growing, stretching + learning to love it all

Hi. It’s been awhile, but I hope you enjoy !!

Please bear with me if this is too long … the beginning half is what we did during our time away and the last part is what God taught me through it.

My team and I went to Papua New Guinea (PNG) for 12 days. I honestly never even heard or thought about PNG before I came to Australia. I’m sure some of you are in the same boat or maybe some of you’s have heard about it… I hope these next few minutes paint a better picture of this beautiful Nation.

We first arrived in a big village called Tuberseria. We were welcomed in the sweetest way with a big ceremony ran by these mama’s & prayer warriors who we’d soon become close with over the next week. Leis, coconuts, dancing and singing; I have never felt so loved and welcomed into a new place in my life. Ever. Almost immediately, I knew this place was going to be a little piece of home for me. It was the most beautiful village and our host house was at the top of the hill, overseeing the village and ocean. The sunrises and sunsets were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Our goals as we headed to Tubsie was to partner with Christ and bring unity to this community. There were 6 churches in the area and amongst that, there was just a lot of disunity throughout the youth in the area, so each day we would spend with a different church, leading programs with teaching and skits and worship songs and would also learn more and more about each different church and the struggles that we all have and try and encourage each other throughout the time. Some days we would go to two different churches and do the same kind of thing there.

On Sunday the 28th of October, we held an event in the main area of the village where almost 600 people showed up !! It went so much better than we could have ever dreamt up. thank you Jesus. My task was to pray throughout the event, but God had something else planned. Before I was going up front to pray, God put something on my heart to share. For one, I am getting better at speaking in front of people, but it’s still overwhelming for me if I don’t prepare ahead of time and know my authority and see the power within my words and gain confidence within that. But anyway, I felt so prompted to share and I honestly don’t know what I said, but I know it was what someone needed to hear because it was so the Holy Spirit speaking through me. Seeing my teammates and everyone who was involved share, sing and dance and pray for healing and people’s salvation was so beautiful and growing for us. We were really on this beautiful mountain top of goodness and happy things. All was so good.

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Bad quality photo, but a glimpse of the people that came to the Outreach Event !! Such a cool and powerful night!

The very next day, a few of my teammates and myself got hit with this sickness and things I don’t want to share on here, but it was rough. We were on this mountain top very night before and now we were all wanting to sleep most of the day and not do anything. Seeing now, we believe it was spiritual warfare, the enemy was just waiting for us at the bottom of that mountain ready to steal and take away what all God did the night before. but we saw his scheme and rejected what he wanted to take away.

Tuesday night was a beautiful celebration of what all God did throughout the week with all of the churches and my team at the house we were staying at. The night was full of food and dancing, as they do it best. It was so much fun. the next day brought a tearful and reluctant goodbye’s with praise songs and many hugs. we thought we wouldn’t see this group of mamas and youth until we decided later on in life to come back and visit. but God had other plans 🙂

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We went to another village, maybe 40 minutes from Tubsie. this village was called Vabukori. We slept on a balcony right next to their main street that was open and visible to all who walked by. We set up our mozzie nets to keep the mosquitos out, but also help us feel like we did have a little room to ourself, even if anyone could actually see right through it.

We got settled in and found out that we got to go to this prayer meeting for APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Conference) after our morning debrief after lunch. we were excited to be apart of this big event!! We got to the meeting and all of the mamas and some of the youth that we were with the past week were there!!! It was a sweet surprise to spend more time with people who already had our heart. We spent our Thursday and Friday at these meetings, learning about strategies and praying for the people coming to this meeting. It was really awesome to be apart of something so big.

Saturday morning, since the kids in the area weren’t at school, we split up in small groups and went on a scavenger hunt to seek big groups of kids and perform skits and share stories of who Jesus is and pray for them. It was the most precious morning. When kids see us white people walking up and down the streets, they all come running. They’re so hungry for hugs and stories and high fives. as I played soccer and taught the kids American Football, I was able to teach some Doing Sports God’s Way with them…it was so special to incorporate an organization so sweet to my heart, FCA. ❤

Sunday after church, we went to a park to spend our last day with the mama’s and youth from Tubsie and relax before our early morning flight the next day, back to Australia.

That was just a quick picture of the main things we did while being in PNG. It was busy and tiring, but God filled us and guided us to people who needed a hug and truth and really rained blessing on all situations, good and bad. I see now that God has laid that foundation of faithfulness in even the smallest of circumstances.

GOD IS GOOD + FAITHFUL + CREATIVE

—-

My heart is a bit bigger, stronger and more aware than before.

I love my team so much, don’t get me wrong, we were just sleeping shoulder to shoulder and feet to feet and there was just never any time where I could just be more than 3 feet away from someone. I’m definitely learning so much about my self and my limits during this outreach. I am learning to be creative with finding that alone time like waking up earlier than anyone to have that sweet stillness or finding my joy for cooking and receiving refreshment through that time of serving my team. Being with the same people all day everyday is good and fun, but kind of hard, maybe it’s just me, but it was a little hard. I love love love people, but I definitely refresh with my introverted time; having that time to not talk or have solitude even for just a little bit.

I have also been working on being content right where my feet are and really really delighting in this season of waiting and singleness and pursuing what God has for me now rather than in the future. I’m making a daily choice to say “yes” to this season right here, right now. I want to stop thinking that the best is yet to come and realize that maybe the best is actually right now (of life on earth, heaven is going to be way better than anything earth can offer). Maybe God has created me for such a time as this, maybe my life doesn’t actually only begin when I start a job or get married like what I keep believing (also sorry I have probably talked about this on way too many blogs, but we’re getting there !!). God is good. God is faithful. God is redeeming. God is my friend.

I also see now just how powerful my words are. I can either choose to speak life or death over someone with my actions and reactions. I got caught up in the rude thoughts and comments after I would be frustrated by someone and it was really beginning to steal my joy. It’s a process to be fully aware of your thoughts and words, but I want to be a person always speaking life rather than hurting someone’s heart with my words or actions.

When we got back to Townsville, we began doing yard work and cleaning up a building close to our YWAM campus. It’s been really hard but rewarding as well to see the work load tasks get checked off and see it look more beautiful than before.

This coming Friday, we leave for 10 days for Whitsunday’s (Airlie beach – look it up, so beautiful) for an event like where people in the states go for spring break to party and what not. We will be a part of a group called Red Frogs serving and making sure that people get to where they’re going safely and making them pancakes and making sure they are alive by the end of it. It’ll be an interesting experience, but I am excited for the conversations that God has planned.

We have 3 more weeks of outreach and I am choosing joy and being present for the next month that I have left here in Oz.

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my team + a few … I really love these people !!

Thanks for making it this far – sorry, there’s been a lot going on and want to make sure that you’re with me through all of this if you so choose.

I am thankful and filled to the brim after a day off.

Also, GBR am I right ??!!

Happy early Thanksgiving – eat some mashed potatoes and corn casserole for me please:)

xo,

am

 

 

 

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