Sunday, November 22, 2009

DIOS ES.....(God is...)

So another week has passed, crazy!! It's flying by! This week was pretty laid back. Nothing super-inspirational or super-spiritual. God is teaching me the lesson that life won't just be fed to me, even in YWAM. One of the very first classes we had way back in October, was Intimacy with God. I had to really search that out this week. And as the week went on, I needed help with that more and more. God gave me two words to work on: Holy, and Helper. I am to strive to be holy; God is my helper. I have been trying to get to know more and more WHO God is, knowing characteristics about Him. It always seemed to be a challenge, and here God is giving me words to remember and to focus on.
Classes this week were very thought provoking, and challenging: things you have to CHOOSE to incorporate into your life.
Monday, we talked about Submission. It is about humility first and foremost...caring about people before yourself. One important thing to remember, and one thing that is very misunderstood in Christianity, is that submission is NOT subjugation. it is not forced. it is not demanded. it is done out of LOVE. Men and women BOTH do it. And when people are willing to do this to one another, there is UNITY and power. Think about how powerful the Christian community could be if they could unite with LOVE for one another. Phil 2:1. Without humility, we look at the cost of what we do, not at what we WILL GAIN! (like the world for Christ!) Submission is a weapon with a guarantee of victory. It is important also to note that when you are submissive to God, you are submissive to everyone. And this looks different in everyone's lives. This builds great integrity for us. When you submit for your well-being, so God can do His greatest works in and through you, you are showing how much you honor, and love, and respect, and appreciate yourself. And when serving God is your lifetime project, you will serve many people (with the Golden Rule!). It takes great humility to do this for people who love and care for you, but even more for people who don't (persecution will come, but you will impress them with your heart of servanthood and submission). You have to be constantly inserted into God's divinity so nothing else can enter you, it's a fire that will protect you! People will see you, they will follow you because you follow God...He is simply irresistible! So the question we have to ask is, Do you want to be a servant? or do you want to stay outside of God's glory?
That night, we also talked about a Spiritual Covering. Submission and covering go together. You can't move without a covering (like our skin!). Our covering watches over us, and acts as our protector of our well-being. I'm covered, like, I have life-insurance. It's a security that God is with me. If you give your life to God, you are covered by Him. He takes care of the things I can't. And by allowing Him to cover us, we are protected to do things we couldn't do without Him. God will cover you in your mistakes. HE WILL PROTECT YOU.
Tuesday we talked about Faith. It is God's power in action, it is dynamic, it can grow. It is a product of God. If we want to have faith, we have to go to the one who has it, otherwise, why would you need it? No human can create faith, it comes from Jesus. Faith is not seen. Faith works because of Love. True faith is founded on God's word, not man's. God's hand doesn't move because of our needs, but because of our faith in Him. If our situation with God is out of order, our faith is out of order and His power can't work in us. When you choose to walk with God and you want His blessings, you have to have FAITH that that will happen. Many people have Bibles, but how many lives does it actually affect? they don't have faith that it will. You have to have a faith big enough to believe in the things you are praying for. A BIG faith WILL change the circumstances for which you are praying. We live in a world of senses. We respond to our 5 senses. When we act according to faith, we ignore our natural senses and live in what God has for us. Hebrews 11:1 says, 'Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see'. This is present tense. God supports himself on our faith. It is real, and it keeps us until what we have faith IN manifests itself. AND: we CAN'T think, force, feel, or produce it, that's God's job. We create it in ourselves, in our hearts. It is a spiritual possession, it is invisible. So when we believe in our hearts that we receive something when we pray, God has begun to grow our faith in the amount of time that it manifests itself. If our faith fades, we don't receive what we prayed for. And the Enemy is afraid of people with faith. it gets stronger as it is used. The enemy tries to take our faith. If it is in our heads, where it can be reasoned, He can take it, but in your heart, it is safe! And the verse that I felt got me to Chile, is Hebrews 10:23. Let us hold unswervingly to hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hope is future. Our faith gets us there. What is your measure of faith? We have the same Spirit and force that raised Jesus from the dead living in us, our faith is that faith! If you're a Christian and are looking for a faith that can get you anything you want, wake up! You already have that faith! Our faith moves God's hands. Your measure of faith will be tested. A persistent faith is not moved by temptation, and does not get prideful when God uses us. Our faith needs to be focused on God and expanding His kingdom, in everyone's lives, and our own first. If God is with us, who can be against us? And our faith, rooted in the word, WILL affect people. Know what God wants you to do. Obey what He shows you to do. Trust that He does what we can't. If we want to see God act in our lives, then we have to believe and have faith that He can.
Wednesday, we talked about Faith and Finances. To sum it all up, if God calls you somewhere, He wants you there, and He will provide the resources for you to be there. And tithing shows that you trust Him to multiply what He HAS given you. AND, our treasures are in heaven, and that is where our heart should be as well, not on our paycheck. Tithing gives money to God's kingdom, it opens heaven to send back blessings. We have money, He CAN multiply it, you just have to give it to Him.
Thursday, we talked about Loyalty. Loyalty and faithfulness go hand in hand. We have to have TRUST in God. And He needs to know that we will follow no matter what happens. And it comes with having a WILLING HEART!! We do face attack and spiritual warfare, and in these times it is hard to be loyal. When it comes to the Great Commission, it requires our whole life. If we have the truth of God, we have to give it. It's hard, God calls me to have the same enthusiasm I had when I got here, and at times that can be a challenge. But I do desire God to continue to change me and my character, and to be used by Him. And that requires loyalty. No matter what happens, I will follow. And I have to always have a willingness, because the blessings will be greater than giving in. You are being disloyal to God when you refuse to confess or repent of sin. You have to make it right, or God will not bless the path you are in to the fullest extent that He can! It is not easy to live in loyalty to God's word. Living in holiness is being loyal to God's word. Treating people right is living in loyalty to God's word. When you are loyal, God will give you what you reach people, to start a church, to pay your bills, to get a good night's sleep. This is for everything!
On friday, we had the challenge to teach our own class. But we were all given roles. And my role was translator! I guess I haven't talked much about my spanish, but I have had to translate a few times from spanish into english. And I had to that day!! It was so exciting! I understood practically everything, and was faced with the challenge of people who don't realize how much respect and patience is required for people in that arena. I was excited, and I'm glad my spanish is getting so good. BUT i still need to be working on my gringa accent.
THis weekend was awesome...we had the Olympics. For all the single people on the base....and here, single means not married, so engages people participated as well. That occupied most of saturday, and sunday was pretty laid back, played ping pong and learned a group salsa dance, so fun!!
This week has started off wonderfully and i´m gonna wait to write about it till the end because it is going to be lifechanging for sure!!!!!!! I´m over the hump, wish i was home for thanksgiving, but i´ll make some mashed potatoes and stuffing, maybe i´ll find a turkey too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Change is a Choice

Sorry it´s been a while, it´s been a busy 2 weeks. And i made a promise to myself to use the internet less...i get you guys when i get back home. And that´s so many more fun things to do than get on email, like go to the beach and lay in the sun for an hour before class.
So...let's start with classes!!
We've covered MANY topics over the last 2 weeks, and i've been able to see a change in myself, it's been really cool.
Monday, Nov 2, we talked about a Clean Conscience. We talked about whether our conscience is a good thing or a bad is something given to us by God to remind us of His principles and to help us stay on the right path: a weapon given us so we do not sin. However, when we repeatedly sin, our conscience becomes dulled. Proverbs 32:3 says, "When i kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long."...Sin has it's consequences, when we try to silence the voice inside we experience physical suffering. After repeatedly silencing the inner voice, it develops a hard covering, and the only way to restore it is to draw closer to God. And if we have gotten to the point of searing our conscience, God will find another way to speak to us. As a result of our sin we may feel guilt OR conviction. Guilt is not from God, Conviction is. Conviction urges us to repent, to change what we did, and understanding the pain that we brought to God's heart. We have to silence the voice of Satan, Recognize our Responsibility, Confess it All, and Find Restitution (which has to be the size of the sin). And the greatest thing about Sin, and restitution, and a clean conscience, as well as everything else we do, it is a one is a victim of their character: you can CHANGE. And choosing God's path will always bring blessing to your life. AND we take away Satan's authority over our lives. that in itself bring confidence and peace, clarity and stability, power to overcome temptations, freedom to come to a new stage in our friendships with everyone, and it brings PHYSICAL health. Remember how i said that i was really changing? it's true, i'm experiencing all of this. And when it comes to the physical healing, i have a story about that. I have been harboring bitterness and sin in my heart and mind for a few years. I started cross country right after getting cut from volleyball my senior year of highschool. So running has alway come along with negative thoughts, and lies told to me that I am incapable. When I began to process through all of this and renounce all of this, I felt a physical change. I went running two days after and it was the easiest run I have had in as long as I can remember. I TRULY run better and lighter than ever!
The next day we had a class called Free Us From the Claws...very cheesy, but still awesome. It was to recognize and break the Enemy's strategy. We had to see Unhealed wounds, Sin, and Binds in our life, and get rid of the shame that satan brings. Shame is the first claw in the heart, and the last one taken out. It's hard to feel without shame. Because of these things, we have great FEAR...fear of man, fear of being hurt, fear of being rejected. People HAVE hurt us, they have not respected us. They have opened doors that Satan can get into and out of with great ease. The door stays open til we close it by repenting, or forgiving people who have hurt us and breaking binds that hold us. He went through different doorways we may have: early sexual awareness, sexual abuse, ignorance, neglect, disobedience, sin. We are to break any lies that hold us and to live and let people know that through the blood of Christ and through renouncing any of these things we are CLEAN and FORGIVEN, and we do not have to be held accountable to those things any longer. And we can't ignore open doors, and don't have to worry about doors that we have already closed!
We spent wed, thurs, and fri talking about SEX: the Lie and the Truth. VERY interesting. we went through the value of sex and of our sexuality, the purpose of it, Family values: what parents teach their kids about sex and how kids learn about sex. If parents don't educate their kids with the truth, there is a world FULL of dangerous and false information they turn to to find out about it. We talked about abuse of all kinds, myth's about sexuality, Sexual relations, fornification, masturbation, homosexual relationships, lust, the list goes on. We talked about the risks of youth having sex and premarital sex, STD's, birth control and lack thereof, abortion. We went through the 9 months of pregnancy, statistics on child development (results of abuse, information obtained, physical development). We talked about the physical side of relationships and the progress of relations while dating engaged, and married. And it was cool because she talked about all this Biblically, Culturally, and politically, financially...we looked at it from so many different perspectives and how people are hurting from what they have experienced in their lives in many of these areas. We finished by talking about marital relationships, adultury and the effects of pornography on your partner. It was very educational and gave me a lot to think about.
This week began with the Father Heart of God. Do you see God as a father? He asked us questions about our own parents (and I couldnt help but feelings VERY lucky and blessed to have the parents he gave me). The main theme was: Children have rights that servants don't. Many of us are just simply servants, we don't look to our Father the way we do our earthly fathers. But what God wants is a child willing to serve. If we are following Christ's example, God is FATHER. When we see Him as our father, we can move ahead in our IDENTITY and know or value in God, we receive Self-Esteem, and have SECURITY so we can rest in God. And then we dug deeper into the characteristics of God the Father. Think about all the things that your earthly father is willing to for you (amazing, i know), God wants to do all that for us too!
Tuesday we talked about the Authority of God. Authority is delegated and legal. God has all authority, and gives us authority as well. In the Great Commission, Christ gives us God's authority. That is HUGE!! we can do SO much with that power if we take hold of it. It is a gift, it is to bless and free and heal us, it brings redemption. It comes from our identity and from living and walking in integrity. Honor God in private, through time with Him, and He will honor you in public when you need Him. Don't worry about impressing people, God will do that. It doesn't matter if you have the approval of people, you only need the approval of God. Get to know God so you can use His authority. CHOOSE, resolve mentally and with determination to rid yourself of your sin. This DTS changes people, things are different. WE choose to live in God's blessings, as a free servant. And the authority we are using, with our testimony, will be backed up by a transformed character. Wednesday we talked about Obedience. This is the greatest thing God asks of us. Is obedience to Him. And when we obey, we live in God's blessings. My destiny is to live in God's blessings. And i CHOOSE to live in blessing by obeying God's word. And it's important to remember that obedience in parts is still disobedience. God will bless you in what you do, but he will bless you MORE if you choose to live in the dreams that He has for you. Ask yourself: DO you go after the blessings? or the God of blessing? the "consequences of obedience" are: We will be blessed, We defeat the Enemy, And it is a testimony for those who don't know God so that they may know Him too.
Thursday we talked about Self-Esteem. Who am I? God's truth about you is different than what you believe about yourself from your friends, family, and culture. God says we are: Created in God's image, His children, God's work of Art, Beautiful, Precious, And worthy of Honor. People look at appearances, but God looks at the heart. It is not wrong to think about how you look, what people think of you, but remember your motivations behind it. I AM A DAUGHTER OF GOD!
And Friday, we talked about Serving. Think about a stage. Do you ever think about who made the stage? NO! what matters is what happens on the stage, the hearts of those who perform, the hearts of those who see the performance and change because of the performance. If you built the stage you may want credit for it, but, as a true servant, you are happy to be building the stage because of everything that will happen onthat stage. We read the verses that made me get my tattoo...Nehamiah 8. the JOY that comes from serving. FOR THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH. you should be affirmed for what you are doing, but that shouldn't be the focus of WHY we do it. We do it for God. Seek excellence, not perfection (only God is perfect). We are asked in the Bible to work as if we are working for God, not men, and that perspective changes the heart with which you work. Col. 3:23 says Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
SO...outside of classes!!....I blew fire. It was amazing. We had the March for Jesus, where we walked through town singing and praying and dancing and holding signs, and blowing fire. We were supposed to have better training, we learned to spray with water, and then the first time i actually blew fire, i was IN the parade. SCARY!! but amazing. And sports have improved exponentially. Running is fun, i've gone surfing a few more times, played lots of soccer, and had more Jesus Boot Camp. The man named JuanDavid made a circuit for us in the gym, and then some sprinting stuff outside. IT WAS SO HARD! And I was so sore!!! for like 3 days! But i'm finally feeling stronger and more capable. love it.
I was a pingpong nerd for Halloween, thanks Kira! Some pics may be up soon from that.
I may have mentioned that the Directors youngest daughter has Down Syndrome. She is wonderful. Last thursday was special education day, and kids from her school came to hang out with us for the day. We played sports, did skits, ate snacks, and just enjoyed these kids. That day we were also fasting with all YWAMers all over the world....thousands of people were praying for leaders in China, for people to have religious freedom there. It was really cool to be part of that. My friend James had his birthday this week. And guess what kind of cake he wanted....German Chocolate. SO we made him one. It looked like Vomit, but tasted amazing. Brown Sugar is so hard to find here.
Early this week we had a cabana clash. The girls in my cabana, and me, all started clashing. Leaders vs. students. It was really bad. No one thought anyone was playing their role. So we had to work through that. Three cultures, six girls, 2 positions, all in different walks of God. Now that is a challenge. i am learning so much from these girls. The honeymoon was over. The director said this was normal for this time, so we just had to work through the glitches and learn what it means to love in spite of. It's all better now for the most part, and we have a girls night in a few hours. I'm excited.
The director, Mitch, has been asked to be in a movie. It's about a gringo who comes to pichilemu before the coup in 1973, and it's him here and everyone thinks he is part of the CIA. He is never seen again though.
So that's pretty much what i'm doing. Minus some details of everyday life. I came here without a life, and now I have one. I'm learning things, moving away from any bitterness and critical attitude, and really trying to CHOOSE to CHANGE. It's hard, but I'd rather face those challenges now with a great support team by my side than later on with no one to help me. I am very lucky to be where I am and to have lived the life I have. I do miss my family and friends, but the time will come for me to come home, so i'll just be here fully now. i'm speaking better spanish, eating better food with the frequent chocolate overdose, running more and more, trying to be less and less lazy, working on submission and punctuality and obedience. I want God's blessings! I want to be HOLY. So here's my verse to finish with
Revelation 3:20: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking Out the Trash...

That title has many meanings. And i have actually have to take the trash out in ten minutes but i couldn't wait to tell everyone all the wonderful things God is doing and how He's helping me take out my own trash. This week my work duty has been to pick up trash and trash bags from buildings and all over the YWAM property. SO humbling. FIrst of all, i'm by myself...human accident, God's intention. One thing I have to say first is that trash is all over the place here. When you walk in the street you see bottles and bags and wrappers. Coming from having a smallest piece of trash contest at Eagle Lake to thinking i'm going to murder whoever it was that gave styrofoam to Chile is quite a big step. But i have to pick up trash from the dining hall which is is flimsy black trash bags that easily rip. And then don't have garbage disposals or dishwashers so EVERYTHING but water gets tossed into the cans. I have had goo flung at me. Then when i get to the dumpster, the trash guys came, a bag had been wripped accidentally, so instead of peacefully controlling the situation the trash guys leave it for the wind and dogs to spread out, all over the hill i spent the day before picking up trash. It's just a different mindset. and another gross piece of trash information...they can't flush toilet paper down the toilets, it'll clog the pipes. So you also have to pick up what i like to call poopy paper bags. Girls have their own mess, and guys only wipe for number two, so you can just imagine the horror i have been facing this week. and yes i did just talk about it on my blog. Then i empty other trash cans in different buildings. THere is no such thing as a vacuum here, no real carpets, so everything gets swept. And then that gets dumped into trashcans that don't have solid sides. so the piece fall through. and no one puts the trashbags back into it. SO it just makes a mess again. God has taught me lots through this: first, i made friends will all the stray dogs that live on the base. my favorite (ComeNunca-translated to eat's never) follows me around, and even let's me pet him after i pick up the poopy paper bags. Second, God's land is beautiful and we need to keep it that way, but with or without trash nothing compares to the beauty of Him and eternal life with Him. Third, I need to do things right the first time, take it easy, and have patience. I get stinky, I get sweaty, the sun is bright, but i've made lots of friends trying to find trashbags and gloves and wheelbarrows.
And on top of that, we've had Jesus boot camp for sports this week. Monday we learn dances and skits that we'll be doing on our outreach, and we'll actually be doing one this weekend in the Marcha de Jesus. Tuesday, James took us running through the greenbelt, then made us do 20 sets of stairs, jumping stuff, and sprints. THen we ran back, some people lifted weights, others danced, and some played ping pong. Ping pong is now our sport of choice, we're all getting pretty good! Then Wednesday, Carlos, one of the trainers here, made us run circuits on the side of a hill, then sprint up, run down, and then streeeeeeetched more than ever. Felt SO good. He also taught us about the importance of our attitude while we work out. Sports are another artistice expression, we need to let the Holy Spirit run with and for us. It's for physical abilities to increase in other areas of our lives as well. Yesterday, sports time became Tie Dye time, and I taught everyone how to tiedye, what to do, patterns, colors. And as i type my fingers are still slightly purple. SO I am sore and tired, but feeling GOOD!!
And through all the taking out the trash and Jesus boot camp, my classes have really been rocking my world. I am healing and overcoming and forgiving and releasing and repenting in so many areas of my life. Monday was about Pride and Humility. I have SO much pride...who made me queen of the world around me? Pride is what got Satan kicked out of heaven. I need to LIVE, not act my faith. Pride destroys you, wages war against your soul, it is an illness, it is selfish and individualistic, i'm not the target of any injustice. And humility is a CHOICE. All of the things I learned this week are something you step into out of CHOICE, sacrifice, submission, and when you do it is freeing and beautiful in ways that I can't even describe. It is a constant process of breaking yourself, of surrendering your rights. We live for GOD'S glory, not our own.
Tuesday, class was about Sin, and Repentance. Sin is not an accident, a sickness, a need, or a weakness, it is another CHOICE we make. You are breaking God's law. ANd that hurst HIM as well as you. Everytime you sin you put Christ back up on the cross. Repentence is not an emotion, it is a choice to change your attitude and your actions. You become transparent and are willing to give up whatever it is that is causing that. You recognize the sin, Confess, Abandon that sin, and then make restitution. Do you decide to walk into the sin before you? or walk with God? Christ is waiting on the cross for us to repent.
Wednesday, we talked about forgiveness. I had MANY things to forgive. There is a difference between wanting to seek vengeance from someone, and forgiving them, like Christ forgave us. Forgiveness is looking back on something and not feeling any pain. And that is HARD. But when you do that you are so freee! You put your selfishness aside, and we don't demand what we think people owe to us for hurting us. It redeems relationships.
In acts, a man name stephen died for his beliefs, in front of Saul. ANd because of His death Saul was saved, He came to know Christ, and became Paul, and saved SO many people after that. And Christ did that for us on the Cross. Forgive them father, for they know not what they do...
Thursday, the girl who sleeps on the bunk above me, gave the talk. It was about renouncing our rights and the humbling action of doing that. Jesus gave up a lot of things, and we need to too. He renounced a dignified birth, perfect love from the father and Holy Spirit (when he went into hell), His reputation, and His own life. We renounce to give total Lordship to Jesus (he is not just our savior), for personal benefit, and to evangelize to the world. As a missionary, you have to be willing to renounce: your food, your own home, your own land and culture, material things, your dreams, your reputation, money, freedom, and your own life. If the Lord is with you, then that is enough.
ANd today we talked about HOliness...You can't just contain a problem in your life, you have to get rid of it c0mpletely, eradicate it, so it doesn't come back. WE need to eradicate many things in our past so we can focus on and be useful to the Lord. Say to yourself, the blood of Christ sets me free.
There is just so much everyday, i am loving it here. I am redeeming relationships, and taking up walls that i've put up, and it is truly incredible. The Holy Spirit is MOVING!!!!
God is perfect, and figuring out how to dwell in His glory, like the temple that Ezekial forsaw, allows us to be holy, to walk towards Him, away from sin, and into LIFE!!
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let uis run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And the fruit of the Spirt is...

Hey all!! I know it's been a while since I last wrote, AND oh my GOODNESS lots has happened.

Last Sunday, Oct 11, I got to worship in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, all in the same service. I sat next to a lady named Vivi who brings so much light into this world and truly shows her love of Christ to others. I hung out all day with two guys from Peru and really got to practice my Spanish. That night we had sports DTS bonding and made spagetti and rice pudding (arroz con leche)...SO good. One of the guys in the group, david, is a chef in Lima and he makes the BEST food ever.

Monday was my birthday!! Feliz Cumpleanos! It was a great day. I got to breakfast and the whole group sang to me. Then we had quiet times and amazing prayer by the pool, and then they threw me in the pool, fully's tradition. Then right before lunch they brought me my favorite CHilean dessert, mil hojas, and it was amazing!! That afternoon i took a nap before cleaning the cabana, and then went to class and had a very relaxing day over all.

Tuesday, we went surfing for the first time as a group!! SO fun, but SO hard. we were paddling so hard and going nowhere fast, i caught a couple and stood up once, but fell of right away, and then a huge wave practically ate me alive, and made me tired, so i just played in the freeeezing cold water.

Then wednesday, Amy, from Michigan, taught kickboxing. SO funny. It was our whole sports DTS, and i have to say, kickboxing must be an art and you have to be very coordinated to do it. I also had a cold that started that day, and my nose was SO stuffed up. YUCK

This weekend was a big emotional roller coaster for pretty much everyone. We all were feeling very overwhelmed and attacked by Satan, so we all just did our own thing. I went to the beach both days, the first day we just hung out, chatted, and played guitar. And then me, a chilean, and the Spaniard went to eat Chorrillanas, a delicious Chilean food with french, beef, onions, and egg all piled together. MMMMMM. Sunday, church started 45 minutes late, welcome to South America, and lasted til 1.45 in the afternoon. Worship was wonderful though. ANd then i went to the beach, went surfing again, and played in the wave pools that rush back and forth and the only thing that keeps you in one place is holding on to the seaweed, yuck. Then sunday night, we had the worlds best barbeque. One of the Argentinian's cooked the meat, a Peruvian made the rice, and the chilean's made the salad. I was so stuffed, and we finished the night off with a big dance party around the bonfire we just randomly made in our dirt front yard. Great bonding.

The Lord is really teaching me a lot about LOTS of stuff. I'm learning better communication, especially boldness in speaking spanish. I have a friend teaching my RRRR now. I'm reading a book called "Is that realy you, God?" and it's making me see all the things i'm learning about in my classes actually applied to someone's life. The author is Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM. Also, having a strict schedule (that is followed sometimes) is very humbling after having been independent and accountable to no one for the last 4 years. I'm learning about discipline, and self-control in very random ways. In my quiet times i'm reading Ezekiel, and learning about obeying God. And my friend Mark is in awe a how many Bible verses i have memorized.
My classes have been about Knowing God, Hearing God's VOice, Quiet Times, Intercession prayer (which I love), Worship and Adoration, Biblical Evangelism, Fear of God, and Truth vs. Emotions. These are challenging and pushing me to new levels. My pride is being knocked down, my body is being pushed to new limits, and I'm learning how to LIVE and GROW with many different cultures playing into the picture.
Well i'm off to do my "chores" and then to class!!
May God bless your day!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Youth With A Mission at last...

So i made it here to Pichilemu safe and sound....long bus ride but i saw a lot of random stuff on the way. A rooster was picking on the hens, kids were playing futbol with a ball of trash, and the most beautiful country side EVER. green fields, yellow flowers, pine trees, palm trees. And waves crashing on the coast. I got dropped off and if it weren't for the 3 chilean girls waiting for me i would have had no idea where to go. The picked me up and we walked up the dirt road to where we'll be staying for the next 3 months. I live in a cabana with 5 other girls...3 chileans, 1 girl from Lima Peru, and one girl from Chicago who goes to school at North Carolina. They are so fabulous. There are 10 students in my sports DTS, and then about 60-70 other students at the YWAM base at Pichilemu. There are 7 guys in the sports DTS as well. One guy from Spain, one from Argentina, one from Peru, one (maybe two) from Chile (jorge still hasn't arrived), and two from the US (Texas and California). And everyone clicks. My classes are bilingual so we have a translator cuz not everyone speaks Spanish and not everyone speaks English. On Thursday we walked to Punto de Lobos (google it, it's sweet) along the beach, and then a bunch of us ran back. It was 6 km. Me and guy leader from Peru were in the middle and we talked in Spanish all the way back. It was great. I didn't think I was gonna make it that far cuz I haven't ran in a while, but did. Thanks to Gabriel, my ex army running buddy. He distracted me from my legs. Amy, the girl from Chicago, was a workout class instructor and a weight trainer, and she has made my arms and legs SO sore from workouts the last two days. Last night it poured down rain, and we had to walk (or slip) up the hill to our cabanas. It was so fun, and then me and the two other girls talked really late...good old fashioned female bonding. Today was SuperSabado. Kids from all over Pichilemu come to the base to play sports, do skits, and swim. We have a message for the kids at the end, but today we played volleyball, futbol, did some dancing and had skits. the overall message was God is always with us.
My time here I know is going to be amazing. God is already challenging me physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. We get up at 630 every morning and go go go in classes, doing sports, giong to meals, doing small group stuff, or quiet times, and bedtime is 1030. and after running 6km the other day, i embraced that bed and bedtime with big wide open arms. i think i'm hungry like 75% of the time, they don't feed us great, but I'v bought food and the market is a 15 minute walk.
I sit up in the cyber cafe, looking out towards the coast, and can hear horses, dogs, sheep, cars, waves, you name it. the other day i was sitting there wondering how loud the world is to God, with all of praying in our heads at the same time to him. He's pretty great and I'm excited to get to know him better.
Well that's all for now, it's lunch time and YO TENGO HAAAMBRE!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Weekend in Passing

So I spent the whole weeked in Valparaíso, going to my favorite places and bars and visiting old friends. I danced Salsa, and drank from a beer tower, and went to a birthday party. I spent Saturday all day sleeping and recovering from my travels and night out. Sunday I went to the church i went to a few times while i was here in 2007. However, in 2007 I only went a few times cuz I didn´t understand much and would prefer to rest or hang out with the familia. Then the house was filled with people and friends of the family. Hitomi, my 2007 roomy, came for lunch. We ate out on the patio and the weather was perfect and the people were awesome. The house brother from Chile, José, cooked an awesome pasta dinner, with mushrooms, yes, i ate mushrooms, much to my dismay. They made honeydew juice. SO GOOD! they just put frozen honeydew in the blender and it came out creamy and delicious. Some family were here from Santiago. There is an old lady, prbly about 60 (?), who has a mental disability. She is so sweet, but I woke up that morning to her standing in the corner of my bedroom staring at me. SO strange. Bu she doesn´t know any better and she´s so sweet just always holding her doll. I don´t understand a single word she says, but oh well!
Chile can, and will, show anything on TV. My house family loves TV. Soap operas, reality TV, you name it. We were watching the other night, and some people decided to sponser women´s boob jobs. SO, since the TV show and the public are paying for the boob jobs, they get to see everything. On TV, they show women before and after the surgery, bare-busted. They showed the whole surgery from removal of certain parts to stitches and cutting and inserting...and yuck. I was really grossed out and no longer support fake anything. That´s just a taste of the wacky chile. And I still love it.
Then yesterday afternoon a bunch of gringas went up to my favorite place in all of Valparaíso. 21 de mayo. It has an asensor (elevator from about 90 or so years ago, lol) that goes up the side of the hill to the top. Then there is an old blue Victorian house than hangs over the cliffs. There are little street vendors up there, and a cute little gazebo. The sun sets behind that hill, so you look out across the bay at sunset, the clouds turn bright orange and pink, and then reflect off the buildings across the bay. Then the sun goes down and the hills light up with street lamps. SO incredible.
Today i got a cell phone, so if anyone wants to call me i THINK you can at this number: 011-56-9-9 191 95 86.
Then i went to buy a bus ticket to pichilemu and got all nervous about what´s ahead, and, all pride aside, i cried. i have to carry my luggage, and i´m not totally sure of where i´m going or how long it´ll take to get there, but i have Chile On A Shoestring, and Jesus, so i can handle it. My house dad made me a comfort dessert. Manjar (mon-har) on a banana with sprinkles. It´s one of my favorites.
SO i know i´ll survive and i´ll have wonderful travel stories soon. Big waves here i come!
Tonight is my last night in Valpo so i´m off to hang out with my friends, and hopefully Amelie. Nap first, then dinner. So pray for me as I venture off!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Valparaíso Baby!!

So...after 26 hours of travelling, I arrived at my chilean family´s house. And might I say that the flights and airports here were quite the adventure. I got to Ft. Lauderdale with ease, but then ran into some complications. 3 people told me i didn´t have to get my bags and recheck them so i head on my merry way to the next terminal to go to Bogotá. However, i hear my name soon and they tell me I do in fact need to recheck my bags...shoot. I had left my nalgene in the first terminal, lamented its loss, and then went on to do what i had to. Sitting on the table is my nalgene..YAY!! i don´t have to buy plastic water bottles for the next 5 months. So i get on the plane having spent my 3 hour layover chasing water bottles and baggage, and realize that i´m seated in K 23. K. The seats went ABC I was already surrounded by beautiful latino men and women, and mullets, and got really excited that I knew the Lord was already taking care of so many things and distracting me with things like seat K and the best in the front, BIG CURLY party in the back. The men in the row next to me were playing some strange card game and between the 3 of them and a 4 hour plane ride had about 16 beers. Shnikes!
I finally get to Bogotá and was checked by security 2 times...once getting off the plane and then next getting back onto the same concourse that I just came off of. Wow. Colombia was interesting. Lots of duty free crap to buy in the airport and about 15 security gaurds wearing 4 or 5 different kinds of uniforms. The time passes quickly there because i had found a book in the seatback in front of me called More Sand in my Bra...hilarious stories. The first one about 2 women with big calves who can´t find boots that fit them...cheers to you Alex..they finally bought Pirate boots with big silver buckles.
I get on the plane and have a window seat, yay again, which allowed me to BE PART of the sunset. I was in it. It was bright orange and the clouds whipping by the ends of the wings were tinted pink and from 36,ooo feet the ocean was a deep musky red. SO incredible. The moon shone bright the entire time, I had my whole row to stretch out and sleep with my awesome travel hoody. By the time I had bent down to get my journal to write about the sunset, i look up and the colors are almost gone. I look to the west across the men playing cards, and see bright orange hues painting everything in the cabin. Aaron Strumpel´s song For Joy came on my ipod and I remembered how quickly the beauty of the Lord changes...I began to sing quietly the words of the song...May God be gracious to us and make His face shine down, On our hopes so bright...Let´s sing Let´s sing...La dum...For jo-oy... ¡Que Lindo! I look out the window again, look down and there is the first lighted town in South America. It´s -54 degrees outside the plane...I´m HERE!
Oh yeah, and as my complimentary drink I had a big glass of red wine...what a perfect way to start off.
I get to Santiago, the stares begin as my light skin and eyes stand out, i get hustled by a few taxi drivers, and head on my jolly way to all came back to me.
I get to Valpo and a nice cab driver offers to take me to my destination with the little money i have. I see Patricio and Mamá once again, we have coffee and bread, I shower, and the spent the whole day wandering around viña del mar and Valpo with Amalie and Hitomi. I made it!
I go out with some old friends who buy beers all night, we left the bars ´early´at 4:00 am, and I sleeeep soundly for 11 hours, recovering from my travels and my 3 beers.
Tonight I have a birthday party. I´m remembering how kind chileans are...they truly care about their friends and their friends friends...I love being back.
And I already smell like cigarette smoke. Ha.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How it all began...

Hebrews 10:23 says "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful".
This verse began it all for me. I was stuck in a rut that I didn't know how to end. And I prayed that what I found hope in would not be anything but our Lord Jesus Christ, but that my joy could come from fulfilling His wishes for me. To GO and make disciples of all nations. I hit the wall and started reaching for something. I searched online for a DTS in Chile, and I found one. I could spend 5 months surfing and playing sports while hanging out with God's wonderful people and learning more about Him daily. Nothing has given me so much excitement and peace of mind in a very long time. Everything just fell into place after that. I contacted the YWAM in Pichilemu, Chile, and without even having to formally apply, I was accepted to come. The day I was accepted was also my first day of work. It started terribly and ended wonderfully. That morning I had had a quiet time, and the Lord gave me a verse about the different ways people perceive days. Some people may see days as separate gifts, and others see every day as being no different than the one before and after it. I started that day thinking it was just going to be another day pulling weeds and watering bushes (excuse me, SHRUBS).
But the Lord gave me the desires of my heart that day. So many pieces of my passions come together in this trip. I get to serve Christ. I get to speak Spanish. I get to use sports as a means to reach out to God's people. I get to travel. Gosh, He is good. Hebrews 11:6 says "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him". In my struggling I had decided to follow the Lord and have faith that He would give me something this fall. I had felt that all summer while ignoring the need to be a responsible adult after graduating and working at Eagle Lake. I desired to earnestly seek Him, and He rewarded me even though I failed to have my Quiet Times. I thank Him dearly for giving me this opportunity to go to Chile once again because without this, I would face each day with hopelessness, without aim, even with the foundation of Him as my Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. He's so great.
It's Saturday night and I leave in 5 days. I am so excited! I bought my wet suit today, man those things are uncomfortable. but i look Gooooood. haha. I'm taking a rolly duffle bag and my backpacking back pack, and I just got lost in what shoes i should LAME! So I decided to start this and I am once again consumed with the JOY that this whole trip has brought me. I know that often times the Lord gives you great peace before the storm. I don't doubt that He will challenge me in incredible ways physically, mentally, and spiritually, but as He has been teaching me through sermons and time with Him and in fellowship, no matter what happens or how your world may crumble, as long as your foundation is Him, you WILL be ok. So, as I step onto that plane, I know He is carrying me and will be with me. So, wish me luck! And pray for me. CHILE AWAITS!!