Many things have happened since I last wrote. After my holidays in Townsville and Pittsworth, we had two and a half weeks of staff training and preparation for the new school, the July 2016 Music and Worship Discipleship Training School.
It was really nice to spend some time with just the staff for a few weeks and have sessions on topics such as stewardship, communication, conflict resolution, and unity. It was also our first weeks working as a team as the Freedom Project, coming up with ideas and contacting churches and markets to fundraise and get the word out on the issue of human trafficking in South East Asia.
The new school came on July 21 and 22nd. There are 13 students, from Canada, USA, and New Zealand. They are so sweet and kind, always willing to serve and take the time to get to know people. I love hanging out with them at meal times, during the Tuesday night lectures on worship and songwriting, and on evenings and weekends when there is a bit of free time.
Last Saturday night we had our first open mic of the school. It was so hilarious! In one of the Tuesday night lectures, the students were challenged to write a song about the strange verse in the Bible that says, "The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, "Glory!"" Psalm 29:9 ESV And, guess what, the 4 male students decided to give it a go and performed their song at open mic. It was so funny! It was strange because I was laughing the whole song and yet even in that crazy song, I could praise the Lord for His greatness and power.
Another thing I did with the students was climb Table Top Mountain. This morning, the 13 students and 6 of us staff climbed Table Top, most of them for the first time. For me it was the third time. I was still last climbing up, but this time it didn't matter so much. I have learned so much about God's providence, relying on God for strength, and praying through the tough times instead of giving up. And it's always worth it. The view is amazing!
In the last few weeks, we as Freedom Project have talked at a church and had a market stall at Margaret Street Markets. At the church, we received warm welcomes and a high level of support from the congregation. We spent about 10 minutes talking about the work of Destiny Rescue and had a display table set up after the service with hand made jewellery from the rescued girls in Thailand, as well as artwork and postcards made by one of our directors, Kerri.
Then at the markets, which was last Sunday morning from 8am-1pm, we had a 3x3 meter stall, complete with a donated tent and busking by some of the YWAM Toowoomba staff. I sang along with most all of the songs they sang, spoke with the people who came into our stall, and enjoyed the day and the company. Before the day started, I prayed and said, "Lord, I give this day to you. It's not about how much money we raise or how many people like the music, it's about giving You glory, and being a voice for the voiceless. It's about bringing the lost sons and daughters back home, all for Your glory." It's amazing what can happen when you give your days to the Lord.
Next weekend, I'm helping out at my third Bella camp. I'm really excited to spend some quality time with the girls, especially those in my small group that I lead every other Wednesday night. I will be in charge of the music and worship for the weekend, which will be new for me, but I'm praying for the right songs that the girls can relate to and understand more about God and their identity in Christ.
|at Bella Chicks last night "All around the World" theme|
Some things you can be praying for are:
-for the students as they go into their next weeks of lectures
-for boldness and love for the people that the students are talking to and evangelising to
-for the girls age 11-17 in all the Bella programs, especially with the Bella camp this next weekend
-for the visas to come through for some of our staff so that they can continue to work for God's kingdom in Toowoomba, Australia.
-for peace and unity for the students and staff on base
-for the Cambodia outreach from October 25-November 12th coming up with the Freedom Project team members (including myself and 2 others)
I've been reading Ecclesiastes a lot recently and I thought I'd end with a passage from this book.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God." Eccles. 3:11-13
Whatever you are doing right now; working, cleaning your house, going to the beach, do for the glory of God, and choose to do it in joy.
Thanks 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 https://www.gofundme.com/gmz85bz8