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.

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