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.