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♥