This whole Global Challenge has been tough. I've really been struggling to fit into my team and to find my purpose. I spoke to my leader and she said a few things that was needed, but I want to tell you about two things. Fitst she said that you're value is not in your purpose, it is in who you are. Second thing is that we are not human doings, we are human beings. I am not going to elaborate on that, but think about it.
Knowing God means being exposed to supernatural knowledge and deeds. I cannot believe I was so blind to think any of this could be boring? But then again i could not see without Him opening my eyes. So if you are reading this and you do not understand or you think God is boring, just do yourself a favor and ask for ears to hear and eyes to see. It is not a worldly experience. Of course it is not because God is not an earthly being. He is not what we have made Him to be. His ways are not ours and He can not be boxed in or defined other than being everything. The great I Am. Don't you see? He Is. We cannot put a word by there and classify it as so. Such arrogance!
Ahh Middle East, what an awesome place! I'm so stoked that I had the privilege of serving the people of crossroads. I'm really liking the tea a lot it's like a mix between rooibos and normal tea, it's perfect!
What? How does that work? It does, if you're a sinner. I am a very honest person and I want you to fully understand my journey, so yeah, sometimes you're going to think I am an absolute fool. Great! Please think that, because my friend, that's exactly how gross and sinful and foolish I am, without God. Great thing that God doesn't leave us in our sins. Thank God He doesn't. Now of course, you want the juice (news) of what I have done. I thought that I had the right to want. I started to want the things other people have. For example, I saw someone with Ray-Ban sunglasses. I decided I want them, couldn't afford them and started wishing I had it. Even prayed for them. Realizing, I can just ask God for it. I started treating God as a vending machine. I also had the worst mindset: I am a missionary this year which automatically makes people think more of me. (I'm very ashamed.) It got worse. I am in Turkey Istanbul. The people are amazingly friendly here. There are a lot of Turkish Delight shops and wow! The people allows you to taste the stuff and gives it to you for free as well! This is how you get things for free: They see business when they see you. They call you over. You start a conversation with them. Then you pretend as if you do not know what something (example: a chocolate mushroom) is. They give it to you to taste. You walk away. It just didn't feel right. God started talking to me about this. For the first situation He told me: "Ye shall not want." Correct, it's in the ten commandments. Secondly I got an amazing verse: For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 1 Corinthians 9:19 KJV. God told me how I am manipulating people and being fake to get a little piece of Turkish Delight and to let people give me things. Readers, if you do something wrong but want to live in alignment with God's purpose for you, Keep searching and He will show you your errors: Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Philippians 3:15 I am sorry that you have to find out how sinful I am. Luckily we serve a living God who will love us as we are, but won't leave us that way. I am ready to say that I will try my best not to want. I will try my best to become a servant unto all men. That is my deepest desire: to serve in the way God has prepared for me. Challenhe Accepted! Stay in the outlook for my next blog: I want to write about the Heart of Islam or something like that.
I have come to the conclusion that man has been made comfortably numb by the world. And our flesh is chronically addicted to the feeling of not feeling.Every thing the world throws our way, provokes us to harden our hearts, to close our eyes, to look away. Because sometimes your heart and soul can not handle feeling the brokenness the world brings across your path. So we decide to become numb, because not feeling is easier than feeling. But this state of numbness come with terrible side-effects, which is in favor of the enemy. Because a numb heart can not feel heart ache, joy, love and the presence of our Father. Now God knows this. So he puts us on a journey of de-numbefication. During this journey we are taught how to feel (turning hearts of stone into hearts of flesh). So we are led into the desert or into great trails so God can start chizeling away on our stone hearts. He leads us in the direction of extreme heart ache, because it will take a huge amount of brokenness for a stone heart to feel again. So slowly from the outside in. God allows us to pioneer into our numb hearts, instinctively, lovingly and patiently God come along for the journey. He gives us just enough trails for the outer layer of our stone hearts to start feeling again, to be filled with blood, life and Love. And usually when that layer is filled to its capacity it is the point we feel the closest to God. But God knows there is more to feel (He wants to be closer than just the outer layer), this is only one layer that is now no longer numb. But we also know this, deep down something in us tells us this is not the pinical of love, there must be more... So we journey further into our numb hearts, ready for the next trail, the new expedition into the dessert. So we consider it pure joy when facing trails of manny kinds. Because with each trail a deeper layer of our heart is allowed to feel, the numbness is taken away and replaced with compassion and sadness. When pioneering a new layer of a numb heart, is usually the point where we feel the most separated from God, because we step back into the numbness into a area of not feeling. This feeling is one of the biggest lies we can fall for. For The word of God says that He will never leave us. For He says He will always be with us and nothing can separate us from Him. So this feeling of separations is almost ironic. For when we feel God is leaving us. He is actually moving closer, deeper, one stoney layer at a time. But I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Because the more we allow God to break our heart for what brakes His we indirectly allow our hearts to be filled with joy, not any joy but the type of joy that brings God joy.
Good day dearestsSince infancy i've been fascinated by rings! You know you only remember certain childhood memories? Well one i distinctly remember is my using my positive carving tools (manipulating) with a friend of my gran's. I remember thinking if i make a massive deal about how much I love her rings, she'll think " the hell with my own grand daughter. This one appreciates it more." So if that doesn't say enough about my 'mild' obsession with rings then just know it is badSubconsciously I still do it. My friends will tell you! I always fit their rings on and then just wear them for like 10 minutes. That child in me still waits for someone to just give it to me. I mean, can't you see i really like it? I can't stop looking at it. I mean com on! Just hand it over!So during training a girl who has been on a journey ( you know who you are ) had this amazing ring that she bought in Israel. When the disappointment sunk in that she, along with the hundreds of others is not going to give me this gorgeous ring that I so obviously love. I mean the nerve! Anyway, when it sunk in I got this crazy idea to ask God if He would ask someone in Israel to be obedient and give me a golden ring with three rubies in. I mean nothing is too big for God and I am His daughter, so cool thanks!So guess what God tells me the next morning..."please take your rings with on your journey" now you cannot hear the tone of my voice, but He was basically telling me " ok , sure! Why don't you give away your rings, then we will see what happens" God has an amazing sense of humor!So it hit me hard, but i realized in the midst of that intense useless denial that my attachment to my beautiful thin, fragile, golden ring that my sisters gave to me for my birthday and this amazing golden ring with this big black stone in ( that people never claimed after staying at our guesthouse... We tried to contact them... Well my mom tried.) and this beautiful copper ring with a blue stone in that my friend's mother bought for me. That sentence got a bit long... My attachment to these beautiful rings was unhealthy. I mean I recently mos learnt the meaning of life. The reason why I am alive and, these beautiful ( don't know how to emphasize this more ) rings don't really add to that. No calm down convicted reader. I'm not saying sell it all. ( God will get to you eventually hiehie joke! Calm down. No really, I'm joking ). It was just the fact that this useless earth thing is making me rethink my obedience.( #obedience is better than sacrifice).So yes I packed in my rings. And my 'self' part of myself had all the wrong motives. Motive 1: People see what I do and think it honorable ... Yes i admit I am an disgusting human person.#justdiealreadystupidflesh!Motive 2: God sees my obedience and returns my gesture by giving me the dream ring. Again, yes i know, I already annoy myself don't you worry! And secretly i hoped my bringing the rings and being "willing" God would recognize my willingness and bless me by letting me keepem. Haha cuteSo today I painfully said goodbye to two of them. Yup He is ripping the band aid off quickly! ( so that the wound can heal)And i get how this must sound to you... What kind of God asks for this? I thought His yoke was light but now i have to give up what I love?God just knew exactly how to teach me the power of His freedom. It was and is still such a liberating feeling! And He used these opportunities to reveal a lot of things to me! First ring (thin golden birthday ring) : I am like totally judging peoples unworthiness of this beautiful ring! Crazy, i know! "It won't fit her, she only wears silver, she has a beautiful ring so she won't appreciate it" many more believe me! The mind comes up with a lot of junk to side step inconvenience... And there it hits me! God gave us this beautiful gift, Jesus. And we are not worthy of it, we will not want to fully receive it or 'wear it' or want it even. But He, knowing we wouldn't see the worth of it, still gave it without thinking twice. We truly are disgusting! That verse in the first book of Revelation sticks with me " when we see Him, the ones who know Him and not, will mourn on behalf of Him!!!!!!! Whaaat! In that moment our entire reality will shift so much! We will see how bleeeeh we are and how That stunning beautiful King is wearing all of this bleeeh's filth. We will finally die ( our self- prideful selves) and we will morn on behalf of this Beauty, carrying the stuff that should not even exist near to His sight! What a drastic change in our manner of thinking that will be. I'm not even close to understanding the full extent of this and i already find it horrifying.Sorry for that slight side track...So I gave it to a lady and I am not going to lie, at first i was pretty sour, but since then I have received so much freedom and peace over the situation. I can almost feel how a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Second one also made its way from my fingers, 'freeing my fingers' literally and of course lets not ignore the obvious metaphorical 'freeing myself'- very deep! Almost can't even see it's so deep. I know, I know.So yea the "empty handed" is a cool pun. Because yes the obvious- i have no rings onBut also the deeper metaphorical meaning- when I am weak He is strong. I have nothing to offer Him. He already owns everything- cute that I think I can in some way deserve anything. I come to Him empty handed. To be empty handed is to give up all worldly things that i can hold on to for comfort. I am dependent on Him, because without Him I am nothing. I can do nothing. Useless. Entirely useless. Tomorrow I will give away the other ring. And I really am fighting against the pride of saying " gosh i am so obedient" ( don't you just hate how pride steals from beautiful experiences with Jesus?) so know I write this post with no intention of boasting, but simply sharing this painfully freeing experience. Again, a liberating education. I don't know if He will reward me. A big part of me obviously feels like I deserve it, but that is a big lie. So we will see. Perhaps my receiving nothing in return will be a bigger reward than actually receiving the dream ring. Yea yea reading this you probably think I am so full of it, but please know I am sharing where my heart is at the moment. If it annoys you please forget about it, because God has His own way of revealing His character to us. Hahaha what I've learnt from this though. If the idea of giving your stuff bothers you, you should go ask yourself "Why?" Why am I so attached to this? Hahah it is a dangerous game, but believe me it is so worth playing! But like I said- We shouldn't connect a certain formula to Him. Watch this space More over Jordan. I am inlove with this culture. Truly the most hospitable people group i have ever met. Yesterday a 100 year old lady invited one after the other and massaged all the ladies' hands with Nivea she probably can't afford. They are so hospitable that we had to find tactics to avoid another serving of coffee. The whole seconds tradition that ruled in training is now being countered. If you don't use these tactics they will keep on serving you and they don't take no for an answer! And the children are amazing! Beautiful and so well mannered in nature. The world's idea of these people, well my previous idea of this people was so flawed. They are kind hearted.God is at work here! It is so beautiful to see first hand how we really aren't needed here and yet He still lets us experience His love. He speaks to them through beautiful dreams and then we just listen and praise Jesus. What an honor!Cool cool see you soon
wow!! I'm so stoked these past 42 days have been something else. Learning more about myself, God, the people around me and how situations can effect you when you beyond tired. I've really been blessed to be here with all these amazing people. From surviving in the freezing cold nights at our makeshift campsite with a sheltt that didn't even work and our fire being to far away from everything, all the "dear diary" entries made it just all the more funny. My survivor team was the orange team and already in 5days we had made a bond that wasn't broken. I learnt team work is very important and you can't be a one man team otherwise you will get wrecke. Then we got back to jbay and had like an afternoon to chill and we thought the hard stuff was done but nope this week we have to build a lovely road for the school of jbay GLA. That's was definitely a huge task but we all found what we where good at and worked together to make an awesome road. Then we had a chance to build relationships with the children of GLA at their camp over the weekend. We really had a fantastic time there laughing and pball the games. As soon as we got back from the camp we jumped Into the car and headed off to the Transkei to help at Canzibe. We built a fence and helped the orphans and the underprivileged children we played and danced and did lessons with skits for them they really made my heart break, they have so little but their smiles are bigger than anything I e ever seen. We also got an amazing chance to go to the hole in the wall at coffee bay. the last day at the transkei we where told that we are going to do a Luke ten back to jbay in small teams haha wow that was something out of this world my experiences in just those two days of how faith and listening can make a huge difference in The way we live and see things and experience them. Then we chilled back home at jbay for a week while the other teams did their stuff in capetown so I was so happy to finally have a bed and warm shower and got to Sleep late. The next week was lessons from Norm Wakefield, oom Gerrie and Uncle Joe and woah that stuff was mind-blowing my whole look on life has like been changed. The last couple of days has been very special spending the last bit of time we have with the other teams before we all go off. I'm just so overwhelmed at the fact that my new family is so awesome.
6 weeks ago, if people asked me, why are you doing Global Challenge. My answer would have typically been something in the line of: "I am determined to find God and revelation" or "I want to take my relationship with God deeper and gain wisdom and favor" or even "I want to change the world". Those are typically seen as a pretty honorable answers to the question.
Flight. Midnight. Arrive. Panama. Airport. Sleep. Morning. Adventure. Taxi. Gamboa. Church. Pastor. Carmelita. Canal. Boats. Coffee. Breakfast. Explore. Shower. Outside. Mangoes.
With a heart wild with expectancy, and eyes filled with wonder, I arrived at OR Tambo on the 4th of March. What to expect? I didn't know. All I knew is that I am about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, to live a life like no other. And all this, with Jesus as my compass and anchor. We boarded flight 202 headed to Dar es Salaam, and you could smell the excitement in the air. Our flight only jetted off at 23:20, and I soon found out that a dinner tray can also be used as a pillow. The first akward sleeping position of many to come! When we landed in Dar, and got our bags, we discovered that Génekes bag went missing. We had to say goodbye to our friends, Hidden World and Work Your Way, and leave the airport without Ginxs bag, and headed off to Zanzibar. After almost 3 hours of bag searching, taxi scouting, money drawing, and being bombarded by people who want to assist you with everything you don't want/need and also can't afford. In a city full of chaos, we met Mr Basheer, our first man of peace. He invited all ten of us in to his matchbox sized ferry ticket office, and helped us. When we were thirsty, he gave us water. He's whole being was woven together by kindness and humbleness. He gave us discount on our ferry tickets AND changed it to VIP tickets. When we boarded the ferry, he gave us orange soda and muffins. And he did all this, not because he felt sorry for us, but because of WHO HE IS. Peace that surpasses all understanding. I never quite got that, until it happened to me. But you never really understand something until you see it in your team mate, who's bag, with her whole journeys things inside was stolen. It's all about trusting and knowing that He is control. We arrived in Stone town, Zanzibar, after approximately 14 hours of traveling. Hot, sweaty, overwhelmed by the humidity, hungry and tired, but definately not dismayed. Our host waited for us at the harbors gate, and soon enough we were on our way to the place we would call home for the next 10 days. Our American/Canadian turned Zanzibari hosts welcomed us with open arms, and after we settled in, we had dinner with them, which consisted of Zanzibar pizza, salad and watermelon.
Turning water into wine. Telling fishermen to be his followers. Followed around by spiritually-hungry people, searching for truth. Feeding five thousand people with a little boy's lunch. Setting people free from law and leading them into grace. Yes, that's my Jesus. This same Jesus allowed Distant Worlds to get a taste of what that felt like during our week in the Andes mountains.
It was a dream come true. Rattling, shaking and bumping up zigzag mountain passes to the village of Incahuasi. This was where we would sleep for five nights. We drove for four hours on 100km on a single-lane, dusty, serpentine path. In the Andes Mountains. I almost couldn't believe it.
The mountains were colossal, stretching 3130m into the heavens. My eyes were as wide as saucers as we drove past mountain villages, with hand-sown rice fields and horse-drawn carts. The women wore the most beautiful, colourful, handmade clothes. Not much has changed in these villages from 100 years ago.
We shared bibles with many far-away schools in isolated towns. The average amount of students were 40 in the whole school. It was interesting to note that most of these people had never even left their mountain town. They didn't know about things such as beaches, skyscrapers of drive-thru McDonalds. They knew more about mountain trails than LonelyPlanet and their diet consisted of things they had planted and cultivated themselves. A whole new world. "Lord, what do I say to these children? We come from two different worlds. We don't even speak the same language - they speak Quechua and I only speak primitive Spanish. Holy Spirit, speak through me please..."
The past 6 weeks have consisted of two countries multiple flights, taxis, busses, motorbikes, Trans Jogja journeys, Jeepney, ferry and multi-cab rides. Blessings in abundance, amazing people, challenging ministry, victory and freedom, struggles and breakthrough. It has been an intense growing and incredible time seeing God bless and provide in an over abundance in Indonesia too a crazy 118 hour travelling story involving a ferry ride and the story of the mirical snack packet too a challenging but incredible experience in the Philippines. Never doubt that God is a good Father.
I think i'm only coming to the realisation of what God has called me to as His child now. Saying that - it is still a journey. What it means to say "yes" and what He means when He tells me to go.
...The adventure of a lifetime.For those of you who don't know what a Luke 10 is let me quickly explain it. You can read Luke 10:1-9 and that sums it up pretty well, but for those of you who don't have a Bible on hand a Luke 10 is where they send us out without money and limited supplies. What is taken differs from team to team. Our team had just enough money to get to and from Mae Sot with a little left over for buying drinking water, our toothbrushes, a change of clothes, Bible, and a rain jacket.Starting out it was clear God wanted us to go to Mae Sot and not to stay in Burma for the week as we originally thought. From getting to the Burmese embassy too late to apply for a visa, to it being waaaay out of our price range to buy plane tickets to get to Yangon city, and then being led on a wild goose chase around Bangkok.But our team was at peace with going to Mae Sot because it was a border town and we would still be able to go into Myawadi (just across the Burmese border) with a day visa.We took the night train to a city about 200km away from Mae Sot and then hitchhiked the rest of the way there. It was amazing how the Lord provided during that time. One of the people who gave us a ride in the back of their truck gave us breakfast (we didn't tell them we didn't have food or money for food) and then later another man blessed us with lunch (without us having to tell him either). We even managed to get to the border before 1pm!Our goal had been to get to Mae Sot so after that was completed we weren't sure what to do next. We noticed a night market (that was only open Sunday nights) setting up across the road so we started helping a family there. They blessed us with even more food and we got to help them make the food and sell to customers. While we were doing that a man started talking with Robynne. It turned out he was a pastor that worked with YWAM and he offered us a place to stay! He said he worked a lot with the Burmese people and he could take us to places around Mae Sot where we could help out. Later on he told us that he never went to that market, it was too far from his home, but something told him he needed to be there that night.That evening he took us to his Burmese school where we got to share about what we were doing. And it turns out they had just been talking about walking by faith at church that morning! We got to talk to the teachers there, answer questions about Christianity, and encourage them by sharing about God's love and grace.The next day we went to Mae Tao, a Christian Burmese clinic, and had the opportunity to pray for the post op patients. I think what affected me the most there though was seeing all the victims of landmines. The war ended in 2010 but people still come into the clinic almost every day because of landmines. That night we visited another school and shared with the people there. We had the opportunity to pray for them and had the great privilege of being prayed for by them.Finally it was time to enter Burma. We woke up early because we could only enter for one day. There are alternate ways of getting into the country but you run the risk of being shot so we took the more conventional way across the friendship bridge . We didn't have a contact on the other side so we walked around Myawadi, talking to the people and praying for the city. It was amazing to see how God provided for us that day by sending us people to talk to. That day was very hot as well but people kept blessing us with cold water and pop.One of the markets in MyawadiBurma side of the Friendship BridgeWednesday we had the opportunity to go to one of the Burmese refugee camps near Mae Sot. We weren't allowed to go inside because "It's not a zoo" as the guards say. So we walked along the highway beside the camp, praying for hope for the people inside. Our last day in Mae Sot and Luke 10! We were told we would be doing construction at one of the schools so we dressed in our smellier shirts, ready for a hard day of work in the hot sun. When we arrived they said that plans had changed and instead of construction we would be going to a wedding! Those of us who had managed to keep one of our shirts clean quickly changed before we were whisked off in the back of a truck with some students to the wedding. Once we got there it turned out that the ceremony was over and now it was just the reception. Though that didn't seem to matter because we were soon escorted to a table and had a mountain of rice placed in front of us. As soon as we finished eating we were rushed out of there, back to the school.The rest of the day we rested and played with some of the children until that evening when we had to go.I wish I could write in detail about everything we did and experienced there but it would take far too long. I do want to quickly add however that God provided for all our needs miraculously while we were there, we never lacked anything. Another thing that stood out was that it all felt so prearranged. It felt more like we were just going to another ministry point than it did a Luke 10. But I guess that was because God had arranged everything.Anyway I hope this story has encouraged you as much as it's encouraged us. God bless.
I am currently sitting in Colombia writing this update surrounded by sounds of a river and jungle. We are at a mission base of New Tribe Missions which is on a Finca (farm) on the outskirts of a town called Fusagasuga. What was once a place that was robbed of its life because of guerilla warfare is now a place that is filled with students and families that have all dedicated their lives to the furthering of God's Kingdom in unreached tribes in Colombia.