Saturday, April 4, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I went to Seattle the last weekend of February to visit my friends Mindy & Damian & help them move into their new apartment. I had a blast. It was a much needed little vacation. We got them all moved in & even got to do a little sightseeing before I had to drive 4 hours back Sunday night. We went to Pike's Place Market...where a fish's mouth touched me cheek...not happy. :) No it was really so much fun. They (along with Mindy's amazing mother) spoiled me to death. I greatly appreciated it. So...SHOUT OUT TO MY HOMIES! :)
Then our speaker for the first week in March was Ken Helser...an amazing man does not care AT ALL what people think about him. He's very gifted in prophetic word & had an encouraging word for each of the students. This was such a great week...especially after the emotional week before. He was so much fun & challenged us to just be complete fools for God.
We've started working on dramas to do on outreach. They are so awesome & powerful. They are really good overseas I guess, a lot of people respond to them. One of them is like a puppet dance to show how the devil can have a hold on you. The other is this amazing one about a girl who gets distracted from God & turns to boyfriends, money, alcohol, anorexia, & suicide. At the end she fights her way to Jesus through all the bad people but gets thrown down & then Jesus saves the day. TEAR JERKER. I'm actually playing the girl & basically get to get the crap beat out of me...it's great. :) I'm way excited.
Our speaker last week was a guy named Fred Allen who was extremely entertaining. He had some very controversial points that made everyone think. He was awesome though. He spoke on missions according to Jesus & took missions statements right form Jesus' mouth & helped us apply the same ones to our own lives. I wish I could add in the awesome points & stuff...but I don't want to make this blog any longer than it's already going to be.
Our Thailand outreach meeting have been absolutely amazing. We've really been diving into prayer & intercession for out trip. I actually just got done with one & am soooooooooooooooo excited to be leaving. I leave April 5th...so less than 3 weeks. We feel very strongly about the leading God is giving us in our outreach & can't wait to just go & do our part.
So to sum it all up I am doing extremely well & am just loving life. But there are some pretty big things I need prayer for:
- I have been sick for about a week now. More like a severe cold...but it's been making me miserable. I can't breathe through my nose because it's so stuffed so I end up drooling all night long. My throat is killing me & my voice is shot. Just pray that God will get rid of this dumb thing so I can be at 100% to do the things I need to get done.
- Please pray for out team going to Thailand. We are super close so that's great, but we want to stay unified in spite of the tremendous spiritual oppression in Asia. Also for physical safety of course. Plus, we are taking a toddler with us so that's scary enough in itself. Let me give you guys the names... Leaders~Brandon & Angela & little 2 year old Noah, Megan. Students~ Adrian & Erin, Corey, Dusty, Kristina, & Me. :)
- This is a huge one. So I leave in 18 days, but I still need to raise $3900! Crazy...I know. But I also know God loves to do crazy things & nothing is impossible for Him. This is where I'm in panic mode. After everything I've been through the last thing I need holding me back from doing what God has called me to do is stupid money! Please, please, please pray that God will work an absolute miracle. Tell your friends & your friend's friends to be pray for me, or better yet...act! That would be amazing.
Thank you so much again for supporting me. I know I say this every time, but I really do appreciate it. I miss you all so much & can't wait to tell you my amazing stories of how God provides & what He does when I'm on outreach. I pray you are all being blessed along with your families. I LOVE YOU ALL! :) :) :)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
- What people hear first is our lives.
- If someone can talk you into it, someone can talk you out of it.
- The hope is, we do what we do because Jesus Christ is worthy!
- If you try to change your behavior without changing your mindset first, you're setting yourself up for failure.
- Christian is a word...Follower is an action!
- We don't need to preach the message, we need to BE the message.
- "There is a god we want & there is a god who is & they are not the same god. The real change happens when we stop seeking the god we want & begin to seek the God who is." -Patrick Morely.
- You cannot become what you are destined to be if you remain who you are!
- Truth hurts, but deception hurts more.
- If comfort is the governing value in your life, than discipleship is over.
- You sow a thought, you reap an action. You sow an action on a regular basis, you reap a habit. You sow a habit long enough, you reap a lifetyle.
- To be able to say yes to the important things, you have to be able to say no to the other things.
- You have to go through conflict in a realtionship to go deeper.
- We don't tend to grow during easy times, but more so when the storm comes & you're stretched to the limit.
- What's the point in giving the answer if no one has asked the question??
- "God has not called me to a ministry of success, God has called me to a ministry of mercy." -Mother Theresa
- The grace of God always looks the best against a dark backdrop.
- There's TOO much at stake to waste any time.
- Everybody lives by faith...the question is in what???
Sorry if it's annoying when I put the teaching in. Let me know if it bothers anybody. I had a pretty fun weekend. Friday night I got to hang out with the Olivers & Rob & play the wii. I'm getting really good. I got to play with little Noah too of course. I love him! Saturday, a bunch of us (Me, Dusty, Bethany, Tina, & Hali) went to downtown Salem to this awesome coffee shop to do homework. We were having a blast but then we were in a hurry to get to a movie, & we get back to my car & it won't even start. OH MAN!! So these 2 guys on base, Rob & Phil, had to come rescue us. They jumped my car & than left. Well I turned it off to see if it would start again but no luck. It had died again. So they had to come back & jump it AGAIN! Then I had to drop everyone off at the base & got to Les Schwab. Turns out my battery was shot & I had to get a new one. $82 later!!! :( No bueno!
This week has been SUPER intense. We are going through this thing called "plumb line" where we really get in touch with God & speak out in front of our group anybody we need to forgive in our lives & then any sins we need to confess. You don't have to share or anything, but it's biblically based & gives you an opportunity to share in front of people & than declare the Lord's power over the situation. It's actually been absolutely amazing. Probably one of the best weeks of my life. It was really hard for me to share, but I feel so FREE! There were some very deep hurts I had to forgive & some sins I came to terms with. I gave everything up to God & have been walking in freedom! I can't even describe how awesome it is! It's brought us A LOT closer as a school because some huge walls came down.
Anyways, I'm super excited about this weekend because Damian & Mindy are coming up! YAYAYAY!!! I can't wait to see my friends. I'm definitely going to try & get some more pictures up, but be patient with me. I love you all & thank you so much again for all your prayers & support. GOD BLESS!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
It was just a night like any other night, as 8 of us girls walked out of the swinging doors to head back home. As 2 of my friends walked out the door I heard yelling & screaming. I bolted out the door to figure out what was going on. I was pushed to the ground, along with my 7 friends. When I looked up I couldn't believe what I saw...4 men had surrounded us with big guns yelling "Get on your knees! Get on your knees NOW!" I tried to resist but one of the men roughly held me to the ground. "Don't get up scum!" they continued to yell. Although we easily outnumbered the 4 men who had us captive, they held the deciding factor in our thoughts of escape. The large, hard pieces of metal threateningly gleamed in the moonlight as we sat huddled on the ground. The men jeered & poked us with the ends of their guns, while one man broke away from the group & went towards the white van.
The other 3 men threw blindfolds at us & ordered us to put them on. If anyone objected they would be shot. Obediently we put the blindfolds around our eyes & began to gather closer with each other. But as soon as we had the blindfolds tied around our heads, we were jerked up to our feet & herded like cattle towards the white van. We were poked & prodded into the vehicle, & by this point I had no idea who was next to me, only that she was as scared as I. As we were all shoved into the back of the van, I thought maybe an escape was possible, if they just left us back there alone. Unfortunately, I heard the loud clank of the door as it was slammed shut, & the jeers of a soldier sitting there trying to scare us more. As the van bumped & rolled along, my mind began to race. "Why had they attacked us? Why were we singled out? What were they going to do with us?"
As the van lurched to a stop, we all tumbled over one another but had no time to recover. Already, we were being dragged out of the van & onto the wet, muddy ground. I clung to the person beside me, not able to see their face or even ask their name...we simply held onto one another like our lives depended on it. As we were dragged further on I began to hear screams & shouts. The screams were coming from 2 women's voices I did not recognize, they were tearfully pleading "NO! Please, don't do this!" Tears began to stream down my face, I knew someone was going to die here tonight. We were forced to our knees again, all the while the soldiers screamed insults into our faces.
I could hear the soldiers discussing that they wanted "a nice, pretty one" & fear enveloped my entire being. I felt a soldier roughly grab my arm. I began to shake uncontrollably for I did not know what I was going to face. I was pulled closer & closer to the sounds of the screaming women & was finally forced to a halt & thrown to the ground. The women's screams were terrifying, "NO! Please! We haven't done anything! Please don't kill us!" They continued to cry as I felt something cold & heavy being thrust into my hand. A soldier screamed "Pull the trigger!" Numbly, I pushed the gun away...it was immediately shoved back into my arms & directed forward until it hit a hard surface & I heard the shrill scream of one of the women. Oh my word, Oh my word...they want me to shoot the woman.
"Who do you think you are?! Pull the trigger!!" one soldier yelled over & over. I began to struggle, but then I felt another gun pressed firmly into the back of my head. "Do you want to die???" a soldier yelled in my face. I could feel his spit dripping down my cheek as I shook my head no. "Then pull the trigger!" he whispered in my ear. I could not clear my thoughts to figure out what was going on. If I didn't shoot this woman than I was going to die, but how could I kill an innocent human being. I raised the gun again & placed my finger over the trigger. My mind was off somewhere else as I faintly heard the shouts of the soldiers, "Pull the trigger!" I couldn't believe I was going to do this. I felt rough hands clasp over my fingers...THIS CANT BE HAPPENING TO ME...
& it was then that I heard the scream that would resonate in my nightmares forever. I heard the crying of the other woman asking "Why?" & I heard the laughter of the 4 men. It had all happened so fast, I could not comprehend what had just happened. It was then that I realized my finger had been on that trigger, & when I couldn't do it one of the soldiers had forced my finger to pull back. I had just killed someone, whether I liked it or not. I began to sob uncontrollably. The soldiers laughed at my dismay, enjoying the pain that had inflicted on so many. I was forcefully dragged back with the rest of the group & i could hear another person being dragged forward toward the last woman.
My mind & body were completely numb. I heard the begging of the woman & another "BANG" & then complete silence. As the soldiers began to laugh again I was pulled to my feet & dragged back towards the van. The soldier pulling me along whispered in my ear "You're mine now!" I could only guess what we were to next...but I didn't care. All that was running through my mind was "This can't be happening to me...This can't be happening to me..."
This story was a dramatization that we as a YWAM group were put through a couple weeks ago during a human trafficking conference. Sorry it's so late but I thought it was still really important to tell. We were put through this & it was completely dramatized, but the fact of the matter is this really happens. People are forced into the military & prostitution regularly. The men were not nearly as rough or mean as I made the story sound, but it was still convicting nonetheless. Here are some facts about human trafficking:
- Human trafficking is the world's 2nd largest criminal activity after drugs, earning up to $39 billion per year.
- App. 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders 80% are female and up to half are minors
- Nearly 200,000 people live enslaved at this moment in the US and an additional 17,500 new victims are trafficked across the borders each year.
- Modern slaves are expendable. At about $100 a person, it is more costly to care for the enslaved than to replace them.
- Girls as young as 8 & 9 are being captured & sold into sex trafficking.
I debated on whether or not to put this story on the Internet. I got the idea of putting this into a story form from one of the DTS girls here named Kristi. I did not put it on here to scare you, or to be dramatic, I do so because there needs to be awareness about human trafficking. Sometimes, you have to face things that are hard to deal with. Sometimes you have to put a face to suffering, because that is what will push you into action.
If you have any questions about this please feel free to contact me. I love you all! :) God Bless!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
- Jesus is love.
- Love is the answer to the world's problems.
- You need to be convinced that God loves you more than you love God.
- Love is greater when it jumps over more barriers! (Story of my life :D)
- Selfishness is the root of every problem.
- Don't just preach the message, BE THE MESSAGE!
- Be so committed to the truth that the 1st thing you do when you haven't done the is repent.
- Success is getting up ONE more time than you're knocked down.
- Relationships are only as deep as they are open & only as strong as they are broken.
- Keep committed by choice & feelings will come back
- When someone sins, it's not the sinful act we need to focus on fixing, it's the mindset behind the act.
- One thing does NOT lead to another...YOU lead things to another.
- God's response to sin was love.
- God says...You can do anything you want to, BUT some things just aren't smart to do. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
I had a good weekend...it wasn't the best Valentine's I could have had though. :( I definitely missed someONE! But I did hang out with my roommates all day which was fun. & then the DTS guys prepared an AMAZING dinner for us girls. They served us & everything, it was soooo sweet. It's hard to get the pictures on the blog but you can check them out on my facebook if you want. I hope you all had a wonderful one though.
So I won't talk about this week til I blog again this weekend, but I will tell you what's going on with outreach. We've had some meetings & I am getting SUPER excited. When we're in the 1st country we'll be going to we will be teaching English in some of the orphanages & doing a lot of prayer walks. Then when we go to Thailand we will be working in a Burmese refugee camp. We'll get to work with the kids & teach them English as well. We will also be helping with a ministry that deals with the issue of human trafficking, which is modern day slavery, which I'll talk about a little more tomorrow. I am definitely excited, only about a month & a half to go & we're off to Asia.
If you guys don't mind praying for me some more I have some little requests:
- I've been really emotional lately which is CRAZY for me. But I think the information overload here along with having my eyes opened to so many things is really rocking my world. Please just pray that God will continue to open my mind & store more stuff in my heart.
- Pray for my dad as well. I think God is really starting to work on him, & I can't even express to you my excitement about that.
- The biggest thing stressing me out at the moment though is my financial status for outreach. The lecture phase costs $2900 & the outreach is $3100. So far I have $1450 in...& $4550 left to go. I know where the Lord guides, He will provide! But I'm not gonna lie...I'm nervous.
Thank you all so much for all your support & love! You have no clue how much it means to me. I miss you all so incredibly much. I would love to hear from you! Talk to you soon! :D
Monday, February 9, 2009
So Dan was imprisoned in Iran for 9 weeks when he was 33 years old. He had 2 accounts on his life, 1 for being a spy & 1 for being a missionary. He was beaten for information every day. They thought he worked for the CIA or something. Luckily God got him out. He had dual citizenship with the US & Sweden & the Swedish ambassador in Iran got him out of prison. His story was absolutely amazing. Some of his best points were:
- Everything you ever want to do for God, will be the overflow of intimacy with God.
- All life is is discovering over & over again how much God loves you.
- God is bigger than our buts. He's bigger than any excuse I can ever give.
- Love is the deepest motivator of the human heart.
- Don't quit!!
- Find & look for God & you will find His will for your life.
- Having great faith is overrated, but having Jesus is everything.
- There is NEVER a substitute for integrity.
- No heart is too hard for Jesus.
- You only love God as much as the person you love least.
- Truth doesn't start with how you feel, it starts with who God is.
- When you care what other people think of you, it's because God's unconditional love isn't enough for you! OUCH!
- John 15- Don't focus on the fruit, just stay connected.
- I want to lean so hard on Jesus that if He moves, I fall down.
- Passion without action leads to disillusionment.
- Where God guides, He provides.
- Peter didn't see his miracle when he was sitting in the boat, he had to stand up & take a step of faith.
I just have to say that it was a spectacular week. :) This week our speaker is Dean Sherman, who is our school leader's father. He is speaking on relationships...not my favorite subject. HAHA
Last week I had a great lesson from God that I would like to share. It's kind of personal though. So, I've always been really hard on myself spiritually. I never feel like I'm good enough & think that I'm the worst Christian ever because I'm not perfect. Even here at the DTS I struggle thinking I'm doing a terrible job. Well the staff girl I meet with to do my one-on-ones ( which is just a time we get to meet with a specific staff member individually to process what's going on in our lives) once a week had a really good word for me from the Lord. She basically told me that God wanted her to tell me that I'm doing a really great job. & that He has noticed all my sacrifices & my heart. I was so encouraged because I think I don't give God time to tell me that because I'm trying to serve Him so much. But He loves me...just because I'm Caiti, not because I do things for Him. It was a great revelation. :)
Well thanks for listening guys. & I will try to post some more pictures & stuff. I've been having a lot of fun as well. I'm pretty much dominating at foosball...so that's awesome. I especially love it when I beat the guys. :) I've been learning a little Korean too. Anyo: means Hi! Anyo Hace Yo: means Hi...but for an old person! haha that's what they tell me anyway! Oh yeah...I don't think I mentioned but there's a Korean DTS on the base too. So one of my roommates is Korean...it's awesome.
Anyways, please continue to pray for me...especially in the area of God clarifying my calling & also for my money to come in for outreach. I'm really nervous...but I know God will take care of me. I really appreciate you all. Of course, you're always in my prayers. I miss & love you guys! :) :) :) GOD BLESS!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
As excited as I am, I am also somewhat nervous. It's crazy to think that in a little over 2 months I will be in a different country. INSANE! :) I'm definitely praying for the countries I will be visiting daily so that God may prepare the way & the people's hearts so that when we arrive God's harvest will be ready. This morning during intercession God really spoke this verse to me. It's Isaiah 6:8 & it says, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!' " That's what I've been saying over & over & guess what...I'M ON MY WAY!
Our speaker this week is great so far. He teaches through telling stories & it's really amazing. You really teach yourself because you take his stories & apply it to your life. He's been stressing the father heart God has for us. His challenge has been for us to fall head over heels in love with God.
Sorry this is short, but I just wanted to let you all know where I was going. Pray for me as I continue to pray for you. LOVE YA! :)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
- Your job in life is not to be like anybody else...but to be yourself, totally unique.
- God doesn't guarantee that we'll win all the battles, but He does guarantee we will win the war!
- Whether you persevere or not determines your success.
- The biggest problem in missions is that missionaries quit.
- Faith & Love spring out of Hope. (Colossians 1:4 &5)
- As you move forward with hope, your struggles will begin to fall off.
- Even when you don't know about it, when you open your mouth & share the Gospel, you release the glory of God.
- Many Christians treat God like a salad bar, taking the things they want & leaving what they don't.
- Don't let religion get in between you a & God.
- Religion does things for God, faith does things with God.
- Faith, Hope, & Love feed each other.
- Unless you're in a love relationship with Jesus, you can't really love anyone else with real love.
- Love is essentially a commitment of heart to the other person's well being.
- Love is ALL that God wants from us.
- 1 Corinthians 13...AMAZING! :)
- All real love must have God as its source.
I had an absolute blast with the kids during AOS (Acts of Service) this week. We played with playdo a lot. Noah, Brandon & Angela's son, actually ate some that turned his poop neon green. It was lovely. Noah declared World War III with Mekeisha's daughters, Jasmine & Maya. I just love the terrible twos. Wednesday Noah fell asleep in my arms. That's when I decided I loved him again. HAHAHA...just teasing, I always love him. Here are some fun pics of the kiddies:
Me & Noah
Me & my partner Hali
Our speaker for Thursday & Friday was Mekeisha Smith again. Her topic was "The Nature & Character of God." Some of her powerful points:
- You know you're getting the truth about God if He gets bigger & closer to you.
- Stop reading the Bible like it's a book of fairy tales, Start reading it like you're catching a glimpse of the min & heart of God.
- Truth has hardly nay power to affect your life, it's your perception of the truth that affects you more.
- God's call to us is not one of success, but one of obedience.
- It is unbefitting to the King for the world no to know who He is.
- Whenever God calls you to something, there's always enough grace for it.
- God is not like us, we can't judge Him by what we see in people.
- Only questions find the answers they seek.
- If the Son of God can be a servant, we're no different.
- Love will carry you where duty will not.
- You need to love God as much as the person you love least.
Thursday night we found out the locations of our outreach. There are 2 different places. 6 students can go on the one and the rest go on the other. Drum roll please................
A special country in Asia & Thailand
Only 6 students and 3 staff can go to the 1st one because it's a closed country & it's very hard to get in. I chose to go to Thailand & that one. But they haven't told us the final team for this location because more than 6 people wanted to go so the staff is praying about it & will let us know Monday. So I'll let you know. Exciting huh?
So today...when I was out running errands & trying to get Noah's birthday present since he turns 2 on Monday...I got in a car accident. Yep, my very first car accident...I rear ended a lady in a Taurus. It was terrible. She was extremely nice though & told me not to worry. We were in stop & go traffic & I was only going about 10 mph. Her car was fine, it just cracked my bumper a bit. Praise God that was all. :)
Well I just want to say miss & love you all again. & don't miss me too much. :) I'll try to get more pics & let you know where I'm going for sure on Monday. Thanks for all your prayers & support.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
What a week! WOW! I just finished up my first week here in Salem, Oregon and it has been fantastic. I arrived at the YWAM base last Saturday after a 13 hour drive. My mom made the trip with me so I wouldn't end up in Canada or anything since I'm so bad with directions. It was hard to say goodbye to my her when I took her to the airport...her little baby's all grown up. On the ride back to the base reality when I realized I was completely alone. Just me & God. But it's not really like that, the staff here are incredibly nice & my fellow students are so much fun. This really is going to be an experience I'll never forget.
My usual weekly schedule consists of:
7:15-8:30 AM: Wake up, get some breakfast, do devotions.
8:30-10:45: Class (This week Mekeisha Smith Spoke on "Hearing God's Voice & Worship)
10:45-11:00:Break time (Coffee and donated Starbucks baked goods)
1:30-3:00: Class (or Bible Meditation, varies by week)
3:00-5:00: Acts of Service (Childcare, I get to watch Staff's kids, lots of fun)
5:15-7:00: dinner, break time
7:00-whenever: Outreach, The Rising, or Worship
The Monday and Tuesday we spent mostly on introductions. But Tuesday night after a community church service called "The Rising" we went to down town Salem and I had my 1st experience with street evangelizing. I was with Angela & Angie (2 of the staff) & we met these two young women outside of Starbucks. It was really great to get to know them and build a relationship before we shared who we were & what we were about. After speaking with them for about 2 hours, they allowed us to pray with them & we went our separate ways. I think we planted a very nice seed in their hearts.
Wednesday through Saturday we had this really amazing speaker named Mekeisha Smith. She totally rocked my world. Some of the things she talked about:
- Maybe God's not calling us to the spotlight atop the platform, maybe He's calling us to the places no one wants to go.
- God is EXCITED to be with us and talk with us. (The Prodigal Son)
- A poem about understanding the Bible: Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on Read on! :) Nice poem huh?
- Sin & disobedience serves it's greatest purpose in reminding you not to do it again.
- He didn't save me to use me, He saved me because He loves me. Period. That's it.
- Be willing to be the answer to your own prayer.
- It is not God who needs to be convinced to do something, it's me.
- "I believe that God has called enough men & women to reach all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call; it's men who will not respond." -Isobel Kuhn
- Knowing God is like trying to hold fir to your chest, you're gonna get burned...but He never said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.
- Don't ask God to come, He's already there.
- What is God worth to you?
- Love, worship, obey.
- Worship involves sacrifice.
- "A gift without a heart behind it is a bribe. Goad asks for our heart, no our gifts." -Samuel Chadwic
- She also taught about the tabernacle the Lord has Moses build and how it looks today which was AMAZING!
I have a couple prayer requests if you don't mind:
- Please pray for my sister and her car. It won't start yet again & she doesn't exactly have money to drop on a new engine or anything.
- Also pray for me financially. I have $1,200 so far for this whole experience. But the school is $2,900 and the outreach is $3,000. So if you do the math I still have $4,800 to go. I know God will provide, but prayers would be nice. :)
Sorry this is so long, but I had a lot to tell. I'll keep you posted on how things are going and the great works God is doing. I love you & miss you all! God bless!