Saturday, November 26, 2011


Hi all!
I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends! Unfortunately, New Zealand does not celebrate Thanksgiving so I had a big bowl of cereal to remind myself of home :) This past week was crazy. I confirmed my baptism as child by being submerged in the Ashley Gorge. I had this whole new since of renewal when they pulled me up. I am starting over and I am ready to go wherever and whenever God wants me to. Don't get me wrong, I definitely believe that my baptism as a child was real, but I wanted to make a conscious decision for myself so I confirmed what had happened when I was a baby.

This week was also a sense of renewal in the fact that I learned how much stress has been apart of my life. As some of you know about 2 and a half years ago when I was in college I was dealing with a lot of stomach issues and when I got tested they said I had to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet. So I did that and felt a little better but I haven't ever felt completely healed. At the beginning of this week my stomach/intestines hurt so bad that I knew something was wrong and I had to see a doctor cause food shouldn't cause this much pain. The doctor said that stress was the problem and that was what caused all my stomach issues in the first place I just never treated it correctly. I will always have stomach problems unless I get healed, which I believe can happen, but he said that stress is the root of it. So now I am being aware of how stressed I am and trying to eat smaller meals to help digest the food and to exercise more to relieve any stress. I trust that God has a plan for why all of this has happened and that I can help someone else who deals with the same problems.

I leave for my outreach on December 20 and we will spend 3 days or so in Spain and then go to Morocco from there. There are 5 students (Chris, Nate, Abby, Kathryn, and myself) and our leader (Kent) going. We have become like family and we are going to end up getting a lot closer in the 2 months that we will be there. I am hoping to still be able to send updates from Morocco to let you know what all we are doing there. So far I know for a couple weeks in the beginning we will be working at a boys home, which would be like an orphanage. We will spend 3 or 4 hours there for a couple weeks trying to communicate to them the love of Jesus we have by acting things out, music, art and whatever other creative ways we can think of. They speak Arabic, so I pray that if anything else we can just hang out with them and share our love with them.

I want to continue to thank you for supporting me in this experience and ask that you would continue to pray for me. Specifically, that I can learn how to handle my stress while getting ready to go on outreach and during outreach; that I wouldn't cause myself anymore sickness.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Faith Weekend

So this weekend starting Thursday at 2 and ending Sunday at 3, I did something called a "faith weekend". Basically it means depending on God to provide for the whole weekend. Each team was made of 3 people. I had Chris (who is from Texas and on my Morocco outreach team) and Marianne (who is from Norway and going to India for her outreach). Each person got 10 dollars for the whole weekend. We couldn't take any other money with us or food besides the lunch we had packed and we had to find our own housing accommodations. So the van from YWAM we were in had dropped us off west of Oxford but our original idea was to go south, so we actually ended up hitching a ride (which is much safer here in NZ than in the states) back into Oxford and we walked about 2.5 hrs to get close to a highway because no one was picking us up. Finally someone did that had seen us an hour ago and brought us to the highway and then from there we got another ride to Arthur's Pass which was west. So I think God wanted us to go west. We spent the night in a really cold chapel and woke up early the next morning and started our way to the west coast. We got a couple rides without too much of a wait in between. One of them was a huge RV with an older couple and they gave us tea and cookies. From there we ended up in a town called Hokitika. We stayed in a hostel for 2 nights for free in return for a couple hours of work on Saturday and he bought us lunch!

This morning (Sunday) we got a ride out of Hokitika to Arthur's Pass and then got a ride from Arthur's Pass back to Oxford by a really nice old couple that bought us lunch. We did survive on the 30 dollars for food and actually had some left over to give to people as they would give us a ride and we gave some to Jon (the hostel owner). It just meant a weekend of chips and lunch meat, peanut butter, rice cakes, ramen noodles and bananas. God definitely provided this weekend and there were times when I thought I was going to have a complete breakdown because no one was picking us up or because we weren't sure where we were going to sleep. I can go more into detail of the events of the weekend but I just wanted to let you know that I made it home safe and I am thankful that I have money and food so I don't have to live like that everyday. Thanks to those of you who prayed for Chris, Marianne and I.