Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tell Me Your Name

Two days ago, I arrived in Byron Bay with my outreach team. We rocked up at about 9:30 pm and went straight to the beach where Impact Summer, the ministry we are working with here, has most of their events. We kicked off our trip with worship in the midst of the vibrant beach-cultured nightlife of Byron.

I had the opportunity to speak to this one girl, who was sitting by herself slightly apart from the crowd. She shared her story with me - that same tale that rings true throughout our generation. She had a difficult childhood, and as she searched for identity, for meaning and worth apart ffom the lies that were spoken to her as a child, she turned to partying and to meaningless relationships. She grew up in the evangelical church of germany, but never really believed in God. Loneliness and hopelessness had such a grip on this young woman, and it was clear that she belived so many lies about herself.

How can it be that we have wandered so far away from our own identity. How can it be that, in a generation so centered on identity, that is the very thing that we are so obviously missing. The story that my new friend shared with me is the story of so many of my brothers and sisters. We are all searching for identity. And the saddest thing is that our Father is standing right there offering us the best life, the best identity, the truest love that you could ever imagine
All we need to do is take it. Step into it. Believe it about ourselves. Embrace it.

Loved. Taken care of. Beautiful. A great success. Enough.

And how do you impart that into people? You point them to the Lord with the way you treat them. You don't just sit with them, you bother to learn their name. You hear what they have to say, and you hear their heart. You show them love, and you recognize them as a brother or a sister.

This is the identity that this girl in the park chose for herself that night.

Her name is Tatianna, and she is a daughter of the King, an heir the the kingdom of heaven, and my own sister in Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Here goes....

Today is the day that I leave with my team on outreach. We set out for byron bay at 10am, and will arrive at about 10 pm. Am I excited? Yep, and a little nervous, too.

I have thought a lot about preparation in the last few weeks. If you had asked me in september if I was ready to go on outreach, i would probably have said yes, based on a little knowledge of Cambodia, and some passable people skills. Now, on the other side of my lecture phase, I can look nack and say that I was no where near ready.

The last weeks of this phase, I have learned so much more about myself, and I have been really focused on discovering the dreams and the vision that God is giving me. I want nothing more than to pursue those dreams with my whole life. If that pursuit looks like it has done in this season of my life - finding role models and a different kind of family to add to my own, studying God's character, being a hobo for a night (I will blog about this soon, i promise. It's a story worth waiting for!) - then that is exactly what I'll do.

I dare say, I'll go to the ends of the earth if He asks me to.

So as we head out, we go with the Lord, and we go with one another, and with a team of supporters, and we'step out into a dream that the King of kings has dreamed. We recognize the extraordinary, and we expect no less.

Please be praying for me and for my team!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


When some people imagine brotherly love, they think of things like nagging, bothering, teasing... maybe even a poor role model... all those things that the world depicts as the extent of a 'brother-sister relationship'.

What I know to be true, however, is so much more. Aside from the necessary bothering and teasing, which is naturally a big part of our relationship, there is this bond between my brother and I that is stronger than steel. He means the world to me.

If you have met Alex, then you probably know him as this enthusiastic-to-say-the-least, willing-to-do-anything-for-God, not-so-normal kind of guy. You've probably gotten to see him at his finest at camp, or at crossroads. You have maybe even had the privilege of hanging out with him outside these settings. But what you might not know about Alex is that he is also this incredible, strong, devoted brother; a true man of God.

When God made Alex, He was thinking of me (and probably of some other things, too...)
He was thinking of the kind of role model that I would need to keep me grounded, to keep me out of trouble. He was thinking of all the times that I would need someone to rescue me. He was thinking of all of the words of encouragement and wisdom that I would need along my journey - that Alex would deliver. He was thinking of all the times that I would want to talk, and all the times that wouldn't feel like talking at all. He was thinking of the times that I would need a brother, in the truest sense of the word.

Alex, you are more important to me than you will ever know. Your guidance has meant everything to me, even though sometimes I haven't let that on. Your gentle heart makes you such a good role model to me and to everyone you meet. And your willingness to serve God - THAT is what sets you apart.

I love you, Alex. And I miss you heaps.

Monday, 5 December 2011

A Grateful Heart

Here, I have gained a new perspective on relationship. I see the way that the people here interact and grow together, I see the way they are intensely aware of one another’s needs, and I see the way that they honour one another. I see awareness, compassion, and real love.

I am beginning to see through these relationships what it looks like to throw myself into what God has in store for my life. He has given me relationships that speak truth and purpose into my life - ones that nurture and grow my faith and my love for God. They expand my knowledge of Christ, and support me I gain God’s heart for the world and step out in my faith.

I hear God’s voice - I see His character - within each of our relationships. You are so good to me, each in your own right. I want you to know that you mean the world to me. I have found freedom in our openness together. I have found companionship in our love for one another. I have found friendship in our loyalty. I have found family in our familiarity.

You make a difference in my life; a difference, dare I say, that spans the gap between life and death. You hold me accountable, you encourage persistence, and you inspire me to pursue the life that God has for me. You have helped me to become a Woman of God.

You have spoken freedom into my life.

I am, and forever will be, so grateful.


It's been a whirlwind of information and processing concerning lectures in the last four weeks. We have covered Spiritual Warfare, Holy Spirit, Evangelism and Lordship. Our speakers have been incredible, and each very unique.

The teaching that I receive here is different from anything that I was taught in school. EVERYTHING IS APPLICABLE, no matter where you are at. And what is TRUE within this people-focused growing environment is different from what was true in school. What I was learning back home was "true" outside of my life - despite my existence. Like, whether I exist or not, gravity is a truth. But as well as all of those academic truths, I feel like there is a lot more to truth here. There are these extra laws, extra truths: they are constant, like the academic ones, but they are equally adaptable to each individual. What makes them true is my life. Outside of my life, these truths are just words, but because of my life and the lives of others, these truths come alive, and become absolute.

The very best example of this that I can think of is God's love. It is very real, almost tangible... a lot like a force. It is constant, but it is to be experienced in a multitude of ways, and for each individual it looks just a little bit different. Moreover, what makes love true is that it is a gift. It is offered to us as a truth, but what breaths life into that truth is that it is received individually. It's true to begin with, but it's the way that it applies to people that makes it real.

Outreach Update


In only four weeks time, the lecture phase of my DTS will be over, and we will be heading out to our outreach locations. We are going to BYRON BAY for our first two weeks to work with young adults and to do some networking and evangelism, and then we are off to CAMBODIA. In preparation, my team has been learning about Cambodian culture. We've each been presenting on different topics such as food, family, and political history. As I learn more, Cambodia is finding a significant place in my heart. It's people have a super rich story, they are hard working, and they seem to value life. I can't wait to be immersed in this culture!!

I have been fundraising over the last few weeks, and have raised $2600. This is thanks to some very generous individuals, and to lots of answered prayers. I still need to raise $1400 by december 20th, so keep praying. If you would like to donate, it is pretty easy. Just fill out this form (and send me a quick email to let me know so I can thank you.)

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray about this!! God is so faithful and I can't wait to see Him come through and get me and the rest of my time off to outreach on time!