After two of the busiest weeks of the year, followed by another week that did not slow down, I feel like I should update you on the 12 girls who descended upon our base for Discipleship Training School (they’re amazing), about the vision strategy meeting where God placed the same issues on each of our hearts (Community begins at home.  With relationship.  Who knew?), about the teams that will be going to Israel, Ethiopia, and Asia this year…but in the middle of rehashing all the details of an update, I realize that if I am bored writing it, my readers will be bored reading it.  And I do not want to bore anyone.  So…that’s your update (for now)…

12 girls for the DTS = amazing

Community begins at home, and we’re working on that this year.  Again.  😉

Israel, Ethiopia, Asia, and who knows where else.

As for me and my heart…

…I have come to the conclusion that I am learning to wait on the Lord.  A week and a half ago I got to teach a little girl to dance in the Spirit…which was basically teaching her how to wait and let Him take the lead.

Yesterday I got to play my violin in worship.  Twice.  Both times I got feedback on how incredible it was…actually, people have been saying that a lot recently…how my skills are really improving and what not.  I’m thinking to myself, “What I am doing right now is waaaaaay less technical than what I was doing when I picked it back up months ago.”

What I am doing differently…is waiting.  Sometimes on a single note.  F#.  F# again.  Still playing F#.  Suddenly a run comes out of nowhere (that’s like a lick, for those of you who specialize in more fretted stringed instruments.)  Sometimes I wait without playing…or without the violin in my hands at all.  I don’t “hear” the part, so I don’t play…and I realize that it works best with what everyone else is doing.

Not that learning to listen in ensemble is anything new to me.  Not that learning to wait is anything new, either.  Just seems to be where I am right now.  And I am feeling incredibly impatient…like standing there with my violin in my hands, thinking, “Why don’t I have anything to play? [pause pause pause] Ooooooooooh…because I’m not supposed to play right now.”  Then I set down the violin and a moment later realize it’s almost my cue.  I haven’t played some of these songs in months, and last time I played it differently.  How, then, do I know it’s almost my cue?  Must be Jesus.  I pick up the violin and play a scale and the whole room erupts into movement and color and life.

I remember when I started learning to dance with God.  I would wait, with my hands open, and breathe.  Just breathe.  And wait.  Pretty soon my arms would know which way to move and my feet would follow the gentle motion.  Learning to wait while playing in a band with a bunch of rock-n-roll worshipers is a bit more…raucous…to say the least.  Not all worshipers are rock-n-roll, but these guys are!  Learning ensemble with them may just be a miracle for this often soft spoken ballerina, and I’m loving it.

Hablo Esphanol?

I got to bring my favorite aspect of the Mexico trip back to Pismo with me: our students.  Before going to Mexico I had gotten to connect with some of them, but while we were out of the country I got to share a room with each of the three girl students at some point in the trip.  I got to know them much better through our travels together and then over the last few weeks before they left for Nicaragua.  It has been such a joy to share in their joys, struggles, and life lessons as they get their feet wet in ministry.  I love seeing people step out and grow in their gifting.

One example of this was with our student who left her job as a Spanish I teacher to join our Discipleship Training School.  In Mexico we often looked to her to translate for us, which was quite stretching for her.  Teaching Spanish I is very different from translating in the red light district in Ensenada.  We had a few trying experiences, but we also found a man who was very eager to speak with us: so eager that he was willing to go on in Spanish even though I had no idea what he was saying.  I was separated from our translators, including our student, so I started praying for understanding and came to understand that he was saying he had fallen many times but had hope and wanted a Bible.  I went and found our Spanish speaking student who was able to translate and encourage him, plus encourage me because I had understood him correctly!  We brought him a Bible the next day, but could not find him.  Instead we found a man who spoke English nearly perfectly.  God gave me some insights for him, and we were able to speak truth into his life, giving him the Bible we had brought.  The last night was a much more difficult evening, and after some considerable discouragement, we found the man from the first evening.  It was so encouraging to see him and talk to him again, and I had the honor of processing all these events with this young translator.

The last few weeks I have had the pleasure of praying for and pouring into all of the students on this Discipleship Training School, especially the three young women.  We sent them off to Nicaragua last week.  Please pray for them…I know it will be a life changing time.  It is exciting to get to know these students, even though I am not leading this school, I feel like part of me goes with them.

Hope and Chocolate in Mexico

In Ensenada I…

was romanced by a fierce and wild God.
lost hope.
remembered a death.
played violin on a rooftop to a butterfly dancing.
served a lot of hot chocolate.

met people who build Homes of Hope.
met people who need Homes of Hope.
met people who had Homes of Hope.

remembered what hope really is.

painted the tool shed at a women’s recovery home.
played with the children at a women’s recovery home.
preached on beauty at a women’s recovery home.

served chocolate’ caliente in the red light district.

got lost driving to Rancho Sordo Mudo, a school for the deaf.
(The children were still home for the summer.)
wept at stories of God’s provision for Rancho Sordo Mudo. 

saw hope living at Rancho Sordo Mudo.

served chocolate’ caliente in the red light district.

drove to Tijuana to help prepare for YWAM’s 50th celebration.
joined in a worship celebration with people in LA, Brazil, Amsterdam, and other places through skype on steroids.
got my picture videoed and displayed on skype on steroids.  Awkward. 

did not serve chocolate’ caliente in the red light district.

visited la Bufadora.
said “la Bufadora” a lot because it is a funny word.

served chocolate’ caliente in the red light district.
played my violin.
in the red light district.

somewhere between the red light district, the cliffs diving into the sea, and my violin, I found hope.

Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him.  Psalm 37:7

Chuwl, the Hebrew word which is translated “wait” in the above passage means:

to twist, to whirl, to dance, to writhe, fear, tremble, travail, to be in anguish, to be pained, to whirl about, to bear, bring forth, to wait anxiously, to be born, whirling, writhing, suffering torture, to wait longingly, to be distressed

to hope.

More to come…

Well, friends, I am back from my trip to Texas, which included a road trip across the midwest, and packing for two weeks in Mexico.  We leave tomorrow morning.  The three day turn around makes me feel like a flight attendant again: unpacking, laundry, repacking. 

The road trip from Texas was a success.  As I mentioned in my last entry, my friend needed to tie up some loose ends from an interstate move last year.  It was really incredible to walk with her as she handled the challenges of this process. 

I think the thing that impacted me most is how the things we do can have as much a spiritual influence as the prayers we say.  Letting go of a keepsake from a painful time; closing a door in peace instead of fear; walking away from a battle that is not yours to fight; going back to a dark place and remembering how Jesus found you there; all these acts of freedom were somehow a prayer for her, a declaration to everyone around that she is not controlled by things which once controlled her.  I don’t know how it is that I get to be the woman who witnesses her beautiful life, but I never walk away the same.  Never. 

It is my priviledge to lay down my life for my friends. 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1


Debrief from India 2009

I woke up to sunlight streaming through gingham and sunflower print curtains. We are back in California at a church camp along the central coast. It takes me back to my church camp days, when everything was simpler. Someone else paid the bills and made sure I had food. I was learning to worship and journal and pray. I was learning some of the best and worst lessons of my life, and the air was filled with hope. There is something sacred and intimate about those memories. This place restores my soul.

Only a few days ago I was on a tropical island paradise in Thailand. We went there for two days of debrief, which happened in private conversations in deck chairs on the white sand beach. We thought we were going to the Bankok YWAM base, but the taxi kept driving, and then we got on a speed boat, and then we waded through the ocean to our island.

For the safety of our contacts, I will not tell you where we *actually* were for three weeks between India and Thailand, but I have taken to calling it Never Never Land in my heart. They have a great fear of foreigners and foreign influence. We were more free to talk about Jesus than politics, but we had to be wise about both.

I’m still processing. I feel like God has taken me “back to the place where we fell in love”, although I was in love with Him long before church camp over sixteen years ago. This place also reminds me of the mountains of Colorado. Walking along the gravely trails under the full moon takes me to so many beautiful places. It’s a good place to begin laying a foundation. A friend of mine in Never Never Land, we can call her Lisa because there were a lot of Lisa’s everywhere we went, commented that the next five months are a time for me to lay a foundation because when I return on staff I will be going into missions “for a long time…a very long time.”

…return on staff. Have I mentioned yet that I’m coming back on staff with YWAM? Lord willing I will have my support raised by November and will be back in Pismo by my 29th birthday.

That’s about all I have for now. Getting settled and getting all my bills sorted is a bit…harrowing. I am seeking peace.


Southeast Asia

Wow. Things are amazing here. There is so much to be thankful for. Such good conversations, and the people we are getting to know are amazing. I find that I am struggling with self contempt and a sense of failure, that most people struggle with here. They are definitely strongholds. People don’t even pray for fear of failure. In light of that, we are speaking a lot on identity, and how that changes when you know the one who made you. I got to teach on forgiveness to the kids here. I believe this generation is the one who will put things back together again, they are the world changers. Pray for us on May 28th and 29th when get a certain amount of money and a taxi and a day to go where ever we are lead. Pray for our money struggles. Our budget is a bit tight, and getting money is difficult as…it’s just difficult. We met an angel from Duluth Minnesota who left us $100. We could use more of those, if anyone felt like praying them into being. I can tell you all more later, in about a week and a half. These people are so gentle and beautiful. Love you all,


More things about India, since I have time

On the street in front of our house there were brand new puppies when we first got here. They’re standing now.

I am going to miss auto rickshaws. They’re super cheap and they connect you on all the crazy back roads to where you are going.

There is an election happening here in only a few days. Activity is ramping up surrounding that. Elections in India are quite something to experience.

Not only are we here at the hottest time of the year, but it is the hottest summer they have had in 35 years. Apparently God likes to refine me with literal fire. Reminds me of the August I spent in Phoenix…only hotter.

There are these black crows everywhere. When we first got here, it was kind of creepy when they looked at you sideways and you had to wonder what they were thinking. Now I know what they are thinking. They are wondering how they can poop on my clean laundry which I am hanging on the line. They begin practicing flight patterns before I am even inside. When they see me come out with a book or purse, they are even more excited because the greater surface area means they do not have to aim as carefully. This is what the crows in India are thinking.

Good night.

Looking back, looking forward

Our time in India is almost up. There were a couple of Australians here when we got here. Paul and Louise have been an amazing encouragement to me. They left earlier this week. It was really sweet to be around them, and I miss them already. I am really very grateful for their presence here. Lizzie is another friend at our guest house. She is from England and works with street children. She is a rather amazing woman. I don’t quite know how to show her how important her friendship is and has been to me. Sometimes I’m horrible at showing that on a daily basis. I hope she knows. The people you meet, they change your life as you go, don’t they? Especially in moments like these, when you are most actively becoming.

Our next stop will be working with children and youth, teaching about identity, forgiveness, and reconciliation. I am stunned at the honor and opportunity which we have. Amazing.

I probably won’t be back online for the next month or so. I may check once before we fly out this weekend. I love you all. Please keep praying…perhaps now more than ever.


Children of the Howrah Train Station

Last Sunday, two boys died in the Howrah train station. I just thought that someone, somewhere needed to know. They were probably high on glue, which diminishes hunger pains, and rolled off of the roof onto the tracks, where they were then run over by the train.

I spent my week with 8 of the Howrah boys. They’re a little like the lost boys in Peter Pan. I felt like Wendy, darning their clothes. These 8 moved in with our contacts here about 30 days ago…and you can tell…you can see it in their eyes, in the way they move, treat each other, and touch you. They are being fed, they are being loved. I got to be part of that this week.

Healing in India

Well, I could begin this post by telling you how the first thing I will do when near a bathtub in the states is take a good long bath, or how the water coming off my hair the other day was nearly black…and they say that this is relatively clean air for Kolkata. OR I could tell you about evangelism time today and how we saw SIX PEOPLE PRAY TO ACCEPT JESUS and 15 people or more HEALED on a street corner.

It began with interview-style evangelism, where we took a video camera with us and interviewed some flight attendant students about places to eat in Kolkata and the purpose of life. There were three of us in the group…me, Cody, and Kelsy. Cody shared the gospel with them and they said they had never heard such a thing, then were eager to pray with us. We arranged to meet them for church this Sunday, and ran into them in the street later, where they gave us mangoes and salt, may my bowels rest in peace tonight.

We kept walking and found a “blind” beggar on the street. Cody began to pray for him, for healing, and within seconds a crowd was gathered. I looked at him, thinking this could end well or it could end very very badly, “This should be fun.” He grinned and proclaimed that it is fun, which was pretty much my cue to jump in. I was praying for the beggar as Cody began explaining what he was doing. No one spoke English, so he prayed for a translator, and in short order a young Christian student happed by and thought we might need some help, so he started translating. Woooooooo!!!

I felt things get a little harried and my attention was drawn to the shrine only a few feet away. Just as Cody was getting to the resurrection power of Jesus, he was interrupted. I began praying against death and praying in tongues, and the man clears out and Cody goes on. As he put it:

At the end of my message, I hear come out of my mouth, “I want anyone who is sick to come forward, I will lay hands on you, and when you are healed you will know Jesus is real.” This surprised me, I was not planning on saying that. And what happened next I will never forget.

He starts praying for a man’s arthritic knee as I’m remembering that God promised to put His power behind the words of His saints, for His name’s sake. I’m remembering and praying for the man and against doubt and against death and against pain and disease, bringing the Kingdom of God and all this in the name of Jesus. Cody prayed for the man four times…the second time he had some relief, but the pain persisted, and the fourth time it began to recede. Three more people came forward for healing, and I continued praying for the beggar. I finally felt a sense of peace that he had had healing, and although I could not communicate with him very well, I saw his countenance change before my eyes, and just as I thought, “It’s done. He can go now,” he got up and left.

I wanted to pray, so Cody sent over a man with a headache. Hurrah! I have prayed for many headaches since this trip began, with great success. It’s an area that I want authority over and so have been pressing in for that. I had Kelsy join me so that I would not be praying for the men one on one. We prayed for his headache several times, and it was when I touched the spot lightly and prayed that the pain was healed.

There was only one woman in the crowd, and I smiled at her. She returned shortly with her camera crew! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the Indian paparazzi. I’m cracking up, they’re videoing us, Cody gave them an interview and Kelsy told them that “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible told me so.”

We were walking away…very slowly as people continued to want prayer…and honestly, it broke my heart to send them away…and some people warned us to be careful…and the police started running after us…which was a little threatening. They told us to wait as another police man and a guard came over to us. Kelsy and I looked at each other sideways. They wanted healing! We prayed for all three of them, for their backs. Wowza! What a night.

We then went out for dinner with the team to Mouline Rouge, which is a knockoff from the movie or the place in Paris, or both, but it made me smile because it’s my favorite movie.

Glory be to Jesus! This is amazing stuff…God really is powerful…and amazing! I’m so excited to see more!

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