Monthly Archives: April 2009

box.

Ah time is flying by! I can’t believe I am in the middle of week 9 here already! Only 2 1/2 more weeks! Ever since faith week things have been insanely busy… I have been really burnt out but in the best of ways I guess. 
So last week we studied the Holy Spirit with Daria and Gary Rosenburg (one of our trip leader’s parents). It was an amazing week; a lot happened that I never expected to experience. Growing up in a nation where manifestations of the Holy Spirit are pretty much unheard of (in the physical sense) has really closed me off to this whole thing so it was really awesome to see the Lord work on me in that way. I feel like all week I was gradually opened up and filled with the most gentle presence of the Holy Spirit and I am still sort of walking and dwelling in that peace. It almost feels like a warm light surrounding me. That is the best I can describe it. 

 

me & jaclyn at the LOVE FEAST!

me & jaclyn at the LOVE FEAST!

So that brings me to last weekend. After Friday Night Outreach which was awesome, me and Jaclyn stayed in Christchurch and had a girls night at a local hostel. It was so great to get away and just chill, talk, catch up on things. That is how busy we have been here… I also got a major short pixie haircut which is fun. THEN on Saturday we woke up, hung out and went to the Invisible Children Rescue in Christchurch City. It was so cool, over 800 people showed up and it was seriously awesome to all be there in the spirit of freedom. 

 

invisible children rescue.

invisible children rescue.

And that finally leads me to this week. We have Mark Parker here teaching on Lordship. He is the most incredible teacher I have ever had. Think the grinch with teaching power of the good Lord himself. (Can you tell Phil just arrived to help me?) I honestly can’t even describe what he is doing to us all here… the truth that he speaks in is so powerful. I’m sure I will have more after the week is done. Last night during worship Jaclyn and I made a decision. The Lord has been working in both of us in crazy ways… separately but also together. So back to the decision. I think it has been developing for a long time but we got up on the altar during worship and jumped off together, holding hands. As soon as we jumped it seriously felt like we were immersed in the freedom of the Lord. It was seriously SO cool. So that basically entails obeying God in all that we do, to give up ourselves, to give up everything, to quit putting God in a box and going out into the world walking in truth. The sisterhood and bond that Jaclyn and I have built since being here is unreal, it is SO clear that God brought us both here for a reason… Hallelujah. I feel like I am now rambling but it is hard to get all of this out in one sitting to bear with me. 🙂 

One last thought… Today Mark played the song “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot, which I used to think was a cheesy lame song but the words were SO moving so I encourage you to look up the lyrics and listen to it. It is sweet. I just want to yell out, WHAT AM I WAITING FOR??? I have fully jumped into Him.

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dependence.

I just got back home! By home I of course mean the base here in Oxford… what a week it has been! I guess I will just start from the beginning. 

Last Saturday morning (April 11) my team set out from Oxford with $60, 6 sandwiches, and no plan other than to throw every decision that came before us at God. As you can imagine we were so excited and ready to see what lay ahead for us. 

So a ton happened over the course of the week- I am just going to give you a brief overview of where we went and then I will touch on some specific stories. All I have to say is that I am completely blown away with how God continually provided for us all week. Although we were tested and had struggles, when we called out to Him for help we were never left alone. It was an amazing time of depending on nothing but God, for everything, physical, spiritual and mental. 

Alright- the route… Saturday we went from Oxford to Rangiora to Hanmer Springs to Nelson. Sunday we stayed in Nelson. Monday we went from Nelson to Murchison to Westport to Granity. Tuesday we went from Granity to Westport to Greymouth. Wednesday we went from Greymouth to Harihari to Franz Joseph to Haast. Thursday we went from Haast to Wanaka to Cromwell to Dunedin. Friday we went from Dunedin to Christchurch. Saturday we went from Christchurch to Oxford. Mind you we did all of this by hitchhiking and walking. It was seriously one of the most incredible journeys I have ever embarked on. So often over the course of the week I had the thought, “If my parents could see me now…” 

 

the south island!

the south island!

 

 

During the course of the week we were given $125, only slept outside one night, got to see Fox Glacier, met people from Scotland, Portugal, Switzerland, Kentucky, Wellington, Denmark and Sri Lanka. At every turn we met God face to face and laid down our needs and every single time he provided for us. John 14 was seriously the verse of the week. God is so good! 

I had one of the most interesting birthdays ever, not to mention it was my 21st! I woke up in a tent on the beach and had a worship/meditation service with Katie and Flavio, then walked for 2 hours in the heat of the day only to get stranded in the middle of nowhere. At the peak of frustration and hopelessness we were picked up by a Sri Lankan couple and taken to McDonalds and a hostel for a warm nights sleep. 

A lot was put into perspective. The way I am living, what I hold as important, the every day privileges that I take for granite, how God can really provide for me, calling out for help in His name… I learned SO much.
And now, I sit in my warm house, listening to the comforting sounds of Seth Bernard & May Erlewine (thanks to Brian) writing about my adventures and reflecting on what to do now. Life in Oxford is good. I have 4 weeks here, that is it! Holy cow this is flying by. Southeast Asia here I come.

 

nelson beach!

nelson beach!

regather.

What tremendous love the Father has for me. Yesterday during intercession we watched a short video on some statistics on the nation of Turkey and in that video it said, “The average Christian spends 3 minutes a day in prayer.” Hearing that shocked me, convicted me, got my attention. Being totally guilty and falling right into that stat I immediately heard God calling out my name, begging me to come be with him, to talk to him, to spend more time with him. I have never heard such a clear call. In realizing that even being here, surrounded by his word, his teachings, his love all day, it still isn’t enough. He is the one that I should be in constant conversation with, constant prayer to. After hearing him call out my name, the time I have spent with him has been INCREDIBLE. God is so good, seriously, his goodness is overwhelming. 

This week has been AWESOME in other ways as well. We have two speakers here, both work with The Traveling Team in the U.S., Todd from Arkansas and Claude from Oklahoma. They are fantastic, speaking on Missions. From the first word out of their mouths I have been hooked, attentive, excited to hear what they have to say. This is the topic that is really forming me, shaping me, allowing me to realize what my calling is. Missions is God’s story, missions are what the Bible is about. My global view and knowledge has expanded so much in learning all of this. 

As a Christian, as a follower of Jesus Christ I am a part of the missionary family, I am called to draw in the worship of ALL nations. (Genesis 12:1-3). I have been so challenged with the question, “Why are you doing what you are doing?” Finally, in the place I find myself today, I feel like I will find God’s reason, I will share in my blessing that he has given me, I will learn how to extended the love of Christ to all nations. It is not about me. My entire life it has been ingrained into me that it is about me, the media, the social norm, the culture of the U.S. is so selfish. Because of this mindset it is so hard to get past the blessing that God has given us. The blessing of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the blessing of land, family, finances and a great name. (Again, Genesis 12:1-3). I am just so excited about this, if you cannot tell. I am wondering why, in all of these teachings, people don’t get this more. This is why we are here! Jesus has called us to share in our blessing, to share His name! Every tribe, tongue and nation. (Revelation 7:9-10). His final words in Acts 1 call us to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Amen! 

I am loving chewing on all of this, open your heart to it. And as always, thank you for reading and keeping in touch with me. It is SO wonderful to hear from you and know that I am still connected while so far away. 

“You cannot truly understand the beginning of anything until you understand the end.” (G. Spencer Brown)

hardcore.

 

punakaiki.

punakaiki.

*Photo from last weekend at the west coast!

To follow up on Faith Week, we found out our groups and more details on what exactly the week will look like. First of all, my group consists of Skye (from Minnesota) and Carsten (from Germany), we plan to head south for now but are still praying for a clear direction. I am seriously so excited for this, it is going to be amazing in and of itself but it will also be great preparation for both outreach and after travel. (Luke 10:1-24) I have been living in this song, “Zion & Babylon” by Josh Garrels lately and I have to share some of the lyrics.. it is amazing and applies perfectly to my life right now—>

“Time to make a change, leave your home, give to the poor all that you own, lose your life so that you can find it. First will be last when the true world comes, livin’ like a humble fool to overcome the upside-down wisdom of a dying world. My kingdom’s built with the blood of my son, selfless sacrifice for everyone. Faith, hope, love and harmony, I said let this world know me by your love, by your love.” 

So Jaclyn, Phil, Kenny and I have been scheming over a plan for after travel for sometime now and are finally starting to set some things into stone. Now that we know our outreach teams and destinations it will be a lot easier to plan accordingly and get our around the world ticket all mapped out. So we plan to hit Turkey, Greece and then Eurorail around Europe for a while, seeing sights and visiting friends until we can no longer. On Friday night we had a really good talk with one of our trip leaders, Will, who has done a lot of traveling. I was able to pick his brain and talk about the reality of our plans and get suggestions and tips on all of that. He was so encouraging, I can’t even explain how excited I was after talking with him. Naturally people look down and even laugh at our travel plans because they are “unrealistic” or respond with something like, “keep dreaming…” But Will said that people don’t dream big enough and that with faith in God, as a continuation of our outreach, so much is possible. So with that said, that is how I am approaching this season of my life. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)

Finally, I am so excited to write about last Friday night evangelism in Christchurch. I have been placed on the music team, which consists of a drum circle, a few sing-a-long type songs on guitar and just mingling around. This week we went in with a fresh attitude and more of a plan to help the flow of the evening. The crowd thickens as the night goes on and our main audience is usually a group of guys from Saudi Arabia that are in NZ studying. They are so fun and interact so well, they teach us dances and songs in their language. While it is really entertaining it is still hard to really talk with them and relate to them (for me personally) just because of the language barrier and it is a little intimidating because they are ALL guys. It is also a little challenging to incorporate helping with the actual music part and interacting with people in the crowd, which is the real reason we are there. I was specifically praying for God to use me with anyone that hung around and also that I would have the right words and confidence to talk with them. It all started coming together when Jaclyn and I introduced ourselves to three kids that had been standing around for a while. Hugh, Benji and Abbey. All of them were 16 years old and had a “hardcore” look to them. It couldn’t have gone any better, while we were dancing and jumping around with our maracas and tambourines, they were laughing at us and proceeded to show us how to be hardcore. It was awesome, at first I thought that our conversation really wouldn’t go anywhere just because they seemed to be mocking us a little bit but it turned out that they hung around for over an hour. We got their names and are staying in touch through facebook, they plan to come back next week to hang out. I am so encouraged by this… hanging out with highschool kids reminds me the ministry I was raised in, Young Life. God is so freaking good in that way. Jaclyn and I earned the right to be heard and just by listening to those kids and being open to their style and their beliefs we gained their respect. It was SO amazing to see it all come together. 

A quick Haiku from Phil… 

You are hardcore kids

I really like your hairstyles

and when you kick high.