As many of you know I will be flying to New Orleans, LA on April 3rd to join my friends Lindsay and Kellen. They are working on a documentary called 'Live for the Love' and they are doing a giant road trip along the eastern and southern part of the United States. I am so excited to be partnering with them and this project! Most importantly, God is going to be so glorified and people are going to know what true love means...it only comes from Jesus. Check out my Facebook for update links on the documentary and for more information on the documentary as well. I would love if you joined us prayerfully as well as financially! God bless.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Back to the Elfin Forest once again...and this time with these wonderful ladies! This time the photo shoot was inspired by our little girl dress-up bags when we were young. These beautiful women were dressed with their crowns and cute feathers and really looked like the "goddesses of the Elfin Forest". They had so much fun climbing trees and acting like little girls again. These creative ladies even made their own crowns! In closure, this was such a fun day full of silliness and beautiful scenery. Check out my facebook page at Elle Photography for more pictures from this shoot. :)
Monday, January 16, 2012
Last week I had the privilege of taking pictures of this wonderful family in the beautiful Elfin Forest located in Los Osos. Not only were they loads of fun to take pictures of, they are one of the sweetest families I know. I've been able to get to know them throughout the last couple of weeks and I love the joy that this family brings. Their little boy is the cutest 4 year old I know. Here are a few pictures from our fun afternoon in the forest of oaks. :)
Sunday, July 24, 2011
This week has been so much fun here in Battambang. I'm seriously loving outreach so much. I just noticed yesterday that we've already been in Cambodia for a month. I can't believe it... it's gone by so fast. So much has happened already, but it still feels like we just arrived. There's been so many fun memories made and i'm sure we will have plenty more memories to come. We are all having too much fun living the "Cambodian" life.
Ministries were great this week. SALT practice was a lot of fun and I feel like I'm really building long lasting friendships with the girls there. On Wednesday the main guy who started the SALT organization got back from a trip and we had our first day of intense practice. I'm definitely staying in shape while I'm here, which is good because I have been eating my body weight in food everyday. I don't know what's wrong but I'm always hungry. Luckily there is a gas station very close to the base to get food and of course the donut stands that are even closer to the base. Anyways... the orphanage was great this week too. On Thursday, Campbell and I were the only ones who went. So we hopped on the back of our translators motto and rode off to the orphanage. We brought paper and crayons and had the kids draw what God meant to them. After we were done drawing our pictures they got to explain their drawing and tell us what God means to them. It was really touching the things that they wrote and how much time they took to make the pictures really good. A little girl at the orphanage named Obe drew a heart and wrote words in the heart like "love" and some other khmer words. After they explained their drawings, Campbell shared a message and we held hands all together in a circle and prayed. Many of them have a cold right now and they asked if we would pray that they wouldn't be sick anymore. It was a really touching moment because as I was praying out loud I heard the mumbling of many kids praying to themselves. They have so much faith that God is going to pull through and as they pray it is so evident that they are talking directly to God. Campbell and I have a huge heart for the orphanage. This includes: fixing up the place, starting small groups, having weekly teachings, making the orphanage a place that they can feel excited to go home to after school, and a lot more. We are praying a lot about the future of this orphanage, even if we just plant the seed, we are hoping that other teams can continue this project.
The youth center has been a lot of fun this week. My students are getting more comfortable asking questions in class. In my conversation class we'll end up chatting the whole time. Which is perfect because the class is called "conversation" and I really get to know my students that way. In my photography class, Grace and I had our students draw different angles of a camera and label the parts. We quizzed them on Thursday and they are seeming to pick up photography terms very easily. We told them what each button is called and what its function is. That class is going to be so much fun, I'm really excited to see the pictures that they take in class. Grace and I are going to be printing out their favorite picture each week and put them up on the wall. Once we get to the last week we will put together a portfolio for them to take home. I'm so excited because one of my photography students named Ratana wants to hang out on the weekends. She works a lot, but she said next Saturday morning she wants to take me out on her motto around town and maybe out to the rice fields. It should be fun! I'm really excited about Ratana's friendship, she is a really sweet girl and always gives me a big hug before and after class.
This week has been a really fun week with our team. On Tuesday I hung out with Laura at Gecko Cafe and we chatted for a couple hours. I love my leader Laura, she's so great and always seems to be in good spirits. Even if she thinks she isn't, I always feel like I can be myself around her and talk to her about everything. I'm really grateful that she is my leader. After chatting for a bit and eating cream cheese wontons (they are soooo good!) we walked around in the market trying to find measuring cups to make no bake cookies for Laura and Campbell's cooking class. It was definitely harder than it sounds. It was very funny though. When there's a language barrier and you are trying to explain what a measuring cup is....well you could imagine that visual might be funny. After no luck we decided to buy the ingredients for the cookies and head back to base.
Many more great things happened this week but I might save those stories for when I get home. I want to let everyone know that I'm having a great time here and this outreach experience has seriously been a blessing. I know that God wanted me in Cambodia for a reason and He has definitely revealed to me why He wants me here for this time. I love the culture here and have fallen in love with every ministry I've been involved in. This week is my last week doing SALT, which I'm a little sad about but it's been a great experience and luckily I get to keep in contact with the girls over facebook. Once SALT ends I'm going to be filling those mornings in by going to a village and doing ministry there, I'm also picking up one more day at the orphanage. So I have a lot to look forward to still here. I really appreciate all the prayers that everyone has been praying for our team and for Cambodia. They are working and this nation has great hope for the future. The generation that we are working with right now are going to be the generation that changes this nation!
The internet connection is really bad so I can't upload any pictures. But they will be up on facebook shortly!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Hey guys! So this week has been crazy busy but has been so cool. The youth center finally started on Monday and I've really been enjoying it. I'm teaching two classes. The first class is "Conversation" and I'm teaching that with my friend Kat. Then I'm teaching a "Photography" class with my friend Grace. Both have been great so far. I was a little nervous to start teaching because I've never been a teacher before. Going into my conversation class on Monday (which was my first class of the day) I was supposed to have 7 students. After waiting 15 minutes only 2 students showed up that barely spoke english. It was really funny to try to communicate with them. We somehow managed though. We got the basics down and started simple conversation starters. As the week progressed we got more people permanently in the class. We now have 6! I prefer a smaller class because it will be really easy to build relationships with the students. We also got a translator, his name is Seeyum and we have so much fun. He is the hired translator for our team and has been to family dinner on friday nights with us. He's part of our team now which is really fun. He's such a happy guy and so helpful. If we ever need something he knows exactly where to buy it and he helps us communicate with tuk tuk drivers and our students. The photography class is a lot of fun too. Grace and I have 3 students in our class, we had 2 students until Friday and then another one added our class. They will get a lot of one on one time with us which will be really good for them. This last week they've just been getting used to holding a camera and taking pictures. We've gone over some few basic principles of lighting and they seem to catch on real quick. I can't wait to start projects with them and start posting their photos up in class. One of the perks about teaching at an openly Christian school is that we get to pray at the end of class and talk to them about God whenever we want. My students range in age from 18-21 and they are all pretty open to the Bible. I'm so stoked to see what God does with them during our time here. Even though there's the language barrier, they still manage to share prayer requests at the end of class to us and pray with us. I know God is going to do some awesome things, I seriously can't wait to see. Please pray for my students!
After my photography class I have about an hour to hang out with the youth center kids. I met two girls who have been teaching me Khmer! I've learned how to count to 10 confidently: muoy, pee, biy, boon, pram, pram muoy, pram pee, pram biy, pram boon, dop. They've taught me a lot of sayings and words, but it's so hard for me to grasp. Khmer is like no other language that I've ever heard of before. They don't understand why I can't say some things because they're alphabet is very different than ours. They are so cute though. Everyday they ask me what I want to learn and they write it all down for me on paper. I got into a conversation with one of the girls and she was telling me that she is a Christian but her whole family is Buddhist. I asked her if she has talked to them about God and she said she had but they didn't believe. She barely speaks any English but we still somehow manage to have conversations. I've hung out with these girls everyday and have really enjoyed becoming friends with them. I can't wait to get into further conversations with them about God and talk to them about leading small groups in the youth center and getting them plugged into a church. I don't even know if the other girl is a Christian, I'm hoping we can have that conversation this coming week. Yesterday we went on a walk with them down the road to some street vendors and had boiled corn and some other goods. We aren't really supposed to eat from the street vendors because they aren't clean and the water has a lot of bacteria. But... it's hard when the girls buy you things that they insist on you eating. My friend Jess was with me yesterday and we just prayed over our food before and ate it. Praise God that He has kept us healthy!
The SALT program and the orphanage have been really good this week as well. I started teaching English after soccer practice with the SALT girls and that's been really cool. I'm turning into a teacher, it's so strange. I surprisingly really enjoy it though. I really enjoy SALT a lot, and the relationships with the girls has been growing. It's so easy to make friendships here, once you pay anyone special attention they are hooked on you. I love it. This week at the orphanage we taught the kids some songs like: "Jesus loves me", "Father Abraham", and some others. They get a kick out of them, but learn so fast. They were all singing the songs in English by the time we left. They taught us the songs in Khmer as well (well they tried), we are still learning. :) We have a lot of plans that we want to do with the orphanage, and I can't wait to put those plans into effect. They are such cute kids, I'm going to have a hard time not wanting to adopt all of them.
So this is a typical day in my life here in Cambodia.... I wake up at 6am but don't get out of bed until 6:30, have a quiet time with God until 7 then go to breakfast. Then at 7:30 I have work duty until 8. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I leave for SALT practice at 7:30 and I'm out there until 11. Normally our team has worship everyday from 8-9 every morning and I participate in that on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I go to the orphanage on Thursdays and Fridays until about 11:30. Then there's lunch at 12:30 and I have my conversation class from 1-2. Then we have a meeting from 2:30-4. Then my photo class from 4-5. We are supposed to hang out with the kids until 6 at the youth center and we pray at 6ish to wrap up the day. Then dinner is at 6:30! We are all wiped by the end. I go to bed by 10 every night (if you knew me you would be very surprised). It's super busy, but soooo good. I love being busy. We are definitely spending our time well here in Cambodia.
Last night we had a "family" dinner, we have them every Friday night. They've been a lot of fun and are a really nice way to end the week. Our team is bonding super well and we are having a lot of fun together. It's such a blessing. We sent our amazing leaders on a retreat night/Saturday to a hotel nearby so that they could have a little rest. Jess and I came home from dinner and watched a movie and ate nutella and sugar crackers. Which have been our new obsession. They are so good. We will try and bring back some bags full of them. Another thing that's really good are Cambodian donuts. There's a stand 2 minutes away on bike from our base and we get them a lot. They are only 12.5 cents! They taste really good with nutella or jelly.
Some funny things that have happened this week.... two girls from our team (Sharon and Katie) got locked out of the house last night while they were on the roof. They spent the whole night up there chatting and laughing. They were such good sports. We heard them come in at 6:45am this morning and we all were so confused where they had been. When they told us they got locked out we felt so bad, but they just laughed and actually enjoyed it so much. Soooo that was something silly. We also have a couple lists in our room that have grown, the first list is "Quotes from Cambodia" and the second list is "Only in Cambodia..." and you have to fill in the blank. For example: Only in Cambodia can you valet park your bike. Only in Cambodia do you get a spray tan from dirt from riding your bike down the road. Silly things like that. The list is getting very lengthy. We are having fun with it.
Okay that's it for now! Thank you for your prayers, I'm loving it here. I'm so happy I chose Cambodia for outreach. Love you guys!
Having fun at SALT practice
The kids at the orphanage singing some songs we taught them.
"God is love" in Khmer
Team Cambode after our family dinner (minus Mama and Papa Fry)
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Hello everyone! We've spent two weeks in Cambodia already and I can't believe how fast the time has flown.
Okay so where to start....
We left Kona a couple Sundays ago and after a full day of traveling we arrived in Phnom Penh. We ended up staying at a hotel instead of the YWAM base for the first couple days and it was a nice surprise. We got to enjoy the luxuries of air conditioning, warm showers, and a nice queen size bed. We explored Phnom Penh for a couple of days and got to know the history of Cambodia. Our tours that we took were pretty heavy because Cambodia suffered from a genocide in the 1970's and we went to a few of the killing fields. It was good to go to them so we could understand the culture a little better and really pay respect to the older people of the land because they went through this tragedy.
After a couple days in Phnom Penh we went off on a bus to Battambang. We arrived there and went to the YWAM base to settle in. All of our team members were pleasantly surprised by the base. I think we all went in with really low expectations of Cambodia; that we would be living really badly, and that the food wouldn't be that good. It was nice that we went in with low expectations because we all have been counting our blessings. The base is really cute and nice. There's two bases, the first one is where a lot of the staff live and our cafeteria is in that area. They also have a pond with a classroom in the middle, a basketball hoop, and a volleyball court. The second base is where we stay. It is four stories high! The first story is the kitchen and living room, the second story is where we stay (10 girls to one room!), the third story is where our leaders stay and it has a really cool open roof, and the fourth story is where we hang all of our laundry (it is the very top rooftop!).
A couple days after we got to the base and got all settled in we went to go purchase our bikes. They are so cute, and all of us might be a little obsessed with them. They are these cute vintage bikes that were only $35. We each got bells and baskets on them and we have a lot of fun ringing our bells. The traffic here is crazy. There's pretty much no street rules. Everyone does whatever they want. People are riding on the wrong side of the street, not stopping at stop signs, passing cars, and the list goes on. Pray for us that we stay safe on our bikes! I think a lot of us have gotten used to the crazy streets, but it's so funny. It would not fly in the U.S. to be driving the way they do here. I think the most people I've seen on a motto (motorcycle) is five people. Of those five people it's probably a mom, dad, two kids, and most likely a baby sitting on the drivers lap. We've had fun riding around on the mottos and the tuk tuk's (which are little carriage cars, like taxi's). The food here is so cheap and sooooooooo good. You never spend more than $2 on a meal and it will normally fill you up. A normal Cambodian meal consists of rice, vegetables, and some type of meat. The meat can include anything from chicken to frog to dog. You name it, they have it in a dish available to buy.
The Khmer (Ka-my) language looks really beautiful. I think if I were to ever get a tattoo (most likely) I would get something in this writing. It sounds really neat too, it's been a little difficult to learn because the only other language I've ever tried to learn is spanish. At first all my Khmer words had a tad bit of a spanish accident to them, but I'm getting better. I know how to say "what is your name"---on chu mo aye. In the Khmer language it looks a lot more beautiful than how we try to spell it in english.
So, when arriving to Battambang I got pretty overwhelmed because there's just so much to do here. I really had to spend a lot of time talking with God because I can't spread myself too thin. There's so many ministries that I want to get involved in but in order to make relationships I need to invest in only a couple. Fortunately, our team as a whole is involved with many ministries and we are pretty spread out throughout the city. Ever since I watched the "Sex and Money" documentary (look it up online if you have never heard of it), I felt really called to sex trafficking. I came to Cambodia wanting to do justice in that area. When we found out that we probably could not get into that ministry while we are here I got a little disappointed and asked God why He would put it so heavily on my heart if I were not to do it. He definitely answered my prayers the next day. I found out that a girls soccer ministry that I'm going to be involved in three days a week takes girls that have been trafficked or have been in prostitution and teaches them how to play soccer and teaches them english. It was such an answer to prayers! I went this past Friday to their first practice and fell in love with the organization. It is called S.A.L.T. (Sport and Leadership Training). There are about 40 girls out there daily playing soccer and they are all so sweet. A lot of them came up and introduced themselves to me speaking the little english that they knew. Then after that they will hold hands with you, hang on you, and hug you at any given time. I love it and I can't believe it is so easy to form a friendship with them. Then after practice we go to the international school and teach them english. It's such an awesome organization.
The other two days of the week I'm going to be helping out at an orphanage. I went last Thursday and fell in love with it. The kids there are so beautiful, nice, and loving. They love that we come to spend time with them. After playing a few silly games with them we prayed for them and played some games outside. They love to play volleyball and soccer, so I'll probably be playing a lot with them during those two mornings a week that I'm there. Currently in Cambodia, Americans are not allowed to adopt Cambodian children. Supposedly early next year that won't be a law anymore. I'm really praying that the government will grant that freedom for others to adopt from other countries. Cambodia has a lot of orphans and I know many want to adopt but currently are not able to. I'm excited to build relationship with these kids at the orphanage and fix up the place a bit. We will be having bible time there too. The ages at the orphanage range from about 7 years old to 21 year old and there are about 20 kids there. One of the kids (bellow) had fun wearing my glasses.
So that's how this week has looked so far! Saturdays are our days off as a team and we have been enjoying them by going cafe hoping and discovering new places in Battambang. Tomorrow we are going to church at the RAPHA house, which is a house that protects woman who have been trafficked into sex slavery. I can't wait to go. And on Monday we start working at the Youth Center every afternoon. My teammate Kat and I will be teaching a conversation class with 8 students and my friend Grace and I will be teaching photography! We have translators for both classes, it should be a lot of fun. I've never taught before, but I know God will equip me. I'm excited to build relationships with my students as well. They are a bit older (in their teens) and a lot of them are buddhist (only 2% of people are Christian in this country). We have a "Christ-based" class once a week that we teach, and we've been brainstorming about ideas for that class. Can't wait to start this new ministry on Monday. It will be going for 8 weeks.
Some silly things that have happened to us....
-There was a wedding that blared music for 3 days straight.
-We can't ride our bikes more than a block without getting a "dirt" spray tan. (It always seems to trick us cause we actually think we got tan and then soon realize that it's just dirt).
-We have about 12 fans going in our room at night.
-Bartering... that's always fun.
-The traffic, I just laugh every time I go out on the street.
That's it for now! I'm going to really try to blog more often than I did in Kona. Thank you all for your prayers.
A street in Phnom Penh
A boy at the orphanage who had fun wearing my new glasses
The beautiful Khmer language.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Hello there! Okay so I have a lot of catching up to do. Haven't blogged in a couple weeks, sorry about that!
So the week before last we had corporate week. Which means that all the DTS's (Discipleship Training Schools) have class together. We had the privilege of hearing from Darlene and Loren Cunningham. They spoke to us for the majority of the week and shared us their heart behind what they do. Also, they shared with us some amazing stories of how God has provided for them in the past and is still doing so today. They were such an encouragement to everyone there, and that we got to listen to the founders of YWAM for a week was pretty stinkin awesome as well. We also had the priveledge of hearing from David Hamilton who is a partner with Darlene and Loren. He has traveled to 200 countries in his lifetime and is still traveling. He has an amazing missionary heart and was also very encouraging.
As I told you all in my last blog post, I took a break from life back home for a week. I didn't go on facebook or text/call/skype with anyone for a full week. That was the best thing that God could have spoke for me to do. I really felt like I needed to do that. Just to rejuvenate myself for the weeks to come. And it really helped. I didn't even want to text when I had the opportunity to and I really felt like I was all in Kona during that week. Friendships blossomed and my relationship with the Lord grew stronger. I could really feel God speaking to me that week about future plans after YWAM and how I want to pursue missions. I can't really see myself having an ordinary job where I work from 9-5 everyday. I want to live my life on the edge and live for Jesus in other countries. I'm so excited that this is just the start to my journey. I had a lot of confirmation that I'm supposed to be a "doer" and that God is going to use me in some sweet ways that I'm stoked about.
I got some of this confirmation from our speaker from last week. Penni Patu is a Somoan who has the gift of Prophecy. He was given all of our names from our team a month before we arrived so he could propheci over us and pray for each of us individually. Without even knowing us! That is 51 random people that he prayed for. Penni has such a fathers heart, he is a very patient and kind man who is living his whole life for the Lord. It was very encouraging to see how he has lived his life. What he did during the week that he was here was call each one of us up individually to the front of the class and we would read a verse that God told him that represented us individually. Then we would read a page summary of what God had spoken to him many weeks before. He had these papers printed out and we read them in front of the whole class. There were a lot of tears among many classmates and breakthrough was finally setting in for a lot of people. He called me up on the last day that he was there and basically told me that I'm going to be proactive and I'm going to be doing a lot of things for God. That I am going to have a "leadership" type position. Which was very encouraging. He gave me the nickname "small but mighty." After I sat down I had affirmation that I'm supposed to be a leader and I'm going to be spreading the gospel to the world. I'm pumped!!!! Can't wait to see what God has in store for me.
That is basically a summary of the last two weeks. That explanation doesn't do the journey justice but at least you guys can be caught up on my life a little! We've also had a lot of fun as a team here in Kona. Been going to the beach a lot, hanging out and having movie/game nights, and just being silly. I love my family here so much. We've also been meeting up every Friday with our Cambodia team and discussing more things about it. I CAN'T WAIT! Last Friday a couple came to talk to us about Cambodia, and they had already been there before. We got to ask them many questions and they shared pictures of the YWAM base that we will be staying at and the surrounding areas. It looks awesome. Also, within the last couple weeks I found out that I'm probably going to be seeing some dear friends of mine from San Luis Obispo while I'm in Cambodia. Beki Morrison, Molly Neubert, and Alison Scott. God is so great!
Hope everyone is having a blessed week. Miss you all!
Hanging out around the campus with some of my teammates. :)
Kua Bay--I love Hawaii
A cool urchin at Children's Beach
Photo Cred: Charm and Grace Photography (check it out) Fake engagements
Monday, April 25, 2011
Happy Easter! He has risen! Today has been a lazy but amazing Easter Sunday. I got to hang out in my room with my roommates all day. After being so exhausted from a long week of lecture and various other things it's so nice to have a day of rest. But today I kinda was feeling like "blah" and I didn't really know why I was feeling that way. We met up tonight at 6:30pm for a reflection night with our team and I went into it really tired and wanting to fall asleep. Not anticipating that anything awesome could come out of this night. I was just thinking about myself and how I just wanted the whole day off so I didn't have to think. And God totally rocked my world and revealed so much to me tonight. One of the guys from our team "Jose" went up and talked about how he wasn't really feeling like going tonight as well and how when we aren't expecting much God reveals so much. This is what happened to a lot of people on our team tonight including me. I'm so overjoyed! And it happened on the holiest of holy days, the day that Jesus rose from the dead. He revealed to me some things that haven't come to light in my life in a while and that I haven't been able to deal with fully. I was able to pray with one of my wonderful leaders Christine who is so selfless and amazing. That just really spurred the fire for me tonight, and God couldn't stop talking to me. It was awesome! He revealed that I'm spending a lot of time 1. Talking with friends back home. 2. On facebook 3. Filling me free time with all those things when I should be spending it with the Lord. I keep complaining that I don't have any one on one time with the Lord and that is because I'm not sacrificing something in order to do so. So this week I'm taking a little retreat for myself. No facebook or talking to people from back home. God told me that I need a rejuvenation week where I can completely focus on him. I'm so stoked!
Okay so now I'll talk about my whole last week! Gosh, there's so much. Our topic last week was "Marriage/Sexuality." So in class we talked about those things. The speaker was a guy name Kenny Jackson and he was great. He was a very good speaker and always kept our attention. He talked about the "8 steps" in a relationship and talked about marriage a lot. He told us many things that will help us set up for a healthy marriage that won't end in divorce. Cause right now, even among Christians, there is a 50% divorce rate, which makes me so sad. Kenny also hit on the topic of pornography and shared with us a story where him and another DTS group went to LA to a pornography business building and started talking with all the people who were walking in and out. Almost all the people who walked out felt guilty about their job, and they hadn't even mentioned that they were Christians yet. That industry is a sad world because a lot of the people don't find it fulfilling in any way to work for it. Yet, it pays well and it's a job. Many people use that as the excuse because jobs are hard to come by these days. So in all, Kenny's talk was great and it made me really rethink what I'm looking for in a husband, which is a great thing to think about now when I'm single and don't have any distractions between me and God.
We also had our first photography class! It was so great. The amazing Susi Childers taught us some basics on how to use our cameras. I know a lot already, but it was a nice refresher and I'm excited to teach others in the classroom how to use their cameras. I'm just so excited to learn more about photography and how I can use it on the missions field! It's going to be awesome using it to be a voice for the voiceless.
So last week I got involved in two ministries to get more involved with the community here in Kona. The first one was on Tuesday night and it is a ministry called "Skate Night." Basically our main building here at the base is turned into a crazy skate park within minutes. Ramps and rails are set up and 30-60 kids come each week to skate around. I am super excited about this ministry because I'll be able to talk with kids that may not know Jesus! I get to share the Gospel with them and build relationships, and I'm so excited. Just this first night at skate night I met a 12 year old girl who completely opened up to me right away. She gave me a huge hug and we talked for a really long time. We eventually went to a place where we could talk in private and she shared with me all about her life. She was a very open book for such a young girl. She shared with me that she really enjoys to sing and she sang me a song. Her voice was amazing. We talked and learned to juggle (yes juggle) for the rest of the night. I'm so excited to build this relationship with this girl. Another ministry that I was able to get involved in is called "Fire Starters." It's a ministry for kids while their parents are at the Thursday night service in the Ohana court. Most of the kids parents are on staff at the base so we just get to have a "mini" service with them. Last week it was just about getting to know the kids. Me and one of my leaders Lindsay took the 9-11 year olds and we played the name game. Then we all came together (ages ranging from 5-11) and taught them a song and spent some time on a verse. It was so nice to get more involved with the kids on the base because I see them running around all the time, and now that I know some of them I can actually go up and chat with them instead of having them run right past me. They are all so adorable, and I couldn't believe how fast they opened up.
Finally.... last but not least. If you all didn't already hear, I'm going to CAMBODIA for my outreach!!!!! I'm so excited. So this is how it all went down. Last Monday they gave us a list of locations and gave us 45 minutes to spend with the Lord praying/researching about our location. We weren't allowed to talk to any of our other team members or any of the staff. After the 45 minutes we put our first 2 choices on a piece of paper and turned it in. During my 45 minutes I spent the first half in prayer and the second half looking up the locations and what the orphanages and kids were like there. The locations were: Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand/Japan, South Africa, and Mozambique. After a lot of prayer I felt like God was really calling me to go to Cambodia. Which was so awesome, and was a complete surprise cause I thought for sure I was going to South/Central America before I even saw the options. But God has greater plans for this time and I'm so excited to see what He does. So Wednesday night we found out where we were going. We were told to get all dressed up and meet at the flag poles. We had some fun taking pictures and then the scavenger hunt started. We all got a piece of paper and it told us to go to a certain location. We would go to that location and there would be more peoples names on the cards and we would have to wait for everyone to get there. When everyone eventually did and we got to our final place we realized that all our first options were Cambodia. We kind of had the hint that that's why we were doing the scavenger hunt, but you never know for sure. Our great staff then decorated an area for us full with desserts, sparkling cider, and music. It was such a lovely night. After everyone got there the lovely Sharee Fox officially announced the outreach teams. Then after that they announced which staff is going where. I have the privilege of going with Laura and Zach Fry to Cambodia for my outreach. They are such an amazing married couple who is a great example for everyone on this team. And I get to spend 3 months with them in Cambodia, riding BIKES! They are really excited about the fact that we are buying bikes when we get there. We have such an amazing team and I couldn't have asked for better. TEAM CAMBODIA! Also, there was such a God thing that happened. My roommate Campbell is going to Cambodia too and my friend Grace. They are two girls that I get along with really well here and we are all going to Cambodia together. I feel so incredibly blessed that God has given us each other and that I get to spend the next 6 months with these beautiful ladies. We had no communication when picking where we wanted to go, but God set us up to be in the same location. How awesome is He!
Okay, I'm done. Here are some pictures of this last week! Love and miss you guys!
I love these girls so much. :) From left: Erika, me, Meagan, Grace, and in the front my roomie Campbell!
Mama and Papa Fry, my amazing team leaders. Can't wait to spend 3 months in Cambodia with them.
Jumping off South Point on a fun Saturday excursion.
Green sands beach!
Friday, April 22, 2011
So for the first two weeks of our DTS we had to read a book by the person who started YWAM. The book is called "Is That Really You, God?" by Loren Cunningham and it was very inspiring.
The book started out with Loren Cunningham at a very young age, and preceded to go through his entire life throughout the book. When Cunningham was a young boy he always dreamed big. God gave him many visions of many things that would happen in his lifetime. He met his wife Darlene and in the book it expressed how he pursued her. Then it shared his college experience and other things about growing up.
One day in the Bahamas he had a vision about YWAM. He was staring at the wall and God gave him the vision of waves of young people crashing over all the nations. That thought never left his mind. He constantly pursued that and had many volunteers of young people who wanted to go on missions trips with him. He was starting a "Christian Youth Revolution" and he didn't even know it yet. It's so awesome to read how he listens to God. When God tells him to do something he doesn't let it leave him and he acts upon it. That's something that I can really apply to my life. I often times brush away things when I "think" that I am hearing God, whether than seeing if I actually am, I choose not to respond. It's so encouraging to hear Cunninghams story and really take to heart what he has to say.
The book proceeds to talk about many stories of the ways God uses Loren. He's been everywhere around the world. In one story in particular him and hundreds of other young people went to the olympics in Munich to share the Gospel. They were going to march down the streets, but found out that they were unable to. So they hung out around and shared the Gospel in other ways. They got very involved and when there were a couple athletes that got assassinated. Munich really appreciated YWAM being there because they seemed to be the only hope during this rough time.
Cunningham also dreamed big with the ideas of YWAM. He talks about stories of failure, and stories of success. All of this because he listened to God, yes even in the areas of failure he was still listening to God. The instance of failure was when he thought God was telling him to purchase a ship for the YWAM organization. He got a lot of donations from people in order to purchase the boat, but in the midst of all that realized that he did not seek Jesus throughout this. When he realized this the funds started coming in less and less and eventually not at all. He decided to call off the purchase of the ship. Instead, the planting of the University of the Nations started taking place. Cunningham never stops, he is constantly thinking big and constantly listening to the Lord.
Eventually everything came together, in a vision he saw the University of the Nations base in Kona. So did other students during a time of fasting. When there was 100% confirmation that the Lord wanted him to do this he went for it. He bought a great location of land in Kona, Hawaii and started cleaning up the place. There were so many volunteers who helped with this, God truly provided. He was able to purchase his ship by the end. A beautiful white ship, just like in his original vision. The first time must have not been the right time, but God worked it out and blessed them with a beautiful ship in Venice. They had it fixed up in Greece and it's first voyage was from Greece to Los Angeles. When it came in it was a great, powerful message that God is so almighty and that "...hearing God is all about... getting to know Him better."
Friday, April 15, 2011
Hey one more thing! My new address is:
75-5851 Kuakini Highway Box #430
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740-2199
....just incase any of you were wanting to send me a card or care package. ;)
Also! Our PhotogenX DTS has its own website! Full of pictures, our schedule, and other random fun stuff, check it out! http://photogenx.net/blogs/dts/
Love you guys!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Hey everyone! I apologize for not writing on this earlier, we've been so busy I haven't had time to write on my blog yet.
Well... if you haven't seen from the pictures I made it to Kona, Hawaii safe and sound! This first week of being here has already been so amazing, I can't believe it has only been a week. First things first, I have the most amazing team. There are 51 of us (really big!) along with 9 leaders. Of those 51 on our team, about 7 of them are men, so they are a little out numbered. It makes it fun though, I can already tell that those men are going to be great leaders for our team. We have done a lot of team bonding stuff this week and have already gotten to know each other at such a deep level. We spent a few nights sharing "what we left behind" and "what we are walking into" with YWAM. Everyone on our team took their turn, so it took a few nights to complete this, but it was so cool to see how everyone opened up. I can already tell that our team is unique and I'm so excited to have all these people be friends for life. After each person shared we prayed for them and got a lei. Mine is right above my bed dangling from the shades. I occasionally smell the sweet smell of the flowers and it makes me so happy.
I will probably be all over the place with this blog, so bare with me.
I have such a multi cultural room! I live with 7 other roommates in a "cabin" style room. There are 4 bunks and I am on the top bunk right next to the window. Every morning I wake up I have an ocean view and the birds are churping. It's a great way to start out the day. Back to my roommates, I have one from England, one from Paraguay, one from Brazil, Canada, two from South Korea, and one from Georgia! The girl from Georgia is named Campbell and we both have the top bunks opposite from each other. We usually enjoy a good laugh by staring at each other on the computer. Our light between us currently "flickers" so we have a constant strobe light going on, and I'm just waiting for the time that everyone in our room breaks out in dance.
So a little bit about what we are learning right now. As far as an average day goes (well non have been average, they've been very different) but we wake up at 6:15am and go to breakfast. Class starts at 8am sharp and we have class till lunch time. I feel like my life here revolves around meals. We are constantly eating! Which is great, and we've got a laugh at how much we go to the cafeteria. After lunch we usually have free time until 3, (which has consisted of going to the beach) but on Thursdays we go to the prayer room where they play worship music for a good 2 hours. It's really awesome. Then we have our work duty! From 3-5 in the afternoon me and a girl named Natalie (who is on my team) clean the downstairs of a building. Fun stuff! It's actually been awesome to get to know Natalie and bond with her while we've been cleaning. She's from Wisconsin and is a really spunky and fun girl. Then it's back to the cafeteria for dinner and night time is either free or we have team stuff.
Gosh I'm almost out of time before we have our Ohana meeting, which is a weekly meeting where we sing worship and come all together as DTS students. There are 300 of us, so it's really awesome. Okay so a little bit about what I've learned so far, again, sorry that this is so scattered. This week we are focusing on "hearing God," and all of our classes have been revolved around that. We've had some great speakers, Christian Fox and Susi Childers. They have really got to me at such an intimate level with God and it's been super sweet. I can already feel that I'm going to be stretched in a lot of ways. At first I was a little nervous, but now I'm really pumped about the new ways that God is going to stretch me everyday. We have practiced hearing God by spending some alone time with Him and have just spent a lot of time with the Lord. Today Susi Childers (who is the founder of the PhotogenX DTS) talked to us today about her whole life, and she really got to me when she was talking about working with prostitutes in India. She had such amazing stories and it made me so excited for our outreach. Speaking of our outreach, we find out within the next couple of days where we are going. There are going to be 6 different locations that we can choose from, which means our group is going to be split in 6 different groups. They are going to tell us the locations and then we will have a half hour to pray about it and practice "hearing" God. We will write down where God told us to go on a piece of paper without talking to any of the leaders and without talking to any of our fellow classmates. Then that's it! So I'll definitely keep you guys posted where I'll be going, I can't wait to see what our options are. Oh! How could i forget, our leaders are AWESOME! Seriously, I couldn't have asked for better leaders. They are so loving, and just want to get to know you. I can't wait to get to know them more.
Okay got to go to Ohana Court! Love and miss you guys!
(below) Some amazing ladies that I already feel like I know so well!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Hey everyone! Wanted to start off my blog posts before I leave so I can make a good habit to do this weekly. I'm currently in my living room right now deciding if I should go to bed or not, while getting carried away doing everything but sleeping cause my mind is going so many different directions. My mom and I are leaving for LAX tomorrow morning at 3:45am! So early!
Today was an emotional day, and yesterday too. Saying bye to people isn't easy. Just a couple hours ago I had to say goodbye to some dear friends (all three of them are in the pictures below), and I feel silly that my eyes are still watering whenever I think about them. It's only 6 months and I keep trying to say that to myself. But knowing that you aren't going to see them for that whole time is hard. I'm looking on the bright side though, there's so many ways to keep in contact, and skype is seriously the best form of technology.
Right now I'm feeling excited, anxious, happy, and I'm so surprised "nervous" isn't in that category. I'm not nervous at all, I've never felt so led by God to do something before. So I know without a doubt that I'm doing this for Him and it's going to be an awesome experience. I've been able to chat with some people that will be on my team via Facebook, and I can't wait to meet them tomorrow.
For those of you who don't know, I'm flying into Kona, HI tomorrow. I will be at the YWAM base in Kona for 3 months doing photography missions training and then we go on an outreach for 3 months afterwards to a country that I don't know yet! So crazy that when I come back to San Luis I will have been in a country for 3 months that I don't even know where it is yet. This is going to be such an adventure.
Anyways, I'm not a very long writer. So I'm going to keep it at this. But I miss everyone already so much and I can't wait to see everyone when I come back. Please call me anytime, and encouraging messages/texts are always greatly welcomed. :) Bye SLO!
Love these ladies :)
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
So I finally made a blog. Its taken a lot of procrastination, but I'm anxious to showcase some pictures! Maybe I'll get better at the writing part later on. I'm not really sure how to work this, but with some help I can make this look really neat.
Photography is something that I love, and if I don't do it professionally, I still want to make it an important hobby of mine. It's amazing to capture the beauty of the Earth that God gave to us in pictures.