Doing a New Thing

This may come as a surprise to many of you, but I will do my best to explain and am confident that the Holy Spirit within you will help you to interpret and understand this new thing.  I have been released from staffing the DTS.  As much as I adore the students and working with them, as determined as I was to make the DTS kitchen an offering to God for His glory, as excited as I am about discipling the people who will bring God’s justice to the nations, the things that I have been doing have been in conflict with the things God wants to do in me.  So, in obedience to my leaders and the Lord who love me deeply, I have stepped down from staffing the school.

Several words have been spoken over this season…which is to say that as I and my friends from all different places pray for me, the same themes keep coming up.  I would like to share with you some of these themes so that you can pray into them, speak into them, and celebrate with me the sacred honor I am being given.

  • Urgency– God is jealous for me, and His intensity toward me seems apparent to all the people around me (this is the part which I, quite frankly, don’t yet comprehend).
  • Inner healing– I am being given a vision for the healing God wants to do in my life that is different from anything I have experienced before.  The model I have always known is to go back to a painful memory and have God touch that pain.  This is a long process, especially for survivors of extreme trauma (to whom I am called) and I (and many others) have been praying for a faster way.  As always, God likes to train me through my own experience.  He will do in me first what He wants to do through me.  I’ll share more as I understand. 
  • Peace– I have asked specifically for authority over the things (of the world, flesh, and demonic) which come against people’s minds.  Of course that authority is the peace of Christ which guards our hearts and minds.  Peace is, overwhelmingly, the word I hear most often when people pray.  It is a difficult process, because in order to experience true peace, God must first disarm all my defenses and efforts at false peace.  Ugh.  I have experienced bits of the peace He is bringing me into (Glory be to Jesus) but at the moment, the process does not feel like peace at all. 
  • Receive– This is the word I hear most in my own prayers, and it is, for me, the most difficult part.  God has brought it to my attention that since I was a little girl I have been giving (and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and…). Now I come with empty, open hands.  It is a daily…sometimes hourly… discipline.

Practically speaking, my tasks on base have shifted significantly.  Our guidance committee met with me this week and will continue to meet with me, helping me navigate this season.  I am dedicating time to receive from the Lord.  The base guidance committee has encouraged me to focus on raising support, which is a huge blessing because I will get to spend time connecting with the people I love; I also need to make sure my financial needs are getting met.  I will still facilitate the staff development department, which brings me great joy; I have other tasks which help me continue in orienting to the base and YWAM as an organization.  I am no longer staffing the DTS outreach to Nigeria, which means we are back to the drawing board on my new staff outreach.  I will bring this up in my next meeting with the guidance committee.

I have grown tremendously in the week since this decision was made.  The month and a half of staffing the DTS was joyous and difficult, and I feel like I am enjoying the fruit of submitting to God in both the joys and difficulties.  I believe the Spirit is telling me that I am to enjoy the fruit of my hands in this season, the fruit of years of loving and serving the Lord, and that from this fruit we will plant a vineyard.  The ending of the 1995 moving French Kiss has been haunting me since I got to California.  The character Kate is more like me than any other character I have seen in any other movie.  The entire movie is available on YouTube…click here to spoil the entire movie and see the ending.  The cute one with the blond hair is me.  Kevin Kline will be playing the lover, who for me is the God who Knows Me, is jealous for me, and longs to have me as His bride.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’
And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. 
And you shall know the Lord.  
-Hosea 2:14-16, 19-20
I will restore her vineyards, and she will know that she is my bride, not my servant.
Prophetic word spoken over the group I was gathered with last night
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Backstory

Updates…updates…what I have for you today is some backstory. I am speaking on September 20 at St. Luke Presbyterian church in Kansas City, MO, the church which was my home all of my growing up and into college, and I wrote for them a backstory of where I’ve been for the last few years and how God called me into missions.

I thought I would also share it here.

After graduating from the University of Kansas in May of 2005, I moved to Ft. Collins, CO and after a short but eventful stint at the post office, became a Certified Nurses Aid at a surgical rehab center. Dance has always been part of my life, and in January 2006, I felt God leading me back into dance classes, so I switched to the night shift and enrolled in class. One Sunday later that spring I was in worship at church, asking God what is so important about dance? At the same time stories of children bought and sold in the sex trafficking industry were haunting me, and I felt God saying that I would use dance to help Him redeem these traumatized women and children.

Within a month my friends had gotten me connected with the International Christian Conference on Prostitution, a one week conference for ministries to sex workers. During the week I met many amazing people and learned more about recovery from this type of trauma. I didn’t now what my ministry would look like…I figured I would begin by working for a magazine and raising awareness. After that I figured God would lead me. I wanted God sized dreams for my life.

The problem was I still didn’t have any idea where to start. I just knew that overnights at the rehab center were draining me, and I asked God for a way out. He provided a way to my first interview as a flight attendant, which is what I have done for three years now. I worked for two different airlines (the first was a bit of a flop) and lived in five different states: Phoenix AZ, Washington DC, Portland OR, Denver CO, and back to Vancouver, WA (which is “north of the river” in Portland).

In the book of Hebrews, God says, “I will shake that which can be shaken so that that which cannot be shaken will remain,” which pretty much defines those few years of my life. In the process I learned more deeply who God is, who I am, and how God works to put our broken world back together. I have been supported mostly by a small band of international friends who keep in contact through email, and through local fellowships in Denver and the Portland area. On the other side of the shaking, I was left with my faith in God and this dream to help women who are trafficked.

Friends in many different circles kept telling me that I needed to join YWAM, Youth with a Mission. On a whim one night I looked up Discipleship Training Schools (DTS), which is like YWAM 101, and found one that focused on Social Justice and the Arts. Through others, God confirmed that this was the direction He was leading me. I suspected that I would be joining YWAM on staff someday, but I didn’t know when or where. DTS is the first step toward joining staff, and THAT is how I ended up in Pismo Beach, CA, learning from other missionaries and studying social justice issues; THAT is how I ended up in India and Southeast Asia, bringing the mercy, love, and good news of Jesus to hurt and broken people.

In November this year I will be returning on staff with Pismo Beach. I will probably be involved with many ministries at the base, but one prominent option is writing for a social justice magazine published weekly online and quarterly in print! I remember back three years ago when I thought that was how I would begin. God has been so faithful through it all.

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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