Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maputo, Mozambique.... There's always room for one more!

Well, Muputo came and went. I still haven't been able to post the blog from Swaziland, but it looks like Monday is a promising day for that. Now I have learned my lesson about having "internet access" from Swaziland. You pay money for time and it takes half of your time up to load the first page. Total rip off but you can't expect much from a developing country. I don't mean to sound spoiled or anything I just mean that I am not getting my hopes up or promising myself that the internet will be working on Monday. Its just what I have learned to do.

Any who, our time in Maputo, Mozambique was interesting. I can't say it is my favorite place in the whole world but God spoke to me a lot while I was there. As we made the drive from Swaziland to Mozambique God told me "this is not your country." I have fallen in love with every place I have been so far so I was expecting that for Maputo as well. When God told me this I thought it would be along the lines of me not wanting to leave. I later learned it takes a very special heart to reach the people of Maputo. Maputo is a city. It has buildings and public transportation. So picture a city with city people and add everything from a third world country to the mix. It was very hard to reach people here for me because, just like most cities, people are busy and very caught up in life. I am not good at this. Some personal highlights though would have to be the school ministry. We teamed up with a fellow YWAM-er from Russia to clean up a "school house." You could hardly call this a school. It was walls with spaces for windows and doors, but no doors or windows were there. The rooms were empty except for small chalk boards that had been painted on the wall. Picture an empty school house in your mind... Now take away even more of what you imagine and you might be getting closer. There is no bathroom, no crayons, no paper (except the trash that is thrown around the property), no water, not even a trash can. Nothing. Just empty rooms, one or two teachers, and hundreds of children. Heart breaking. We did our best at starting to clean up the school house and we were pretty satisfied with our work. We found out the next day that all of the trash was back. People came and in a days time had made another huge mess. We know that we can not change the people of Maputo so we decided to get them involved. We gathered a bunch of children and put them to work along side us picking up the trash. It was incredible to see the children want to help. I even talked to some older boys who spoke very little English. I'm pretty sure they only stoped to talk because I am white and they said they didn't have time to pick up trash. They were pretty funny. I made it clear that if they weren't going to pick up any trash then they were NEVER to throw it on that property ever again! They agreed.

We got to see the coast towards the end of our stay and it was fantastic. We were invited to attend a Wednesday night service of a church by the beach and it was totally Holy Spirit filled. We did our dramas and a few of my team members spoke but I think the highlight was actually at the end of the service. We got to shake hands and greet every person in the church. There was something about these people they was just so refreshing. The church blessed us greatly. After they took the offering they gave it to our team. Man, God provides.

There are things about Maputo that will never leave my memory. Like catching the chappas (taxi buses) and having people PILE on top of us. On one of our trip with the evil chappas, we were so crammed in that could hardly feel my feet touch the ground... and I wasn't sitting down. I thought to myself "wow, I think I can take my feet off the ground.." Sure enough I gave it a try and I was floating. I was so squished in that I could be held in the air off of my feet. CRAZY!!

We also got to visit a children's home for prostitutes children. These kid's had so much energy and we were able to just hang out and love on them. We brought face paint and bubbles. It was a really blessed and cherished time. Heart braking as well. We met a tiny girl by the name of Tanya. Tanya was very small and most of us assumed she was about two or maybe a small three. It turns out she is actually six years old. Because of being malnourished she is very under developed. Our hearts really went out to her.

Well I write this to you from Iris Ministry in Zimpeto, Mozambique but that will have to be a whole different blog!!

Old Blog from Swaziland!

Wow, outreach is flying by faster than I even thought possible. It has been very hard to keep up with my blog not only because of the lack of internet access, but also because we have been very busy. I write to you from YWAM Maputo in Mozambique on April 26th, but I have no idea when I will actually be able to post this! The biggest challenge about not having internet access is not being able to communicate with my family and friends. It makes me VERY homesick, but it has also given me a chance to really take time and listen to what God is saying to me. And believe me... He has been speaking loud. So I am going to have to back up a bit because I realise I haven't blogged at all about the two weeks I spent in Swaziland and here I am sitting in Mozambique!

So lets see... I already blogged in the DTS Blogspot about Swaziland so I hope people were able to see it even though it wasn't posted to Facebook (oh the joy of slow internet!). So basically it's just important to post in my blog about what has been happening to me personally, not just my team. I LOVED the Swaziland YWAM base. It's beautiful. Swaziland is very wet and rainy, which made it a challenge to do our washing (which I don't think that I have ever blogged that I have had to wash my clothes BY HAND and hang dry them since I have been in Africa). The Swazi base is very much like home. It's a cozy house on a farm and there is even a horse that just hangs out in the yard. A couple families run the base and we were able to help them out by doing a lot of practicle work around the base. Myself and the other girls took on a project of renevating a ran down building that will eventually be turned in to dorm rooms for boys of future teams. God spoke to me through working in this house. I was in the back room (our key focus and goal of finishing before our time was up) praying one morning during a prayer walk. God showed me that this building is like my life. We were cleaning it out and painting it room by room, step by step. The cool thing is that Two people would work on that room and get a lot finished while the rest of us would chip away paint in the hall and the other rooms. So it was like God was showing me everything is under construction but eventually rooms will be finished and made new. It was a beautiful thing. I just prayed that this project would help to restore other people like it did me. I knew God was going to speak to us a lot while we were in Swaziland and we trusted him for that.

Other awesome things about Swaziland?? Well, besides the cool fact that water is a problem so we had to use pit toilets in the forest and bath from a bucket (only if water was available for that, which at one point we did run out) I would have to say its the taxi rides..... Wow. I don't really know if this was an adventure or a real death trap. I guess it's only funny to look at now because we all survived and there were no injuries. That doesn't mean that we didn't have a near death experience because we prayed for our lives every time we got in... There are a couple taxi trips I would like to highlight (they are that crazy!!) Upon arrival into Swaziland, we were met by Jim, The Swazi base leader (really cool guy) who has his own taxi-like vehicle. We couldn't fit everyone with our backpacks in at a time so we took trips. The first team would have to walk part of the way so I said I would go first. We loaded up and threw our backpacks in the back and took off. As we pulled out into the round-a-bout the back door swung open and all of our luggage and bags fell out. It was just like a movie! Funniest thing I have ever seen. No bags were lost or damamged and we still joke about it now. GREAT first impression, we really felt like missionaries then! The next night we hung out with a youth group in the center of town. Most of the churches I have seen here offer transportation for people so ofcourse they said we could get a ride up the hill back to the base. We cramed our whole team plus a million Swazi teens into this taxi from the church. I tried to count exactly how many people were in it, but I lost count at 20.... So dangerous.... and totally illegal. But you know Africa! There's always room for one more! But of course we got pulled over (there were MANY cops because there was an uprising against the king during our time there... also crazy) but the officer asked us where we were coming from. We said church and he LET US GO because he was also a Christian! It was crazy. So we thought that would be the end of the crazy taxi ride home, but we were wrong! As we reached the top of the hill the fog grew extreamly thick. Our driver didn't know where to go in the first place so this made it even more scary. When we got to the dirt (and by dirt I mean mud) road we started to slip around. By this time I was closing my eyes and praying to God for my life. I knew my parents would kill me if I died in Africa (that's a joke....)! As we were trucking through the fog we slamed (and by slammed I mean slid) on the brakes because in the middle of the road was a huge COW! I thought the deer back home were annoying.... Not after having to brake for cows! Finally we reached the base... Thinking it was a miracle that we had made it we thought we were safe... Then the driver wanted to take us closer to the house and turn around before we got out (I have no clue why). We got SOOOOO close to an edge in the street and I could feel that we were tipping. I thought for sure we were going to roll and I just shut my eyes with my hands like a scared little child! I don't know why I was worried because if we were to roll I would have had a hundred Swazi kids to cushion me.... No but seriously it was so close. I thank God to this day for keeping us safe and now we can look back and joke about it. (Mom, I'm sure you find this all hallarious!)

Swaziland also had beautiful sunrises and we got to share the base with an outreach team from Durban. Its a team of all girls and we because very close with them. It turns out that we will be seeing them again because we will both be at Iris Ministries together, what are the chances??! We got to check out an awesome cultural village and spend time at a wonderful orphanage. We did go to a government hospital and thats where I quickly realised that hospital visits are not my thing...... Yes, I did get yelled at in a forieng language by a crazy lady and had to leave the women's ward in complete terror. Ugh so horrible. But I did manage to spend sometime with the sick children which was both a blessing and heartbreaking all at the same time. Its like what you see in those commercials to send money but a hundred times worse. Very emotional.
To sum it up, Swaziland is wonderful. I deffinatly can see myself back here some day. Maybe to do a SBS or lead a DTS which is pretty cool considering the fact that Jim sat down with me and asked me to come back and staff!!!! God is creating so many opptions for me. Its been wonderful, but I really need to keep praying for direction. Thank you everyone for the prayers! Keep em coming because I still have a whole month of outreach left!!

Love and miss you all!! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

True Blessings in Stanger..

This place is really blowing my mind! I can't believe the hospitality that we have been shown and the open hearts of the people here... especially the youth. My heart has really been touched by them... and I want to bring them all back with me!

The youth meeting went even more incredible than we could have even hoped for! It's funny because the whole time God was telling me not to worry about speaking... but I still felt like I had to write down my message... I DIDN'T EVEN USE THEM! It was incredible. God really moved. I prayed and really felt like we should worship God to the song "Our God" by Christ Tomlin. By God's good grace (and after I spent 2 and a half hours making my own video for it...) we got the worship video with lyrics to play on the screen! We played it after my message and it was SOOO powerful. I think I have only cried twice during worship since I have been at YWAM (which usually I get pretty emotional at GVCC) and this was one of them. Watching the youth of this town sing that song together was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen. I know now why God put it on this teams heart! Wow. That's all I can say.

We also took part in a prayer march with Stanger Baptist Church. It was a march full of pretty mixed emotions. I enjoyed it, but some of the members overly zealous and it made the march a little uncomfortable, but our team was there to praise God. So that's what we did. I have never been on a prayer march before so it was interesting drawing so much attention to ourselves and the little girls we adorable with their posters and red shirts!

Today we went to a different church for the service. It was a bit hectic because we were told we needed to run the whole service just a half hour before it started.... But hey thats outreach for ya! It went good and the church actually blessed us with a love offering. We are so grateful for the people we have met. Wow. Tomorrow is our other day off and we are actually leaving this week! Crazy! We will be flying out Thursday morning bright and early to Swaziland! I am excited to see another YWAM base but I am going to miss Stanger! Two weeks wasn't long enough!

We sat as a team and read the blogs of people on other outreaches. It made me miss them soooo much! It breaks my heart that we will only be together for FIVE DAYS when we get back. BUT THAT'S ENOUGH!

God bless!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zulu and Multi Millionaires

Wow outreach is still going better than I even thought it could!

So it turns out that the youth event on Friday isn't going to have just 250 kids... its looking more like 500! The team is super excited and I feel very blessed. I have been praying that God will just use me to speak to them. That none of my thoughts or feelings will be there, that it will just be God. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. From talking to some of the youth kids throughout the week I can confirm that they feel this heaviness too. Just in this past week we have heard of two girls getting raped to the point of hospitalization and a young boy getting jumped.  So heartbreaking. I can feel that Friday is going to be very important... I just pray we don't screw it up!

We were able to see a little bit of Durban on our day off and that was really nice. We went to the Indian Ocean- that makes three oceans that I have been in! I thought that was pretty cool. The water was warm, but no.... I still didn't seen any sharks... But there's always Mozambique! We got to go to uShaka Marine World and hang out for the day. I'm not a huge fan of water slides but I conquered my fear with the help of some peer pressure and actually had a good time.

We were able to do prison ministry the other day and that was a huge eye-opener for me. I thought we would go there and bless them, but God had other plans. Even though we spent the night before learning Zulu Songs to sing to them, they put together skits and a couple of Zulu dances that brought me to tears. The dances really hit me hard and for the first time I felt like I was in Africa! I have been here three months now and it only just hit me then! Haha. Over 35 men stood up and wanted to give their lives to Christ after the message. I feel so honored that God used our team to make an open door for ministry there. Usually it is really hard to get in to the prison, but the directer found favor in us and I don't think we let them down! Praise the LORD (PTL)!!

Yesterday we were supposed to  go to a home for elderly people with Cancer and AIDS.  There was a mix up and we weren't allowed in due to another group already there. Many of the team members were upset, but I just felt like "ok God, then what do you have for us?" We got a phone call yesterday morning asking us to come to a school and help out there so we phoned them back and we were able to go and hang out with over 100 kids during their sports day. I hung out with a bunch of kids waiting to participate in the race. We danced and sang the Zulu songs I learned, but one of the girls I was especially fond of. She was a tiny Hindu girl in a bunch of Christians. I knew she wasn't a Christian by the red band around her wrist that signifies she worships another God. She told me her family wasn't Christian and she didn't know Jesus. Other boys wanted to pray and I told her she could pray with us if she wanted to. We stood there in a circle and she loved it. She held my hand the rest of the day. She pulled me to the side and whispered in my ear, "Um.... are you a multi millionaire?" I giggled and told her that not everyone in America is rich. She had her eyes fixed in mine and I knew she could tell there was something more to me and my team than she could grasp. I'm convinced it was the love from Jesus. She told me that I must come and see her the next time I was in town. It broke my heart as I explained to her that this was the only time we would be there. I whispered in her ear "Always remember Jesus" and she took my hand and promised me she would. I pray for more interactions like this. This was incredible.

We were able to run the prayer meeting at Stanger Baptist Church last night. I gave a brief message on intercessory prayer and Tanya and Katlyn led the prayer. It was a great night and praying through the prayer call of the mosque was very intense. Its hard to explain. I have also been struggling with the mixed messages of my tattoos. I knew coming into other cultures with arm tattoos wouldn't be easy all the time, but some of the things I am dealing with in that area are harder than I thought. When they ask me about them I freeze up. I know what to say, but for some reason when I am confronted with it I can't manage to blurb out what God has spoken to me about my tattoos. Haha I have had mixed feelings about it. They are GREAT for kid's ministry though!

Over all outreach has been incredible. Today we are celebrating my good friend Katlyn's 21st birthday! And its nice to celebrate as a team... as an outreach family.

More to come... This is only the first week!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Wow, I cant believe lecture phase came and went so fast! So here we are, night two of outreach and I can feel God moving so much already! We are in a town near Durban called Stanger and we get to work with one of the churches here. The community is almost all Indian people so we have been eating very well! The hospitality of the people we came to serve is absolutely incredible. They have very open hearts and are so hungry for more of the gospel. We partnered up with the church and led the youth meeting tonight. It went very well and we had so much fun! God led me to volunteer to speak at the youth gathering next Friday. I was told there would be about 60-80 young people... Now they are telling us there will be 250 YOUNG PEOPLE!!!!! 250... that's a lot. I am so excited! I realised yesterday that my excitement for sharing Jesus with people has outweighed the fear of public speaking. So please keep me in your prayers!

The crazy part about Stanger is the Muslim mosque. I have never been so exposed to that religion and I have never heard the prayer call of a mosque. It was an eye-opening experience and it left me feeling very heavy. You could hear the prayer call from the youth meeting and I could sense an embarrassment upon the youth. It was strange and truly heartbreaking. I don't think most people back home will understand what I'm really saying and I don't think they will be able to really know with out this experience. I just pray against this heaviness and bondage. I have truly been exposed to the freedom of following Jesus so this was really a hard thing for me. Please, I beg that you don't think I am being judgmental.. I have just experienced a lot in the last three months and this was very emotional for me.

I am so proud of this outreach team! I feel such a unity with us and I pray God will use us as imprints on others. Today went by so fast and I know the rest of outreach will go by just as fast. It scares me! The other teams from my base haven't even left yet! I can't wait till they are out in the world! I know God will be using them as well!

I appreciate all the prayers and I love you all so much!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More than Conquerors.

Wow it’s been too long since I have posted. Since the last time I posted, God has done even more in my life. He is pushing me further in a direction that I never thought possible. He is giving me dreams and ambitions that up until now I thought were impossible. But these last two weeks have really shown me that NO! These are God’s dreams and I can live them out. I need to stop doubting myself and start dreaming bigger.
We spent last week in a town by the coast called Muizenberg. It’s a surfer town and we had lecture at the YWAM base there. The DTS on that base was super nice and I even met a guy who lives in Grass Valley, California! It was really cool. Our speaker was a 27 year old surfer dude from southern California (I can’t believe how many people I have met from California on DTS) named Dave. He was super inspirational and motivating. God really used him and his killer testimony to bring the mission life style alive for us. He challenged us to really search our hearts with God’s help to figure out what our calling is. Dave exposed us to the fact that out of the whole world’s population, 30% is still unreached, meaning they have no access to the gospel  and have never heard of Jesus or His love for people. He also gave us the sobering fact that only 2% of missionaries go to unreached places… That means that 98% of missions, missionaries, and missionary money goes to places that have already been evangelized. It really made me search my own heart and find a calling for my generation. God put Romans chapter 8 on my heart,the section about being MORE THAN CONQUERERS. It’s a beautiful passage that really sparked a fire in Vickey, Hope and my life. We saw the need to take mission teams to these places of the 10/40 window and we would like to call it More than Conquerors… we also really respect the YWAM value “do first, then teach.” We all feel different callings after DTS but we hope that God will make it work together to someday form this awesome dream! We have all these ideas and sparks that I pray I can hold on to when I go home. I know it’s going to be a challenge but I pray every day that God will prepare my heart as well as others to be open to the integration of me being back. Haha… It sounds like I’m crazy but really just my idea of reality has changed and God has really opened my eyes to thing I have never experienced.
This week has been a challenge. We are leaving for outreach in two days so I have just been busy trying to get everything ready to be living out of a borrowed backpack (thanks Mikal) for two months and moving every two weeks. I am really excited for this next step, but I can’t believe the lecture phase is over. I know God has more for me in outreach and after. He’s not done with me yet. I am expecting to see God move on this outreach and I am excited that we are going to get to share our passion for Jesus with others. Our first stop is in Durban, South Africa where upon arrival we will be leading a youth night at one of the churches. I don’t know why but I felt God calling me to bring the message this night. I am scared because I honestly don’t feel a calling for preaching, especially in front of a group of 80 of my peers. Our Lord please have favour (SA Comp spell check…) with me!  Please keep me and the outreach group in your prayers. We want to make a huge positive imprint on people’s lives. We are excited and ready! Here we come!
I also need to just remind myself to really concentrate on my outreach and what God has for me during the rest of my time in Africa. I have been so focused on what He has planned for me after DTS that I really had to step back and remember my work here isn’t done. I have very high expectations for outreach and I can’t wait to update you all. I will try to keep in touch and keep blogging but many of the places we will be going won’t have internet or even electricity. So it might be very minimal. I will be using this time to grow closer to God as I get the honour or sharing His love with others. WOOO! So excited!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dead to sin... Alive to God

Once again, God sent someone to completely destroy my regular way of thinking about Him and my Christian life. My eyes have been opened even wider to the thought of how life should be and what it is all about..


Cliff was incredible. Up to this point, most of the weeks have been about healing past brokenness for me, but this week was different. It was about revelation. Now, I have had revelation before this week, but not like this. This makes me excited for life! This sets me on fire for Christ. This feeling that I have is now an imprint on my life. THAT is what revelation is about. Amen.

This week also was the end of our farm ministry time. It was heartbreaking having to say goodbye to these kids. Being on your knees and having little girls pray for you, crying and kissing you, wiping away your tears is life changing... I'm not coming back the same. I will never be the same. I didn't want to let them go. One of the boys told me that everything was going to be fine and that I must have a safe journey home. I struggle with the idea of coming home. I know that scares my family as well as myself! I also know that God is calling me back to where I came from. I will have an impact there and believe me... I am coming back with plans! Those kids will always be in my heart. I will never forget them and I pray that I have been apart of God working in them. To look at a 6 year old and see that their level of faith is greater than my own is completely inspiring. I grow more and more hungry to know God each and every day here and I know God has used these kids to fuel the flame He has set in my heart.

I have seen and felt a lot this week and as the days count down smaller and smaller till outreach I grow more and more in Christ. I am expecting to see miricles. I know I will encounter things greater than I can imagine and I have this burning desire to express what I have been shown. I have been praying that God will prepare my heart to the fullest and I feel completely at peace with doing His will. I know I will be put in the right place at the right time and I WILL have an impact on others. I am taking the authority God has given me. I pray that God will give me the words to show my revelation because it has been more powerful than I ever thought possible.

I am excited for life. I am excited to live. I am excited to walk in the forgiveness and love that God has given. And I am excited to share with others. Be blessed. It's as simple as that... So just recieve it.