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

IMG_1416

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

IMG_1414

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 22nd 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 (May 2015) – Awakening Europe conference
  • Prague and Cheb, Czech Republic (Dec. 6, ‘15 – Jan. 7,’ 16) – Missions
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands (spring 2016) – Human trafficking training school

To be continued… 

IMG_4535

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.

 

IMG_0843

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

IMG_0837

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

IMG_0508

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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Debriefing Week in Montana

Last year in the fall when I was at the YWAM LA base I started to think about doing a debriefingdebriefing program during my missionary sabbatical/furlough time in Canada. The main reason I felt it was really important to go somewhere to do a debriefing program because the last 9 years I lived in Romania I never really had any personal debriefing.

When I lived in Romania I even had two transitions there but I never took time to do personal debriefing so I really felt in my heart that it was good time to do it. I am very thankful for the people who recommended to me to consider doing the one week debriefing program at the YWAM Montana base called “An Encounter on the road Emmaus”.

On Saturday March 4, 2017, I went out for lunch with my Mom and my brother Jonathan

My flight route

My flight route

and then afterwards we headed to the Toronto airport for my flight. I checked into my flight, we said our good-byes and then I headed to my gate. I flew out of the Toronto airport at 3:59pm and then I had quite the interesting flight route because first I flew south to Denver, Colorado and then I flew back up north to Montana. My first flight from Toronto to Denver was 3 hours and 55 minutes, then I had almost an hour at the Denver airport, then my flight to Kalispell, Montana was 2 hours and 32 minutes.

I arrived in Kalispell, Montana at 9:23pm. When I arrived I felt quite exhausted fromWelcome to Montana traveling plus I had to adjust to a two hour time change as well because in my body it was still 11:23pm but besides feeling tired I was also feeling extremely excited to begin my debriefing week in Montana and I was really excited to see my friend Felicia again too!

I met my friend Felicia when I was at the YWAM LA base last year in the fall and we

Felicia and I

Felicia and I

were both in the same class when we did the leadership training school there. After I got my luggage at the airport then we went to Felicia’s Grandma’s house where she is currently staying. I stayed my first night at her house and then the following afternoon I went to the YWAM Montana base.

The first day I arrived I just couldn’t believe that I was in Montana because I never thought I would visit the State of Montana! The first night I slept in Felicia’s room and I had such a great sleep and then the next morning I went to church with Felicia and her family. The church service was really great and then I went with Felicia and her family to this restaurant where they all go on Sundays for lunch. I had an omelet there and it was delicious! After lunch I went to Wal-mart to get a few things that I thought I would need for my week at the YWAM base, then Felicia and I headed back to her Grandma’s house to pray for each other and then she took me to the YWAM base.

We arrived at the YWAM Montana base sometime on Sunday afternoon (March 5th). My

Bayshore buiding

Bayshore building where I stayed

first impression of the base was it is really big and beautiful and it is also surrounded by mountains as well. Felicia drove me to the building where I stayed for the week and then she helped me bring my stuff to my room before we said good-bye to each other.

I stayed at one of the hospitality rooms at the Bayshore building during my week at the base and I was literally blown away to tears

Kitchen and Living room

My little “apartment” I stayed in at the base.

when I walked into my room because I didn’t expect such a beautiful room like I did at all. I honestly just expected a simple bedroom and maybe a private bedroom but it was almost like I had my little own private apartment which was an amazing blessing from God! I not only had my own private bedroom with an extremely comfortable double size bed but I also had my own bathroom, a little kitchen space and also a little living room as well! It was like I also had a personal retreat when I stayed at the YWAM base for my debriefing week.

After I got settled into my room I then went to find Matt because he told me he was visiting at the YWAM Montana base when I would be there with his sister until Monday which was the next day after I arrived. Matt was one of the students in the second DTS (Discipleship Training School) class that I staffed at the YWAM Târgu Mureş base in Romania in September 2015. It was really great to see Matt again even though it was only for a short quick visit and I was really touched when he introduced me to a couple of people in the hall of the dorm building that he introduced me as his DTS outreach leader even though I didn’t end up finishing the outreach with the students.

It was a really difficult time for me when I couldn’t finish the outreach with the students

Matt, Kat and I

Matt, Kat and I

(mainly because I honestly wasn’t ready yet to lead a team on my own and it was much too overwhelming for me to do it on my own) but I am so very grateful that God brought a lot of healing to my heart from that difficult time in my life that was pretty painful to me. I believe in my heart when I saw Matt the Sunday before my debriefing week that God spoke to my heart and said to me “that it is okay to let it go, you are healed from that wound in your heart and you can fully move forward now”. The reunion with Matt was really great and then he told me that Kat is currently here doing the SBS (School of Biblical Studies) so that was definitely a really great surprise reunion that I didn’t expect at all. Matt and I met Kat when we were on our first week of outreach when we were in Prague. Kat was on her DTS outreach there the same time our team was there and she was from the YWAM Las Vegas base.

After my short reunions with Matt and Kat, I then headed over to Donna’s house on the

Donna and I

Donna and I

base there. I am so very grateful that God brought Donna to Romania right after I completed my DTS as a student and I just started serving with the YWAM Târgu Mureş base in June 2014. Romania is not one of YWAM Montana’s target nations for students to go on outreach however I believe it was in God’s plan that Donna was able to come to Romania at that specific time in my journey on the mission field when she led the DTS crossroads outreach team at the YWAM Târgu Mureş base for 7 weeks which was at the very beginning when I officially became staff there.

Donna and her husband serve at the Mission Builders office at the YWAM Montana base so it was definitely a blessing to be able to also have a reunion with her as well at the beginning of my debriefing week at the base there. I was able to finally meet Donna’s husband John which was really great to meet him because they have both been serving on the mission field for many years together with their family. I also met another couple as well when I was at their house. I am so very grateful that God brought Donna into my life because she has been a really great mentor to me and she has been such an encouragement to me since I have met her in Romania.

On Monday March 6th, it was the first day that my debriefing had started with Tammy IMG_8552and Lori who were my debriefers for the week but before that I went to the all base worship and intercession from 8:00 – 9:00am. Around 9:20am Tammy took me to Lori’s apartment which is where we had our morning debriefing sessions.

For my first debriefing session we began by looking over the scripture passage from Luke 24:13 – 35 which is the story where a man named Cleopas and another man had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus so it was like Jesus was the very first debriefer as he debriefed both of them on the road to Emmaus and this is why the theme of the debriefing week is called “Road to Emmaus”.

I truly believe in my heart that this was what was on God’s heart that He wanted me to

9FC201CB-E1F7-4D74-9B85-D784D5D0644D

The building where my debriefing was.

encounter Him on the road to Emmaus as I spent a week at the YWAM Montana base to be able to take time to debrief and process the journey that He has placed me on. Now when I look back now after months after my debriefing week there I do believe in my heart that I have encountered God during my time there and He also brought a real breakthrough in my life as He brought a lot of healing and restoration to my heart that got wounded along the way of my journey.

After we went over the scripture passage from Luke 24:13 – 35 about the road to Emmaus we then each shared our stories. Tammy shared her story first, and then Lori and then I shared my story/ journey. When I shared my story it was a lot more detailed than I had anticipated I would share because I ended up starting from when I went to the youth convention/ conference but then I ended backing up from when I visited Elim Bible College which was in 1998 (this was when God first began to speak to my heart about missions) and then I shared until all the way to where I am now in my journey which included all of my education, short-term mission trips, the year I lived in South Korea when I taught English there and also the 9 years that I lived in Romania which I think was the very first time that I shared my missionary journey in that much detail from the very beginning up to where I am at right now in my journey.

Every morning during the week I had my sessions with Tammy and Lori and then the

IMG_8577

My timeline

rest of the day I had free time to work on my out of session homework that I had every day of the week. For my first out of session homework on Monday I had to make a timeline which included all of the dates of the different events that had happened during my journey and I also had to include different stressors that I had faced during each event on my timeline like change, concern, criticism, conflict and crisis. I had done a timeline before when I was in Romania but this time it was the first time to also include different stress factors that I had faced throughout my journey that I have been on so far.

I ate lunch at my little apartment but on Monday I ate dinner at the base’s cafeteria 974C5276-C760-4638-A7E2-C4A7429280E9which was really nice to be able to start to meet people there. I ended up talking to this guy who is from Spain in line and then I sat at his table. He was a SBS (School of Biblical Studies) student at the YWAM Montana base along with 55 other SBS students which is quite a lot of students in one class.

I thought something the guy I was talking to said that was really interesting and encouraging which was during this sabbatical time and debriefing time that it is really good that I am focusing this time on myself which is really important so I can continue on in missions because self-care is really important during this time.

On Tuesday March 7th, it was my second day of my debriefing there at the YWAM Montana base and it was probably one of the most emotional days so far of my week. For my morning session Lori and Tammy asked me to go over my timeline with them but this time I also included my stressors as well. When I went over my timeline that I did for my out of session homework on Monday and verbalize it out loud there seemed to be a lot of emotions of tears that came out when I shared it with Lori and Tammy. For my out of session homework on Tuesday I had to go through my timeline that I did the previous day but this time to extend my timeline on the right side of the paper where I had to identify for each event throughout my journey the different loses that I had experienced which were physical (tangible or intangible) losses and how these losses had affected me emotionally.

I found when I did my out of season homework on Tuesday it was really a rough and

D14E28FC-8CDA-487E-90BE-A015490522C4

YWAM Montana base

difficult day for me. I just found it really emotional and draining. I also found that I honestly didn’t want to deal with it again because I had already dealt with those hardships in my life so many times and they were honestly quite painful times as well so I think that’s why most of the afternoon I was just trying to avoid doing it. I think I even took a nap in the afternoon because I felt emotionally drained and then I finally completed my homework in the evening after dinner.

I decided to eat dinner at the base’s cafeteria which was really great because I was able to meet some more people at the base and get to know them a bit. For dinner on Tuesday I sat with some DTS students and I was really excited to hear that they will be going to Cambodia and Taiwan for their outreaches. There are 20 DTS students in their class so they are splitting into two outreach teams and they left on their outreach the week after I was there for my debriefing week.

After dinner when I completed my out of session homework I did find it really helpful to YWAM Montana 4be able to identity down on paper some of the loses that I had experienced and I am so thankful for God giving me the grace to do it. Two examples are: 1) When my Nana died in November 2009 and the emotional loss was I lost my confidant, friend, mentor and she also believed in the call that God has on my life as well. 2) The most recent one was when I left Romania which was last year on June 29, 2016. The physical loss was: I lost my home and sense of belonging and the emotional loss: was I lost my security, sanctuary and my identity as a missionary in Romania.

That evening I wrote in my journal a prayer to God. This is what I wrote: “Father God, it says in your word in John 10:10 that the enemy – the devil tries to steal, kill and destroy my life. In the light of my losses I have noticed some patterns that the enemy has tried to steal from me different things which are: peace, joy, hope, respect, unity, trust, confidence, identity, belonging, dignity, home, sanctuary, security, close relationships, strength, energy, health and my voice to not be heard or understood.

 Father, I proclaim in the name of Jesus your Son that everything that the enemy has tried Jesus is my joyto steal from me throughout my journey that I have been on be returned back to me because these are things that I believe are rightfully mine since you have already given them to me so right now I proclaim my peace, joy, hope, respect, trust, confidence and dignity back in the name of Jesus. I proclaim my identity, my sense of belonging, home, sanctuary and security back in the name of Jesus. I proclaim the unity of close relationships with people, my strength, energy, my health, my financial provision and victory back in the name of Jesus. I also proclaim my voice back to be heard and understood in the name of Jesus. I thank-you Lord Jesus that there is fullness of life in you and you have already given me the victory so I can live victorious in you.”

On Wednesday March 8th, it was my third day of my debriefing there at the YWAM Montana base. In the morning I woke up very exhausted because I did not sleep very well. On Tuesday evening I started to have a stomachache and then it just got to be very painful during the night which was the main reason why I had such a terrible sleep and I woke up very tired which I found was very frustrating.

Before I went to bed I felt in my heart to post a prayer request on facebook to ask people to pray for God to take away my stomach ache and any other distractions that were trying to hinder me from receiving what God would like to do in my heart during my time at the YWAM Montana base for my debriefing week.

When I woke up in the morning I felt really encouraged when I received a facebook the-crossmessage from Danielle who I met in Romania when Donna led the outreach team there. I haven’t heard from Danielle in a long time so it was really great to hear from her. She encouraged me to listen to this sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick from the Elevation church called “No More Nails.” I decided to listen to it when I woke up that morning and I really believe in my heart that the sermon was exactly what God wanted me to hear because I really felt like the Lord spoke to my core of my heart of where I was during my debriefing week in my life so I am really grateful that God put it on Danielle’s heart to contact me with the link to that sermon.

The sermon was basically about how we all have wounds in our lives but we don’t have to stay wounded and it even started with the story about the two men on the road to Emmaus from the scripture passage Luke 24:13 – 35. If you would like to listen to this sermon. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVYKEn7COJg

On Wednesday morning in my session with Lori and Tammy I basically went over my timeline again but this time I went over the different losses that I had experienced and also how it had affected me emotionally as well. After I shared those things I found it really helpful that Lori and Tammy went over three different charts with me which are on transition, grief and injustice.

Last year when I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base for the Shine Seminar which was IMG_8555basically a 6 week intensive training time on human trafficking we went over the grief chart so when I went over it with Lori and Tammy it wasn’t my first time but it was definitely very helpful for me to go over it again because I saw at that time that I was going through a time of grief especially with me leaving Romania for the first time last year.

I prayed and asked the Lord where I was currently at, at that time in my life in the four different stages of the grief chart of leaving Romania. I felt in my heart that when I looked at the grief chart that I was in between stages one and two because there were times that I had emotional outbursts which is in stage one but then there are times that I had wrestled with the reality of the pain which included feelings like: anger, fear, searchings, the what ifs, being disorganized, panic and accusations of myself and others and God which are all in stage two. There were also times that I felt quite lonely and I sometimes questioned the very basics of my faith which are in stage three. It was honestly quite hard to really know exactly where I was in the grief chart at that time so I really prayed and asked the Lord for His help to help me get through that time in my life that seemed so very uncertain and shaky.

I found it was really helpful when I looked at the transition chart that morning with Lori IMG_8557and Tammy because it was definitely something that gave me a lot of perspective to understand what exactly was going on in my life at that time with the transition season that I was going through and honestly I still feel I am a transitional season even right now as I write this. When I looked at the transition chart I definitely knew immediately that I was right in the middle of the transition chart because the one before it was about involvement and leaving and the ones after it are about entering and involvement. The order of the chart is: involvement, leaving, transition, entering and involvement.

I felt in my heart during my debriefing week that I was exactly right in the middle of this transition time in my life under the transition column it is listed: status-less which includes: unknown, lack of structure and special knowledge without use, chaos which includes: must initiate relationships, isolation, self-focused, exaggerated problems and exhaustion and the third one is anxious which includes loss of self-esteem/ value, loss of continuity, grief, dreams and emotional instability. A lot of these things that are listed under the transition column I felt during my debriefing week I was struggling with those things and sometimes even today I still do so I really need to keep asking for God’s help during this transitional season that I am in Canada until God brings me to the next season in my missionary journey that He has for me. I also felt in my heart when I looked at the transition chart when I was at the YWAM Montana base that there were/ are people in my life that really do not understand this transitional time in my life which makes it really hard at times but again I really need to keep giving this to God and surrender it to Him.

When I had a time of reflecting on Wednesday evening in my “little hospitality apartment” God reminded me of some things when I was in California last year in the fall for the leadership training school that I did at the YWAM LA base. These are some of the these that God reminded me of: The first thing was when my friend Becca prayed for me when we were at the YWAM Presence Gathering conference in Chico, California on Friday November 11, 2016 which was very specific about this sabbatical/ transition season that God has called me to take after I finished at the YWAM LA base there.

What I can remember from this prophetic word that I had received from Becca that day Be stillof what the Lord spoke to me when she prayed for me to be still before God and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10), whatever I need it is there and it is being unwrapped, the Lord wants to minister to any gap to where I am right now and where He is leading me to go next, the Lord is speaking to my life right now and they are now words and God also wants to bring rest to my soul. Becca imparted the gift of faith to me and a deeper measure that is already there. Becca saw that God wanted to give me a spiritual rest, God is wrapping my arms around me, God is my comforter and He delights in me. She prayed for peace from any worry and that I am going to laugh at my future. Becca also sensed that I am like a spiritual giant and my roots go deep down with God like oak trees.

The second thing God reminded me of when I took some time to pray and journal with Him in the prayer chapel at the YWAM LA base on Monday September 28, 2016. It was at that time God had spoken to my heart specifically that it is His will for me to take a sabbatical season to rest in Canada, He is calling me to do this at least until the end of the summer and then the next season of ministry in missions will begin again in the fall specifically at the beginning of September 2017. However, now we are in the month of September so it seems like God has extended my season in Canada but I will write more on that in another blog entry.

The third thing God reminded of when He spoken to my heart on that same day when I Note to Selfwas in the prayer chapel that I may feel like it is a big gap between now and then of the next missions season overseas but God told me that I will not be alone during this time because He is will me, He will lead me through this time, He will raise me up more, it will be a time of further preparation, refreshment and God will launch me further into what He is calling me to do in the upcoming next season in the missionary journey that He has placed me on.

The fourth thing God reminded of was when we had an intercession time at the YWAM LA base in the morning on Thursday December 1, 2016. During this prayer time we gathered together in small groups to pray for one another. There were some things that I received from God that morning which were: The Lord wants me to seek Him and not to figure things out on my own. God calls us to seasons of dry docking in our lives to look at where we at, to restore and to fix the cracks in our lives. God takes rest very serious and He is super clear about it and I can find rest in Jesus.

After God reminded me of these things I wrote a prayer in my journal. This is what I wrote: “God, you want to spend more time with me and to build me up to prepare me more for what you have for me in the future. God, I thank you that you will never leave your children out in the dark because you love and care so much for us. Lord, you do not want me to make ministry an idol but my focus needs to be on you. A sabbatical is part of the ministry that Lord you have for me and it is a time that you are going to prepare me more and then launch me back out into what you have called me to do next.”

On Thursday March 9th, it was my fourth day of my debriefing there at the YWAM IMG_8553Montana base.  My fourth debriefing day was really incredible! In the morning for my debriefing session with Lori and Tammy I shared with them some of the different ways and things that the enemy has tried to steal from me in my life. Where I am right now in my life on the grief chart and also where I am now in my life on the transition chart.

After I shared those things with Lori and Tammy where I have seen injustice happen in my life when I looked at my timeline again and reflect back on it and also compare it to the injustice chart they gave me on Wednesday during our session together.

I honestly never really saw I had “injustice” happen in my own life because I always saw it like something much bigger like when someone gets robbed, rapped, someone gets trafficked, a drunk driver kills an innocent person in a car accident or there are many other things that injustice happens in people’s lives that is a horrific situation. On Thursday evening when I processed this in my journal and took a closer look at my timeline I did experience different injustice situations that happened in my life which were quite painful but so I took some time to knowledge them before God by writing them out and then surrendering them to God by bringing them to the cross.

The different areas of injustice that I had experienced in my life I feel are too personal tothe-power-of-forgiveness write on my blog so I have decided to not put them on here because it isn’t my heart to put these people in a “negative light” in any way however it was really helpful for me to write it in my journal, surrender them to God and bring them to the cross. I am realizing more and more how very important it is to forgive and to let go all of the grudges, bitterness, resentment and hurt that I have been carrying in my heart and there was even one situation when I was angry at God for something that nobody did to me so I knew in my heart that it was time to repent before God, ask for His forgiveness and release it before Him.

Part of my out of session homework that Lori and Tammy asked me to do for Wednesday I wasn’t able to do because it got pretty late in the evening after I finished another part of my homework and I think from what I can remember that day was a bit of a hard day for me too so I ended up doing it on Thursday evening instead. I was asked to look over my timeline again and to answer the following questions for each major loss that I focused on.

The first question was: “What have you learned and are learning about others?” I What have you learnedwrote down in my journal that I have learned about others is that people will disappoint me, I cannot compare myself to others or see my identity through other people’s eyes but only through the eyes of Jesus. I also learned that some people who have been a part of my journey have been such a blessing to me beyond what I could possibility put into words especially with all of their encouragement, prophetic words they have shared with me, their prayers, their giving and generous hearts and also how people have given me comfort when I had gone through very difficult times in my life.

The second question was: “What have I learned and what am I learning about myself?” I think some of the main things I have learned about myself is I can be extremely hard on myself at times, I tend to worry way too much, I tend to compare myself and want other people’s opinions way too much which has affected my identity of how I see myself at times, I struggle with shyness and fear way too much, I need to be a lot more careful with my words especially how I see myself and how I communicate both verbally and non-verbally in a written form and also how I tend to allow my emotions to run all over me which I shouldn’t so I really need to learn to handle my emotions in a much healthier way. There is another thing as well which is I tend to struggle with anger at times but I don’t want to anymore because I do not want to give the enemy anymore foothold into my life.

After I wrote those things about what I learned and what I am learning about myself I perseverancesensed in my heart that God wanted me to think and write down the  positive things that I have learned about myself. This is what I wrote down: I am not a person who gives up easily but when God speaks to my heart and calls me to do something I do it with perseverance even when I run into obstacles in the process of doing it. I have learned that God has given me a compassionate heart for people who are hurting, they feel vulnerable and they need to know that there is hope in Jesus.

I have learned that I have a very deep desire to follow God, to know Him and that I can and I do hear His voice. I have learned throughout the years of me writing in my journals and my blog that I really do love to write and that God has gifted me to be a writer. One more thing that I have learned is even though I struggle with worry many times I really believe in my heart that I have learned time and time again that I am a person of faith and I choose to trust in God and to have faith in Him because God alone is so very faithful.

The third question was: “What have I learned and what am I learning about God?” I jehovah-my-father-my-god-and-friendhave learned and I am still learning so many things about Him that He is continually revealing Himself to me throughout my journey that He has placed me on in my life. My heart is filled with so much gratitude and I am so very grateful to God that I have learned and I am still learning every single day of my life that He is a living God that He is so real and personal and He truly does care about the very details of my heart. I am so very thankful that God is not just my God but He is also my Abba Father, I can call Him Daddy and I am His beloved daughter that He has chosen and created me with a purpose for my life.

I have learned time and time again throughout the journey that God has placed me on god-is-faithfulthat He is so very faithful that He has never ever left or forsaken me or abandoned me in any way at all but He has always been with me by my side every single step of the way taking me by my hand and leading me step by step. I have learned that God alone is my strength when I feel weak and tired. God is my healer, He is my protector and my provider. I have learned that all of the promises that are in God’s word are yes and amen and God keeps every promise because He is so very faithful and His word does not return void. I have learned that Jesus is such a good shepherd, He knows me by name, I am a part of His sheep, I know and recognize His voice because I belong to Him. I have learned God has never led me astray and He will never lead me astray.

I have learned that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, He is the beginning and the end so He sees my life laid out before Him from the moment I was born and even before I was conceived in my mother’s womb to the moment that He will call me home to spend eternity with Him in heaven. I have learned that God has a heart for the nations and His heart is so jealous because He is longing so desperately to bring all of His children into an intimate relationship with Him that live all over the world. I have learned through God revealing to me that He has called me to the nations as well. I have also learned that God’s heart breaks so much for the injustice issues that are in the world like human trafficking, people who are living in poverty and are starving and the many other broken issues that are in this world.

After I wrote all of these things in my journal and answered these three questions of B15102A6-8B10-4E45-B552-CD6057B4A9C2what I have learned about others, myself and God, I then wrote a prayer to God asking for His help. This is what I wrote: “Now Father God, I would like to ask you to please help me to not forget these things that you have taught me and you are continuing to teach me every single day of my life and please teach me how I can apply them to my life everything that you have taught me and to use it in my life every day.” I would like to also add this: “Father, thank you so much for being so very patient with me, for never giving up on me and for continually teaching me all of these things about people, myself and you. Father, thank-you so much for all of your faithfulness and for all of your goodness. I love you so very much.”

On Friday March 10th, it was my fifth and last day of my debriefing there at the YWAM Montana base. Wow, it is so hard to believe that it was my last day of my debriefing week, it is officially over after the morning session and then I flew back to Toronto on Saturday. I really would like to thank and praise God for everything that He has done in my life during my week in Montana. It has just been incredible and it was also like a personal retreat during my debriefing as well.

I would like to take some time to write about how my last day of my debriefing went. In04F6A4F0-925B-42C7-BFFF-4423DF64BBEB the morning for my last session with Lori and Tammy I honestly felt extremely tired because I think I got around 4 ½ hours of sleep (I ended up writing in my journal pretty late the night before) so I didn’t actually know how the day would go since I got very little sleep but I am really thankful that God gave me the strength that I needed throughout the day. I am so very thankful that God is my strength not just the last day of my debriefing but every single day of my life.

In the morning for my last debriefing session with Lori and Tammy it was just amazing. At the beginning of my time with them I shared with Lori and Tammy the seven different injustice situations that I felt had happened in my life, then what I wrote in my journal the answers to the three questions of what I had learned from others, myself and God and then I shared some of the things that God had revealed to me from four different scripture passages from what I had received on Thursday for my homework.

Here are some of the things that I believe God had highlighted to me in the morning 6318B6EF-D9C3-45C6-9047-818CBD2A390Dwhen we talked about the different scripture passages at my debriefing session. The first scripture verse is: John 1:29 (in the light of sin). I do recognize and knowledge that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away my sin and the sin of the world. I am so very thankful what Jesus has done for me which he is the perfect sacrifice and when we go to the cross we don’t have to do anymore sacrifices at all for our sins. The second scripture passage is Luke 3:21 – 22 (in light of identity). I am so very thankful that Jesus has set an example to me of the importance to get water baptized. I am so very thankful God has opened up the heavens, when He sent His Son Jesus when He got water baptized, for the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in form of a dove and also how God said to His Son Jesus even before He did any ministry that He loves Him and He is well pleased.

I am so very thankful that God is continually reminding me that my core identity needs identity-in-christand it must be rooted and grounded in who God says I am and not in who other people say I am. I am so very thankful to Abba Father God of how He loves me, I am one of His favorite kids, I am His beloved daughter and He is so very pleased with me. I am so very thankful that I don’t have to prove or perform anything for God to love me. It honestly just blows me away when I think about it that even if I don’t do anymore “ministry” the rest of my life that God wouldn’t love me any less or more but even before I became a missionary and went into missions God has chosen me, called me His daughter and He is so pleased with me.

The third scripture passage is Isaiah 61:1-3 (in light of loss and pain) which has been fulfilled by Jesus that is found in Luke 4:14 – 21. I am so very thankful that Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and to release from darkness for the prisoners, Jesus came to comfort people who mourn and to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness that Jesus has planted for His splendor.

I am so very grateful that Jesus has come to heal my broken heart, He came to set me free he-set-me-freeand to release me from any prison that I was in like fear and He has truly set me free from any bondage that I was in. I want to thank Jesus that He is my comforter and He has placed a crown of beauty on me because I am His princess and I a part of royalty. I am so very thankful God has given me and He has placed a garment of praise on me instead of a spirit of despair. I choose to worship Jesus because He is the true living God and I am so very thankful for the hope that I have in the Lord. I also want to thank Jesus that my roots go deep down in Him, I am like a spiritual giant and I am not a grasshopper because I am like an oak tree of His righteousness that He has placed for the display of His splendor.

The fourth scripture passage is Isaiah 53:17 (in light of loss and pain). I am so very thankful that when Jesus came to earth He chose to suffer, to be whipped and to go all the way to the cross because it was His deepest desire of His heart to make a way for me to go to the Father. I have also experienced rejection in my life. I do believe in my heart when I had suffered in my life that Jesus understands because He is familiar with suffering. I believe that Jesus also understands what it is like to be rejected by men because He had experienced rejection when He was on the earth right before He died for me. I am so very thankful that Jesus was pierced for my transgressions, He was crushed for my iniquities, the punishment that He went through has brought me peace and I am so thankful that I am healed and made whole by the wounds of Jesus. Amen to that!

After we had a time of reflecting on those scripture passages Lori took me to a room in 212E20C9-9736-44A6-BFC3-8972E7851907the back where there was a cross with a hammer and nails. I then spent the good majority of the morning in that room where I laid everything at the cross of the injustice issues that had affected my life. I really want to thank Jesus for the cross and for giving me an opportunity on my last day of my debriefing to have a private moment with Him in that room where I could leave all of the baggage that I had been carrying for a very long time in my heart that have weighed so heavy on me for a long time and they have affected me a lot.

I want to thank Jesus for giving me the grace and the courage in my heart to speak out loud the prayers that I wrote the previous day, to let go of all of the hurt, pain, any anger that I had, bitterness and resentment and to forgive the people who I have been hurt by. I want to thank Jesus that each of those injustice issues that have happened in my life are now nailed to the cross, I can now leave them there and I don’t ever have to pick them up again because I have made the decision to surrender them to Him, to forgive people and to nail each of them of those different situations or people to the cross and I don’t ever have to carry that baggage that had weighed me down again. I am so very grateful to Jesus for the freedom and the victory that He has given me.

After the time I had with God at the cross I am so thankful that God gave me a very special time with Lori and Tammy to finish our last morning session together. On Thursday they asked me to think of an application to do after my debriefing week would be over. I thought and asked God of what ideas that I can do to follow up and four different ideas came to my mind when I prayed about it. Two of the ideas I did in the morning with Lori and Tammy and the other two ideas I did when I returned to Canada.

One of the ideas I really felt in my heart that God wanted me to do was to celebrate the 9holding a cake years of God’s faithfulness when I lived in Romania as a missionary so I sent Lori and Tammy a private Facebook message on Thursday asked them if it would be possible for one of them to get a cake and I would pay them back for it. I am really thankful that Tammy was able to buy a chocolate cake and she even baked an apple dessert too which was a special treat that I didn’t expect at all.

I am so thankful to God of how much it was such a blessing to be able to have a time of celebration with Lori and Tammy to celebrate the 9 years that I lived in Romania. I really want to thank God for all of His faithfulness and also for helping me to not give up as well especially during those difficult and struggling days but my heart is filled with gratitude of how faithful our God is and how good He is! The other three applications I had were: to listen and to sing the worship song “King of my Heart” with Lori and Tammy, when I return home to get a mentor/ life coach and to continue to write in my journal my prayers to God (writing and taking time to listen to Him). I am so very grateful for the beautiful ending of my debriefing that God had given to me with Lori and Tammy in the last morning session.

I am so very thankful that God gave me Lori and Tammy as my debriefers during my

Lori, Tammy and I

Lori, Tammy and I

week at the YWAM Montana base. They were both such a blessing to me beyond what I could possibility put into words especially how they both actively listened to me when I shared and processed my journey with them and they were both so very encouraging as well.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude to God for everything that He did in my life during my debriefing week especially how He brought a deeper healing and a restoration as I let go of all of the baggage that I had been carrying in my heart, said prayers of forgiveness and I do believe that I also heard from the Lord as He spoke to me as well.

It was a real blessing from God to be able to spend the afternoon with Donna at her Andrea in Montana (March 2017)house as we talked, ate lunch and I shared with her how the week went. It was also a real blessing that Donna was able to take me to the lake which was really beautiful especially with the mountains which is right next to the lake. I am so very thankful that God brought Donna into my life, she has been like a mentor to me since I met her in the summer of 2014 when she led the Crossroads DTS outreach team to Romania. I am so very grateful for all of her encouragement and her prayers.

On Friday for dinner it was really great to be able to eat dinner with Kat in the cafeteria at the base. We met when were on outreach when in Prague in December 2015. It was really great to see Kat again and to be able to catch up a bit. In the evening I spent time in my room where I wrote in my journal, had a devotional time with God and spent a bit of time singing worship songs. There was one thing that I really desired and wished I had done a lot more during my debriefing week which was to be able to spend a lot more time resting/ soaking in God’s presence, to take more time to just listen to God and to sing worship songs to Him. My schedule was really quite busy so unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that so much but it is definitely something that I would like to do more often when I am home or wherever I am.

On Saturday March 11th, I flew home.  When I left Montana it was another bitter sweet time. I was again really glad to be going home back to Canada but at the same time it was hard to say good-bye to my old and new friends and also the beautiful mountains there too. Lori drove me to the airport late morning and then it was time to say good-bye. I had two flights back to Toronto, Canada. My first flight I flew out of the small airport at Kalispell, Montana at 2:30pm and then I arrived in Denver, Colorado at 4:47pm which was 2 hours and 17 minutes. My second flight out of Denver left at 5:35pm and I arrived in Toronto at 10:50pm which was 3 hours and 15 minutes. It was really great to see my Dad and my brother Jonathan waiting for me when I arrived at the Toronto airport.

My first flight I flew out of the small airport at Kalispell, Montana at 2:30pm and then I arrived in Denver, Colorado at 4:47pm which was 2 hours and 17 minutes. My second flight out of Denver left at 5:35pm and I arrived in Toronto at 10:50pm which was 3 hours and 15 minutes. It was really great to see my Dad and my brother Jonathan waiting for me when I arrived at the Toronto airport.

My first flight I flew out of the small airport at Kalispell, Montana at 2:30pm and then I Lakeside Montana 1arrived in Denver, Colorado at 4:47pm which was 2 hours and 17 minutes. My second flight out of Denver left at 5:35pm and I arrived in Toronto at 10:50pm which was 3 hours and 15 minutes. It was really great to see my Dad and my brother Jonathan waiting for me when I arrived at the Toronto airport.

Wow, what an amazing week it was to go to Montana for my debriefing week! I am so blown away by God’s goodness and how He continually showers us with His blessings. What an incredible gift and opportunity that God gave me to go to beautiful Montana, to see His beauty in the mountains that He created, to have some really sweet reunions, to have like a personal retreat as I debriefed the last 10 years of living overseas which I believe was so important before God takes me into the next phase of missions overseas that He is calling me to in the future.

I ended up writing this blog entry on my debriefing week that I did in March 2017, at the Thank-you for readingYWAM Montana base much longer than I had expected I would so I would like to personally thank-you if you persevered and read it all the way to the end.

It means so much to me to see that people like you have expressed interest in hearing and reading the story that God is writing for my life and I believe that God my Heavenly Daddy has a purpose for every page and chapter of the story that He is writing. God is also writing your story too but if you are looking at someone else’s story than you are going to leave God’s story for your life undone.

If you are interested in learning more about the amazing debriefing program that I didKalispell, Montana or if you are even interested in doing one yourself than I would definitely like to recommend to you to do it at the YWAM Montana base where they have trained and experienced debriefers, an incredible program with the privacy of your own beautiful hospitality room and you can also enjoy meeting some new people in the beautiful mountains of Montana. Blessings to you and may you know and also experience the love of God in a fresh new way today!

Please check out their website for more information:

https://ywammontana.org/debriefing/

 

 

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February Update!

February 14, 2017

Hello Family and Friends,

I hope you are doing well! Can you believe that we are already in the month of February now? It is hard to believe how quickly time goes by! I hope you had a wonderful start to the New Year!

A Beautiful End to an Incredible Season

I flew to Los Angeles, California on September 24th for a 12 week leadership training school called School of Ministry Development at the YWAM LA base. The graduation was on December 15th but I flew back to Toronto on December 18th. There were 17 students (10 girls and 7 guys), in my class including myself, plus our school leader and 3 staff and we were from six different nations (Canada, United States, Tajikistan, Sweden, The img_7913Netherlands and Kenya). I was the oldest student in my class but I was so very inspired by everyone’s passion and desire to seek God with all of their hearts and also when I heard of all of their huge dreams that God has given to them.

During the 12 weeks it was extremely busy and intense. Our weeks had a very full and packed schedule but everything was amazing! Every week we had different themes for our classes and a range of different teachers that taught on a variety of different topics. Outside of our class time, we had our small groups, worship and intercession times, outreach to the homeless and we also read through the whole Bible as well which was amazing to be saturated in God’s word.  I am also very thankful for the activities that God blessed me with especially when we had a day at the beach, went camping and in November we were a part of a large YWAM conference with bases from all over California for a week which was incredible. I’m so very thankful for all of the things God revealed to me during the school in the area of leadership like the importance of being rooted and grounded in our identity in Christ, to continue to grow in our character and integrity, to have effective communication with people and many other key lessons.

Celebrating the Holidays

Over the years since I have been a missionary I have spent many holidays away from home img_7968and my family which is one of the things that is sometimes really difficult for me at times when I am living overseas especially when it is at Christmas time. When I think about it now in the last 10 years I have only spent three Christmas celebrations in Canada with my family since I have been living overseas which was in 2009, 2013 and this Christmas that just past (2016) so I am very thankful that God gave me this time to spend the holidays with my family.

Over the holidays it was extremely busy with celebrating it with my family and also traveling as well. I went to Fairport, New York to celebrate Christmas Day with my Grandma which was a blessing and I was especially touched to see how special my Mom made it for her as she made a home cooked Christmas dinner at her retirement home. My brother Jonathan and I went to Kitchener to see our relatives, and then we had separate Christmas celebrations with our parents on different days.

 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and it will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  – Habakkuk 2:2-3

 A Transitional Season I am in Right Now

God has brought me to another transitional season in my life and for me transitions can becropped-minnie-and-i a combination of feelings of being overwhelmed, scared and excited because of the unknown of what is next in the future.  In the past sometimes when God brought me to transitions in my life He spoke to me about what He is calling me to do next but I didn’t exactly know any details of what that looked like until He revealed it to me in His perfect timing of what the upcoming season would look like in my life and this is how I feel in my heart right now.

At the beginning of November of last year when I was the YWAM LA base my school leader Lisa challenged me to pray about doing at least a 6 month sabbatical/ furlough time in Canada before I continue on in missions. One of the reasons she challenged me to pray about doing this is because I have never done a sabbatical before and she told me that it is really important to get to a more “healthier Andrea” before I begin to go into the human trafficking ministry field. Lisa also explained to me that during this time it would be really important to take some time to rest so I don’t get burned out, get some self-care like counseling and missionary debriefing, connect with people at home and work at a part-time job.

I prayed about this and God spoke to me so clearly that this is what He wants me to do come-away-to-rest-with-jesusuntil the end of this summer. The Lord spoke to my heart that I may feel like it is a big gap between now and then but I will not be alone because He will be with me, He will lead me through this time, He will raise me up more, it will be a time of further preparation, refreshment and He will launch me further into what He is calling me into for the upcoming next ministry season in missions.

 Praise Reports!

  • I praise God for His miraculous provision in my life including a part-time job that He gave me to work at a daycare that is near where I live. It is such a joy to work with children again!
  • I praise God for opening up an opportunity for me to go to the YWAM Montana base for a one-week intentional debriefing program (March 4 – 11, 2017).
  • I praise God for all of His faithfulness, goodness and His constant love and presence in my life.

Prayer Requests:

  • For God to give me wisdom of what He would like me to do during this sabbatical season.
  • For God’s continual divine provision for my life both during this sabbatical season I am in Canada and when I will go to the YWAM Montana base for the debriefing program.
  • For more of God’s peace and His continual guidance as I am currently waiting on Him for the next step for this incredible adventure that He has on my life of being called the nations.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude for all of your prayers and encouragement. Thanks so much!

Blessings,

Andrea

My Contact info:

Address: Andrea Weber, 8 William Davidson St, Whitby Ontario, L1R 2J2, Canada

Phone #: cell ph.# (289) 992 -7874 and home ph # (905) 728 – 4827

My blog: https://heart4nations.com/ – Please check it out for the NEW updates!

 

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