Hello Everyone from Sunny California!
It is hard to believe that I have already been at the YWAM LA base now since last Saturday evening. If you have asked me a year ago if I would ever think about going to the United States or even possibility thinking about leaving Romania I would respond by saying absolutely no way but God’s ways and thoughts are much higher than ours as it says in the Bible (Isaiah 55:8-9) and He knows what is the best for us even though we have no idea. It is the moment you say “yes” to Jesus with all of your heart – no matter what the cost will be, or where He will take you. You just know He is calling you and the response must be “yes”. This moment for me was in the May 2008 when God spoke to my heart loud and clear, calling me to be a missionary full-time. That was the beginning of this incredible, life-changing journey God has placed me on, and what an amazing adventure it been with my Abba Father!
In April 2007, I moved to Romania to begin my missionary journey with the Lord. I would like to praise God that it has been 9 incredible years of His faithfulness as I have served Him in Romania. My heart is filled with so much gratitude of the different ministry opportunities that God has given me over the years with teaching English, loving on orphans and Roma gypsies, praying for the sick at a cancer hospital, and serving with outreach teams and also with the DTS (Discipleship Training School) ministry.
In September 2014, God started to break my heart for the injustice issue of human trafficking which began when He laid the nation of Cambodia on my heart. This spring God gave me an incredible opportunity to go to the YWAM Amsterdam base for a 6-week training course called Shine Seminar which was a very life changing time as God revealed to me how His heart breaks so much for the injustice issue of human trafficking. During the time I was there God confirmed to me that He has called me to continue to serve with YWAM but now with a specific focus to reach out to girls who have been trafficked and are wounded by this injustice issue. God has also put on my heart to continue to serve with the discipleship ministry along with a Justice focus as well.
I am so very thankful that God has set me free from the orphan spirit and revealed His Father’s Heart to me in December 2012 when I was in Mozambique for a mission’s school. I now know deep down in my heart that I am a daughter of God, His princess and He is my Abba Father. I feel very overwhelmed now when I think about it of who I am in Christ and I am so very grateful that my relationship with Him is so much closer with a deeper level of intimacy than it was before and I am finally learning to see myself as God sees me too. I also believe in my heart that God has given me a burning passion to see people healed, restored and released into their full destiny the Lord has on their lives as sons and daughters of God especially those who are poor, hurting, vulnerable specifically those who are trapped in the injustice issue of human trafficking.
When I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base this spring for the Shine Seminar God spoke to me very clearly that He is calling me to continue to serve Him with YWAM, to continue to serve with the DTS (Discipleship Training School) ministry but to serve with a Justice and Human Trafficking focus DTS, to minister to girls who are vulnerable and who are being trafficked and the Lord also made it very clear to me that He is also calling me to serve Him in the nations as well. God also began to not only give me a heart to serve with a Justice focus DTS but also to eventually to pioneer one in the Central/ Eastern Europe region in Europe as well but first before I do that to get some training and experience with a YWAM base that is already running one.
There were a couple of different people who recommended to me when I was in Amsterdam this spring to look into the YWAM LA base (it is in Los Angles, California) because they run a very established Justice focus DTS so I decided to contact them when I was there to see if there would be any possibility for me to serve at their base for a season with their Justice focus DTS but when I was in Amsterdam I didn’t hear back from them at that time.
Then God began to speak to my heart to slow down and wait until after I got back to Romania so I could fully be present there at the Shine Seminar. Another thing that God spoke to my heart during the spring was that He is not only calling me to serve Him in the nations but He is also bringing an end to my season to serve Him at the YWAM Târgu Mureş base in Romania and He even gave one of the girls in my class a picture when she prayed for me that God is taking the pin off of the world map and He is moving it to another nation.
I honestly always thought I would serve God in Romania indefinitely because it had just become my home for so many years. When I had a meeting with my former base leaders at the beginning of June they really encouraged me a lot to step out in faith and to start to contact YWAM bases that have a similar calling and vision that God has given me so after I met with them I decided to contact the YWAM LA base again and this time I did hear from them back. However, their response was not something I had expected to be because the girl who wrote to me told me that it not so common for them to accept staff who have not been with them before and they typically ask applicants who have never done any sort of school at their base to do a secondary school with them before they accept any potential staff so they can get to know you and to see if it would be a good fit as well.
To be quite honest I was not thinking of doing another secondary school right after I completed the Shine Seminar however when I took a look at the YWAM LA secondary schools they offer at their base one of them stuck out to me right away which is their school on leadership and ministry development called School of Ministry Development (SOMD). I took a look at the list of the teaching topics for the course I thought to myself this is exactly what I need to continue to go forward in what God has called me to do. Some of the teaching topics in this course are on pioneering ministry, Biblical counseling, personal development and growth and others.
I decided to speak to Florin who was my base leader at the time about it the following week at the base. He told me this maybe exactly what I need right now and he really recommended me to seriously pray about it to consider to do it because it will really help me with developing my leadership skills and personal development. I prayed about it and I really felt peace from God that this is what He is leading me to do next so I decided to contact the base to let them know. Over the last 3 months, God also gave me numerous confirmations as well so He had definitely made it very clear to me that this is the next season that He is leading me to do.
During the last couple of years since I have been serving with YWAM I have been placed in different leadership positions which I did not feel ready for yet however, I still chose to take those steps of faith and go for it anyway even if I wasn’t ready or not. I am very thankful of how God has led me to apply to do a 3 month leadership training school and with great joy I would like to share with you that on July 21st I received my acceptance to the YWAM secondary “School of Ministry Development” at the YWAM LA base from September 24th – December 18th of this year!
When I was at this YWAM Amsterdam base God also spoke to me about going to Canada this summer for a time to rest and to connect with my family, friends and supporters as well. My summer months are usually very busy with ministry so this summer was definitely very different for me to take some time to slow down and rest. It was also a very different summer for me because I not only wrapped up my time in Romania by getting my plane ticket at the beginning of June and then flying to Canada on June 29th but for the first time I also took Minnie my cat with me and I felt like my emotions were pretty up and down at times because I had struggled with the uncertainty of the unknown of my future as well.
I am so very grateful before I flew to Los Angeles, California I was able to have a small prayer send off with some of my supporters on Friday September 23rd in the evening which was such an encouraging time as I was able to connect with some people I haven’t seen in a while, share a bit of an update with them and then pray together. Then last Saturday (September 24th) at 7:00pm I flew to LA so this is my story in a nutshell of how God has brought me to California this fall.
I really believe with all of my heart that God has brought me to the YWAM LA base this fall for the SOMD (School of Ministry Development) for a purpose and a reason and it was not an accident or a coincidence at all that I am a part of this leadership training school. It has only been one week so far and already God has done so many amazing and incredible things in my life. To be honest though the first few days at the base I went through a time of questioning and doubting if I am really at the right place and I felt completely overwhelmed to the point of tears as well but God is so very good and faithful and He has given me the grace each day to see there is a purpose for me to be here right now.
I have always found it difficult to try to fit into a new environment and to make new friends at the beginning when I am at a new place because I have struggled with shyness pretty much all of my life so the first few days of my first week I felt quite overwhelmed by all of the new faces because not only is the SOMD running this fall which is the school I’m a part of but there are also two DTS schools running at the same time as my school during this fall (a justice focus DTS and a transformation focus DTS) so there is quite a lot of new people all at the same time but it is really great to be able to meet so many people who are passionate for God.
I absolutely love my SOMD class! There are 17 students (10 girls and 7 guys), in my class
including myself, plus our school leader and 3 staff and we are from six different nations (Canada, United States, Tajikistan, Sweden, The Netherlands and Kenya). I already feel like we are becoming like a family as I am seeing God is really bringing unity to our class which is such an answer to prayer! I am so very excited to be a part of this class even though I am the oldest student I don’t want it to allow it to affect our relationships in the class because I don’t think age should matter. I am already so very encouraged to see everyone’s passion and desire to seek God with all of their hearts and also to hear of all of their huge dreams that God has given to them.
For the first week, we didn’t have any guest speakers but it was more of an introduction week to go over the school manuals, orientation stuff, we all shared our testimonies and we started to read the Bible in our groups. One of the things that we will be doing during this fall is read through the whole Bible which is something that I have never done in such a short amount of time. I have read the whole Bible before but I ended up stretching it I think to a year and a half which originally was supposed to be a one-year reading plan. I had a Skype call with Lisa (she is the school leader) this summer in July before she processed my school application and it was then when I found out that we would be reading the whole Bible during the 12 weeks of the school. At first, I felt overwhelmed by the thought of it but now I think it will be really great that we have this opportunity to read the Bible during this time and we are also doing it in reading groups which really helps a lot. We have already read the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Job so I’m really looking forward to see how God is going to reveal more of who He is to me during this time from His word!
I would like to briefly share about how it was like for me to share my testimony this week in my class. In the past God had given me many opportunities to share my testimony at different times in my life but this time, when I shared my testimony this week it was different but in a really good way. Lisa my school leader told us that we would be sharing our testimony using a tree method which is basically every part of the tree represents something in our story.
These are the different parts: 1) the roots represent our background and upbringing, 2) the soil represent 5 different turning points in our lives, 3) the ground represent what we desire God to bring breakthrough in our lives during this season, 4) the trunk represent our values and skills, 5) the branches represent our hopes and dreams for the future, 6) the leaves represent the significant people who have influenced our walk with God, 7) the fruit represent the legacies that we were given to us from people and 8) the seeds represents the legacies that we would like to leave with people.
In the past when I had shared my testimony I had usually just focused on my roots and the different turning points in my life but it never really crossed my mind that I can also share about my future as well when I share my story with people. I just love this way to share your testimony and story because it really does leave people with so much hope at the end and I would absolutely love to try this in the future when I do ministry with girls who have been wounded and hurt because I really believe in my heart that God can bring so much healing to their hearts through sharing their story in this way. I felt very nervous when I shared my testimony in the class on Thursday but I am so very thankful for God giving me the grace to step out of my comfort zone and share my story with the class. I ended up sharing some very vulnerable stuff and there were a couple of times that tears came to my eyes too but I really do want to thank God for helping me open up myself to the class when I shared my testimony.
It is my prayer that I will not only open myself up just from the time that I shared my testimony this week to the class but I will continue to open up my heart throughout this whole school.The breakthrough that I shared with the class of what I am seeking God for is to be able to receive total healing and freedom from the past failures of leading because I am still struggling with fear from that and I have been carrying this weight of shame, unworthiness and guilt as well.
I really desire God to bring me into a greater level of healing, freedom and victory that this would be a time where I can really grow in my identity in Christ and my confidence of who I am in Him as well so I can truly move forward in what God is calling me to do in the future. I would love it if you could also join with me in your prayers and stand with me in agreement that this would truly be a season of breakthrough in my life so God can prepare me for the next season of ministry He is calling me into.
During the school, this fall one of the assignments we have is to write a weekly blog entry about how our week went and to process about this season in our lives. I do enjoy writing on my blog and I have been doing it for years but to be honest I have never been asked to do a blog assignment before so I really hope and pray that I will be able to pour my heart into every blog entry that I write during this school. I really wanted this first blog entry to be more about the journey of how God has brought me here to California to do the School of Ministry Development at the YWAM LA base this fall so when people who read my following blog entries they will be able to understand more about the journey of this season that God has brought me to.
I am just so very excited to see what God is going to do during this season and the many breakthroughs that He is going to do during this time! This blog entry ended up being a lot longer than I had anticipated it to be so if you have read until the very end of it I would like to thank you for taking the time to read it and for expressing interest in hearing more about my journey that God has placed me on.
I would also really appreciate your prayers during this season as well especially for God to do everything that He is longing to do in my life during this season – deeper levels of intimacy with my Daddy God, deeper levels of freedom and healing in my life, my heart and my ears would be completely open to hearing God’s voice more and also for God to give me complete peace during this time especially as I wait on Him for the next steps that He has for me in the future as a missionary.
“It is that overwhelming moment when you realize God has been the most faithful in the one area you had the least faith for because that’s the God we serve. He will bless you into your breakthrough and love you into your destiny.” (this is quote from my friend Heather Freytes).