Monday, March 30, 2009

southeast asia

Last night we learned where we will be going for the "outreach" phase!  I will be spending 3 months in Southeast Asia and I am SO EXCITED.  The countries we go to are Bali, Taiwan, Thailand, and Cambodia.  There are 7 students and 2 leaders.  The leaders (Kim and Kieren) are so awesome. Keiren is from the north island of NZ and he is probably who I have become closest to out of all the leaders.  He's great. SO laid back and fun.  Kim is from the US.  I don't know her very well but from what I've seen she is AWESOME.  I'm pumped!  I'm also very excited about my team members.  Emrie is from Michigan and we developed an instant friendship the first day.  I am SO glad we were put together.  I wish that everyone I have gotten close to could all go to the same region.  Jaclyn will be heading to Africa.  Phil will be heading to AfricAsia (as we call it).  Kenny, JoAnna, and Daniel will all go to Fareast Asia.  
I am so excited for what is to come.  Now that teams and countries are set our leaders will begin making contacts in each country.  We are not sure what we will do in each country.  It depends on where the contacts feel we are needed.  What I do know is that we are going to show love to people.  We are going with the hopes of people seeing Jesus in us.  We want to reflect His glorious image.  I want to love these people with everything I have.  A love that can only be given from God.  

My heart is growing for the people of SE Asia.  I am excited to be emmersed in different cultures.  Cultures where Christianity is NOT the norm and the love of Christ is NEEDED.  My prayer is that God would continue to prepare me and my teams hearts and the hearts of the people we will meet.  

I am SO excited for the next phase but right now I am LOVING New Zealand.  I am learning so much.  The Lord is transforming me more and more everyday.  This country is potentially the most beautiful country in the world and I am living in it.  I'm loving everyday and am reminded daily how blessed I am to be here.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Some of us are heading to the West Coast for the weekend.  It will be my first time to stay in a hostile and  I hear this part of NZ is beautiful so I am very excited.  I am going to leave ya'll with an interesting question from John Piper...
"The critical question for our generation is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all your friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disaster, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?"

love love love

The topic of study this week has been "The Character and Nature of God."  In the lectures the speaker has been teaching a lot of theology so I feel like I have gained a lot of knowledge.  But in my own time I feel like I have had many revelations this week.  I am falling more and more in love with Him everyday.  Being here really makes me never want to live for myself again.

When you are truly in love you, you will do anything to be with the one you love and when you are apart from each other, its miserable.  That person is all you think about.  Thats how our relationship with God should be.  BUT, you also can't force yourself to love someone.  This is what I am learning.  There have been seasons of my life where truly loving God can seem like so much work.  It can feel like an obligation.  Sounds terrible because we all know how much He love us.  SO, what do I do when this is my attitude?  

I am learning to LET Him change me.  Not "try harder" to love Him, but just to LET Him love me.  God has to move in our lives in order for geniune love for Him to grow.  My prayers for more love will result in love.  As simple as this sounds it has been such a freeing concept.  I am still grasping it but I am falling deeply in love with Him everyday.  Instead of chasing after all the "gifts/characteristics" of God I must first be SO IN LOVE with Him.  After that, everything else just naturally comes.

This has been my prayer:
"Jesus, I need to give myself up.  I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own.  I can't do it, and I need You.  I need You deeply and desperately.  I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next.  I want You.  And when I don't,  I want to want You.  Be all in me.  Take all of me.  Have Your way with me." 
(from Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love")

Monday, March 23, 2009


We live in a world filled with injustices and tonight my heart is heavy, angry, and broken .  Why does the media hide it?  Why are we so comfortable with our lives and so slow to fight for change?  UGH, it disgusts me.  We are all guilty of this but I no longer want to live pretending or forgetting that this goes on.  It goes on all over the world.  It goes on in places no one has ever been.  There are forgotten people everywhere.  And yet my blessed/comfortable life continues to go on, believing that for some reason I deserve this life.  

Tonight we watched some "invisible children" updates.  Invisible children is a group started to raise awareness of the child soldiers in Uganda.  If you don't know about this please look into it (, it will touch your lives and stir many emotions in you.  The stories of the children always overwhelm me and bring me to tears but tonight the story affected me in new ways.  Tonight, I know that I can do something.  I am ready to go wherever He takes me.  I am standing with arms wide PLEADING/BEGGING/WANTING Him to USE me.  I don't know what this looks like but He has a purpose for my little life.  I want to see His kingdom come to earth.  I want JUSTICE.

Tonight I was broken for innocent children.  But I was given HOPE.  I was reminded that life on earth is temporary.  That one day we will be in heaven worshipping as ONE.  These lyrics ring true of what I felt tonight:
Broken people call His name
Helpless children praise the King
Nothing brings Him greater fame
When broken people call His name
Lift up your heads 
Look on Him

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I keep getting questions about what exactly YWAM is and what I do on a day to day basis.  This post is for the people who are a little confused about my life...

I am in Oxford, New Zealand through an organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission) doing a Discpleship Training School (DTS).  YWAM represents thousands of people and hundreds of ministries in almost every country of the world.  Pick a country you want to go and you can almost guarentee there will be a YWAM base there.  The vision is to develop a Christian community where young people from many different nations can come and grow in thier love for Christ, His work, and the world.  This is done through short term Bible based courses, cross cultural field experiences, and hands-on leadership training. Basically, the purpose/passion is to know God and make Him known.

In a DTS there is a "lecture phase" and an "outreach phase."  I will be in NZ until May doing the "lecture phase" and then my team of 45 will break into 6 teams to go "around the world in 80 days" for the "outreach phase."  This particular DTS will meet back up as a whole team in Israel for a couple weeks to graduate.  A speaker is brought in each week to teach on a specific topic.  The weekly topics are: Looking like Jesus, Character and Nature of God, Relationships, Father Heart of God, Missions, Holy Spirit, Lordship, Redemptive Analogies/Missions, Destiny and Calling.  Every week we have a map test, memory verse, and journal to turn in.  We also read 3 books while here and write book reports.  Here is our weekly schedule:

7-7:30 Breakfast
7:30-8:15 Quiet time
8:15-8:40 Work Duties (basically we keep the base running)
9-10 Either Worship, Intercession, or Bible Study
10-11:15 Lecture 1
11:15-11:30 Tea time
11:30-1 Lecture 2
1-2 Lunch
3-6 Either Base/community work duties, Study time, Small Groups, or Outreach Prep
6-7 Dinner
7:30-9:30 Either Outreach Prep, Worship Night, Free, Acitivty Night
Every Friday night we go into Christchurch for outreach and every weekend we are given list of a few activities to choose from. Sunday's we go to church and have the day to relax/catch up on homework.   

So there we have it!  This is what my life looks like for the next several months. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

the world

Today we were told which specific countries each team will go to for the "outreach phase."  There will be 6 teams of 6 to 9 people heading out to different regions of the world.  I am SO EXCITED but SO confused.  Obviously I would love to go to every country but thats not an option.  In 2 days I have to turn in my top 3 choices.  I am so torn on 2 specific regions.  I want my decision to be based solely on where God wants me.  I need your prayers in making this decision.  Please pray that I will be given a CLEAR answer!

For anyone who is interested here is a list of the countries:
Southeast Asia: Bali, Taiwan, Cambodia, Thailand
South America: Chili, Argentina, Peru, Brazil OR Columbia
Africa: South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco
Southeast Asia/Africa: Indonesia OR Malaysia, Northern India, South Africa, Uganda
Middle East: India, Turkey, Yemen, Egypt OR Jordan
Far East Asia: Taiwan, China, Mongolia, Phillipines

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I am NOT here to become a "better" christian.  I don't care about that.  All I want is to be madly in love with Jesus.  All I want is Him.  That has been my prayer the past couple of days.  Jesus is not a 9 to 5 job.  We all probably know this (as did I) but when we really think about it do we live like that?  He is LIFE.  He is EVERY breath I take.  I have heard this SO many times but to really grasp it is different.  No more of this "good Christian" crap.  All I want to be is someone who is SO IN LOVE with the king that I can't contain it.  To let Him really love me.  That's all He wants.  I won't be able to hold that love in.  He will just overflow out of me.  

Ok, on a different note, this week our topic is "relationships."  The speakers are a married couple with 2 young girls.  Ray, the husband/father, is a Maori which is a native group from New Zealand.  Shaneane, the wife, is from Australia and has amazing insights into relationships.  Every morning before lecture begins Ray teaches us how to welcome a guest in the Mauri language.  It is AMAZING.  The culture is SO COOL.  We have covered the four elements of all relationships which are love, trust, honor, and understanding.  I have learned a lot but I will share one concept that has stuck with me this week (so far).  INTEGRITY...People of integrity have nothing to hide, their words and deeds match up.  It is who we really are.  Integrity is the quality of being whole.  Am I the same person when no one is looking?  Am I a woman of integrity?  I hope so.  I want to be.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I have witnessed my first healing.  It all started on Saturday night when me and a few friends went to the pub in town.  Phil was sharing his life story.  He went to India a few years ago and witnessed a blind man see through the power of prayer and faith.  To hear a first hand account of such a GREAT miracle was amazing.  We (i.e Americans) don't hear much of healings so I would say I am a little skeptical when it comes to them.  So, last night we went into Christchurch to go to church.  There was a guest speaker who had the gift of healing.  As this old man was sharing testimonies of people he had healed in the past year I was still skeptical of it all.  He said that many healings would happen in the room tonight and began calling specific "pains/sufferings," that he felt God had placed on his heart, up to the front.  These specific people would walk up to the front and he would pray over them with force and faith.  I was still a little skeptical.  Then, he walked over to the small section I was sitting in and said "there is someone in this section who has degenerate back pain and has for years."  As soon as he said this I thought of my team memeber and newest friend Jaclyn who has major back issues, is always hurting, and has been told by doctors that it cannot be helped.  She was sitting right behind me and we were all telling her to go up.  Another lady in the section walked up to the front, explained her issues and they did not match up with what he had said.  I KNEW Jaclyn was supposed to be up there.  He prayed over this lady regardless and then came back to the section and called out again "there is someone in this section with degenerate back pain, please come up."  Jaclyn, who is skeptical like me, reluctantly went up.  He prayed over her, everyone who was there from YWAM prayed with him, hands lifted towards her, and it was over.  SHE WAS HEALED!  She walked back to her seat with tears steaming down her face, sat with perfect posture, and with NO pain.  Still Skeptical?  People who came to church in wheelchairs were walking out with no assistence last night.  How powerful is our God?

This is the first miracle I have actually witnessed and I am still in awe.  He is alive in this place.  People believe.  Our school believes.  I believe.  I keep saying this but He is going to do big things.  I believe this will not be the only miracle I see.  Last night was just a small glimpse of the miracles/healings He is going to do during these 6 months.  I want to see more people healed...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

in love

Great weekend.  I'm really starting to LOVE these people (i.e. my team).  Friday night we went into Christchurch for "outreach."  After a couple hours of shopping, eating dinner, and enjoying the city we met in "the square" for some outreach time.  I was really nervous about this.  No one wants "Jesus freaks" coming up to them and prying.  Well, thats NOT what this time was.  We broke into groups of 3 and went where we felt led.  Carston, Alison, and I ended up spending our entire 2 hours talking to 3 local 15 year old boys.  They were "out" for the night (probably against thier parents will).  We just sat and hung out with them.  No life changing conversations...just us learning about thier culture and thier lives and them wanting to know about ours.  I loved it.  Evangelism is NOT about converting people.  It's about LOVING people, relating to people, and living our lives hoping people will see something different about us.  No, we didn't bring up Jesus to Louie, Cade, and Sam but maybe just the fact that we were interested in thier lives may somewhere down the road point them to Him.  I'm excited for our Friday nights in Christchurch. 

About 20 of us went to a place called Hanmer Springs for the day.  We experience the "hot" springs and took a little hike up to a "look out."  The drive there and little town of Hanmer was beautiful!  What's new?  Ha, every weekend we go somewhere the beauty amazes me.  

LOVING this...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Lectures have been great this week.  The speaker, Georgina, has such great wisdom and amazing stories.  It is awesome to be around someone who has the gift of prophesy and such a servant heart.  I will share a few thoughts that have been rolling around in this scattered brain of mine.

All of us uniquely reflect something about Jesus.  This is SO beautiful.  When I am around this many people who are all after the heart of Jesus it's easy to forget that I am unique.  I have to be confident in the fact that we all have different stories about who Jesus is for us and my story is going to touch a specific person.  I want to share the Jesus I have experienced, the Jesus who has touched MY life.  Hopefully me being me will reflect the glorious image of Christ.

Another cool thought was that if I am in the will of God and obeying Him I don't have to be afraid of my life.  No one or nothing can touch me until my time has come.  There will be places we will go that may seem "dangerous" and this little fact is important to know so that we do not live in fear.  

Tomorrow we get to lay something at the cross.  All week I have been asking what it is I should give to Him.  Is there something that is keeping me from obeying Him completely?  The cross is where I can lay anything down.  It is a place of healing.  Tomorrow I am going to lay down a list of lies that are fed to me on a daily basis.  It's so easy to buy into these lies but I must stand firm and remember His promises.  I am beautful.  I bring Him joy.  He is pleased with me.  I am worthy.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am a daughter of God whom He never disapoints and always protects.  The more secure and confident I am is how big my YES can be.  I want this ordinary life of mine to be lived in an extraordinary way.  God has given me a precious gift of 6 months and I want Him to transform me.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

arms wide open

Well, week 2 is about to begin.  Looking back on week 1 almost gives me a headache.  My thoughts are so scrambled but the week has been amazing.  The lectures have been very challenging and I have learned more this week than I have in a long time.  We went to the beautiful city of Christchurch for the day on Friday.  On our way there we stopped at the pier on New Brighton beach and did some worshipping.  It was SO windy but beautiful.  The clouds/sky here is unbelievable, they look so fake.  SO, we were basically given the whole day to explore and get to know the city.  I loved experiencing the square, cathedral, gardens, canals, and people.  We will get to go to Christchurch every Friday for outreach.  On Saturday a few of us decided since it is the end of summer here we should take advantage of the beach.  It was a PERFECT beach day.  A small, fun group went to a beach called Sumner.  Of course it was gorgeous.  It was so nice to soak up the sun, climb on cave rocks, laugh with new friends, and eat icecream.  
This is without a doubt where I am supposed to be.  I am happy and content.  I am enjoying my new friends, laughing a lot, learning a lot, and living in flippin' New Zealand.  Who wouldn't be happy?  This new season of my life has begun and I am open to anything and everything.  So on that note...
I can already tell these next few months are really going to challenge my beliefs and give me more questions, which is a good thing.  Church today was like nothing I have ever experienced.  Many people in the congregation became so "overwhelmed with the spirit" that they fell to their knees or were convulsing. It was like what I have seen on TV.  To be honest, this made me a little nervous... not that I doubted the Lord moving through them but it is just very hard for me to focus on the Lord when so much is going on around me.  I don't want to be uncomfortable around it because I know that is how the Lord communicates with some people.  It is real.  I don't want to be scared of anything God has for me.  I am entering this season with OPEN arms and an OPEN heart.  I am TRUSTING that He will speak to me.  The "still, small voice of God" is just as important as the burning bushes.   This week has reminded me that we all come from different backgrounds and God speaks to us all in different ways.  This will be hard at times.  There will be questions like 'why isn't He speaking to me like that?' or 'am I doing something wrong?'  but I have to remember that He is shaping me into exactly what He wants me to be.  I have been worried that I am going to miss something or not get as much out of these next months as some but there is NO question of change happening.  Whenever I am seeking Him, He will speak to me.  I can rest in that.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Am I really living here?  Every minute I am in awe of how beautiful it is here.  I can't wait to get to see different areas on the weekends.  Picture the scenery in Lord of the Rings and that is where I get to live.  Who am I?  I have formed many new friendships that I am so excited about. There are some really awesome people.  I love how multicultural it is.  When am I ever going to get to live with people from SO many different cultures and backgrounds?  Just that in and of itself makes the experience worth it.  I can't even imagine how close we will all be when we meet back in Israel 6 months down the road.  Israel is everyone's goal.  It seems so far away but I know it will be here before I know it.

I have such an expectant heart on what is to come.  This is a NEW beginning.  I want to sing a NEW song and know Him in a brand NEW way (Psalm 96).  Today was the first day of lecture. We learned about intercessory prayer and I already have so much to process, its overwhelming. Prayer is something I knew coming into this I wanted to work on.  I want to learn to be a prayer warrior.  Although I haven't had much time to sit and process all of this, I will share a few things that really stuck out to me today.  We are not beggars who hope God will hear us BUT we are children of God who can approach Him BOLDLY and confidently.  It's so cool to be reminded that He WILL hear us and He WILL answer us.  Prayer is our way to release God's hand to move.  WHAT?!?  We have the authority to release His powerful hand to move?  He doesn't rely on us but He has chosen us to do this.

I NEED your prayers over the next 6 months.  Prayers are felt and I know that without support from people I love I will not be as effective as I could be.  Know that I am praying daily for you and I'm so thankful for each one of you.