Monday, 14 August 2017

Inside Mother's Heart

I feel like so much time has passed since my plane first touched down in Bali, Indonesia where I would spend 4 weeks helping out at an orphanage called Mother's Heart House. Four weeks playing with the 12 children; more like a big happy family then an orphanage.
My days consisted of bringing them to and from school on the scooter I rented for the month, doing the laundry, doing crafts with the kids, taking care of baby Ashara, and helping out around the house. My favourite times were watching Ashara sit up on her own for the first time, playing with the young ones, and watching them catch minnows on Jimbaran beach.
Jimbaran beach

One afternoon we got to go to a slum and hand out clothes and toys that the children at the orphanage had outgrown or didn't need anymore. I loved how the people in the slum shared with each other and were grateful with the little they had.

I loved spending time with the other volunteers as well as the kids. Volunteers usually come for 8-10 weeks minimum, but they made an exception for me, for which I was very grateful. I was also grateful to be able to see more of the beautiful island of Bali. From monkeys to temples, waterfalls to rice terraces, I loved it all.
traditional Indonesian lunch (nasi goreng ayam)
rice terraces

Uluwatu Beach
wearing a sari and sash at the Uluwatu temple
returning baby turtle to the ocean at Kuta beach
on of the many monuments on the round-a-bouts
water blow at Nusa Dua beach
Balinese daily offering
Balinese dancing
monkeys in the Ubud Monkey forest

Every day was a challenge and a gift from God. Some of the challenging times were learning how to drive a scooter, driving on my scooter with 2 or 3 of the kids, the 2 times my scooter had a flat tire, getting lost countless times, and doing the trip alone. But every time I picked up my guitar and started worshiping, or went to the community meeting at the local YWAM base, or looked up at the kites flying, or read my Bible; I was reminded that God is with me always, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. God is with us. As I write this I'm listening to a favourite song of my friend Evelien and of mine; Let There Be Light by Brian & Katie Torwalt. In the song it says that he silences every fear and confusion has its final hour. His voice tears down every wall around me. Just one word from Him and I am changed.

I feel like I have been changed by Him for the better. Each experience has got me exactly to where I am at this point. A couple of days ago I attended the Global Leadership Summit for my first time. I had been wanting to go for a few years now, and so when my parents asked me a couple of months ago if I wanted to go that they would pay for me to go, I was overjoyed. It was a great opportunity to hear from great leaders from all over the world what they had learned and are still learning about leadership. After the first morning I took a walk to look at the Red river that runs through my beloved city of Winnipeg. I had many thoughts in my head. Bill Hybels; the first speaker, had challenged us to spend 15 minutes a day to read and reflect on our life; faith, leadership, and family. I realised that I had done that back in Toowoomba. Three times a week I would go on a run and sit on my favourite bench and just think and pray. It was a great time of reflection, and God made Himself known on those runs. I decided I want to continue doing that. Every morning, sit and reflect with God. To listen and believe in the dreams He has placed in my heart. To seek Him for the timing. And to obey. To forgive and ask for forgiveness. To not be governed by fear but seek after the God who's perfect love casts out all fear.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. I hope you have a great day and God bless!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Saying "Yes" to new adventures

I've been travelling for the past 2 weeks down the east coast of Australia, down to Melbourne. I've been to 8 different towns/cities and stayed at hostels, YWAM bases, peoples homes, and with friends. It's been exciting, fun, a bit terrifying, and sometimes lonely, but I'm glad I did it. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me more confidence in doing things on God's strength. And I got to meet many cool people along the way. I said hello to some new people as well as goodbye to some old friends from my DTS and the previous DTS who just graduated. I am so grateful for friends and family, for new adventures, and for a God who loves to come on those adventures with you, to show you the world through His eyes if you only ask.

I came back to Toowoomba yesterday afternoon and will be here until tomorrow evening. Not too long, but it's been great catching up with the staff here, some of the Bella leaders, and getting my bearings before travelling to Indonesia on Tuesday morning where I'll be volunteering at an orphanage for the next month. I especially loved going to church this morning where I had the opportunity to sing up front during worship. In the service, the preacher talked about the different ways we can praise God and that all spiritual warfare starts with a foundation of praise. So true! He has already given us the weapons to fight the enemy. We just need to use them. Be it with shrill sounds (rinnah) or the 'shabach' shout. You don't have to have a good voice or know how to play an instrument to praise Him. I knew all of this already, but it was great to have a reminder. We also talked about how God goes before us, which reminded me of Psalm 139 when it says You go behind me and before me. And in Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." God has already gone before me to Indonesia and back to Canada, and is preparing good works for me there. I just need to follow after Him and walk in those good works.
walking trail in Coff's Harbour
I have a lot more I could share about my trip around Australia, but I thought I'd share it with you in pictures instead. If you want to know any details; please email or Facebook message me. Or see me. I'd love to catch up and see what you've been up to as well.
Byron Bay at the beach

at Coff's Harbour
Butterfly House in Coff's Harbour

by the bus stop in Coff's Harbour

riding by bike around Port Macquarie
at one of the 9 beaches in Port Macquarie
outside of Koala hospital
at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie
feeding time

lighthouse in Port Macquarie

lighthouse in Newcastle

at Manly beach with Rikki in Sydney
view from the Sydney Harbour bridge
the Opera House at night

the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney
at the State Library of NSW in Sydney
St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney

the National Library of Australia in Canberra
at the Old Parliament House in Canberra
Canberra just before sunset

St. Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne
Tropical house in Melbourne

Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne
at A Maze'N Things in Melbourne with Heidi

Some prayer points:
-Indonesia. For me to follow God's leading in everything there and for people I meet to have their lives changed by the power of Jesus Christ.
-for boldness in sharing the Gospel and loving on others
-for safe travels, good health, etc.
-for great quiet times during the trip and time to process as well as give out

Thanks so much for your support! I hope you have a great day and God bless!