After the holidays had finished maybe some of you have been wondering what I will be
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 fight 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 the 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 and 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 with 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 from 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 suddenly 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
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 the 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
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 sabbatical 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 completed 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 to 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 from 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.
- I praise God for how He miraculously opened up a door for me to get a part-time supply 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
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.
- 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 in 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)