Saturday, 18 March 2017

Reunions, Revelations & Really Beautiful Sunsets

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been in contact with a woman I met last year who volunteered  at an orphanage in Indonesia. I prayed about it and felt like contacting her was the first step. I just finished contacting an orphanage in Indonesia where I'll hopefully be volunteering in July this year before going back home to Canada. I would love all your prayers with this and will be updating you all in the coming weeks.

Since my last update, a few lovely people that I hadn't seen since my DTS came for a visit. One was my friend Becca who was a student with me on my DTS and is currently leading an outreach around Australia. It was so fun catching up with her. During that week, a few of the students got baptised as well!

some of the Jan'15 DTS students

That week, I also shared about loving & forgiving others at Bella Sisters. One of the things I talked about was that sometimes you forgive someone and then as soon as you feel mad at that person again, you start to doubt if you had forgiven them. But God has already forgiven them and if He said you've forgiven them as well, you have. You don't need to doubt. One of the girls came and talked with me at the end of the evening and said that that impacted her a lot. She had already forgiven someone but wasn't sure until I said that. So many lives impacted; changed for the kingdom. Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to share what truth You've shown me! And thank you to everyone who prayed for me and for the girls.

I love all the music around this base! A couple of weeks ago, a friend of our past director's came to our base and played some of his songs for us. So good!

Last night, I went to an event called Firelight Evenings. I played some of my songs at the last one, and I was delighted to hear some of the YWAM students & staff play last night.

Tess (one of my roomies) and
Sherom (a current student from Switzerland)
playing at Firelight Evenings
Last weekend, I helped out at the Bella camp. It was my 4th camp and was the best camp yet for me.  It was so fun playing games with the girls, sharing testimonies with them, praying for them; laughing and crying with them. They are so sweet and were open to hearing about Jesus and that they can be free and forgive.

guys session on relationships

playing "dead cockroach"
Last week was local outreach week. We as Freedom Project had some opportunities for the students throughout the week. The students busked for a purpose in town and collectively raised over $200 for Freedom Project which will go towards our cause in raising awareness for human trafficking and rescuing girls from the sex trade in Asia. I'm so proud of them!

The students helped us with two videos we are hoping to post to get the word out about the issue of human trafficking and to bring hope.
They also helped us by making friendship bracelets and art to sell at the markets to raise money for Destiny Rescue. Thanks Mom for giving me the thread to make the friendship bracelets. This couldn't have been a reality without you!

Then, on Friday night we went to Bella Chicks, which is a monthly event for girls age 12-16 and dressed up in neon colours for a Neon Party. It was so fun! We shared a skit which the Freedom Project team put together and I shared with the girls about how to make others shine.

Allison, Tess, & Tori at the Bella Chicks event

I love you all and I hope you have a great day and God bless! I'd love to hear from you.
going to the beach after a visit to the
Destiny Rescue office on the Sunshine Coast
kookaburra sits on the old gum tree
the office at sunset. my desk is on the right! :)

Toowoomba street art (one of many)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Out of the Ash Heap, Into Precious Treasures

A couple of weeks ago, when thoughts came to me that weren't from God and were weighing on me, God spoke these words into my soul:

I love you. No matter how you feel or what you've done or what's happened to you, I see you as shiny and new. I died at the chance of knowing you.  You are precious and loved and Mine, never alone. I am your rear guard, I will fill your spirit to overflowing and we will change countless lives. You will be My mouthpiece for the nations, for the one; the lost and broken, hurting and ashamed. My desire is to lift them out of the ash heap and turn them into precious treasures, even more beautiful than before.

There's been a lot of ups and downs in the last couple of months, but it's also been a joy and a privilege to be working here at YWAM Toowoomba and getting to meet new people and pour myself into the people I meet. Since my last blog, staff orientation finished and a new group of students arrived. There are 21 students from Canada, USA, Germany, Switzerland (the french and the german part), England, and Australia. They are so loving and open and love to ask many questions. For example, in their first week here, one of the students went around and asked all of us staff our life stories. The DTS staff and students will share their testimonies after the first week of DTS, but the rest of us staff like me aren't part of the testimonies time. So, it was really special for me that a student outright asked me what my life story was.
playing a water game "Drip, drip, drop"
during Family Saturday with the DTS
Me and my friend Rikki after
the last Campfire Sessions night
a group of students playing at Campfire Sessions
Tim Tam Slam night with the students

Going on a walk with some students (I took the picture)

One time, a few weeks ago on a weekend afternoon, I was working on a song I was writing. I was sitting on one of the benches outside when all the sudden I saw a goanna walking across the lawn of our property. Two students saw it as well and said to each other that they wished other people would see what they just saw. I called out, "I saw it too!" and they walked towards me and started talking with me. I ended up talking with one of the girls until dinner time. I didn't work on my song any more that afternoon, but I got to do something even better.
spot the goanna on the tree
where I spotted the goanna

At the beginning of this month, I went to a Bella leaders retreat for the weekend. We spent the weekend in prayer, worship & fellowship, learned more about our vision to speak truth, identity & value into young girls, and got prayed and prophesied over. Over the weekend, I read Ephesians and one verse in particular stuck out to me.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

We are special, His masterpiece, the work of His hands. We were created not to be by ourself, alone, lonely, unloved, but in Christ Jesus with Him, in unity, fully loved and cherished.
We are created for good works, not out of ourself, out of striving, forcing, needing to do them, but good works that God has already prepared for us to do. Beforehand, not during or after the fact, but before we had the thought to do the good works, God already had that thought and put it into fruition.
We need to walk out into those good works that God prepared for us to go. We need to go out in obedience, not hesitant but fully, willingly, in anticipation, excited to see God work through us.
It's like He's prepared a surprise party for us and is waiting in anticipation for us to come to our surprise party. Sometimes, we need to wait because it isn't time for the surprise party yet, but that just makes the surprise even better.

Tomorrow night I will be sharing my testimony and on loving others and forgiveness at Bella sisters. I would love your prayer that the girls would be able to forgive and accept God's love, joy, and peace in their lives. For them to fully give their lives over to God and to receive healing that only comes from Him.

worship at the last Bella sisters.
Some students played!

I would also love prayer as I am in the process of finding from God where He wants me next after my time at YWAM Toowoomba is over. I have booked a flight home for the end of July and am wanting to travel from the middle of June until I go back to Canada. I would love clarity on where to go as I am wanting to do some outreach during that time, perhaps in Indonesia, Cambodia or the Philippines and for doors to be opened that are from God.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support and I would love to hear from you.

The Lord is lifting you out of the ash heap and turning you into precious treasures, even more beautiful that before.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Never the Odd One Out

I've been reminded many times in the past few weeks something that God impressed upon me a while ago.  He said, "You are never the odd one out." I believe this was for me personally, but it's also for anyone who feels left out sometimes.

Never the Odd One Out

You are never the odd one out.
I am with you until the end of the age.
I have clothed you in white
You are righteous and holy 
and precious and MINE

I am renewing your mind, changing the way you think.
I am preparing you for war.
I put your armour on for you sometimes,
When you feel weak or unworthy.
When you are weak, I am strong
And give you My strength.

When you feel unworthy 
I tell you of your worth and your beauty.
You will never be alone. 
I am by your side.
Just look up into My eyes of fire and see Me
See My glory on display for everyone who looks to Me.

Then your strength will be renewed with your mind,
You will trust in Me
and lean not on your own understanding
But in Mine, which is perfect and true.

My love is for all for I am Love
A love that is patient and kind,
Selfless and strong.
More powerful than death itself.
You are never the odd one out.

I've really enjoyed the past few weeks, celebrating Christmas and New Years with friends, going on a mini holiday to New Zealand, and getting to meet new staff for this next year. It's also been hard sometimes, not being at home with family during Christmas time. But God's been teaching me a lot through it, about obedience in Him, relying on Him for strength and guidance, and trusting that He will show me what's next in 2017.  He's been closing a few doors, but I trust that means He will be opening ones that are better than I could ever imagine on my own.

enjoying the Christmas lights of Toowoomba
playing carols at Just Church

redecorating and getting ready for new roommates
Christmas eve dinner

Here are a few highlights of the last few weeks.

Climbing Tabletop to see the sunrise. We got up at 3am to say goodbye to a staff member and friend and then drove to Tabletop mountain. I've never climbed Tabletop in the dark so it felt like completely different terrain. I feel like God always shows me something when climbing that mountain, and this time was no different. I was more grateful than ever for the friends I have, friends that are encouraging, willing to help and hike slower than they could to make sure I'm okay. Friends that have my back and light my path (literally with flashlights, since mine died).  Also, God is never boring. He's always creating something new. Even though it was overcast that morning and we didn't see the sunrise as much as we'd hoped, a different thing happened. The sun rays came out from the clouds slowly but surely until the whole sky was bright. So cool!

Another highlight was my trip to New Zealand. It's such a beautiful country. I feel like when God created the world, He had a cup full of "beauty" He could spread out over the world.  By the time He got to New Zealand, the cup was still half full and He just decided to pour the rest of the "beauty" over that country.

I went to New Zealand primarily to renew my visa as I am staying here in Australia for an additional 6 months and I needed to be outside of Australia to apply for the visa. At first, I was kind of annoyed I had to leave the country and fly to New Zealand between Christmas and New Years.  But I am very happy I did. First, a praise report. My visa was granted in 29 minutes! That meant I got to spend the rest of my time enjoying the people and the view instead of worrying about the visa being granted on time.
While I was in New Zealand, I got to spend some time with a few old friends & meet new ones, go hiking, see some glow worms, and just rest in God.
hanging out with my friend Kahlia,
a past student
me and my friend Landon,
a past YWAM Toowoomba staff

Cathedral Cove
on a walk to Cathedral Cove

view from Mount Maunganui

Auckland from on top of Sky Tower
looking up at the Sky Tower in Auckland

We just started Staff orientation this week and I'm looking forward to meeting the new students who arrive in two weeks. 

Thanks for all your prayers and support. I would love to hear from you, to hear more about your heart and what God's been teaching you lately and how I can be praying for you.

Remember, you are never alone, and you are never the odd one out.