just one thing that we learned that he does to see God's kingdom come in that place. One day we were able to meet with all the women of the church. Before hand, team prayed and we felt that we were to share on the women's value, beauty, and the purpose God has for each one of their lives. After that we felt to wash their feet to show them how much God loves and honors them. When we got to the feet washing the holy spirit fell in that room, and these women were having healing, and anointing by the holy spirit. It was one of the most powerful moments I have been apart of. Those women will be the voice and lives that change that village.

The last week we spent speaking and sharing at many different youth events, in different towns and churches. We also were blessed one night to get to go have pizza hut. This was a real treat after eating rice for the previous three weeks. During the evening, we took notice of another white family across the restaurant. It is funny how when you are in a country that white is the minority you become really curious about other white people when you see them. So we wanted to go talk to them, but laughed and thought that would be silly, but then the dad came over to us because his daughter was so curious about us she wouldn't leave him alone until he came to talk to us. Of course we all died laughing. We became instant friends with their family, we found about about them and that they were missionaries in that town, and we shared about what we were doing and where we were staying. A few nights later, this dad and his daughter show up at the ywam base looking for us. It was great! The daughter is interested in coming to ywam, we were able to share with her, and she wrote us a note and gave it to us. She really encouraged our team by speaking about how she could see the love amongst our team from across the pizza hut restaurant. That we were a bright light that she just was drawn too. So cool how God brings people together.

Thats a brief summary... here are some pictures from the stories above! I am determined to become a blogger again! No more 3 months rest periods!

You are blessed to be a blessing!