Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1 week left!

Outreach is done and we are finally back in J-Bay!! I really thought we would never
make it back. In the past 3 months our cars have broken down 30 times not including all
the times they overheated. So as you can guess it was a long drive back. We were supposed to
leave on Thursday but our Kombi broke down and took a long time to be fixed. The mechanic said it would be ready on Friday but that didn't happen. Saturday morning we packed our bags and got ready to leave at 5 when the kombi was supposed to be fixed but things kept going wrong and he was working on it until 3am. We finally left at 3:30 but then we got to the gas station and it was closed so we sat in the parking lot there until 6:30. Around 10:00 we got a flat
tire. Around 12 the car overheated. At around 5 the kombi ran out of gas. And at about 5:20
the car ran out of gas. When we finally got gas in the car the battery died or something like
that and it still hasn't started. The first kombi of people were back at the base around 11pm and
the car was towed back at 2. Thankfully the drivers could stay awake after not sleeping for over
24 hours! So as you can see we are all very glad to be back at the base in J-Bay! Overall outreach was amazing! We saw God moving in every place we stayed. We learned so much about patience. Everybody is singing the song "give me patience in my heart" so many times everyday. We had to completely rely on God for the last few weeks when we started to run out of money. We continued to learn about what it means to be content even if we didn't have food for a meal or if we were sleeping on the floor with bugs all around us or if we couldn't take showers for 5 days. We learned so much during the past 3 months. Now that outreach is done I am realizing how soon I am going to be home. 1 week from today I will be getting off the plane! I don't know how I am going to say goodbye to the people here but a few hours later I will be seeing everyone at home again so it's going to be a very bittersweet 2 days. This week is a busy week with debriefing and planning for our graduation on Thursday. My plane leaves on Monday at 12:30pm and 30 hours later I arrive in Grand Rapids! Thanks for checking! See you next week!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Jungle Life

It finally feels like I'm in Africa!! This week we are staying in tents on a nature reserve. I don't even know how to describe it except for monkeys, rivers, lots of bugs, and darkness. It has been a good week though. We have been working a lot with a AIDS hospice center that the church started and different orphranages in the area. I don't think I will ever get sick of the kids here. I want to take them all home with me! The internet is really expensive here so I need to go! Have a good day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The past month and a half of outreach have been amazing. We have been to 5 different places in South Africa already and we are only 1/2 way done. The past few weeks we spent in Cape Town and Hermanus- 2 of the most beautiful places I have ever been. In Cape Town we did a lot of door to door evangelism and a few youth services. On the last day we went to a domestic violence shelter and spent the afternoon playing games and talking with the women and children there. The second week in Cape Town, we stayed at the Muizenberg base. Our leaders actually forgot to plan that week for us but it was a good chance to relax. We helped a lot with different things on the base and went to one of the townships for the day. On Friday morning we left for Hermanus. The first day there was my birthday. It was definantly not a normal birthday. 7 hours of door to door evangelism is not a way I have ever celebrated my birthday before! We did have a little party thing with the team when we got home so that was fun. The rest of the week was the busiest week we have had so far. We spent most of the week in schools leading assemblies and classes. We also went to a lot of church services and things like that. This week we are back at the J-Bay base for the Nations to Nations conference. All the bases from South Africa are here for the week. There are about 230 people staying on the base and there are usually about 50 so it's crazy here this week. After this week we have 5 more weeks of outreach when we will be traveling more around S. Africa and then going to Mozambique for a few weeks! It's hard to believe that I will be home in a month and a half already. It's even harder to believe that Christmas is coming up.. It is just not the same when it's this hot here. I am almost out of internet time but I will try to post some pictures next time! Have a good day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Outreach weeks 2 and 3

Outreach has been amazing! I can't believe how fast the time is going. Right when we are getting used to the new location it is time to move again. After next week, it will already be a month that we have been on outreach. Last week was definantly my favorite week since arriving in Africa in July. We spent the week working with a church in Paarl, South Africa. We had so many different oppertunities and worked with a lot of different people. We didn't start the week off too well. One of the cars that we travel with broke down a few times so me and the 4 other people that ride in the car spent a few extra nights in Mossel Bay when everyone else went to Paarl to lead a youth service that night. We ended up taking a taxi and we were back with the group on Sunday night. Throughout the week, we did a lot... Kids programs, prison ministry, hospital visits, youth services, church services, old age homes. Also on Thursday night a few people on our team had the oppertunity to be on the raido so that was pretty cool.

This week and next week we are in Cape Town. This week we focused a lot on prayer so we did a lot of prayer walks and evangelism. Last night we led another youth service. I realized last night that I have spent almost every day this week with gangsters and I love it! It is so awesome to see how they come into the youth services trying to be all tough and cool but as soon as they realize that the presence of God is there crack and we see a whole different side of them. This week we also had the chance to go to the YWAM base in Muizenberg and to lead worship there. That base is going through a really hard time right now. One of the guys from the kitchen staff fell off the roof and died last week. It was good to be there with them during this hard time.

In a few minutes, we are going to a childrens home to play games with them and paint their faces and things like that. Tonight we are having a movie night with a few of the kids from the youth service we were at last night so that should aslo be fun. Tommorow morning we pack our backpacks again and move to another part of Cape Town. I think they said that we are going to be working a lot with the street kids there so I am excited about that.

A few weeks ago, we found out that we aren't going to Namibia anymore for the last part of outreach. Instead we are going to Swaziland and Mozambique. I am SO excited about that!! We went yesterday and everybody was able to get their visas which is awesome! I'm not sure if we will have internet in the next city but thanks for checking! I will try to update again soon!

* stregnth for me and the rest of the team as the days are so busy and there isn't too much time to sleep or relax
*finances- I still don't have all the money I need to finish paying for outreach and there are also a lot of people from our team who really struggling with money.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mossel Bay

Hello from Mossel Bay, South Africa! It's hard to believe that our first week of outreach is almost done already.
Overall the first week went really well. We left Jeffrey's Bay on Friday morning, and after a few car problems, arrived here around 3.
We already had to lead a youth service that night. Even though we didn't feel prepared at all to start ministry
after driving all day, the service went really well. We performed the skit that we used for a fundraiser a few
weeks ago and that was very powerful for the community there. At the end of the night around 20 or 30 people gave their
lives to Christ. It was so great just to be there to pray for people and to hug them and encourage them. This morning we led the assembly at a school
in the community which was also fun.

For most of our outreach our team is splitting up and living with host families. It has been so nice to have my own bed and a
good mattress! I think my back has new curves in it from the mattress I used for the first 3 months of the DTS so I am sleeping so
good here on a normal bed. The people of South Africa are so welcoming and open to let people stay in their houses. It is so great.
Everytime we go anywhere they want to make food for us and in this culture it is impolite to say no, even if you don't like the food or
are full, so I have been so full since we first got here on Friday. One thing that I did find out from living in this house is that I am
still allergic to cats! I am very thankful for allergy pills! I don't know how I would make it through the days without them.

That is about all that has happened so far! Thanks for checking! I will update again when I can!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Outreach Time!

Tomorrow is the day! We are leaving tomorrow morning for our first outreach destination which is Mossel Bay, South Africa. Already tomorrow night we are leading a youth service for a church in the community there so that should be good. Here is our plan for outreach...

Mossel Bay Sept 18-24
Paarl Sept 25-Oct 4
Cape Town- Oct 5-16
Mossel Bay- Oct 17-23
George- Oct 24
Jbay- Nations to Nations Oct 25-Oct 30
East Londen- Oct 31-Nov 4
Port Shepstone Nov 5- Nov11
Pretori and JHB- Nov 12
Namabia Nov 13-Dec 2
JHB Dec 3-Dec 5
Jbay Dec 6-9
Graduation December 10

Of course, this is Africa so it will most likely change sometime but I will try to keep you updated. I don't have to much time to use the internet right now because I have a lot of packing to do tonight but I will try to keep you updated as much as I can through outreach! ALSO! thank you SO much to everyone who helped out with the applebees fundraiser. I appreciate it more than you will ever know!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last week in Jeffreys

Hello one last time before we leave for outreach!
This week has been a crazy week. We had to move out of the dorms on Thursday because the students from the september DTS are coming. We all moved to a house down the road and that has been a interesting experience so far. All of us girls are sharing one room and one bathroom so that is very crazy in the mornings. This weekend was our weekend off before outreach. It was a lot of fun and nice to relax. On Saturday we went to Port Elizabeth which is about a hour away and went to a huge mall there and walked around and then we went to the lion park which was awesome. I finally felt like I was in Africa for this first time when we saw all the animals.
We are leaving Friday morning for outreach. Our first destination is Mossel Bay which is about 6 hours away I think. We have a lot of packing and preparing to do before then so pray for strength for us. Also a lot of our team has not been feeling very well lately. I think we have some kind of stomach virus so you can pray for that too.
I'm not sure when I will have internet again but I will try to update soon! Thanks for checking!

oh yeah.. this wednesday is the fundraiser at applebees! just a reminder :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Applebees Fundraiser

On Wednesday, September 16 there is one last fundraiser happening for my outreach fund at Applebees in Grandville. If you print off the thing above and bring it in, 20% of your bill will go to help me with the money that I need to raise to go to Nambia. Thanks again for all of your help and support. I appreciate it more than you will ever know!

ps.. It will probably work best to save the picture to your computer and put it in a new document and print it from there :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plumbline Week

Since we first arrived in Africa I knew that plumbline week would be a very important and emotional week. The groups before us carved into the bunk beds and wrote all over the mirrors things like "pray for plumbline week" and "plumbline will change your life" so right away we knew that it was going to be a good week. The idea of a plumbline comes from Amos 7:7.. "then the Lord said, ' Look I am setting a plumb line among my people."Builders use plumb lines to make sure that walls weren't out of line or not in balance and that they were standing up straight and strong.

Last week was a week devoted to looking back into our pasts and to receive healing for the things that we have done or things that were done to us. At the beginning of the week they compared this week to a garden. When we first see a weed in the garden we can just rake over it and make it presentable. If we ignore it soon the whole garden will be full of weeds. It is important to pull out the whole weed at the root. Everybody has a past and everybody sins. A lot of times our past keeps us from truly experiencing God.

Every night we had ministry time where each person from our team took a turn going up in front of the class and telling their story. It was a little overwhelming but so powerful! We heard some pretty amazing stories this week about where people have been and where God brought them. Our group grew so much closer during plumbline week because now we have a better understanding of each other and why the act the way that they do. It was so great to have time just to be open and broken with each other and not to be worried about judgment from others.

Everybody has mistakes and hurt from the past. What makes one persons sin worse than another persons? We can't compare stories because every person has been through things but we always try to hide our struggles and pain. This week it was such a good example of what the body of Christ should be like. We all took turns just being open and sharing our hearts and there was no judgment but instead there was so much support and encouragement. On the last day all the girls sat up in the front together and there was so much love and support there.

We can't keep trying to hide the weeds forever. We need to need to be open and willing to change these things or we will never truly know God. We need to live lives that are transparent. We need to know that we have friends and other people who are willing to catch us when we fall and encourage us to keep on going. I learned a lot about being humble this week. We need to be open and broken with each other!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
-2 Corinthians 5:17

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Prys Die Here!

Sorry once again for taking a long time to update. I think I need to try to start updating more than once a week because there is so much that happens every week that it is impossible to cover everything that happened!

This past week was holy spirit week. It was by far the most exhausting week in every possible way. There were so many times I wondered how i was going to make it through the week. I don't even know how to describe last week through a blog except to say that I learned a lot about the power and presence of the holy spirit. The lectures that we had were awesome. Our speaker for the week was Stephan Hugo who leads another base in South Africa and is also the leader of YWAM South Africa. He also brought a team of 4 people with him to help. A lot of the DTS students were nervous for Holy Spirit week because the staff have been talking since we got here about how it was going to be a powerful week and that we were really lucky to have the speaker that we had. We really just didn't know what to expect.

Monday morning Stephan started out by prophesying over some of the people on our team. He told me that the picture he saw for me was a big tree. I have had a good upbringing. I have strong roots. In the future, a lot of people will come and sit under my tree and I will influence them by just being myself. I don't usually like it when they start prophesying because you never know what they are going to say but what they told me was encouraging. Monday night we had the first "holy spirit party". The power and presence of God was definitely there. I saw so many things that I have never heard of or experienced every before.

Another part of the week that really stuck out to me was on Thursday morning we had the opportunity to bless the other people on our team. During lectures Stephan told us to start praying that God would show us what God wanted us to give away and who he wanted us to give it to. It was amazing the things that people were giving away. People were coming into the room with guitars, laptops, cameras, jewelry, etc. God really challenged me that day to begin living a lifestyle of giving. To often we are too focused on our own situations. We try to plan ahead and save money instead of helping other people who are close to us who are struggling. If we feel like God is laying it on our hearts to help somebody,whether it is something small like saying a quick prayer or something as big as giving away a car, we need to obey and do what he is telling us. God sees our obedience and he will bless us in other ways. So many people worry so much about money and wondering how they will afford things but trusting God is so much easier! He will provide for everything that we need.

This week is plumbline week. Everybody says that this is by far the most challenging and emotional week. It is a week of healing. The way that they described it today is like a weed. When you first see the weed in a garden you can rake over it and cover it with dirt and make the garden presentable. The weed will continue to grow until the whole garden is covered with weeds. The only way to stop the problem is to uncover it and dig it out at the root. Soo this week our lives are the garden. Every person has things from the past that have hurt us and affected us. A lot of times we forget about it and move on but we aren't truly healed. This week is a week of uncovering the things from the past- even if we don't know what they are yet- and being truly healed. At the end of the week we take turns sitting in the hot seat in front of everybody and telling them about our past and getting counseling from the speaker. So as you can see, this is going to be a very emotional week but a necessary week. Pray for open hearts this week that we will discover things from the past that need to be healed and also that our group will grow closer during this time.

Good news!! I was accepted for a fundraiser at Applebees! A few of my friends have been working really hard to raise the rest of the money that I still need for outreach. We found out last week that the Applebees fundraiser is going to work out. I will post the flier in the next post. If you are interested in supporting me through this fundraiser all you need to do it print out the flier and bring it to Applebees on September 16 between 5 and 9 and 20% of the bill will go to help with my outreach fees. Prys Die Here! (Praise the Lord!)

Other prayer requests:

- we are busy planning a fundraiser concert to help a few people from our team who are struggling to pay their fees. We only have 2 weeks to pull everything together and we don't have much time during the week to practice or plan
- the swine flu has arrived in S. Africa. Pray that the flu is controlled and that it doesn't reach the poorer parts of the community because it will spread quickly. Also, there are a lot of people on the base who aren't feeling well but not necessarily with the swine flu but just pray for that they will start feeling better soon!
- pray for strength for our team for the next few weeks as we prepare a LOT of dances and skits for outreach. The days are getting very busy but pray that we can continue to focus on God through it all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

God wants to kill us!

Another week has flown by. We are beginning our 8th week here! Last week the topic for lectures was the crucified life and worldview. We talked again about dying to our old way of living and begin living a life that we give God complete control over. One of the leaders favorite things to say is God wants to kill you!! The speaker talked about our lives like a seed. Before the seed can grow the shell needs to be broken off and thrown away. Our faith works the same way. We need to throw away some of the things that are holding us back and grow closer to God. We also talked a lot of sin and forgiveness. A lot of times we think that we need to ask or beg God for forgiveness when we sin but really all we need to do is thank him for already forgiving us when he died on the cross. Besides the lectures, we had a few days of leadership training for the morning meeting time. We are going to be having these meetings twice a week so I'm pretty excited about that.

This weekend was a good time to relax. On Friday night a bunch of us from the base went to a cafe and got dessert and on Saturday we drove about a hour to Port Elizabeth and went to a big mall that is there. We just walked about and went to the movie My Sisters Keeper. It was a good relaxing day. Almost felt like I was in America! Sunday we went to a Kosa speaking church that lasted 3 hours. Thankfully some parts were in English! After church we did our laundry. We usually wash our clothes in the sink and hang on the clothes line to dry for the afternoon. For some reason our clothes didn't dry so we decided to make some clothes lines in our room. Right now we have 4 different lines hanging across the room from all sides trying to dry our clothes.

This week our lectures are about the Hold Spirit. They have been telling us that this week is going to by far be the most intense weeks. Instead of just 1 speaker, they flew in the main speaker and a team of 4 other people who are going to help him. We are having our normal lectures in the morning and then extra lectures aka holy spirit parties every night. Sooo this week is definitely going to be interesting. I really don't know what to expect but it I'm sure it will be good. Pray for us this week that we will be open to what God has for us and to not hold back.

We are still busy fund raising for outreach. We sold hot dogs again last weekend and made a little bit of money. We are planning a big concert for the end of this month where we are going to invite people from all the churches we have been performing at and also people from the community. We really are hoping a lot of people come because we have a lot of money to raise still!

Thanks again for checking!! Have a good week!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We are Blessed

A few of the girls in the dorms have been spending a lot of time watching Nooma videos by Rob Bell. I watched this one called Rich tonight and I was reminded how blessed I am. It is so easy to complain about the things that we have when we compare them to what our friends of the people around us have. I want to encourage you to try to go a whole day without complaining but instead being thankful for the things that you do have. There are so many people struggling each day in Jeffrey's Bay because they haven't had food in days but I continue to take forgranted the food that we are given 3 times each day. Is there something that you can give up to help others? Are you spending money on unncessary things when you could instead be using it to help a child go to school or to feed a family? Remember.... You are so blessed!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Love Every Moment

Good Morning!

Sorry it has been so long since the last update again! It's hard to believe that we just finished up our 5th week of lectures and that we have been here for over a month already. I have had a lot of people asking me what a normal day is like here so I will try to give you an idea of what our schedule is like each day.

5:30- wake up for exercise [running/aerobics/dance practice]
6:30- breakfast
7:00- quiet time
8:00- depends on the day but usually prayer or worship with the base
10:00- lectures begin
1:00- lunch
2:00- work duties [I'm in charge of the garden haha]
3:00- kidzone/ministry rehearsal [practice skits/dances for outreach]
5:30- dinner
7:00- depends on the night [sometimes community services or small groups]
9:00- prayer with all the girls
10:00- usually sleeping by this time! we go to bed so early here! we are usually tired by 7 :)

So that's a normal day in YWAM. There are random things like lunch or dinner prep/clean up or one-on-one meetings with our assigned staff person to talk about things happening during the week. So yes, they keep us pretty busy here but it's good to be busy. We are always so ready for the weekend to catch up on sleep and e-mails and to have time to just hang out with each other.

We found out this week that our outreach destination is Namibia. I've never heard of this place before but I guess it's pretty close to South Africa. We are going to spend the first part of outreach in South Africa traveling to different places and then we will go to Namibia. The best part is that our whole team is staying together! We don't have enough staff to split our group but we are all very happy we can stay together. It seems so weird if even one person is missing for just an afternoon here. It changes our whole team. The reason we are staying so close to S. Africa is because not even one person has enough money for outreach yet. We have started doing fundraisers on the weekends. Last weekend we spent most of the day selling hot dogs on the corner. We made a pretty good amount of money. Now, we are planning a concert to do at the end of the month so hopefully we can raise a lot of the support that we need doing that. There are some fundraisers going on at home as well. A few of my friends have started collecting pop cans to help me raise the money I still need for outreach. If you have some that you would like to donate you can call my friend Sarah (291-8960) and they will come and pick them up or tell you where to drop them off. There might also possibly be a fundraiser night at Applebees coming up but I'm not sure if that is going to work out yet. I will let you know!

The lectures for the past few weeks have been about relationships and worship. During the relationship week something that really stuck out to me was when we compared the hollywood version of dating to the Biblical version. It's not about finding the right person.. It's about becoming the right person. During the worship week the idea of worship as a sacrifice kept coming up again and again. The first story of worship in the Bible is when God told Abraham to sacrifice Issac. We also talked a lot about the character of God and things that get in the way of fully worshipping him.

Yesterday during intercession we watched the Invisible Children movie. Even though I have seen it a few times it really broke my heart this time watching it. There is a big difference watching the movie at home and watching it when we actually are in Africa. Even though there aren't child soilders walking around Jeffrey's Bay, there are still children that are invisible. There are kids who suffering for HIV/AIDS. There are kids who struggle everyday to get enough food to survive. There are kids who don't have a home and parents to go home to after playing with their friends. Seeing the lifestyle of these kids has continued to break my heart over and over again. A bunch of us from the base went to get ice cream last week and while we were sitting inside enjoying our ice cream, there were kids wrapped up in blankets laying by the windows outside just watching us. The look on their faces just broke my heart. I didn't feel right eating my ice cream in front of them knowing that they probably hadn't had food yet that day. It is hard to know how to help these little kids. A lot of the kids, some even younger than 10, are addicted to drugs and sniffing paint. Continue to pray for the kids as the spend the days and nights in the streets struggling to survive each day.

This morning my roommate Rachel woke up early to go for a run. We ended up just sitting on the beach praying together. It was so peaceful and refreshing. It is almost impossible to find any quiet places on the base so it was so nice to have no noice except for the waves around us. Praying with the girls every night has brought us so much closer together. We are already planning our trips to South Korea and New York to visit eachother when DTS is done. The staff were saying last week that they have never seen a DTS that is as close as ours. Everytime they ask us if everything is still ok and we say yes they think we are lying because most teams are starting to fight at this time. The unity in our group has been such a blessing!

This afternoon we finally have time to relax! A few of us girls are at the internet cafe right now. We came for breakfast which was so good. Today we are going to the new fruit and vegitable store that we found last weekend. All of the food that YWAM feeds us is full of carbs so we are all getting fat so we love finding stores with healthy foods.

Most of our team has been sick for the past few weeks. I was so sick on Tuesday that I couldn't do anything for the day but I woke up Wednesday feeling so much better! Please continue to pray for the rest of the people though. A lot of people have really bad headaches and colds. Hopefully after resting a lot this weekend we will all be back to normal on Monday.

On Thursday night we had the community meeting. We invite people to come during evangelism and then we have a time of worship with them at 7. This week we performed our 2nd dance that we learned. We all pained our faces to make it look more like an African dance. We decided that everyday in Jeffrey's Bay there are so many unexpected and random things that happen. You just never know what to expect. haha. By the end of the night every person in the room had paint on their face. Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks.. Thanks again for checking!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

An Opportunity to Help

Dear Family and Friends,
One of my friends from Jeffrey's Bay has been called to come to Grand Rapids to follow God's dream for pursing music. He is planning on coming this December to work until September, when he will be enrolling to Grand Rapids Community College to pursue his passion for leading worship. In order to do this, he needs our help!
Please take time and check out his blog at:

Any prayers and support will be a huge blessing
thank you!

Here are a few more pictures from the last few days.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A few Highlights.

Sorry it has taken me so long to update, the internet was down for a few days. The weather here has been crazy. Earlier this week was really warm and not it is cold again. The past few days we have had a lot of rain and storms. We didn't have to get up to run this morning because everything is so wet. Praise the Lord! A lot has happened since I last updated so I'll just tell you about a few of the things that really stuck out to me.

Last week our lectures were about dreams and visions. The speaker was awesome. We talked a lot about how God has a perfect plan for each person but sometimes we don't discover it because we think it is too good to be true. The best way to discover the dreams that God has for you is through prayer. We need to get into a lifestyle of waiting on the Lord. A lot of times that plans that God has for us are not anything that we every expected but we need to trust and follow God.

We also talked a lot about what it means to follow God. To follow God, you need to give up everything to him. You need to get rid of anything that gets in the way of following God with your whole heart. We had time to go to the cross and to give up anything that distracts us from growing closer to God.

All of the girls in our dorm decided that it would be good to pray together each night before we go to bed so we have really enjoyed that. We are growing so close already I can't imagine what we will be like in a few months.

The past few days have been so cold!! Most days, I wear 2 hoodies, a long sleeve shirt, jeans, a fleece coat, and gloves that I bought last week. I NEVER imagined Africa would be this cold even if it is their winter season. I'm still hoping the week we have in Jeffrey's Bay in December will be warm enough for the beach so I can have at least 1 week of summer this year!

We find out next week where we are going for outreach so that is exciting! Well the internet cafe that we are at is closing so I need to go. Have a good day!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Welcome to YWAM J-Bay!

Once again, I don't understand this website. haha. I just lost everything that I typed out so I will retype it again tomorrow! Enjoy the pictures! They get bigger if you click on them. Have a good day!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Over the past few days I have been reminded so many times of how blessed I am. We have spent a lot of time going into the community to pray for the people and to invite them to different things that are happening on the base. My heart continues to break over and over again for the people in this little part of Jeffrey's Bay. Here are just a few stories of things that we have seen in the past few days.

On Thursday we went out to invite people to come to a community worship service. The first place we went was up on this hill where a lot of the street kids hang out during the day. After translating everything that they were saying it turns out that most of the kids are addicted to drugs and sniffing paint. A lot of the kids look much younger than what they actually are because of how it messes up their brain and spinal cord. At our bonfire there was a kid who we all thought was maybe 6 or 7 but he is really 16. Most of the kids live on the streets by themselves with no idea where their parents are.

So after talking with them we walked down the hill and ended up talking to the lady who just starting bawling right away because a little 10 year old kid she knew was just killed last week when some guy came and tied him up then slit his neck. soo she started bawling then asked us for money but we couldnt give her anything because she reeked like alcohol.

We got back and had a worship service thing and after that I was sitting with this other lady who just grabbed on to me and started bawling. So I was like oh here we go again.. so after I pretended to understand her she grabbed my hands and would not let go of me because she was so desperate for money.

It has been so challenging living in the middle of all of this poverty. Our base is in the middle of a city that is full of people who need Jesus. Even after living on this base for 3 months, I hope that I never become used to the conditions here. I hope that each day, my heart will continue to break for these people here and the life that they are living. Even amongst all of the pain here, there is hope which comes only from God.

On a more positive note, It's the weekend!! I was starting to think that this week was never going to end! Every day is so busy! Today it was so nice to have the day off to relax. This weekend was great for getting to know the other people on the team better. I'm very ready and excited for the lectures to start next week. This morning we did our laundry! What a experience! We did our laundry by hand in the sink which was hilarious since none of us knew what we were doing. We hung out all of our clothes to dry outside and left for the "mall". While we were there it started pouring and all of our clothes got wet. Now, our dorm has clothes hanging everywhere to dry.

I'll post more pictures and stories soon! Remember- you are BLESSED!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 1

Meet my new little friend! This little boy in the pictures is our base leader's son, Lucus. He is one of the many cute little kids that I want to take home with me. Right away when I met him he jumped into my arms and wouldn't let go!

The past few days have been so exhausting! The base leader is trying something new for our DTS. mandatory exercise at 6am every Tuesday and Thursday. I think that once we get used to all the running it won't be so bad! This week has been a lot of orientation stuff. The team building games have been great. We did the amazing race and it was AWESOME! Our group is getting so close already. It has been a lot of fun getting to know everybody but I still miss the people at home SO MUCH!!

We have spent a lot of time this week going into the community and praying for them. There is so much poverty all around us here. This week I have learned a lot about how blessed I am. Why am I so blessed to be born where I was and into the family that I am a part of? My heart has been broken over and over again for the people here in Jeffrey's Bay. But at the same time, I know that there is HOPE for them!

Something else that has been really challenging me the past few days is how important it is to follow God when he calls you somewhere or to something. Coming here I was absoltly sure that I was following God and when my 6 months was done I would return home and go on with normal life there. We heard a story today about a 18 year old girl from the last DTS who went to India for her ourtreach. While she was there she strongly felt like God was calling here to stay there and is still there today. It is hard to think of how I will respond if God calls me to stay here or in another country. As much as I want to go home in December, I know that if God calls me, i need to obey and follow him with trust.

Tomorrow the Billabong surfing competion thing starts right here in Jeffrey's Bay. It is exciting to be staying in the city where this big event is happening just 5 minutes from our dorms. Hopefully we will get the chance to go and watch that for a while.

Lastly, I want to thank you for all of the financial support that I recieved when planning for this trip. I still do not have all the money that I need but I know that God will provide for me. There are also people on my team who are still in need money. As a team, we are going to do fundraising to use for our outreach so please pray that the needed money comes in and that we might even have extra to use for things that are needed on the base. I have had people asking me if it is to late to send me money. NOPE! If you are one of those people, you can still write the check out to me and mail it to my house and my mom will take care of it from there.

Thanks again for all of the prayers and little messages that I have been recieving. I really appreciate it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Apparently, I am not very good with this website yet. I can't figure out how to post pictures and type in the same thing so I'll just start another one!

The first few days were so hard for me here in Africa. All I could think about was how much I missed the people at home. Our dorms were not like what I was expecting at all! I'll try and post pictures later when I take some but for now the best way I can describe it is... bunk beds. fake wood floors. no closets. and cockroaches. Yeah. It's pretty interesting and reminds me a lot of Cincinnatti. :)

A few nights ago my roommates and I were talking about how this trip is going to be a lot more challenging than what we planned. We decided to pray together which was really cool. When I woke up the next day a verse from the Bible popped into my head right away. I can't remember what it is (how sad is that) but I wrote it down but that was such a good reminder that I am not alone here. God is with me!

The people in our DTS group are awesome! I am so thankful for all of the girls here. People always told me that they people in your DTS will be your friends forever and I now know exactly what they are talking about. It was great to be able to travel down here with the other 2 girls from Grand Rapids and we ended up being roommates as well so that is awesome. Our last roommate came yesterday from Nigeria. It has been a lot of fun getting to know all of the people here from all around the world. It's pretty cool.

This morning we woke up and went to church. It was a really good service. There was a group visiting from Georgia so the sermon was in English! It was so great to have a whole hour of just being able to listen to somebody and not having to try to figure out what they are talking about.

Tonight is our orientation or "opening night" so hopefully we will be able to figure out a little more about what is going on here. We have had no idea what is going on since we got here so hopefully we will get a little more information tonight.

I figured out my address!!

Katie Vriesman
PO Box 811
Jeffrey's Bay 6330
South Africa

Have a good day!!

A Few Pictures!

Friday, July 3, 2009

We're Here!!

After 2 long days of traveling we finally made it to Jeffrey's Bay! All of the flights went pretty well. On the first flight to Chicago I ended up sitting next to a guy who is the base leader for YWAM in another county (can't remember what one.. it was a long day haha) but anyways.. that was good to be able to talk with him because I was having a really hard time leaving. Our next flight to Washington DC was delayed 2 hours but went well after that. I was suprised that I was able to sit in my seat for the whole 18 hours! We ended up having to find our luggage after that flight and thankfully all of mine came! Both of the girls I was traveling with lost their luggage and are still waiting for it. The rest of the flights were good but very long. We finally arrived at the base around 1 am and moved into our dorm. It's not what I expected at all! My computer is almost dead but I will try to update this again soon! Maybe with pictures! Please pray that I am able to adjust to all of the crazy different things here. I miss my friend and family more than I ever imagined I would!! Thanks for checking!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's Time to Say Goodbye.



There have been so many who have told me that they want to say goodbye so this is your chance! If you can, come around 8 for a fire/volleyball/food/etc. Hope to see you there! If you can, please bring a chair! Let me know if you need directions!

It's hard to believe that next week at this time I will be in Africa! I feel like I have been waiting for this all of my life. I still haven't started packing anything. This past month has been crazy! 2 weeks ago I spent the week in Cincinnati, OH with our youth group for a mission trip. While I was there my wisdom teeth started giving my problems and I ended up getting all 4 out on Monday. I was also the maid of honor in my friend's wedding yesterday so thankfully I didn't swell up too much and I looked almost normal for the pictures! Please continue to pray that the rest of the pain in my mouth and ears goes away before I leave. Thank you so much for all of your support, whether it is with prayer or money. I really appreciate it! Hope to see you tomorrow night!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

-Questions and Answers-

Q: Where are you going and for how long?!?
A: July 1, 2009 is the date that I fly to South Africa! I will be staying at a Youth With a Mission [YWAM] base in Jeffery's Bay, South Africa where I will spend 6 months doing Discipleship Training School [DTS] .

Q: What is DTS?
DTS is a 6 month program for people interested in growing in their faith and also serving others. The 6 months is split up into 2 phases- Lecture and Outreach. The lecture phase is an intense Bible study where we are challenged to grow closer to God in many ways. The outreach phase is an opportunity to go out and to put into practice what we have learned during the lecture phase.

Q: Will the outreach phase also be in South Africa?
Something that I just learned is that our group does not know where we will be for the outreach phase yet. When we arrive for the lecture phase we will begin to pray as a group about where God is calling us to do the outreach. We may possibly stay in South Africa or we may feel like we are being called to another country. We will then buy plane tickets to wherever we are being called and serve there!

Q: Why are you doing this now? Is it even possible to have everything ready in a month?
I have known for the past few years that God was calling me to Africa. I kept ignoring this plan God had for me and continuing on with my own plans. In the past few months God has made it very clear that I am supposed to be in Africa. Sooo I finally realized that if God is calling me to Africa I need to follow that plan. After looking at the website I decided that the July session is the best option so I don't get too far behind in school. So far everything has been working out pretty well. There is still a lot I need to do[money/student visa/plane tickets] before I am completely ready to go but I am confident that everything will work out exactly as it is supposed to if this is truly what I am supposed to be doing.

Q: How much will this cost you?
Around $5,000- $6,000. This should cover everything that I need including shots, plane tickets, and the DTS program. Depending on where we go for the outreach phase it may be more or less because we might need to purchase another plane ticket.

Q: Do you have all the money that you need for this trip?

A: NOPE! After finishing my first year of college there is not a lot of money left in my bank account! I am trusting that I will be able to raise all of the money that I need through support letters and fundraisers [let me know if you have any good ideas!].

Q: How can we support you with this trip?

A: Prayer and donations! Obviously I am going to be going through a lot of adjustments in the next few months so prayers during this time are greatly appreciated. Also continue to pray that everything will continue to work out smoothly and that the needed paperwork is completed on time. If you want to support me financially you can write out checks to me which I will then combine and send to YWAM or use for the plane ticket. If you would like a tax reduction write the check out to YWAM and put my name in the memo but still send the check to me.

- If you have any more questions please feel free to let me know! -