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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WE'RE GOING TO JAPAN IN TWO DAYS!

Today was the final, final deadline for outreach fees, and we saw about $15,000 come in this morning! One girl still has to get about $300, but other than that we're all paid up. It was nerve-wracking sitting in class watching the totals on the board change. This was a bittersweet day. We cleaned the classroom (and had an MJ dance party!) and dance studio that we've practically been living in for three months. Tonight was our "love feast" formalish Korean food dinner with dancing and cheesecake.

It's been a week of goodbyes as other teams and roommates leave. After the love feast we said goodbye to two students (we've now lost a total of five people.) who aren't coming on outreach as well as four staff and their kids. And another staff couple who are waiting on Visas and will hopefully join us in Korea.

It's hard to believe there's just one day left. Tomorrow and Wednesday morning will be spent packing, putting my extra stuff in storage, cleaning my room, doing laundry, and getting all those random last minute tasks done. I spent most of yesterday packing and figuring out what I'm getting rid of, what I'm storing, and what's actually going in my one medium-less-than-50-pounds suitcase. I'm not really good at packing light---let me rephrase---I suck at packing light, so I weighed my suitcase, before I even had everything in it, and it was way overweight! A big thank-you to my Mom who's always a phone call away, and not only figured out how to eliminate 10lbs of junk from my bag, but talked me through almost every shopping trip I made while I was here!

We got "prayed off" by Loren and Darlene Cunningham this morning. When they had all the teams going to Asia raise their hands it kind of hit me. We're really going to ASIA! To another continent, a two totally different cultures, thousands of miles away and we're leaving in less than two days!  I'm so excited to go, for all the things Jesus will do through us, all the people we'll touch, through our show and otherwise. We found out a few days ago that we'll actually be spending 10 days at a disaster area church in Japan. We'll perform, cook meals for them and do whatever else we can.

I apologize for my lack of blogging in the last few weeks, obviously, I've been really busy, but I want it all documented, for myself if no one else, so eventually I'll write it up. (Maybe on the 8-hour plane ride!) I'll just end this post with a quick summary of what I've learned in my 12 weeks of lecture.

Looking back I feel like the rest of my life, or at least the next phase,  kind of boils down to four things:
Jesus. Family. Leadership. Arts.

Jesus-letting him love me and figuring out how to love him back. Getting to know him better and better and figuring out our relationship. I've definitely learned that the way I relate to and learn about Jesus isn't exactly the same as anyone else's and that's good. Sometimes my best times with him are when I'm hanging out with lots of people, sometimes it's when I perform a dance, sometimes I'm laying in bed, sometimes it's while discussing a movie, sometimes it's during worship, sometimes it's when I'm doing my laundry. It's usually not when I'm sitting quietly outside with my Bible or shouting and shaking and jumping up and down and declaring things about him. But it's okay, because it's a unique friendship and it doesn't have to be the same as someone else's.

Family-I really feel like family is the key to most of the world's problems. When I look at all the lectures, I learned something about this pretty much every week. One week one of our speakers left early to be with his family, so he only spoke to us for one day. He summed it up by saying something to this effect: "If everyone doesn't have sex outside of marriage, and raises their kids right, it eliminates most of the world's problems: AIDS, foster care, divorce..." Getting away from the world I grew up in where most people were homeschooled and came from pretty stable and loving families, I didn't realize how spoiled I was to have such a great family. God has really softened my heart and I've discovered all these mothering qualities I never knew I had. People mention to me how they love that I love my family so much, and how I'll be a great wife and mother. All I can say is I hope I do as well as my parents have. But I also have a heart for helping other families. My heart just breaks for people who aren't loved in their families. We watched a documentary about sex trafficking in America this week (http://sexandmoneyfilm.com/) and it was sad, but it didn't really hit me until after we finished and were having prayer time. I just felt like most of the girl's who ended up as prostitutes were looking for strong male figures, or running away from messed up families, and the men selling and buying them were the same. During that prayer time I cried like I've probably never cried in my life. I think it's really appropriate that our show is about the prodigal son, totally a story of family, and even when we've prayed for things to specifically reach in Japan and Korea, family is what keeps coming to my mind.

Leadership-For one thing, I've definitely decided I don't like being under authority in some ways. It's something I'm working on, but I know that I'm designed to lead. This week Maria invited about 15 of us to be members in her arts company Heartbridge (Which is a super cool opportunity, and could include things like staffing a performing arts/film DTS in Amsterdam and going to the London Olympics. Pray for me!)  because she sees as leaders she wants to rise up to do the work of Jesus in the arts. Also, due to some of the people leaving, our small groups have been shuffled around and I'm now a student leader. Yay!

Arts- Performing Arts is the main way I feel I'm called to share Jesus. It's what I love doing; it's what I'm good at, I think I bring some great things to the table. I just feel right when I'm on stage or even when I walk into a theatre, read a script, wear a costume, design something. As someone who's artistic but also really organized, I think I can be really helpful as a developer, producer, director, administrative person within arts.

All that being said, I have a lot of serious praying and thinking to do about my next steps. I'm going home through at least Christmas and doing Adventures in Narnia again. (I'm really excited to have gotten the two parts I've always wanted!) I'm looking at the performing arts degree program here, which is two years, one focused on Bible study and the other on worldview. I'm also looking at the film or acting schools. Doing Heartbridge, (which is a two year commitment)  for Amsterdam/the Olympics or sometime in the future or doing something at some other YWAM. Or doing more things at home. I have a lot of ideas of ways the Christian arts companies in the area could join forces. And some ideas for family and arts. I definitely want to travel a lot. I'm so spoiled by all the different cultures here. And of course God could have some totally different ideas!

Side note: you may notice my grammar and English seem to be getting worse. Probably because I spend so much time with people who speak broken English. I’m told by the end of outreach it will be worse. I’m writing these blogs from the heart and quickly, and I’m not taking time to proofread. Or I’m just being lazy. So please ignore my lack of punctuation, fragmented sentences and extra apostrophes! Or just pray for my grammar to be restored! Haha. :) 

Please keep us all in your prayers as we travel on Wednesday. Our first flight leaves at 4:30 PM Hawaii time. (7:30 at home.) And pray for all the poor flight attendants and other passengers that have to be on a plane with 50 performing artists for 8 hours!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Short Update

Aloha from Kona!
I know a lot of you guys keep up with me on Facebook and my blog, where I try to put up pretty detailed regular updates. But for those of you that don’t, I thought I’d send a quick update. We are now on Week 11 out of 12 of our “lecture phase.” That means we do our first full performance in a week, and leave for Japan 12 days. (On June 29th!) Life is super busy here, with lectures in the morning and rehearsals in the afternoon and sometimes as late as nine at night. Sometimes it’s stressful, but we’re all learning how to be flexible and lean on God.
We’re all getting geared up and really excited for our trip. The show is coming together; we started rehearsing on stage yesterday. We’ve been learning lots about South Korea: (our school is bi-lingual and about a third of our students and leaders are Koreans!) So far all the Korean food we’ve had has been delicious; I’m really looking forward to that! Yesterday a guy who had just returned from Japan came and shared some videos with us. We’ve been invited to perform in a refugee camp on the edge of the tsunami-devastated area. It’s going to be really heart-breaking to see all those ruined homes. God has really been softening my heart and teaching me to care more about things outside my own little world.
A couple weeks ago we went to Hilo, the town on the other side of the Island. We spent the weekend there in a church, performed our show twice and had some really great bonding time. We got to hang out with people and just share with them after our shows. It was a great taste of what it will be like when we’re in Asia. And traveling with 50 people is really fun and crazy. There was lots of fellowship, games, cooking, worship, and our leaders washed our feet and took communion with us.
God is doing lots of incredible stuff around here. We see miracles every day.  One night they raised over $100,000 for a building project on campus in about an hour’s time. We’ve been hearing stories of teams back from their outreaches, including some who raised seven babies from the dead! Two the guys in my school are in Honolulu right now getting their visas for Japan and Korea. This morning they were just waiting on one of the Japanese visas, so we prayed during our worship time, and right after we finished, we got a text saying that he had gotten it!
                Personally I’m really learning about who God wants me to be. I’m not sure yet exactly what he wants me to do next, but I know I’m meant to be a leader and work in some area of the arts: dance, acting, film, etc. One week we had this crazy speaker and this couple who prophesied over us and some of the things they said for me were arts-related, as well as being a strong leader. It was so encouraging, it really confirmed things we all kind of knew about ourselves I think. My favorite random thing one of them said was that I’m sort of the initiator of parties, the person who brings other people together, which is totally true about me.
I want to thank you all again for all your prayers, love and support. Between what I earned and all the donations you guys gave me, I actually have some extra money, so I’ve been able to help out some of my friends and have a little personal spending money. But there are still several students and staff in my school who don’t have enough money to go Asia.  When we first totaled everything up a few months ago, it came to about $88,000. We’ve been doing street performances, selling food, doing car washes, writing to supporters, taking offerings, and of course, praying. That total has now dropped to around $38,000. Just this last week, someone anonymously paid off a girl’s whole fee, and another girl just received $1000 from someone in her church, enough to more than cover her balance.  As I was putting the finishing touches on this letter, I got word that another girl’s fees have been paid! However, the final deadline is Friday June 24th, so please keep praying for all these awesome people. I love these people so much and I really want to see them come with us. If you’re interested in sending them any financial support, contact me ASAP and I can tell you how to get it to them. (If you’d like a tax-deduction, we can run donations through my grandparent’s non-profit ministry.)
I miss you all and I can’t wait to get home so I can share more with all of you!
Love and prayers to you,
Jessamyn


Friday, June 17, 2011

A Token Note to Graduates :)

I got a text from my Dad tonight, he was at graduation where several of my friends were celebrating completing high school. It's weird to me that it's been a year since I was in their shoes. So I felt like I should write them a little note of encouragement. I'm excited about some stuff I'm hearing about here, and I want to share it with you guys!

I'm sure you guys heard a lot of "This is the beginning of the rest of your life." and "You'll do great things." People have to say that stuff to you when you graduate. People are probably asking you want you want to do with your life, what are your plans, are you going to college, are you getting a job?  But I just want to share some thoughts I was having tonight, a year later about "the rest of our lives." 

Don't be afraid of doing HUGE things! If being here at YWAM has taught me anything, it's that with God, seriously, BIG things are possible! YWAM really trusts young people to do crazy things. (Obviously, they are called Youth with a Mission) They don't care if you have experience. I mean, there are older leaders and they guide the young people, but they don't say you have to have a college degree or 3 years of work experience before you can do anything. Along these same lines, if you haven't read "Do Hard Things" it's a pretty awesome book on this subject. (with a foreword by Chuck Norris, so how could it possibly not be awesome?)

I feel like that's one of the greatest things about this particular YWAM base that I'm at. It's the biggest one and the one where so much is happening. There's a huge movement of change, especially in the art, and there's so much cutting edge stuff going on here. Movies, music, media, technology, it's all going on here. We've got projects like a new format of the Bible http://sourceviewbible.com/, some sort of new hydrogen power source that's going to power the whole campus, http://grassrootsnews.tv/, a totally encouraging way of doing the news. I feel like I'm making great contacts here, like if I want to be involved in making a movie, I'll just call up one of the people I've met here, and they know so many people in film. 

Tonight we had a big gathering of everyone on campus and this guy came and spoke to us about a series of books he's been writing. He was a youth pastor and God put it on his heart to write the story of David and his fighting men. So he began writing this novel, and the first one has just been released. It's going to be a series of five, but it's now been picked up to be movies, a motion comic, an interactive e-Book, and a documentary that shows all the real historical sites in Israel. We got to see a sort of "mock-up" trailer of the movie, and it's a big deal. Like a Gladiator-300-Clash of the Titans-style movie series in 3D. Not some hokey little Christian movie. Not that Christian movies are bad, but let's face it, they're not usually the same caliber as other movies. And production is starting right here on this campus. It's being produced by a guy who produced the Spider-Man movies, and written by the screenwriter of Young Guns and Hidalgo. You can see all the info at http://www.lionofwar.com/new/

That got kind of off topic. Anyway, all that to say, I want to do big things with my life, and being here has helped me realize that. And realized how to actually DO it, not just talk about it.  So don't get stuck in going to college or having a career or staying in one town unless that's what God really wants you to do, and what you really want to do. Life will always have times that seem boring, but don't get stuck in a rut: travel as many places as you can, learn as much as you want, have great relationships with family and friends, go on adventures, and try to change the world in some way, even if it doesn't seem big. Don't be afraid of not having enough money, work hard but know that God will provide. Don't feel like there's only one thing you have to do with your life. I like to dance, but I also like to cook, and act, and dance, and laugh and a million other things, and there's lots of time in life to do lots of different things. 

So yeah, there's my inspirational words of wisdom. Hope you like 'em! Also, you guys all probably got a copy of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Suess, but if you didn't, it's a fun little book to read when you graduate, and there's some pretty good wisdom in there.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Nighttime Ramblings

The last few weeks, ever since Hilo have kind of been insanely busy. Obviously, I haven't had a chance to blog since then, but I felt like sharing some quick thoughts. If I have time, I'll eventually write some detailed posts from the last few weeks, but blogging just isn't a big priority in my life right now.

So today we were given our last chance to "back out" of going to Japan and Korea. Maria said that if we were feeling overwhelmed now, it's only going to be worse on outreach and we should really ask God and make sure that it's the right thing for us to go.

I was feeling pretty tired and worn down at this point; my lower back has been in a lot of pain (prayer would be appreciated, for healing and for wisdom about what I should do to help it get better) and it's been a crazy few weeks with a few meltdowns. Doubts started to creep into my mind: can I handle the disorganization, and craziness, is this what God really wants me to do?

Fortunately they gave us the day off from rehearsals and just let us relax. So I spent a little time in prayer and didn't really hear anything. (I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely not at a point where I just close my eyes and hear from God.) So I called my mom, we chatted for a while, I mentioned it and that I was feeling a little stressed. A few hours later I was still feeling stressed so I called her back and we had a great long chat. I'm so thankful for my mom. She really encouraged me that I can handle it and God has obviously opened all the right doors to get me here. She pointed out that just last week I was telling her how I would leave for outreach now if I could. After we talked I felt so free and much more joyful and I let go of all that doubting and fear. And while we were talking, my back seemed to loosen up a lot. All that tension was probably not helping it.

I also realized part of why I've been feeling a little down during the last few weeks. I've been so focused on "resting" during any free time, I forgot that what really energizes me and feels like rest is hanging out with people. So I let go of my to-do list and decided to look for someone to hang out with tonight. I put up a status on Facebook and then a minute or two later stepped outside because I heard one of my leaders and I had a question for her. Victoria and Kerry happened to be heading down to fro-yo right at that minute, and then they were planning on watching a movie. I'm pretty sure it was a God-thing, because those were two of the things I had been thinking would be fun to do tonight. I'm so thankful for all the friends I'm making here.

We went to the cafe and  watched a few minutes of a Johnny Depp movie from the 90's and then some of the doubts starting creeping back into my mind. I prayed about it. A few minutes later we ran into Maria and ended talking to her for a while about outreach and it got me so excited to go again. She explained that she's really been giving us the worst-case scenarios in class so that we're prepared, but we'll actually have a fair amount of free time on outreach. And they have all these fun things planned for us, like historical villages and shopping and restaurants. Plus, she told us that we'll only be staying in about three places in each country, and just driving to wherever our performances are each week, so we won't have to move all our stuff around all the time. After that I just felt so excited about all of it and I really enjoy getting to spend time with Maria in a closer setting like that.

After Maria left, I hung out with the girls for a little while longer, and laughed the hardest I've laughed since I've been here. Then one of my friends from home had written this note on Facebook on perseverance and joy through trials that was a lot of what I had talked to my mom about earlier. It was cool.

Motto for today: The joy of the Lord is my strength! (I bought a feather earring last week. There's a guy on campus who makes them as a fundraiser and he prays over each one and includes a message on the tag. And that's what mine said.)

P.S. So You Think You Can Dance inspires me so much! And you should try ice cream with hot chai poured over it, and I did a marathon shopping trip and went to three stores and tried on clothes in less than an hour last week, and some of my friends got baptized in the ocean, and I got to cook with actual fresh herbs during kitchen duty on Sunday!

That's all! Good night!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hilo Weekend

So this weekend was a mini-outreach to Hilo, on the other side of the island. Friday afternoon was pretty crazy. We ran kind of late because Maria surprised us and announced our new small groups early. For outreach they mix up the guys and girls and have a lot more student leaders. So we had a quick meeting with them just to get familiar with who’s in our group. Then we had a quick lunch. In the afternoon we had to pick up our costumes, pack, load our stuff and all the food into the vans, and iron our hula dresses. I was pretty stressed out. Unfortunately when I started to iron my white hula dress, the iron left a bunch of gray specks right on the front of it. I spent about an hour trying to get it off, finally resorting to scrubbing with a toothbrush for twenty minutes. Somehow I actually ended up with extra time and was able to take a quick walk and call my family before we left.

The girl's luggage
The 50 or so of us were pretty crowded in the bus and we had to put a lot of the luggage in the aisle. We stopped at Costco for pizza and then it was about 2.5 hours to Hilo. Most of it was in the dark, so we didn’t get to see much scenery. We watched High School Musical 3 for the second half of the ride. It was the only movie I had on my computer.

We had “Korean Fun Night” and played a couple of games. We had a Korean snack called Tteokbokki. I pretty much love Korean food so far. It was sausage, these super chewy rice things, spicy sauce and “fish cake.” We went to bed pretty late.  We stayed at a Korean church.  All the girls were in one big room, sleeping on the hard floor. (Or in a few girl’s case, on a table.) I’m definitely considering investing in one of those little roll-up air mats for outreach.
Korean food!

On Saturday we had worship time and then the staff washed our feet and we did a really special communion. Instead of taking it for ourselves, we had to get it and give it to someone else as a symbol of sacrificing for them. It was so cool. It was a really emotional bonding time. We got to have a little time with our new small groups getting to know each other better.

Lunch was seafood spaghetti. Charlie and Kyo Soon our like our Korean grandparents and they do all the cooking on outreach. They’re the sweetest. I’m so looking forward to being on outreach and not having to eat campus food anymore.

We got a little rest time and then we had “European Fun Night.” (Even though it was really the afternoon. We played a bunch of fun games. The best one was when they had a few of the staff sit and some of the students did their arms (like “Helping Hands” on Whose Line Is It Anyway.) they had written out a whole scene where they had to do things like paint their nails, peel and eat bananas, and get text messages. It was such a riot.
Playing games

For dinner there was Korean chicken with kimchi, rice and salad. We started dress rehearsal around 9 and went till close midnight. We ran through it all once and everyone thought we were done, so we were all in our PJs, ready to go to bed and then found out we were doing another quick run-through.

We had to be up and packed by 7:15 and then it was breakfast duty and cleaning our rooms and the kitchen. It didn’t take very long with all of us working together.  We had some time to do our hair and makeup and then we sat backstage during the Korean church service. The show went really, really well. The people were so nice and they made us bibimbap for lunch. It’s rice, meat and veggies with sauce and a fried egg on top. It was so good. I finished my whole bowl and had part of someone else’s. There was also regular kimchi and some made with daikon and raw cuttlefish (which I tried before I knew it was raw.) The lady who made it owns a Korean restaurant and she’s going to close it down  for a night and make us Korean BBQ ribs for our “Love Feast” (the YWAM word for a fancy celebratory dinner) before we leave on outreach.

Then we rode over (a few at a time, because we didn’t have the big bus anymore) to the other church. We got to see a bit of Hilo. Something about it reminded me of Bend, except more tropical. It’s bigger than Kona. I wish we would’ve had time to hang out there a bit.

We got a little rest time (the church even had couches!) before our next run-through. The church made us dinner. It was more Island food; a lot of the people are Hawaiian. There was chicken soup with rice, sausage and shrimp, beef with taro leaves, salad, shredded pork, chicken and spice cake. I ate so much food on Saturday.

The show went really smoothly and we got to hang out with people a little afterwards. We got on the road by nine, which meant we got to campus around 11:30. I was able to sleep for about an hour of the ride and I was in bed by midnight, but I’m still pretty exhausted.

Today was a bit more of a relaxed day. I actually had time to quickly unpack this morning, but I did forget to eat breakfast. It’s another corporate week, so we’re combined with all the DTS’s again. We had some great worship and then a talk on planting the church, and how to keep it really simple. You can do church anywhere, just having fellowship, worship and Bible reading. It was a pretty familiar concept to me. For the last hour or so, we got to “practice” by going in our small groups and doing just that: bible study, talking and worshipping. It was great. Maria surprised us by giving us the whole afternoon off.

I decided to make a "small sacrifice" today and fast at lunch and just take time to pray. I’m still really bad about making time for quiet time so I just forced myself today and it was so good. I spent the rest of the day getting caught back up on stuff I’m behind on from the weekend, like laundry, going to the library, and talking to my family.

Please keep my school if your prayers. There’s a lot of sickness going around: stomach flu, pink eye, and strep throat. There are also a lot of people who still need money for their outreach fees. Please take the time to consider supporting my dear friend Sarah! She's still has about $4800 to raise and the deadline has technically already passed! She's been working very hard to save money and to fundraise. I haven't seen her spend a penny on doing any extra fun things like eating out or going to the movies and I admire her for that! You can see my original post about her here
Sarah ready to get her hula on!

Things are only going to get crazier around here, but I’m getting really excited for outreach and how close we’re going to get as a team. And for all the people God is going to reach through us!


DTS Week 8: Original Design Lectures

Oh boy, there is so much to write about this week. It was pretty awesome. Our lectures were on Original Design with Bryan Brennt, along with his son and a married couple. Original Designs basically just what it says: finding out the way God originally designed you. So a lot of it was getting rid of strongholds in your life, like fear and passivity, so that you can actually live the way you were created to.  Fortunately for me, I had a pretty good upbringing and I didn’t have a lot of stuff to deal with. At first I was a little nervous about this week, the speaker is pretty hyper and there was a lot of prophecy involved, which I’m not used to, but as the week went on it got really good.

On Tuesday we started the day off by just going around the room and praying for each other in groups of two or three. It was a really good time. The topics we worked on during lecture that day were fear and passivity. I don’t think of myself as passive but I checked a lot of the signs of passivity. It’s really good to identify that kind of stuff and get it out of my life. Then people had to get up and encourage each other, and Sarah encouraged me and she cried. It was so sweet.

They called a few people (including me) up the front at the end and the Bryan and his son prayed and got sort of prophecies for people. I’m pretty skeptical about that kind of stuff, but when I was actually up there it didn’t seem weird and some of it was very right on with what I already know about myself. One of the other girls wrote down what they said to me:

They asked if I like to sing and I said, yes, but I don’t consider myself a singer, and then he said the first thing, “Singing to the Lord, and it has a beautiful fragrance. He loves your singing. It doesn't matter what it is, He loves it. Write worship songs like psalms, poetry. You are a worshipper. And, “Your writing gifts will be released.”
And he asked if I like planning parties, which those of you who know me well can attest to:
 “You will approach the girls from other DTS's and will be the bridge of friendship between the DTS's. You have a unique gift of bringing people together. You draw everyone together to party and have fun. -You initiate celebrations and crazy memories. You are a dance party guru”

So that was all stuff I kind of knew, but it was pretty cool. After that one of the guys in our school who had a really tough upbringing broke through a lot of hatred and unforgiveness for his father. It was really heartbreaking and touching.  

The next day had a great energetic crazy worship time to get out of our comfort zones. One of the girls gave me a word about how God loves my figure and I should hold my shoulders back and have good posture.  She also said that as the sort of unifier/initiator (referring to the gift of bringing people together)  I’ve sometimes been underappreciated. That brought to mind some situations where I had felt that way, though I don’t think the people meant to hurt me, and I realized I needed to forgive them, so I did. Ironically the topic of lecture that day was unforgiveness. We had some more prayer time another day and Bryan prayed over me some more. The things he mentioned were:

Red hair-rare, rare treasure
Fragrant worship, song, filling a building
God likes me
I have argumentativeness

Then he asked me if I speak in tongues. I explained that I don’t and I’m kind of wary of it and he was really good about it. He explained his personal feelings, that it’s a way for your spirit to communicate with God without your brain getting in the way. That is the best explanation of I’ve heard, but I still can’t say that I really want to speak in tongues.

Another cool part of lecture was that we all had times to pray with this couple and they got words from God about our original design. They’re a really cool couple and it was so casual. I thought it was cool that they even mentioned songs and a movie (or that I could just look up the plot on Wikipedia) which are all things I love.
 1. I’m like a battleship-strong, solid, armed, leader, blows bad stuff out of the water, destroyer, Acts 10:38
2. Revivalist-New Breed, uniquely made, radical, knows where God’s going,
3. Israel and the New Breed band, “I’m a Friend of God” God likes me
4. I’m like a soldier, getting a medal, being promoted, good soldier of Jesus Christ, set apart from the world, 2 Tim 2:3-4 (movie: We Were Soldiers Mel Gibson)
5. God has a crazy huge uncontainable jealous love over me.

The last day of lecture was mostly prophecy. They were getting a lot of stuff about a big arts movement in Kona. There was some stuff that was kind of the same as stuff I’d already received this week and been thinking about. While they were doing that I wrote out a list of all the arts-related things I want to do (which is almost everything I want to do in life) it includes so many different parts of film, theatre, dance and media. I really think God has some big plans for me in the arts and that I will be someone who’s a leader.

I know all this prophecy stuff sounds pretty crazy when I write it out, but I think you had to be there, and I’m definitely going to pray more about all of it and what God really has for me. Just because someone prophesied something about being a solider doesn’t mean that I should jump up and join the military or something.

It was a pretty busy and emotional week, so there’s not a lot else to tell, but we did have some rehearsals. One day we had a full run-through of the pared-down version of our show for our trip to Hilo.

There wasn't too much time for fun, but I went swimming the pool a few times. I watched So You Think You Can Dance with Terri-Lynn. One night our building managers threw an ice cream social for us. There were root beer floats and we played Apples to Apples.

I hope this post wasn’t too confusing and full of run-on sentences. I’m doing our Hilo trip as a separate post since there’s so much to write about. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DTS Week 7

I meant to get this done on Sunday, now I feel like I have a bunch of new topics from this week that I could add, but I’ll stick to week 7 and save the current stuff for my next post.

Last week was a nice rest for my brain and my body. I didn’t have a lot of dance rehearsals and we read the Bible instead of having lectures. I’m really enjoying that. We get in groups of three or four and take turns each reading a chapter. By the end of DTS we’re supposed to have read through the whole Bible. We started with the New Testament and so far my group is up to Romans 10. It’s cool to read in context like that. As much as I thought I knew the Bible pretty well there was stuff I didn’t realize. Like I don’t think I’ve ever read Acts start to finish before and I didn’t realize that it picks up like right after the gospels end. We also had one morning where we went through all the dorm rooms and prayed over them.

I’m usually not big on going to Thursday night gathering, and I was kind of dreading it this week, but it was actually awesome. It was taught by this lady who had just done the teaching for “Holy Spirit week” in one of the other schools and it was really good. She was interesting and mostly told testimonies of miraculous stuff that’s happening to teams from schools that are on their outreaches right now. She was very clear that the Holy Spirit isn’t just about speaking in tongues or hype, but about faith and I felt much more open to it. There was a time of prayer and worship and I got prayed over and prayed for some of my friends. There were some people getting “slain in the Spirit” which honestly I still think is super weird, but it was a good night. One of the girls had a major breakthrough with God that night and is just like glowing ever since.

Our Friday morning worship was really good. Towards the end of the time, Maria had us lay on the floor as a symbol of dying to ourselves and then the staff came and prayed over us and gave us what they thought God was speaking to us. Maria prayed about me having such a strong foundation and how God will build a strong building on it.

So that was all really good, but as far as spiritual growth goes, week 7 was also kind of relaxed. I didn’t have a lot of major epiphanies or anything. The only thing that really stands out is the issue of making sacrifices for God. I say that I’m willing to, and I think saying big dramatic things like “I’ll die for God,” is much easier than actually doing little day to day things. I tend to feel like it’s great that other people do things like fasting or giving up makeup or Facebook for a week, but I think I’m somehow exempt from doing those kinds of things. So I’m trying to ask God if he wants me to do that kind of stuff.

As much as the week was more restful, I think I may have had a little too much free time. I was kind of bored and couldn’t decide what to do with myself a lot. My lower back has still been bothering me quite a bit (though it seems to have improved a little the last few days) and I’ve tried a lot of things for it, but it’s just not really getting much better. It’s probably not as bad as my poor roommate’s though; she tore some ligaments in her back playing volleyball. This week she was on pain meds, another one of my roommates was on pain meds, and a third started taking her sleeping pills again. They were all a little loopy and out of it at times and it made for some silly conversations.  

Not much to report as far as dancing goes. I had some rehearsals for all my different dances. They’re all in pretty good shape I think. They’re pretty much finished they just need a little bit of polishing. This weekend we head to Hilo on the other side of the island to perform at two churches. I’m not sure which parts of the show we’ll be performing. It should be a fun weekend though, we have two “mandatory fun nights” planned, which are supposed to include games, pizza and Korean junk food, as well as worship, and going to a real mall!

I finally finished my knitting project. It’s a “Swiss cheese” scarf/kerchief, inspired by a scarf I saw online. I adapted the concept and made it triangle-shaped instead though. I’m very happy with how it came out. I will eventually get some pictures taken. 

We got a little bit of teaching on cultural differences and what to expect in Japan and Korea. We learned some basic etiquette stuff and heard some horror stories about food. It sounds like Korean food will be really good, (lots of delicious meat and BBQ) but they also like to serve Americans some pretty weird stuff, like live baby octopi.

One night on the way back from the dance studio I tripped in the gravel, rolled my ankle a bit and bruised and scraped my leg up pretty badly. It didn’t hurt that badly, but I was feeling pretty pitiful and I just wanted to talk to my mom, but I couldn’t get ahold of her.  

In general, I’m not feeling as homesick, (although I’ve had a few dreams of being home) but also feel like I’m so ready to go home in some ways. Or I just want to go home for a weekend. One of the guys in my school lives in Honolulu and went home for Mother’s Day. I wish I could do that.  Not that I want to leave here, I’m just excited for being home too. My family is coming to the island when I get back in September and having a vacation and I’m psyched about that. It’s going to be a really nice long vacation. I’m trying to come up with cool stuff for us to do, so far my short list includes: the beach (duh!) various restaurants, (fro-yo for sure!)  the volcano, hopefully swimming with dolphins, black and maybe green sand beaches, coffee plantations, campus and seeing people they know, maybe an Island Breeze show, and going to Makapala, the other YWAM base that my mom was at when she did a school. I guess that’s not such a short list.

I have been in touch with some of my friends at home a little more this week and I want to do more of that. I wonder how it will be keeping up with the friends I’ve made here. Facebook has certainly changed keeping in touch, and there are several people who live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Colorado who it will probably be easy to see. A lot of people are talking about coming back next spring to be on staff as well, and I’m looking at that or doing the film/acting school that runs at the same time, so it would be cool to be back with them.

And now to the “fun” stuff. There wasn’t a ton of it, but I did watch 50 First Dates with Kerry. It’s a good Hawaii movie. On Friday night a group of us went to the movies. I saw the new Pirates with Bri and Micaela. Bri is a fun person for me to watch movies with, she likes to talk and critique and doesn’t get annoyed when I do the same. It was a good movie; very different and generally less dark and more redemptive than the others. Plus they cut out Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley, so it couldn’t help but be a better movie. They kept most of the good characters and humor and the only thing I would say it lacked was an epic climax. It was a slight let-down at the end. The mermaids were gorgeous; I loved their rainbow-y tails.  We tried to relate the story of the missionary kid to our DTS experience. I’m clearly spoiled living in Hawaii, the scenery in those movies just doesn’t seem that stunning anymore. Side note: Kevin, my classmate from Honolulu’s mom works at the ranch where they film stuff on Oahu. Stuff like that, Lost and Jurassic Park. Cool stuff. We had taken a taxi there, but were able to catch a ride home with a YWAM couple. She’s from Brazil and he’s from Switzerland, how cool is that? One of the great things about living here is everywhere you go, you run into other YWAMers. When we got back we were starving for real food, and for some reason the only thing 
open past 10 on a Friday night was Bubba Gump’s, so we got some appetizers.

My henna tat

We found out at the last minute that we didn’t have to do work duty this weekend, so I actually had a nice break. I spent most of the day downtown with Terri-Lynn and Jordan (who was still under the influence of prescription pain meds.) We went to the farmer’s market, where I picked up some stuff for dinner and some birthday presents to send to people at home. Then I went to the henna place. And they went to the real tattoo place. We stopped for gelati again on the way home. We ended up having a really nice conversation with the lady who owns it. She moved to Hawaii 5 years ago to get back together with her ex-husband after 20 years of being divorced. It was a really cool story. They divorced when their kids were young and he was just into partying. He moved to Hawaii,  eventually changed his ways (he’s been clean and sober 13 years) then a few years back invited her and their daughter for a vacation, and they got back together. Anyway, she was super 
nice and chatty. It’s cool how much everyone likes YWAMers here.

They even have the same silverware we have, just like home!
I was able to go to Heidi and Aaron’s (who were on staff with my parents back in the day) house and cook dinner for them. It was kind of an ordeal because they were busy all day and the Wal-Mart shuttle never came so I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to pick up groceries. Fortunately Heidi found a few minutes to run me to Safeway, and it all worked out. I made them cheese and herb ravioli with chicken breast (marinated with the herbs, fresh garlic and fresh limes from a tree on campus) and breaded and fried zucchini and asparagus, with an avocado sauce, and then coconut pineapple ice cream with fresh mango for dessert. It was so good and a wonderful night. I got to hang around on their couch and watch TV too.



My Sunday was a typical lazy one: laundry, catching up on stuff from the week, and a swim in the pool (finally, it’s kind of pathetic that I live 300 yards from a pool and I’ve only been to it about 5 times.) I’m getting pretty tan, for me.
The restaurant's paging system..

...if you flip it to this side, someone will stop at your table
In the evening we went out to Bubba Gump’s for Emeka’s birthday. All the girls got all glammed up. The restaurant is all themed off Forrest Gump. It’s pretty cool, and the food is quite yummy. I had shrimp and Andouille sausage with mashed potatoes in a bourbon cream sauce and bread pudding with ice cream, whipped cream and vanilla sauce for dessert. Paying was a huge hassle, because they couldn’t figure out how to split our checks and the tip and tax got messed up, so I’m pretty sure I ended up overpaying, but oh well.


This week is shaping up to be awesome! Today was seriously the best day of lecture so far. I’ll just leave it at that, if you want to find out why, you’ll have to read next week’s blog!