Sunday, 25 June 2017

Saying "Yes" to new adventures

I've been travelling for the past 2 weeks down the east coast of Australia, down to Melbourne. I've been to 8 different towns/cities and stayed at hostels, YWAM bases, peoples homes, and with friends. It's been exciting, fun, a bit terrifying, and sometimes lonely, but I'm glad I did it. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me more confidence in doing things on God's strength. And I got to meet many cool people along the way. I said hello to some new people as well as goodbye to some old friends from my DTS and the previous DTS who just graduated. I am so grateful for friends and family, for new adventures, and for a God who loves to come on those adventures with you, to show you the world through His eyes if you only ask.

I came back to Toowoomba yesterday afternoon and will be here until tomorrow evening. Not too long, but it's been great catching up with the staff here, some of the Bella leaders, and getting my bearings before travelling to Indonesia on Tuesday morning where I'll be volunteering at an orphanage for the next month. I especially loved going to church this morning where I had the opportunity to sing up front during worship. In the service, the preacher talked about the different ways we can praise God and that all spiritual warfare starts with a foundation of praise. So true! He has already given us the weapons to fight the enemy. We just need to use them. Be it with shrill sounds (rinnah) or the 'shabach' shout. You don't have to have a good voice or know how to play an instrument to praise Him. I knew all of this already, but it was great to have a reminder. We also talked about how God goes before us, which reminded me of Psalm 139 when it says You go behind me and before me. And in Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." God has already gone before me to Indonesia and back to Canada, and is preparing good works for me there. I just need to follow after Him and walk in those good works.
walking trail in Coff's Harbour
I have a lot more I could share about my trip around Australia, but I thought I'd share it with you in pictures instead. If you want to know any details; please email or Facebook message me. Or see me. I'd love to catch up and see what you've been up to as well.
Byron Bay at the beach

at Coff's Harbour
Butterfly House in Coff's Harbour

by the bus stop in Coff's Harbour

riding by bike around Port Macquarie
at one of the 9 beaches in Port Macquarie
outside of Koala hospital
at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie
feeding time

lighthouse in Port Macquarie

lighthouse in Newcastle

at Manly beach with Rikki in Sydney
view from the Sydney Harbour bridge
the Opera House at night

the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney
at the State Library of NSW in Sydney
St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney

the National Library of Australia in Canberra
at the Old Parliament House in Canberra
Canberra just before sunset

St. Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne
Tropical house in Melbourne

Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne
at A Maze'N Things in Melbourne with Heidi

Some prayer points:
-Indonesia. For me to follow God's leading in everything there and for people I meet to have their lives changed by the power of Jesus Christ.
-for boldness in sharing the Gospel and loving on others
-for safe travels, good health, etc.
-for great quiet times during the trip and time to process as well as give out

Thanks so much for your support! I hope you have a great day and God bless!

Friday, 9 June 2017

On ebbs and flows and being part of something bigger

I leave Toowoomba in just a few hours. My next two weeks will look like me travelling down the coast, with my final stop in Melbourne. I'll be visiting friends along the way, taking in the sights of the East coast of Australia, and processing my time here at YWAM Toowoomba.
I will miss this place so much; the people, the view, all the street art & musicians, all the encouragement and servant-heartedness that is in this base.
But, I am also looking forward to what God has for me next. Travelling down the coast, helping out Mother's Heart House orphanage in Bali, Indonesia, and home. I am looking forward to going home; hugging my Mom & Dad for the first time in over 9 months, catching up with friends and relatives, pouring into my church as they have so greatly poured into me over the past 10 years.

Transition is hard for me, the constant ebb and flow of life, exciting and challenging all at the same time. Over the past few weeks, months even, I've felt like a wave tossed by the sea; some times at high tide, some at low tide, but always part of something bigger, part of a family that is ever changing and oh so wonderful.
My roomies Allison & Tess going on a walk
through the Japanese gardens of Toowoomba

artist at the First Coat Festival in Toowoomba
such captivating artwork!

I won the Bill award (staff member of the week)
Since my last blog entry, the students got back from outreach in East Timor & Darwin, Thailand, and Cambodia. I loved hearing their stories, especially how things are doing in Cambodia and changing for the better.
praying out the students

I helped out at Bella Camp, with the worship and telling some of my testimony as well as being a leader, loving on the girls as much as I could. This Bella Camp was especially interesting because they talked about the tough issues surrounding pornography, sexting, abuse, homosexuality, and purity that many girls go through in their teens. Then on the Sunday night after camp, I went to a City Free From Porn event where a lady spoke about her issues with porn and how she's been set free from it. I learned so much and love how the people of Toowoomba are not afraid to speak up about the tough stuff and join together in unity to fight against the issue of porn.

doing a Aussie Bush dance with the Bella girls
bush dancing
"Blessercise" with Maggie Shoo and Penelope
the boys talk about the issues
fun times at camp

In the last few weeks, I've had a chance to listen to some more of our great musicians play as well as do a set myself at Campfires. Music is so soothing to the soul. It has also been full of laughter and fun. We had our last open mic (which was a surprise because we thought our last open mic was before outreach).

Sandra playing one of her originals
Isaac playing an original
(Logan holding his sheet music)

students playing at Grad
Dearly Beloved (from left to right: Reiley, Catyler, Charlotte Nathan, Jeffrey)

Catyler playing an original she wrote on outreach
Nathan outside of Phatburgers
for a closing down party

I had a lot of Freedom Project work to do in the last few weeks. On May 21st, we went to the Dalby Missions Markets; my second year in a row going. I was great seeing some of the same faces and talking about our project in front of a congregation and about 30 other mission organisations who were there.

The rest of our time was spent preparing for our big fundraiser Red Light Made White. I wrote a monologue and performed it as did the rest of our team. We went through the story of a girl who was trafficked into the sex trade and the trauma she faced there as well as the joy and peace she felt after she left the industry and experienced the love of Christ. We also had live music, an art gallery, spoken word, dance, and sold some Destiny Rescue jewellery. We made our goal of raising $1500 to rescue one more girl out of the sex trade, plus $110.10 more!  On the night we went up to rescuing 7 girls since the start of the project, and in the last week we have seen $1500 more raised; putting our count to 8.
I'm so excited to hear more stories like this from the Freedom Project team after I go home. I am thinking of continuing with raising money for this cause after I go home, through going to markets, speaking, etc. Please let me know if you are interested in learning more or helping raise money to rescue more girls out of the sex trade.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support! I am looking forward to seeing you soon.
I love you all! I would love to hear from you. Feel free to email me, shoot me a Facebook message, etc.

I hope you have a great day and God bless!