My Extended Season in Canada

I lived in Romania for 9 years as a missionary, before that I lived in South Korea for a year where I taught English and I have also traveled to other countries as well. Throughout the years while I have lived overseas God has continued to reveal to me His heart for the nations. God is still calling me to the nations and to go back overseas as a missionary to continue to love on children, who are hurting and vulnerable, to reach out Canada - The map and the flag of the countryto older girls who have gone through the pain of rejection of human trafficking, lead teams to do outreach together and other things as well.

At the end of June 2016, God brought me back to Canada, not for a short visit this time but for a sabbatical season of rest, His “training time in my home country” and to reconnect with my family for a longer period of time. I had originally thought my time in Canada would be much shorter than it has been and I had no idea I would still be in Canada just over 2 ½ years later.

When I left Romania it was very difficult for me because it had been my home for 9 years and I still miss being there very much. In the spring of 2016, I had a conversation with my YWAM base leaders about what God is calling me into which is the human trafficking ministry field. They felt the same after we talked when I came back from doing the Shine Seminar (training on human trafficking) at the YWAM Amsterdam base so they prayed for me and released me to do what God is calling me to do next (https://heart4nations.com/2016/06/21/shine-seminar-2016/).

I knew when God spoke to my heart that it was time for me to return to Canada for a season.  I needed to take that huge step of faith even though I had no idea what that would look like for my future ahead. The next couple of weeks after my conversation with my YWAM base leaders in Romania I packed up my apartment shipped some thingstransition to Canada and for the first time ever I flew on the airplane with my cat Minnie.

When I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base in the spring of 2016, I fought in my heart if I do end up leaving Romania what would happen to my cat but God already knew of this struggle even before I thought about it because He gave one of the girls in my small group a vision of Him flying me to the nations on an eagle with my cat on one of my shoulders. I just love how our Father God is so personal with us and He absolutely loves to bless us!

The summer of 2016, it was a time of rest and to spend time with my family which was a real blessing because over the years I had hardly been home over the summer months. In the fall of the same year I went to the YWAM LA base in California for a 2 ½ month leadership training school called School of Ministry Development.  During this time I believe I really grew in my relationship with the Lord and I learned many things about leadership as well. At the end of the school I thought about possibility going on the optional outreach but after my school leader prayed about it she encouraged me to go home for at least 6 months for a sabbatical time of rest, to receive some personal counselling and to reconnect with people at home.

I prayed about what my school leader advised me to do and I felt in my heart this is what sabbatical2God wanted me to do right now. The year 2017, was filled with many ups and downs but most of all I am very grateful for the many opportunities God gave me during the year including going to the YWAM Montana base for one week in March to receive personal debriefing for the 10 years I lived overseas, (https://heart4nations.com/2017/09/18/debriefing-week-in-montana/),

visiting my friends Christopher and Sarah in Texas for one week (https://heart4nations.com/2018/02/08/taking-a-relaxing-break-in-texas/)

and to go to the Kingdom Bound Christian festival with my family after not being able to go for many years (https://heart4nations.com/2018/02/12/kingdom-bound-festival/).

God definitely gave me a birthday weekend like I will never forget! It was very special to be able to celebrate my birthday on October 15th with my family after not being able celebrate it with them since 2006 which is like 11 years and because my birthday was on a Sunday everyone at my home church even sang Happy Birthday to me!Thankful, grateful and blessed

The day before my birthday God gave me an incredible opportunity to be a part of a human trafficking awareness event in Toronto called Freedom Walk which is worldwide event with A21 (https://heart4nations.com/2018/03/16/a21-freedom-walk-2017/). In the evening of that same day I went to the Bethel worship concert in Toronto which was absolutely incredible to be able to worship with a couple of thousands of passionate Christians. I love what a couple of things they encouraged us to do which was to sing your way to breakthrough and just because you came from brokenness it doesn’t mean you are broken.

I am very grateful for a couple of opportunities God gave me in the fall of 2016 which were to attend the Global Leadership Summit from October 19th – 20th and also to attend the Priscilla Shirer Live conference with my Mom and her friend Elaine from October 27th – 28th.  They were both unexpected blessings from God which I am very grateful for.

When I got back from Canada sometimes I attended the weekly Bible study at my Mom’s church on Wednesday evenings. After one of the Bible studies I spoke to Pastor Gary about my time overseas and my desire to continue to grow as a leader so then he strongly encouraged me to consider to attend the Global leadership Summit which King Street church, in Oshawa Ontario where my Mom goes to church hosted the event. I decided it would be a great idea to attend and I am very glad I did. The Global Leadership Summit

The Global Leadership Summit is an annual event; it is 2 days with world class leadership training reaching over 145,000 attendees in 875+ locations around the world. It was founded in 1992 by the Willow Creek church in the States, it is video casted in different locations around the world that host the event and it is not only for churches to train leaders but also for non-profit organizations and market place leaders as well. Here is the link for Canada: http://growingleadership.com/summit/home/

There were variety speakers during the conference which was a blessing to hear from different people of their experiences and perspectives on leadership. Some of the things I learned and really stuck out to me from those two days during the Global Leadership Summit are:

Day 1: Session 1 – Opening Session by Bill Hybels   IMG_0864

Sometimes it takes for someone to plant a seed of leadership in you. Who believed in you and saw potential in you when no one else did or before anyone else did? Who helped you in your early stages of leadership and helped you to walk in your God given destiny? It is also very important to encourage people to be a leader and to also help them walk in their God given destiny as well.

We learned different ways to respect each other like setting good examples for people, to listen well to people, and to be humble and apologize when we are in the wrong and to build bridges of understanding with people. We learned the importance when it is time to pass on the baton of leadership to someone else to plan, seek counsel but most important to bathe yourself in prayer regarding the decision.

God has a season for different times in our life so it is really important to keep challenging ourselves, to not become stagnant but to continue to grow and learn new things. Leadership first starts at the home front with our family, then in our work place and we need to lead well from the core of our heart. One of the key highlights that stood out to me was “God is writing a unique and a custom story for your life and He wants you to enter into it and to embrace it, no matter what it would cost you.”

Day 1: Session 2 – One-on-one with Sheryl Sandberg

We need to identify young people to be leaders. Resilience is very important to overcome the hardships in our life. Some key words to remember on leadership are: vision, investment, good and constructive feedback.

Day 1: Session 2 – Getting it done: People, Process, Product with Marcus LemonisSpeaker list for Global leadership summit 2017

It is important to know ourselves better of what motives us, what is our purpose, a time where something stood out like a defining moment in our lives and to take time to reflect on what we learned throughout the years. We also need to take some time to mentor people and to believe in them of becoming a great leader as well.

Day 1: Session 3 – Creative Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World with Fredrik Haren

A couple of key highlights that stood out to me in this session are: it is very important to be open to new ideas, to ask questions, to see potential in ourselves and in other people and also to believe in your heart that you are a creative person.

Day 1: Session 3 – Leading Through the Uncomfortable with Bryan Stevenson

We need to get used to being close to the uncomfortable where there is suffering. It is in the brokenness where we truly do lead. God continues to invite us to be a part of His story that He is writing in our lives. All we have to do is to say yes to Him.

Day 1: Session 4 – Uniquely Better with Andy Stanley

We need to as leaders create a culture to recognize what is uniquely better and not to resist it.  We can do this by doing these things: 1) Be a student, not a critic, 2) Keep your eyes and mind wide open, 3) Replace how with wow! 4) Ask the uniquely better questions. The key highlights are: to keep learning with our eyes, hands and mind wide open. We need to keep dreaming with God without limits without asking how but saying Wow!

Day 2: Session 5 – Insights from Inside Google: Transform How You Live and Lead with Laszlo Bock                Motivation

Some key highlights from this session are: It is very important to give your work meaning. To ask yourself what motives and drives you. There should not be a gap by what leader’s value and what they live by. It is also really important to have goals, to be transparent and to treat people with respect.

Day 2: Session 5 – The Strategic Pause with Juliet Funt

The thieves of productivity are: drive, excellence, information and activity. All of these things are important but we need to be careful and use wisdom of how much we do them so it won’t be at the point of not being effective.  It is also very important that we take some time to remember to take time to think and reflect out of our busy schedule.

Day 2: Session 5 – Reinventing Performance Management with Marcus Buckingham

There are four key important points that I learned from this session which are: 1) to have Team goalsa purpose of what our mission is, 2) to work with excellence, to have good value and to know what our strengths are, 3) to be supportive with each other on our team and 4) to know what is our future goal as a team is and to be challenged to continue to grow.

Day 2: Session 6 – Leading from the Inside Out with Sam Adeyemi

There are four key points that I learned from this session which are: 1) Describe your vision to your team over and over again. When you have great vision it will be recognized in your followers. Vision is the ability to see people and the places not what they are now but what they will become. We should not have self-doubt but to take the limitations off of us. 2) Set up a structured training system for your team. This will create a consistency in the vision and the organization.  3) We need to model an example people want to see in the transformational. 4) Reinvent over and over again. We need to “die” to one level so we can always be growing and improving ourselves.

Day 2: Session 6 – The Act of Forgiveness with Immaculee Ilbagizathe-power-of-forgiveness

The main key highlight that stood out to me from this session is as a leader it is very important that we do not allow our hearts to get “cluttered” up with any bitterness, anger, revenge or hurt otherwise it will cloud our ability to lead. It is very important to reconcile and to forgive people when you have any hurt or misunderstandings. Another highlight I got from this session is it is very important to be careful to listen to the right voices and it is also alright to know you can wrestle with God in your heart with your questions as well.

Day 2: Session 7 – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance with Angela Duckworth

The main key highlight that stood out for me that I learned from this session is it is very important as a leader to cultivate purpose in our life, to have a mind set to continue to grow and to rise to challenges that we will have in our lives. Some of the other things I learned are: The deliberate practice which is to set a stretch goal, to focus 100%, to get feedback, to reflect and refine and then to look at our goal again or make new goals. Many leaders drop out too early so it is really important to not quit when we are having a bad day or having a difficult trial but to keep on persevering and not to give up.

Day 2: Session 7 – Leaders: Do Not Be Afraid with Gary Haugen

The main key highlight that stood out for me from this session is we need to trust in God to lead us, take up the dream that He has put in our heart and to lead without fear. Some other things that stood out to me are: I should not allow fear any power over my life but to be courageous. I need to regularly ask myself this question: “What am I really afraid of?’ If I can practice asking myself this question and I am attentive to God examining my heart to do this then I will be able to grow and really embrace the dream that God has given to me.   IMG_0688

I am very thankful God gave me this opportunity to go to the Global Leadership Summit. It was a time of encouragement and I was challenged again by God to keep dreaming big, to not be afraid and to continue to run the race that He has called me to live. I absolutely love the picture they showed us at the seminar to hold onto God’s big strong hand and to let Him to fully take the lead in our lives. God has a story for each of us, He invites us to join in and all we have to do is to say yes to Him.

During the weekend I attend the Priscilla Shirer Live conference with my Mom and Priscilla Shirerher friend Elaine from October 27th – 28th, it was a real blessing from God to be able to worship with thousands of Christians and to also hear great teaching as well.  The conference was held at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, it was organized by One Way ministries and we stayed at a hotel for one night.

I read one of Priscilla Shirer’s books called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer. Priscilla was also one of the actresses in the movie called War Room which is a compelling drama with humor and heart that explores the power that prayer can have on every area of our lives. The theme scripture verse for the conference was “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

Here are some of the things God spoke to me during my time at the conference:

Session #1 – Friday evening October 27th   

Mom and I

My Mom and I

Scripture: Mark 1:21, 29 and 45 – people were drawn to Jesus

We need to get to the place again in our relationship with God to be hungry, desperate and passionately cry out to Him for revival. Let it be the cry of our heart to say to God “Let it start with me”.  Fear and insecurity will keep us back from the destiny and the adventure that God has called us to. God has NOT given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Our Daddy God loves us and He has set us up to win so we have no reason to be afraid.

God often puts problems and situations in our lives that are too “big” for us to handle so we can look to Him to show up and to express His goodness in our lives.  We need to be marked by God’s presence on every area of our lives. God wants to place a supernatural authority and favor on our lives just like Jesus demonstrated His authority when he spoke and healed the sick. We need to be continually yielded and surrendered to God with all of our life.

Session #2 – Saturday October 28th                 IMG_0719

Scripture: Psalm 23

We need to learn to just be still before the Lord and rest in Him. Sometimes we go through a “shadow” of the valley of death but God is with us. We must be saturated in God’s word, take time to talk to Him and to have a holy unrest to be hungry to hear from God ourselves.

The 5 Ps of Bible Study and to Hear from God are:

1. Position yourself to hear from God

We need to come before God expectantly, to remove any distractions and completely focus on Him. When people who do not expect to hear from God, then they will not hear from Him.

2. Pore over the message and paraphrase the major points

It is very important to take time to mediate and to think about what God is saying to us from His word. If there is a story in God’s word then we can put ourselves in the story to relate to it more.

3. Pull out the spiritual principles  Bible study

What are we learning from God’s word that are spiritual principles?

4. Pose the question

We can ask ourselves questions when we are reading God’s word. An example is from 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. Are you being fearful of something? Another example is from Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God”. Are you being still before God?

5. Plan obedience and pin down the date

We need to set our eyes on God in obeying Him because on the other side there is freedom and victory for us.

Session #3 – Saturday October 28th

We need to ask God for supernatural discernment to be able to look past the natural realm just like Jesus in Mark 1:23 when he spoke to the man who had a demonic influence on his life because Jesus saw past the natural realm. There is always something that we cannot see on the outside that is influencing us on the inside. We need to put on the armor of God everyday which is from Ephesians 6:10 – 18. When we ask God for discernment than we will start to see things as God does and not through our eyes.

It is very important where we place our priorities and we use wisdom of when to say yes and when to say no. Jesus was moved with compassion and He was willing to reach out to people because His heart was tenderized just like when He healed the man who had leprosy in Mark 1:40 – 41. We need to ask God to break our hearts for the things that breaks His heart. It is the ministry of the presence of God. God's provision with girl

My heart is also filled with so much gratitude to see how God has miraculous provided for me in so many ways during my time I have been in Canada. My heart was so touch of how people wanted to bless me by their generosity which I wasn’t very used to being in my home country.

At the beginning of the year I wasn’t even looking for a job so I was blown away when God opened up the doors for me to work part-time at the Read-A-Long day daycare near where I live. It was a real joy to be a supply teacher at the daycare center with the toddler and preschool age children from January 10th to May 15th.

In the spring of 2017, I decided to apply for a nanny job through the encouragement from a friend of mine. I never thought of being a nanny but I do believe that God wanted to give me this experience here in Canada for me not only to learn to how to continue to work and take care of children but also for me to learn some valuable life skills as well. Cardinal Nannies and Caregivers 1

On May 12th, God opened up the doors for me to have an interview with Cardinal Nannies and Caregivers and the following week I got the exciting news of getting a job position. Just before I had started my nanny job it was a real blessing that God also gave me an opportunity to be able to work as a supply teacher at the Hatch House Montessori School for around a month.

On June 26th, I began my new nanny job. God opened up the doors for me to work for a family that has four amazing children, eight year old twins (boy and girl) an eleven year old girl and a twelve year old boy. I worked with this family for almost a year until June 14, 2018 which was a real growing experience for me in many ways beyond what I could probably even put into words. Throughout the years I have worked with children in the past I had always worked alongside other people so I was never really in a position where I was sole caregiver for children before this nanny job.

I am very grateful for the many opportunities God has given to me over the years to be

IMG_1416

An Encouragement activity we did together.

able to work with children ever since I graduated with my ECE (Early Childhood Education) from college back in 2000. The majority of my experience working with children is not actually in my home country but when I lived overseas where I taught English in South Korea for a year, in Romania where I lived there for 9 years and worked with orphan and gypsy children and also other countries I had visited on short-term mission trips. This nanny job experience God gave me was definitely something that was very new to me to be able to work with children right here in my home country where it is in my own culture and in my native language of English.

Throughout the year I worked with this family God taught me so much more than just taking care of children because it was like a whole package of “training” He gave me of being responsible for four school age children, doing some household tasks like cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. There were countless times I actually wanted to quit because I got very overwhelmed at different times but by the grace of God I didn’t and I stuck to it until the end. During the time I worked as a nanny God taught me a lot about myself, He worked on my character, He grew me in my leadership skills, and He gave me the strength not to give up but to persevere until the very end and so many other lessons.

When my season as a nanny had ended I struggled in my heart that I wouldn’t be

IMG_1414

A thank you card the kids gave me.

working with these precious children anymore because during the time I had been with them we had built a close relationship with each other.  On my last day at work with the children I was very touched by them that they made cards for me and they also wrote some very precious things to me that same day when we did this encouragement activity too.

I will definitely miss the kids a lot and it is hard for me that I am not their nanny anymore but I do believe that when God closes a door in our lives He always opens up another door. I am very grateful to God for everything that He has taught me through this nanny job I had for this season in my life with these kids and I need to trust in God that He has made His imprint on their lives through me and it will make a difference in their lives one day.

The year 2018, was a huge mixture of emotions from disappointment, heartache to overwhelming joy and celebration. It was another year of learning to continue to depend on God more, to lean more into His heart and the year was an incredible reminder to me of the faithfulness of God. I am so grateful for all of the lessons God has taught me during God is such a good Fatherthe year and He is continuing to teach me that He is such a good Father. Our Father God truly does love us with so much passion and delight.

During the year 2017, I sought God a lot for His direction for my life because it is always my desire in my heart to be led by God wherever He is calling me to go next. When I was at the YWAM Amsterdam base for the Shine Seminar in the spring of 2016, it was then when I first heard about the FCM (Foundational Counselling Ministries) School that YWAM offers which is a 5 ½ month cross-cultural Christian counselling training and it includes an outreach phase as well.

As I sought God for His direction of what He is calling me to do next I sensed a strong pull on my heart to do the FCM School with YWAM to further prepare for the missionary journey that He has placed on my life of going into the ministry area of the injustice of human trafficking. As I prayed and asked God for His guidance and direction I also searched on the internet for different YWAM bases that offer this school. I felt in my heart to specifically look for a YWAM base that has a school that is in the fall and also has counselling training for children as well.

I think it was actually at the end of 2017, that I came across the YWAM Perth base and found out about their FCM School that is offered every year in the fall but I didn’t seriously pray about it until the beginning of 2018. Besides the YWAM Perth base offering the school in the fall they also have one week during their lecture phase for counselling training for children. I never imagined going as far as Australia to do a training school because I had originally thought it would be somewhere in the States or in Europe. However, the more I prayed about doing the school there God seemed to speak to me about it and bring confirmation to me too.     Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9

I don’t exactly know when it was but I think it was sometime at the beginning of May that I felt an impression on my heart from God to apply to do the FCM school at the YWAM Perth base so I finally took a step of faith and applied. It was at the end of the month on May 28th that I got my answer from the FCM School leader’s decision of my acceptance. Unfortunately the answer wasn’t what I was expecting at all as I stared at the e-mail in unbelief of their decision to not accept me for their 2018 fall school.

When I got my decline of my acceptance to attend the FCM School at the YWAM Perth base in the fall for 2018 I was shocked and very disappointed. I spoke to the school leader about their decision a couple of times on WhatsApp and I even tried to convince him for them to reconsider to accept me but it was a clear no. The school leader told me they looked over my references and prayed about their decision to accept me or not and they sensed in their hearts that now would not be a good time for me in this season of my life and the people who wrote my references recommended me to get some personal counselling to further grow in certain areas in my life.  faith is trusting God even when you don't understand

Have you ever wondered why the answer is a no when you felt in your heart it was a clear yes from God? It is often at this time in our hearts there is so much chaos because of all of these voices we may hear of questions of confusion, unbelief, hurt and even feeling betrayal by God. I certainly did without a doubt especially in that moment. I am very thankful as I slowly gave this to God; He gently revealed His love and His tender care to me through that time of uncertainly. I have to be honest it is not easy to trust in God and surrender to Him during these times but it is truly a beautiful thing to see what He does when we do.

I am incredibility grateful to see how God had continued to provide for me the rest of the year in so many ways. Shortly after I finished with my nanny job I was able to receive EI which is Unemployment Insurance from the Canadian government. As God provided EI for around a month and half, I looked and applied for jobs of where I could work. I ended up having a couple of interviews with day care centers but nothing was opening up so then I had this thought which I believe it was God to look into teaching English online to children. I had this one interview with this one company but I didn’t feel peace about going forward with them.  DaDa logo 2

On July 19th I had an interview with DaDa ABC. This company is one of the leading online English education platforms that is based in China which offers one-on-one classes to children ages 4 – 16 years old. I felt nervous when I did the short mock class which was a part of my interview but I think overall it went all. After a couple of days I got an answer from DaDa ABC with some very positive news of their decision to hire me! I started teaching English with DaDa ABC on Tuesday August 7th; with a one-year commitment and what an amazing experience it has been so far.

I taught English to both children and adults in South Korea for year and also for around 2 ½ years at a school run by missionaries in Romania as well but this is my very first time teaching online. My year commitment with DaDa has been flying by so fast, it’s hard to believe I am already over half way of my year contract. I honestly didn’t think I would have an online teaching job or what to expect but I am so glad God helped me take that leap of faith to apply for the job.     Teaching with DaDa

When I first started teaching online I felt quite nervous and it seemed like a struggle at the beginning to learn how exactly to teach well at the different levels of English and also to get established with regular students as well. At the beginning of doing this job I also had no idea how I would manage to get up at 5:30am in the morning and then it switched to 4:30am in November because China doesn’t have Daylight Saving time. It has definitely been a real stretch for me to get up super early because I am not a morning person at all but it has been definitely worth it especially to see the kid’s smiles and laughter when I have classes with them.

As of today of writing this blog entry (March 24, ’19 ) so far I have taught 282 students from a variety of different classes to trial, substituting for other teachers and also my regular students and I have taught 1,006 classes as well. I am so thankful for the 23

DaDa - picture from Eric

This is from one of my students

regular students I currently have which they are all such a delight to teach and see the children progress in their English. Teaching English to these amazing kids who live in China has been incredibility rewarding and it is definitely something I would love to do again overseas.

My heart is filled with so much gratitude to see the faithfulness of God in this job and everything of what He has been teaching me especially to trust and depend on Him more for His provision. Teaching online has definitely been like a faith job for me because my teaching schedule can fluctuate so much and there is literally no guarantee what my monthly salary will be like but God has been so faithful to see His divine provision. I am also very grateful for everyone who have been praying for me as well because I have definitely been sensing people’s prayers which is such a blessing more than I can put into words.

I am very thankful that God has blessed with me such an amazing church to be a part of here in Canada. It was a real blessing to me when I lived in Romania of how my home church Christian Life Centre supported me with their prayers and financially as well. When I lived in Romania sometimes I would also receive birthday cards in the mail from the ladies Bible study group from my church which I was very touched to see how they remembered my birthday and to know they were praying for me as well. IMG_8077

On Wednesday January 25, 2017, the leader of the ladies Bible study group from my church asked me if I would be able to share a bit of my testimony and missionary journey with the ladies at the Bible study group. I told Lapwan who leads the Bible study that I would love to and I was very thankful that she asked me to share with the ladies.

It was a real blessing by God to be given the opportunity that day to share with the ladies at my church who have been praying for me when I lived in Romania a bit of my testimony and my missionary journey with them. I felt a bit nervous when I shared with them but I believe God led me what He wanted me to share with them. I felt very encouraged by the ladies that day especially when they all took some time to pray for me after I spoke.

I am grateful of how God has made it possible for me to be able to continue to be a part of the ladies Bible study group ever since I shared about my missionary journey with them that day. It has been a real blessing from God to be a part of the group to study the Bible together and pray for each other. We studied and completed the gospel of John and we are almost towards the end of our study of the book of Acts. I am the youngest person in the ladies Bible study group but I have been so encouraged to see all of their hearts they have for God. I can truly see these ladies have deep roots in their walks with the Lord especially of their life experiences, their love and knowledge of the word of God and when they pray they do it with so much passion as well. It has definitely been very encouraging from God to be a part of the ladies Bible study group during my time in Canada and we have also seen many of our prayers answered as well. God is so good!

My home church here in Canada also has ladies events that happen throughout the year as well that are based on different themes. My first ladies event I attended when I started

Ladies committee 1

Ladies Committee

to settle into my home church was on February 25, 2017 which was on the theme “Enduring Winter” and we heard a couple of ladies from the church share their testimonies. In the summer of 2017, Lapwan became the new leader of the ladies committee at church because our previous leader decided to resign after serving in this ministry for many years she decided it was time to take a break.

It was sometime in the summer of 2017, I received a phone call from Lapwan asking me if I would consider joining the ladies committee at church. I was surprised she asked me because I didn’t expect it at all but I felt in my heart God had opened up this opportunity for me to serve in my church in this area so I said yes. I am very thankful beyond what I can put into words that God has opened up the doors for me to serve the ladies at my church because it has been a real blessing to be a part of a committee to get to know the ladies within the committee and also to plan special events for the ladies at the church as well.

The very first ladies event that I was a part of when I first joined the ladies committee was our fall event on November 11, 2017. We had a delicious breakfast for this event and this is when Lapwan introduced herself, the ladies committee and she also did a devotional as well.  The other three events I helped plan with the ladies committee was a

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Crazy Hat Decorating Event

fun bowling day and lunch on February 24, 2018, a special tea with Jennifer and Deborah who are two of our missionaries we support which was on June 16, 2018 and we also had another breakfast but this time we had a lot of fun with doing a crazy hat decorating contest which was on September 29, 2018.

Our next event we are going to have on March 29, 2019 which will be a movie night and watch the movie Miracles from Heaven at different ladies homes. We are also planning on having a painting morning as well in the spring time. I am looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in the future with the ladies ministries at church and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

There is something else I would like to share with everyone on this blog entry which is about my health. In December 2015, I went to the Czech Republic where I led an outreach team for the Discipleship Training School with the YWAM base I was serving at the time in Romania. I was very surprised one of the mornings when I woke up the students on my team told me I had a seizure the previous night because I had never had a seizure in my life before.

I am extremely grateful for the students who were on my team that prayed for me thatPrayer 2 night I had the seizure because I didn’t even know I had one until the next morning. I do feel in my heart that seizure I had it was an attack from the enemy because when you are in missions especially in any leadership positions there are a lot of spiritual warfare that happens. Honestly if they didn’t pray for me I believe something more serious could have happened. The only way I can describe how you feel after you have a seizure is you feel extremely fatigue and you definitely know you have bitten your tongue as well.

When I came back to Canada I did not think much of it to get checked by the doctor for this seizure I had in the Czech Republic in December 2015. Then it happened again which was a lot worse compared to the first time I got it.  It was the middle of the night on April 9, 2017, at 2:15am that my Mom had to call 911 and I was rushed by to the hospital by ambulance. I honestly had no idea what exactly went on that night and I wasn’t even aware that I even yelled at the paramedics. I ended up being in the emergency part of the hospital until sometime in the early morning maybe around 6:00am. That night I was in the hospital I got blood work done and the doctor advised me to see a neurologist.

On April 22, 2017, I had an appointment with a neurologist. I asked him what the God is my healer 2different causes of seizures are because this was something that I wanted to know. The doctor told me there are many different causes for seizures and one of them is stress. The doctor wanted me to get a CAT scan done and an EEG test done to find out more information of what was going on. I thank God that my CAT scan result was completely normal but unfortunately the EEG test result was not normal. The doctor told me when I had the EEG there were some seizure activity that had happened in the right front of my brain.

After I found out the test results from the neurologist on May 1, 2017, I was shocked to tears when the doctor told me that I would have to be on medicine the rest of my life. Unfortunately I did end up having two more seizures after that one on April 22nd and both of them I did not take medicine on those days it happened which I should have. On February 10, 2018, I know the essential oils that I sniffed at my friend’s house are what triggered the third seizure. On November 28, 2018, I know it was the severe stress I had that morning when the DaDa ABC servers had crashed during my shift and I ended up having some kind of anxiety attack at that time.

Now when I think about these incidents I had those four seizures I realize more and more that it is extremely important that I learn to handle stress a lot better. Just thinking of three out of the four times I had seizures in my life were because of stress it really can have a big effect on our health. I also believe there is a spiritual side of why our health is affected by some kind of sickness too. Whatever the case is I definitely do not want to have to take medicine the rest of my life.

I believe as a Christian the importance of standing on God’s word and proclaiming by God is my healerfaith for healing in the name of Jesus. It says in the Bible in Isaiah 53:5b “and by His strips we are healed”. Another scripture verse says in 1 Peter 2:24b “By His wounds you have been healed”. There are a lot of scripture verses in the Bible on healing so it is really importance to proclaim them out loud by faith that Jehovah Rapha, the Lord is our healer. No matter what the doctor’s report says I believe by faith that I will not have any more seizures and I will not have to take medicine the rest of my life.

Here are some important tips to know if someone you see or know has a seizure. This information is from the Epilepsy Ontario Trillum Foundation.

  • Stay calm. Seizures usually end on their own and last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Create a safe space. Move sharp objects out of the way. If the person falls, place something soft underneath their head and roll them on their side as the seizure subsides. If the person wanders, stay by their side and gently steer them away from danger.
  • Time it – Note the time the seizure begins and ends.
  • Call 911 if: The seizure lasts more than 5 minutes. It repeats without full recovery between seizures. If consciousness or regular breathing does not return after the seizure end. The person is pregnant, has diabetes, appears injured or is in water. You are not sure the person has epilepsy or a seizure disorder.
  • Provide reassurance – When the seizure ends, stay with them until complete awareness returns
  • Don’t – Restrain the person and put anything in their mouth.

There were a couple of exciting things that happened in 2018, like when I had a reunion in the summer with my friend Erin from college in Manitoba and also the amazing

My family reunited again

My Family

miracle of restoration that God did in my family at the end of the year but I am going to save those two stories for their own separate blog entries. There was a time of grieving when my Grandma passed and went home to be with the Lord on July 23, 2018 but I am also going to save this for another blog entry to write a special one to honor her.

 

I am very grateful of how God has given me so many fun opportunities both with my family and friends since I have been in Canada like going to the Kingdom Bound festival, bowling, Sky zone, glow in the dark mini golf, snow tubing in the winter time at a local ski resort and water tubing in the summer time with friends in North Bay and just enjoying going to see a good movie at the theatres.

I am also very grateful of how God has opened up two opportunities for me to seek counsel during my time I have been in Canada with my life coach and a Christian counsellor. I feel so blessed by God beyond what I can put into words for both my life coach and my counsellor because they have been pouring into my life so much as they have been speaking into my life and confirming of how God has a calling on my life as well. I believe God has been doing a deep healing in my heart during this time as I seek counsel and I do not want to take this time for granted as God is further preparing me before He sends me out again overseas.

So far this year (2019), I have been keeping busy with my teaching English online, going to church on Sundays and for the Ladies Bible study group, planning events for the ladiesI know God has a plan at church, connecting with friends when I can and just enjoying spending time with my family. I have also been praying and waiting on God for what He is leading me to do next in my journey that He has me on. It is my deepest heart’s desire to be ready and open to be in step with God as He leads me.

I would like ask you to join in with me as I wait on God for His direction and guidance for my life. God has been speaking to me about something that He is leading me to do but I do not want to rush and just wait on Him a bit more regarding what I believe He has been speaking to me about. I am very excited of what God is calling me into and I wait with so much anticipation in my heart for what is He has for me in the next season of my life. I am also really looking forward to sharing a future blog with you what this next season will look like as well.   trust in God with your future

I believe by faith that God is holding my future in His hands and He knows what He is doing. I also believe that God won’t let me go either because He is always so very faithful.  I would like to encourage you today this is the same for you too, that God is also holding your future in His hands, and He knows what He is doing even though you might not see it right now. God will not ever let you go and He is very faithful. Father God loves you so much, you can call out to Him anytime because He is always listening to you and you are His precious child.

As I come to an end of this blog entry of my extended season God has for me here in Canada I hope you were in some way inspired as you have read it. I do realized this blog entry has been quite long so if you have read through it until the end I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read it and listen to all of my experiences and lessons God has taught me through the highs and lows during this season in my life. I would also like to thank you for all of your encouragement and your prayers you have all given to me because it has meant so much to me far more than what I can possibility put into words.    Thank-you for reading

Thanks again for reading my blog! I really appreciate it a lot. That’s all for now and be on the lookout for more to come in my future blog entries. Many blessings to you and I pray that you may you know the love of Jesus more and more each day. Sending a big hug to you from Canada!

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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2 Responses to My Extended Season in Canada

  1. Nancy says:

    Great to read your blog, Andrea. GOOD job!

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