|I count it a privilige...|
|Selling the last of our 'earthly goods'...Mom was a trooper through it all|
He began to remind me of my first love - to reach out to a hurt and dying world. He showed me that I was in a place where I could actually follow the dream in my heart - I had the freedom to go - relationally, financially, emotionally, spiritually. It was thrilling and terrifying.
We made the decision to "try it out" and a week after Sierra turned 11 - June 2005, we packed up our bags and headed to Mexico. We had a few loose plans, and the bags on our backs and no idea what the future held. When I think back, I can hardly believe it! Sierra was still so small.
|Everything we owned on our backs for almost 6 months|
It was this revelation that led to joining YWAM. I realized I needed training and the accountability & legitimacy of being involved with a missions organization. We started our training at YWAM Chico with a Crossroads Discipleship Training School (CDTS) in January 2006.
Knowing that God had called me to this life for all of my life, we joined staff after completing the CDTS. I began teaching at the school there on base, working with kids from grades 3-12. It was amazing and it was hard, and I loved those kids with all my heart...I still do.
Then, I began to work with the Short Term Outreach office, taking groups into Mexico to build houses and work at an orphanage. Oh, how I loved it! We still miss it so much. Working directly with families and kids and teams...seeing such amazing transformations in the lives of people - it was good. Still, God was calling us deeper, further. Building foundations, strong and sure.
|building homes for families|
|showing God's love|
|working amongst the 'least of these'|
The decision to leave and come to Australia was a hard one...God was calling me to trust Him more, to get out of my boat and step out on the water. To leave the comfort of what I knew and was good at to allow Him to work deeper in us. We chose to obey and trust.
And so here we are....we've been here in Australia for just over a year. Sierra is 16 and will start her final year of High School in February. My little girl is growing up, and I couldn't be more proud of the woman she's becoming. When we came here, God told me that she had grown roots in Chico, but would grow wings to fly in Australia - how true to His word He is! As I write, she is preparing to head to Bali, Indonesia for 3 weeks of ministry there. Just imagine - she went to China at 14, Cambodia at 15, and now Bali at 16. Could we have ever planned or imagined such a life?
He continues to build the temple and strengthen the foundations...working amongst refugees from multiple nations, teaching English as a Second Language, discipling and being discipled...God continues to prepare us and form us. I've recently written in detail about what we're doing here and what the future holds, so I won't go into that again, but I can say this with confidence - God is good! All the time!
So, I thought I'd just review a little of what God has accomplished through us (and by 'us', I mean all of us - not just Sierra and I - but those who support us financially, those who pray for and with us, those who encourage us. We are a team, and this is only possible as a team effort!)....
- medical clinics run with hundreds receiving treatment, medication, and prayer - dozens receiving instant, miraculous healings
- teaching young people about their value, purity, God, prayer, the 3 R's and relationship with God and each other
- dozens of homes built for families - hundreds of people received new homes and hope for a better future for their families
- thousands of people fed meals and given bags of food
- thousands of people received teaching about God and were given the opportunity to hear about Jesus
- hundreds of people have come to a saving knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
- myriads of people have received prayer, encouragement and practical helps representing the nature and character of God
- strongholds broken over individuals, families, neighborhoods, cities and nations