Exploring Panama

Exploring Panama
 For 12 days we stayed in a church in Gamboa, across the panama canal. One of our verses for the year is Isaiah 55:5 'Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you.' Everyday, huge ships travel through the Panama canal from the other side of the world and we got to watch them sail past. They didn't exactly come running but instead these nations came slowly sailing past us. It was Gods word spoken in the beginning and we got to see it being fulfilled and that's exactly what I experienced in Panama. The promises of God spoken before coming through.  In the beginning of the year I wrote down 3 values, not really thinking much of them and forgetting about them as well but God thinks much of them and thank you Jesus that you never forget. 1. Intercessory prayer- For three nights, we went to a prayer house with the locals and prayed for Panama and the situations there. We also did a 24H prayer chain praying for the amazing people we met. I learnt that God already has a will He wants to accomplish for individuals and the world and he places these ideas and desires in our hearts to pray them out, to release what Jesus has already done. We have the glorious privledge to be used by God to speak to will of the father on earth.2. Adventure- We swam in the canal...there's crocodiles. We fed monkeys bananas. We saw a Jaguar. We visited a traditional Indian village in the forest. We spoke on the radio and the parents came to visit us.3. Humility- Some evenings we watched movies in the Church (with popcorn) in compelled by love (You have to watch it.) They describe a certain city as an adulterous women, wearing tattered clothes, and wandering in the streets and God calls her His beautiful bride. That's amazing!! God calls us His! "It's only when we begin to see who Jesus really is, that we begin to see who we really are."-Lisa Bevere
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Lights, Camera, Action!


 I don't really know how to start or how to write this blog. How does one explain 6 countries done living by faith for one month just a few sentences... I'll try my best to just give you a glimpse of my experiences of our  time in central America. It's been a complete faith journey the whole time. Have you ever wondered how life would be like if you put your trust 100% in God?  Well... He might just ask you to pioneer Mexico and do your Luke 10 from Cancun, Mexico to Guatemala for 10days. But that 10days was not enough to establish pure faith. So God asked us to do 5 countries in 6days. We all arrived safely in Costa Rica on the 6th day with a extra bit of faith in our pockets.  I just simply cannot put it into words, I highly recommend you just try it yourself So here's a few photos for inspiration:
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A journey full of God's miracles

Ten days Luke 10 journey - What else as miracles can you expect? In our first Luke 10 journey in training I was sceptical how God will show up and what he has planned for us. Everything was new for me and I didn't know so much fun will expect me. After this privilege to experience this and hear all the stories from the other groups I was so excited for this faith trip and knew that He will provide and be with us all the time. Praying, listening to God's voice and stepping into his plan were a big part of these ten days. Jesus sents us out as lambs between wolves to share his word and be an example for others in the way how we live. That was exactly how we felt in our first three days when God opened the doors to sleep in a four star hotel and let us be part of a promotion weekend for a small town. Through conversations about our faith and experiences could we impact many workers and tourists. Out of the nice bed of the hotel we slept in our tents in a forest full of scary monkey sounds and adventure, but through biblestudy and prayers we got encouraged every day. The next day God provided in a special way. We got a five hour lift und in the destination town he asked us if we want to come to his brothers church. Without nowing we are Christians he brought us to him and a warm meal and a place to sleep waited for us. They welcomed us as they knew we are coming, but nobody told them. God gave them the previous day a bibleverse that a group will come, they should be prepared and welcome them as their own family. We thanked God and encouraged them through prayers. Every person we met didn't recommend us to walk through the border to guatemala and especially not in the night, but we felt to do this, so we crossed the border and searched for a place to pitch up our tents. While walking i prayed and didn't feel peace, but in this moment a car stopped and took us to the next city. He was a drug dealer, but God saved him long ago and he invited us for dinner and to sleep at his church. The next three days we stayed and spent a lot of time with him. I learned a lot from him and his experiences.  God has a big plan for you and he will show up in an amazing way if you step out in faith! All praise and glory to him for what he has done! 
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Friendship and revelations

Two different worlds in one month.Russia: cold and quite peopleCuba: hot and open people The first three days in Havana were really hard for me, because the hot weather and the long walks made me so exhausted. So from this point I started to hope that the next three weeks will go quickly. After a twelve hour truck drive and first meeting with the Gladios members I started to enjoy this time. We had the privilege to build new friendships with them and work in the organisation and their church. In our free time we discovered Santiago de Cuba, enjoyed old overloaded buses and we  ate a lot of icecream. It is so admirable to see how the christians in cuba live with so less and God showed me that he gives so much more than worldly things. Through biblestudy and devotions God gave me so many revelations and answers for all my prayers and worries, so I learned a lot in this time about Him and myself. I had on my heart to discover the book of James and through this God revealed a lot of truth and useful tips for me to use in my life. It is definitely worth to read James! I am so thankful that God is completely changing my life and giving me a real purpose! I Give all the praise and glory to Him!  "You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can't you see that faith without good deeds is useless?" James 2:19-20 We are not doing good deeds, because we follow the law, we are doing it because Jesus Christ is living in us and He gives us joy in it! Amen brother! Thanks for reading and have a nice day!
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Once upon a time in Cuba

Lets travel back in time and go to Cuba. My mind was blown when we got off at the airport in Havana after a 13h flight from Russia. The streets were filled with very old cars from way back. With a killing heat, no toilet paper and no english speaking people we started our time in Cuba. 

 I thought we were going to Cuba to build,  work in gardens and to serve the people there. Few did I know about what was waiting for me. First of all the pizza's is like R5 and the ice creams R0,50... Crazy! After a 15h truck drive from Havana to Santiago we arrived at the church where we stayed for 3weeks (that is super long for us). Through all the physical work and eating ice cream we had amazing connecting times with some locals from the church. We went to be a blessing for them and they have blessed us back more than I could ever imagine. I don't know how people who have so little can give soooooo much? Honestly, it can definitely be through God only.  Thank you Cuba for your hospitality and lots of adventures. Thank You God for revealing more of Yourself to me and more of Your amazing love.  Next up-> pioneering Mexico. Miracles awaits.
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God's blessings in the promised land

Everything began at the aiport in Tel aviv on saturady - sabbath - with no public transportations... So we prayed in small groups and got this vers:'This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.' Joshua 1:9.Perfect vers to hitchhike to the see of galilee! What a great experience! Six days full of hiking and God's blessings through free bananas, grapefruits, 25 fishes and bread made this definitely my highlight! This week showed us that God is really with us and that he wants to provide for us and it was the perfect time to read God's word and see where Jesus did all the miracles.After this trip we had the opportunity to serve at a coptic church in Bethlehem, pulling out weeds and building a small church in a cave. Fellowship with Northbound, the unending chocolate pile and the spontaneous visit of my brother were some of our blessings in this time. After crossing the border of Palestine to Israel we visited Jerusalem where we discovered all the famous places. The next blessings were the family hosting us in Tel aviv, all the teachings about Israel/Jews, outreches, shabbat celebration, worship and just to be part of their family.On the way to the Dead sea God told us to go to a village in the desert, but they couldn't host us, so we camped and worshipped God in the wilderness. 'O Israel, the one who formed you says,'Don't be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you're mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you!''Isaiah 43:1-2God showed me every single day that he wants to walk a personal journey with everyone of us, and he will bless us in this time! 
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Turkey for thanksgiving

I am so thankful for: African time; it is better than Turkish time, free public toilets, the SPCA, understanding Afrikaans, 'n lekker Braai, wearing shoes in the house, western toilets, Yum Yums double crunch peanut butter, google translater, an open window in a truck with a smoker driver for 7 hours, not having my pasta taken and hidden away by my team, not waking up to the sound of ziplock packets opening, not being called the spice girls or Charlie's angels by every merchant in the market but above all, I am so thankful for these things because they have made Turkey and the Turkish people crawl into my heart. This year for thanksgiving (not that I've ever had thanksgiving before.) instead of a stuffed turkey with roasted veggies, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy,creamed asparagus, mince meat pie and fruit cake, I had; Adventures stuffed with laughter and roasted conversations with strangers. Giblet grace, soft healing of the heart, princes seat pie, and layers of the fathers love, delicately prepared by the hands of God like a true Master Chef.

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Two continents, one country


Sahlep n.  a traditional winter warmer, a common beverage in Turkey.  The powder of Sahlep is sold in a ready-to-prepare form, to be mixed with cold milk or water, boiled until it gets thick so that it can really sooth our sore throats and take away that cold during the blistery winter days. The dust of cinnamon makes it even more pleasurable.  It is thick, it is sweet, it is comforting.  I would like to use this delicious drink, made out of orchids, as a metaphor to describe my time in Turkey: As we arrived with a lot of uncertainty in Istanbul, we found our way to a backpackers with the Hagia Sophia Mosque on our front porch and the great Sultanahmet Mosque in our back yard. With happy faces and smiling hearts we celebrated our arrival and the well located backpackers which is walking distance from everything in the city. We were well reminded by the shouting of the two mosques 5 times a day that we are centrally located...which made our experience of the Muslim culture alive. So the milk was on the stove and that there was no chance of turning back for me -we as a team embarked on a crazy cultural pilgrimage through the land of Sahlep.  Our first destination was Izmir. We had a blessed time serving, being served and having fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Part of the ministry included facilitating a cutural youth night and conecting with Turkish kids, visiting an underground worship event, doing some work around the house and sharing some testimonies at church. The milk was on the boil, our hearts swelled with joy and like boiling milk our cups started overflowing... After making our way through the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the Word sank in deeper and I received a better understanding of what it was like in the days when Paul wrote letters to the Ephesians. That was the devine moment when the soft white powder was added to the milk and being stirred together- things started to come together and I was able to pinch down the present and the past on one spot, feeling impacted and overwhelmed by the large pillars and fine carved out relief pieces on the capstones.  The concoction started getting thicker... Due to the fact that we are traveling on a low budget, we thought it good to save some money on transportation. We diveded into smaller groups, got dropped off at the side of the road and started hitchhiking! I hitchhiked 897km in total, without paying a penny for transportation or food on the road. We went through Pamukkale ( a natural wonder of hot springs ), snowy mountain ranges and Cappadocia, a valley of oddly shaped rock formations where people made their homes in thousands of years ago.  Now that I am back in Istanbul I can enjoy my cup of Sahlep reflecting back on all of my wonderful experiences and the friendly Turkish nation that opened up their doors for us- front doors and passenger doors :) And last but not least, my team is the cinnamon on top of my drink, without them this journey would be flavourless and normal...
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Excuse me, can I help you?


How can you try to explain Turkey in words? Everything that has happened here was just one amazing journey. I can literally see God's hand in every place that we've been to. From our first day in Istanbul God has started the journey with me to show me what true humility is and make me realize again that this year is not about me. 

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Wait!!!! Who am I??

This is a done deal!! Jesus is in me and I am in Him. This is who I am!! I am everything God said me to be. I don't need to search for it, I don't need to do something to get it. He already gave it all to me with the cross. All I need to do is release it! Release God in me trough His Holy Spirit. 

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He Called, I Answered.

There is something liberating about sitting on a rooftop of a hostel in Istanbul, looking over the chaotic puzzle of buildings and busy people with Amanda Cook's 'Wonder' pumping through my earphones. What a time to be alive.

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