Monday, 27 August 2012

Greater and Greater Things

Hello everyone,

Just a general update, since i realize it's been a while since I was in touch. It's been crazy busy, but that's no excuse!

Last weekend, some of our students were told that, as they had not met the financial deadline for their lecture phase, they would be asked to leave if there was no immediate breakthrough. We immediately pulled together as a DTS and began to ask on behalf of our brothers and sisters. One of the School leaders' contacts felt to give a huge donation to three of the students who were at risk of leaving, and it was enough to pay their debts. It was nothing less than a miracle.

It's now week 8, and we're hearing on the Holy Spirit from a beautiful woman of God named Amy Sollarz. Several people have spoken out that they feel that this week will be SIGNIFICANT for  many of our students, and so I am waiting with great anticipation to see what that will look like. I'm excited.

I am doing really well considering the magnitude of the things God has set before me. The logistics of planning and leading outreach to Ghana and Togo are huge tasks, and with God's help I am taking them on. We're on our way to having our visas granted and our plane tickets purchased, and we're in the process of getting VISION for our time in west africa. I can't believe we're leaving our  home in Hawai'i in just under four weeks... It's exciting, and also sort of scary.

On a personal financial note, to be perfectly honest with you guys, I am not fully funded for outreach. By some miracle, I have enough to finish paying my rent, and I have been able to make a $500 dent in my outreach costs - praise God. I still need about $1500 in order to go on outreach. The deadline is this thursday. If you can, please give, and if you can't give, please pray.

Actually, pray anyways... :)

I am LOVING being on staff. I get to watch as my students begin to realize who they are in Christ and what that means for the world. I'm watching as they explore how they can harness the gifts God has given them in order to release them in such a way that they bring heaven to earth. I get to watch as God takes over their lives and encourage them as they grow, and all the while God is blowing my faith out of the water. He is releasing me into greater and greater things. He's stirring something up inside of me that I am getting really excited about, even though I don't know exactly what it's going to look like yet.

I'll try and be better about updating you guys on everything that's going on. Thanks a million for your interest in what's going on in my life, and for your support.

Be blessed!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Learning Leadership

The quality of your leadership hangs on what you do when those you are leading are not around.

The other day, I was taken by surprise by an afternoon off. Somehow, we had finished our classes for the day and, for maybe the first time since I got here, I was firmly on top of things. Ah, the gift of a moment to breathe. 

You know that moment when you've been slaving away through exam period, and all you've known for weeks is textbooks, tea, memory aids and cereal, and you finally finish your last exam and you're brain automatically jumps to the next one... only to realize there is no next one? You just sort of sit there.. and don't know what to do with yourself for a moment? That is basically how I felt thursday afternoon. 

I love staffing this DTS. People ask me if it's worth it - giving up everything that is known and normal to do this - and all I can think to say is that I am exactly where I was made to be. There is nothing I would rather be doing with my life at this moment. That being said, this position is more than full time. I am learning that discipling is a lifestyle, one that does not only require constant, consistent output but also a standard for yourself that calls others to a new level. So when I find a moment to myself, I usually spend it pressing in and processing everything that is going on around me. 

On Thursday afternoon, I wandered over to the organic farm on campus, thinking I'd just take a casual look around. I found my friend (and self proclaimed african brother) Jackson working on his Master's degree project on agricultural techniques that can be reproduced in developing nations. He asked me to help him out for a few moments, so I grabbed the pitchfork he pointed to and tried to help him shovel the compost without much luck. He proceeded to change my life with his words in the following fifteen minutes.

Jackson took the opportunity to show me something about what I have in my hands. "When all you have is the "wrong" tool for the job, you have to get creative" said Jackson. He taught me in his words about how leadership is really just about being willing to step out first. It's about going where you want others to follow. It's about sticking yourself out there, being real and vulnerable, and striving for right relationship no matter what. I have these gifts; not necessarily a gift of leadership or even administration, which seem really important to leadership, but I am good at encouraging and at taking copious notes. I am designed with a knack for building relationship and for pursuing people. Those are a few of the elements that God has built into me.

And in this season of my life, I get to put those elements forward into a leadership role. I get to step out, in my gifts, my weaknesses, my choices and my annointing and go ahead of individuals that i care very much about. My gifts will determine what leadership looks like. And I'm excited, because in the same way as Esther was, I have been anointed for such a time as this. I have faith for such a time as this. I have wisdom for such a time as this. I am a leader for such a time as this.