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!