“Be available” is the what God spoke to me when i first joined staff for ywam perth in March.
And now he is reminding me of it again. Working with Aboriginal people requires a great amount of flexibility and willingness to learn and change so this has been a major challenge and privilege for me over the last two weeks!
On Thursday, our team got news that a young Aboriginal girl has recently moved to Perth from the Kimberley and is wanting to know more about God! So, we responded to this amazing opportunity from God, and brought her to our training base to hang out and answer her questions about God!
We shared the Gospel story and I got to share a bit about my testimony. I shared with her a revelation I had from God about how sin is like a prison that you don’t even realize you are in. I shared that Jesus opens those prison gates, but its our choice to walk out of the prison, and stay out. It was so cool to see how that revelation really impacted her. She shared that she had never thought of it that way.
We are still in contact with her and plan to connect again to help her in practical ways, and also go into more discipleship with her. So excited for the increasing soft-heartedness we are seeing in the Aboriginal people!
The very next day, Friday, my friend and I were walking to our base from our apartment and we came across a woman who was clearly in crisis. The Aboriginal woman was slouched over on the sidewalk near a busy intersection. There was broken glass on the floor next to her. My friend, my leader, and I walked up to her and started talking with her. We learned that her name is Tracy and she has schizophrenia. She was also coming down off of some kind of drugs. We got a vehicle and drove her to the hospital, talking with her and sharing about how Jesus orchestrated our encounter that morning!
We haven’t been able to see her since then, but I continue to pray for her and I’m so grateful that God had our paths collide. I’m also broken hearted over how many people at this busy intersection had passed by her. At how many of my fellow missionaries must have passed by her on their way to base. But God did not pass by her. He saw her in her moment of greatest need and I’m so humbled to be able to be used for His glory in that moment.
God is opening doors of opportunity for me and my ministry to work with the ones who have been overlooked and I’m so excited! This is why He’s brought me here.
What are God’s boundaries on His love with us?? He didn’t ignore us because He was running late to work or busy enjoying His day off. He loves recklessly. He’s always available to us. And that goes right along with what God spoke about being available. I am still growing in this but I want to focus on loving like God loves. Being available to care for people, to help, to be there, even if it’s inconvenient for my own agenda. God didn’t put boundaries on his love for me, so I don’t want boundaries on my love for others.
“I’m a soul man”. The man smiled as he explained to my student and I about his life, living on the streets of Perth.
Soul Man had been sitting alone with a cart of blankets and supplies, on some wide outdoor stairs during our evangelism time one week, and God told us to go talk with him! An hour later we were smiling and praying for one another!
When we first approached him, the homeless man seemed suspicious of us. As we sat with him a while, I began to understand why Read More
15 hours in a bus, 8 hours in a van, and 11 hours hiking to get to the remote mountain village, Dumkot Ramry. In this village, we lived in the clouds. Sometimes, above the clouds.
One thing my team and I noticed as we spent some time in this village was that everyone seemed very shy. Ive been to places before, like the Philippines, where people were shy to see foreigners. But, in this village, the shyness was to the extent that people wouldn’t respond to the Gospel or ask us any questions.
My team and I decided to start praying against the spirit of shyness and fear, and pray for breakthrough. Also during this time, we had been asking the Nepali people in Dumkot to teach us traditional Nepali dances, but again, they were too shy.
On the last day in the village, we were getting ready to sleep before our 11 hour hike down the mountain, and we were surprised to find an audience waiting for us in our “room” (the church building).
What makes up the characteristics of any society? Its individuals! If individuals in a society value family, then the society as a whole tends to value families as well. The choices of individuals dictate the characteristics and values of the society they are in.
In the Kimberley region of north Western Australia, where there are many Aboriginal communities, there are certain characteristics that make it up.
Looking out over the vast Kimberley region that makes up 423,517 sq km (163,520.8 sq mi), it can seem empty, but I have found that this country is incredibly full. It’s full of life; full of history and amazing people, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and the brightest stars I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s full of kangaroos and emus and plants that can be used for medicine like eucalyptus and lemongrass.
It’s a place where time doesn’t matter and material items hold no value. It’s a place where you can sit for hours and just talk without a care in the world. Many Aboriginal people call this beautiful land home, and I feel at home there too. But, like all places, there are some characteristics of the Kimberley which are destructive; characteristics that I would like to see changed…
Last week I shared about the Tharu People group in south Nepal. God is doing amazing things in the nations! But today I want to share a story of how God is doing amazing things in the people that he’s sending to the nations! I spent the last 6 months as a staff member on a Discipleship Training School which trains students how to have a close relationship to God and how to share about Him with people all over the world! It’s the same training program that changed my own life last year. One of my favorite things about staffing a school here is that I get to see God encounter the students and show them aspects of His character that’s they hadnt thought of before!
One of the students on Revive DTS wanted to get a coffee from our little cafe here on base. This was after we had teaching on how God speaks and we can hear His voice. So she asked God if it was ok to use her money to get a coffee, and God told her “no”…
The Tharu people are an unreached people group who live in the southern part of Nepal. They are 95% Hindu and only 3 % Christian. They live in beautifully designed homes made of plastered mud and cow dung with huge plastered containers for their staple crop: rice! They catch fish in huge, intricate nets that they carry over their shoulders to the river together and throw it in. The people are beautiful! They are smiling, hospitable, and kind. Their clothing is bright and colorful, particularly the women, and they wear beautiful jewelry.
Unfortunately there is a high illiteracy rate among this people group which allows people to be taken advantage of by moneylenders who want their land. In this southern area of Nepal, there is also the problem of contaminated water. The water in this area of Nepal contains bacteria, viruses, and arsenic, which leads to many health problems including a type of cancer where people developed black spots all over their body. There is also the obvious problem of the stronghold of Hinduism on this people group. 95%! I was so privileged to visit this people group with my team and be used by God to be part of the solution to some of these problems.
“Well, I’m a Christian, can I pray for you?”
”haha, do you know how many Christians have prayed for me today?! Three!”
“Wow! I think God is trying to send people to show you that He loves you and cares about you…”
“No. No one loves me…”
That statement broke my heart. I had been walking home alone from the grocery store when I saw a woman sitting on the grass by the road. I asked her how she’s doing and she told me that her tooth hurt a lot and I offered to pray for her. With a laugh and a shrug she accepted the lie from the enemy that she is unlovable and worthless, but God is pursuing her and allowed me to be one of those 3 people who got to speak love and life into her day!
“I’m sorry, I’m not good at talking.”
Sophia, a teenage girl we met in downtown Perth, was deeply insecure about how she talked. We were having a conversation but kept getting interupted by her doubts of how she sounded. “I’m sorry, I cant explain, I’m not good at this” she said. I felt like God really wanted to tell her that her voice matters to Him and that He loves when she speaks up and expresses her feeling and opinions; that He loves the sound of her voice. So I told her and tears began forming in her eyes…
Last week on the Revive DTS (week 5), we learned about Holy Spirit! It was so eye-opening for me and it really revealed so much about the amazing goodness of God! A couple important facts I learned about Holy Spirit this week are:
-He is the one that draws us to Jesus and connects us to the Father God. We are adopted into the family of God by the Holy Spirit.
-Jesus was 100% man and 100% God but He chose not to access His divinity while He was on earth. So the healings, the miracles, the incredible things He did during His ministry, was as a human who had the Holy Spirit! This is why He tells us we can go on to do even greater things than He did because we have the same spirit in us!
-The Trinity represents the perfect example of a family. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They interact in perfect unity and love and trust.
God really challenged me last week. It was week 5 of the DTS I’m staffing here in Perth and we were learning about Holy Spirit. I was challenged through a statement the speaker made: “Holy Spirit loves to be involved in your life! He cant take his eyes off his beloved children! He is always present to you, but are you present to him?” ….
A couple weeks ago I applied for my Australian Student Visa and when I did so, I was informed that the visa would take 49-65 days to be processed. Then, a few days later the processing time was increased to 65-85 days. Since my plan was to leave in the first week of March, I was disappointed that it would now take much longer to go to Australia. Still, I planned to be packed and ready to leave on March 5th and trust God to sort out the rest.
I found out that there is a visitor visa that could get me to Australia, and then I would just wait for the other one to be granted out there, but I wasn’t sure if that was the right way to go. So, last week I was talking with a friend from Perth and we both asked God if He wanted me to come to Australia as planned, in the beginning of March, or if I should just stay here, in Texas, and wait for my Student Visa to be approved. God showed me
Nehemiah 1:9: “return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.”
Nehemiah 2:6 “Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?’ It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.”
I really could see that God was telling me that He would bring me to Perth at the time that I had planned, that “it pleased the King to send me”. My friend and I both felt like God would take care of the visa and I wouldn’t need to apply for another one. Later that same afternoon, I received an email from the Australian government informing me that my Student Visa had been granted…. 65 days earlier than scheduled! It’s been incredible to see how much God is doing while being in this process of returning to full time mission work. My flights are booked for the 7th of March. I am flying from Austin, TX to LA, California to Sydney, Australia to Perth, Western Australia. After, 24 hours of travel and 14 time zone changes, I will arrive in Perth on the 9th. I am so excited!
When I arrive in Perth I will spend a week working in the kitchen on the YWAM base, because the ministry that I am joining is currently on outreach in the aboriginal communities. After that first week in the kitchen, however, I will start my staff training and will be able to join Revive Ministry which focuses on reaching marginalized youth who have been pushed to the edges of society. I love that this ministry helps people in such practical, basic ways, but also brings the hope, restoration, and significance that can only come from knowing Jesus. Joining this ministry is very exciting for me and it focuses on the passion that God has already put in my heart to help those who are overlooked. I am also looking forward to staffing a Discipleship Training School in the near future. That would include being able to help raise up the next group of missionaries and helping to disciple young people who are learning to grow closer in their relationship with God.
Thank you so much to those of you who are supporting me and praying for me! It is unbelievable how God has been so clearly moving and how He has brought us together to go on this adventure with Him. I have enough finances to get to Perth and to get settled in but I am still trusting for some more support on a monthly basis. Please pray about possibly supporting this mission financially! Also, keep a watch out for my next blog post about settling down in Perth, within 2 weeks or so.
Rizal Park. Manila, Philippines. It was the end of my first week in the Philippines, and all of Saturday was dedicated to evangelism! Missionary teams from all over Metro Manila had joined together on that day, along with a large number of youth from local churches, to spread the love of God in the busy city parks and streets of Manila City. Our large group split into twos or threes to go talk to the crowds of tourists, locals, and homeless people who spent their time in the park. I joined with two other young missionaries: one from Australia, and one from right there in the Philippines. We talked to several people throughout the day but the most impactful encounter for me was when I met Mercy and Sunday.
Halfway through the day of evangelism, clouds rolled in and it began to rain. I expected the crowds of people to leave the park due to the weather, but, instead, they gathered under awnings, umbrellas, trees, and rooftop eaves waiting for the rain to pass. Crowds of people with nothing to do except wait for the storm to die down… a perfect opportunity to tell them some Good News! I walked under one of the awnings where peopled were gathered and my eyes caught those of an older Filipino woman who was sitting on a tarp on the ground. Smiling, I approached her and she instantly moved over slightly on her tarp to give me room to sit with her.