Outreach: India & Nepal

N A M A S K A R // N A M A S T E

If you hadn’t noticed, I recently got back from two months of doing ministry in Asia. I co-led a wonderful team of 10 students from the Classic & Music/Creative Arts DTS I was staffing here at Youth with a Mission Gold Coast. Our first location was Kolkata, India & we were in that beautiful chaotic city for five weeks. From there we flew to Kathmandu, Nepal & then took an 8 hour bus ride to the city of Pokhara, which is nestled in the Annapurna Range of the Himalayan Mountains, where we stayed for just under 3 weeks. Talk about sights that will literally take your breath away.

 

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Kolkata was hectic from the start, as we sat on the ground outside of the airport for hours waiting for taxis. Weaving between a constant barrage of little green & yellow vehicles we call tuk tuks that are a cross somewhere between a motorbike and a car is enough to make you sick. Horns are honking at all hours of the day, the streets are crowded, & you’ll smell more in a walk down the street in India than in your entire life combined. Dust settles everywhere & you instantly notice the distinguished social classes. We call this the caste system. And though technically outlawed, it is still alive & well in India. Wealthy Brahman (the highest caste) carefully step past Dalits (the lowest caste), who go about their days trying to get a few rupees by towing people around barefoot in these carriages that were meant for horses. God’s heart breaks for these people. And mine did as well.

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Our contacts in Kolkata kept us busy, with open airs almost every night in a different village. An open air generally consists of a few skits (that draw people in but also have biblical meanings), some testimonies, sometimes worship & dancing but most importantly, a Gospel message. After open airs we would go into the crowd that had gathered & begin to pray for people, seeing almost every person we prayed over get healed & many people coming to know God. But it wasn’t always like this- the first few weeks there we saw nothing happen. Yet we still prayed in faith that God would bring about healing & restoration over lives. It wasnt until we visited a little place by the name of Harvest Prayer House that we saw a shift in what we were doing. That evening we saw probably around hundred people healed from a myriad of illnesses, as we were all lined up, each with a line of people to be prayed for in front of us. From that point on, we began breaking through our own ceilings of what we thought God could do through us & going about with an expectancy of Him to move in great ways. While open airs filled our evenings, we filled our schedules during the day with things like worship on the streets & street evangelism, building relationship & speaking truth over the souls of Kolkata. The way worshiping on a street corner in downtown Kolkata could shift an entire atmosphere kept us wanting more. Worship was our weapon of choice against a heavy spiritual atmosphere. Because the people of India were so spiritually aware, it enabled God to freely move in such massive ways. They wanted more. They wanted the fire of the Holy Spirit. Let me tell you, God is stirring up something in India.

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Other ministries we did in Kolkata were working in the Red Light District, volunteering at Mother Teresa House, & teaching/helping with house churches. The heaviness of the Red Light District was tangible, as we made our way through the dark streets with our heads covered in scarves. We arrived at a little building that we gathered in to invest in the children of the Red Light District. We sang, danced, taught, & just loved these children that might not otherwise experience this love. We spent two days at Mother Teresa House in the Premdan House, which housed the elderly. During that time we did laundry for them, fed them, & spent time with them. Many of them had disabilities so they had come there because their families could no longer care for them. We spoke & shared testimonies at house churches in the area. And don’t get me started on transportation to all of these places. A normal day of travel for us would look like walking twenty minutes to the metro, taking the metro for a half hour (at least), taking the bus for an hour, then taking tuk tuks for fifteen minutes (at least). And that’s just one way.

After five weeks in India, we headed back to the airport to fly to Kathmandu. We stayed one night in Kathmandu (where I promptly got lost with no data & a dead phone-but don’t worry, I made a lot of friends) then we took a bus the next morning (for 8ish hours) that wound through the foothills & mountains then eventually brought us to the glorious village of Pokhara, Nepal. Literally surrounded by mountains, the beauty of this place took our breath away (& not just because of the high altitude). It’s places like this that make me think God was just showing off when He created them. The people of Nepal are very shy but also very friendly once they warm up to you. We walked dirt roads & breathed in the fresh mountain air, a very quiet & stark contrast to the extreme pollution of India. The cold & stormy weather was refreshing. Not only that, but the heaviness of the spiritual atmosphere of India had lifted & we all felt like we could breathe again (literally & metaphorically). Most of our ministry in Nepal looked a lot different than before & it makes me think that God was reshaping our perspective on what ministry should look like. We spent heaps of time pouring into the base & the staff that lived there. One of our main jobs there was painting murals on walls at the base. But we also helped at a ministry with the slum children where we did music, dancing, & shared Jesus with them. A majority of our time in Nepal was spent with the staff at the base, encouraging them, pouring into their lives, & simply having fun with them. It felt like we had become family. Going from crazy, full-on ministry while in India to this really challenged what our preconceived ideas of ministry were as a team & helped us realise that sometimes the work we do for the Kingdom of God doesn’t seem so fruitful to us, but really has a lasting impact.

My team was an incredible group of worshipers & artists hungry to see the Kingdom of God here on this Earth & I couldn’t be more grateful for them. I really saw God’s design for the Body of Christ come together as we all brought our individual gifts & allowed God to move through those.

I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in these nations & I am so incredibly blessed by all of those who supported me along the way. I can’t wait to see what God is up to here in Australia in this next season & be a part of what God is doing in other nations.

In this next season, I am a student of our School of Worship here at YWAM Gold Coast. I have been praying for & trusting God for this school to even happen for over a year now. Through a series of miracles, we have the school up & running May 8th & I am registered as a student. I am in need of $2,630 AUD ($2,043 USD) for this school & after seeing God fully provide near this amount to bring me to India & Nepal, I am fully confident that He will be faithful in providing for me in this area as well. If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in my life & in Australia & you feel compelled to give, support can be sent to 19318 22nd Ave. NW Stanwood, Washington 98293 USA or given online here. If you would like to support me through prayer, I have included a list of prayer requests & praise reports of what I have seen God doing recently.

 

Praises:

  • Salvations & people being healed on outreach
  • Successful local outreach during the recent Commonwealth Games here on the Gold Coast
  • All of our students are now graduated & back home safely 🙂

Prayer Requests:

  • Complete finances for School of Worship
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By His grace.

1017504_627673680585258_1017957431_nHis grace has been carrying me since the day I was born, & only lately have I been embracing the extent of that realization.

The unmerited, unearned favor of our Heavenly Father.

His hand carried my life through those fragile moments taking my first breath. He was there when I didn’t want to go on. His grace was an ocean around me, carrying my seemingly lifeless body to safety.

Not a moment has passed without Him by my side. Taking a step back & looking at the events of my life, it has become abundantly clear that He saved me for a reason, & not just for my own good. Lately have I been getting glimpses of the very reason I was put on this earth & how the gifts He has created me with can fit into the way God is moving here among us. I have never known a place where I can use every single one of my gifts until now. He has created me to be a worshiper, a lover of His presence, & I was created to usher His presence in, bringing Heaven to earth.

I believe that everyone was born with a fire in their heart, a passion that often gets put out by society as we grow older. Our job is to grab a hold of that passion & run with it.

There are so many times that I could have let the weight of this world consume me, so many times that without His grace I would be gone.

Lately I have been looking back on the timeline of my life & noticing that the overall theme of my life has been the grace of God. His grace has been the thread weaving it’s way through my journey here on this earth.

Going into this next season I hope to be able to extend His grace the way He did for me. I am running toward the epicenter of who He created me to be & finding myself lost in the midst of His perfect will.

For this next season, I feel God calling me to do a School of Worship here at YWAM Gold Coast- the same school I was signed up to do a year ago but wasn’t able to because we didn’t have enough students. But our God is faithful, & His words don’t go out void. I am trusting God for the full amount of finances ($2,630 AUD = around $2,069.28 USD) for this school. I am in need of prayer & finances- if you feel led to support me financially, support can be sent to 19318 22nd Avenue NW Stanwood, WA 98292 or given here.

Drumroll, please…

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And for the big news –

 

I am hoping to be a student of our School of Worship here at YWAM Gold Coast in early April! After a year of waiting & watching my dream hang in the balance, the day is finally on it’s way.

Upon arriving back from my DTS outreach (to The Outback & South Africa/Swaziland) last year expecting to go into School of Worship a few weeks later, it was revealed that we weren’t able to host the school because there weren’t enough students. Then toward the end of last year, our School of Worship leader transitioned out of YWAM, essentially leaving this dream that God had put on my heart dead.

This dream is taking breath again, as we are having someone from another base coming in to lead it for this season at our base. We will only be doing the lecture phase so we will stay around the Gold Coast during this time. It’s been a year in the waiting, but God is faithful, you guys.

I have absolutely no funds saved up or coming in for this next season of going into the School of Worship (besides current monthly support for food & rent), but would love for you to partner with me in this endeavour in any way that you feel to. I will probably need around $3,035 AUD or $2,387 USD, if you would like to support me financially, it can be mailed to 19318 22nd Ave NW Stanwood, WA 98292 or donated here by selecting school fees & putting my name in the notes. All forms of support are greatly appreciated, & I have included prayer requests if you would like to support me in prayer. A massive thank you to all of those who are already supporting me as well!

 

PRAISE REPORTS:

•I am fully funded for outreach & fly out to Kolkata, India on January 12th then to Pokhara, Nepal a bit later

•We just finished lecture phase Friday, with all of our students 100% funded for outreach!

PRAYER REQUESTS: 

•Finances for School of Worship (obviously)

•Both outreach teams – Outback/Mongolia team leaving to The Outback on Thursday & India/Nepal team (my team) leaving Friday morning. For safety, health, & for souls to be saved!

Oh, the places you’ll go.

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It’s been a good while since my last update because I’ve had a bit on my plate. I am currently staffing my first Discipleship Training School & am in charge of running the kitchen here at our base (as well as being on the worship department here).

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At Cararra Market for the Cat Carnival – The students that live in my house (clockwise): Kelsey, me, Bryn, Brittany, Paige, Abby, Naemi, Brooke, Hilde

This role is way more that I anticipated taking on, but has been a huge source of growth for me. In all honesty, being in charge of the kitchen for our base wasn’t something I wanted to do at all. But as always, God has bigger plans than our own minds can comprehend & I needed to let that settle in my own heart. This season I am in is one of choosing joy, persevering, & remaining faithful because He is faithful.

This has been such a beautiful time of discipleship, community, & letting the Holy Spirit move. The students on our Music & Creative Arts Discipleship Training School alongside the Classic Discipleship Training School come from America, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, & New Zealand. I have come to know these 19 student as family & couldn’t ask for a better community.

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Our whole school after spending three days in the bush to prepare us for outreach

We have been going through teachings most recently on topics like Father Heart of God, & Spiritual Warfare. This upcoming week is our last week of actual lectures, which will be on Holy Spirit, then we have a week of preparing for outreach!

In just under two weeks (on my birthday) we are flying out to Kolkata, India for five weeks then from there to Kathmandu, Nepal for a night then hopping on a bus the next day for about 6 hours to where we will be staying in Pokhara, Nepal for the remaining 3 weeks of outreach. We will be staying at YWAM bases in both locations. Our ministry in Kolkata will look like working in the slums, the Red Light District, helping with house church, doing street evangelism, & prayer walks. We don’t know much of what we’ll be doing in Pokhara, but know that the base we will be with works with the nearby villages & people groups in the surrounding area. I can’t wait to see what God will do in these beautiful nations! I am co-leading a team of ten students who are on fire for Jesus. We are going in with complete expectancy & willingness to move when God speaks.

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A view of Surfers Paradise from the Q1 building 

 

We went in to the New Year last night as we all sat on the beach in Surfers Paradise & watched the fireworks together.

I have big news coming VERY SOON & will update you all in a few days. 🙂

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My roommate Brittany & I in my hammock at the beach

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Hanging out in Byron Bay

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u p d a t e from Goldie

IMG_5925These past few weeks have been pretty heccas, with people coming & people going. That’s the thing about YWAM though, is you get used to goodbyes & hellos. Constantly. Since moving back in to my original house here, everyone has moved out & I have a whole new group of housemates.

Lately, God has been taking me through a couple different things, most recently stewarding my heart & calling out the gold in people. He has been speaking to me about checking on the state of my heart & making sure that I’m not harboring anything unhealthy for it’s being. I have been feeling God calling me to call up the good in people as of late & I am trying to make it a point to do so. We’re in quite a slow season right now here at YWAM Gold Coast because we are in between Discipleship Training Schools, so we have been able to build deeper relationships as staff members (as there aren’t that many of us), which is so nice & crucial to the unity of our base.

Last week, I was in Toowoomba (a two hour drive away) for a week of staff training, where we learned a lot about the heart behind what we do & we were able to dream with God for our upcoming DTS & what he wants for it. It was a really nice & very necessary time of refreshment for us in the mountains of Toowoomba. I had been wanting to go camping pretty badly in the time leading up to it & where we were came pretty close. Folks, God definitely sees the desires of our hearts & longs to give those to us as we seek Him.

I am currently in a season of processing with God, as the path I thought God had for me here is continuing to change shape. Our worship department leader (& the one who leads worship track & School of Worship) is transitioning out of YWAM in October so we are seeking God’s heart for the situation & where to go next with it.

I still have the same amount of support coming in monthly, at around $285 USD ($381 AUD), so I am still in great need of more financial support coming in monthly. The support amount I currently have is not enough to cover just rent, let alone groceries. I have acquired both overseas health insurance & paid for my visa, which I have been waiting on for a month to be approved (it can take up to four months).

 

Praises:

-I have been able to adventure almost every weekend (which is a huge deal, if you know me)

-I have been growing immensely in my worship leading & guitar

-I got to go to a DTS Foundations Workshop at our base in Toowoomba, which was informational & very refreshing

Prayers:

-That my visa would be approved quickly so I won’t have to worry about any of that when I am on holiday at home

-That I would gain more support monthly so that I can stay at YWAM Gold Coast, reaching out to our community here & to the nations

-That my interview coming up to be on staff for the upcoming DTS in October would go well