Missions

Wow, here we are at the end of another week already! And we are officially halfway through our lecture phase which means we are also getting more and more excited for outreach! We are leaving for Thailand on December 9! But before that comes Thanksgiving and my family is coming to see us and that is SUPER exciting!!

Here is some of the scenery we get to enjoy every day!

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Montana is Gorgeous!:)

This weeks lectures were on missions and it was awesome! Our speaker was Scott (not sure what his last name is:/) He is an American who moved to Taiwan with his family, they have been there for 12 years working on a YWAM base. He is very passionate about missions and having him teach was amazing! If we ever doubted that we are called, those doubts were completely blown away! Did you know that we should need a greater call to stay, then we need to go? Because God has already called ALL OF US! He gave us the great commission. Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God has still called some us to stay and have jobs so we can send others, but we are all called to participate. Our options are to go, send or disobey! And the world is in desperate need of goers. Rather then not doing anything and saying, well I’m not sure God wants me to go. We should be saying, God I know that u gave us the great commission so unless you close all the doors I’m going! Rather then putting on the brakes and having God kick us out, we should be stepping out and letting him push us back if he wants us to stay, BECAUSE he has already told us to go! Approximately 1/3 of the world is christian, 1/3 is people who aren’t christians but they have access to the gospel, the last 1/3 is people who have never heard a word of the gospel. They don’t know a single christian. What are we doing about it? We are sending approximately 86% of our money and missionaries to people that are already christians. We are sending 12% to the people who already have access to the gospel and 2% to the people who have nothing!! Is this fair? Is this what God intended? A quote that I really liked was: ‘It is better to miss the will of God, trying, then to miss it by doing nothing at all! Scott told us repeatedly; ‘We are at war! When you became a child of God, you also became an enemy of the devil! What are we doing about it? God never meant for us to take his gift of salvation and hold it close and keep it all for ourselves! He wants us to share it! To spread it across all the nations so others can experience his forgiveness too. We shouldn’t be living for him for the blessing that comes out of that, we should rather be living for him so we can be a blessing to those around us. Quote’ Blessing is like manure, when it is left on a pile it becomes a nasty, awful, smelly mess, but if it is spread out across the land it can do great things.’ How are we living? Does our life say that we have Heaven on our mind? That we realize this life will pass away and we are only here for a short time? When our culture and the people around us are going one way, are we willing to see God’s heart and say NO! We need to go this way! Or do we get caught up in the ways of world. Do we lose our focus on Christ and just kind of go with the flow? Do we fear man more then we fear God? Jesus says, I am so worth it!

Like I said… Scott is very passionate about missions, and after listening to him all week, it is simply impossible not to feel the weight of what God has asked us to do. But it was a week that we enjoyed.

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This is the nursery where Lakenzie and Kristina spend Most of their time:)

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We are still enjoying our time here, and its really rather crazy how these 2 tiny rooms and a community bathroom:) have become home to us. We have come to love the people here and they have become like family. As much as I long for privacy sometimes I can’t imagine stepping outside without meeting other people, I think maybe I used to be lonely and didn’t even know it!:) Eating a meal with just the 3 of us I’m assuming was VERY quiet and maybe a little boring? We have these guys that serve breakfast sometimes and they make a big deal out of it. If u walk in the door looking like you’re half asleep or like you got out of the wrong side of bed, they seem to make it their personal goal to put a smile on your face before you leave and most times I think they accomplish it. And evenings… let’s just say I’m pretty sure we got bored evenings and didn’t realize it because here theres so much happening here, theres soccer, basketballl, volleyball, a pool table, a ping pong table and then theres people just chilling or making a big scene in every corner of this place, so theres never a dull moment and if you’re looking for some activity you will probably be able to find it, there is, after all, only like 200 people living here:)

And this our little sweetie down by the lake one beautiful afternoon.

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And that concludes week 6! Be Blessed!:)

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God Loves Portland

So… Last week I didn’t get to write because friday night was spent packing up for portland and then we headed out at 8:15 Sat. morning. Sunday afternoon we had a couple hours off but we didn’t have wifi! I was so disappointed because sitting down and writing helps me put my thoughts in order and then my mind is organized and ready for the next batch of information. HA:)

So… We started for Portland, Oregon at 8:15 Sat morning. It is a 9 hr drive but we had a 6 van caravan with 70  something people and we stopped every 2 hours so it took more like 12 hours! We stayed in a church and slept on the floor with sleeping bags which was an interesting experience with Kenzie, the first night she slept beside me and twice I had to literally get up and get her because the floor had no bounds and she ended up like 6 feet from where she should have been, so the next night we were wise and put her between us, only to have her push her self up over her pillow so I still had to run after her! Yay:) So the next night we were even wiser and made sure our pillows were up against the wall. That worked out perfectly:) We only had 1 guys shower and 1 ladies shower for these 70 people so they did a shower sign up thing and each person only got 10 minutes! On Thursday (our last day there) we had a drain dilemma and had water coming up the sinks from all the water usage in a building that was never meant to have so many people showering etc. for such a long time. But they got it fixed and everything worked out. Sunday morning we went to church or more like stayed at church:) It was awesome, they had a choir and some of our people actually got to sing in the choir. Sunday evening we were working with some people that do a Sunday night meal for the homeless under a bridge. Some of us served food and the rest just mingled and chatted with the homeless people that came out. That was interesting, some are lonely and very open to share their life story while others look at u suspiciously, give a short answer to your question or greeting and walk off before u have a chance to say more. Monday-Thursday morning we had worship and lectures till 12. Monday afternoon we went to a kitchen were they serve daily meals to the homeless. Some people were polite and said please, thanks etc. but I was amazed at the attitude of some of them. We are giving them a free meal, but they act like they deserve it. One guy came a little late and we were out of hot food, but still had pastries, he walked out the door without getting anything muttering something about this being the worst kitchen he ever saw! I think we often throw the homeless into only one category but in reality they are all individual people with different backgrounds, stories and even different goals. One homeless guy became a christian and started helping out at a soup kitchen. After being there for awhile he was offered a paid position, but he turned it down! He told them to give the job to a lady that has children to feed. Another lady has been on the streets for 2 months but is working on getting out, she said about 3 more months then she should be able to rent something. It was amazing to me, some are there by circumstance with very little choice, some are working to get out and others choose to be there. Monday evening we evangelized in a mall. People simply walked through the mall praying for people they saw or even striking up conversations. Tuesday afternoon we went to a womens shelter. We helped prepare a meal, then got to play with the kids. This place has a 3 step program which woman can go through to get them off the streets and to help them overcome addictions. Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon we evangelized on the streets. Wednesday it rained the whole time and it wasn’t just raining a little bit:) Some of us headed inside to the mall or coffee shops while others braved the rain and stayed on the streets. Thursday night we went to Night Strike. It’s something they do every Thursday night from 7 to 10:30. It’s under a bridge and they go all out! They serve the homeless in so many ways… They served a meal, and then there was a foot washing station, nail polishing station, popcorn station, sign making station, cloths station, haircutting station and they even had a dentist and medical clinic in RVs. So some people got a job for the evening and others just mingled and lent a listening ear to the homeless. Friday morning we packed up and headed back to the base  around 7:00. Once again we took our time and didn’t actually get here till about 9:30 last night. We stopped at a place to see a GORGEOUS waterfall. It was a short trek part way up the mountain, then we got to stand on a bridge above one fall and were looking up at another. Yea it was beautiful!

Today we decided since we were with people almost every minute this week we were going to spend some family time in Kalispell. (Our closest big town which is about 30 minutes from here) So we slept in till 9:00 and then gathered our weeks worth of laundry, (did I mention that we couldn’t do laundry while we were away?:) and we went to town and found a place to do laundry. Then we ate breakfast and stopped at Mcdonalds for frappes. And then we came back and were ready to see people again! Tonight we had a Harvest Party here at the base which was fun. They has some competitions, a popcorn stand and candy corn and hot apple cider everywhere.

Lectures this week were on personalities and how they will help us work together as a team on outreach. God made everyone unique with different strong points and different weak points therefore if we love and accept one another just as God made us we can work together and accomplish amazing things through God to farther his kingdom!

Oh, and I should add I think the final number was five people that came to know Christ this week!:):):)

And that concludes week 5! Be blessed:)

Hearing God’s Voice

This week’s lecture was on Hearing God’s Voice by Mike Phillips. Once again it was incredible! We learned a lot on prayer and intercession. One thing I found really amazing was this: “In the same way the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 (NIV) Have you ever heard the idea that you shouldn’t ask someone how you can pray for them or if they have specific prayer requests? Yea that one was new to me too. This verse, however, tells us that we don’t know what we ought to pray for, so rather then asking people, we need to ask God what to pray for others. We also need to ask him what to pray for ourselves. In class we did an exercise to show us what this looks like, Mike gave us the names of a couple, said they were missionaries in some other country (I forget where:/ ) right now the husband is there and the wife is in the states. That was all the info he gave us. Then we were supposed to listen to what God told us, then pray out the things we felt led to pray about for them. Then we shared with the group what we had prayed for. The amazing part? By the time we were done we had an idea of what was going on in this couple’s life, and Mike confirmed that the facts were right. (He knows these folks) WOW just WOW! God really is amazing. I always knew he was big and powerful and more then I can ever comprehend or imagine, but having him speak directly to you is simply amazing, it makes his presence so much more real and powerful. He becomes more then just facts you know in your head to someone who’s presence you FEEL in your heart. And him speaking to you doesn’t just happen when you are praying for someone else. You can ask him anything at any time and if you are willing to listen, he is willing to speak to you. Here’s a challenge: Ask him how he feels about you. You don’t need any special skills or anything at all: JUST ASK!:) Another reason why it’s so important to listen to God’s voice is so you know how, when and where you should do something, because if you do the ‘right thing’ at the ‘wrong time’ it still makes it WRONG! Another thing I found fascinating was the fact that most people have lies that they believe, but don’t realize they believe them! Do you think: Something is wrong with you? When you need them people will leave?  You cannot be loved? You don’t need people? Or they will let you down? This is some of the lies we don’t no we believe! So if u find yourself in one of these categories take it to God and ask him to show you the root of this lie. Then ask him to help you process it and to give you the truth. Receive the truth and let go of all bitterness, sadness, and anger in the original memory. And thats what we learned this week:)

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This is Kenzie’s opinion on this place:) Although she is liking it more and more!

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 Each week this place feels a bit more like home, even though each week I miss home just a bit more. Next weekend we will be packing up and heading to portland, Oregon for one week. It’s what they call mini outreach. Its a 10 hour drive, and we leave next saturday and come back the following friday. Other then that I don’t no many details yet. This week Lakenzie had a head cold and an awful cough so once again she didn’t have the best week but she still did really good. Every morning she went with Kristina willingly. (The candy trick is still working:) One morning before it was time for them to leave, Gabby, one of the DTS students gave Kenzie some skittles, after that Kenzie couldn’t wait to leave because she knew she couldn’t eat the candy till she left me. It was rather funny:) Getting to know all these knew people is interesting, they come from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures. They have different accents, different beliefs (we are all christians but every denomination has different strong points). We are all so very different but are all here for the same reason. We love Jesus and have a desire to know him and make him known! So yea getting to know all these folks is a lot of fun… And I believe that concludes week three! Be Blessed!    

Father Heart of God

This week’s lectures were on the Father Heart of God. It was incredible! God loves us no matter what. Doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. You can not change his love for you.That’s not saying you can’t walk away from him because you can. He gave you that choice. But if you do, he still loves you. And he’s willing to meet you exactly where you are, right now, right here. You don’t need to change before you seek him because he already knows who you are. You don’t need to hide some ugly sins before you seek him, because he already knows your heart and its deep dark secrets better then you do! So just seek him and hand him all your worries, fears, sins and ugliness that you are so afraid of revealing and don’t be afraid because he already knows about it whether you confess it to him or not, so why not just give it to him? It will make you feel better, and it will take away the things that are keeping you from fully experiencing his love. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE!! Because he loves you! Exactly where you are, right here, right now. He also loves you just the way you are. You know those times when you look at someone else and you think: “Wow they always know just the right words to encourage someone, why can’t I be like that? We all know this is called envy and it’s not ok to be envious, but we still tend to compare.Or we look at it from a different angle and think: “Wow they are great encouragers, I have a lot of spiritual growing to do! This may or may not be wrong. It’s ok to see the strong points in others and strive to live a more Christ-like life. But the thing is: We need to be ok with where we are right now, because before you were even born God knew you would be right where you are now, on this precise day. You definitely didn’t surprise him by your spiritual growth or even your lack of growth. He knew you would be right here on this day. So seek him from where you are right now, not from a mile down the road where you think you should be or where everyone around you seems to be. It won’t work! You know why? Because he’s back there, waiting on you, in the place where you really are. So, theres just a bit of what they are pumping our heads full of, and honestly that’s just a very, very tiny piece of it:) How about a fun fact: We were told: the average message at church is about 30 min long, so the amount of time a DTS student spends in lectures is approximately 7 years worth of church! I thought that was pretty cool:) I also finally understood why my mind feels a little overloaded sometimes:)

As for us, I think I can say we have adjusted! Lakenzie did so much better this week! (Thanks for your prayers) After spending a whole weekend with us, she seemed a little more ok with hanging out with Kristina, and then there is the fact that we started bribing her with candy. Yea the power of candy really is amazing:) But she really was much more excited to hang out with Kristina, she would come back to us telling us excitedly: monkeys! Kristina! Toys! Most times I’m not sure what she’s saying but we know she enjoyed whatever it was:) If I’m not around she asks Kristina: Mama class? So I think she figured out I left but I’ll be back! We face timed Michael (my brother) one night so she could see Josiah (my little brother and Kenzie’s favorite person) again, she didn’t say much, I think she was a little baffled by the whole thing, but when we hung up she burst into tears saying where’s Josiah? As for me and Checkers we didn’t yet regret coming here. Other then getting married or having Lakenzie I think it’s the best thing we ever decided to do!:) Life here is great even with a lack of of space, we formed our own routine and this is becoming the new normal. Get up at 6:30, breakfast at 7, worship at 8, after worship Kenzie goes with Kristina, then we have lectures from 8:30 -12:15, meet up with Kenzie and Kristina for lunch, then I put Kenzie down for her nap, then its back to the lecture hall to do either tracks, outreach prep, or small groups from 1:30-3:00, from 3-5 is work duties, dinner at 5:15, then we are off for the night, except tuesday evenings we have a lecture and worship from 7-9 and thursday evenings we have like a church service from 7-9. Thats what a normal week (mon-fri) around here looks like. Weekends are free! Here’s a small explanation on some of the stuff I mentioned above. Tracks: They teach us how to take our talents or hobbies and turn them into ministry tools. You can choose: Dance, Music, Photography etc. Outreach prep: They teach us different things about the country we are going to. Culture. How to dress etc. Which by the way… WE ARE GOING TO THAILAND!!! Small Groups is exactly what it sounds like, they split the 52 students into groups of 5 or 6 people. Groups consist of all guys or all girls. Then we get together to process what we learned. And work duties is also exactly what it sounds like to everyone gets a job to do, I think the main point is the physical activity since we do so much sitting and listening all day.

Miss Kenzie got extremely tired of her carseat on the way here so when we were doing some really slow driving/sightseeing she got to sit up front.

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The beautiful Glacier National Park.

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And then threre’s some horses that Joey a lady here at YWAM takes care of! Kenzie loved them!:)

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And that concludes week 2!:) Be blessed!