Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What I Did Today

Well, to give you an idea of how my days flow, I thought I'd give you the details of my day today....enjoy!

I woke up at 6 am and hopped in the shower. Normally I get to the base at 8:30 am, so I have some time to exercise (a new thing for me...please pray that I stick with it!) and some quiet time with the Lord. However, today I had to be at the base at 7 am in order to pray with the Pathway team, so I just got ready and we left, walking the 6-8 blocks to the base.

Once at the base, I joined with Megan and Sharon from Pathway to pray. Sala is out this week on holiday. We prayed over our ministry, specifically praying Psalm 115 and Psalm 108:13. We prayed until 8 am.

After prayer, Sierra and I joined in with morning chores and helped in the kitchen preparing food for the day. Sierra washed fruit and put it in bowls for the tables. I sliced up cabbage for coleslaw and then put together tuna for lunch.

At 8:30 the whole base met together for a few announcements, and then we broke up into small groups for intercession. I met with Joel, Ashla, Mark, Sven and Sierra. We prayed about the brothels that are in the area, discipling young men and women, preparing the groundwork for the groups going to Mexico and also for our Christmas celebrations, and finally for the nations of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. We prayed together until about 9:45.

There was a short break for about 20 minutes, and then Sharon, Sierra and I met together to pray about where God wanted us to go for outreach for the rest of the morning. We felt like we should just get on the bus and ride it. Sierra saw a picture of a girl with long, black, wavy hair and thought she was Mexican. I felt like we were supposed to talk with an Indian woman. Sierra stayed at the base and Sharon and I headed out to the bus - about 8 blocks away. We took separate seats and then just prayed and waited.

After a few stops, a girl got on and sat next to Sharon. She had long, black, wavy hair and was from Colombia - not Mexican, but certainly latin! Sharon started talking to her and they had a great conversation and Sharon was able to share the gospel with her. They exchanged phone numbers and we'll continue to pray.

We ended up talking with an Iranian family that just moved here last week, as well as an Australian couple and three Aboriginals. We were able to share the gospel and the love of Christ and it turned out really cool. It was funny because I had to really pray about not being afraid or intimidated about sharing Jesus in such a public place as a bus, but I did and it was fine!

We got back to the base just in time for lunch, and some soup and an orange. After lunch Megan, Sharon, Sierra and I headed to my house to have a time of worship. We visited for a bit, then spent time in prayer and worship. We were meditating on Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God". We did this until 3:15 pm, then Sharon had to leave to babysit and Megan and I headed to the base where we were supposed to meet with Sultan, a young Afghani who is a new Christian. He ended up having to cancel, and so I did some work on a book I'm making to help teach English to refugees.

Dinner was at 5:30 - we had lasagna, with cake for dessert. After dinner Sierra and I were asked over to watch a movie by one family, and over for tea at another. I passed on both invitations as we needed to go to the grocery store and also needed to get some rest. We've been invited over to people's houses already several times since we've gotten here, which is so cool!

Sierra and I headed the 10-12 blocks to the grocery store (and saw some wild parrots on the way) and picked up a few items, loaded up the backpack and still had a few bags, and then headed home the 8 or so blocks. Groceries are definitely hard without a car! I was exhausted by the time we made it up to the flat and, after putting the groceries away, sat down and relaxed while I wrote this little note!

As you can tell, I am getting in a LOT of walking! I sort of wish I had a pedometer to see how many steps I'm taking a day! It looks like the Lord has got me on an exercise program...please pray for my feet and ankles to be strong and flexible.

Well, there you have it - a day in the life! As I have said - this base majors on prayer!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Photo Tour

Here are some photos and videos to give you a little idea of our new life!
A few of the popular flavors of chips are "Honey Baked Ham" and "Chicken"...
not a taste we've acquired yet....

This is the view of the city from our 3rd floor flat...it's really pretty!


Sierra helped to make these "chandaliers" for Christmas decorations.
This is the main auditorium.


Sierra also helped to make and frost a few hundred cookies...aren't they pretty?


This is one of the beaches...it's really nice to have a grassy area to sit on and
have a picnic before you hit the sand.


video

This is a video tour of our flat...it's kind of lame, but you'll get the idea...haha!


video

Just a little video from our day at the beach with the whole base.



video

When it's someone's birthday, they have quite a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday!!



video

Before breaking into groups of 2, our evangelism team had a time of worship - it's a lot of fun!










Saturday, December 05, 2009

Crikey! No worries, mate!

Well, we made it! We are in Perth, Western Australia. We got here about a week and a half ago, and have been settling in and getting familiar with the city and the base. I know everyone is anxious to hear how everything is going, so I thought I'd do a day-by-day breakdown of what has happened so far! Okay, here we go!

Monday, Nov. 23
We all piled into my dad's SUV and headed down to SFO. The verse the Lord had given me was Nehemiah 8:9-10, which is:

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.”


So, anytime we would get a little weepy or sad we would say "the joy of the Lord is our strength!" We all did pretty good until it was the final goodbye, and then a few tears started to roll, but I just kept meditating on that scripture, and also on that song by the same words..."the joy of the Lord is our strenght" - did you know you can replace the words with laughing? It's really fun.

We got on our first flight to LA, where we had a layover for a few hours, which wasn't too bad. Then, we boarded our flight to Sydney on V Australia. I am disappointed to say I never saw the star constellations on the ceiling which I was so looking forward to. Otherwise, it was a great flight - we each had our own row of 3 seats, so plenty of room to stretch out and rest. The flight went surprisingly quick for 15 hours! We landed in Sydney with an 11 hour layover and thought to go traipse around, but had underestimated how tired we would be. Instead, we found a youth hostel and rented a room for the day and slept a bit. That evening (Wed night, Nov. 25) we made our final flight into Perth, and were greeted by Quenton and Abby, two staff from the base. They took us to our flat to get settled.

I was thankful to find out that we would be staying in a place that is already furnished, so that will be helpful. We are on the 3rd floor with great views of the city.

Thursday, Nov. 26
We were told to take a day or so getting acclimated and rested, so we slept in and then went to the store to get a few essentials like shampoo and soap. I was still pretty out of it and tired. We found our way to town and to an internet cafe, so we were able to let the family know we had made it safely. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, Nov. 27
We headed into the base to meet with different people and to check things out. Everyone is so nice! Several people introduced themselves to us and were really welcoming and inclusive - it was great.

That night we attended our first Friday Night Meeting. This is basically a church service for the base and anyone else who would like to join. It is pretty exciting! The worship was amazing and it is just so exciting to see hundreds of young people so passionate about God. A pastor from Nigeria spoke, and gave a first-hand account of all the amazing things that have been going on there. If you don't know - tell me and I will email you the news report! Let's just say revival is happening!

After we started walking home (it's about 8-10 blocks) and a young Samoan guy named Manny walked with us to make sure we made it alright. Like I said, people are so nice!

Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 28 & 29
It's time to start figuring out about our phone and whatnot, so we headed into downtown to get cell service and internet. Wow - now that's a process. You practically have to sign over your firstborn to get a phone! We needed more information on our visa status and so we left disappointed. We did, however, find the Target and were able to get Sierra a hair straightener.

We had found a great little Lebanese restaraunt a few days earlier and went there again...the owner is quickly becoming a friend and he gave us some baklava to see us on our way.

We were both still feeling pretty tired, so we decided to have church at home and that was nice. I also started making a list of things we need for the house to make it more homey and functional. Mostly, we relaxed and rested. That night, we were invited to watch movies with Richard and Isabelle. They are from Virginia and have been here about a year. Isabelle is 13. Her mom and brother and sister are on outreach right now, but will be returning in a few weeks. It was nice to make a connection and meet some friends!

Monday, Nov. 30
Started off the day with worship together as a base. It's really great worship, and again was impressed just with how engaged everyone is and excited for the Lord. In the midst of worship, they directed us to pray for one another and Sierra and I had an amazing time of praying together and prophesying over one another - it was breathtaking.

Afterward, I met with Colleen at the base - she is the Personnel person and has been at the base almost 25 years. We talked about different things and she suggested that she thought I might enjoy working with the ARMS or Pathway ministry. ARMS works with families in crisis and Pathway works with refugees. She was going to speak with them and let me know at dinner.

We helped in the kitchen a bit, then headed back into downtown to give a go with the phones again. What a hassle! Still needed more info for proof of residency and whatnot, so headed back to get that. I was feeling rather frustrated with the confusing phone requirements and programs, but continued to press on.

Tuesday, Dec. 1
Started off the day with intercession...as you can imagine, 300+ people is a lot of people, so we are broken down into groups of 8 or so. Had a great time of praying together and interceding on behalf of Mexico. I loved that we started off by searching our hearts and confession, then waiting on the Lord to direct us.

After that, I met with Sala, a lady from Fiji who I will be working with in Pathway. She is wonderful, and I think we will be good friends. I met Megan and Sharon, two other girls also working with Pathway. After that, Sala let us go to get a few things done. I went to the immigration office to get my passport stamped properly with my visa, then off to the department of infrastructure (like the DMV) and got a drivers license...!! Funny, huh? Yes, it's true - I haven't driven a car here yet, but I have my license! The Amercian license is accepted and they just give it to you (well, you have to pay for it). Then went AGAIN to try to do the phone thing...FINALLY got some phones and internet service, so we were feeling good about that.

Wed, Dec 2
Sierra stayed at the base to help with Christmas decorations and I headed out with Megan and the Community Development school to a neighborhood called Mirabooka. They are trying to get a better picture of the community and see how they can help in that community, so we were going door to door with surveys. I saw a woman walking with about 6 grocery bags and suggested we go help her, which we did (Megan and I). She then invited us in and we were able to visit with her for about an hour and 20 minutes. Her names is Aswaq and she is from Iraq. She needs help with her English and also with driving. We made an appointment to come back next Tuesday to help her.

As we continued on, we also met Rose from Sudan and Toi from China. The nations are here!

We returned to the base for lunch and I learned a very valuable lesson. Get to lunch on time! I had called my parents to check in and came in a little late and there was no more food left...well, lesson learned! Haha..

After lunch we had an all-staff meeting and went over details about Christmas and different things. After that, the entire staff and all the students headed out to the beach for the afternoon. It was really fun, but freezing! The wind was blowing and cold, but it was nice to be outside and to watch the waves and visit with people. I got to talk with Ben, Joelle and Amy and to know them a bit better. We made plans to make dinner together one night next week.

We had a BBQ dinner out at the beach and Sierra swam with Isabelle and enjoyed our first outing to the beach!

Thurs, Dec 3
Sharon took me to see another community they work in and we ended up visiting with Tseda, from Eritrea. She blessed us with tea and bread and showed us a video of her wedding with traditional dances. She goes to a church with many Africans, and invited me to go with her one day. I think that will be amazing!

After we all met together (me, Sharon, Megan, Sala) and took lunch to a YWAM lady who just had a baby a few days ago. She lives across from me, so I got to meet another neighbor.

Dinner is early on Thursdays because we all go out for evangelism in the evening. We went with the downtown team and it was awesome. We first had a time of worship and then broke up into groups of 2. Tonight they had a twist for us - a "scavenger hunt" to do...things like - find someone with a cross necklace and ask what it means to them; ask someone what it is about Christmas that they love; share your testimony. It was fun and gave us focus. We spoke with many people and also got to pray for a few. That night there were also 2 people who were saved - hallelujah!

After evangelism, Danny drove us home - he is the leader for the School of Evangelism. He's really cool. His mom is also here on staff, and she is a grandma to all the kids. He invited Sierra to join his group when they go out on evangelism on Tues & Fri afternoons and said he'd heard amazing things about how boldly she'd prayed out, and he figures she'll take over his school someday. I thought it was great! Sierra said she couldn't go out tomorrow as she'd already committed to help with making Christmas cookies and decorating, but maybe next week.

Fri, Dec 4
Started our day with intercession again - this time as a whole base. The intercession was more like worship and intercession interlaced. We'd sing and worship, then break out into prayer. We were specifically praying for Africa. At the end everyone spontaneously broke out into various forms of African dance, which was really cool.

After, we met as a Pathway group and prayed together. Then I did some office work - apparently I'm the only one in the ministry with any type of administrative skills, so that is something they are all excited about!

Friday night is Fri Night Meeting, and I was sooo tired. I definitely knew if I walked home, I wouldn't want to walk back an hour later! So I went to Sala's house to relax and Sierra stayed at the base to play volleyball. The meeting was good, but I was really tired and had a hard time staying focused.

Sat, Dec 5
Well, here we are - almost up to date! We did some really exciting things for Sat...we deep cleaned the apartment and did laundry! Haha...yeah, but it was 98 degrees outside, and our little 3rd floor apartment was probably over 100. I was melting!

Sat evening my friend Simon picked me up to go to church with him and his roommate Steve. Simon had come to Mexico with us a few times, so it is cool to have a friend here already. We went to Riverview Church and then out for Vietnamese. The church is a big church, and seems really solid. I met a lady named Linda and her friend Deane and they seemed keen on getting to know me better - they were really nice.

Sierra stayed home because her stomach was hurting, and while home she heard some people fighting outside - it was pretty scary for her and she ended up calling the police and then me, so we came home. Simon told us that it is extremely difficult for people to get guns or even knives here, so they are almost unheard of, which I hope calmed her a bit.

Sun, Dec 6
Well, here we are on Sunday morning...it is a bit cooler today (thank you Jesus!) and we are just hanging out a bit, trying to decide what to do for the day. Beach? Maybe...

So, overall our experiences here have been really positive - people are truly welcoming and friendly, the worship and intercession is amazing, you can really sense God's spirit amongst the people and everyone is really focused on the Lord.

Some of the little cultural things we've come across....
  • 'no worries, mate' is the most used phrase of Australian english
  • groceries are twice as expensive as they are in the US...eg - chicken legs are $14 per kilo ($7 per pound)
  • 'no standing' means 'no parking'
  • they are both much more strict and much more licentious than we are in the US...it's an interesting paradox.
  • flavored milk is all the rage - we like mocha
  • if someone wants to 'knock you up' - no worries - it just means they will come by the house.
  • when someone asked if I was 'knackered" I was worried they thought I'd been drinking...but they were just asking if I was tired.

More to come! Love you all!! I have some pictures and videos on my phone, but don't have the chord to download them! When I get it, I will post them.

Oh yea - my cell phone is (from the US)...001-61-04-331-4-8-16-4

Sierra's cell is 001-61-04-30-44-32-44

Also, you can get us on Skype - mine is dayna_murphy and Sierra's is sierra.vota - we'd love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Great Big "Thank You!"

I have the best supporters ever! They are a wonderful group of people who really, truly love us and are committed to praying for us and supporting us financially, spiritually and emotionally. I have so many wonderful testimonies of how they have given to us sacrificially and have been so faithful. God has truly brought a wonderful team of people around us, and I am so grateful! Thank you, Jesus!!

I wish I could take everyone to Mexico with us to take part in what is happening there. It has been my extreme pleasure to be able to take a few friends and loved ones with me, and to see how God has transformed their lives as a result! I know I often post pictures and stories, but I thought I would also post just a little peek into what has been happening over the past 9 months...I hope it blesses you and helps to see where your support is going!

Short Term Outreach Department
“Mexico Adventures”

2009 in review


- 21 outreaches trips completed to, Baja California, Mexico.
4 more trips scheduled before the end of the year – including one to Morelia – for a total of 25 outreaches in 2009.

- 549 participants – some serving at Foundation For His Ministry (“Orphanage”) and some building houses for needy families – working in conjunction with International Disciple Training (“IDT”) a local ministry.

- Participants represented 29 different churches; and came from 6 states, two Canadian provinces and 4 countries.

- 8 weeks of ministry were cancelled by church groups because of worry and concern over the “swine flu” and drug cartel related violence. 5 weeks of ministry carried on despite a significantly reduced number of participants.

What we did:

- built 22 houses and provided much needed help at the Orphanage.

- served over 6,700 meals to the Oaxacan farm laborers

- distributed over 500 bags of staple food items to needy families

- gave out hundreds of pairs of shoes, clothing, baby items, diapers, etc.

Personal ministry:
- sick or injured taken to clinic or hospital
- financial assistance given for housing or legal needs
- prayer for healing
- preaching at a local church
- evangelism (7 people received Christ)
- helping families with legal needs: birth certificates, land title


Isn't it amazing how God can increase our vision?! I will miss our Mexico ministry very much, but I know that God has wonderful plans for us in Australia...just read Jeremiah 29:11! Isn't He incredible?

Together We've Accomplished A Lot!

We will have our last trip to Mexico in October, and it is already feeling bittersweet. Emotion comes on suddenly and unexpectedly when I think about it, but I continue to trust in the Lord and His plans for us! We are fortunate that we will be able to drive down a big truckload of medical supplies, so we will be able to stop and visit with some friends along the way – what a blessing!

Over the summer we continued with trips down to Mexico and every trip proved itself to be amazing and fruitful. Every team we take invigorates me with enthusiasm for the work God is doing. On our last trip, I was so privileged to see Sierra walking out her gifting and passion as she worked with the special needs kids in the day home at the Orphanage. There is one little boy, Martin, who has been coming to the day home program for about 2 years. Martin has autism is doesn’t interact with anyone there. Sierra had been working with him all week, and on our last day there as she left, she waved goodbye to him. Suddenly, he blew her a kiss and said “bye-bye Sara!!” The staff couldn’t believe it! They called her back to do it again, and sure enough, he blew another kiss and spoke to her. They said he had not responded or interacted with anyone previously, and this was a huge, momentous event! Sierra was so excited, and I was so proud. What a blessing to watch your children grow in the Lord!


Our time at YWAM Chico is coming to a close quickly! We will leave Chico on Oct. 31 and head to Santa Rosa in order to spend time with friends and family there before leaving for Australia. I’ve been painting the walls (returning them to beige) and packing and trying to get rid of stuff. It’s amazing how much *stuff* accumulates so quickly! I have felt overwhelmed off and on, just with the sheer volume of all that needs to be done to make an international move, in addition to trying to keep Sierra’s world as stable as possible and trying to determine the best way to get things done, logistics, finances, keeping relationships current – there are moments when I just want someone who will shoulder the burden with me, who will process through the decisions with me, and will be a partner in everything that needs to get done. In these times I remember that it is God who is my husband, and Sierra’s heavenly father, and the head of this household, and it is in Him that I can trust and on Him that I can lean. What a blessed assurance that is!

With all of our travels to Mexico, we have earned a free flight on Southwest Airlines to anywhere in the USA, but it has to be used before January 2010. We have made some wonderful friends through our Mexico trips, so we will be going to visit them on the East Coast at the end of September for a week. I am really excited to get a chance to catch up with our dear friends before we leave! When we return from that trip, we will be in Chico a few days before leaving for our last trip to Mexico. Then, after we return from Mexico, we will have just 11 days before leaving to go home to Santa Rosa. What a whirlwind it is turning into!

What's Happening About Australia?

Well, it’s been a few months since we first *officially* announced our move to Perth, Australia. So much has happened since then, I thought I’d send out an update of what is going on now!

First of all, the exciting news is that we have our flights and an official date! We will leave from San Francisco on November 23, 2009. This will allow us to celebrate an early holiday with our family before embarking upon our next big adventure. We found a great deal for our flights on Virgin Australia, which promises that we will “travel like rock stars”. Now, I don’t know what THAT means, but it sure sounds fun! I hope rock stars sleep on overnight flights…

Since our last newsletter, we’ve been so happy to hear from many friends and family who are praying for us and excited to see what God is doing! We’ve been blessed to have raised over $3,000 so far. I think that after selling everything, we will hopefully be able to bring in another $3,000 or so. That leaves about $4,000 that we are still trusting the Lord for. However, He is faithful to His promises and we continue to live by faith that He will supply our needs!

Awesome!

One thing I know about myself is that I am a person who loves to laugh. I see the irony in life all around me , and it never ceases to give me great joy. It is a blessing to be joyful and full of laughter and life. However, God has been speaking to ma about another aspect of my personality that is not as well developed – that being the state of meditating on the greatness of God and who He is. I realize that I’ve been too casual in my relationship with God. It is true that God is our friend and that He gives us joy through His Holy Spirit – joy is, in fact, a fruit of the Spirit. It is also true that God is awesome, awe inspiring, breathtaking, monumental and incredible. How easily we can use these words in everyday speech and belittle the immensity of their meaning. God is taking me on a journey of learning to hold both these truths in my hands – the truth of His Spirit taking great delight in the childlike joy and frivolity of pleasure while also stepping back to consider His magnitude and to fall to my knees with reverence and awe, fear and respect for His wonderful essence. I am learning that it is in these two truths that we recognize the depths of God’s character and His tremendous love for us. As I consider this and learn to walk it out, I also recognize the power of our own words. This is another area in which God has been teaching me and which I have been immersed.

Our words have the power of life and death in them…listen to that – the power of life and death – and this truth is one God really focuses on in scripture – there are literally hundreds of verses and teachings about our words, our mouths, our tongues. God used His words to bring for the heavens and the earth. Jesus used His words to curse the fig tree and cause it to wither. Likewise, He has given His Sprit unto us, and has given our words that same power. Thus, when I consider how I talk about God, or even to Him, I must confess that my speech does not capture who He is, nor can it. My words can be too casual, too familiar, and incapable of capturing the facets of Him. Likewise, this is true of other relationship and even how I speak of myself. God is fanning a flame within me that wants to bring back the understanding, the respect, the awe of who God is and share it with a generation that has forgotten what “awesome” really is, to understand the depths of God’s character, and the power of our own words. What a wonderful journey with God this continues to be! I fall short every day, but thankfully His mercies are new every morning!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The other day I remembered something that gave me a bit of a chuckle. I was thinking about this big move we’re looking at and all the ups and downs emotionally I’ve gone through to get to this point, when suddenly God reminded me of something I’d said to Him a few years back.

It was during my Crossroads DTS. I was on a spiritual high with God, and I told Him that I would give Him my “eternal yes”. I didn’t just make this assertion once. Or even twice. I said it over and over and over again – “God! I give you my eternal YES! I will go wherever and do whatever it is You call me to! You have called me, oh Lord, and to you I respond Yes! Yes! – take all of me and make it Yours.”

Of course, in my mind I was thinking I’d go to China or Africa and save starving children—the picture I’d had in my mind since I was 11. And then He told me to go to Chico. Chico? California? Uh, that’s weird. Okay, God, I’ll do it...if that’s what You want.

And now He’s saying to me, “Go to Australia.” Australia? God, are You sure? That’s a long way away, you know (I wanted to be sure he understood this)! And it’s expensive to get there (in case He wasn’t aware)! And just what will I be doing there? Why Australia? I’d like the 12-point plan, please.
I haven’t received a 12-point plan, much to my chagrin. Instead, I kicked and bucked and dug my heels in, demanding “why, why, why?” In truth, it was pretty ugly – so right now I’d like to dispel any myths you might have that people in ministry are somehow super-spiritual! All the while I was fighting Him, God remained silent. Finally, gently and graciously, He led me to Acts 8:26-40. In this story, God (through the Holy Spirit) tells Philip to “go south”. Philip does so, meeting the Ethiopian eunuch and getting the opportunity to explain the book of Isaiah to him, at the end of which the Ethiopian determines to be baptized into faith in Jesus Christ.

What struck me about this story was Philip’s obedience. He didn’t ask God “why?” or “how?” or even “what for?” Philip simply obeyed and went, and as a result the name of Christ was introduced to the country of Ethiopia. Then I thought of 1 Samuel 15:22, which tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice. Suddenly I found myself stopped cold in my tracks, and then God quietly reminded me of my own promise, made 3 years previous. What good is a declaration made in the height of excitement if there is no follow through when the high wears off? Is it any different than the boy who declares his love for a girl in the midst of passion, only to leave her when he’s gotten what he wanted? I do not want to be that person.

Slowly, a peace began to grow in my heart that this was, indeed, the plan God has for me at this time. God has continued to bring confirmation about this decision through many different sources (I’d love to share more stories if you are interested!), and has calmed (is calming?) my fear and trepidations one by one.

As it stands right now, we will be leaving in September for Perth, Australia. I will work with the YWAM base there and Sierra will be returning to public school. Until that time I will continue in my current role at YWAM Chico leading groups into Mexico to build homes for the poor and work with an orphanage there.

I’d love it if you would pray about partnering with us as we go! And please… contact me—I love hearing from you! Be abundantly blessed in Him!

As we move to Australia to live out this next phase of our adventure in following God, we would love your support and partnership. We need people dedicated to lifting us up in prayer as well as people who are able to help us financially.

Please send all donations to:
YWAM Chico c/o Dayna Murphy
15850 Richardson Springs Rd.
Chico, CA 95973
USA

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Revelations

Last night I went to see an 80's cover band with some friends. We laughed about the 80's styles...side pony tails, ultra bright clothes, pink blush...we figured it would be a fun evening walking down memory lane.

The band was really good and played a lot of old favorites...has it really been more than 20 years since I graduated from High School?? I don't feel old enough for that much time to have passed!

I've been thinking lately how I'll be 40 this year, and in some ways it seems like my 30's escaped me. Most of the past decade (wow! that's a long time!) was spent enduring some really painful times, and then coming through them and finding out who I really am, finally finding victory that comes only through Christ Jesus. I am excited to be turning 40 - it seems like a time of maturity and wisdom, having learned from the follies of my youth. I feel very content with life right now, and incredibly blessed. I think this is a part of what comes with age, and I'm grateful for it. Now, lets not get all crazy and start thinking I'm all happy and excited about these wrinkles I see gathering around my eyes and on my forehead!! Aack...I thought I'd handle that much more gracefully, but I find myself scouring lotion labels for some great cure to my lines! Haha...but, I digress...

Back at the concert, my friends and I were having fun re-telling old High School stories and laughing about how it seemed like we were re-living our "glory days" when in fact, they didn't seem all that glorious at the time! We were definitely feeling middle-aged, but in a good way.

Part of the fun of these kinds of events, of course, is the people watching. Several people came all decked out in their 80's gear...headbands, bright pink shirts, stripes, leggings, those awesome side pony tails (ok - I admit it, I almost wore mine in a side pony tail...) - and don't forget the Rayban Wayfarers! Oh yeah - and big bangs - really, really big bangs! The styles of that era were such a tragedy.

While we were watching people, I began to sense a hopelessness in those around me. Middle-aged men and women were drinking themselves into oblivion, acting like absolute fools. As I watched them, my heart began to break. How many of these people stumbling around had children at home? What did they think they were doing? So many were bowing down to the god of this world - to the god of drunkenness and lust. I found myself interceding for them and crying out for them in my heart. What must God think of this? I know His heart was broken.

A part of me wanted to flee from there - but then I felt like God was using this as an opportunity for me to see what is happening in the world around me - a world that is crying out for the grace, love and freedom that God is offering. I feel that in some ways, I've been so sheltered - praise God! - but that He also is saying that we need to be IN the world, for our hearts to be broken like His is broken by the sin of the very people He created to be in relationship with Him. There is such deception all around us, and how can we bring the love of Jesus if we don't go?

I love the verse that talks about "how will they know if they do not hear, and how will they hear if no one goes?"...it just reaffirms to me this place God has me in...I want to go, and to be His hands and feet and heart. I am so grateful that I am able to do this, and I feel so blessed and humbled that I get to! I think I am the luckiest girl on earth!

Normally when I find myself in a situation where there is wanton sin happening (that sounds as though I am often in these situations - but I'm not!! Thank you Jesus!), I am riddled by guilt and shame - but not this time. I feel a passion to pray for my generation like never before. There was a woman next to me that I feel particularly burdened to pray for - a woman who has found her identity in the sum of her parts. I wanted to say to her "You are so valuable! You are worth so much more than the parts of your body - you have been created with value and worth!" After the concert, I waited around awhile, trying to find her so I could give her this message. I was sad when I didn't catch her, and the opportunity passed by. I find myself thinking of her, and praying that God would reach her.

It can be very easy to stay in our little Christian world - it's safe and comfortable and we can keep ourselves worried about whether or not tongues is for today's church, or spend lots of time discussing the merits of tithing on net versus gross - and all the while an entire world of people, precious and valuable people, are dying right outside of our doors. How will they hear if no one tells them? Who will tell them if no one goes?

God help us all.