Thursday, March 31, 2011

Start of Something New

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4:17 PM
I've finally moved and settled back into my [new] life at YWAM Orlando this week. I arrived on Sunday evening, fully expecting to be living out at our new non-powered, non-watered property. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that YWAM had rented a house about 10 minutes away with plenty of space for us incoming students. Here's a few pictures of my new place! [None of the outside yet, because it hasn't stopped raining since I've been here!]














I live here with 16 other people, and thankfully because the house is so large, it never feels crowded! Well, maybe just the bathroom, as 12 of us girls are sharing it. But I'm so thankful for having indoor plumbing, I can't even complain. And we have wifi here at the house too! God knows how to keep me comfortable! I am living with 2 girls from my DTS back in September, Morgan and Sydney. Morgan was on my South Africa outreach and Sydney went to Jordan. My other roomies are Rebekah from New Jersey [also in my SOMD!], Iris from California, and Emily from France. Rebekah share a bunk, and I got the top this time around. We have the best bunk though, because they were custom built with those awesome drawers! So handy! Pretty much everyone else in the house is single female staff, as well as a family of four from Puerto Rico in the DTS. First week and things seem to be going smoothly, so let's hope that trend continues.

We've also begun our classes as well. I'm in the School of Ministry Development [SOMD] with 2 other students, Corey and Rebekah. It's a very small school, but I'm kinda excited that we'll be getting such personal attention from the teachers and the staff working our school. Sometimes I felt a little lost in the crowd of 50 during my DTS, but that's not going to happen in this school. Corey was one of the guys in my DTS and on my Africa outreach, and so we were already pretty close starting the school, but I know this experience will only bring us closer. And Rebekah is such a sweetheart, and I can't wait to get to know her more!

We have a great course schedule planned for this school. The whole purpose of the SOMD is to equip people who believe God is calling them to serve Him in full-time ministry. It will impart truth to us and teach us how to pass it on to others so God's kingdom will expand. It's also required for me to continue to pursue staff here at YWAM Orlando. Some topics/teachers I'm really looking forward to hearing are: Steve Shamblin on Identity and Healing the Fractured Heart, Dean Sherman on Effective Personal Ministry, and Al McBryan on the Essentials of the Gospel, which will really break down the gospel, and what it means to us today and how to share it effectively. We will also be traveling down to the YWAM Miami campus to train with Bob Felder and do some campus evangelism. Also, Dean and Creagon from our YWAM Orlando staff will be teaching us, which should be pretty great too! So it looks like these next 12 weeks of lecture phase will be just as impacting as my 12 weeks of DTS lecture phase, and maybe even more! I'm so excited to hear what God has for me during this time and grow in my understanding and knowledge of Him. Still not sure what my outreach for this school will be, but there's a real good chance I will be joining the current DTS to Turkey & Cyprus. It'd be a great opportunity to grow in leadership and experience Muslim missions for the first time. But I'm remaining opening to the leading of the Lord and my school leadership.

So as the end of the first week draws to an end, I am both excited and overwhelmed to be back here again. But most of all I'm just content, knowing I'm exactly where God wants me to be.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letters, Love & Prayers Vol. 10

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1:36 PM


Dear Family and Friends!

Just a few days ago, I graduated from my Discipleship Training School with all of my many teammates. It’s crazy to think that this 5 month journey has finally come to an end. Through the past 5 months, I learned how to clearly hear the voice of God, what is the true character and nature of God, how to identify both the root and fruit of pride and how to eliminate it, and what living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ looks like. I’ve traveled across the globe to share God’s love and compassion with the hurting and the broken. I’ve learned more about myself and my relationship with Christ in these 5 months than ever before. And what’s even more exciting is the shape my future is taking.

For those of you that have been following my blog, I’ve been posting weekly stories from Southern Africa and have finally added some photos and videos to it as well. I hope you’ve been enjoying the journey alongside of me. And the best part is that the journey is not over yet. As I talked about in my last update letter, my future plans have taken a turn. I’ll be starting a secondary training school with YWAM Orlando, called the School of Ministry Development, at the end of this month. This training school [5 months in length] will be strategic in helping me develop a vision for my personal ministry, as well as enable me to come on staff with YWAM Orlando hopefully in the fall of 2011. As staff, I’ll be able to help staff future human trafficking Compassion & Justice training schools, allowing me to be involved in discipleship, as well as local & international human trafficking awareness and outreach. It’s an opportunity I’m really excited about.



To go with these new plans, God’s also allowed for me to continue this exciting journey of fundraising! I saw Him provide over and above in the past year with enough funds to cover my DTS and living expenses. And I know He’s going to do the same thing for this SOMD journey. If you and your family have already taken part in giving to my ministry in the past year, I want to thank you again. Your generous gift was such a blessing. I still have a great financial need for this next. This upcoming training school will cost $4,800 [plus airfare depending on outreach location]. For all online donations, feel free to use the PayPal link on my blog [http://bindingthebroken.blogspot.com]. For check or cash, please send all funds to my home church, Watermark Church, with the enclosed card. This will allow your gift to be tax deductable. Thank you in advance your for your generousity.

As for prayer needs, please lift up the property where I’ll be moving. YWAM Orlando just purchased a beautiful new campus in Clermont, FL which allows all schools, trainings, and offices to be one property. It’s still in the rennovation stage, and as of this writing, does not have running water and electricity [it’s being powered by generators currently]. Please pray that the power company will see our campus as a high priority! I like being spoiled with running water and regular showers. Also, as I prepare to enter a new chapter, just pray that God prepares me spiritually, emotionally and mentally for what is to come.

Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. I greatly appreciate it!

God Bless,

Joy Engdahl
http://bindingthebroken.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hearing God Through Christian Radio

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6:38 PM
Maybe you are thinking, well duh, of course God speaks through Christian radio. And I'll give you that. He does. A lot. I'm just not usually the one listening to it. I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a music snob. I like my indie bands no one has heard of except for a few other equally cool friends of mine. I like obscure foreign music [Sigur Ros, anyone?] and those sleepy songs that play during an art film's romantic montage [Ray Lamontagne, yes please!]. I used to listen to Christian radio all the time...but then I just stopped. When every song starting sounding the same, when I heard other bands that sounded current not like they were stuck in the 90's when its 2002, and when I realized none of my Christian friends listened to Christian radio either. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with Christian radio...I'm glad it exists! My first international mission trip was because of a Christian radio station, and I'm forever grateful I turned it on that day. But even still, it's never really been a preset on my radio. Until recently. While in southern Africa, God really challenged about secular media and what I'm taking in through movies, TV, music and books. It's touchy subject for me, because I like my media. But I love my Savior more. So when He speaks, I listen. And He asked me to let it go for a season. I began listening to more Christian music, and reading more Scripture and Christian fiction. And surprisingly, there's some OK stuff out there! I found myself continuing when I returned stateside, and added some Christian stations to my car stereo. So begins this story...

The other day I was thinking about my life and the direction it was headed, and I began to get overwhelmed. Why was doing this secondary school just 2 weeks after returning from Africa? Where was I going to get the money for the school? How was I going to pay my bills? Should I take a quarter off, and just work? Should I even go back at all, there's plenty of ministry to be done right here in Tampa? I begin praying in the state of my overwhelming cry. I turned off one Christian station [I just couldn't handle another Colbie Calait sound-alike] to turn on another and catch the last half of this song by Josh Wilson, called I Refuse. Listen to what God spoke:



It hit me square between the eyes. This was why I was turning around 2 weeks later to do another training school. This was how I knew God would provide not only the funds for my school, but also my bills. And this is how I knew that what God is calling me to is bigger. Bigger than me, bigger than any job I could take or any paycheck I could bring home. Because:

Sometimes I,
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright
When I know they’re not.
This world needs God
But it’s easier to stand and watch.
I could pray a prayer and just move on
Like nothing’s wrong.

But I refuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately,
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of you, oh God.
So, if you say move,
Then it’s time for me to follow through,
And do what I was made to do.
Show them who you are.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

To stand and watch
The weary and lost
Cry out for help.
I refuse
To turn my back
And try and act like all is well.
I refuse
To stay unchanged,
To wait another day,
To die to myself.
I refuse
To make one more excuse.

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care.
I don’t want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.
Show them who you are.

And that is how God spoke to me through Christian radio. Funny, eh?

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Monday, March 21, 2011

The Big Apple

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1:11 PM
Just back from a whirlwind vacation through New York City. My family and I spent four days cramming in as much sightseeing as possible. And we were pretty successful! We arrived early Thursday morning [on St. Patrick's Day, and yes I wore green!] and after a harrowing van ride, we were in Manhattan before lunch. To avoid the craziness of the midtown parade, we took the subway down to Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and Little Italy. Those neighborhoods are not only completely different from each other, but also from the rest of Manhattan. It was so fun just walking the streets and taking in all the new sights. While in Greenwich, we did find the FRIENDS building from one of my favorite TV shows of all time as well! So exciting! After dinner, my sister Stephanie and I went out to see more of the city, and we found the awesome Apple Store on 5th Avenue. It was every bit of exciting as I had hoped! On Friday, we explored more of midtown. Starting at the Rockefeller Center, we went straight to the top for an incredible view of the city. While at Rockefeller, I couldn't help think of my new favorite show, 30 Rock, and took tons of pictures seen in the opening credits! Highlight of this day: celebrity sighting! Matt Bomer, from Chuck and White Collar was filming a segment on the Today show, and we got to see him. YAY! Afterward, Steph and I continued out on our way. I had a total Project Runway afternoon...from Parsons School of Design where each episode is filmed, to Mood Designer Fabrics where the contestants shop every episode, to Bryant Park where Fashion Week is held, I was pretty much in heaven! I loved Fashion District.





































We then went back downtown for a water taxi tour around the Statue of Liberty. So cool! We walked Wall Street and the Financial District and saw all the sights. That night, we saw The Lion King on Broadway. It's a show I've seen before and loved. Having just returned form Africa, I looked at the animals with new appreciation. It was a fantastic show! On Saturday, we started the day in Central Park. Walking past famous movie landmarks like Wollman Rink [Serendipity], Loeb's Boathouse [27 Dresses], and Bethesda Fountain [One Fine Day, Gossip Girl], it was a great day. We then took a carriage ride through the park, and enjoyed the other sights that our driver pointed out. We then shopped like kids....FAO Schwartz then Dylan's Candy Bar! After shopping, Stephanie and I got our fill of culture, with tours of both the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We saw originals from famous artists such as Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Pollock, Dali and Warhol. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip.



We crashed into bed at the end of this very long day. Sunday morning we had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport, so went back down to Greenwich, enjoyed some cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, and took a tour of the NBC studios. It was a full, but exciting four days to say the least. We saw a ton of things, and had a blast doing it. But, I'm happy to be home and excited about my next adventure...School of Ministry Development with YWAM Orlando starting in just 7 days!!


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Empire State of Mind

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10:46 PM



Tomorrow my family and I leave for a fabulous four-day family vacation in NEW YORK CITY. I've only been there once [6 years ago] and I'm pretty stoked to go back. I love the busyness of the city and all the touristy sights to see. I love all the culture that comes together in one place. There's always something to see and do, and I can't wait to see and do it all! And it will be great to have this experience with my family as well. We haven't taken a vacation with just the four of us in I don't know how long, and with my foreseeable future being a missionary lifestyle, who knows the next time all of our schedules will align. We have many things on the agenda in the next four days, the big landmarks and the touristy highlights, but here are a few things I'm especially excited for...

1. Central Park. It's one of my favorite places in the city. It's a breath of fresh air amidst the concrete jungle, and it has some truly beautiful landmarks.

2. NBC Studios. As a recent 30 Rock junkie, I'm pretty excited to get to tour the NBC studios, a network that some of my favorite TV shows have called home.

3. FRIENDS Apartment building. FRIENDS is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and the apartment building they "lived" in is right in Greenwich Village. Must find!



4. Apple store. As a MAC nerd through and through, finding this Fifth Avenue mecca for techies is non-negotiable. I mean look at it...it glows!


5. Mood Designer Fabrics. As one who sews and adores Project Runway, finding the fabric hotspot for fashion designers is high on my list as well. Think there's a chance of running into Tim Gunn there? Because that would make my year!


So there ya have it. Some things I'm looking most forward to in the next four days! Stayed tuned for photos and videos when I return! Happy St. Patty's day!

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Lecture Phase & Outreach Recap Videos

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2:22 PM
Just for fun, I made these videos recapping both lecture phase in Orlando, then outreach in Southern Africa. As I'm sure you can tell, I had a blast in the past 5 months!!


video



video

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Super Safari Slideshow

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8:51 PM
Here's a video filled with many of my teammates' pictures and my own videos from our amazing 2 day safari in Kruger National Park!


video

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Southern Africa Ministry Recap Video

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8:44 PM
Here's a video I put together with my teammates photos and videos recapping our time ministering in South Africa and Botswana. Enjoy!

video

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's the End of the [DTS] World as We Know It

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11:11 AM
As I write this blog, I'm sitting alone in a bedroom in an empty house. Yup, DTS is officially over and I'm back home. I still don't think it feels real yet, but I'm sure over the next few days the reality of the goodbyes will set in and I'll desperately miss my dear friends.

This past week has been a blur. We left Tuesday morning from White River Kruger for the airport in Johannesburg. It was a 4 hour drive, and we gave ourselves almost 4 hours before our flight to check-in and shop. Or so we thought. Due to one mishap after another regarding our tickets [and poor customer service from Delta], it was only 10 minutes before boarding by the time our entire team was checked in. We were able to inhale some dinner and grab a few souvenirs before taking off on our long 17 hour flight. We left from Joburg around 8:30pm and landed in Atlanta around 5:30am on Wednesday. It was the weirdest feeling to fly for that long through the dark the entire time! But I had PLENTY of movies to keep me entertained. We got into Orlando around 10:30am and it felt so good to be back in a familiar area. We were able to go to the YWAM base and see old friends and eat lunch with the new schools. We all were dealing with some serious jetlag, but we pushed through with hopes of adjusting quickly.

On Thursday, the other two outreaches returned back to the base and we were reunited with our entire DTS class. It was so fun to hear their outreach stories and see how they've grown. We stayed out at the property Thursday night, which looks so amazing. There's been so much work done there, and its totally livable now! Which is great, because in a few weeks, I will be living out there!

Friday, we had an extensive time of reflection and debrief with our staff which really helped just solidify what God has been doing in our lives during these past 5 months. We reflected on Scripture and just processed what we're been learning. We shared with teammates our most impactful moments, both in lecture phase and an outreach. It was really a beautiful time of sharing. We then got to go out to dinner as a school and celebrate our graduation day! Our graduation "ceremony" was also out at the property, the first school to graduate out there!

It was a great ceremony. All the families came earlier for a dinner, and I was so excited to see my parents and sister! It's been so long! Each outreach shared stories and a slideshow. I almost cried again during our slideshow. We really made alot of good memories. After the ceremony, I had the impossible task of saying goodbyes to the people who had come to mean so much to me. It was really tough. When the last tearful goodbye was spoken and the last hug given, we loaded up the family car and set off for Tampa once again. The only thing keeping me together was knowing I'd be right back there in just a few weeks. My heart felt like it was being pulled in so many different directions, but I know that I'll see most of these precious friends again at some point. And I can't wait for that day!






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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Super Safari!

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4:15 AM
This week we had an incredible opportunity to an African safari! I've been waiting for this all of outreach. And not only were we able to do a safari, but it was an overnight 2 day safari! We actually camped overnight in the park. Our safari was in Kruger National Park, which is the largest national park in the world, roughly the size of the country of Israel. It takes 18 hours just to drive from one end to the other! So obviously, we didn't go through the whole park, but we definitely covered a lot of ground. We started at 5am Monday morning, because early morning hours are prime lion time. While we didn't see lions that morning, we did see elephants, hippos, baboons, warthogs, monkeys, hyenas, and a rhino! It's one thing seeing these amazing creatures in a zoo, but in the wild, in their natural habitat is just breathtaking. It was late afternoon by the time we got settled into our camping spot. We got to stay in these incredible safari tents, complete with beds and refrigerators! But we didn't spend too much time in the tents, because after dinner we went on a night safari! The sky was lit up with stars I've never seen before and I was in awe. It was just so peaceful driving through this beautiful park in the cool of the night air. The first animals we saw on the night safari was a pride of 20 lions! They were just lounging on the street, stopping traffic from both ways. They didn't even seem fazed we were snapping pictures of them! It was mostly female lions and their babies, but we did see a male lion in the mix as well. We watched them for almost 10 minutes before they got tired of the road, and went back into the grass. It was SO exciting! We also saw hyenas, wildebeests, and elephants that night too. But nothing could top those lions! The next morning we started early again, totally hooked on seeing more lions. We didn't see lions, BUT we did almost get charged by 4 white rhinos in the middle of the street! They intensely stared us down, and started walking towards us. We backed up the vans and prayed they wouldn't get closer. Eventually, they tired of us and left us alone, but our hearts were racing by then. We also saw giraffes on Tuesday too! They are the most beautifully awkward creatures. We were watching them feed on some trees by the watering hole, when a few zebra wandered up as well! And then a few hippos pop up out of the watering hole and begin cooling themselves off. I felt like I was living in a movie. Later that afternoon we got a glimpse of more lions, 5 females on the hunt. We saw it's prey leaping out of sight. We also witnessed a herd of elephants and their babies crossing the street right in front of us as well. The momma elephants were being real protective of their babies, and thought our vans were a threat, but after a few minutes realized we were not, and they just continued on their own. But we saw about 30 elephants cross right in front of us. Wee saw so many elephants that by the end of our safari, we didn't even stop any more. It was wild. I was so blessed to see the wildness of God's creation. How He created these beautiful creatures to hunt and survive the way they do. It was the best 24 hours I ever spent in a car!








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