Fresh off the plane, jet-lagged & more than thrilled to see the other team again. This was us a little over two weeks ago. Now we’re saying goodbyes & reminiscing of our days abroad. My team was in Moree, New South Wales which is in the Outback of Australia. After a week there, we were back in the Gold Coast for a day and then traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa for two weeks. From Johannesburg we hopped in a van for 4.5 hours to Mbabane, Swaziland & stayed there for a week before driving a half hour to our next location of Manzini, Swaziland where we stayed the remainder of the eight weeks. We had no idea what to expect or what kind of ministry we would be doing so we were ready for anything, really. Our ministry throughout the whole of outreach was mainly working with children. We would spend time with the children in the park in Johannesburg. Mbabane found us praying over & encouraging children & their mothers in a hospital. We also found kids along the way during our ministry times in local villages to play with. In Manzini, we stayed in an orphanage so the children living there were our ministry & our other location in Manzini was in the perfect spot to visit a local preschool regularly. In our first location in Moree, most of what we did was focused on working with the Aboriginals and we did things there such as prepping food, delivering food, spending time with, and having an outreach barbeque with them that included worship, skits, testimonies, and a message. Another ministry we were involved in was the renovation of a big room in the Johannesburg YWAM base we were staying in that was used for the kids as a part of the ministry they do. We also did things like worship in the park that led to evangelism & street evangelism in both South Africa & Swaziland. We did ministry going to the houses and spending time with the grandmas, mothers, and vulnerable women of Mbabane. In our time off from ministry, we would do things like hike massive hills, hike to waterfalls & swim, or go to the local markets. We even did the ropes course as a team at YWAM Swaziland. We saw God work in so many ways that continually blew our minds. Not only were the people we came in contact with affected, but we were as well. We each individually grew so much, not to mention, as a team & saw God preparing our character & hearts for a life of ministry. Even if we don’t become missionaries or go into full-time ministry, we will carry what we learned & experienced on DTS & on outreach into our homes & daily lives because our homes are our first mission field.
I’m the type of person who likes to have their life generally planned out. I take what God has told me or called me to and fill in the rest with my ideas and plans. And sometimes God likes to mess with those plans of mine. Let me tell you of a time when He did just that. I followed God to the Gold Coast of Australia for a year to join YWAM (Youth With a Mission) to do a Music and Creative Arts Discipleship Training School for six months then a School of Worship for the remaining six months. Here I am after six months, yet there is no School of Worship. Due to various reasons, they are unable to run one at this time. My options were to return home or stay and do a program called C4CM and staff here at YWAM. Immediately God spoke to me that He wanted me to stay here in Australia. In other words, God told me to stay and do C4CM and staff. God put it on my heart to staff ever since before I even applied to come and upon arriving, He made it clear to me that this is home. I knew I would be here for a while. So this is my way of telling you all that I will be coming on as a staff member here at YWAM Gold Coast and will be here until at least April 2019 (don’t worry, I can come home and visit- Lord willing). The program I will be doing is a Certificate 4 in Christian Missions with the Worship Track. In this program, we will receive some excellent instruction on biblical leadership, have opportunities to develop our gifting as we serve others like Jesus did, and finally- be mentored and coached in a supportive Christian environment. I chose the Worship Track so I will be focusing on worship leading and the different aspects of that, as well as how to be a true worshiper of the One who truly deserves it. As far as staffing goes, I will be base staff (I’m not sure what kind of things I will be doing around the base) and I hope to staff other schools like the one I just did, as well as a School of Worship after actually participating in one. It seems that God kind of took my plans of doing the School of Worship and then staffing and rearranged them a bit. I’m fully open to His plans for me and am so excited to begin this adventure He has called me on. I would love for you to join me on this journey by continually lifting me up in prayer as well as financially supporting me if you feel led to. Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting me so far in this journey, words can’t express the difference it’s making in my life and in the others around me.
I still can’t believe it. My mind can’t wrap itself around the fact that I’m moving across the globe to do what I’m passionate about. How many people are that lucky? God has taken my dreams beyond anything I could ever have even begun to imagine. A few years ago, I trusted God when He took me to go to school in Oregon. Then I followed Him to Wisconsin. I’m beginning to think that He gives me greater things each time I show Him that I can be trusted with the smaller things He has given me. This time He’s bringing me all the way to Australia! I’ll be in the air on my way to the Gold Coast of Australia in 16 days, with layovers in San Fransisco, California & Auckland, New Zealand. Besides figuring out the little things needed to do before moving to another country, I’ve been trying to figure out what to pack. I will be getting an Australian phone number after getting a local SIM card, so I will update everyone with that, as well as my new mailing address.
- Issue-free & safe traveling
- Preparation of heart
- I am fully funded!
I’ll be the first to admit how much of a restless soul I am. Every fiber of my being is restless. And that’s not just because I have Insomnia, either. I’ve always had a longing for things that are greater. Things that are much, much more. I’m the type of person who always wants to be somewhere else, in a constant state of newness. The thing is, this season of my life has been excessively slow. And my soul is not happy with that. It’s times like these that I realize what the American Dream really is- empty hopes and unfilled voids. Since I was a child I never saw my future self living any sense of a normal life, and I’m not going to let this season of waiting change that. I pray that I never settle and never become complacent.
As humans, we were created to be relational. We were created to love and be loved. And we were created for fellowship with our Maker. Anything short of that leaves our souls wanting. We all have a void. And we all choose to fill it differently.
It’s time we stop filling the void with things of this world & run to the One who can make us feel whole.
I suppose our souls will always be restless. Until the very day we meet our Creator.
I am beyond thrilled to announce that I have been accepted to join a program in September of 2016 by the name of Aletheia. This program is run by Youth With a Mission [YWAM] & is located on the Gold Coast of Australia. I have felt God calling me to this for quite some time now & feel like it would be the perfect fit for my future in missions & in ministry. This program will focus on creative arts & music in ministry and evangelism, but also on how to lead worship in cross-cultural contexts. Aletheia is a year-long program, but only 6 months of that time will actually be spent in Australia, because there are two 3-month long mission trips included to destinations that we don’t know of yet & will be decided after prayer.
I have felt called to missions ever since I was on a mission trip to work with the homeless in Vancouver, B.C. when I was a freshman in high school. It was right in the middle of downtown Vancouver, working with a homeless woman who was heavily addicted to drugs, that God told me that missions was what I was put on this earth for.
Following God’s leading is one of the most exciting & fulfilling things that could ever be done, but not without difficulty. I am in need of others partnering with me in ministry by praying for me & supporting me. I would be more than grateful for any form of support, & I have included a list of prayer requests.
1) God’s provision financially
2) Safety during travels to/from Australia & to/from mission trip destinations & in those countries
3) Preparation of not only the hearts of the people we are reaching, but also the hearts of us as students to learn and apply what was taught on mission trips and in Australia
For more information on Aletheia, you can go to http://www.ywamgc.com.au/training/aletheia-school-of-the-worshipper.html
If you feel led to support me financially, you can donate online at gofund.me/lovewith0utborder or message me for my address.
I am confident that if God is calling me to this then He will provide, although that comes in many different forms. I thank you for prayerfully considering this. I will continue to update my blog at lovewith0utborders.wordpress.com with how my time leading up to the trip is going & how the program is going.
Love, Rachel Patton