Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kingdom of God Sermon

This is one story that I forgot to write about during lecture phase. We were asked to write about our time when we all had to preach about the Kingdom of God in front of the class. At this time when we were asked to, I was excited to preach, but when the time came to actually preach I was in crisis.

There was a guest here at the castle whom didn't know Jesus and I met him when I was sitting in the prayer room the evening before I had to preach. He was homeless for about a month and at this time in his life without hope. He point blank asked me, "why do you believe in Jesus? Everyone says they can feel God around them and feel Jesus, but I feel nothing."

I quickly summed up a multitude of correct answers which explained the gospel and how God talked to me, but none of them came from my heart. As I was speaking to this boy, I realized I was asking the same questions the boy asked to myself. From that moment on and till the very moment I had to preach I was in a state of complete darkness, ignorant to the fact of such measure I was under spiritual attack that God allowed to happen by the way, (in then end it strengthened me.) I partially completed everything I wanted to say for my sermon and then just sat down. I was so wrapped up in what the boy said, I believed it too, why do I believe in God if I don't always feel Him? I don't always feel Him, how do I know that its the truth and not just a figment of my mind. These weren't tiny little doubts I had in my head, but serious consideration that what if everything I believed in was a lie, how can I prove God exists? With what physical, scientific measures do I know He exists. If I believe this Christianity is the truth with what if not physical measures, but logic can I back this up?

It was one of the darkest, most painful experiences I have had, not physically, but spiritually and psychologically. You don't have to go to hell to experience what life with out God is like, that itself is hell on earth.

I was seriously considering not believing in God, because I couldn't feel Him or when I called out to Him He never showed me a sign He was real, I couldn't prove it. I met my match with God at this time and read a scripture, one of my favourites, Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. "

At this moment I realized it was a choice, God wasn't going to spoon feed all of the answers. God constanly gives me answers and direction, but because I doubt the smallest requests of God I have to really search out His heart for my life to be able to listen and have attuned ears to the Holy Spirit. God is not always a God of good feelings or satisfaction, but a God of truth that knows way more about logic and Himself than I do. I have to accept at some point some things I will never be able to explain. In Hebrews 11:3 & 6 it explains this further, " By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible...And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewads those who earnestly seek him. "

Outreach Recapp

 Here are a couple pictures of many that I have from my outreach in Ethiopia. I have a video to help explain what I have been doing and my experience. It was a challenging time but worth it. I hope my video will paint the picture of how it was for me.
A street in Ethiopia.
Amele Degaga and friend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Part  1. Outreach Addis Ababa Team

It is so incredible how complex God is and the ways he operates, they are too vast for me to comprehend. God is constantly blowing my mind with the things I am learning here and skills I am acquiring. I don't even know where to begin, but I will do my best. So, at the moment my school has split up into two teams, one team has gone down to Kenya and Uganda and my team is staying here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In the past four weeks prior to now our whole school has been in Addis Ababa working with several ministries here. We have been involved with a ministry called Hope Enterprise, which is a feeding centre for homeless, as well as the YWAM school in Ethiopia, and multiple prayer sessions for the city of Addis Ababa. When we've prayed, we usually went on long walks through the city, going where we feel the Holy Spirit calling us to go. We've had some spectacular experiences from prayer walking and just praising God into every place we walk. We have also helped out with the Koshe Project, which is a project that started through the YWAM Herrnhut base; that helps girls who have worked in the Koshe garbage dump for a living be able to go to school and not have to work at the dump. The Koshe Project has an after school program for these girls, where they give them food, teach them Bible lessons, English lessons, and help them with their home work. In each of the ministries we have volunteered to serve in any way we can, sometimes even preaching.
At the moment, we are staying at and helping a ministry called All For Christ, which is a feeding centre and after school program for kids whom the majority are HIV positive. As well All For Christ is working towards sponsorship to help the families of these kids and further their situation for the better. So, we continue to serve at the Koshe Project, go to Hope Enterprise and we now have another ministry opportunity which has miraculously appeared, Women At Risk, which is is an organization that helps women prostitutes. They offer programs for them, that give them food, teach them bible lessons, school lessons, work skills, and try to rehabilitate them into society. Our days are packed full of preaching, teaching, photography, interviewing, playing with kids, battling traffic to and fro the ministries and intense prayer! Specifically with the All For Christ ministry, which we are currently living at, we are interviewing, making profiles of the families, helping with their website, creating an identity of the people here, and investing in the people to encourage sponsorship for the community here.
Personally, its a joy and a blessing to be involved with the people here. Spending time with the people of All For Christ in the village they live in was so moving, it is beyond words. I have never seen extreme poverty before my time here and its amazing the blessing these people, who have nothing, are to me and I believe I can speak on behalf of my team as well. There is such joy they express towards us when we visit them, they are so beautiful, offering us whatever they have, which is not a whole lot. They, for the most part, freely pour out their deepest hurts to us, express their greatest fears of survival and beliefs of God.
Living in a community of believers sharing the same sleeping quarters and eating place every day is a challenge, but a huge privilege to get to know my class mates and be surrounded by spirit filled people. I have grown so much in my walk with God since I have left in January, its amazing what can happen in your life when you give God personal time outside of everything you know. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Confession to Man (week 8 & 9)


So, mini-outreach has come and gone, such a whirlwind everything is.  The team I was on stayed in Germany, we went to a town called Dilligen. We were staying at a church there for two weeks, helping out with the activities of the church, like youth or healing prayer and also doing ministry. We had two art shows, (one was on the street, so cool) where we displayed our photographs and drawings, performed dances and music. Liz and the Lions, (a band at the base) performed at the church a couple of times, it was awesome! We were also busy on the street, just handing out tracts, advertising for the events we were having at the church and just talking to people. We made lit up balloons and handed them out at night, with bible verses attached, all kinds of creative things were happening! It was a good example of what serving is going to look like on outreach. It was amazing to see, and a blessing how the church loved our coming. The church had been looking for a break through for this town; it was only 20 years ago that in Dilligen if you didn’t attend church you couldn’t maintain a job. So, the feel of the town was interesting, we all felt like that the people of this town were open to hearing the gospel, but there was definitely a battle waging, like always. The church was so happy that there were missionaries coming to their church, that they gave us around 3 cakes a day and made us lunch and dinner everyday, such a blessing! It was awesome that we were able to put together all of our prayers and impressions for them in a photo album and just return the blessing!  Even, just getting to know the youth of the church was such a blessing, and everyone we met was such a blessing to talk to.
Personally it was a time of real growth, at this time God really put on my heart something He had wanted me to be free of. It was kind of an uncomfortable time, (which brought up past issues) but I pushed through, just trying to seek Him and not rely on my own understanding and it all worked out for the better. When our team arrived back in Herrnhut, I asked for prayer from my people back here and set free fears, which I hadn’t put an end to in the past. It was tres cool that I could finally just let go, be vulnerable with the group and seek out prayer! One highlight for me for the two weeks is that your life is a choice, you choose what you want to be ruler over your life and when this finally drilled into my head it was such a revelation. This had been spoken to me and I understood this for a while, but over these two weeks I put it into practice. When I am put in a situation where I am afraid of, or uncomfortable in the past I have had someone or something for comfort, but on this mini-outreach I had people but it was really up to me to make something good come out of it if I wanted to. It was up to me to face fears and habits and unhealthy thoughts, so I did, when forced into a corner it is surprising what you will do. Always a most revitalizing thing to remember is that the same power that rose Jesus Christ from the dead is inside of you, nothing is out of our grasp in whom who created everything.
I also have come a long way, now that I think of it, in allowing people to help me, or being open about what’s going on. Inspired by many words people have spoken to me about community, almost like seeds to my belief. Even Ruth, (my DTS leader) spoke truth about the community here at YWAM. She said we might not all have met or gotten close if we were outside of YWAM, but that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that we are all here to seek God. That if I walked into any room at the base and asked for prayer 9 times out of 10 people would gather around and pray for me, because in this community of believers we are for each other, not against. Wow, what a testament of the body of Christ. Then upon, further revelation, on mini-outreach, I was reading “Is That Really You God,” (a book we have to read for DTS) and I found this quote.
“But confession to man brings humility and unity and makes a repentant person ready to receive God’s healing of mind, emotion, and body. Confession is good for the soul.”
I just think that is mind blowing, because I read that the night Ruth told me this, wow! I believe too, that not just confession of sins, but of attitude of feeling, of struggles brings the same healing. It shows you know you can’t do it alone and that together as the body of Christ, we are going to allow ourselves to lean on each other and work towards that goal, of deep relationship in the holy and mighty Savior, God, Prince of Peace.
Philemon 1:5
“ because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you maybe active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have reflected the hearts of the saints.”

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Building Stones (week 7)

I feel like in DTS each week, you just have a bombardment of revelations of God and His truth. It's difficult to compile all of your revelations into one blog, but I will try. It's also not always in lecture that all of my bombardments occur. So, this week for our speaker Rogerio spoke on spiritual ware fare. He made a good point that spiritual ware fare is not just heebie jeebies and ooohhh spirits etc...but spiritual ware fare is how you control your bad habits, how you keep your discipline and obedience to God. If you keep your focus on God, or get distracted by the world around you that is also spiritual ware fare. You don't need to be impressed by darkness or ignorant of it, but acknowledge when its around and deal with it. Spiritual ware fare is how you walk out your life with God. I agree with him and have had similar revelations of this fact in different times in my life even prior to DTS.

This week and last week I have been really encouraged and inspired to think differently of God's plan for my life. Rogerio said that God doesn't care what we do, but what our relationship with Christ looks like, and that just gave me such a peace. To state clearly, God cares not what we accomplish from worldly standards, or with our talents, but He cares how we express our talents. God cares our heart of the matter, most of all He cares about our relationship with Him. I realize as well that when your heart and mind are align with God, so also will your actions and I am at peace with this. Your identity lies not in what you do, but whom you serve.

It was such an inspiring conversation too that I had with Corrie, basically the leader of all operations at the base, on Monday, which totally aligns with the identity topic we've had in lectures this week. Corrie spoke with me about different paths you can take in YWAM for secondary schools, and I have been thinking a lot about my schooling and what I would like to study. Since, I have been here I have been slowly growing a heart for Germany and missions, but I feel God is preparing me slowly for what He has in store. My desire is to study Anthropology(the study of people and culture) and History and to apply that to modern day people and missions, to serve God and communities with knowledge of the people and surroundings and of course take pictures of them! To know the history and context of things, cultures, and apply it to knowledge and history of the bible and see people differently. I feel God leading me to be bolder, to speak more, to follow these urgings of wanting knowledge of people's circumstances and backgrounds, and wanting knowledge of the bible, but I think it might be a slow process. For me, I would love to just jump in head on into missions, but I also know there is much work to be done in my heart. Corrie showed me some options through YWAM studying Anthropology related courses and my heart surged! I am so excited that there are these options through YWAM, but I also feel that eventually God will want me in secular education. There aren't a lot of Christian Anthropologists, aka Archaeologists, or cultural Anthropologists or evolution, forward thinkers who agree with the Bible and everything in it. So, I have gone through all of this to say that I don't know what will happen when I leave this school at the end of DTS. If God will have me do another YWAM school to build my foundation or something else, but I do know that He is concentrating on my character and my identity in Christ as I have spoken earlier about. Corrie, really influenced me on Monday when she spoke to me about this, how in order for God to prepare you for something big or something just more, first you have to have a strong character and identity in Christ. She explained further that what if you go for a few years and speed up your process of education and get so excited you just throw yourself into the field, you will flop, because the knowledge and experience of education and being in the field, as well as the foundation in Him will not be there as a guideline. It might take some years to go through all of this, good thing I am starting now, haha. It was just a reconfirmation and resounding in my soul when Rogerio spoke on Tuesday about how God cannot use you if you first don't look at your character, which can only produce fruit when it comes from God, Almighty. A couple verses that stuck out for me this week through all that I have talked about was Phillipians 2:12-13, which had actually popped into my head Tuesday morning and it was like hey Sierra, remember these verses....and I was like oh yeaah, right. Then, when Roger spoke on Tuesday about character he mentioned these verses and they are just so applicable to what is going on , here they are. “ Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” What a powerful passage of the Bible, as is the whole thing, haha. So, here I am in the developing process in my caccoon, as a cool Canadian, Rachael, once spoke over me. I am developing, and as Corrie spoke to me, I am learning to enjoy the process of developing, not only of schooling and field experience in my area of interest, but character and identity in Christ. I am learning to work what I love into every day life; to have the discipline in my life with the talents God has given me. I have also come to this conclusion on my own, that I can have fun being in this process, that I don't have to wait till the end of my education, or career in foundational schools, to say fwwf okay now I am a beautiful, butterfly everything is complete, I will be free and enjoy flying. No, stop it! This part is fun, doing what you love and enjoying learning, (which I will never be finished, haha.)

On a side note, I would just like to say that Corrie is a smart lady. When we spoke of education, she instructed me not to go into debt, because you will become a slave to your debt. I absolutely agree, so I will pray about going into welding as I had planned to when I go back home or wherever I do welding, or if I go home, or for whatever length of time, haha, a lot of or and ifs for future plans. Its nifty, that you can go into welding for one school semester and then be able to have a better paying summer job between school and have a certificate usable for a practical skill. So, thanks Corrie, I will put this into a practical, prayer, application!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thinking Patterns (week five)

On a side note, I found it interesting when Fiona talked about different ways that people can think. Specifically she showed us a few ways of thinking, which I am sure there are variations in between. There is what there is called linear, spiral, circular and matrix. The linear way of thinking is from a to b to c, everything leads to a clear point and clearly connects. Then there is spiral where there is a point, but if you think of like a cinnamon bun or spiral with a dot in the middle, it takes forever to get to the point or dot in the middle. The circular thinking is like a circle of circles that are somewhat related, but each circle can each have separate points and you decide whether they fit together or not. Matrix is slightly more confusing it looks like a basket weave when you focus on it. The whole picture is a woven basket when you back it up, but each point is like the individual straw which intersects with another straw. So, each point intersects with another point, but not all at the same point, but the whole picture fits together if you listen to the whole story. I feel like sometimes, its almost like each point or straw can be considered linear when you focus in on it, but not linear to each other. So, a intersects with c, but b intersects with d and d to a maybe, they're all related in the bigger picture, but not necessarily directly.
I think this is so cool, because for a while I thought in order for me to make sense I would have to try really hard to go from a to b, but God created each one of us differently for a specific reason. There is nothing odd, or unusual about me, this is the way I am and its perfect. Even, when I had my one on one with her, it was cool when she was speaking to me about the way I think and speak. I explained to her that I think I am a matrix thinker and I feel like I need to undergo intensive communicative courses, but she said no, you don't need to change the way you are just explain where you are coming from not freak out or be hard on yourself. Its very comforting to me and I don't care now if I don't always make sense, because I just have to learn to explain where I am coming from and if people don't care to hear the end of my story, the bigger picture, they weren't meant to hear it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rest (Week 6)

This week there was definitely a different tune playing, there are like 200 people at the base, wowser!! It was exciting on Monday we had base worship and all of the students from the September `MOTA school of a hundred or so, plus our 15 student school and some leaders worshipped together in one room! They just came back from outreach, so the energy in the room was envigorating! 
Although, it was very exciting and everything having all these cool people around it has gotten a bit overwhelming towards the end of the week, just because of the "aggressive schedule." haha On a serious note, I think this week is a good example of resting in God, despite the chaos around you, putting God first no matter what. I felt a little frustrated with blogging and pictures and everything, its crazy that this is how the school is usually like, the bustle of people and crazy crowds! In light of all this frustration, I am super excited for mini outreach! For my mini outreach I am headed to Germany, whoo, so staying right where I am, yay! I am developing a heart for Germany and the people here, I am enthralled when I get out of the castle, go to Shalbot, or Jesus Haus and spend a little more time in the culture. I love how direct, most Germans are, and I just have a curiosity for the missions side of things, all the atheists and the darkness we always speak about. I could probably go on for a paragraph more, but I will keep it concise. 
So, how I am trying to keep myself in check with my frustrations and gnarling, fleshy, side of me, is by addressing my spiritual tree and arrowing up. An interesting point, Corey made (our speaker this week), was that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is in us. That when our roots are soaking up nutrience from the spirit we can be used as tools for Christ, that power that we soak up with our roots can be expressed through our fruit on our spiritual tree. So, its such a blessing word to receive for the week, because all week I was struggling with frustrations, like a normal human, and I just needed to soak my roots in the word and prayer.