Happy Holidays all! The holiday season is booming here in Scotland. Decorations are out, hot chocolate is brewing, and people are shopping like Christmas is tomorrow! The last few days have been beautiful here at the base. We finally got some snow! I woke up the other morning, pulled back my curtains and found a steady snow fall greeting my eyes! Snow at the beach, what a wonderful sight! Walking into the village these last few days has been a wonderful treat. Snow crunching under your feet, the sun shining on you, and your ears frozen by the time you get there because you forgot to wear a hat! There was a craft fair going on this weekend in West Kilbride (my town is known as Craft Town Scotland because of all the little shops that make handmade artifacts). I stopped into the village hall Saturday to check out the fair and what goodies they have this year. It's always a great opportunity for me to meet people in town because they always want to know about my accent and where I'm from. When I get to tell the little Grannies, Southern California they always exclaim, "What are you doing here then lass! You should be back there enjoying the wee sun!" I love my conversations with the elderly community here. It's a great way for me to minister to them (being a foreigner) because they always want to know why I'm here, in Scotland, so far from home.
I had a lovely conversation with a woman in the charity bookshop today about YWAM and those of us that live "up on the hill" in that big house together. It's so interesting and funny to hear some of the people's opinions on what we do here in the base. A bunch of weirdos. Ha. But this woman was very nice and loved our presence here in the village. She said she knows we do "wonderful work out there". It's always good to here some affirmation from the locals here on what we are doing and how we are trying to reach the community by friendship evangelism.
The past few months I have been praying about my vision, and what it is that I am moving towards while I'm here. We need a vision so we're not staying stagnant. I want to go farther, be stronger, and live the calling that God has told me to fulfill. The past three months have been a little difficult with not fully understanding my personal vision. I have the wider picture: I've been called to make disciples in all nations in Jesus name, but I still needed a personal vision. My friend Hanna and I were having a Bible study the other day and I finally had a revelation! God told me that I am still in a time of training. He brought me back to Scotland not only to disciple others, but also to train me on a higher level for the calling He has giving me. I know this seems basic to most of you, but when you have a "light bulb" go off, and you have a deeper understanding about your passion, the world just feels right again. The Lord also said He brought me back here for this training because my foundations in Him were not solid enough to live a daily life serving Him in my hometown. I was not prepared to stick to my guns and not waver in ANY of my new knowledge, just because someone objected. So......I am here building my foundations. Getting prepared to one day be back in my own culture, an lead a life of faith by example.
This brings me to my other news. I have officially decided to become a staff member on the January 2011 Discipleship Training School (DTS). (insert exclamation !) This means my training will double or triple in the next few months. A staff member who works with the trainees side by side daily has an increased amount of responsibility. I will be leading home groups (bible studies), local ministries, mentoring, facilitating prayer times and meetings, and I will also have the opportunity to do a bit of teaching. One of the biggest roles a staff member takes on is leading a team of trainees into another country for ministry for up to three months to get a taste of what a long term missionaries life is like, and if they feel called to live in long term missions. As time gets closer to this this school I will give you more details.
In the past few weeks here I have been helping the October DTS prepare to leave for their outreach phase. This has included A LOT of practical work. I have been researching flights for 23 people, helping budget little parts here and there, preparing packets of paper work that they will be taking with them (this means a lot of photo copying), and praying daily on this teams behalf. A huge part of my role here is prayer. We call it intercessory prayer- where you pray and plead on someone elses behalf. My support team and I feel led to prayer many days. We cry out to God for protection, revelation, miracles, blessings, finances, new faces that they will get to meet, and most of all, a HUNGER in these trainees hearts to get to know our God and the Word He has blessed us with.
Our base also decided to hold a 24 hour BURN two weeks ago. This is a time of prayer and worship that continues on for a full 24 hours. We went from 9am on Nov 16th to 9am Nov 17th! Every two hours tHE people who were leading worship would change over to give them a rest. We have many people on base that are very talented with a gift of singing and/or playing musical instruments. Our Burn was started off by a worship leader named Keith Luker from Bethel Church in California. He came all the way over to the UK to come and encourage all the YWAM bases here to see revial and an outpouring of God's Spirit on this nation. He fired us up to want to see God overwhelmingly bless this nation and see many more lives come to know the name of Jesus. This worship time had all different styles of worship ivolved from singing to dance to artwork to creative writing. People were encouraged to act whatever way God was leading them to with no fear of what anyone else would think. Sometimes our worship may have looked a little.....different. :0 But, everytime it is so freeing to meet with God in a big group of people and hear what He is telling us.
I know this blog post might be controversial for some of you to read. And I know that many of you do not carry my same beliefs. That's ok. I just want to be real with you and give you an insight on how God is changing my life drastically. I AM a new person. I'm not going to hide from it. I have strong beliefs, and I want you to hear my testimony. I thank you for all of you who continue to support me and continue to read this website. It means so much to me that you read my words or even look at my photos. I pray that you will be blessed today. That you will be encouraged that lives can change, and we don't have to stay in our same old ruts. You can change a nation! Step into something new today (it doesn't have to be huge, start small) and take new ground for your life! Be blessed my friends!
PS. I will be coming (or going) home for Christmas this year. Woohoo! I leave Scotland on December 15th and I will be home for exactly 3 weeks! Hopefully I will get to see some of your faces! Tis the Season to be jolly, right?
1 Thessalonians 2:4 "We are not trying to please men but God".