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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Call To Missions part 2





As fall of 2013 approaches, I will be packing my bags.


Stuffing as much of my worldly belongings as I can into two suitcases and a carry-on.

I'm moving to England to help staff a Discipleship Training School as a YWAM missionary.

What will I be doing? 


Primarily helping to organize, and keep a smoothly running Training School that is meant to provide young people the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Christ, discover their giftings and encourage them to step out beyond their comfort zone in loving the lost through a variety of ways; preparing them to either enter into a life of full time mission work or better equip them to live out an authentic Christ-like walk in their everyday life "back home"...
 

Why in England? Aren't the people reached already?

A few mind-boggling fast facts:

Europe, once the foundation of the Christian world...

Now...
Christian growth over the past 50-100 years - the lowest in the world.

Greater Europe Mission concludes statistically that over 400 Million people across this continent have never opened a Bible.

Like ever.

Just to put it in perspective:

America...1 out of 5 people profess to be bible-believing Christians
Latin America..........1 out of 10
Africa......................... 3 out of 20
Middle East..............  1 out of 25
Europe...................... 1 out of 40

_________

England...is the most densely crowded nation in Europe...and dubbed a secularized, “post-Christian” society.

It may have a lot of beautiful cathedrals and cute country churches, but many buildings now either stand empty or face dwindling congregations as the older generations die off. The young people, they are looking elsewhere for meaning and truth.




I am excited to make myself available for God to use in this nation. 
I absolutely fell in love with England when I was there with YWAM the first time.
 


It's a beautiful country and they have such a diverse culture.

I also believe YWAM is a fantastic vessel to allow for the Message of Christ to be released in such a variety of awesome ways...And I know training up other young people to go after knowing God with all their hearts and helping them release that passion to a world hurting around them is something I feel so honored and excited to be a part of.





Friday, April 12, 2013

Strangers at the Door and My Over-Reactive Imagination

Dave Mckean Illustration

Have you ever house-sat for anybody? Dog-sat, maybe, while the owners were away?

Have you ever stayed in a house, alone, that is unfamiliar...? Where everything is foreign and sounds are all new and suspicious?

I am currently dog-sitting and sleeping over a friend's house this weekend while they are away.

Tonight is the first time ever.

Her doggy is adorable.

So after the two of us bonded over bacony-smelling dog treats and lots of belly rubs, I made myself a veggie burger and some french fries. Easy enough.

Sat down to eat and then...

The doorbell rang...

Uhhhhhhh....????

To get it or not get it-when one is in someone else's house???

This is the question I have for you! I mean, really, what do you do??



I sat my plate down after the initial high-speed jolt to my heart rate from the shock.

My friend didn't tell me to expect anyone, so who the hey was that?

I went to the front door and went on tippy toes to see through the convenient little peep hole.

photo courtesy of google :)
The dog was going crazy barking so I knew there was someone, or some thing...out there.

From the warped, fuzzy, mostly limited view I could make out the form of a man with his arms crossed.

Who doesn't look like a total Ted Budy-serial-killing-creepster through a peep hole anyways?

Especially when one is A-L-O-N-E.

So I reasonably concluded I wasn't going to open the door.

I waited there.

Watching...

He waited there...

Waiting...

Scheming for other routes of entry??

And then he spun around and walked under the carport. Out of view.

Presumably heading for the side door.

I waited for a few moments  racking my brain for whether or not I locked that side door when I came in...

????

Oh, wait, I did.

Pheww...

I certainly wasn't going to go over to the door and check because it had a big ole half window.

I would be so clearly visible. Clearly.

Hmm...not so much.

So I hovered and waited some more.

No more knocks.

The mystery man must have left because I did not see him again, much to my relief.

Now I'm trying not to jump everytime I hear the air-condition come blasting on with a loud bang.

Trying not to startle everytime I hear cutie come through the back door flap from the yard as the flap makes this eerie metal on metal scraping noise.

Keeping my cool, even when I hear the front door do this weird "sucking" noise like it's being pushed in from the outside.

The dog, poor thing is quite skittish, so her barking at every other noise doesn't help.

The wind is whistling through the trees.

That noise, never helps.
So I've concluded, the problem with being a creative readerly type---I have way too big of an imagination about what could, or possibly might happen.

Snap out of it kid.

I'll get over these first-night blues...don't worry.

And now you can regale me with tales of your own and make me feel less like I'm the only over-reactive, hyper-paranoid, crazy-brained female.

K?

Good night for now. See you on the brighter side of tomorrow.

I hope... 

;)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Call To Missions part 1


A few years back, I participated in a life changing 6-month Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School (DTS) in England. This school aims at equipping  followers of Christ to serve more effectively in a variety of mission fields, helps the students to know and understand the things of God a little clearer and equips them to share their faith in a variety of ways . 


The training includes a time of bible study and growth, local weekly outreaches (both practical and evangelistic) and then a couple months of outreach in a foreign culture -for my outreach- it was off to Tanzania, East Africa. 


It was amazing and I grew and was stretched out of my comfort zone in so many ways. 
I believed at the end of this training school and missions program that God would lead me to partner up with YWAM as a missionary in the future. I just didn’t know when.

If you've followed this bloggy for any length of time, you will know the past couple years have seen many ups and downs for me. I have suffered the loss of my dear mother, went through times of extreme pressures coming at me from all directions...and I have been in what has felt like a long period of "waiting" on the Lord. 

When I finished my DTS, I wanted to go back out, to a nation-any nation that God would send me to and serve Him there. Love people in His name, help bring restoration to broken, hopeless lives and whatever else I could possibly do for Christ.

Instead, God told me no. Not yet. You're not ready.

And then came the dreaded word...

Wait.

Waiting is, by far, one of the hardest things on earth to stay content through. 

It's downright excruciating at times...ya know???

When nothing seems to be changing and all you can hear is the ticking of the clock...

Talk about stretching one's faith...

Is now the right time God?

No.

How about now? Am I ready to step out on the mission field in faith and accomplish amazing, earth shattering feats for you??? Huh, Lord? Huh?

You are already on the mission field. Live each day with eyes and ears ready to see and speak My words... And Love.  See my children who are all around you and who don't know who they really are. Love them, as Me. And Rest...

Wow...it's simple really. 

But a hard lesson to learn for someone who felt like she needed to keep doing lots of good things to gain His approval of me and not realizing that He couldn't be prouder of me just as I was, resting in and simply enjoying Him and learning to see others as He sees them.

Live life every day, in contentment and willingness to share His love with others.  

It's not about "doing" anything on a small or grand scale. 

It's realizing it has NOTHING, absolutely nothing to do with me.

It is all about Jesus.




So now, finally after getting this revelation! and learning to love living in this knowledge...

God is giving me the "go" ahead...

I feel the release and call of God to step out of a secure existence and accept the challenge of living a radical existence for His Kingdom on the overseas mission field, with an entirely new and fresh perspective. 

I will be devoting all of my time, talent, and treasure serving as a full-time missionary with YWAM  in Derby, England come this fall and I will be helping to staff an Urban Focused Discipleship Training School.

I have so much more I'd like to share with you... I hope you will stay tuned :)

for part 2...




 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Turning the Big 3-0

Birthday weekend fun!

There are a few things I realized this momentous weekend:

1. Road trips to see the Fam on the East Coast of Florida is always super fun. Involves lots of eating.

2. Sometimes one may see their life pass in front of them when attempting said trip given the fact that this is Florida. An elderly man behind the wheel didn't even look over at me in my lane (next to him!!!) when he decided to plough on over. I had to slam on my breaks as he narrowly missed my front end as we drove across Aligator Alley.

This was bad on many levels: a. Getting into a wreck on Aligator Alley-is not the safest place when there could be ginormo reptilian creatures lurking around the swampy Glades surrounding the roadway.

b.The man didn't even KNOW he almost hit us as he obliviously kept driving 'slow' in the fast lane in front of me, despite me wailing on my horn for like a solid 30 seconds. I was SOOOOO angry.

I know really bad. I don't usually get like this...

And then (I might have been a tad close on his tale at this point) he had the nerve to wag his finger at me in front of his rear view window...I mean whaaaaa????????? Uh huhhhhh... I just remember lots of red flashing in front of my eyes. And irrational rage. Game on, grandpa!! (I hope my Dad's not reading this :)) Um what...no, I didn't continue to beep at him or subtley suggest by inching ever closer that he should get the heck back over...no, not at all. And when he did, boy did I fly by while bestowing unpleasant angry looks in his general direction.

geeeeesh. okay I feel better now sharing that with you. Road rage = Bad. Driver cutting you off and almost wrecking you = Bad too. hmmm what to do?

3. I'm going to admit it right off the bat, I turned the big 3-0, this past Monday. I thought about not mentioning the number. It's a tad bit scary you know; the fact that I've said goodbye to my twenties forever kinda makes my throat go a little dry and scratchy. And my heart does a funny little flip flop when I think about it. Like...I am not where I thought I'd be when I was a fanciful youth looking ahead to reaching this milestone (i.e. married, maybe kids, etc) Yikes, bikes.

That being said...


4. Looking back, I'm happy I've lived successfully as a happy career minded single gal through my twenties and enjoyed so many opportunities and lived in so many wonderful places and met such amazing people along the twenty-strewn pathway.

And now...change  is coming again. exciting and scary all at the same time. but im ready. It is so like our God to make sure we are absolutely ready in His timing and certainly not our own before He moves us on and out. He has done so much in this year in my life and I'm excited to see the path finally laid out a little more clearly. (I'll share soon!)

Joys I've Appreciated this week...

5. So once my sister and I got there, we had a wonderful time with family over Easter. They are a treasure. And entirely unique.
Me: Oh, Grandpa let me wipe up the table for you.

Grandpa: (with a slightly crazed/gleeful grin) I got it! as he whips out his trusty dustbuster and starts vacuming the crumbs off the kitchen table.

Me: (thinking in my  head after getting over initial shock) Errr yeahhh. why not right...???


6.  I also realized that Blueberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast is absolutely divine and Heaven will have trees, I am certain, that blossom little french toast creations (see pic below.) 
I love these people I have been blessed to work with! So much fun :) Here are just a few of them and their lovely faces. We also had a delish white cake with jam spread in the middle, seriously best ever, to celebrate birthday fun.



Anyways i realize i dont feel much older afterall...
no more gray hairs suddenly emerged (more than normal that is)...
and im not throwing the towel in to join the spinster club quite yet...

I hope im a bit wiser,
and savvier,
and better with money spending habits than I was ten years ago.
 
 I feel like I have traveled down many important roads
and learned some very valuable lessons in my walk with the Lord throughout this past decade
Learning who I am in Christ...who I really am.
Me and Jesus walking, not side by side, but as ONE.
Together.
And I've been blown over by the revelation of God's Grace.
And how He sees me; the Righteousness of Christ.
In perfect and good standing with the Father. Right Now.
 
This revelation has changed everything for me.
 
I'm confident that God has good things ahead.
 
For all of us, His children.
 
And now I look forward to seeing what the next ten years will enfold.
 
Bring it on, baby!
 
:)
 
 
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