Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
A few of us went back to the hospital today. We went to visit/pray for the little boy I talked about previously who had 2 brain tumors and could not walk, see, and speak. The grandfather told us that he walked last night!!! He walked all around the hospital! He is still very weak and must regain strength in his legs but PRAISE THE LORD! I think we just witnessed a small miracle...hallelujah. God is good.
So yesterday we were back into ministry. I woke up with a bad attitude, so hot and tired, but in my time with God I was reminded that in my weakeness He is strong. His power is made PERFECT in my weakness. Hallelujah. We helped clean the YWAM base here in Bali because the first DTS in three years starts next week. The base was formerly owned by a Muslim and Hindu family. Frieda (our YWAM contact) told us that they often feel spiritually attacked while in this building. The base needs a lot of prayer. After cleaning me, Emrie, Rachelle, and Andrew went to work with a Street Kids Ministry. This was my favorite childrens ministry we have done. It was in an extremely poor area of Bali, the poorest I have seen here and worked in a small, dark, square room with about 30 kids from that area. We sang songs for them, played games, and just talked with them. These are the kids who have never received the love they deserve, kids who cling to you and never want you to let go because they have never had anyone show them love like this. My heart just aches for these children. I was reminded of my time spent in the Kibera slums of Kenya. It is a good but HARD reminder of poverty and brokenness all over the world. Too often I think I deserve to be comfortable...I do not have rights! What do they do to deserve to live like this?
Today a few of us went into the hospital. We were able to meet and pray over 3 seperate patients and their families. First was a little 8 year old boy with two brain tumors, he could not talk, see or speak. When we were praying over him I really felt like we were FIGHTING for him. All 4 of us were on our knees with hands layed on him. We wanted so badly for him to be healed. I know that sickness is NOT from the Lord. I know that as a daughter of the King I have authority. As we've been going through the book of Acts I've seen how normal it was for Peter and John to preform miracles. I wish we could have seen this child walk, but I guess it wasn't God's plan yet. I don't really understand this but I do trust Him. Although he wasn't immediately healed it was an amazing experience. The Spirit was in us, we were fighting for this boy, and it was evident. I will never forget this.
I have really felt like I have been needed and used the past 2 days here. Loving the poor and praying for the sick is what this is all about. It's what makes me excited. It's what points me to Jesus.
We only have one more week in Bali and then I will be headed to Taiwan, crazy.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
There are several streets kids that come by the base in the afternoons and we are able to hang out, play games, and teach them english. Last night a few of us went to a language class and were able to have conversation with young adults learning english. I loved this. I loved getting to talk and learn about each other's worlds, the differences and similarities in the cultures. Today we went up into the mountains with around 250 youth from the church for a picnic. It was about a 2 hour drive and the traffic here is insane. That's an understatement. There are 20 times more scooters than cars and no rules what so ever. Scary. But, once we got there we set up in this beautiful park. It's very tropical here...beautiful multi-colored flowers, coconut trees, and very green grass. It was an enjoyable afternoon of worship (in their language), relay races, and capture the flag.
Bali is 95% Hindu. As I walk down the street I am constantly stepping over offerings filled with incence to the many gods of Hinduism. It breaks my heart. The architecture, statues, and temples everywhere reveal Bali to be a very dark, heavy, and spiritual place. One thing the Lord is reminding me is that He is alive here even if it is hard to see by just walking through the streets. There is a community of Christians and although it is small, it is strong. I am thankful for them. This is His nation and we are here to claim it for Him. He made these beautiful people, He knows them, He loves them. Maybe they don't acknowledge Him...but He's here. It's really easy to be overwhelmed by how many people do not know God but rather are constantly working for many gods, constantly trying to please something that doesn't exist. It's sad. But, I am reminded that when just one person comes to know Him all of heaven rejoices. We are trying to be His hands and feet. I can't do it without Him. I am powerless without the Holy Spirit.
Those are a few thoughts for now. Peace out from Indonesia.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
This week, our final week of lectures, Joseph Watson (from Nashville!) has been speaking on Destiny/Calling/Vision. His friendliness, energy, creativeness, and intentional heart and desire to see us FREE has been incredible. He is filled with the Spirit and has SO much good stuff to impart to us. He is stirring up what God has put in us. He has reminded me to LET God love me. To throw off the boxes the world is constantly putting us in. To expose the lies of who we think we are. To remind me that I am in His family. I am a daughter of the King and just being born pleased Him. Joseph has reminded me of my glorious inheritance. Joseph is a huge dreamer. It's inspiring. Yesterday he gave us the following question to answer:
If it doesn't matter how much it costs and you knew God would say 'yes' to ANY dream, what would you ask Him for?
Fun question isn't it? Joseph started sharing his creative, detailed answer which consisted of this multi-million dollar fine arts center, including 4 amazingly designed buildings with a marble fountain in the center, in several countries all around the world. My immediate reaction to this was REALLY?! Are you kidding? That's not possible, it's not reality. BUT, this was a reflection of my little, doubting faith. Isn't it so normal to think like this? To immediately think this would never happen. Quit thinking in a box. The same reason I reacted to Joseph's dream is the same reason I've never dreamed as big as I could. The size of the dreams in my life are a reflection of who I think God is in my life. Now that I know this, I'm dreaming BIG. I always thought dreaming big was being selfish and materialistic when really He is the one who has put them in me. He is a LOVING Father. He loves enjoyment and entertainment. He loves to play. I was created to change the world and I can't change it unless I dream big! I don't know about you but I want to be mighty in the kingdom of heaven. I have to throw off the world's thinking and let Him reveal your dreams to me. It would be lazy to say I don't have dreams, we all dream (Joel2:28). A common question about dreams is 'what if the dream isn't from God?' Check the motivation behind the dream. Is it to further the kingdom?
Yesterday we shared our dreams verbally. We prayed over each others dreams and encouraged each other in these dreams. When you share verbally you are taking a step of faith and claiming how big our God is. Dreaming is worship to Him. He wants to hear what He created us to enjoy! He put it in us. It delights Him. So many times we wait on God to give us a word before we open the door when in reality He is waiting on us to take the step of faith. He will continue opening doors. Keep on walking forward. Keep striving to achieve your dreams. God is more excited about our dreams than we are. Also, as a family, as brothers and sisters, we should be the most encouraging people in the world. Don't doubt! Tell people about your dreams and if they don't doubt it they will probably add to it and make it bigger and better. The more fingerprints involved in a dream, the better. SHARE dreams. Stir each other up. There is SO much potential in all of us. Habbakuk 2:2 says that "though it linger, wait for it". It's in His timing. Money is just digits to Him. Believe in Him and hold on to it. The key to unlocking dreams is how you see yourself, SO start seeing yourself the way God see's you. Dreaming is fun. I have big dreams.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My heart is for the nations. All I can think about right now is loving people, ALL people, bringing the good news to people. I have a passion inside me. A passion that is itching to be spread. I cannot sit any longer. I cannot say enough how excited I am about outreach. I am radically hungry to see people set free. I am IN LOVE and I am ready to spread it. My thoughts are consumed with Jesus and it's such a great place to be. Since I have been here my continuous prayer has been for more love and passion. And when you ask, you will receive. Amen. All I want is to be in His presence. I am going to step into these countries BOLDLY. Knowing exactly who I am and why I am here. I will enter these countries in authority as a daughter of the King. I am claiming these lands for Him. In His name the enemy will flee. I'm ready to do His work. I feel like an overflowing cup... I have so much good stuff that needs to be poured out. I am lucky enough to actually get to GO in a week. I know that many of you would love to be in my position. I am blessed.
But more than me, I want so badly for people to grasp this joy and excitement for missions that we are meant to have. I want other people to be excited about it. It's what we're made for. Not only is my heart for the nations but God's heart is for the nations. We cannot claim to be a Christian and not see the constant theme of missions throughout the Bible. Missions is not just for the crazy ones, it's a calling for everyone. As I have mentioned before, my biggest fear when I return is complacency. In America it's so easy to forget what's going on in the world. It's easy to get wrapped up in my own life, to go through a day without thinking once about the orphans, the broken hearted, the hopeless, the ones who might never hear of our Savior.
We must quit living like pharisees who talk talk talk but never do anything. It's all fine and cute when we go to bible study and church but we actually should do something. We have to get out of our "gated" communities and start doing His work. Get out there. Let's get outside the box that religion so easily can put us in. It will be worth it. No, it won't be easy. We WILL suffer but this is the narrow road. Jesus suffered. He left an example for us to follow. Suffer for the sake of others. HOLD ON. It's hard but the world is in need.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
As outreach approaches I want to share a few thoughts with ya'll. In a week from Monday I will be getting on a plane and heading to Bali, Indonesia. It's crazy to think I have been in New Zealand for almost 3 months now. This rural town of Oxford has become my home. These people have become family. I don't want to leave this beautiful country. I'm going to miss my bunkbed and bunkmate, friday night outreach in Christchurch, my wonderful small group and small group leader (Julie Anna), and all the familiar faces that I have come to know and love.
The past few months I have gone back and forth between being nervous/anxious and SO excited about Southeast Asia. A lot of ministry we will be doing will consist of speaking (i.e giving testimonies and preaching) to large groups of people and performing dramas. This scares me. It's not what I'm good at. But, as time approaches I can honestly say I am ready. People have spoken words over me that have encouraged and reminded me that God is going to do big things. There are times when I think the task in front of me seems so huge and I feel inadequate or unprepared but God has reminded me that I am ready. Over the past week I have consistently been reminded through people, prayer, and music of Peter taking the step of faith to walk on water. I feel like God is going to ask me to step off the edge. I know that when I do this, either He will catch me or He will give me wings to soar like an eagle. What is the worst that could happen? I feel like He is pushing me out and I get this overwhelming feeling that He will fill me and His words will flow out of my mouth. A friend here gave me these words: 'Ride without worry. Loosen the reins and continue to trust.' As you know, I love riding horses so I love this analogy. It makes perfect sense to me. When I step out of the boat, like Peter did, He will not let me sink. I will not doubt His promises. This doesn't mean it will be easy but I know that my faith and trust in Him are about to increase tremendously. I am so excited for outreach.
Although I have LOVED listening to people speak, I am ready to get out there and do something. I'm ready to put all this into action because what good is all this information if we don't live it out. I'm ready to love on people and bring Jesus to areas who may have never heard. I'm ready to experience these countries with 8 really awesome people. I'm ready to present the gospel and build relationships with people. I want to PREACH GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. I want to BIND UP THE BROKEN HEARTED. I want to PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR ALL THE CAPTIVES and COMFORT ALL WHO MOURN. I want to PROVIDE FOR THOSE WHO GRIEVE. And BESTOW ON THEM A CROWN OF BEAUTY INSTEAD OF ASHES, THE OIL OF GLADNESS INSTEAD OF MOURNING and a GARMENT OF PRAISE INSTEAD OF A SPIRIT OF DESPAIR (Isaiah 61). I know that only God can offer these things, but as my team and I enter these countries our prayer is that we will be a vessel for Him.
P.S. I just added new pictures.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
On Friday, our final day with Mark Parker, all we did was worship. From 9am until 8pm we met, and began a journey starting at the gates and entering into His courts. We came before the Cross, gave up ourselves and felt His presence like NEVER before. We began with singing and speaking out in thanksgiving, naming what the Lord has already done in our lives. There was a tension/heaviness that filled the room. We, as the body of Christ, were not releasing it all to Him. Mark called us out on it and TOGETHER we started to tackle the fear and complacency that was holding us back. We began receiving images from our King and acted on them. The men gave us an unbelievable picture of what it looks like to FIGHT for the cross while the woman encouraged/cheered them on. The "warrior" in each of them came out as they fought to get through the interlocked arms of brothers to reach the Cross. Then, they all laid face down and all the women walked across them to get to the Cross. It was a beautiful picture of our roles as men and women in this battle for our God.
Feeling complete freedom, we all fell at the foot of the cross, feeling safe and unified among each other and slowly ALL the walls fell down around us and I have NEVER experienced worship like that before. Physically lighter, completely focused, and drowning in the Joy of the Lord. We had left the "gates" and had now entered into His "courts." From there we stood up one by one and laid things at the cross. As each of us stood up and spoke out, the presence of the Spirit got thicker and thicker, we were in a Holy Place. I laid down something in my life that I didn't want to, something that controls me, something that is/would hold me back. This was huge. I basically gave Him my passion, my gift, and my talent. It was scary. But I declared that I will follow Him wherever He leads me and do whatever He calls me to do. I'm nervous but obedience is what I want. I want so badly what He wants. I love Him more than anything.
After doing this we then repented and confessed things before the cross and to each other. This was HARD but humility destroys the power of darkness. It's tough to get up in front of over 50 people and confess selfishness, laziness, fear of man, jealousy, and a sense of entitlement. But, as everyone stood up and repented of their own stuff and was transparent you could see their spirit become so pure. It was beautiful and as you can imagine everyone was feeling very vulnerable and open. Afterwards we were each prayed over and ministered too. We continued to worship, were individually anointed/commissioned and prophesied over, and lastly we all received communion.
I have never imagined worship like this before. I was so full of joy and freedom and I still am. The whole room was filled with crazy people, jumping all over the place praising and worshiping the Lord with renewed spirits. I want to cling so tightly to this new freedom and joy. I think the best way to describe this day is to say that I experienced a piece of heaven on earth. The fellowship, the community of like minded believers, the love and outpouring of Christ, standing at the foot of the cross and in HIS COURTS was a feeling like none I've ever experienced. I have never in my life experienced His Presence so strongly. I don't think I will ever be the same. I am changed. It was a milestone. I feel like He has told me to GROW UP. I may have made a decision that will wreck my little plan for life. But, I am part of His HUGE plan. From here I just want to continue acknowledging Him. He knows my heart. I want to be known for who I am in Him. I gave Him my all, I gave Him my life. I'll see where He leads me.