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!