The past few weeks have been a mixture of renewing of the mind, relying on God for His strength, and constantly choosing to focus on God rather than wanting to please people.
On April 16th, we had an outreach tour fundraiser for the Rural & Coastal team. I was welcoming people at the door, receiving their money and letting them know there would be a silent auction, goodies, and live entertainment by the members of the team going on tour; a four piece folk band called Kindred Summit and a two piece rock/blues band called Jack Pine Drive, all of whom are staff at YWAM Toowoomba and great friends. Beautiful paintings created by some of the staff as well as local artists were sold at the silent auction, as well as items donated from local stores. We raised enough money to rent a van and had a little bit extra for food and gas. One of the highlights of the night was that one of our neighbours came. He's about our age and is in a learning time with the Lord. We got to speak life into him and encourage him in the last few weeks especially and now he's thinking about doing a DTS!
Also during the weekend of the fundraiser, a couple of friends of one of the staff here stayed on base. They are staff at a YWAM in New Zealand and one of them went to Indonesia for a month to help out at orphanages in Bali after staying on our base. Talking with her really stirred up my passion and calling to go to the nations and serve people wherever I go. God put Indonesia on my heart years ago but at the time I didn't really think about it, but now I would love to go there at some point in the future and am praying into it.
The week after the fundraiser was pretty busy for all of us. Team Fiji had to come back to Toowoomba because of the cyclones that hit Fiji and so we were busy preparing for them to return; changing their flights, preparing local outreach for them in Toowoomba plus accommodation and their time in Byron Bay for the last part of their outreach. Additionally, a group of pastors who were having a conference here in Toowoomba stayed at our base that week. They were amazing people to talk to and had amazing testimonies that they shared with us throughout the week at meal times.
Last Wednesday, I led intercession for the first time. I focused on Indonesia and we prayed for the country as a whole; for the hundreds of thousands of daughters and sons who are sold into human trafficking, the children who are underweight and living on the streets, and for peace and protection for believers that boldly proclaim grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. We prayed and saw that despite the danger and things going on in Indonesia with children being forced into human trafficking and growing up before their time, we prayed into them always having childlike faith. I've been reading a book called "Not For Sale" and can see that there is despite all this, there is hope for this country and that people are starting to work towards changing this nation.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Byron Bay with the Rural & Coastal team.
There wasn't enough room in their van on the way up for the beginning of their tour in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so I joined the Fiji team on Friday morning going to Byron Bay for the next 2 weeks. On Friday evening, we all helped out at a weekly free barbecue that YWAM Byron Bay puts on for the community. It's in a park in the middle of the town and people come from all walks of life. I met people from all over the world including France, Germany, Albania, and Belgium that were visiting Byron Bay or backpacking around Australia. Families were also present, as well as some people off the street that came for the free food and entertainment. Jack Pine Drive and Kindred Summit played, a couple of guys from the community fire twirled, and the director of YWAM Byron Bay talked for a bit, sharing the gospel boldly. It was amazing how the whole atmosphere shifted and a peace that can only come from God washed over the park.
A woman I was talking to from France named Pauline said the same thing. She really liked the songs that were being played by Kindred Summit and wanted to buy a CD but didn't have any money as she had been busking for food for the last few months. I was able to connect her with the Kindred Summit guys and they generously gave her their CD for free. Then we all got to pray for her and encourage her. She said that every time she meets Christians, she feels peace and that they are filled with "something, I don't know" she said. We said it was Jesus and she just nodded. I'm praying that she will meet more Christians and desire that peace that is constant and accept Christ as lord over her life.
On Saturday, we went to Nimbin which is a very hippy town. They had a festival this weekend called "Mardi Grass" where they have a rally for legalising Marijuana. The team played in a restaurant just outside of Nimbin and afterwards, we walked around the festival for a bit. I could feel the sadness and emptiness of this festival and these people. They think they are doing this for freedom, but really they are just following the patterns of this world; riches, drugs, and self. I was praying the whole time I was walking around for the people to see the truth and for them to fall in love with Jesus instead of the world and with weed.
On Sunday morning, we went to a lighthouse in Byron which is most easterly point of Australia. I saw my first dolphins in the wild! Then we went to church were the pastor spoke on missions. One of the things he said really stuck with me. He said that if we have Jesus as Lord over our lives and really believe that He is Lord, why would we ever disobey Him? He has our back, like a papa bear standing up behind a baby bear who's about to be attacked by a mountain lion. After church we spent a few hours taking in the sights of Byron Bay. On the way back to Toowoomba, we wanted to go to Minyon Falls. After much searching and winding narrow roads, we found it. A short hike later and we were at a lookout point with the top of the falls right in our eyesight. It was a sight to behold. I have been wanting to go to a waterfall for a couple of months now, so I'm very happy that I was able to see it.
There are so many more things I want to share with you, but for the sake of space I'll end it here. If you have any more questions or need prayer for anything, just shoot me an email. I'd love to hear from you!
-Please pray for the upcoming Bella camp. I've been a leader at Bella, a Christian girls program dedicated to showing girls their identity in Christ as a child of God, loved, and beautiful, for the past couple of months. They have a weekend camp 4 times a year where girls come to learn about God, forgiveness, and their worth in Christ.
-You can be praying for the outreach teams in Thailand, Cambodia, and Byron Bay. Some of the members from these teams are sick with the flu. As well, for the team in Byron Bay that they would adjust and find new opportunities to serve and for softening and open hearts of the people they will be evangelising to.
-Also, there is a couple of things happening with Freedom Project this month. We are helping out at a Mission Market and speaking at a Church, all in support of Destiny Rescue who rescues and restores the lives of children that have come out of human trafficking in south east Asia.
Thank you so much for your support! If you wish to support me financially, please go to my GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/gmz85bz8