Debriefing Week in Montana

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

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

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

My flight route

My flight route

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

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

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

Felicia and I

Felicia and I

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

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

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

Bayshore buiding

Bayshore building where I stayed

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

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

Kitchen and Living room

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

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

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

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

Matt, Kat and I

Matt, Kat and I

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

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

Donna and I

Donna and I

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

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

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

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

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

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

The building where my debriefing was.

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

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

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

IMG_8577

My timeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

YWAM Montana base

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lori, Tammy and I

Lori, Tammy and I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please check out their website for more information:

https://ywammontana.org/debriefing/

 

 

About Andrea

I am from Whitby, Ontario. I have lived in Romania for 9 years as a missionary but I am currently in Canada on a sabbatical break at this time. I have also lived in South Korea for a year and I have also been to Russia, Uganda, Albania and the Czech Republic on short-term mission trips. In 2012, God also gave me an amazing opportunity to go to Mozambique for the Harvest Mission School with Iris Ministries as well. I love children, reaching out to people who are in need and vulnerable, I have a passion to fight against the injustice issue of human trafficking and to simply share the love of Jesus wherever I go. I also love cats too and I have a cat of my own named Minnie!
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