Sunday, 7 May 2017

You have the Victory!

Bulletproof Box

My hearts encased in a bulletproof box
Hide the key better keep it locked
I think it's best not to let them in
But all the while I'm just hiding sin

Full of shame, and doubt, and fear
That grows and grows and grows

Until I begin to think that I don't want to do this on my own

So I give You my heart, You can have the key
To open the box, then I'll be set free
You take out my heart, and place it in the palm of Your hand
Then put it back in my chest, now I understand

I am fighting the wrong enemy
Don't need to beat myself up for feeling ashamed or guilty
You already have the victory
Once for all You conquered death and set me free

I've been thinking a lot lately about the words to that song I started writing a few months ago. To remind myself not to keep my heart locked up, but keep giving it to God. That Jesus already has the victory, so we don't need to fear. That there is no fear in love. We can love others fully, trust in God and give Him our heart. He will hold us gently and renew our hearts so that we can love others, ourselves, and Him to the fullest of His capabilities.

Since my last blog, the students had their second week of local outreach, which all of us were a part of. During that week, I got a chance to play piano for Rikki's song and make origami birds for our Freedom Project market stall. It was such a sweet morning!

origami birds some of the students and I made
for our market stall
Allison painting for the Justice stall
at Streets & Lanes
That weekend was Easter weekend and we celebrated Jesus's death and resurrection in many ways. On Friday morning, all of us students and staff had an Easter Friday service on base; full of worship, the Word, and communion.

Then on Saturday, we set up our Freedom Project stall at the Streets & Lanes festival and sold jewellery hand made by girls rescued from the sex trade in Asia along with some arts & crafts. I've been making some bookmarks to sell at our markets, too. That day I got the opportunity to play two sets around the city as well as listen to some of the students, staff & local artists play for the festival. My favourite part of the day was the last performance of the night.  Four of our students formed a band called Dearly Beloved and invited two of our staff to play with them for that set. We all got up and danced for the last song, "Valerie". It's amazing to see how much more free the students have gotten since they started their DTS. They are no longer a slave to fear. I couldn't stop laughing the entire song.

spot the minion :)

Allison and I at the markets
Caleb Hart, a Canadian Reggae musician

Wolseley Brothers (a local Country Gospel band)

Dearly Beloved. So good!
Just a couple of days after Easter, the outreach teams left for Cambodia, Thailand & East Timor. I'm looking forward to hearing of all their adventures and God stories when they get back from outreach on May 26th and 27th.

I went on a mini outreach of my own a couple of weeks ago. I joined the Rural & Coastal team for one week to help out in a community called Boggabilla. The town is 75% aboriginal and full of warm, welcoming people. Our contact for the week was the only pastor of this community; Les and his wife Georgie. They are currently in the process of building another church right beside their house. We got to play with the kids every afternoon at the park, led two church services; one on Friday evening and one on Sunday morning, as well as helped Les & Georgie with the building of their new church.
some of the kids we played with in the park

our team with our hosts; Les & Georgie
putting up plaster boards and door frames in the new church
During that week, God gave me an even bigger heart for families, for the aboriginal communities around the world; in Canada as well as in Australia, and for building relationships within a team.

the botanical gardens in Goondiwindi
planting poppies for the Anzac day service
Since I got back from Boggabilla, I've been busy with Freedom Project getting ready for our big fundraiser; Red Light Made White. I'm going to be performing a monologue I wrote in the character of a girl who is trapped and then rescued from the sex trade. I'm excited to be a part of this team and raising money to rescue more children from the sex trade.

I've also been busy with training up other staff to take over my role in Administration. They are splitting up my role into three roles for the next season, so I will be training three people; one in accounts, one in admissions, and one in immigration; but I will be training them all in everything I do as well. When I first heard this, I didn't know how I'd train up three people, all with different schedules, before I left in June. I only had 6 weeks! But after my first week of training, I'm more confident that they will all be trained in time. And it's actually been fun training. It's amazing how you can take a seemingly boring job like accounts and make it fun with good company.

Speaking of good company, I've been spending the last few weeks making the most of my last few weeks in Toowoomba. Last Saturday, I spent the morning at the library, went to the theatres with some of the other staff, and then played frisbee in the park in the afternoon. That evening, I went to a bush dance. It was so fun! I especially liked dancing with some of the little kids and their parents and doing the hokey pokey.

YWAMers flocking together

Some prayer requests:

1. For the Bella camp next weekend. For the girls to experience healing, the Holy Spirit, and make the decision to follow Jesus. For us as leaders to be seeking the Kingdom of God first and love on the girls the way they need it. For boldness to speak and pray for the girls and for each other. For strength and energy during the weekend.
2. For our Freedom Project fundraiser. For energy, good health, and peace in our team.
3. For plans to come into place for my trip down the coast of Australia, to Indonesia, and then home. For me to stay in the present as well as continue to be hopeful of the future and what God has called me to.

Thank you to all who have supported me with prayer, encouragement, and finances! I am so blessed for such a generous and supportive community.