Friday, 27 May 2016

Bella, Bush Dancing, & Barbecues

Hi everyone. I'm very thankful to staff here in Toowoomba, Australia. It was very hard to get up this morning though, because it is getting cold here. You'd think I'd be used to the cold as I was born and bred in chilly Manitoba, Canada, but my body has adjusted to that I'm cold when it gets colder than 10 degrees Celsius. Sad, I know.
Anyway, the past three weeks have been great. Students got back from outreach on the weekend of May 13th and we had report back on the Monday after they got back where everyone shared their stories from the last 6 weeks of overseas outreach. I loved hearing what God has been doing in Cambodia, Thailand, Fiji, and here in Australia. God is moving everywhere in the world and I love how we are part of that as Christians. There were many stories of healing and people beginning to know the love of Christ. One student got healed of her celiac disease during her outreach to Cambodia! God is so amazing!
Team Fiji speaking at a youth group in Byron Bay, Australia
Team Cambodia in the village teaching English
Team Thailand (who called themselves Red Curry) praying for a lady
Team Thailand (aka Green Curry) doing an impromptu Bible study with the kids

The weekend the students got back from outreach was a busy weekend for me. I helped out at a girls camp called Bella. I shared about my relationship with my father as well as my heavenly father and encouraged them all to cry out to God and give Him our pain. He delights in us and is pleased with us. I also shared my "Revelation of God as Father" that God gave me last year and that I posted in a blog entry back in February of this year.  Then we got to pray for the girls and they wrote out a letter to God and threw it into the fire, showing that they are surrendering all of them to God, who gives great gifts, the greatest of all being Himself. I also loved just hanging out with the girls and playing and laughing with them. They are so fun to be around and I love them so much!

Then on Sunday morning, we as Freedom Project got to go to a church and talk about the work of Destiny Rescue. Evelien shared a song she wrote about human trafficking that really impacted the congregation and then we got to answer questions people had about the organisation afterwards and sell some jewellery that the rescued girls made. I loved worshipping at that church and being a part of their service. They were so welcoming and such a joy to be around.

The next week, while students had lectures in Music & Missions and were preparing for local outreach and recording week, I was in the office answering emails from future staff and students, helping people with their visas, and doing accounts work as usual. It was a pretty busy week because I had to do some stuff in accounts with the outreach teams that got back. During that week, we had a going away party for one of the staff members, my friend, and my one-on-one, Kim, who is home for the next 3 months before coming back on staff here. We had a potluck milkshake party where we each brought some milkshake ingredients to share. The milkshakes were delicious and I loved hanging out with the rest of the staff. I love that over the last 5 months of me being here on staff, I have grown to love these people like my family. I'm going to miss the 7 staff who leave in a month's time.

On Friday, May 20th, I went to a Bella event where I did bush dancing for the first time. It's similar to square dancing and lots of fun, especially when it's with teenage girls. We also got to hear from some of the girls who go to a boarding school here in Toowoomba and their home is in the country. One of the girls lives on a property that is over 100,000 acres which is about the size of the city of Winnipeg. Wow, imagine one of us owning and living in a whole city!
If you want to see a little video of the bush dance, I've shared it to my Facebook page for you to view and enjoy.

Then on Saturday I went to a barbecue in a park, went to the library (I'm so excited I got a Library card here!), listened to a group of our students do a music set at a Relay for Life to raise money for Breast Cancer, and then went to a baptism of some of the girls from Bella.
barbecue in the park

our students performing at Relay for Life
On Sunday I went to a Mission Market. We drove for 1 hour out of town to get there and there was about 30 different missions organisations from all over the world present. We got to share about Destiny Rescue for 90 seconds before the timer went off (they had a different animal noise for the timer which was hilarious). Since it was at a church, we had worship songs in between and afterwards, people milled around, eating their Devonshire Morning Tea and talking to the people in stalls around the church. My favourite part (other than eating the scones which were delicious) was hearing the stories of the people representing other organisations. I talked so some people from WEC (which is World Evangelism for Christ but they joked that it meant Where Everyone's Crazy) who had amazing stories about God's provision to share. Being there stirred up my desire and passion to being a voice for the voiceless and advocating for a cause like Destiny Rescue, even after I am not part of YWAM Toowoomba anymore.

This last week was local outreach & recording week for the students. My work schedule was less busy so I got to work on writing articles for the YWAM Toowoomba website, write thank you cards to the churches we'd been to with Freedom Project, and unwind a bit from the week before. On Wednesday night, I went to Bella and I think I laughed pretty much the whole evening. Some students from our YWAM base were there and shared testimonies and did some worship songs with us. We also initiated two of the new leaders. They had a contest to see how many pairs of undies they could put on in a minute. It was hilarious and they both one because they tied!
Then they wanted to see if Landon, our school leader could hoola hoop and they had a competition with some of the students and girls from Bella. He was actually pretty good but one of the Bella girls was much better and ended up beating the majority of the people there with her hoola hooping skills. We also played some games and took a vote for the Bella magazine cover because they couldn't decide between two covers. They are planning on putting it back into print and one of the things they are doing to fundraise is going sky diving this next weekend. I'd love to go, too but sadly my insurance doesn't cover me jumping from a plane from thousands of feet in the air, even if I have someone jumping with me. Too bad. :)

recording time in Doug's studio
recording in our new studio on base!
local outreach week
I'll end by saying you are all beautiful, loved by God, your creator, and so blessed!

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Thank you for your prayers and support. If you wish to support me financially, please contact my parents to ask for my bank details or go to my GoFundMe page at