A21 Freedom Walk 2017

About A21

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

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

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

A21 Freedom Walk 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My friend Vanessa and I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promotional video for the Freedom Walk 2017

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

Re-cap video for the Freedom Walk 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trafficking in person in Canada, 2014

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

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

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

Domestic Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Canada

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

25% of Canada’s human trafficking victims are minors

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

The reality of sex trafficking in TorontoEnd it

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

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

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

National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Micah-6.8

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Kingdom Bound festival

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

Darien Lake

Darien Lake them park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My Mom, my brother Jonathan and I

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

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

Here is the Kingdom Bound website:

http://www.kingdombound.org/

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Taking a relaxing break in Texas

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

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

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

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

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Christopher, Sarah and I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Texas Discovery Gardens

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the prayer that I wrote from Psalms 23:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Creation Evidence Museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheila and I 2

Sheila and I

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

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

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

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

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Sarah and I

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

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

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

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

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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

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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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A Transitional Season I am in Right Now

After the holidays had finished maybe some of you have been wondering what I will be

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Minnie and I

doing next so in this blog entry this is what I would like to talk about. God has brought me to another transitional season in my life and for me transitions can be a combination of feelings of being overwhelmed, scary 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.

Over the last couple of years God has begun a new journey in my heart of Him calling me to transition-2fight the injustice issue of human trafficking which all started when He laid the nation of Cambodia on my heart in September 2014 so I do know that God has been continually speaking to me about this. The Lord has also been making it very clear to me since last year in the spring time that He is calling me to the nations, to continue to serve with the DTS (Discipleship Training School) ministry with YWAM and now more specifically with the Justice focus. God has also spoke to my heart to even pioneer a Justice DTS in the central Europe region as well. However, at this moment I do not exactly know what are the specific details of this vision and dream that God has placed on my life of what He is calling me to do in the future.

The Lord has also been making it very clear to me since last year in the spring time that He is calling me to the nations, to continue to serve with the DTS (Discipleship Training School) ministry with YWAM and now more specifically with the Justice focus. God has also spoke to my heart to even pioneer a Justice DTS in the central Europe region as well. However, at this moment I do not exactly know what are the specific details of this vision and dream that God has placed on my life of what He is calling me to do in the future.

“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

I have so many questions in my heart that I have for God but I do not know what thequestions answers are right now like: What nation is God calling me to serve Him in the next upcoming season? Is God calling me to return to the YWAM LA base, to return to Europe or somewhere completely different? What YWAM base is God calling me to serve Him in the next ministry season in my life? Would it be a well-established large base or a small base?

When I return to the “mission field” how will my financial support be like? When it is time for God to bring me into the next season as a missionary will I be ready in the different aspects of my life – physically, emotionally, mentally and of course spiritually? Will it be possible to bring my cat Minnie wherever God leads me to in the future?

These are just some of the questions that have been on my mind and my heart lately andtrust in God with your future to be honest, I have been thinking about these questions for actually months now especially since God called me out of Romania last year at the end of June. Sometimes when I think about it too much I feel overwhelmed because it is the unknown of the future that can be overwhelming at times. You see I am a type of person that loves to plan and I am also a very detailed person as well so not knowing right now at this moment what God has for me in the next upcoming season is killing me – not literally but it is really, really hard!! I am really trying to give all of my questions to God but I also know at this point He may not reveal the answers to me right now because I sense in my heart that He wants me to wait on Him for a season and to also surrender all of my unanswered questions to Him.

Last year when I was at the YWAM LA base when I was there for the leadership training school that I did in the fall there was an optional outreach I could be a part of after the school finished. At first, I do not know why but I was not very interested to do the optional outreach but then during the second week of the school I sensed in my heart God challenged me to reconsider to go on the outreach so then I ended up wrestling with God to go or not. On Monday October 31st there was an interest meeting for the outreach and the next morning I had to give my final answer to go or not to go on the optional outreach.

After the interest meeting, the outreach leaders just encouraged me to spend some time surrender-to-the-lordwith God in the prayer chapel and to ask Him what He wants me to do. I found the majority of my time in the prayer chapel I ended up wrestling with God but thankfully after a period of time He helped me come to a place where I can rest and wait on Him so I could listen to His voice. I sensed strongly in my heart by the end of the day when I waited on God for the answer of what He wanted me to do that He spoke to my heart so loud and clear that He is looking for my obedient and surrendered heart to go anywhere in the world and at any time during the year so I just knew in my heart that I needed to say yes to God.

The next day (Tuesday November 1st) when we had to give our answer of whether it was a yes or a no to be a part of the outreach I took a huge step of faith and wrote my name on the white board that my answer was yes to be a part of the optional outreach team to Greece and Israel. Then on Wednesday (Nov. 2nd) morning, I had an unexpected meeting with Lisa my school leader and the two girls who would be leading the outreach during the time our class had intercession time. To be quite honest I felt very shocked, overwhelmed and speechless when Lisa shared with me that she prayed regarding my decision to go on the outreach and when she prayed about it, she felt it was a no. She explained to me that the main reason why she decided to not approve for me to go on the outreach is because the ministry that we would be serving in especially to the refugees in Greece would be a very high stressed and anxiety environment and she didn’t feel in her heart that it would be the right time and place for me to go there right now since I am still working on to overcome this area of anxiety in my own life.

Lisa also recommended to me during that meeting to seriously pray about taking time off it-is-time-to-restfrom ministry to do a minimum of a 6-month sabbatical time off from the “mission field” to take some time to rest and for a time of self-care so I can get to a much healthier me. Lisa told me that long-term career missionaries actually need to take a 6 – 12 month sabbatical every 7 years. I have served in Romania for the last 9 years and I have actually never took a sabbatical so she strongly recommended that I seriously do it after the leadership training school finished because I am long overdue to have one. Lisa told me that if I don’t take a sabbatical time off now before I go into the human trafficking ministry field I might not be emotionally and spiritually ready for it at all or even be able to continue to serve on the mission field especially at the pace that I have been going on otherwise my health will start to be affected and other things.

I really appreciate Lisa’s advice about prayerfully considering to take a sabbatical time off because I was actually thinking of doing it but I was still pretty hesitate to do it. It was also really helpful to hear Lisa’s advice as well to consider to work part-time during this time but not full-time hours, to consider getting some counseling, to take some time to rest and reestablish my relationships with people at home and she encouraged me that most of the time the people who are supporting missionaries who are on a sabbatical leave will usually continue to support them. I really liked all of Lisa’s ideas because they were really helpful and I am also thinking that it would be really great to go somewhere for at least one week to get a proper missionary debriefing with people who are experienced at debriefing long-term missionaries as well who have served overseas.

When I first thought about taking a sabbatical/ furlough time in Canada my future sabbatical2suddenly seemed a lot more unknown to me because I honestly did not and I still do not really know what people would think about me taking a “break” from the “mission field” but I do agree with my school leader that if I seriously don’t do it now than I really don’t know if I will be able to continue to serve on the mission field especially going into the human trafficking ministry field. I do agree with my leadership when I was at the YWAM LA base that it is extremely important to take time, to rest and get some self-care like counseling and missionary debriefing but I also think it wouldn’t be a problem to work at a part-time job as well.

The following week when I was in California I went to a YWAM conference called the Presence Gathering in Chico with other YWAM bases. This week God encountered me a lot and He spoke to me a lot especially through prophetic words that I received from different people. On Friday November 11, 2016 there was a prophetic word I received from my friend Becca from the YWAM LA base that was specifically about this sabbatical season that God is calling me to take after the leadership training school finishes.

What I can remember from this prophetic word I received that day God spoke to me about

Man jump

God wants to minister to the “gap” that I feel I’m in right now.

being still before Him 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. God wants to bring rest to my soul.

Becca imparted the gift of faith to me and a deeper measure that is already there. Becca sensed God wanted to give me a spiritual rest, He is wrapping His arms around me, He 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.

On November 28, 2016, I took time to pray and journal with God in the prayer chapel at theseason-of-renewal YWAM LA base. It was at that time that God spoke 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 this summer and then the next season of ministry in missions will begin again in the fall of 2017 specifically at the beginning of September.

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.

On Thursday December 1st, we had an intercession time at the YWAM LA base in the

dry-docking-of-a-ship

This ship is in dry docking

morning where we were able to gather together in small groups and to pray for one another. These are some of the things that I received from God that morning: God 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 are at, to restore and to fix the cracks in our life. The Lord takes rest seriously, He makes this super clear and He is our rest.

God wants to spend more time with me and to build me up to prepare me more for what He has for me in the future. God will never leave His children out in the dark because He loves and cares so much for us. Do not make ministry an idol but focus on God. A sabbatical is part of the ministry that God has for me and it is a time that God is going to prepare me more and then launch me back out into what He has called me to do.

God also gave me a couple of prophetic words about His provision in my life during this extravagant-provisionsabbatical season that He is calling me to take during this time in my life. When I went to the Expression 58 church on Sunday December 11th I received a prophetic word from a man on the ministry team about how God sees my faith and He is going to provide extravagant for me.

After my SOMD (School of Ministry Development) graduation at the YWAM LA base I received prayer from Pastor John and his wife Natasha (I went to their church sometimes when I was in California). I was also really encouraged by their prayer that was very prophetic especially when the Lord spoke to me that He is really proud and pleased of me, God has a big exclamation mark (!), there is a new blank page and there will be miraculous provision in my life just like He took care of Elijah in the Bible (1 Kings 17:1-6).

I am so very thankful for how clear God spoke to me before I flew back to Canada after I come-to-jesuscompleted the leadership training school that I did last year in the fall at the YWAM LA base about doing a sabbatical season before I continue on in missions because I definitely do not want to continue on feeling burned out or anything like that. I still have so many questions and I am still struggling with these doubts and fears of the unknown of the future. However, I do know that I really need to surrender all of my unknown of my future to God because He truly is holding us in His hands and He knows the beginning from the end so I really shouldn’t be afraid what my future holds because our Abba Father is watching over us and He truly has an amazing future for us.

To be completely honest with you at the beginning of my time I have been back in Canada I was feeling extremely overwhelmed, fragile and just felt very vulnerable. I also struggled a lot with my emotions of feeling like they were all over the place as well but now I am so very thankful to God that He is helping me come to a place of rest and peace. I am realizing more and more that striving and placing pressure on myself to “figure things out” does not result in any rest but rest is simply found in the arms of our Abba Father God.

Yes, I truly believe by faith that God has spoken to me that He has a calling on my life tocome-away-to-rest-with-jesus serve Him as a career missionary but I sense in my heart so clearly right now that the Lord calling me to a sabbatical season to take a bit of a break to receive some self-care like get some counseling, missionary debriefing, get my health taken care of, take some time to reconnect with people, work part-time and also to establish new relationships in Canada to build up my support team more and just simply take some time to rest as well.

During this sabbatical season, I will also take some time alone with the Lord to pray into and wait on God of what exactly is the next step He is leading me to and which YWAM base He is leading me to serve with in the future. Though at this time I do not exactly know where exactly my next season will be but I do want to praise God that He is so very faithful and I do believe that He will reveal to me what the next step is in His perfect timing.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude for all of the support that I have received fromgod-is-faithful different people since I have been a missionary especially with everyone’s prayers, encouragement and the generosity from different people over the years who have supported me.

Unfortunately until I am “under/ with” another YWAM base I will not be able to offer any income tax receipts to anyone who would like to financially support me during this sabbatical season that I am in Canada so I do want to apologize for that but when I do join the YWAM base that God leads me to serve with in the next upcoming season the YWAM funding office in Vancouver and I think it is also the same in the States will be able to begin to handle my support again one month before I arrive at the new location that I will be serving at.

I would like to share a few praise reports of what God has been doing lately and also a couple of prayer requests that I would really appreciate your prayers for as well.

Praise Reports!

  • I praise God for how He miraculously opened up a door for me to get a part-time Praise Godsupply job at a local daycare where I live in Whitby, Ontario. I started working there on January 11th and it has been such a joy to be able to work with young children a couple of days a week.
  • I praise God for opening up an opportunity for me to go to the YWAM Montana base for a one-week intentional debriefing program that they offer for missionaries there (here is the website:  https://ywammontana.org/debriefing/). I am so very thankful I will be able to debrief and process together with people who have experience with debriefing missionaries who have served overseas and debrief how the last 9 years in Romania have been and to start processing with people what God is leading me to do the rest of my sabbatical time and also what my next steps in missions are as well. I will fly to Kalispell, Montana on March 4th and then return to Toronto on March 11th. I am really looking forward to seeing what God is going to do during this time especially to be able to get away with Him for a week to have some alone time with Him and also to process with debriefers how my previous years on the mission field have been and to start processing what God has in store for me next in the future.
  • I praise God for Him giving me the opportunity to go to a ladies Bible study group at
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    Ladies Bible Study Group

    my home church and share about my mission’s journey with them on January 25th. It was such a blessing to be able to be given this opportunity to be able to share the journey that God has placed me on, to meet the women who have been praying for me and also to receive prayer that day as well. I decided that if I am not working or away I would like to continue to go to this ladies Bible study group every Wednesday morning because they are all such a blessing to me to be able to continue to be a part of their group and I just love their hearts for prayer as well.

 Prayer Requests:prayer-request

  • For God’s wisdom of what He would like me to do during this sabbatical season that He has brought me into like when to take time to rest, when to spend some good quality time with Him, how many hours per week He would like me to work at the daycare, how to build more relationships with people to expand my support and network team, how to get more involved with different fellowship groups at churches, how I could receive some counseling and mentoring during this time I am in Canada, etc.
  • 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 from March 4th – 11th. The total cost for the week including everything will be $485 USD ($637 CAD) plus my flight cost as well which is $499 CAD. I also need to trust in God’s provision when I will begin my next chapter in missions at the end of this summer that I will return with the full support that I need to continue in missions.
  • 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.

I would really like to thank-you for all of your prayers during this sabbatical/ transitional time in my life that God has brought me to. I really appreciate your continual prayers so much. It is a real blessing to me to know that there are people who are praying for me especially at this time in my life as I am taking this time to seek the Lord to rest, process and to seek Him for what are the next steps of where He is calling me to bring His hope and love to the broken hearted especially in the injustice area of human trafficking and to also continue to disciple people with the DTS ministry as well.

I would like to thank-you for taking the time to read my blog and for expressing interest inThank-you for reading hearing more about the journey that God has me on right now. It really means a lot to me and I am also so very appreciative for all of your prayers and encouragement as well. If you live in Canada I’d love to see you during the time I am in Canada for my sabbatical time. Please also let me know if you have any prayer requests that I could pray for you as well because I would love to pray for you. Thanks so much! I hope you had an amazing and blessed week!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”   (Matthew 11:28 – 30)

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A Reflection on the year 2016 and Looking Ahead

2016 was an incredible year of God’s faithfulness. I would like to take a moment to thankreflecting-on-2016-2 Him for all of God’s faithfulness, His compassionate love and His continual presence in my life. It was definitely a year of full of surprises like I never expected that I would encounter and experience God in 5 different countries (Czech Republic, Romania, The Netherlands, Canada and The United States) this year. There were many stretching moments even painful hardship times but there were also many moments of joy that God overwhelmed me with so much of His love.

I am so very thankful to God for the opportunity that He gave me to go to the YWAM Amsterdam base for 6 weeks in the spring for the Shine Seminar to get training on human trafficking and also to go to the YWAM LA base in the fall for the SOMD (School of Ministry Development) to get leadership training. I truly believe these intensive training courses that I did God using them to further equip and train me of what He is leading me to do in the future in missions so I am extremely grateful for these opportunities that God has given me to teach me and further prepare me for what He has for the future.

I also never expected that my season in Romania after being there for 9 years would comelooking-back-and-looking-ahead to an end at this time in my life and I would leave the country for the very first time with my cat Minnie and now I honestly do not know what God has for me next but I do know by faith that He is such a good Father and I can trust in Him with all of my unanswered questions, my doubts and any fears that I have especially about my future.

God’s word says that His thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways just like the heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:8-9). I believe in my heart that I can trust in God’s ways even though I do not understand what He is right doing now and He is such a faithful shepherd to continue to lead and guide me in His path for my life as well.

I am really excited for what God has in store for my life for the year 2017 and in the 2016 2017 New year change conceptfollowing years. The Lord has spoken to me about Him continuing calling me to the nations to bring hope and healing to the broken-hearted especially in the injustice area of human trafficking and to continue to serve with YWAM with the DTS ministry. I honestly do not know right now what the next step is but I do believe in my heart that God will reveal it to me in His timing but I also do know that right now that God has made it really clear to me that He wants me to take a season to rest and process with Him first before He wants me to continue on in missions.

I would also like to say that I am extremely grateful for everyone who has come alongside of me in the journey that God has placed me on with all of your prayers, encouragement and for your generosity in your support as well. I would definitely appreciate your continual prayers especially at this transitional time in my life. If you would like to read more about this transitional season that I am in right now please feel free to read the blog I wrote called “The Transitional Season I am in Right now”. Here is the link: https://romaniangirl98.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/a-transitional-season-i-am-in-right-now/ . Thanks so much! Happy New Year and may the year 2017 be an incredible year filled to the overflowing with all of God’s blessings and full of wonderful surprises from Him. Blessings and hugs from Canada!

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