Friday, October 13, 2006

I Know God IS Intensely Desiring Me and You

I feel I need to process and to write about this morning before I forget. Matt Atkins, from Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, was our speaker this week on the Father Heart of God. This last session he had quite a few of the girls (including me) and some guys stand up to call them out to walk in who they are (who God made them to be in the present) and not to be held back by stuff, and then he prayed for us. (Just a note that I had not and have not talked with Matt at all during this time, so what he said was the Lord.) He said specifically to me and two other girls in the back that we are leaders and need to be that. After the session Matt and I passed each other and I almost felt like we were going to run into each other, but he took me by the shoulders and hugged me and wanted me to know that I really do shine. When he said that, it really resonated with me because that is something I really want to do in those specific words even, "to shine," so that others see something different about me, and that shining is Christ's love shining out of me for them. I can't remember other specifics he said at this moment.

I haven't been too emotional (you know, when you feel like you have been hit with something new or life-changing) today or in the past few weeks of lectures (but yes, I have had emotions and have cried a lot, have extreme joy and love for others, and know the intense love of the Father for me that I want to just pour out of me for other people) because God has already brought me through a lot in the past 5 years to know His immense love, and He has been healing me. And I wasn't brought to tears or anything this morning, but I felt content, happy, and agreeing with all God was saying through Matt for the DTS students and for me. I feel like I have been trying to step out and live all God desires for me these past few months and that has been part of my motto for this time here so far at YWAM, and that today emphasized even more what my heart and the Lord has been saying in me. Side note: I just remembered that when Matt hugged me he also said that I am the kind of person or someone that he would want to mentor his girls (okay, that just made me cry because I want to be that type of person right now and where ever I am. And I have mentored girls in high school for 4 years). In this week and the past few weeks, I have been reminded and felt encouraged and confirmation that I desire to empower people with vision, that they can accomplish anything. I want to encourage them to pursue their passions. That they have been made specifically unique and gifted to fulfill who they are, that is as God's heirs of His Kingdom, for the glory of God. I want people to know that and go to God and His truth to discover who God is, and from there for them to know who they are, that God loves them and His purposes for them (as Matt said and summed up exactly what I have gone through in life and how I desire others to be enabled to live--in freedom from bondage of all the lies of the enemy Satan, what other people put on ourselves, and the pressures we even place on ourselves).

So I really don't know how to end this, but that if you are reading this, that this is what I desire for you, and ultimately what God desires for you: He is personal and wants a personal relationship or friendship or whatever you want to call it, with YOU. Because, and this is what we have got to get, from our minds to our hearts, GOD LOVES YOU, and He wants the best for you! He didn't equip you with used parts, but with the best parts for how you would be able to function best and fulfill who you are. Get on the path to discover this, even if you feel like you are 100 steps behind! Please e-mail me or talk to someone else that knows Jesus Christ if you want to know more or just talk about stuff.

The love of Christ is given generously and in abundance for you. May you be blessed today.


Friday, October 6, 2006

Please Pray-Finances, No More Cell Phone, Montana Update


I have been at the Y.W.A.M. base here in Lakeside, Montana for a little over two weeks. It is so beautiful here. I sometimes had forgotten this, but not now—I am reminded every day of God's gorgeous creation that delights my spirit. It truly invigorates me! I am about a ten minute walk from Flathead Lake, which stretches at least a half hour or more south (by car). The blue and purple Rocky Mountains distinctly frame the eastern sky with Glacier National Park also in the distance. We have cool evenings, nights, and mornings, but it has been quite an Indian summer where I can wear just a t-shirt—I even have a tan!

My Discipleship Training School leaders are amazing and truly anointed by the Lord. They keep us busy all the time! My days consist of breakfast at 7:00 a.m., and the need for coffee to get me through the day gets me up. I have lectures from guest speakers (sometimes from around the country) most weekdays and some nights. Last week was on Prayer and Intercession. This week was on relationships, beginning with the most important, a relationship with God. Next week will be on the Father Heart of God. I have an actual class on Bible study once a week, where I am studying Philippians with the inductive Bible study method. I learn YWAM values once a week, and we have worship most days. The various schools at YWAM meet for corporate worship and prayer once a week. I have a small group which meets twice a week with five girls and our leader, Jeanenne. I also meet with her once a week. Jeanenne's story is really cool. She and her husband felt led by the Lord to enter YWAM after their son and daughter had completed DTS's here and were on staff. They felt led to missions and to disciple young people in missions. There is also a Community Meeting on Thursday nights that I attend, where YWAM students, staff, and anyone from the community come together for worship and the Word. I also have books to read, book reports, and journals due each week. The journal includes points and reflections on lectures, studying an attribute of God, Bible meditations, and a weekly summary page. I am doing the creative journal, which I love doing because I feel like a kid in arts class and also get to write! But it is hours and hours of work.

To help make our time here more affordable, students and staff have several hours of work duties. I help in Facilities entering invoices and deposits into their computer system and various other small office duties. I am excited that I get to serve in such a way that utilizes some of my organizational skills and work experience from Simpson University. I also get to help paint and do other manual labor when my office work is done (I love working hard!). And just a note that the cafeteria food here is the best I have tasted and home made (not processed)! But they are not extravagant at all. We don't have dessert!

I am part of the dance track here where we devote about a day and a half to learning about dance and how to use it in ministry. We will be going into the community to teach dance to students from Somers middle school who want to participate in a dance workshop. I am part of a team of three, Christy, Samantha, and I, who are preparing our lesson to teach on Friday, October 13th. Please pray for guidance in what we are to prepare, and that we are able to connect with students and have tons of fun.

Another thing I am preparing for is overseas outreach. Before I came here I knew possibilities for outreach could be to Thailand or India. When I got here I learned two other groups would be going to Panama/Costa Rica and another to Uganda. I became so excited when I learned of the trip to Uganda in Africa because I had been really given a heart for Africa over about the last six months, and I hadn't thought that would be a possibility to go! So I am leaving for Uganda after Thanksgiving until the end of January. Possible things we may be doing is working with orphans, AIDS children, in medical clinics, doing open air evangelism, construction, going to the bush, working in Sudanese refugee camps, and maybe other things I have forgotten. We will be working with YWAM missionaries and also another established missions’ organization, and Terry and Jeanenne are my outreach staff leaders. I just got my immunizations for Typhoid, Malaria, and Yellow Fever this week. Everyone on our team has to have a Yellow Fever Immunization Certificate to be able to apply for a Visa. We are taking an acoustic worship team, and will be working on dramas and dances to perform there. I am so excited for this because as they were showing the countries and what ministry would consist of there, I was praying about where God would like me to go, and the power point slide came up for Uganda, and I was immediately holding back tears as emotions for the people of Uganda overwhelmed me.

There are so many things on my heart, and I am hoping that you will pray with me.

*That I would grow closer and closer to the Lord as I study His Word and spend time with Him in prayer.
*For each week of lecture on a different topic—that God would challenge me and I would be conformed more into Christ's image.
*That He would direct His future for my life after DTS—the next step.
*That I would be able open to learning more in dance ministry.
*Friday, October 13th—For my group's day of leading the dance workshop for middle schoolers.
*Beginning of November—A week of mini outreach to Seattle, WA. Possibly working with local ministries, serving in practical ways, performing drama, dance, and music.
*End of November—End of January—Uganda Missions Trip. Please pray for my group to get to know each other, work well together, and prepare all God desires for our hearts and in what we will be doing there. Pray that God would begin to work in the Ugandan people's hearts who we will meet and need to know the gospel of Jesus Christ!
*That we all get our immunizations soon.
*That getting our Visa's goes smoothly.
*I need about $1, 700 more for my DTS and outreach before November 15th. Thank you to those of you who have already felt led to give and have done so. I am overwhelmed by your generosity and prayers for me. Please continue to pray for my finances, that the Lord would meet all my needs because He has access to all the provision in the world for His work!

Thank you all for your love, encouragement, prayers, and support! And cards in the mail—I love mail! I truly feel that you all are with me in spirit participating in my school, preparation for outreach, and next in outreach. It amazes me to know that God is working so much in me and that I will be used to reach others with His love!

Much Love and In His Name,


P.S. I do miss you all! There is nothing like people knowing you and just being encouraged by just being around friends! But God is here, and with the people here—so I know He is my sufficiency! Thank you for your continued friendship!