Thursday, 24 March 2016

Jesus Crucified... and Resurrected!

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I updated you all on my time in Toowoomba, Australia!
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind, both emotionally and with the many things going on here.  But before I delve into what's been going on here, I'd like to take a step back and focus on the Lord.

As we go into Easter, I would like to share a song I wrote.

Jesus Crucified
I see the lashes and scars on Your back
Wounds and sores on Your hands and Your feet
Jesus You were crucified
Bloodied and broken You died to buy us back

Crown of thorns on Your head
Royal robes of burgundy red
Crying tears of blood eyes dark
As You smile for me, as You smile for me
As You smile for me

Jesus, You came to restore Your people
Your relationship with us
Your reign on earth as it is in heaven

You show me the holes on Your hands and Your feet
To show me Your glory and in You I'm complete

I remember first writing the words for this song. I was in church at home back in July, 2015. I was thinking about Jesus and all that He's done for me and more importantly, who He is and He gave me a picture which I wrote down and later turned into this song. When we simply sit at His feet and focus on Him, reading His word, praying, communing with others; He will reveal things to you and make clear things that we didn't understand as much before. And the revelation of Him is the rock on which Jesus built the church.

Since I last wrote, the students have had a week of Evangelism, then Spiritual Warfare followed by Lordship. They love to ask questions and it's been cool talking with them. We can learn so much from each other!

During Evangelism week, the female students decided to bless the men with an extravagant and tasty dinner. They even wrote heartfelt notes to all the guys. So sweet! 

Then on that Friday, March 4th, we had a first in the history of YWAM Toowoomba. We had a giving time where we saw everyone's needs met and people still wanted to keep giving. Thank you Lord! 

After giving time, we had evangelising time in the streets  and shops of Toowoomba. In the evening our very own Evelien and Sandra sang and played at our third Campfire Sessions.

Then on Saturday, staff and students headed to the beach where two students got baptised. We spent the rest of the day in the waves and at Dreamworld where we talked to many people in lines, on rides, and in the streets; evangelising and loving on them and making Him known. A personal testimony happened during my time at Dreamworld. I was scared of going on the roller coasters, but decided that I was going to go on them anyway. Normally I will close my eyes and my body will go very stiff when I'm on a ride and scared. This happened for the first ride. Then while I was waiting for the second ride, which was even scarier, I started praying. I gave Him my fears and relied on Him for strength. I went on the ride and my fears were gone! Instead of closing my eyes and being stiff, I opened my eyes and started laughing! God is amazing! He listens to our prayers. If He can take away my fear of roller coasters, He can do anything!

The next weekend, March 11-13, I helped out at a girls camp. I started being a leader there a few weeks ago. They have weekend camps four times a year as well as Wednesday night youth groups for age 11-17 girls and a monthly fun night.  They also have programs that they run in different schools in and around Toowoomba.  They learn about their identity in Christ, about forgiveness, that they are loved and a daughter of God, etc. I love getting to know the girls, loving on them, and praying for them.  One of my favourite sessions of that weekend was when we as leaders got to tell them individually how we and God sees them. That they are loved, precious, God has a plan and purpose for their life, that He will never leave them nor forsake them, that they are beautiful and cherished. Then the girls wrote down some of what we said to them on a piece of paper that had a picture of a mirror on it. This was to show them how God sees them, as opposed to the lies they might see and believe when they look into the mirror.

Last Thursday night, many students got baptised or rededicated their life to the Lord last week. We surrendered everything to God, saying goodbye to our sin of the past and hello to new life.
It was pretty hard for me as my Grandma had just died that afternoon for me, but I was hanging on to Christ and He was my comforter. As I focused on God, students got baptised and prayed for receiving words and encouragement from students and staff. It was cool how even in grief, God gives us peace and words of encouragement to us and to others around us.

This week we are all preparing for the Streets & Lanes festival that's going on this Easter weekend. We will be busking on the streets, performing in cafes and venues all over the city and praying for people and evangelising in the streets. 
Students are on local outreach week. They are performing in cafes, gardening for people in the local community, helping out in schools, soup kitchens, you name it. What a wonderful way to spread the love of Christ as we head into Easter weekend.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. If you need any prayer, please write a comment below or send me an email and I would love to pray for you!
An update on Freedom Project. We have all the time slots filled going to churches in April and one in May. I still need to book three times in May to speak about Destiny Rescue and what they do in rescuing and restoring children from sex slavery.  
From admissions; so far 7 students are accepted for the July school and more are working on their applications. We also have some working on applications for January and July 2017 schools, which is fantastic!
We are building a studio on base and are fundraising for it. So far we have $3,000 of our goal of $25,000 so it's coming along slowly but surely.  Part of our fundraising is selling compilation albums  filled with songs of students and staff in previous schools.
The students are going on outreach in less than 2 weeks. While they are gone, I will be doing local outreach, admissions, getting the rest of the bookings for Freedom Project, going to the Hub, Campfire Sessions, Bella, etc. I'm excited to see where the next 8 weeks takes us.

Please pray for:
-the Streets & Lanes Festival this weekend. That hearts would turn to God, this would be an awakening in the Church and local community, and people would be open to the love of Christ.
-churches to be on board with Freedom Project and the rest of the time slots to be booked
-for God to prepare the hearts of upcoming students for the July school
-more people to be on board with the studio project and see our heart for evangelising locally and fundraising for Destiny Rescue and other non-profit organisations through the studio
-for peace, focus on God, and relying on Him for the students going on outreach as well as the staff that are staying on base
-for all of us related to my Grandma Plett as we grieve that we would keep our eyes focused on the Creator and Lover of our soul, our Comforter, and Father to the fatherless.

Have an amazing day and know you are loved by your Daddy!