Friday, April 8, 2011

God loves ME and wants ME to experience His goodness too!

So one of the things I have struggled with my whole life is knowing that God actually wants ME to experience every bit of His goodness too.  For some of you you may wonder why on earth I feel that way.... others, will know exactly what I mean.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is Gods will to heal and to love on people.  I feel it for others and I see it every day.... I guess I just felt that somehow I was disqualified.  Maybe it's because I have yet to see the healing I have wanted so desperately for myself, who knows.  When I came to Bethel, healing for myself was the last thing I was going for.  I just want to see those around me experience the incredible goodness of God in any and every way they need.  Provision for example is one way that I know God well.  He has been so faithful in keeping His word to me when He said "you will not lack" when I made the decision to come here to Bethel.  Every month one way or another my mortgage gets paid, and every month it is a complete miracle.  Every month my account in NZ goes down to 2c or less and yet my c/c bills and mortgage (usually about $1300 total) gets paid.  For those of you who have blessed me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It has totally been a God thing and every month He is creative in how He provides.  I am ALMOST to the point where I don't worry, because I know He will come through.  I don't ask anyone and usually don't tell anyone my need, God just provides.  In fact, here at Redding, I had a stranger give me $1000 cheque!!! She just told me God told her to bless me!  I nearly fainted when I saw it!  It was just what I needed!  Anyway.... back to the original reason for this post (all though that all falls into the category of GOD LOVES ME).  In Feb I found a lump... not a small one, and not a 'oh that's nothing' one.  It was a tiny bit smaller than a golf ball and was as hard as a rock.  I'm not quite sure how I missed it but well, it was quite a shock.  When things like this happen, you go in to 'survival mode' or in my case- 'maybe if I ignore it, it will go away' mode.  At the time Mel was visiting but instead of telling her I decided not to tell anyone.  As most of you know, our Mum died of cancer and she actually had ovarian cancer before we were born (when she was exactly my age) so the fear I instantly felt was pretty intense.  Because of this, I didn't want to tell Mel or my Dad because I didn't want them to feel the way I was.  I eventually told Lacey my best friend here and she was like "you have to go to the Dr".  One small problem with that- I have no insurance here in USA and well, i HATE doctors and refused to do anything that would put a damper on my trip to Kenya.  So that's what I did... nothing.  As I went to Kenya, I would struggle with things like feeling like I deserved it because of the stress I had put myself through in the last 2+ years.  I knew God didn't make me sick but I somehow disqualified myself for Him to want to heal me because I knowningly put myself under that stress.  As I was in Kenya I thought to myself, if I can just remember a word I've gotten or something I know I will do that I haven't done yet, then I know I will live because if I haven't done it yet, I can't be "taken out".  The only thing I could think of that I know without a shadow of a doubt is that I will raise the dead.... and although I was definitely looking for some dead people to bring back, I was also scared that if I did, the I wouldn't have anything to hold onto.  I guess I'm being very transparent in this post but I have discovered that apparently I am not the only person that struggles with these feelings.  ;)  So anyway, Kenya came and went and I saw God's amazing healing power through myself and the team.... but yet I wasn't sure I could believe it for myself.  When I got back, Lacey didn't mention it so I didn't either then she went on her missions trip so I figured I was free to continue my denial.  On Monday (Mar 28th) I woke up and knew I HAD to go to the Dr.  I finally found some place that would take me for free (yes, believe it or not, that exists in America).  I finally gave in and told another friend who was already taking me to lunch that day and he took me to the Dr's and stayed with me while I shook like a leaf and was absolutely terrified.  When I finally got to see the Dr, the look on her face when she found it didn't help at all.  She took me out to the receptionist and was like I want her to have the quickest sonogram and mammogram you can get her booked in for.  NOT what I needed to hear.  Oh, and I don't ever suggest googling your symptoms... it only breeds fear!  So for the next week I was shit scared to say the least.  It seemed that with the 5hr daylight savings time difference to NZ and other circumstances, my family and friends were just not available (not that they even knew I needed them) so although I could get myself to a place of feeling God's overwhelming Peace, I quickly worked myself into a "oh crap, I'm gonna die" hole.  On the Wed I had a meeting with Marlene my Revival Group pastor and was only planning and talking to her about whether or not I was going to stay for 2nd year.  Completely unplanned it just came out of my mouth what was going on.... before I could take it back I had said it.  She immediately wanted me to let our Revival Group (about 60 people) pray for me that afternoon.  THIS was exactly what I didn't want but since I was so scared and felt so alone I figured, what the heck, it can't get any worse.  After a few hours of reassuring from one of my close friends I agreed and let them pray for me.  It was really powerful and I felt such incredible love and support from my 'extended Redding family'.  I went and checked it and it felt like it had definitely shrunk when they prayed.... Keep in mind, we see tumors disappear every single week here!  That night I went to my friends house and sat in the hot tub, when I got out, it was back to the original size.  I felt totally let down and even more upset than before but I didn't know what to do now.  My birthday was Sunday- I tried desperately to put on a happy face and I had an amazing day with awesome friends, but so many other things were going on in my mind, I didn't have a chance to hear from much of my family, Lacey and Ruth were gone.... it was one of the hardest days of my life.  I sat on the floor at church and thought "this is most likely my last birthday and my family doesn't even know".  Total pity party on my part.  I'm not sure why I ever doubt God but when it was looking as bad as it did, I knew i had a very thin line between giving up and actually walking out what I know I believe to be true- that God is a good God, all the time- and most importantly, that He loves ME.  Monday came and I had my sonogram at 4.30.  Blake and Dania were amazing and my rocks that day (and the week before too for that matter).  Completely assuring me everything would be alright we headed to the Dr.  When the nurse started doing the sonogram she kept saying "hmmm, this is interesting", you really only need to worry if it is hard like a rock, big, and if it doesn't hurt"  I'm sitting there thinking- wow, this is great, it is ALL those things!  She spent 20 min trying to take pictures, then she had the Dr come in and started talking to him..... apparently she couldn't find ANYTHING!!!  THe Dr checked me out as well and was like, "well, there is nothing there now so I'm not sure what was there before".  I'm laying there in disbelief and saying to them "well I guess I can explain it, I believe in miracles and I go to  Bethel where we see them every week in the healing rooms"... I think they thought I was crazy!  But quite frankly, I didn't care what they thought, because it was GONE!!!

So yeah, God loves me, and you, and every single person on this planet immeasurably and He had Jesus pay the price for ALL sickness, whether we bring it on ourselves or not!  I had 0% faith for myself, but those around me had all that was needed.  Faith is just the rate of exchange, it doesn't matter who has it.  I learned so many valuable lessons I can't even begin to tell you them all.  Finally I told my family on the other side of the months of fear and drama.... and I now realise maybe I should have trusted that God would use them to support me, not let them feel the fear I felt.  I am honestly still in shock about the whole thing and if I haven't told you personally and this is how you find out, I'm sorry, it has only been a few days and personally, I just want to sleep for a week (but I can't because I have SOOOO much homework) and let it all sink in.  I wanted to write this so anyone could read it because I know it will bless many.  I shared this with 1400 people at school on Tues morning and so I figured I best share it with all of you.  God is good.... ALL the time.

Me giving my testimony at school in front of 1300 people.


Ok, so I have been slightly busy lately so this has taken a few weeks to get around to.  I'm not sure where to begin so I will start at the beginning.  We left San Fran and had a 16hr flight directly to Dubai where we stayed the night and were kindly given a quick tour of Dubai by some of the Bethel affiliates there.  We got to go to the largest mall in the world which was next to the largest building in the world.  Everything in Dubai is done with excellence and I learned some very interesting facts- petrol/gas is cheaper than water, and you pay more for your car license plate than you do your actual car sometimes- their license plate is a status symbol so the lower the number, the more you pay for it.... up to 45million for # 3 or something!!!  Wow.  I wasn't really of fan of it as the Muslim culture is not at all friendly towards western women.... oh well, I guess I just don't have to go there again.  It was a cool experience anyway.  The next morning we caught a flight to Nairobi and then had a 5hr incredibly BUMPY drive on a bus (that became our close friend) to Nyahururu to the Thompson Falls Lodge.  This is the nicest hotel there and it was way better than I was expecting, but still not even 2 or3 star when it comes to USA standards.  By the time we got to the hotel we were all pretty exhausted so we got a good nights sleep even though it was completely opposite times as home. (11hrs difference to be exact).  Day 1: We had an amazing buffet breakfast (like we did every day) and then headed to Heroes of the Nations  which is Kenyas largest orphange (500 kids) and is closely linked with Bethel (the man who started and funds it goes to Bethel and we send teams there every year). When we got to Heroes, they were all waiting for us singing and surrounding the bus as we pulled up.  As we got off, one at a time, they swarmed us and attached themeselves to any part of us they could grab.  These ended up being our kids for the 10 days we were their.  No matter where you went, they were with you and attached to you.  They would argue with each other about who got to be closest to you and if you had to go through a doorway.... that's ok, they didn't let go- they just figured out away to get through all at the same time.  It was amazing and overwhelming all at once.  They were so happy and just wanted to know all about you, your family, friends, and life.  Day 1 they put on a talent show for us and WOW, they can dance!!!!  It made us feel even whiter than we already were!  Their worship services put ours to shame (so to speak)... they were so passionate and expressive, it was amazing!  When we finally went back to the hotel we were all pretty exhausted but so so happy!  The next few days we ministered at the Bible School... to the 3rd and 4th year students.  Some of us preached and we prophecied and prayed for them.  It was amazingly powerful and we quickly made friends with them and they really blessed us as much as we poured out to them.  I preached on healing which was awesome to finally do.  It's hard being at Bethel and getting able to do anything like preaching.... on the missions trips, everyone has the ability to let their strengths shine.  I really loved doing it although it was the first time I had preached with an interpreter.  After I preached on healing, God healed all of them who came up or who we had words of knowlege for.  It was so awesome to see the team activated and just going for it.  Most days after we ministered  at the Bible School we would go back to Heroes to have lunch and then see the kids where would run from who knows where to get to the bus when they heard it coming.  On the Thursday we went to Nakuru which is a larger city and we ministered to the 1st and 2nd year Bible Students.  When we were there they had a lunch time service at the church we were at.  It was packed out and they had an amazing worship session then a revival preacher.  At the end we did a Fire Tunnel (sheep dip) and we found out later that people were so touched by the Holy Spirit that some were unable to go back to work and were there stuck to their chairs for 4 or more hours.  Awesome!  The highlight of my trip was the day we went to the slums (I'm pretty sure it was Wed).  It was poverty that I had never seen before.  As we drove through the 'streets' of the slums on one of the first days we were there, the kids would run to the bus and follow us for blocks.  We got out a few times to take pictures and they just LOVED us.  They loved having their photos taken and wanted to instantly see what they looked like.  There seemed to be no parents anywhere and kids everywhere.... we even saw a baby (a few months old) just sleeping (I'm hoping) on the front porch with no one else in sight.  I personally, think every person should go to a 3rd world country to experience it.  It was a wake up call.... yet they seemed soooo much happier than many people I know.  On the Wed when we went, we went with the 3-4th year bible students and got off the bus to minister to them.  It was amazing.  The first lady we spoke to (many of them spoke Swahili and the Bible students could translate) her husband was blind so I suggested we go to their house (which was smaller than my bedroom) to pray for him.  When we got there he told us he had neck, shoulder and back pain (from sleeping on the wood slat couch).  As soon as we prayed the pain left all those places and he said he felt good.  I asked if we could take him outside so he could test his eyes.  In 2007 he had had a surgery which made him completely blind and his eyes were quite scarred and obviously blind.  We released the Kingdom of Heaven on him and then asked him if anything was different.... he was like "oh yeah, I can see the clouds".... I nearly fell over but they weren't surprised at all, it was just a 'matter of fact' statement.  I loved how easily they believed what we told them.  We said Jesus died for your healing 2000 years ago and they believed and received it.... if only we could get people who have 100 options of doctors to go to to believe that easily.  Here, they have the "believe God, or die" mentality.... so it's easy.  I had quite a wake up call.  So after we left him, we were walking down the 'road' and a lady called out in Swahili and asked what we were doing... we told her we were praying for people for healing.  She told us she was nearly blind and could barely see us standing right in front of her.  So we stopped and prayed for her.... right away, she could see almost the whole way down the lane!  Come On Jesus!!!!  It was awesome.  As we were talking to here this big man comes and grabs my arm and goes "hey, what are you doing in my neighborhood" and I - completely oblivious to the fact this could have been a potentially dangerous situation" turned to him and said.  Jesus is healing people!!!  This lady got her sight back... he asked the lady in Swahili if that was true and she said yes and started pointing to things she could see.  I noticed he had one arm folded against his body so I reached out and said "what's wrong with your arm, do you have any pain?"  He said "yes, I dislocated my elbow" so I instantly grabbed his arm and pulled it out to me and said "Jesus will fix that for you".  I wasn't even thinking, it seemed like just a natural thing to do.... instantly the pain left and he was swinging his arm around.  He goes "that's great, can you fix my drinking problem too?"  It was awesome.  We got to pray for him and I called out his destiny and he was so blessed and went away a happy man.  When we got back to the bus it seemed like all the kids in the slums had followed all our little groups back. There were heaps of them so we circled them up and taught them duck duck goose.  Apparently I was the only one dumb enough to "goose" one of them.  They lapped me they were so fast.  It was entertaining to say the least.  The kids were filthy, they were sick, and smelled awful but not for a second did it even affect me or stop me from hugging, kissing, and loving on them.  They were so  love starved it was incredible to see them respond to even a hug.  That was one of the highlights of my life.  When we got back on the bus it was amazing to hear all the teams testimonies.  One lady told them that the night before she had had a dream that a plane landed in the field next to the slums and white people got out and came and healed them all.... that was pretty much what happened!  We had legs grow out, pain leave, eyes healed- just to name a few.
On the Saturday we went on a Safari.  It was fun but it was cold and rainy in the morning so we didn't get to see any 'cats' and that was a bit sad.  We did see giraffe's, zebras, buffalo, flamingo's, antelope, baboons, little pesky monkeys, and the incredibly beautiful scenary of Kenya.  We had some awesome times in the bus and it was a great way to relax after all  the ministry we had done.
Sunday we split into 6 teams to preach.  A couple went to Nakuru and preached on the radio, 4 teams preached to the kids at Heroes and the team I was on preached at the church in Nyahururu.  Again, I preached on healing and the first lady that came up had a tumor on her leg.  I prayed for like 10 secs for the tumor then I prophecied over her.  When I was done giving her the word I asked if she could feel any difference in the tumor... her response "oh yes, it left as soon as you told it to".  Wow!  I believed what I preached but yet I was shocked at how quick and easy it was-- I guess that's the way God always intends it to be!  We then had another fire tunnel and just loved on the people.  It was such an awesome experience and I loved every bit of it.  I guess in some ways I forgot that I was born for this.... so when I was getting to do it, I felt more alive than I ever have.
Monday was our last day and we spent the morning with the kids at Heroes.  Saying goodbye was hard, especially when they were all crying.  My kids were great though, they even wanted to add me on Facebook??!!  Don't ask me how they all have FB accounts?!  I took a list of things they wanted for Christmas and it was amazing how little they would be happy with.  Things like dolls, a DVD, a CD, and cars.... totally doable and I look forward to being able to send them everything they wanted.  As we drove away I knew I would never be the same and that I had gained a compassion for others like I never thought was possible.  EVERYONE should do something like this.... its makes alot of what we worry about, come into perspective.
Sorry it took so long to write this but as you'll see from the next post, it was an intense time for me.  Below is the link to my FB pictures of the trip (you don't need an account to see them).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The New Year 2011

Wow, I thought this was something I'd be really good at keeping up!  ;)  So several months have gone by now and so much has happened I don't even know where to begin.  BSSM is going so fast I'm finding myself starting to question "have I gotten/am I getting what I came for?".  I often think I haven't done that much changing but then I am in circumstances where I go "WHOA!!!  Ok, yep, I'm different".  I am realising the depth of the work God is doing in my life and heart and the foundations that are continuing to be solidified.  I've been so blessed to have amazing righteousness identity based preaching over the last 10years that I always knew I was coming here with a solid realisation of who I am in Him.  Being here is just building on that in ways that are blowing my mind! A day doesn't go by where we don't get to hear or experience the incredible supernatural ways of God.  Provision to start with:  People have crazy financial breakthroughs all the time and it is awesome to see God's creativity in that alone.  I am also one of those people.  I can't wait to get to the end of this year and tell of how God has gotten me through this.  Every month is a complete miracle and I am astounded at how God has sustained me over here with no savings, no job, and a bucket load of debt.  I hate debt!!!  I will never get in it again.  It is such a curse.  I'm also not one to NOT have a job....thanks to the wonderful work ethics instilled by my parents, I value and respect the idea of being self sufficient.  God has however told me that "I will not lack" while I am here and I have felt from day 1 of being here not to work.  If I feel to go get a job, I am sure that God will provide me with a great job (and a car to get there).  So every month I have had enough money to pay my mortgage, pay minimum payments on 3 credit cards in NZ AND pay my rent and living expenses here.  Wow, He is so faithful.  It's to the point where I was like "ok God, I need $30 by tomorrow in my NZ bank account" to meet this bill.... so I wrote to someone who owed me $20 for a book I had ordered for them.... the next morning I woke  up to check my account and found $30 in there with a note from them saying "it's not much but I threw in an extra $10".  That just showed me how faithful God is every time.  The other day we got our phone bill and I had made several calls to NZ on it (usually I would use my Dad's calling card).... these phone calls unbeknownst to me were $3.50 a minute.... what do they think, NZ is a 3rd world country or something??!!!..... so anyway, after nearly having a small heart attack at the $117 I now owed for ONE month of phone calls (keep in mind we hadn't gotten the bill for Dec yet in which I had made LOTS more).  I went into my room and said "God, I don't have this money, and I have no way of getting it right now apart from a miracle.... please forgive me if I was ignorant or missed you telling me not to call".  So I decided to call AT&T.  Several people told me that they are terrible to deal with and not to expect a good result.  I decided that I have favour on my life and that I would expect that favour to be with AT&T.  I got a lovely lady named Sarah and to make a long story short, not only did she completely wipe ALL ($90 worth) November calls, but she changed all my Dec and future calls to 9c/min!!!!  Come on Jesus!  My Daddy loves me.  That is one of the things I really wanted to KNOW coming here this year (His love for me) and that is just one of the many ways he has shown me.  I had a deadline for my missions trip at the beginning of Jan that I needed $1500 for.  I was sitting in bed one day and was like "God, who can I give to.... what can I do to bless someone else with their trip".... "what do I need to do to get this $1500?  Is there something I can sell, do I get a job, what?".... So I signed on to FB and saw someone asking for people to sow into their trip and I felt to sow $15 (not much but when you have nothing, it's a fair bit).... I had left my wallet at someone's house the night before so I said "God, I determine in my hear that I'm going to give that $15 as soon as I get my purse back- please remind me".  Later that day I was overwhelmed and blessed by someone paying the $1500 that I needed.... and it was before I had even had my wallet back!!!!  Of course I sowed the $15 as soon as I did!  God is so good that before I could even plant the seed, I had reaped the harvest.  Now I only have $860 to go (due in a month).

This year is going to be the best year of my life.... I just feel it in every part of my being.  God is sooooo incredibly good and I just want to know HIM more and more.  Sure, I want the miracles and the supernatural in my life, but I want Him more.  It's out of that amazing place of intimacy that all the other stuff comes.  It's 100% His heart to take care of His kids- whether it be through amazing ideas, jobs, inheritances, generosity of others.... anything.... He'll use it.  I just love learning to hear Him every minute of every day.... it's the ultimate love.... He is filling places in my heart that I didn't know existed and out of that I desire to know Him even more.  I love being able to share the wisdom of where He's brought me with others.  I realise how much wealth I have in me.  God's allowed me to sow into other people's lives quite a bit here and given me amazing friendships.  My roommates are amazing and I feel like Lacey and I have known each other for our whole lives.... I said to her the other day.... if the only thing I got out of this year was meeting you, it would have been worth it.  Friendships like that are one in a million and I feel as though God has seriously blessed my life with several people like over the last 25 years.  ;) I got to spend Christmas with one of those people!!!  Tiff (my bestie since I was 8) flew me home for Christmas (home = Erie, PA/Western NY).  I had my first white Christmas in 13 years and boy was it cold!!!!!  Gotta say though, it felt the most like Christmas in years---- but I am a fan of summer more.... if that makes sense.  There is just something about Jingle Bells that doesn't go well with Santa in shorts!!  It was so cold at times, i literally wanted to cry!  It all was worth it though and I had some amazing encounters with some of the most amazing people who I"ve been privileged to have in my life for years.  Even though I hated leaving there, I was also so excited to get back here and see the New Year in.  I also couldn't wait to get back to school (which I didn't ever think I would say).  The year has started off with a real sense of expectation of the amazing things about to come into my life.  Last year I really felt God stripping some of the areas in my life that have limited me from experiencing the best.... and even though some of them were really painful and hard to let go of, it is amazing to see (now that I've let go) how much I was being ripped off from what He wants to give me.  Good is enemy of the Best I always say.... I want to be able to give my best to everyone that is MEANT to be in my life and in turn receive the Best that God has for me in every area.

At the moment I'm seriously seeking what I need to do next year.  Although I love my family and friends in NZ, I really want to stay here over the summer and do 2nd year.  That will ultimately depend on the "go ahead" from Above- as you can't live like this without hearing that you're in the right place.  I guess we'll see.

Kenya-  Wow, I don't even know where to begin with the thoughts going through my mind about this missions trip.  I am 100% positive that this will change my life forever.... and not in one of those "wow, that changed my life--- then next week back to the same old mindset".... but SERIOUSLY never be the same again.  As I said in my 2nd post, this has been my lifelong dream.  We've had a few team meetings (one of them in the Dr's office getting numerous immunizations) and this last one just rocked me!  I am seriously asking God for a plan on how to guard my heart because I know I am going to be so overwhelmed by what I experience--- and I'm going to want to bring all 500 kids from the orphanage home with me (I'm always ending up with excess baggage it seems).  I'm really believing that God is going to abundantly supply for this trip because I want to be able to take things over for them and to make the most of these 11 days.  OOOOO and I am SO excited cause we are going on a safari while we are there!!!  Wahoo!!   I think my little 4mp camera I got 9 years ago, may need an upgrade!  Watch out Lion King, here I come!  So yeah, I can't even put into words what I'm feeling about Kenya.... if you are reading this though, I'd love if you would pray for divine encounters, supernatural provision, protection, and grace for this trip for all of us.  From what the leaders have said, the kids will challenge us more than we challenge them.  Apparently they have had so much awesome identity put into them since arriving at the orphanage, that they know they are going to change their world.  That is a work that I want to be a part of.... who knows where this trip is going to take me for the future??!!

Hmmm, what else.... The healing rooms have been the highlight of my experiences here so far.  Being the diverse backgrounds and beliefs that everyone coming to first year has, they don't allow you to pray for people until you are released as a prayer servant.... at first I thought it was a bit strange but then when you realise what they have cultivated here and the honour they show everyone, it just makes sense.  I'd prayed for several people before Christmas and we saw some amazing things (including a lady's eye sight restored and a broken wrist healed instantly)... but we were released as prayer servants over Christmas break and so this past Sat I got to actually actively participate in the healing rooms.  I was in my absolute element!!!!  I am looking forward to hearing back from some of the people we prayed for as I am certain God healed them but it was for things that have to be checked by the Dr before confirmation.  Metal disapperaing out of peoples bodies had been happening and major healings over skype!!!  There were several testimonies of cancer being healed over skype and one lady even flew out to Redding to give her testimony about it.  God is soooo good!  It is so awesome to see people who have been in pain or discomfort for years/sometimes their whole life, and it just goes instantly!  On here I have only really commented on things I've seen directly, but every week people's deaf ears and blind eyes open, backs healed, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, MS, headaches, food allergies.... GONE!  Heaven invades Earth!

I'm super excited about Mel coming to visit for 2 whole weeks in Feb!!!!  It is going to be soooo great to get to spend some time with her, have her experience some of what I'm doing.... and also to get some things from NZ that I've wanted over here (including my bag of beads/necklace making stuff- so I can make jewellery for the kids in Africa).  I do have a feeling she will want to move over tho ;)..... hehehe.... watch out Nathan, I'm already scouting out jobs for you here!  Oh, I almost forgot!  Jesus Culture had their 2011 Encounter here in Redding last weekend and God was soooo good to me!!!  I wanted to go to it so badly but the tickets were $60 and I couldn't afford to go.... long story short is I got to go, and I got to help out with the product table and so I got my retail fix!!  (selling it, not buying it- just to clarify).  I love love loved it and it reminded me of the heart I have for seeing young people being propelled into their destiny (not into church/religion) with the reality of who their Daddy is and how much He has for them.  I am seriously considering trying to get involved somehow with something along those lines.... but like everything at the moment... .I just have to hear!

Well I have more homework than you can imagine to finish and I don't want to look back on this year and feel at all like I missed out on anything (and so far I feel like the homework side of things hasn't been my strong point).  I love hearing from everyone so if your not on Facebook, email or skype me.  I hope that everyone feels the same excitement and expectation for 2011 as I do.  God is amazing and He is doing awesome things EVERYWHERE!!!  Much love. xoxoxo♥

Friday, November 5, 2010

Africa- A dream come true!

When I was probably 4 or 5 I remember watching a World Vision ad on TV with my Mum.  I remember being so impacted by the need in Africa with all the starving children that I wanted to give all my money to help them (which was maybe a $1 or 2).  From that day until now, if anyone had asked me what I would do if money wasn't an issue or if I could fulfil any dream that I had, I would say go to Africa.  I have specifically wanted to work in an orphanage there and be able to just love on the kids there and to give them hope.  It seems that next March, this dream will come true. At BSSM all the students go on at least one missions trip a year.  We were given 51 to choose from at the beginning of the school year and we got to choose our top 5 choices.  My #1 choice was Kenya.  I have NO idea how many people applied for it but between 1st and 2nd year students alone, there are at least 1200 possibilities with only 12 spots available.  The people leading the Kenya trip decided to interview us all to see why we chose Kenya.  That interview was one of the easiest I've ever been to as it is something I am so passionate about, and every answer came straight from my heart.  I can not even express how happy and privileged I feel to have been accepted.   Below is the description of what the trip entails:

God has begun a great work in Kenya!  This trip is focused on strengthening the leaders who are facilitating the movement today, and pouring into the children who will be the leaders of the next generation. We will be ministering at the largest orphanage in Kenya and teaching at a school of ministry. We will also be working in the slums, bringing the love and power of God to Kenya’s most needy.

As  you can see from the description, it is exactly what I have always wanted to do.  Now to the fun bits.  :)  I feel so blessed to be able to be here this year and to have my life's dream come true at the same time is just an awesome display of God's love for me in giving me the desires of my heart.  The things I'm discovering and learning over here are invaluable.  I know I already had a foundation of who God's made me to be, but as well as being able to see and be a part of amazing miracles in other peoples lives, I'm also having my heart and life exponentially expanded.  One thing I know I've always found challenging is asking for help.  I've always wanted to do it all myself and not be a burden to anyone else.  Gift giving is my love language.... but yet receiving is one of the things I find hardest.  This trip is $2900USD and instead of beating around the bush I figured I'd be completely upfront-- because one of the things I hate most is feeling like I'm being manipulated when it comes to money.  :)  I would love for you to consider sowing into my trip/expenses.  I need 10% by next week and then have to have it fully paid by early February.  (The trip is March 10-21st)  Any amount you can give is appreciated.  If you can't support me financially, I would love you just to pray for the trip- that we would be safe and have awesome God encounters with the people who's lives we are able to touch.  Below is a little tax info etc:

Financial gifts may be made online at This gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a statement at the end of the year for your tax records. If you wish your gift to be anonymous, please check the anonymous box. This will allow you to receive an end of year statement, but will not allow the student to see your name. This gift is non-refundable, and if for any reason a team member or team does not go, the money will support another mission trip sponsored by Bethel Church.

(If online payment is not an option, donations can be mailed to Bethel Church Attn: Bethel International 933 College View Dr. Redding, CA 96003.) This is the exact link if you would like to give with credit card online (please note this is in US Dollars).  

If you'd like to give into my NZ account it is:  National Bank- 06-0807-0172073-03 and I can transfer it over to the US.  

Even though I'm miles away from most of you, I love to hear from you all and see what's going on in your lives too.  Please email me at or message me on Facebook.  I'll keep updating my blog as well with the exciting journey I'm on.  Thank you so much for all the prayer and support I've already received from you all.  Please feel free to let me know if there is anything you need/want prayer for...  there is no thing too small that He doesn't see or want to help with.... I know that sounds cliché sometimes but it is the Truth and it's one thing I'm figuring out more and more by being over here.  Thanks again.  ♥

Much love,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One thing remains.... Love

Well here I am.... in Redding, California in the good ole U S of A doing the 1st year of Bethel's School of Supernatural Ministry.  Had you told me a year ago this is where I'd be I wouldn't have believed you.  What an incredible journey its been?!  Where to start- I  guess if your reading this you know most of the story so I don't really need to go into any of that.  To sum it up, I was tired of living a half and half life.  One that occasionally had some power of God showing up in it but  more than anything having a huge desire for it to be my permanent way of life.  For as long as I can remember now, I've just wanted to have a life that counts,  one that actually produces good things for those around me.  Being in a rut of common existence no longer satisfied so I asked God to shake it up.... and that He did!  Coming here was possibly the hardest decision that I have made and most of you know, it was alot of tears, lack of food, sleepless nights, indecisiveness, and complete confusion that  preceeded my choice to pack up my life into 2 suitcases and 1 carry on and move to the other side of the world- knowing NO ONE!  I look back now and think, why on Earth did I make it so hard?  The answer was there all along, it was my choice and either way, God would look after me.  And that He has.

Without going into the gory details- it took a miracle for me to get here and it will take many more to keep me here, but God gave me 4 words that I knew I was to hold onto this year- He said to me "you will not lack".  So thus the journey began.  I was so blessed to have my airfare given to me (my they in turn have every airfare they ever need provided).  I would have loved to have had the year 'secured' for me financially but then I guess I wouldn't need to rely on Him.  I told God that I wasn't interested in coming over here to be a charity case or to live like a pathetically poor student who people felt sorry for because I lived by the skin of my teeth.  So then my tuition was paid.... thank God (and the person who it came through).  When I told God I didn't want to rough it, not only did He listen but He blew me away with the amazing house he put me in.  It is beautiful and so are my 2 flatmates.  (and the 2 cats)  We live slightly out of town and are right by a golf course.  On my (very few) runs, I have seen snakes and a warning for a mountain lion that has been roaming around- not things I used to have to worry about running in Christchurch.  None the less, I love everything about it.  I don't have a car yet -but well I've given and loaned cars before so I think it's just a matter of time. ;)  I'm so blessed that I have amazing roomies who cart me to and fro- even if it means to Taco Bell.  Food is one thing I keep having to remind myself I don't have to eat all in a short amount of time (like most of my trips to USA).... usually I try to fit in all the amazingly yummy (not necessarily healthy) food into 2-3 wks, and now I have a good year to have it all in moderation.

So I arrived 2 wks late but for the most part I have caught up with all the homework.  There is SOOOO much reading to do and to stay on top of it requires 2-3 hrs a night of reading.  It's actually near impossible to have a job and do this.  This in itself took a bit of getting used to and discipline.  5 weeks here today and I am feeling like everything has finally settled and I am now going..."right, what am I doing, why am I here, what do I want, and WHY haven't I done it yet?".  I feel so blessed in that I have gotten EVERYTHING I wanted when it comes to choices at school.  I am in Kevin Dedmons Healing AMT (advanced ministry training) this semester which is called Healing and Kingdom Foundations.... our homework last time was to laugh in the mirror for at least 10 min a day!!!  How awesome is that!  I also got into the Healing Rooms for the year as my Activation/Outreach which all on its own makes every sacrifice I made to get here worth it!  Every Sunday, without fail, we see people healed.  From cancer, to deaf ears, to blind eyes, dyslexia,  arthritis,  back problems,  creative miracles (something being replaced that was missing), family restoration... you name it, they've had it happen.  Not only do miracles consistently happen at the Healing Rooms but every day out on the streets/shops in Redding.  Treasure Hunts are an every day occurance (I have yet to do one for some strange reason) with awesome encounters, miracles, and most importantly just loving on people and introducing them to a good God who does good things, cause He's in a good mood.  Last Friday at school a girl gave a testimony that she had gone on her FIRST treasure hunt, prayed for a lady who was paralysed from being hit by a car and GOT OUT OF HER WHEELCHAIR AND WALKED!!!!  Come on!!!  If that doesn't make you want to run out there and step over that 'chicken line' -aka fear of what people might think- then what will.  You can see/hear the testimony here:  Every day in class, students get up and give amazing testimonies of provision or miracles that they've seen God do in their lives.... EVERY DAY there is a line of people with 'out there' testimonies!  I have to stop and remind myself this is all real sometimes.  I was walking out of Target with Lacey (one of my amazing room mates) the other night and some of the guys we were with were just talking like they normally do about some amazing experience they had had with God that day and THAT is what it's like, ALL the time.  I'm surrounded by 800 first year students all hungry for a deep relationship with a God who loves people and wants to pour out that love through us.  Here in Redding, everyone knows about Bethel and for the first time in my life, they LOVE the church!  I'm talking the public, the drug addicts, the homeless, the hurt, the sick.... they are so used to being loved on by anyone that goes to Bethel that they are pretty much willing for you to pray anywhere!  That's a bit of culture difference for me as in NZ it's obviously NOT acceptable to ask the person in the grocery store line if you can pray for their sprained ankle or whatever it is you can see is wrong with them.  In fact, here, many times they'll be like "oh, someone just prayed for me a few minutes ago and it feels better but you can pray again"!  There is such favor on us with most businesses here too.  Another thing that is amazing here is the culture of Honour they have cultivated.  You are valued and honoured for everything.... be it male or female, for your giftings, for your risk taking (even if you don't have some wild result), just for who you are!  Also the prophetic is really strong here- something that has definitely helped stir up my gift.  I just touch someone and I seem to see all these amazing things about them.  Everyone just seems to want to love on you and see you come into what you've been created to do.  Not a bad way to live I say.  ;)  All in all, this is going to be hands down, the best year of my life.  Don't get me wrong, I miss SOOOO much about home.  I miss my family and friends SO much it literally hurts sometimes but I keep looking ahead to what I know I'm here to experience (and am experiencing already).... a life that counts and exudes the love of God and His goodness.  I know this has been a long time coming and is a bit long but I will try to update regularly from now on.  I pray that every person that reads this blog experiences the tangible love of a God who will go to any length to show you His heart. ♥