In Honor of my Grandma

On Monday July 23, 2018, I received news from my relatives in New York that my Grandma (my Mom’s Mother) had gone home to be with the Lord. My Grandma had died at 8:00pm on that day and it was a very peaceful time where she was surrounded by family in her hospital room. The viewing was in Rochester, New York on Friday July 27thIMG_7967 and the funeral service was held the next day at her church. I am very thankful I was able to be with my family during this time which meant a lot to me.

I am very grateful my Grandma was a part of my life for 39 years. Grandparents are very special people and they are a gift from God. I am so glad that I was able to celebrate her 90th birthday with her on May 20, 2018. My heart is filled with so much gratitude of how she had always been an inspiration to me especially to see her giving heart that was filled with so much love and compassion for people. She was a very humble person who loved to pray and I know that she loved God very much. I will definitely miss her but I am very thankful that one day I will see her again in heaven.

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A Special Reunion Trip in Manitoba

I finished my education at Providence College which is a Christian college in a small town called Otterburne in Manitoba, Canada. I got a 3 year Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural studies and also my TESOL (Teaching English to other Speaking Languages) certificate at Providence College but I was only there for a year and a half (September 2002 to December 2003) because I was able to transfer credits from the previous schoolsCollege Logo Colour I went to. I never planned or thought of finishing my education in Manitoba but when God opened up the doors for me to go I knew it was God’s plan.

My time in Manitoba was not only a very meaningful time for me to finish my education but also the friendships I made and the people I met there were very special as well. I truly believe in my heart that there are friends God brings into your life for a season whether it is for a short or a long time and then there are those lifelong friends that are such a blessing and a treasure to have. The lifelong friends we may not necessary keep in touch very often or there may be a distance between us but when you reconnect with each other it’s like you just pick up from where you left off from the last time you connected with each other.

I met my friend Erin at Providence College in the fall of 2002 when we worked in the kitchen together for our student jobs we had.  We enjoyed some good laughs as we worked together and did various cleaning tasks in the kitchen. Erin is one of those

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Erin and I at The Forks in Winnipeg

lifelong friends God has brought into my life when we met at college even though we haven’t seen each other since I graduated from college our friendship has been a real blessing from God over the years since we have known each other.

During the year and a half I was in Manitoba for college I am very thankful for all of the great memories Erin and I had shared while we were at school together. It has been quite a while since we were at college so I won’t be able to share all of the memories we had shared during that time but I would like to write about some of the ones that stick out the most. One of the things I will never forget that I love about Erin is her hugs, her smile and also the joy that radiances out of her. Here are some of my other memories that stick out during the time we went to school together.

The very first time Erin and I had met was at the back of the kitchen where we were cutting up boxes when we worked in the kitchen together for our student jobs during our first year of college. We also worked alongside Ray who was an international student from China. There was one time Ray had invited us over to watch a suspenseful movie which is when they were both pretty surprised how involved I get into movies!

We spent a lot of time with the international students when were at college together. We

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My speaking partner Jae won

both had speaking partners who were learning English as a second language. I had a student from South Korea. Jae Won was my speaking partner which was a real blessing as I did my TESOL during that time and later on we even got to meet again when I taught English in South Korea.

One of the events we did with the international students was when we went ice skating at The Forks in Winnipeg which was a lot of fun even though it was in the freezing cold weather of -30c degrees. We were also involved with other events as well like when we helped out with the Missions Encounter weekend.

Erin and I stayed in the same dorm in the fall of 2003, which was my third and last semester at Providence College. The name of the dorm we stayed at was called “Upper Cundy”. I am so grateful that I went to a Christian Bible college because it was a real blessing there wasn’t any partying or anything like that but we did have some really

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Our dorm we stayed at

great memories with all of the girls in the dorm when we hung out together, celebrated birthdays and had some devotional times together where we encouraged and prayed for each other. Kyung Jin was my roommate who was an international student from South Korea. Two friends we often hung out in our dorm were Jen and Mary.

One crazy college memory I had that Erin recently reminded me of was when we had a missions’ conference and the speaker we had singled me out to crowd surf. If I remember correctly I think I spoke to him about how I

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Erin, Jenn and I

desire to overcome my fears so I guess he got the idea of me conquering it by joining in the crowd surfing he did during one of our sessions. I totally didn’t want to do it but I felt like I got singled out as everyone’s eyes were on me so I had no choice to say no. I ended up doing it but I have to admit I felt pretty embarrassed when I got singled out!

There were many times when I was at college that I had missed my family so it was definitely a blessing from God of how Erin’s parents Larry and Vivian had adopted me as their “daughter” and welcomed me into their family during the time I was in Manitoba for college. In the fall of 2003, I was able to spend Thanksgiving weekend with Erin and her parents which was really nice to spend the holiday with them. Erin and her parents had a good laugh when we were in the car and I said out loud “There are hills in Manitoba!” It was a real blessing to be able to see Erin’s Mom get water baptized and she even gave me a real special surprise when she requested a song for my birthday on the Christian radio station we often listened to.

I am incredibility grateful that I was able to return to Manitoba in April 2004, for my

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My Dad, Nana, Erin, my brother Jonathan and I.

graduation with not only my parents, my brother Jonathan but also my Grandma from the States and my Nana as well. When I went to Providence College to get my TESOL certificate it was actually my second time to get it because unfortunately the first time I wasn’t very successful to complete it however God had a different plan and He taught me a very valuable lesson to keep going forward even if there may be people to question you along the way in your journey of what God is calling you to do.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude of how Providence College was such an important piece of the puzzle in my journey God had created me and called me to. My graduation was such a defining moment in my life as I saw the faithfulness of how God had brought to completion this season in my life. I am also incredibility grateful for God giving me Catherine, my TESOL professor who believed in me and saw potential in me of what God was calling me to do which is to teach English as part of the ministry as I serve God as a missionary overseas.

It definitely was a real blessing from God to not only return to Manitoba for my graduation with my family but also to be able to celebrate it with my friend Erin and her parents as well. I loved how God had worked everything out for us to be reunited again IMG_1610for my graduation weekend. It was such a joy to be able to see Erin and her parents who pretty much adopted me as their “daughter”. We also had a lot of fun spending some really great quality time together when we ate dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant and going to The Forks in Winnipeg too.

My graduation weekend in Manitoba was the last time I saw Erin and her parents but I am very thankful that we were able to still stay in touch over the years and we never lost contact with each other. I honestly never knew that I would be able to see Erin again because there are always people who come and go in our lives and you don’t really know if you will see them again which happens a lot especially when you are in missions, though you do hope you will see each other again one day in the future.

At the beginning of the year 2017, Erin told me that her boyfriend proposed to her and she was engaged to be married to Richard who she met through her teaching job. I was extremely happy for Erin when she told me about her engagement and I got an invitation to her wedding which was on July 15, 2017 but unfortunately it was a kind of complicated to fly there for the wedding because of the transportation. I felt really bad that I wasn’t able to go to Erin’s wedding because I really did want to be a part of her special day and especially to be able to see her again after so many years too. I did tell Erin that I will try to visit her and Richard in the future once they are settled, though at that time I had no idea when that would be.

On April 9, 2018, I decided to send Erin a spontaneous message on Facebook to tell her that I had been thinking of her and asked her about the possibility of me visiting her if I could find a cheap plane ticket. When Erin got my message she seemed pretty excited

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Reunion picture of us at the airport

about this spontaneous decision I had made and I am not a person who usually makes spontaneous decisions at all but I am so glad that I did! After Erin spoke to Richard about my potential trip we finally figure out when would be the best time for me to visit and I went ahead and bought my plane ticket on April 18th.

After 14 years since Erin and I last saw each I boarded the plane in Toronto on June 28, 2018 early in the morning and flew to Winnipeg at 6:30am for a very special reunion trip. I had a very early morning because I had to check in 90 minutes before my flight departed which was at 5:00am plus before that I needed to get to the Toronto airport so I was quite exhausted but it was definitely worth the trip!  I flew with West Jet airlines, I had a good flight even though it was delayed around 20 minutes and I arrived in Winnipeg at 8:30am.

I don’t know if I can possibility put into words how excited I was to finally see my friend

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Enjoying breakfast together

Erin again after 14 years since the last time we saw each other! When I arrived and we saw each at the Winnipeg airport we gave each other a big hug and quickly took a reunion picture. It was really great to also finally meet Richard who is now her husband. It was definitely a moment of joy for all of us when we were together at the airport! After I arrived we went to Perkins restaurant to have a delicious breakfast before our long 3.5 hour drive to Dauphin which is where Erin and Richard live.

My time in Manitoba was extremely busy and packed with tons of things we did together because it was short trip but a really great one! God gave me a lot of unexpected surprises during this trip which completely blew me away with how God loves us to bless us in so many tangible ways. The weather was amazing during my time in Manitoba. I felt very blessed by God with all of Richard and Erin’s incredible hospitality and amazing servant’s hearts they both had during my time with them. It was really great to have my own room during my time there especially to spend some time with God as well.

On Friday June 29th , it was really great that Erin and I were able to spend lots of one on

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Erin and Richard

one time together just catching up as we went for walks, doing some weeding together outside their house and hanging out at their house. Richard is a Pastor at their church so they took me to their church and showed me around which was really great to see the church. In the afternoon we enjoyed ice cream or tried to as it melted extremely fast! For dinner we ate a delicious BBQ that Richard cooked at home and later in the evening we watched the movie called Wonder.

On Saturday June 30th, Richard and Erin took me to Riding Mountain National Park and Clear Lake which is just around a 10 minute drive from where they live. When we went to Riding Mountain it was definitely a really special experience for me because it was absolutely beautiful there and now I can honestly say I have changed my perspective of Manitoba because my previous experience in the 20180630_125129province was the flat prairie land. I honestly had no idea that Manitoba had such beautiful lakes, hills and a mountain terrain.  I am so glad that Richard and Erin helped changed my perspective and helped me to see the beauty of Manitoba.

Our day at Riding Mountain was really great and lots of fun too.  I was quite amazed to see how full the park was with tourists especially all of the campers from the States. The park was absolutely beautiful to explore and enjoy for the day. We went to this bison look out place where we had hoped to see some bison nearby. When we were there this lady told us she saw one off in the distance we did see it but it was too far for a good picture so we decided to get back in the car and continue on.

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We saw a herd of bison!

Shortly after we all got back in the car God gave us a much unexpected surprise because we saw around 30 bison in the field including young babies too! It was just incredible to see a herd of bison in Manitoba! We also enjoyed eating gelato ice cream, sharing a big beaver tail and a BBQ for dinner.

On Sunday July 1st, we had a nice relaxing day. In the morning we went to church. It was really nice to go to a service where Richard is a Pastor at, meet people there, worship along other Christians and hear Richard preach as well. They are a part of a great community small church. After church we all went out for lunch and the rest of the

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Celebrating Canada Day in Manitoba

afternoon we hung out at their house. In the evening we went to Mountain View Christian Assembly church to enjoy some fireworks for Canada Day. It was a lot of fun to celebrate Canada Day with Erin and Richard especially that we had these fun head bands with Canadian flags and glow sticks to celebrate the holiday.

On Monday July 2nd, it was my last full day in Manitoba. We had a relaxing day just hanging out at their house. It was a real blessing to be able to spend a lot of quality time with Erin just catching up and encouraging each other.  Erin and Richard told me that we will go out to eat for dinner but I was really surprised when they told me that we will go to Brandon for dinner and not in their town of where they live. We travelled for a couple of hours when we went to Brandon and when I was in the car I had wondered what Erin and Richard were up to. In the back of mind I was hoping that maybe we might see Erin’s parents but I wasn’t sure we would so I think I just kept that to myself.

When we arrived at Pizza Hut in Brandon I was speechless and beyond excited of what I

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Erin’s parents and I

possibility could put into words when I saw Erin’s parents! What an amazing unexpected surprise it was to have dinner with Erin’s parents and see them again. It was so good to see Larry and Vivian, Erin’s parents again and to catch up a bit and share with them how my trip has been in Manitoba as we enjoyed some delicious pizza. After we ate dinner we went to this park to walk around, take some pictures and to spend a bit more time together. Erin’s Mom gave me a very special surprise when she gave me a handmade teddy bear she had me as a gift for me to take home.

What a special blessing it was from God to have a surprise reunion with Erin’s parents who became like my “adopted parents” during the time I was in Manitoba for college years ago. I was really hoping I would see them during my reunion trip in Manitoba but I wasn’t sure it would work out or I should say I didn’t know that they were planning to surprise me at all. I felt really encouraged when I saw Erin’s parents again especially how they embraced me with all of their love and care just like they did when I was in college. Erin’s Dad encouraged me by telling me that maybe I need a reset button as I continue on with what God has for me next. I have to admit it was really difficult to say good bye to them when it was time to say good bye but I am so glad that we were able to see each again even though our time was very short.

On Tuesday July 3rd, it was my last day of my time in Manitoba which it was hard to

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Erin and I at The Forks again

believe how fast our time went of my short trip I took to see Erin and meet her husband Richard. In the morning we relaxed a bit and prayed together before we had a long drive back to the Winnipeg airport for my return flight to Toronto. Before we headed to the airport Erin and Richard had one more surprise for me. They took me to The Forks which was a really nice unexpected surprise to go there again especially to take a reunion picture with Erin at the exact same spot when we were in college together.

When we got to the Winnipeg airport for my return flight home I have to admit it was really hard to say good-bye to each other. I flew out of Winnipeg at 6:00pm with West Jet airline and I arrived in Toronto at 9:30pm. I had a really good flight home but I have to admit I really felt emotional that my trip had come to end so quickly but it was so worth it to take the time to go to Manitoba to have this reunion trip. The timing of the trip was just perfect and I am incredibly grateful of how God gave me this spontaneous idea to visit them.

The time I had together with Erin and Richard was quite special beyond what I could

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Flying Home

possibility put into words especially of all of the unexpected surprises they gave me during my short trip in Manitoba. I was so touched by their servant hearts with all of their hospitality and all of the driving they did which was such a blessing far more than I could put into words. It was so good to see Erin after all of these years of us being apart and I am so grateful for the friendship God gave us.

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My Extended Season in Canada

I lived in Romania for 9 years as a missionary, before that I lived in South Korea for a year where I taught English and I have also traveled to other countries as well. Throughout the years while I have lived overseas God has continued to reveal to me His heart for the nations. God is still calling me to the nations and to go back overseas as a missionary to continue to love on children, who are hurting and vulnerable, to reach out Canada - The map and the flag of the countryto older girls who have gone through the pain of rejection of human trafficking, lead teams to do outreach together and other things as well.

At the end of June 2016, God brought me back to Canada, not for a short visit this time but for a sabbatical season of rest, His “training time in my home country” and to reconnect with my family for a longer period of time. I had originally thought my time in Canada would be much shorter than it has been and I had no idea I would still be in Canada just over 2 ½ years later.

When I left Romania it was very difficult for me because it had been my home for 9 years and I still miss being there very much. In the spring of 2016, I had a conversation with my YWAM base leaders about what God is calling me into which is the human trafficking ministry field. They felt the same after we talked when I came back from doing the Shine Seminar (training on human trafficking) at the YWAM Amsterdam base so they prayed for me and released me to do what God is calling me to do next (https://heart4nations.com/2016/06/21/shine-seminar-2016/).

I knew when God spoke to my heart that it was time for me to return to Canada for a season.  I needed to take that huge step of faith even though I had no idea what that would look like for my future ahead. The next couple of weeks after my conversation with my YWAM base leaders in Romania I packed up my apartment shipped some thingstransition to Canada and for the first time ever I flew on the airplane with my cat Minnie.

When I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base in the spring of 2016, I fought in my heart if I do end up leaving Romania what would happen to my cat but God already knew of this struggle even before I thought about it because He gave one of the girls in my small group a vision of Him flying me to the nations on an eagle with my cat on one of my shoulders. I just love how our Father God is so personal with us and He absolutely loves to bless us!

The summer of 2016, it was a time of rest and to spend time with my family which was a real blessing because over the years I had hardly been home over the summer months. In the fall of the same year I went to the YWAM LA base in California for a 2 ½ month leadership training school called School of Ministry Development.  During this time I believe I really grew in my relationship with the Lord and I learned many things about leadership as well. At the end of the school I thought about possibility going on the optional outreach but after my school leader prayed about it she encouraged me to go home for at least 6 months for a sabbatical time of rest, to receive some personal counselling and to reconnect with people at home.

I prayed about what my school leader advised me to do and I felt in my heart this is what sabbatical2God wanted me to do right now. The year 2017, was filled with many ups and downs but most of all I am very grateful for the many opportunities God gave me during the year including going to the YWAM Montana base for one week in March to receive personal debriefing for the 10 years I lived overseas, (https://heart4nations.com/2017/09/18/debriefing-week-in-montana/),

visiting my friends Christopher and Sarah in Texas for one week (https://heart4nations.com/2018/02/08/taking-a-relaxing-break-in-texas/)

and to go to the Kingdom Bound Christian festival with my family after not being able to go for many years (https://heart4nations.com/2018/02/12/kingdom-bound-festival/).

God definitely gave me a birthday weekend like I will never forget! It was very special to be able to celebrate my birthday on October 15th with my family after not being able celebrate it with them since 2006 which is like 11 years and because my birthday was on a Sunday everyone at my home church even sang Happy Birthday to me!Thankful, grateful and blessed

The day before my birthday God gave me an incredible opportunity to be a part of a human trafficking awareness event in Toronto called Freedom Walk which is worldwide event with A21 (https://heart4nations.com/2018/03/16/a21-freedom-walk-2017/). In the evening of that same day I went to the Bethel worship concert in Toronto which was absolutely incredible to be able to worship with a couple of thousands of passionate Christians. I love what a couple of things they encouraged us to do which was to sing your way to breakthrough and just because you came from brokenness it doesn’t mean you are broken.

I am very grateful for a couple of opportunities God gave me in the fall of 2016 which were to attend the Global Leadership Summit from October 19th – 20th and also to attend the Priscilla Shirer Live conference with my Mom and her friend Elaine from October 27th – 28th.  They were both unexpected blessings from God which I am very grateful for.

When I got back from Canada sometimes I attended the weekly Bible study at my Mom’s church on Wednesday evenings. After one of the Bible studies I spoke to Pastor Gary about my time overseas and my desire to continue to grow as a leader so then he strongly encouraged me to consider to attend the Global leadership Summit which King Street church, in Oshawa Ontario where my Mom goes to church hosted the event. I decided it would be a great idea to attend and I am very glad I did. The Global Leadership Summit

The Global Leadership Summit is an annual event; it is 2 days with world class leadership training reaching over 145,000 attendees in 875+ locations around the world. It was founded in 1992 by the Willow Creek church in the States, it is video casted in different locations around the world that host the event and it is not only for churches to train leaders but also for non-profit organizations and market place leaders as well. Here is the link for Canada: http://growingleadership.com/summit/home/

There were variety speakers during the conference which was a blessing to hear from different people of their experiences and perspectives on leadership. Some of the things I learned and really stuck out to me from those two days during the Global Leadership Summit are:

Day 1: Session 1 – Opening Session by Bill Hybels   IMG_0864

Sometimes it takes for someone to plant a seed of leadership in you. Who believed in you and saw potential in you when no one else did or before anyone else did? Who helped you in your early stages of leadership and helped you to walk in your God given destiny? It is also very important to encourage people to be a leader and to also help them walk in their God given destiny as well.

We learned different ways to respect each other like setting good examples for people, to listen well to people, and to be humble and apologize when we are in the wrong and to build bridges of understanding with people. We learned the importance when it is time to pass on the baton of leadership to someone else to plan, seek counsel but most important to bathe yourself in prayer regarding the decision.

God has a season for different times in our life so it is really important to keep challenging ourselves, to not become stagnant but to continue to grow and learn new things. Leadership first starts at the home front with our family, then in our work place and we need to lead well from the core of our heart. One of the key highlights that stood out to me was “God is writing a unique and a custom story for your life and He wants you to enter into it and to embrace it, no matter what it would cost you.”

Day 1: Session 2 – One-on-one with Sheryl Sandberg

We need to identify young people to be leaders. Resilience is very important to overcome the hardships in our life. Some key words to remember on leadership are: vision, investment, good and constructive feedback.

Day 1: Session 2 – Getting it done: People, Process, Product with Marcus LemonisSpeaker list for Global leadership summit 2017

It is important to know ourselves better of what motives us, what is our purpose, a time where something stood out like a defining moment in our lives and to take time to reflect on what we learned throughout the years. We also need to take some time to mentor people and to believe in them of becoming a great leader as well.

Day 1: Session 3 – Creative Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World with Fredrik Haren

A couple of key highlights that stood out to me in this session are: it is very important to be open to new ideas, to ask questions, to see potential in ourselves and in other people and also to believe in your heart that you are a creative person.

Day 1: Session 3 – Leading Through the Uncomfortable with Bryan Stevenson

We need to get used to being close to the uncomfortable where there is suffering. It is in the brokenness where we truly do lead. God continues to invite us to be a part of His story that He is writing in our lives. All we have to do is to say yes to Him.

Day 1: Session 4 – Uniquely Better with Andy Stanley

We need to as leaders create a culture to recognize what is uniquely better and not to resist it.  We can do this by doing these things: 1) Be a student, not a critic, 2) Keep your eyes and mind wide open, 3) Replace how with wow! 4) Ask the uniquely better questions. The key highlights are: to keep learning with our eyes, hands and mind wide open. We need to keep dreaming with God without limits without asking how but saying Wow!

Day 2: Session 5 – Insights from Inside Google: Transform How You Live and Lead with Laszlo Bock                Motivation

Some key highlights from this session are: It is very important to give your work meaning. To ask yourself what motives and drives you. There should not be a gap by what leader’s value and what they live by. It is also really important to have goals, to be transparent and to treat people with respect.

Day 2: Session 5 – The Strategic Pause with Juliet Funt

The thieves of productivity are: drive, excellence, information and activity. All of these things are important but we need to be careful and use wisdom of how much we do them so it won’t be at the point of not being effective.  It is also very important that we take some time to remember to take time to think and reflect out of our busy schedule.

Day 2: Session 5 – Reinventing Performance Management with Marcus Buckingham

There are four key important points that I learned from this session which are: 1) to have Team goalsa purpose of what our mission is, 2) to work with excellence, to have good value and to know what our strengths are, 3) to be supportive with each other on our team and 4) to know what is our future goal as a team is and to be challenged to continue to grow.

Day 2: Session 6 – Leading from the Inside Out with Sam Adeyemi

There are four key points that I learned from this session which are: 1) Describe your vision to your team over and over again. When you have great vision it will be recognized in your followers. Vision is the ability to see people and the places not what they are now but what they will become. We should not have self-doubt but to take the limitations off of us. 2) Set up a structured training system for your team. This will create a consistency in the vision and the organization.  3) We need to model an example people want to see in the transformational. 4) Reinvent over and over again. We need to “die” to one level so we can always be growing and improving ourselves.

Day 2: Session 6 – The Act of Forgiveness with Immaculee Ilbagizathe-power-of-forgiveness

The main key highlight that stood out to me from this session is as a leader it is very important that we do not allow our hearts to get “cluttered” up with any bitterness, anger, revenge or hurt otherwise it will cloud our ability to lead. It is very important to reconcile and to forgive people when you have any hurt or misunderstandings. Another highlight I got from this session is it is very important to be careful to listen to the right voices and it is also alright to know you can wrestle with God in your heart with your questions as well.

Day 2: Session 7 – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance with Angela Duckworth

The main key highlight that stood out for me that I learned from this session is it is very important as a leader to cultivate purpose in our life, to have a mind set to continue to grow and to rise to challenges that we will have in our lives. Some of the other things I learned are: The deliberate practice which is to set a stretch goal, to focus 100%, to get feedback, to reflect and refine and then to look at our goal again or make new goals. Many leaders drop out too early so it is really important to not quit when we are having a bad day or having a difficult trial but to keep on persevering and not to give up.

Day 2: Session 7 – Leaders: Do Not Be Afraid with Gary Haugen

The main key highlight that stood out for me from this session is we need to trust in God to lead us, take up the dream that He has put in our heart and to lead without fear. Some other things that stood out to me are: I should not allow fear any power over my life but to be courageous. I need to regularly ask myself this question: “What am I really afraid of?’ If I can practice asking myself this question and I am attentive to God examining my heart to do this then I will be able to grow and really embrace the dream that God has given to me.   IMG_0688

I am very thankful God gave me this opportunity to go to the Global Leadership Summit. It was a time of encouragement and I was challenged again by God to keep dreaming big, to not be afraid and to continue to run the race that He has called me to live. I absolutely love the picture they showed us at the seminar to hold onto God’s big strong hand and to let Him to fully take the lead in our lives. God has a story for each of us, He invites us to join in and all we have to do is to say yes to Him.

During the weekend I attend the Priscilla Shirer Live conference with my Mom and Priscilla Shirerher friend Elaine from October 27th – 28th, it was a real blessing from God to be able to worship with thousands of Christians and to also hear great teaching as well.  The conference was held at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, it was organized by One Way ministries and we stayed at a hotel for one night.

I read one of Priscilla Shirer’s books called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer. Priscilla was also one of the actresses in the movie called War Room which is a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on every area of our lives. The theme scripture verse for the conference was “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

Here are some of the things God spoke to me during my time at the conference:

Session #1 – Friday evening October 27th   

Mom and I

My Mom and I

Scripture: Mark 1:21, 29 and 45 – people were drawn to Jesus

We need to get to the place again in our relationship with God to be hungry, desperate and passionately cry out to Him for revival. Let it be the cry of our heart to say to God “Let it start with me”.  Fear and insecurity will keep us back from the destiny and the adventure that God has called us to. God has NOT given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Our Daddy God loves us and He has set us up to win so we have no reason to be afraid.

God often puts problems and situations in our lives that are too “big” for us to handle so we can look to Him to show up and to express His goodness in our lives.  We need to be marked by God’s presence on every area of our lives. God wants to place a supernatural authority and favor on our lives just like Jesus demonstrated His authority when he spoke and healed the sick. We need to be continually yielded and surrendered to God with all of our life.

Session #2 – Saturday October 28th                 IMG_0719

Scripture: Psalm 23

We need to learn to just be still before the Lord and rest in Him. Sometimes we go through a “shadow” of the valley of death but God is with us. We must be saturated in God’s word, take time to talk to Him and to have a holy unrest to be hungry to hear from God ourselves.

The 5 Ps of Bible Study and to Hear from God are:

1. Position yourself to hear from God

We need to come before God expectantly, to remove any distractions and completely focus on Him. When people who do not expect to hear from God, then they will not hear from Him.

2. Pore over the message and paraphrase the major points

It is very important to take time to mediate and to think about what God is saying to us from His word. If there is a story in God’s word then we can put ourselves in the story to relate to it more.

3. Pull out the spiritual principles  Bible study

What are we learning from God’s word that are spiritual principles?

4. Pose the question

We can ask ourselves questions when we are reading God’s word. An example is from 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. Are you being fearful of something? Another example is from Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God”. Are you being still before God?

5. Plan obedience and pin down the date

We need to set our eyes on God in obeying Him because on the other side there is freedom and victory for us.

Session #3 – Saturday October 28th

We need to ask God for supernatural discernment to be able to look past the natural realm just like Jesus in Mark 1:23 when he spoke to the man who had a demonic influence on his life because Jesus saw past the natural realm. There is always something that we cannot see on the outside that is influencing us on the inside. We need to put on the armor of God everyday which is from Ephesians 6:10 – 18. When we ask God for discernment than we will start to see things as God does and not through our eyes.

It is very important where we place our priorities and we use wisdom of when to say yes and when to say no. Jesus was moved with compassion and He was willing to reach out to people because His heart was tenderized just like when He healed the man who had leprosy in Mark 1:40 – 41. We need to ask God to break our hearts for the things that breaks His heart. It is the ministry of the presence of God. God's provision with girl

My heart is also filled with so much gratitude to see how God has miraculous provided for me in so many ways during my time I have been in Canada. My heart was so touch of how people wanted to bless me by their generosity which I wasn’t very used to being in my home country.

At the beginning of the year I wasn’t even looking for a job so I was blown away when God opened up the doors for me to work part-time at the Read-A-Long day daycare near where I live. It was a real joy to be a supply teacher at the daycare center with the toddler and preschool age children from January 10th to May 15th.

In the spring of 2017, I decided to apply for a nanny job through the encouragement from a friend of mine. I never thought of being a nanny but I do believe that God wanted to give me this experience here in Canada for me not only to learn to how to continue to work and take care of children but also for me to learn some valuable life skills as well. Cardinal Nannies and Caregivers 1

On May 12th, God opened up the doors for me to have an interview with Cardinal Nannies and Caregivers and the following week I got the exciting news of getting a job position. Just before I had started my nanny job it was a real blessing that God also gave me an opportunity to be able to work as a supply teacher at the Hatch House Montessori School for around a month.

On June 26th, I began my new nanny job. God opened up the doors for me to work for a family that has four amazing children, eight year old twins (boy and girl) an eleven year old girl and a twelve year old boy. I worked with this family for almost a year until June 14, 2018 which was a real growing experience for me in many ways beyond what I could probably even put into words. Throughout the years I have worked with children in the past I had always worked alongside other people so I was never really in a position where I was sole caregiver for children before this nanny job.

I am very grateful for the many opportunities God has given to me over the years to be

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An Encouragement activity we did together.

able to work with children ever since I graduated with my ECE (Early Childhood Education) from college back in 2000. The majority of my experience working with children is not actually in my home country but when I lived overseas where I taught English in South Korea for a year, in Romania where I lived there for 9 years and worked with orphan and gypsy children and also other countries I had visited on short-term mission trips. This nanny job experience God gave me was definitely something that was very new to me to be able to work with children right here in my home country where it is in my own culture and in my native language of English.

Throughout the year I worked with this family God taught me so much more than just taking care of children because it was like a whole package of “training” He gave me of being responsible for four school age children, doing some household tasks like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. There were countless times I actually wanted to quit because I got very overwhelmed at different times but by the grace of God I didn’t and I stuck to it until the end. During the time I worked as a nanny God taught me a lot about myself, He worked on my character, He grew me in my leadership skills, and He gave me the strength not to give up but to persevere until the very end and so many other lessons.

When my season as a nanny had ended I struggled in my heart that I wouldn’t be

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A thank you card the kids gave me.

working with these precious children anymore because during the time I had been with them we had built a close relationship with each other.  On my last day at work with the children I was very touched by them that they made cards for me and they also wrote some very precious things to me that same day when we did this encouragement activity too.

I will definitely miss the kids a lot and it is hard for me that I am not their nanny anymore but I do believe that when God closes a door in our lives He always opens up another door. I am very grateful to God for everything that He has taught me through this nanny job I had for this season in my life with these kids and I need to trust in God that He has made His imprint on their lives through me and it will make a difference in their lives one day.

The year 2018, was a huge mixture of emotions from disappointment, heartache to overwhelming joy and celebration. It was another year of learning to continue to depend on God more, to lean more into His heart and the year was an incredible reminder to me of the faithfulness of God. I am so grateful for all of the lessons God has taught me during God is such a good Fatherthe year and He is continuing to teach me that He is such a good Father. Our Father God truly does love us with so much passion and delight.

During the year 2017, I sought God a lot for His direction for my life because it is always my desire in my heart to be led by God wherever He is calling me to go next. When I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base for the Shine Seminar in the spring of 2016, it was then when I first heard about the FCM (Foundational Counselling Ministries) School that YWAM offers which is a 5 ½ month cross-cultural Christian counselling training and it includes an outreach phase as well.

As I sought God for His direction of what He is calling me to do next I sensed a strong pull on my heart to do the FCM School with YWAM to further prepare for the missionary journey that He has placed on my life of going into the ministry area of the injustice of human trafficking. As I prayed and asked God for His guidance and direction I also searched on the internet for different YWAM bases that offer this school. I felt in my heart to specifically look for a YWAM base that has a school that is in the fall and also has counselling training for children as well.

I think it was actually at the end of 2017, that I came across the YWAM Perth base and found out about their FCM School that is offered every year in the fall but I didn’t seriously pray about it until the beginning of 2018. Besides the YWAM Perth base offering the school in the fall they also have one week during their lecture phase for counselling training for children. I never imagined going as far as Australia to do a training school because I had originally thought it would be somewhere in the States or in Europe. However, the more I prayed about doing the school there God seemed to speak to me about it and bring confirmation to me too.     Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9

I don’t exactly know when it was but I think it was sometime at the beginning of May that I felt an impression on my heart from God to apply to do the FCM school at the YWAM Perth base so I finally took a step of faith and applied. It was at the end of the month on May 28th that I got my answer from the FCM School leader’s decision of my acceptance. Unfortunately the answer wasn’t what I was expecting at all as I stared at the e-mail in unbelief of their decision to not accept me for their 2018 fall school.

When I got my decline of my acceptance to attend the FCM School at the YWAM Perth base in the fall for 2018 I was shocked and very disappointed. I spoke to the school leader about their decision a couple of times on WhatsApp and I even tried to convince him for them to reconsider to accept me but it was a clear no. The school leader told me they looked over my references and prayed about their decision to accept me or not and they sensed in their hearts that now would not be a good time for me in this season of my life and the people who wrote my references recommended me to get some personal counselling to further grow in certain areas in my life.  faith is trusting God even when you don't understand

Have you ever wondered why the answer is a no when you felt in your heart it was a clear yes from God? It is often at this time in our hearts there is so much chaos because of all of these voices we may hear of questions of confusion, unbelief, hurt and even feeling betrayal by God. I certainly did without a doubt especially in that moment. I am very thankful as I slowly gave this to God; He gently revealed His love and His tender care to me through that time of uncertainly. I have to be honest it is not easy to trust in God and surrender to Him during these times but it is truly a beautiful thing to see what He does when we do.

I am incredibility grateful to see how God had continued to provide for me the rest of the year in so many ways. Shortly after I finished with my nanny job I was able to receive EI which is Unemployment Insurance from the Canadian government. As God provided EI for around a month and half, I looked and applied for jobs of where I could work. I ended up having a couple of interviews with day care centers but nothing was opening up so then I had this thought which I believe it was God to look into teaching English online to children. I had this one interview with this one company but I didn’t feel peace about going forward with them.  DaDa logo 2

On July 19th I had an interview with DaDa ABC. This company is one of the leading online English education platforms that is based in China which offers one-on-one classes to children ages 4 – 16 years old. I felt nervous when I did the short mock class which was a part of my interview but I think overall it went all. After a couple of days I got an answer from DaDa ABC with some very positive news of their decision to hire me! I started teaching English with DaDa ABC on Tuesday August 7th; with a one-year commitment and what an amazing experience it has been so far.

I taught English to both children and adults in South Korea for year and also for around 2 ½ years at a school run by missionaries in Romania as well but this is my very first time teaching online. My year commitment with DaDa has been flying by so fast, it’s hard to believe I am already over half way of my year contract. I honestly didn’t think I would have an online teaching job or what to expect but I am so glad God helped me take that leap of faith to apply for the job.     Teaching with DaDa

When I first started teaching online I felt quite nervous and it seemed like a struggle at the beginning to learn how exactly to teach well at the different levels of English and also to get established with regular students as well. At the beginning of doing this job I also had no idea how I would manage to get up at 5:30am in the morning and then it switched to 4:30am in November because China doesn’t have Daylight Saving time. It has definitely been a real stretch for me to get up super early because I am not a morning person at all but it has been definitely worth it especially to see the kid’s smiles and laughter when I have classes with them.

As of today of writing this blog entry (March 24, ’19 ) so far I have taught 282 students from a variety of different classes to trial, substituting for other teachers and also my regular students and I have taught 1,006 classes as well. I am so thankful for the 23

DaDa - picture from Eric

This is from one of my students

regular students I currently have which they are all such a delight to teach and see the children progress in their English. Teaching English to these amazing kids who live in China has been incredibility rewarding and it is definitely something I would love to do again overseas.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude to see the faithfulness of God in this job and everything of what He has been teaching me especially to trust and depend on Him more for His provision. Teaching online has definitely been like a faith job for me because my teaching schedule can fluctuate so much and there is literally no guarantee what my monthly salary will be like but God has been so faithful to see His divine provision. I am also very grateful for everyone who have been praying for me as well because I have definitely been sensing people’s prayers which is such a blessing more than I can put into words.

I am very thankful that God has blessed with me such an amazing church to be a part of here in Canada. It was a real blessing to me when I lived in Romania of how my home church Christian Life Centre supported me with their prayers and financially as well. When I lived in Romania sometimes I would also receive birthday cards in the mail from the ladies Bible study group from my church which I was very touched to see how they remembered my birthday and to know they were praying for me as well. IMG_8077

On Wednesday January 25, 2017, the leader of the ladies Bible study group from my church asked me if I would be able to share a bit of my testimony and missionary journey with the ladies at the Bible study group. I told Lapwan who leads the Bible study that I would love to and I was very thankful that she asked me to share with the ladies.

It was a real blessing by God to be given the opportunity that day to share with the ladies at my church who have been praying for me when I lived in Romania a bit of my testimony and my missionary journey with them. I felt a bit nervous when I shared with them but I believe God led me what He wanted me to share with them. I felt very encouraged by the ladies that day especially when they all took some time to pray for me after I spoke.

I am grateful of how God has made it possible for me to be able to continue to be a part of the ladies Bible study group ever since I shared about my missionary journey with them that day. It has been a real blessing from God to be a part of the group to study the Bible together and pray for each other. We studied and completed the gospel of John and we are almost towards the end of our study of the book of Acts. I am the youngest person in the ladies Bible study group but I have been so encouraged to see all of their hearts they have for God. I can truly see these ladies have deep roots in their walks with the Lord especially of their life experiences, their love and knowledge of the word of God and when they pray they do it with so much passion as well. It has definitely been very encouraging from God to be a part of the ladies Bible study group during my time in Canada and we have also seen many of our prayers answered as well. God is so good!

My home church here in Canada also has ladies events that happen throughout the year as well that are based on different themes. My first ladies event I attended when I started

Ladies committee 1

Ladies Committee

to settle into my home church was on February 25, 2017 which was on the theme “Enduring Winter” and we heard a couple of ladies from the church share their testimonies. In the summer of 2017, Lapwan became the new leader of the ladies committee at church because our previous leader decided to resign after serving in this ministry for many years she decided it was time to take a break.

It was sometime in the summer of 2017, I received a phone call from Lapwan asking me if I would consider joining the ladies committee at church. I was surprised she asked me because I didn’t expect it at all but I felt in my heart God had opened up this opportunity for me to serve in my church in this area so I said yes. I am very thankful beyond what I can put into words that God has opened up the doors for me to serve the ladies at my church because it has been a real blessing to be a part of a committee to get to know the ladies within the committee and also to plan special events for the ladies at the church as well.

The very first ladies event that I was a part of when I first joined the ladies committee was our fall event on November 11, 2017. We had a delicious breakfast for this event and this is when Lapwan introduced herself, the ladies committee and she also did a devotional as well.  The other three events I helped plan with the ladies committee was a

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Crazy Hat Decorating Event

fun bowling day and lunch on February 24, 2018, a special tea with Jennifer and Deborah who are two of our missionaries we support which was on June 16, 2018 and we also had another breakfast but this time we had a lot of fun with doing a crazy hat decorating contest which was on September 29, 2018.

Our next event we are going to have on March 29, 2019 which will be a movie night and watch the movie Miracles from Heaven at different ladies homes. We are also planning on having a painting morning as well in the spring time. I am looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in the future with the ladies ministries at church and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

There is something else I would like to share with everyone on this blog entry which is about my health. In December 2015, I went to the Czech Republic where I led an outreach team for the Discipleship Training School with the YWAM base I was serving at the time in Romania. I was very surprised one of the mornings when I woke up the students on my team told me I had a seizure the previous night because I had never had a seizure in my life before.

I am extremely grateful for the students who were on my team that prayed for me thatPrayer 2 night I had the seizure because I didn’t even know I had one until the next morning. I do feel in my heart that seizure I had it was an attack from the enemy because when you are in missions especially in any leadership positions there are a lot of spiritual warfare that happens. Honestly if they didn’t pray for me I believe something more serious could have happened. The only way I can describe how you feel after you have a seizure is you feel extremely fatigue and you definitely know you have bitten your tongue as well.

When I came back to Canada I did not think much of it to get checked by the doctor for this seizure I had in the Czech Republic in December 2015. Then it happened again which was a lot worse compared to the first time I got it.  It was the middle of the night on April 9, 2017, at 2:15am that my Mom had to call 911 and I was rushed by to the hospital by ambulance. I honestly had no idea what exactly went on that night and I wasn’t even aware that I even yelled at the paramedics. I ended up being in the emergency part of the hospital until sometime in the early morning maybe around 6:00am. That night I was in the hospital I got blood work done and the doctor advised me to see a neurologist.

On April 22, 2017, I had an appointment with a neurologist. I asked him what the God is my healer 2different causes of seizures are because this was something that I wanted to know. The doctor told me there are many different causes for seizures and one of them is stress. The doctor wanted me to get a CAT scan done and an EEG test done to find out more information of what was going on. I thank God that my CAT scan result was completely normal but unfortunately the EEG test result was not normal. The doctor told me when I had the EEG there were some seizure activity that had happened in the right front of my brain.

After I found out the test results from the neurologist on May 1, 2017, I was shocked to tears when the doctor told me that I would have to be on medicine the rest of my life. Unfortunately I did end up having two more seizures after that one on April 9th and both of them I did not take medicine on those days it happened which I should have. On February 10, 2018, I know the essential oils that I sniffed at my friend’s house are what triggered the third seizure. On November 28, 2018, I know it was the severe stress I had that morning when the DaDa ABC servers had crashed during my shift and I ended up having some kind of anxiety attack at that time.

Now when I think about these incidents I had those four seizures I realize more and more that it is extremely important that I learn to handle stress a lot better. Just thinking of three out of the four times I had seizures in my life were because of stress it really can have a big effect on our health. I also believe there is a spiritual side of why our health is affected by some kind of sickness too. Whatever the case is I definitely do not want to have to take medicine the rest of my life.

I believe as a Christian the importance of standing on God’s word and proclaiming by God is my healerfaith for healing in the name of Jesus. It says in the Bible in Isaiah 53:5b “and by His strips we are healed”. Another scripture verse says in 1 Peter 2:24b “By His wounds you have been healed”. There are a lot of scripture verses in the Bible on healing so it is really importance to proclaim them out loud by faith that Jehovah Rapha, the Lord is our healer. No matter what the doctor’s report says I believe by faith that I will not have any more seizures and I will not have to take medicine the rest of my life.

Here are some important tips to know if someone you see or know has a seizure. This information is from the Epilepsy Ontario Trillum Foundation.

  • Stay calm. Seizures usually end on their own and last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Create a safe space. Move sharp objects out of the way. If the person falls, place something soft underneath their head and roll them on their side as the seizure subsides. If the person wanders, stay by their side and gently steer them away from danger.
  • Time it – Note the time the seizure begins and ends.
  • Call 911 if: The seizure lasts more than 5 minutes. It repeats without full recovery between seizures. If consciousness or regular breathing does not return after the seizure end. The person is pregnant, has diabetes, appears injured or is in water. You are not sure the person has epilepsy or a seizure disorder.
  • Provide reassurance – When the seizure ends, stay with them until complete awareness returns
  • Don’t – Restrain the person and put anything in their mouth.

There were a couple of exciting things that happened in 2018, like when I had a reunion in the summer with my friend Erin from college in Manitoba and also the amazing

My family reunited again

My Family

miracle of restoration that God did in my family at the end of the year but I am going to save those two stories for their own separate blog entries. There was a time of grieving when my Grandma passed and went home to be with the Lord on July 23, 2018 but I am also going to save this for another blog entry to write a special one to honor her.

 

I am very grateful of how God has given me so many fun opportunities both with my family and friends since I have been in Canada like going to the Kingdom Bound festival, bowling, Sky zone, glow in the dark mini golf, snow tubing in the winter time at a local ski resort and water tubing in the summer time with friends in North Bay and just enjoying going to see a good movie at the theatres.

I am also very grateful of how God has opened up two opportunities for me to seek counsel during my time I have been in Canada with my life coach and a Christian counsellor. I feel so blessed by God beyond what I can put into words for both my life coach and my counsellor because they have been pouring into my life so much as they have been speaking into my life and confirming of how God has a calling on my life as well. I believe God has been doing a deep healing in my heart during this time as I seek counsel and I do not want to take this time for granted as God is further preparing me before He sends me out again overseas.

So far this year (2019), I have been keeping busy with my teaching English online, going to church on Sundays and for the Ladies Bible study group, planning events for the ladiesI know God has a plan at church, connecting with friends when I can and just enjoying spending time with my family. I have also been praying and waiting on God for what He is leading me to do next in my journey that He has me on. It is my deepest heart’s desire to be ready and open to be in step with God as He leads me.

I would like ask you to join in with me as I wait on God for His direction and guidance for my life. God has been speaking to me about something that He is leading me to do but I do not want to rush and just wait on Him a bit more regarding what I believe He has been speaking to me about. I am very excited of what God is calling me into and I wait with so much anticipation in my heart for what is He has for me in the next season of my life. I am also really looking forward to sharing a future blog with you what this next season will look like as well.   trust in God with your future

I believe by faith that God is holding my future in His hands and He knows what He is doing. I also believe that God won’t let me go either because He is always so very faithful.  I would like to encourage you today this is the same for you too, that God is also holding your future in His hands, and He knows what He is doing even though you might not see it right now. God will not ever let you go and He is very faithful. Father God loves you so much, you can call out to Him anytime because He is always listening to you and you are His precious child.

As I come to an end of this blog entry of my extended season God has for me here in Canada I hope you were in some way inspired as you have read it. I do realized this blog entry has been quite long so if you have read through it until the end I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read it and listen to all of my experiences and lessons God has taught me through the highs and lows during this season in my life. I would also like to thank you for all of your encouragement and your prayers you have all given to me because it has meant so much to me far more than what I can possibility put into words.    Thank-you for reading

Thanks again for reading my blog! I really appreciate it a lot. That’s all for now and be on the lookout for more to come in my future blog entries. Many blessings to you and I pray that you may you know the love of Jesus more and more each day. Sending a big hug to you from Canada!

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A list of Countries that I have lived/visited so far…

Globe with airplane

  • Canada – Ontario (born there), British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, PEI (Prince Edward Island)
  • United States – New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, California, North Carolina, Virgina, Texas, Montana.
  • Seoul, South Korea (September 2005 – August 2006) – Taught English

    South Korea

    South Korea

  • Osaka, Japan (March 2006) – Visa run for South Korea
  • Romania (Short-term trips: 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005 and lived there: April 2007 – June 2016 – Târgu Mureş and Oradea) and various other cities
  • Petersburg, Russia (Spring 2002) – School missions placement
  • Family Caribbean cruise – Costa Maya, Mexico, Cozumel, Mexico, Montego, Jamaica (November 2004)
  • Family Caribbean cruise – San Juan, Oranjestad, Aruba, Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Thomas (April 2008)

    Family cruise picture

    Family cruise

  • Budapest and Vajta, Hungary – Visited and for 2 conferences
  • Pemba, Mozambique (fall 2012) – Missions Training School
  • Buvuma Islands and Arua, Uganda (spring 2014) – Missions
  • Durres and Elbasan, Albania (February 22 – April 5, 2015) – Missions
  • Nuremberg, Germany (July 9 – 12, 2015) – Awakening Europe conference
  • Prague and Cheb, Czech Republic (Dec. 6, ‘15 – Jan. 7,’ 16) – Missions
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands (April 6 – May 21, 2016) – Human trafficking training school

To be continued… 

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Here I am with some of the girls in Elbasan, Albania.

I believe God has given me a heart and a calling on my life to continue to say YES to Him wherever He leads me to go in the future in whatever way that looks like in this incredible beautiful world we live in. In September 2014, God started to burn the nation of Cambodia on my heart which is when He began to speak to me about calling me into the human trafficking ministry field in the future. I have a desire to return to Europe and God has also put it on my heart to lead short-term outreach teams to foreign countries as a part of a discipleship training school.

 

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Uganda

There have been many times I been antsy to return overseas since I have been in Canada but I know God’s timing is perfect even though we may not understand it at the time. I also believe in my heart that God has a reason and a purpose for me to be in Canada at this time in my life too. When I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base in the spring of 2016 when I did a human trafficking training school God gave a vision to one of the girls in my small group of me on an eagle, which represented God. The eagle flew me to the nations and my cat Minnie was even sitting on one of my shoulders going with me.

 

Where are some of the countries and cities you would like to visit in the world and African sunset - Copyexplore new places? Would you like to visit and connect with family and friends? How about experience a short-term mission’s trip or even move to a foreign country to do a ministry that God puts on your heart to share the love the Jesus? There are many opportunities to work abroad.

Some examples are: teach English as a foreign language, journalism, au pair/ nanny, travel blogging, freelance writer, website and graphic design, work on a cruise ship, the medical profession, etc. For young college students many people do exchange programs for their school or do a gap year backpacking experience. Another reason is simply because you just want to enjoy an adventurous or relaxing vacation with your family or friends.

From my personal experience of why I love to travel besides being a part of incredible

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Amsterdam

ministry opportunities that God has opened up for me over the years there are so many other reasons as well. I have been able to learn to grow out of my comfort zone to try new things like learn new languages, learn another culture, learn to eat with chopsticks, and learn to be more independent and also other experiences that have stretched me. There have been opportunities to connect with friends in other cities and countries. I have gained more training and education when I have traveled. There have been times where I just enjoyed a relaxing vacation in different places as well.

 

I am really excited to see where God is going to lead to me to go next! I am just waiting with a lot of anticipation in my heart. The list I have put together is just a part of my journey that God has placed me on and I believe it will keep on growing throughout the years ahead so keep your eyes open to what is next!

How about you? I would love to encourage you to go for it wherever in the world your heart is longing to go and experience! The opportunities are endless. I would love to hear of some of the places you have been to and hear your stories as well.

Travel Planning. Passport, airplane ticket, world map

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A21 Freedom Walk 2017

About A21

A21 Campaign aims to strengthen every aspect of international anti-trafficking efforts soA21 Walk for Freedom that it can see slavery abolished in the 21st century. In fact, the A21 Campaign is one of the only few international organizations addressing the human trafficking problem in Europe. A21 has 12 offices in 11 different countries. All of their offices are stopping human trafficking before it starts, seven of them focus on fierce intervention and six of them provide restorative aftercare.

The heart cry of the organization is to reach, rescue and to restore lives. Christine and her husband Nick Caine are the founders of the A21 Campaign. Christine is also an evangelist, author and an international speaker.

Here is the A21 website: http://www.a21.org/

A21 Freedom Walk 2017

On Saturday October 14, 2017, it was A21’s fourth annual freedom walk that they had Walk for Freedom 2017organized which was an international worldwide event to help spread the awareness of the injustice issue of human trafficking. There were tens of thousands of people across the globe that joined together from 600 cities and 50 different countries which included Toronto, Kiev, London, Singapore, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Sydney, Bangkok, Jerusalem, Oslo, etc. Walk for freedom really is amazing and it is very impactful because it changes lives. It focuses on awareness, education, prevention and fundraising.

Everyone who took a stand to join together to abolish slavery in A21’s annual walk for freedom all wore either black or black T-shirts that had written on them “Abolish Slavery With Each Step” on the front and A21 Walk for Freedom on the back. We also all had yellow bandanas over our mouths that had written on the front of them one of the three names – Amy, Eve or Ivan and on the back it was written the word free. When we truly take the time to look into the injustice issue of human trafficking sometimes the statistics and the numbers can seem overwhelming to us so A21 decided for their fourth annual walk to make it personal.  These three names represent very real human lives – Amy is a girl from the United States, Eve is a young girl from Thailand and Ivan is a man from Ukraine. Three real stories of people, who were victimized, were rescued and restored.

While we walked we all listened to a podcast with detailed stories of these three individual people which really made the stories real of the people that we walked for. “It is to have a heart for the one. It is for the one man, the one woman and the one child who is set free. It is really important to value the one person who is trapped in human trafficking and it is just as important to value the one person who is walking for freedom as well. There are millions of slaves today but each one represents a very real human life. We wore the bandanas to remind us that we walked for the freedom of human beings and to walk to see people escape from bondage.” – This was from the podcastIMG_0523

“The walk is done in a single file because we believe in placing value on the one person. With every step that we took on the day of the freedom walk we are making a difference, we are taking a stand, we are walking for freedom. There is so much power in gathering together, in showing up in force and saying there are more of us that are against it than there are for it.” – This was from the podcast

“It’s one thing to experience hardship and poverty. It’s another to have your freedom and dignity ripped away from you. How devastating it would be to be offered hope, only to have that hope cruelly crushed…” – Christine Caine

“We are all walking for one thing, we are the new abolitionists, we have showed up, we are walking for freedom, we are convinced that if we do this together, if we keep showing up, if we continue to be tenacious, if we continue to have grit, if we continue to not bow down to Abolish Slavery Everywherediscouragement but we turn up with strength, with numbers, with courage, with faith, then we can see slavery eradicated in our life time.”  – Christine Caine shared this in the podcast

“This is our walk for freedom. It is a walk for justice and human dignity. It is a walk for hope and for restoration. A world without slavery is possible. While human trafficking is destroying lives. We know that freedom will have the final word. One step at a time we will see more people reached, one step at a time we will see more victims rescued, one step at a time we will see more survivors restored. Slavery still exists but we will abolish it everywhere forever.” – This was from the podcast

If you like to listen to the podcast here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxumnkOMolU&t=12s

My personal experience of the walk and how it had impacted me:

In the fall of 2016, I went to the YWAM LA base to do a three month leadership training school. At the beginning of the school my class split into groups and we did a fun scavenger hunt around the city of Los Angeles. That afternoon when I was in LA I saw signs up in one of the areas we were in that written on them “A21 Freedom Walk in LA on Saturday October 15th”. When I saw the signs I didn’t think much of it but then I realized a bit later that they were for telling people about the Freedom Walk that A21 Campaign does but unfortunately I wasn’t able to go because I had other plans since it was on the day of my birthday. Later that day the walk was on I talked to one of the DTS (Discipleship Training School) students from the Justice DTS class. She told me how amazing the walk was to be able to join in with people to help spread awareness of the injustice issue of human trafficking and Christine Caine even spoke there as well.

I am very thankful that I receive updates and newsletters by e-mail of what God is doing with A21. At the end of August I got one of A21 newsletters and it was at that time they shared about the Freedom Walk 2017 they will be doing again which was on Saturday October 14, 2017. When I got the e-mail about the Freedom Walk I was extremely excited because I knew that I wanted to take part in it this time. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t take part in the A21 Freedom Walk the previous year so I definitely didn’t want to miss it this time for 2017 and take part in the walk in Toronto.

I ordered an action kit from the A21 Campaign which included a T-shirt, though IMG_0440unfortunately it was too big for me but thankfully I was able to exchange it for a small size when I got to Toronto where we met for the walk. I also got a water bottle, a yellow bandana with the name Ivan on it so I walked for him and a couple of other things. I wasn’t sure if my action kit would arrive on time for the walk but thankfully it came the day before the event. Early in the morning on Saturday October 14th, I took the GO train from Whitby to the Union station which is downtown Toronto and then I took the subway to the Ramsden Park.

When I arrived at the Ramsden Park I was extremely excited and just bubbling over with img_0453.jpgso much joy for this amazing opportunity that God had given me to be a part of that morning. I arrived at 9:00am and it was at that time that everyone started to gather for the Freedom Walk. I didn’t really know what to expect because it was my first time doing the walk but I can honestly say that it definitely was very impactful and a bit overwhelming at the same time of how in this short time how life changing it was for me. At the park there was a long table with T-shirts, bandanas with the three different names we walked for (Eve, Amy and Ivan) and a place to register if people didn’t already register.

There were also signs that were available for people to carry throughout the line when we did the walk that were held up had written on them: “Slavery Still Exists”, “Abolish Slavery Everywhere Forever”, “99% of Victims Are Never Rescued”, “1% of Victims Are Ever Rescued”, “Every 30 Seconds Someone Becomes a Slave”, “There Are Millions of

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My friend Vanessa and I

Slaves in the World Today.’ I believe these signs were extremely helpful to spread more awareness to people of why we did the walk on this day. We also had flyers that we handed out which explained more about human trafficking and some of the statistics but unfortunately we quickly ran out of the flyers.

It was a real blessing from God that my friend Vanessa was able to come and join me when we did the walk. It was really nice to know someone to do it together but I also met other people as well and I ended up talking to three girls while I waited for people to arrive for the event to start.

I am very thankful for everyone who organized the A21 Freedom Walk in Toronto because I think they all did such an incredible job. Jeff and Mika Pike organized it along with their church in Toronto. There were around 120 people that came out for the walk in Toronto which was such an amazing turn out to see so many people express interest IMG_0477in standing up and spreading more awareness of the injustice issue of human trafficking.

Jeff gathered us all together before we left for the walk to share with us more about A21, a bit about human trafficking and how we were going to do the walk. We were also blessed to hear from Timea Nagy who came to share her personal story from her own life experience. Timea is originally from Hungary but now she is living in Canada. She is a human trafficking survivor, author and social advocate who immigrated to Canada in 1998. Timea challenged us to tell two more people about human trafficking and the effect it is having in our community and globe.

We walked throughout the downtown area of Toronto and it took around a couple of hours. We walked in a single file and we did not talk the whole time but we walked in silence. In the past I have done prayer walks in different cities when I lived overseas but this was my very first time doing a walk like this especially to not talk to anyone the entire time. I am really glad that A21 put together a podcast for the Freedom Walk IMG_0522because when I listened to it, it was quite eye opening and it made the walk a lot more personal as well especially to hear three people’s stories who are survivors in three different countries and to hear how God has restored their lives.

When I did the walk it felt kind of strange to not to talk to anyone and to have a yellow bandana over my mouth which also prevented me from talking to anyone as well.  I did hand out some flyers to some people but once I ran out I just continued to walk without any kind of interaction with anyone who saw us do the walk. I noticed there were some people who had a negative reaction to us doing the walk and then there were other people who very supportive of us to see us spread more awareness of the injustice issue of human trafficking. I honestly wonder how many people know about human trafficking in how it is affecting our world today and even right here in Canada where we live. I decided to do a bit of research to learn more about it myself of what is happening in Canada right in my home country so I included some facts and statistics in this blog if you are interested in finding more about it as well.

Now that I take a bit of time to reflect back and think about my short experience I had when I had the yellow bandana over my mouth during the walk it helped to give me a new perspective of how victims of human trafficking feel. Thousands of children, teenagers and adults all across this world who are caught, held captive and in slavery of the injustice of human trafficking all feel like they do not have a voice, they are voicelessisaiah-61-v1 because they are probably living in fear of speaking out to reach out for help. Wearing a bandana over my mouth I felt like I didn’t have any freedom to speak out even if I wanted to which is probably how many people feel like their voice is not worthy to be heard.

I believe victims of human trafficking are actually screaming, crying out and begging for people’s help but I think their voice feels like it is trapped to actually speak out to reach out for help. This is why we put bandanas over our mouths to show people they are voiceless but we can be their voice by speaking out to spread awareness of this injustice issue and to reach out to those who are hurting.

I can honestly say when we ended our walk it was like a relief and so liberating when we moved our bandanas off of our mouths and turn them over to show the word free on it, it was such a freeing moment for me and for all of us. It is exciting to know that the three people we walked for are all free now and are living a life of freedom and victory. It is the deepest desire of my heart to see everyone set free and liberated from the injustice issue of human trafficking. It says in the Bible in Isaiah 61:1 that Jesus came to set the captives free and He has called us to proclaim freedom to those who are held captive and to see them released from this spiritual darkness and prison they are in.

When the walk was over we all gathered together for a group picture with smiles on all

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Group Picture of Everyone who did the A21 Freedom Walk in Toronto

of our faces knowing that with Christ there is freedom and it is truly possible to see human trafficking abolish everywhere forever. We walked for the voiceless. We walked for the nameless. We walked for the faceless. We walked for the one.

Human life does not have a price tag. We are not commodities and we are here to say it is not okay. We are priceless and valued in God’s eyes and we are His beloved sons and daughters. What an incredible opportunity to spread more awareness of the injustice issue of human trafficking and it was really great to join in with thousands of people around the globe the exact same day to do the walk as well.

So, let’s pray for God to release freedom and liberty to those who are held captive, who are held in slavery and are held in bondage. Let’s pray for God to bring healing and restoration to those who are wounded, broken and hurting. Let’s pray for God to give courage to those who are vulnerable and feel like they do not have a voice to reach out for help. Let’s pray and ask God for courage and boldness for ourselves to be a voice for the voiceless and to be His instruments of hope to those who feel they don’t have any hope. Let’s pray for human trafficking to be abolished everywhere and forever.

Promotional video for the Freedom Walk 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkRm90bW1b4

Re-cap video for the Freedom Walk 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn_8hgIpj6s

Here are some of the statistics and facts in Canada on human trafficking:

  • Canada is ranked in the top 3 countries that consume material containing cybersex In Canada 2trafficking.
  • Over ½ of trafficking cases in Canada are withdrawn before the proceeding of court cases.
  • In Canada, victims typically earn their traffickers between $500 and $1,000 a day.
  • The majority of victims are forced to provide sexual services between 10 and 14 hours per day, but many are obligated to be accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and are rarely provided with any time off.
  • 25% of Canada’s human trafficking victims are minors and nearly 50% of victims are in the age range between 18 – 25 years old.
  • 12 -14 years of age are very common when young girls are forced into the sex trade.
  • More than 90% of the victims of sex trafficking within Canada come from Canada.
  • 60% of all reported human trafficking cases in Canada occur in the densely populated Greater Toronto Area.
  • Canada isn’t doing a very good job of monitoring labor trafficking. A couple of The average age of a trafficked victimexamples are nannies and seasonal agricultural workers.
  • Those who are likely to be at risk include people who are socially or economically disadvantaged such as Aboriginal women, youth and children, migrants and new immigrants, teenage runaways, children who are in protection, as well as girls and women, who may be lured to large urban centres or move or migrate there voluntarily. Young women are sometimes recruited by younger male members of street gangs who use the promise of affection as a tool to recruit them.
  • Non-Canadian victims are often brought to Canada from countries in Asia, notably Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as countries in Eastern Europe.
  • Labour trafficking is very high in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario. They are both male and female and they are from different countries including the Philippines, India, Poland, China, Ethiopia, Mexico, Thailand and Hungary. Foreign victims are usually trafficked in the country alone without any family or any kind of a support system, there are often language barriers and they are also skeptical of the police.

News articles to check out:  say-no-to-human-trafficking

International Justice Mission Canada Urges Canadians to Join the Fight Against Cybersex Trafficking of Children Nationwide Campaign ‘Not on my Screen’

https://www.ijm.ca/blogs/international-justice-mission-canada-urges-canadians-to-join-the-fight-against-cybersex-trafficking-of-children-with-nationwide-campaign-not-on-my-screen

Trafficking in person in Canada, 2014

https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2016001/article/14641-eng.htm

RCMP, Domestic Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in CanadaHuman-Trafficking

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2014/grc-rcmp/PS64-114-2014-eng.pdf

Domestic Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Canada

http://www.rcmp.gc.ca/ht-tp/publications/2013/proj-safekeeping-eng.htm

25% of Canada’s human trafficking victims are minors

https://globalnews.ca/news/2819281/25-of-canadas-human-trafficking-victims-are-minors-statistics-canada/

The reality of sex trafficking in TorontoEnd it

http://torontosun.com/2017/05/24/the-reality-of-sex-trafficking-in-toronto/wcm/773456c0-eed3-41be-86c1-ad5236531ad5

‘Anyone can be a victim’: Canadian high school girls being lured into sex trade

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/human-sex-trafficking-domestic-1.3956214

National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking

https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/ntnl-ctn-pln-cmbt/index-en.aspx#toc-01.2

A Report on Assessment of Sex Trafficking:Because they are worth saving

https://www.canadianwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/NB-Nov-14-FINAL-REPORT-Assessment-of-Sex-Trafficking-in-Canada.pdf

I’d like to leave you with a few quotes:

“Slavery is often talked about in numbers. Millions of slaves–1% rescued–a 150 billion dollar industry. But we see the one and fight for the one and sacrifice to restore the one. We won’t stop until every single one is free.” – A21 Campaign

“Once this generation goes from Apathy to action, we will see human trafficking end in our lifetime.” – A21 Campaign

“We are convinced that if we do this together, if we keep showing up, if we continue to beYou may choose to look away... tenacious, if we continue to have grit, if we continue to not bow down to discouragement… but we turn up with strength, numbers, courage, and with faith, then we can see slavery eradicated in our lifetime.” – Christine Caine

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”  – William Wilberfore

“I am only one but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Micah-6.8

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Kingdom Bound festival

If you are not familiar with what Kingdom Bound is it is an annual Christian music

Darien Lake

Darien Lake them park

festival that is held at Darien Lake Theme Park near Buffalo, New York. The festival takes place over a span of four days and has hosted a variety of Christian speakers and artists since the late 1980s.

There are a variety of things that you can do during the festival including: enjoying the amusement park, concerts at the Performing Arts Centre Stage and the Awaken Stage, worship with thousands of Christians in the worship tent, attend great seminars, there is a kids tent for the children, there are art and soul workshops, late night events with special guests artists and there is also a marketplace with vendors where you can buy books, CDs, etc.

Kingdom Bound Ministries Mission exists to present the Gospel through a variety of art forms including concerts, outreaches and an annual performing arts festival; to bring IMG_0389people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to encourage and equip believers in their walk with God.

Every year since I was about 8 years old I have been going to the Kingdom Bound festival with my family, though of course there were years I couldn’t go because I was overseas but when I was in Canada I definitely enjoyed going. Throughout the years of going to the festival it has become one of my favorite traditions that I have done with my family. When I was young my family tented at the beginning, then we used a tent trailer, then a 5th wheel trailer and lately we have been renting one of the trailers at Darien Lake.

I just want to take a moment to thank God for the many countless memories of my times going to the festival throughout the years with my family and friends including enjoying campfires, going on rides, enjoying the water park, going to awesome Christian concerts, listening to incredible speakers, worshipping with thousands of Christians and I definitely cannot forget a couple of years that we had the “mudfest” when we got soaked in the rain because of the down pour of continual rain through the festival.

I am very thankful that I was able to go to the Kingdom Bound festival with my Mom, my

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My Mom, my brother Jonathan and I

brother Jonathan and his friend for the 31st year of the festival from Wednesday July 26 – Saturday July 29, 2017. I was pretty excited that some of my favorite Christian artists were there which included: Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Jordan Feliz, Ten Avenue North, Danny Gokey, Newsboys and some of the other artists and speakers were: Plumb, Britt Nicole, Mac Powell, Zach Williams, Set for the Fall, Paul Baloche, Peter Furler, John Crist and Reggie Dabbs.

I am so thankful that God gave us amazing weather with hardly any rain at all so it was definitely really great to be outdoors during the time we were there.  If you ever get a chance to go to the festival I would really like to encourage you to go because it is definitely worth it!

Here is the Kingdom Bound website:

http://www.kingdombound.org/

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Taking a relaxing break in Texas

On Saturday February 25th my friend Sarah sent me a private facebook message inviting Come to Texasme to visit her and Christopher her husband there in Texas at their home during my sabbatical time in Canada. When I received the invitation from Sarah that day excitement filled my heart to be invited to their home in Texas for a week because I never asked them or anyone if I could visit them so I thought it was really nice for them to invite me to visit them and to have a week to relax and also to have some time to seek God but honestly I knew the plane ticket would be quite expensive so I kind of just put at the back of my mind to go on the trip.

However on Wednesday April 26th at 12:19am, I sent Sarah a couple of Facebook messages and I asked if her offer was still open. After processing with the counselor that I had at the time with my Mom on Tuesday evening I decided to reconsider Sarah’s invitation to get away for a week for a time of rest and to also seek God as well.

I am so very thankful that I decided to spend a week in Texas and I am still to this day very surprised in myself that I decided to make such a spontaneous decision like I did especially to book my plane ticket on April 26th which is just under a month before I flew there because I am not a very spontaneous person so I do believe in my heart that God helped me make that decision to go on this trip. In the fall of 2012, I went to Pemba, Mozambique for 2 ½ months for the Iris Harvest Mission School which was so very life changing for me and this is where I met Sarah and her husband Christopher. I haven’t seen them since we were in Mozambique so it was really great to see them again and to be able to spend some time with them.

On Sunday May 21, 2017, my brother Jonathan just took me part of the way to the

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Christopher, Sarah and I

Toronto airport, then my Dad met us and he took me to the airport. It was a real blessing from God to be able to have some time with my Dad at the airport before I left. I checked in for my flight, we said our good-byes and then I headed to my gate. It was a real blessing from God to be able to have a direct flight from Toronto to Dallas.

I flew out of Toronto at 5:59pm and I arrived at 8:33pm which was around a 3 ½ hour flight. When I arrived I felt a bit tired from travelling plus I had to adjust to an hour time change as well in my body but when I saw Sarah at the airport I was very excited to see her again. After Sarah and I met at the airport we went to her house and then Sarah, Christopher and I all went to Denny’s for a late dinner.

On Monday (May 22nd), I began my week in Texas where I spent some time writing inIMG_0107 my journal to express to God what has been on my heart lately and to surrender my week to Him. I haven’t spent much time lately writing in my journal so I am really glad that I began my week doing that and I also spent a lot of time during the week writing in my journal to be able to process my thoughts more with God. When I wrote in my journal one of the things I had realized was I had felt very frustrated both with myself and even with God especially of how I had allowed myself to get extremely distracted and stressed during my time in Canada and I was also battling in my mind and heart with confusion of the length of time that I had originally thought I was going to be in Canada too.

I am very thankful that Sarah and I were able to take some time to share some things that have been on our hearts, pray together and also take communion together too. In the afternoon I went on a walk with Sarah around her neighborhood (the town she lives in is called Mesquite). It was really nice to get out and go for a walk and then we had dinner. Christopher barbequed steak and we had a nice relaxing evening at their house. It was a really great first day in Texas and I began to have an expectation in my heart that God is going to do something really great during this week.

On Tuesday (May 23rd), in the morning I spent some time reflecting and processing withWriting in a journal God in my journal.  The couple of weeks before I arrived in Texas I felt I was in a bit of a whirlwind with everything that had happened regarding work. On Monday May 8th I felt very discouraged about the lack of supply hours at the daycare I was working at so my friend Leanne encouraged me to consider to do a nanny job.

I decided to make a profile on the Care.com website that day but when I checked the next day nothing seem to catch my eye so on Wednesday of that week I decided to broaden my horizons/options where I made profiles on other nanny websites and I even filled out an application and sent it in with my resume on the Cardinal Nannies and Caregivers website. Then the next day (Thurs. May 11th) I was very surprised to receive a phone call from the agency for an interview for Friday. I am very thankful to God that the interview went very well and then the following Monday (May 15th) I received a phone call that they decided to hire me.

The nanny agency connected me to a family that has four school age children that are inCardinal Nannies and Caregivers 1 need of a new nanny because their current one they have will finish her contract at the end of the children’s school year.

On Friday May 19th I met with the Father of the family. The Father seemed very nice and I felt quite comfortable to talk to him which I thought was a real blessing from God. The Father was looking for a nanny who would be committed for at least one year so the children would be able to have stability in their lives and not change nannies half way through the school year which is understandable. I expressed to the Father of this family that on Sunday I would be flying to Texas to spend a week with friends there and I asked him if it would be alright to give my answer to him in a week when I returned because I felt that I needed time to think about it before I committed to my decision to say yes.

When I spent time on Tuesday processing all of this with God I honestly felt a bit overwhelmed. I mainly felt overwhelmed because I didn’t expect any of this to happen regarding this job opportunity, I was quite blown away that over a couple of weeks my friend Leanne encouraged me to consider a nanny job which I have never done before and then just a couple of days before I flew to Texas I met with a Father to possibly be a nanny for his children and now I need to make a decision to commit for a year when I return for my trip. I felt overwhelmed with being so very thankful to God for this new door that He has opened up to me because I honestly believe that it is from Him especially to be able to invest in and to be able to personally impact a specific family as well.

To be honest though when I processed all of this in my journal I was also struggling and Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9battling in my heart to do this or not because last year in the fall I honestly thought that God had spoken to me to stay in Canada for a “sabbatical season” until the end of the summer 2017 but now I needed to make a decision to commit for an entire year which is a whole year longer than I had originally thought I would be in Canada for. There is a verse in the Bible that says that God is not the author of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

I also realize that it does say in the Bible that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8 -9). I personally think and believe that it is okay to wrestle with things in our heart that we struggle with because God is big enough to handle all of our questions and our struggles.

In the afternoon it was a real blessing to be able to go out with my friend Sarah and do

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Texas Discovery Gardens

something fun. We spent a couple of hours at the Texas discovery gardens which is a sanctuary place for butterflies. I thought it was really neat to go to an indoor sanctuary place for butterflies especially to see hundreds of butterflies all around you up and even get a close look at some of them as they are just resting on a plant.

I never seen so many butterflies before or even been that close to them so I thought it was pretty neat to see God’s beautiful creation so close. After we walked around the indoor butterfly sanctuary we went outside to see the gardens and there was even a small building where snakes were kept in these glass boxes. The only thing was the IMG_8339weather was overcast and it even rained on that day so unfortunately a lot of the butterflies were “hiding” in the small indoor forest that was inside because they prefer the sun light but we still got to see a lot of butterflies which was really great.

On Wednesday (May 24th), I decided to have a day just to stay at Christopher and Sarah’s house to spend time with God journaling and waiting/ resting in His presence. I am really glad that I was able to have a whole day where I was able to spend time with God which was such a blessing from the Lord that He gave me that time with Him. A lot of the things that I wrote in my journal were prayers of surrender to God and my heart yearning with a deep hunger and a desire to be in a sweet place of intimacy of my Abba Father again because lately I had been really distracted from being able to spend time with Him and to listen to His voice as well.

One of the things that I reflected on in my journal is this chart that has specific examplesGod's Voice and Satan's Voice of the difference between God’s voice and Satan’s voice.

I think it is a really great chart and a simple way to tell the difference between God’s voice and Satan’s voice. When I looked at the chart that day I had realized that I sometimes I do listen to the wrong voice so I took some time to repent before God, taking captive every thought that wasn’t of God and also pulling down any strongholds as well especially any voices that had brought me confusion, discouragement, worry, obsession, condemnation, etc. I am so very thankful that Jesus is my good shepherd and it says in the Bible that His sheep know and recognize His voice (John 10:3 – 5, 14 and 27).

I absolutely love the Passion translation version. If you are not familiar with The PassionThe Passion Translation - Psalms Translation it is a new, heart-level translation that expresses God’s fiery heart of love to this generation using Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic manuscripts, merging emotion and life-changing truth of God’s word. I have the Passion translation for Psalms and also Song of Songs so I decided to bring it to Texas for my trip and I am so glad that I did! I took some time writing a prayer from Psalms 23 in my journal from the Passion Translation which was really refreshing to be able to do that.

This is the prayer that I wrote from Psalms 23:

“Lord Jesus, I thank-you that you are my best friend and my Shepherd. I thank-you that I Psalm 23shall not be in want because I always have more than enough in you. I thank you Jesus that you make me lie down in green pastures and you lead me beside quiet waters. I am so very thankful that you offer me a resting place for me in your luxurious love and you take me to a place of peace that is a quiet brook of bliss.

I thank you Jesus that you restore my soul and you revive my life. I thank you Jesus that you guide me in paths of righteousness for your name sake. I thank that you are the one who opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and you lead me along in your footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to your name.

Lord Jesus, even when I walk through the valley of death and the deepest darkness in my life. I thank you Lord that fear will never conquer me, for you already have and you remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. I thank you Lord that your authority is my strength and my peace, for you are my prince of peace.

Jesus, I thank you that you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I thank you that you become my delicious feast, even when my enemies dare to fight. I thank you Jesus that you anoint my head with oil and my cup overflows. Jesus, I thank you that you anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit and you give me all that I can drink of you until my heart is overwhelmed by your love.

So, why would I fear the future? I thank you Jesus that I am being pursued only by your goodness and your unfailing love all of the days of my life and I will dwell in your house forever.” (Psalms 23 – NIV and The Passion Translation)

God reminded me of this scripture verse that talks about being still in Him:Psalm 46 v 10 2

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

I love this verse in the Passion Translation. This is what it says:

“Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all nations and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.”

I wrote a prayer from Isaiah 40:29 – 31 and this is what I wrote:

“I thank you Lord God that you give power to the weak and to those who have no might you increase their strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary and the young the young men shall fall but I thank you Lord that those who wait and rest in you will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall walk and not faint.”

I also reflected on the scripture passage from Matthew 11:28 – 30 which says:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

After I took spent some time to reflect and process in my journal what has been going on The Passion Translation - Song of Songsin my heart and also some scripture verses I decided to read through the book of Song of Songs which is one of the books in the Bible. I decided to read through Song of Songs in the Passion Translation and to read it through entirely without stopping. When I read the book of Song of Songs I decided to read it out loud so I can hear myself read it and as I did I sensed God was speaking to me a lot especially of how He drew my heart to His heart in a renewed love for Him. It was like God was speaking so softly that His heart is longing to be so very close to mine and also to have a deeper intimacy with Him.

I believe the Song of Song is like a beautiful story of Jesus longing and calling his bride to himself. It is God’s deepest heart’s desire for us to know Him with a close intimacy and He is constantly chasing and pursuing our hearts for Him.

Here are some verses from Song of Songs the Passion Translation:Song of Songs

“Listen, my radiant one—
if you ever lose sight of me,
just follow in my footsteps where I lead my lovers.
Come with your burdens and cares.
Come to the place near the sanctuary of my shepherds.” (1:8)

“Look at you, my dearest darling,
you are so lovely!
You are beauty itself to me.
Your passionate eyes are like gentle doves.” (1:15)

“His left hand cradles my head
while his right hand holds me close.
I am at rest in this love.” (2:6)

“Can you not discern this new day of destiny
breaking forth around you?
The early signs of my purposes and plans
are bursting forth.
The budding vines of new life
are now blooming everywhere.
The fragrance of their flowers whispers,
“There is change in the air.”
Arise, my love, my beautiful companion,
and run with me to the higher place.
For now is the time to arise and come away with me.” (2:13)

“…show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet.” (2:14 from NIV)

“Every part of you is so beautiful, my darling.Arise my darling...
Perfect is your beauty, without flaw within.” (4:7)

“For you reach into my heart.
With one flash of your eyes I am undone by your love,
my beloved, my equal, my bride.
You leave me breathless—
I am overcome
by merely a glance from your worshiping eyes,
for you have stolen my heart.
I am held hostage by your love
and by the graces of righteousness shining upon you.” (4:9)

As you can see by looking at just a few of the verses from the Song of Songs from The Passion Translation it gives us a fresh passionate version and you can really sense God’s heart felt love for us when you read it as well. Some of the words and phrases that stand out to me in the Song of Songs are: beloved, dignity, awakened, bride, “come…”, my darling, my lover, “come away with me”, listen, “you are beautiful”, “I am at rest in this love, arise, pure, lovely, royalty, rest, “undone by your love”, and passion. I hope by sharing a bit of the Song of Songs with you God has captivated your heart as much as I am.

On Thursday (May 25th), in the afternoon I went on a walk with Sarah on a nature trail IMG_8360which was really nice to be able to get out and take a walk. We even saw a turtle but he looked too shy to let his head and legs out. In the evening Sarah and Cristopher’s church had a special service. The service was really great especially to be surrounded by passionate people after God’s heart in worship and in prayer.

Lindell Cooley was their guest speaker. Some of the things that stood out to me when he preached were: We need to know “who we are called to”. Who are you called to? What do you listen to and who do you listen to? Are you really listening to God and are you making provisions to Him? Are you pushing aside the distractions to really listen to God? We need to make time to listen to God, to focus on listening to Him otherwise we will drift away from Him. God wants to rise up prayer warriors.

There was a missionary family there that came for the special services at the church when I was in Texas. This family has a ministry at the border of Texas and Mexico. I felt very touched when Christopher and Sarah’s pastor asked Lindell to pray for the missionaries. I thought it would just be a special prayer for this missionary family but their pastor also wanted me to receive prayer too. I guess I was hesitated to receive IMG_8370prayer because I am not currently serving on the mission field but I am having a sabbatical season right now so I didn’t know if I should also go up front to receive prayer but I was very touched that they wanted to pray for me too.

After I came back with Cristopher and Sarah to their house after church I saw Christopher feeding his birds so I asked him if it would be possible if I could hold one of them. I wasn’t sure if one of the birds would be comfortable with me or I would be comfortable to hold one of them or a couple of them but I thought it was the coolest thing that I got to do it and a pretty special experience too because I don’t think I had done it before. I am very thankful that Cristopher let me hold his birds during my visit in Texas.

On Friday (May 26th), I felt like it was an extremely busy and long day but it was IMG_8371definitely well worth it. Early in the morning I think around 8:00am we went to WhataBurger fast food restaurant for a quick bite to eat for breakfast and then we drove around an hour to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre. I am so very thankful that both Cristopher and Sarah were able to get the day off of work so we were able to have a whole day together which was such a blessing from God.  One of the things that I had always wanted to do was to go on like an African Safari trip so going to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre was kind of like doing that but it was in Texas instead and I didn’t even know that this would even be a possibility to do something like this until I arrived in Texas so it was definitely a huge surprise and blessing from God!

We spent around 3 hours at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre and it was such an incredible IMG_8457experience that God gave me beyond what I could put into words! We took Cristopher’s truck which was such a blessing from God to be able to ride in comfortably and we were also up higher than we would have been if we took a car. We saw all different kinds of animals: Ostrich, Red Deer, Wildebeest, Scimitar-Horned Oryx, Addax, Blesbok, Gemsbok – Oryx, Fallow deer, Giraffe, Zebra, Aoudad, Axis Deer, Southern White Rhino, American Bison, Emu, Cheetah, and others. One of my highlights during our drive through this safari that we did was when we got to feed the zebras right from our hands when we sat in the truck which I thought was the coolest thing ever!

After we went to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre we went to the Creation Evidence

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Creation Evidence Museum

Museum too. It was a real blessing from God to be able to also have an opportunity to go to the Creation Evidence Museum as well which was really close to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre. This museum provides scientific evidence for the creation message opposing the evolutionary theory to thousands of people each year. I thought it was really interesting to see the different artifacts, documents, a Noah’s ark replica and many other things. I know and I believe in my heart that God is the one who is the creator and everything in the Bible is true of what it says about how God brought about His creation to the world.

In the evening, I went with Sarah and Christopher to their home church for the second special service they had at the church. The worship and the prayer time was amazing. Lindell Cooley spoke again and it was really great. He preached on the scripture passage on Matthew 14:22 – 33 which was about Jesus walking on the water. Some of the things that stood out to me when he preached were: We are going to have times when we feel like we are totally alone and disconnected from God and during this time it is important to remember what will you do with this time. We are all going to go through storms in our lives, we will go through times of testing and during these times it is all about how we will react to it because storms are supposed to help us mature in our lives. We have to pay attention to what comes out of our mouths during the storms in our lives. God works in the process. Storms will bring the presence of God, the provision of God and the power of God. We cannot believe God for the miraculous if we stay in the boat and we have to stop saying to ourselves “what if?” but we must believe in God and have faith.

After Lindell finished preaching he prayed for everyone who came to church that evening. I remember when Lindell prayed for me, I fell down because the presence of God was so strong at church and the Lord spoke to me a lot as I just rested in His presence. I sensed in my heart God speak to me very clearly that He hasn’t changed His mind about the calling that He has on my life of me being a missionary to the nations, reaching out to the vulnerable and hurting ones especially girls who are being trafficked. However, in God’s mercy the timing and the length of time I am in Canada has changed because there are still things that He wants to teach me and “train” me during this season in my life of being in Canada. I just want to praise God for Him speaking to me during the service and also during the prayer time as well.

On Friday May 26th, my aunt Phyllis sent me an e-mail with some very challenging You can trust in Godquestions for me to think about which were:

  1. Do you fully trust God?
  2. Do you believe he loves you and has a plan for your life?
  3. Do you believe he will open and close doors along your journey through life?
  4. Do you trust him fully with your future?

My aunt also wrote this “My prayer for you is that you will surrender all to him and hear his gentle voice as he leads the way. May his peace and love surround you at this time.”

I am very thankful for people like my aunt Phyllis who call me up to challenge me in my faith in God especially when I go through seasons of uncertainly of waiting on God for the next step along the journey that He has placed me on. The questions that my aunt asked me are definitely questions that I really need to reflect and ponder on more. Maybe these are also questions that we can all reflect on as well of how our trust is in God and His love that He has for us. My deepest desire of my heart is to continue every day to know God more and more, to daily know His love and to be able to trust in Him more. I am so very grateful for all of God’s goodness, His deep love that He has for His children and also for all of His faithfulness as well.

On Saturday (May 27th), this was my last full day in Texas and it was such a great day. I

Sheila and I 2

Sheila and I

had a bit of a relaxing morning and I spent a bit of time chatting with my friend Sheila who has become such an amazing prayer support of mine we both realized that we were in the exact same town! I never actually met Sheila but we became friends on Facebook through mutual friends and she has become such an amazing support to me with her prayers and encouragement so when we realized we were in the same town she asked me if I wanted to get together for lunch with her.

What an amazing surprise from God it was to be able to meet with Sheila and I even got to go to a Mexican restaurant for lunch too. I felt in my heart the time that Sheila and I had was such a God moment because we spent time sharing our stories, encouraging each other and we also prayed for each other too! I just love when God blesses us with surprises that are so unexpected!

After I finished lunch with Sheila I came back to Cristopher and Sarah’s house. I decided to go outside to pray and think for a bit in their back yard. As I took a bit of time to pray about my future and other things this thought came to my mind which I believe it is from God. The thought was to do the FCM (Foundational Counselling Ministries) school with YWAM first before I join and begin serving with YWAM again full time of where God leads me to serve and to also possibly do the school after I do this nanny job. I have been praying and thinking about doing this school for a while now and I originally thought that maybe I could serve on staff with a Justice DTS, then do the school and then continue to serve as a full time missionary. I do believe that God spoke to me when I was outside that afternoon and now I just need to give this to Him and to also trust in Him of how it will unfold.

Saturday evening was the last time I was able to go to my friends Cristopher and Sarah’s

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Sarah and I

church during my trip when I was in Texas. The last service Pastor Bennie Baker spoke which was so powerful and I really sensed the anointing of God on the sermon he preached. Bennie challenged us of how hungry we are for God, that we need to carry revival to people and the places we go to. We need to be more connected to God’s heart, to be more in tune to Him in what He is speaking to us and to be very careful with the words that come out of our mouths. We can learn to say to God “I trust in you” when we go through seasons in our lives that we don’t understand why we are going through them. We need to praise God to press in for our breakthrough.

I was really encouraged after Bennie preached he prayed for me and I just want to praise God for what He spoke to me how He sees that I have a heart for revival, that I will carry it to people and the Lord will bring people to me that have the same heart for revival as well. I was also encouraged by other things that Bennie prayed and prophesied over my life as well. God is so good and my heart is filled with so much gratitude of how He arranged for these special services at Cristopher and Sarah’s church the exact same week that I went to visit them in Texas. Those services at the church were such a blessing from God especially of how He spoke to my heart so much and also His presence was so beautiful there as well.

On Sunday (May 28th), well it was hard to believe that my week was now finished with American airlinemy week’s visit to Texas and it was time for me to return home to Canada. It was time to say good-bye again. Sarah drove me to the Dallas airport and then I flew back to Toronto at 1:10pm. I arrived back at the Toronto airport at 5:11pm and it was really great to see my Dad there waiting for me when I arrived.

I am so very grateful of my friends Cristopher and Sarah’s invitation to visit them at their home in Texas. It was a really great reunion to be able to see them again since we last saw each other when we were in Mozambique in the fall of 2012. My heart is filled with so much gratitude for God giving me this opportunity to not only reconnect with my friends but also for all of their hospitality, to have a week to set aside time to spend some time with God, a time of rest, a time of fun and also a time to be able to attend three really great services at my friend’s church too.  

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