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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My future changes

I have been in Brazil now for three months. It has been good and it has been challenging. I am learning a new language, Portuguese, and two new cultures, Brazilian and the wonderful world of a woman. I am not sure which culture is more challenging but I will tell you being around Juliana is definitely more rewarding.



Two years ago, I came to Fortaleza, Brazil with a team of missionaries traveling through all the countries in Central and South America preaching the Gospel and loving people. I did not know I had met my future here. After staying in Fortaleza for 10 days, I left for the Amazon jungle in Manaus. I did not know my future had changed. God knew, but I didn't know. It was so subtle, that I could not possibly understand that my entire life had changed..


I realize more and more why it's so important to trust in God in everything I do. At times, we all start leaning on our own understanding. When we do this, we start trying to control things. We make plans that take God out of the equation. We want to make things possible for us to see and therefor easy to achieve. I have lived the possible life before. It was always missing something, Jesus.

He has not created us to live the possible life, but the impossible life.


In a world where humanism is lifted up so much, we need to live the impossible life. It brings us to Jesus. I love the song "Blinded", by Jason Upton. One part of the song says, "I don't know where I'm going, more and more each day it's becoming just alright with me. When I know, where I'm going, my eyes keep me from trusting Thee. I want to trust you. It's the purest worship." That is so true. Every time I hear those words, it takes me in a deep worship of Him.

"Blinded" by Jason Upton. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZwaVDAOK8o

If I had strived for something I so dearly wanted in my life, to be in love, I could have missed Juliana. If I hadn't made it a priority in my life to be totally be led by Him, even if it took me away from what I wanted for my life, I could have missed Juliana. I didn't know this was the woman God had for me when I first met her. Two years later, and many opportunities to take me in a different direction then what God had for me, I said one word to her in a FB message, "photogenic", and it changed everything. You don't always know your life has changed. It's not always apparent. It wasn't for me two years ago. My experience has encouraged me to realize everyday, the impossible life is the best.



I don't live a life of "what if's" anymore. You don't have any when you are good with not knowing where you are going, as Jason Upton so beautifully put it in his song. I encourage everyone who is on this beautiful road of "not knowing where I'm going" to continue on. It's the right road. It's a beautiful road because it's the one Jesus is on. Be patient in life and with Pappa. His timing is perfect.



Friday, May 9, 2014

A New Season Beckons



I have had a really good time at Bethel Church in Redding California. I've been very blessed to be here for the last two months. I haven't felt the presence of God like this since I was last in Pemba, Mozambique. I'm very refreshed.

God has opened a door for me to return to Brazil. I've known for a few years that Brazil is where I'm suppose to be long term as a missionary. I'm believing for more doors to be open in Brazil while I'm there. I will keep you posted on what Pappa is doing in my life. Blessings
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

At His feet like Mary

It's been almost a year since my last post. I am alive but during this time some things needed to die. In 2013, I needed a time to myself. Pappa is so good to me. He provided that for me.

He randomly told me one Friday morning to go to Mexico. I did not know why, but was sure of what He told me. A couple of months later, I headed to Mexico. After a rough beginning, I settled in.

It was a beautiful time for me and my Groom. He wanted me all to Himself. He spoke to me about being at His feet like Mary. Luke 10:38-42. Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, "Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away form her."

My entire life I have been a Martha. When I gave my life to Jesus, nothing changed in this area of my life. I was "distracted." I would have said the same thing as Martha to Jesus, yet, I would not have thought of myself as "anxious or troubled about many things." I would have looked at this story as Martha being "productive" or "bearing fruit." You know, the typical "go-go" mentality and would have justified it as how God made me.

One day I was waiting at a intersection getting ready to cross the street. I heard Him say look at them. So, I did. I watched as the cars passed me, whizzing by. He said they are busy. I was like that, for a long time, busy. The Chinese character for busy is made up of a heart + kill (ed). It means heart annihilation. We are killing ourselves!! I gave Him some time but not my best, not my first fruit of time. That went to all the "important things" in life that you have to do to be part of society, whether secular/non-believing or believing. You don't want to be looked at as a "sluggard" as proverbs calls it.

So, here I was in Mexico, doing ministry, except, it was mostly just He and I, and I was at His feet. To most of the Church and the world, it looks like nothing, but to Him, It's "the good portion". It's the portion "which will not be taken away" from me. During this time, I pondered on my "works." 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 says, Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - each ones's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done, If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." I'm happy that this work won' be burned up. It won't be taken away.

So, it's been a quiet year since my last post on the outside. Pappa has been doing a good work on the inside of me and I'm ready. Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am! Send me."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stepping Out


Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

     I heard someone tell a story about these two Chinese girls who got a revelation from God on Matthew 28:19. The year escapes me but it was probably at least 80 years ago. They were new Christians and went to their Pastor for a blessing to go. You have to understand the culture. Chinese have to get a blessing and two young women who were also young in the Lord don’t get them to go out. These two girls persisted. The Pastor told them they needed to go to a Bible study to learn the Bible and they needed to get mentored by someone. (Isn’t funny how man will give you a list of things you “need” to do before they see you as qualified. It’s heartwarming Pappa doesn’t move this way!) The two girls were relentless because they knew that they were to “go therefore”. The Pastor begrudgingly told them to go. They went out as missionaries in their homeland of China to people who never heard the Gospel. Two year later, when they came back, they had started 50 churches.

     I love this story. I admittedly meditate on it a lot. It encourages me. I love that they didn’t give in to someone who could have unintentionally discouraged them from going. I love that they had this simple belief of who they were in Christ. I love their simple obedience. It is so child-like. Isn’t that how we are to be?

     I believe the harvest is ripe now. The Body of Christ needs more child-like warriors like these two. They are heroes to me. They shouldn’t be though because they were doing what the Word tells us all to do.

    

 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Amazon Jungle

 
Taylor M, Caroline, Natalie and Caitlin in the other boat going to a village a couple hours into the Amazon


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Little church on the banks of the first village we went to.

The trail through the jungle to where we were staying
 

Ywam team let us join them. This is the kitchen area.

Moose!!! Cool guy from Canada.

Playing soccer with some of the locals

Our fishing expedition on the Amazon. Some of the guys went the night before to hunt crocodiles. They didnt find any. We caught three small fish for dinner.

 
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The chief of the village we were staying at. He checkin his fish traps that he placed in the river.

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Hiking to the next village after taking a quick boat ride.
 
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The shower and bath area. One of the girls on the team did not time her bath very well and said hello to one of the villagers.


Natalie's sleeping spot
 

What a lovely group. I love the goodness of God. It is so fun to minister in places I would have never imagined when I was going to my first church back in the states. One of the nights we were ministering at night outside of a house and I just looked up at all the stars and shook my head. I thanked Him for making my life so special and adventurous.
 
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Dance this tribe performed for us.

The chuch. This is how I love church!
 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



This our missionary journey that God birthed in Tanya and Jesse Gellatly in Mozambique, Africa almost two years ago. We had our one year anniversary on September 11th. We have, so far, traveled through 17 countries (not including the United States) and seen Jesus's love transfrom lives, churches, cities, and countries in the natural and in the Spirit.

This is most of our team in a restaraunt in the city of Arraial Do Cabo, Praia Do Forno. Left table: Stephen (U.S.), Aleeza (Australia), Kurt (Austrailia), Rose (U.S.), David (Columbia), Caroline (Brazil) with her little brother and mother and father, Kelly (Scotland), Brent (Cananda), Elizabeth (South Africa), Liz (England), Me, Roberta (U.S.) Right table: Josiah (Australia), Rachael (U.S.), Nicole (U.S.), Breck (U.S.), Taylor M (U.S.), Astrid (Germany), Natalie M. (Germany), Liney (Columbia), Katherine (U.S.), Amanda (U.S.), Kimmie (U.S.), Taylor L (U.S.) Jesse, Tanya, and little Zoe (U.S.) at the end of the table.


Rocinha.The biggest favela, shanty town, in Rio De Janeiro.


This is us causing a traffic jam in the favela, Rocinha in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. HELLO!!!! WERE HERE!!! Our vehicles were too long to make this turn and then we realized we needed to turn around because we passed our contact. Twenty minutes later, after stopping traffic both ways, except the motorcyclist, we were headed in the right direction.
 
The streets of Rocinha.
 
This is an article and video of the favela and Rio's desire to clean up the area for the olympics.
 
Going house to house praying, blessing and loving on people in the biggest garbage dump in Rio.

House in Rio's garbage dump.

Tanya and Marcus, our contact for the dump, praying for a lady in her house.

Blessing this lady in her house. Her daughter was one of the worst drug offenders in the garbage dump. She had a love encounter with Jesus that was so powerful that she gave her life to Jesus and stopped doing drugs. We had 10 people in her little house praying for her. It was really hot and I thought the floor would collapse. It didn't. She was definitely touched by the love of God.


This body of water is full of disease and needles from the hospital. Kids play near it and as you can see in it.

There are hundreds of pigs all over eating the trash.


 
They are closing this garbage dump because of the olympics. Rio's officials doesn't want the world to see this. They are giving some money to the over 5,000 people that live here. Marcus, our contact, says they aren't given any help on how to steward this money and lose it very quickly and are in the same predicament as before.
Sleeping on top of a building in Parada De Lucas favela in Rio.

We stayed at YWAM base in the favela, Parada De Lucas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the most dangerous favela in Rio. There are "security guards" for the drug lords on every corner and every entrance of the favela. They have an "unwritten law" that there is no stealing in the favela. If you steal they will cut your hand off or kill you. One day as I was walking through the favela, I saw a man with both his arm cut off. I prayed to God that He would grow back the arms and then later realized that this man had them cut off for stealing.The drug lords don't want the police called to the favela. They warn each other when police are near by shooting firecrackers in the air. When we were there this was easily happening 4 to 5 times a day. This is the audio of what we heard most nights and every morning as our alarm clock.
 
 
 We did a service on the streets, some childrens programs, a prayer walk around the favela, and a youth ministry. We also prayed for the regional drug lord of the community. A couple of days after we left, our contact Lazarus told us the security guards/drug lords were asking where we were. They missed us?! When you let the light of Jesus shine through you and love on people it changes the atmosphere of a community.
 
Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

As a team we took communion here.
 
 



 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brazil

When I was filling out the application for Iris's Harvest School a couple of years ago, there was a section that asked what country was on your heart to be a missionary to. This question frustrated me because in my heart, at that time, my answer was none. I hadn't traveled much and no one country was calling me. I don't believe I put any country but before the school started, I felt the answer to that question was South America. When I got to Mozambique, about the second week in the school, I overheard a 18 year old girl say that she knew since she was 4 years old that she was to come to Africa. I remember shaking my head and walking away and saying to God that she knew at 4 years old that she was to come to Africa and that I'm almost 40, at the time, and have no clue to where you have called me. I heard God say ask me for a country, and Brazil was the first country to come to my heart.

When Jesse and Tanya Gellatly got up in front of the school, about the 4th week, to announce that God had called them to lead a team to preach and evangelize throughout South America. I knew right away why I heard South America before the school. It was the first of a couple of confirmations to go on the missionary journey. It's also one of the reasons that kept me from leaving the team/family in Central America when there was hardships for me. This missionary journey has had some interesting turns for me, one of which, was when I could barely walk for 10 weeks. I kept on looking to Brazil to keep me going. I knew there was something here for me.

In Uruguay, there was a lot of spiritual attack against me. One day I had had enough and was going to get an answer from Him no matter what. It was like I was holding onto His leg, spiritually, and not going to let go until I got my answer. I missed a meeting doing this and finally heard Him say, "you are on this team still to learn how to persevere and endure. You need to know how this feels and what it looks like. It will benefit you in the future." Not the easiest answer to digest but I understood what He was telling me. The attacks didn't stop but actually increased after this and I did not get much sleep during this time.

Before we divided our team to go into Brazil, I had heard God tell me to stay back. The team I was on stayed an extra week to wait for some people to get there visa's. In the Spirit one day during that week, I saw a slingshot in the Spirit. I was in the slingshot. He told me," I'm holding you back because I want you to go in to Brazil with momentum." I really don't know what it's going to look like for me here. I'm believing to hear Him with such a clarity that it launches me into my next part of my life, whether it's to continue on this trip through South America and the Caribbean Islands or go elsewhere I look forward to the journey. Blessings.