Monday, December 16, 2013

an old note, but a recurring lesson...

I found this in my files this morning, a reread it. It's been nearly two years since I wrote it, but as I read it I find these truths still true, though circumstances are different. I've learned so much and grown since I wrote this, but I want to share a piece of my heart with y'all. 
I wrote this when I was full time staff with PhotoGenX in 2012, based in Kona Hawaii.
I hope the Lord speaks to you as much as he did me.

(((So this week has been one of the heaviest/hardest weeks that I could have asked for.
Since being here [Kona], my heart has been so broken. Broken for myself. Broken for my friends at home. Broken for a boy. But then this week my heart broke in a new way. 
This week was “Pure Heart” week in the Fire & Fragrance DTS, and Jonathan asked us to sit in on it. I was stoked, because I’d love to be a part of F&F, so any opportunity I can I want to take part in what the Lord is doing in that school 
It was very similar to Kairos, in that it primarily dealt with Inner Healing. 
The thing that broke my heart was on Wednesday. They dealt with the wounding that we’ve gotten from the people in our lives, men, women, friends, enemies. Since we were a part of the week I wanted to make sure that we participated in all aspects, so when it came time for ministry, I participated in RECEIVING ministry.
As I stood among 50 women who were bawling their eyes out because of these wounds that had been received, because of wounds that they had used to define their character and identity, I began to cry. 
I cried because I know Jesus in a way that these girls don’t. I know Him as my lover, I know Him as my Knight in shining armor, I know Him as my intimate partner, I know him as the ULTIMATE, RIGHT, PERFECT LOVER. He knows what breaks my heart. HE knows the desires of my heart
I’ve been feeling this overwhelming thing in my heart. I’ve felt like my heart is so swollen that it would burst. I thought, if this is what heart break feels like, I’m so sorry to my Jesus who’s heart breaks for us everyday. Who we wound day in and day out because we don’t seek Him out in everything we do, because we don’t walk with Him. 
I’ve repented so many times this week. I don’t know how many times I’ve written in my journal that “ MY HEART HURTS.” 
I’ve been here in Kona for three weeks and my heart has broken every singles day. 
Yesterday (February 3, 2012) We were in the prayers room with f&F and I knew God wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what it was. As I stood and worshipped I began to cry. 
Tears flowed because my heart was breaking again. And while it broke and I cried, and I fought with the Lord. I hate crying in front of people. For some reason I see crying as a sign of weakness and I’ve always been the strong person. There’s more to this story that I will type because it is good, and God. But the biggest thing He said to me was 

“You don’t have to be strong, because I AM.” )))

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Help me out? Thanks!

I am writing to you because I am in need of your help.

This summer I have the incredible privilege of co-leading a team of 8 girls to the nation of Greece, thats 10 of us total. We are going to Greece under an incredible responsibility of pioneering relationship with the Greek people so that Youth With A Mission has a foundation to bring in several team and bring the real love of Jesus to this nation, instead of the very religious, traditional church style that they are used to.

Our plan is to go in to Thessaloniki, Greece, which is a college town, and though it is summer, there are still summer sessions at the local universities. Our hope is to meet with these people, build relationship and see what doors open up. Greece is one of the largest, if not THE largest importing places for Human Trafficking in all of Europe. One of our hopes and desires as a team is to use our skill as photographers to expose many injustices, but particularly this one. Some other open doors include working with gypsies, Afghani/Iraqi refugees, orphans, and prisons. We will only really know which doors to walk through once we get there. We hope to spend some time in Athens as well, but right now we have no open doors there.

In order to actually get there, I am in need of your help! The plane ticket is already payed for, Praise the Lord! But I am still in need of ground fees, which will include housing, transportation, food, and ministry costs over the course of 75 days (June 28-Sept 12) that we will be in Greece. This is looking like I will need between $2,500-3000 to do this. I am coming to you and asking you to be a part of this. Please pray and ask the Lord how you can give. As little as $10 makes a difference in this. I know that the Lord will provide, and that He has provided each of you as a part of my life, and so now I am asking for more from each of you.

To Donate follow this link:
and click the donate button on the right hand side!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you for your love and support in this adventure. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement on this incredible journey! Thank you for your financial support as well, it is appreciated HIGHLY!

If you want a little more information of an outsiders perspective of YWAM, PLEASE check out this link as well:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Monday, May 2, 2011

a simple touch

To say that this last week started a little rough would be an understatement. Now by no means was it earth-shattering bad new, like some of my teammates received, it was just a crappy start to my week, nothing in particular except maybe not super excited about corporate lecture.

So, Tuesday morning rolls around. And I'm feeling especially homesick this day. I'm not really sure why, but I was.

We started each corporate lecture with corporate praise and worship. YAY! I love this stuff. I tried to engage. And I tried again. And again. And again. Finally I just had to sit down and be still (Ps. 46:10). The moment I walked to the concrete wall and slid down, placing my bum on the floor, all I wanted was a hug from my dad. Like, if I had $1,200 just laying around I would have bought a round trip ticket home just to hug my daddy.

Gradually I felt the tears well-up in me. Now, I hate to let people see me cry. I know that it happens, and sometimes I can't stop it, but I will do everything in my power to prevent the sight of tears in my eyes to anyone around me. So I buried my head in my knees and arms and began to cry. The Lord knew where my heart was, He knew where my mind was, and He knew what my heart desired most at that time.

Almost instantaneously someone touched me. Not like, bumped into me.But very intentionally placed their hand on my head, gentle, yet firm. And exactly what I needed. I looked up to see who it was, and through blurred vision I was able to recognize the face, and see a smile, and a wave as they passed on by.

This person never would have known what that meant to me, had I not shared it with them a little later in the week. When I told him this, his response was something along the lines of "I don't even know why I did that, it just happened" I laughed to myself, because by this time I had figured out why. The things the Lord showed me through that gentle/firm touch carried me through the week, and I would honestly still say that I am riding that high.

I then heard the worship leader begin to tell a story. He spoke of his little girls, and how he loves to listen to them. Even when they're talking nonsense. He loves to listen to them sing their songs. Then it hit me. He LOVES it when I speak. He LOVES it when I sing to Him. Even when I'm complaining He loves it. Now there are definitely times that I need to shut my mouth and let Him speak, but for some reason, somewhere along the way something shifted. I stopped talking. Both internally and externally. So when I sat down and said "God, I just need a touch. I need a physical, present symbol of both You and my earthly dad." Next thing I know there is a gentle, loving hand on my head. It was God's way of telling me "I heard you, I hear you. and I will give you the desire's of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)"

In processing this moment, I was reading this awesome book, and from it I pulled this quote "Like Judo, which utilizes the strength and size of opponents against themselves, Satan uses our greatest strength against us." (Think Differently, Live Differently by Bob Hamp) So between all of these events happening I realized something.

I have been silent for far too long.

I have been afraid that the things coming out of my mouth are irrelevant, inadequate, and not good enough. I keep my mouth shut because I believed the lie that no one cared what I had to say, and that I had nothing valuable to say or contribute. Now, I realize that everything I just typed in the above is a lie. But it is a lie that I believed for far too long.

The Enemy is AFRAID when I open my mouth. He knows his kingdom will fall when my mouth is open, because of the truth I can and will speak.

All that from a simple touch.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I love You, Jesus!

I would be lying if I told you guys I was excited about lecture this week. I was NOT looking forward to sitting in the Ohana Court for 4 hours listening to old people talk. (Even if it was Loren and Darlene Cunningham, the founders of YWAM) Because of that I did not come into this week as engaged as I wish I had.

God did get my attention though. It started with a single touch. (Which is another blog all in itself and I promise that its coming this weekend!) And with that I was able to be present and engaged and not napping like some of my teammates ;)

David Hamilton came up and spoke yesterday, I don't remember exactly what he said (don't judge me!) BUT I do remember the application time. David asked us if God had ever blessed us. Well, DUH! Yeah He has. He (David) then asked us how many times He had blessed us. 5? 10? 25? 50? 100? 1000? 5000? Then he gave us 5 minutes to wrote down as many blessings and we could in that time. Every 5th blessing he asked us to yell out "I LOVE YOU JESUS!"

That sounded really corny and not appealing to me. I wrote my blessings. and silently in my head told the Lord that I loved Him after I wrote the next 5th blessing. I stopped for a minute and just listened to all the people proclaiming their love for our Lord after writing down 5 blessings. There are about two hundred and thirty people present, and of course there are a few people, like me, who would rather proclaim this in their head that out loud (that is something the Lord is working on in me).

I was completely overwhelmed! i love you jesus. I love you Jesus! I LOVE you Jesus! I LOVE YOU Jesus! I LOVE YOU JESUS! over and over and over and over and over again.

When our time expired we averaged the number of blessings that we had written down. The average was about 35. Let do some math here: 35 x 230 = 8,050. EIGHT THOUSAND AND FIFTY BLESSINGS SITTING IN ONE ROOM. After FIVE minutes!! How incredible is that?!??

How much more does our God want to bless us!? How much more abundantly does He want to LOVE us, and PROVIDE for us?! God softly spoke to my heart of the things that He wanted and desired for me! That was even more overwhelming!

Plans to prosper me, not to Harm me! To give me a future and a Hope! (Jer. 29:11)"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Ps 27:14) "But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him." (Ps 37:39-40) "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Is 41:10) "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matt 17:20) "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knock it shall be opened." Luke 11:9-10

Friday, April 22, 2011

Is that really you, God? (A book review) Sorta...


If you WANT to read "Is that really you, God?" by Loren Cunningham, don't read any further, because I'm about to ruin it all for you! ;)

Okay, now onto the spoiling...

The last two weeks I have progressively made my way through the book Is that really you, God? by Loren Cunningham. I'm not gonna lie, I thought I was back it high school with assigned readings, and a book report due that would just seem to drag on and on and on. As I read the book, if became less of a duty and more of an enjoyment. I loved reading the stories of Loren's visions over the years of YWAM, from the initial vision of waves of young people, even to the fulfillment of having a ship (SO COOL!) I head a few people complain that there was too much background of Loren's coming of age, and learning to really hear the voice of the Lord from a young age, and the legacy that he was brought up under. [Plus, can I say how stinking cool it is to see Loren, Darlene, and Mama Cunningham hear on campus on Thursday nights!] I thought it was incredibly vital to the value of the story, and so… yeah.

Watching, hearing, reading the stories of God's faithfulness, visions, provisions was really amazing! I've got so many stories of His provision for me, and I can spout them off to you one after another, so it was SO COOL to read of His faithfulness for the man and woman that brought YWAM to the fruition that we see today.

Loren's obedience in this process was incredible to read about, reading about him recognizing the Lord's voice in visions, dreams, etc. Things that would be so hard for ME to lay down! For example the Maori ship in New Zealand, to be that close to something that I believe the Lord had told me to do, to have my own pride, and my own self get in the way of letting Him do a work in me and through me, then to make me lay it down.

I don't know that I would have.

I think the other thing that I liked about the book too was to see how Loren constantly referred to Darlene, from the frumpy dress up until the end of the book, you could HEAR and SEE his love for the woman that the Lord had placed in his life. I loved the mention of the Taj Mahal and the symbolism that it carried for him in the process of pursuit and knowing the Darlene was the one who would partner with him in this incredible adventure.

You don't ever recognize the impact that a book like that can have on your own life, until you realize that the thing you were just reading was in your hands because of the authors obedience. Because he was obedient I am currently sitting in the Cafe of the University of the Nations, in Kona, Hawaii, in the middle of the pacific ocean.

(I know that I've said "cool" a lot in this post, but)


Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have a secret... Dreams really do come true!

Tonight, I learned some very cool information. I will inform you of this information at the end of this blog, but DON'T skip ahead! The journey is so important and I don't want you to miss out!

When I began this YWAM journey, I knew there was an outreach portion, but I didn't really know, or, honestly, really CARE where I would go. I just wanted to GO! The last time I was out of the country, I was in Israel (which was AWESOME!). But that was nearly 4 years ago, and so I had THE bug.

You know, the itch. The TRAVEL itch.

I had been dying to scratch that itch, but the closest I got to somewhat satisfying that were a couple visits to my favorite little town in Colorado.

The whole time that we have been here, our staff had constantly been asking us, the students. where in the WORLD we wanted to go. My answer was always "I don't really care, I just want to go." But apparently that wasn't going to cut it for them. So my second answer was "If I had to choose I would choose either South Africa or the Philippines" and all of the leaders would nod their heads and smile, because they couldn't even tell us what the options were. (And don't you know we were all DYING to know what our options were!) We, the students, constantly rolled our eyes (or maybe that was just me?) when I would get asked that question!

So we have been here 2 weeks as of tomorrow and had no clues until this past Monday what our options were. Our options were:

East Asia
Philippines (Remember this is one that I had said originally when asked 'the' question)
South Africa (Also one of my answers to 'the' question)

We have been practicing hearing God, so Monday afternoon we were sent out for about 45 minutes to pray, research, and make phone calls if we so desired.

Let's back track a few days, to last Wednesday night. I had a dream that night that I went to South Africa on my outreach with a particular person on the staff. I wrote it in my journal, and kept it to myself. That Thursday afternoon we, as a school, as PhotogenX, gathered in the prayer room, and prayed. When we went into the room we weren't really sure what to expect, turns out we were praying for Child Headed Homes in, you guessed it, South Africa.

To me this was very much a confirmation of the place I believed I was supposed to go, but I had no clue if it was even an option!

Fast forward back to Monday. When they sent us out in order to pray. I KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW KNEW DEEEEEEEEEEEPPP down in my gut that South Africa was SUPPOSED to be number one on my list. They had asked us to give the our top two options, and maybe even a third. My list looked like this:

South Africa
Japan & Thailand

After I put my scrap paper that currently held all my hopes and dreams for 3 of this next 6 months, I had no fear. No anxiety. I KNEW (as much as I could) that I would go to South Africa.

Tonight (Wednesday April 20, 2011) we played a miniature version of The Amazing Race. All along the way we were connecting the dots. At one point we all squealed (YES, EVEN THE GUY!) when we realized what was happening! We RAN all across campus, slowly adding members to our team.

We ended of at a dessert soirée where we were introduced to our teams. And our leader!

My team consists of
Leader: Jonathan Zerkle (USA)
Jane Lee (Korea)
Kat Stahl (Germany)
Clark Grigg (USA)
Josiah Dasher (USA)
Kristina Lentz (Iceland)
Katie Abrahamson (USA)
Emily-Cosette Divito (USA)
Evelyn Sauder (Switzerland)
and ME!!! (USA)

(I Think I got the nations right, correct me if I'm wrong teammates!)

Soon I will give you guys links to follow each of our blogs!

I am honored, stoked, beyond excited to tell you all that I am going to

South Africa!