It is so hard to believe, but I have been living in Kona for 6 weeks already! Time is really flying by so fast. I am officially done with half of the Lecture Phase of DTS. That means, I only have 6 weeks left in Hawaii and then I’m off to Europe for Outreach! (Outreach is the Missions part of YWAM and I will be going to London in July and Berlin in August. I will return to Hawaii the first week of September and back to California on September 8th. *I need $3500.00 for the rest of my Outreach Fees, which is due June 1st, so please ask God how you can support me- through prayer and/or finances) I’m not sure where to begin about summarizing what has happened in the last 6 weeks and what God has been teaching me, but I will do the best I can and then expand on each week more in depth as time permits and I’m able to catch up on blogging.
When I first arrived in Kona, I was very excited. I knew that I was supposed to be here and I was ready for the change. God prepared my heart to come here, but I wasn’t prepared for all the heart surgery that was to come during the last six weeks. Pride told me that this was only going to be a season of refreshing and equipping without any challenges. Little did I know there were plenty of things in my heart that I didn’t even realize needed to change and things regarding my identity in Christ that weren’t grounded and have come to the surface since I arrived. God has been especially teaching me the following things: I am a striver, and always do do do. He wants me to break that and trust Him to guide me with my time and teach me to hear His voice and obey that so that I am not overwhelmed by all the things I want to do. God has shown me that I depend on others so much and I need to depend on Him. He’s convicting me when I’m using my cell phone or updating facebook too often and has been helping me communicate less with people so that I can focus on the present, which is being in YWAM, building relationships with those in my dts, and especially investing in my relationship with Him. God is teaching me that I need to make Him my top priority. God is teaching me that each day is different and won’t look the same, so I can’t plan out my days or expect the following day to be the same as the previous day. He’s teaching me to lay down my expectations of how my days will go and stay connected to Him so that I can be attentive to His voice and act on it. He’s teaching me how valuable the Word of God is and imprinting a desire like never before to memorize scripture so that it is planted in my heart. He’s teaching me how to fight in a spiritual battle by no longer being passive. He’s teaching me to pick up the only offensive weapon, which is the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit) and also use my shield of faith which is able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the enemy. He’s teaching me to put on the armor or God daily so I can stand in the battle. (See Ephesians 6) He’s teaching me that life isn’t easy and won’t always be, but He is always with me and by my side, helping me through the challenges. He’s teaching me to renew my mind and speak truth over the lies. He’s teaching me to memorize scripture and believe it in my heart, not just memorize it. He’s teaching me that all I need is Him, nothing else is sufficient. Nobody and nothing can meet my needs in the way that Jesus can. I’m learning to turn to Him and not others or things that might temporarily bring satisfaction. I’m learning to focus on today and today alone. I’m learning that God is able to do big things and He has incredibly big plans for me in the future, but that doesn’t make me any different than anyone else. I need to be humble and recognize pride when it creeps in and seek forgiveness. I’m learning that I need to enjoy the process of being refined into who God created me to be to the best of my ability. I’m learning to be content where I’m at and enjoy where God has me right now. I’m learning to be present in every single moment and not miss out by focusing on something else or doing something else. I’m learning to give my burdens to God and literally leave them in His hands. I’m learning to pray more because that is all I have and can do in certain moments. I’m learning to trust God. I’m learning more about God’s character. I’m learning how to live with seven other girls. I’m learning to make sure I get myself right with God daily so that I can be a blessing to those around me. I’m learning to be disciplined with my quiet time every morning. I’m learning that I need a lot of quiet time with Jesus. I’m learning to be disciplined to be active and go jogging a few days a week. I’m learning to love people where they are at and not expect them to be where I want them to be or do what I want them to do.
Week 1 we had Andy Byrd speak to us. He is the founder of my dts, Fire & Fragrance and he has such a radical passion and fire for Jesus. He empowered us to rise up. His theme was a radical pursuit of Jesus through a revelation of His love which leads to a revival of the heart, reformation of life, and reformation of the church. Week 2, Rhonda Barker was our guest speaker. Her husband is my school leader, Aaron Barker. She is a first grade teacher on campus at the Learning Center and super sweet. She taught us how to hear God’s voice and the prophetic. She shared with us ways that God speaks to us, steps to prepare our hearts to hear from God, purposes of the prophetic, ways we can protect from deception and error with the prophetic, and etiquette when hearing from God and praying for others. Aaron spoke to us on the last day of class regarding Intercession by defining intercession and sharing with us the qualities of an effective intercessor as well as the ten steps of intercession by Joy Dawson. Week 3 was Corporate week so we had class in Ohana Court and heard from various speakers but mostly the founders of YWAM, Loren and Darlene Cunningham. The main theme of the week was empowering us to pursue our dreams and believe God for the more that He has for us. They shared many testimonies about God’s faithfulness in their lives to do many supernatural things throughout as they pursued God and His plan for their lives. Week 4 was Pure Heart week. Tom and Donna Cole who wrote the book Pure Heart- Restoration of the Heart through the Beatitudes were our guest speakers. They encouraged us not to take notes, so I did my best not to, but from what I can recall, each day we focused on something different. Each day we covered something different but the themes were Mother Wound, Father Wound, Feminity and Masculinity (healing from past relationships), and Forgiveness. Week 5 was Holy Spirit Week with Amy Sollars. Amy is a prophet and highly anointed in the prophetic, but prefers to be called a lover of Jesus and people. She shared her testimony and then taught on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, the prophetic, and how to use these gifts in an appropriate and effective manner. Each day we had time for ministry where we worshipped and she prayed over us and on the last day she spent the afternoon teaching the women about envy and comparison. During week 6 and our guest speaker was Scotty Kessler and the main theme was studying the Bible. He gave us many tools to add to our toolbox for evangelism, ways/plans in which we can study the Bible, and how to have a well-rounded prayer life. The most important thing that I learned through Scotty’s teaching was the stand on the promises of God (the Word of God) and how valuable the Bible truly is. I learned the importance of memorizing scripture and planting it in your heart so that you can use it as an offensive weapon against spiritual attack as well as to defend your faith and what you believe.
Although this experience thus far has been different than I ever imagined, I am so thankful for all that God is teaching me and how much I am growing through it all. I know that it has had its ups and downs and I’ve experienced daily battles, I am being strengthened through it and I am grateful. I don’t want to go home the same person that I was when I came out here. I want to be changed. I want to be transformed. I want to be stronger. I want to be confident. I want to be bold. I want to be courageous. But I also know I can’t be perfect. So I’m praying that I am able to learn everything God is teaching me and bring it home with me and out into the mission field in the future. I know that this season is intended to be a season of intimacy with me and Jesus and I want to make the most of it. I want to enjoy this season with Him and embrace every moment that is before me. My prayer is that I can continue to be thankful for the things God is teaching me despite the challenges and painful they might be. I know that life is not going to be easy and to be honest; my life hasn’t been that hard. I have been so blessed growing up in a loving home with parents who have been married for 31 years and not any financial struggles. I am thankful for this blessing but now I am learning how to work through challenges in life by leaning on my true comforter and rock, Jesus Christ. This is the best lesson I can learn and I know it will totally benefit me in the long run.
Thank you to all my supporters. I am able to be here and grow in God and learn all of the above because of YOU. Praying the Lord blesses you for your obedience to Him and support to me.