Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ringing in the Spring

7:55 PM
Some people measure their lives in school years, semesters, vacation days or weeks. But here at YWAM Orlando, my life is measured in quarters. Every 3 months, students are arriving and being trained and leaving for an outreach. So this week was the beginning of yet another quarter [Spring]. Students that I got to know and love last quarter [Winter], have just left the country to share the light of Christ in some of the darkest places of Asia. And brand new students have just arrived to begin their journey with God at YWAM Orlando. Here's a video I put together of their first day with us!

Spring 2012 New Student Extravaganza! from YWAM Orlando on Vimeo.

It's not only transition for students, but us as staff as well. Sometimes we are changing jobs or roles, moving dorms, or starting new projects. For me, the Spring quarter is a big one. I am taking a leadership training course [called the Basic Leadership School, or BLS]. I'm really excited about this course. I feel like God has been preparing me for more and more leadership lately, and I'm looking forward to getting a real Biblical and practical foundation for this leadership. So parts of my day will be spent in the classroom yet again, soaking up wisdom and principles from not just great leaders at our base, but the international YWAM community as well. Pretty awesome!

I'll also be continuing to ramp up the YWAM Orlando social media. I've loved opportunities to make videos, post photos and share stories of what God is doing on our campus and through our staff & students. And I get to creatively share these things in many different outlets. And I get to work alongside of Creagon in this role, who strengthens and encourages everything I do. What a blessing to have him by my side!

And for those of you checking in with my goals of 2012, I haven't forgotten them! Totally finished reading the Old Testament this month [although, not chronologically like I originally planned] with the help of The Bible Experience audio Bible. Listening to it alongside reading it really helped the Scriptures come to life! Loved it! As for healthy eating, we've definitely made strides in this area as well! Creagon is wonderful at helping me keep up with this one! And the photo blogging is going great as well! Love updating it every day. If you haven't found our Photo Journey yet, check it out here! And I've been reading more and more too! Read a great young adult fictional account of sex trafficking in Nepal [Sold by Patricia McCormick], which followed up the true-story of one man's journey to restore survivors of sex trafficking in Nepal quite nicely [Little Princes by Conor Grennan]. That country is so heavy on my heart! Can't wait to finally step foot there one day… Another great read has been a historical fiction account of London [London by Edward Rutherford]. It's been a long read, but such a fascinating one! I also have some leadership books on my plate for my training as well! First up, the Leadership Paradox [by Danny Gunderson]. All these books can be found & purchased on Amazon. If you happen to purchase through the links on this page, it supports us too!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Olympic-sized Human Trafficking Gift Boxes

4:51 PM
This summer, Creagon and I are taking a team to London to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking before the 2012 Olympics. We've had a lot of great interest, prayers and support come in, and it's just the beginning! One creative way we've started using to get the word out about our fundraising needs has been Pinterest. And just when you thought you could only find a craft idea or yummy recipe on it! Our "Joy & Creagon GO to LONDON!" board has broken down our trip costs, and each image links to our donate page. So if you want to help out with our flights, our meals, or our housing, it's now incredibly easy!

Also, we have set up the first of our ministry opportunities, with Stop the Traffik and the United Nations! The Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking [GIFT] is setting up giant boxes to engage the community regarding human trafficking and how to join the fight. This is what they had to say about the project: "During the 2012 Olympics thousands of people will travel to the UK to be part of this major world event. In the meantime other men, women and children are being tricked or forced into coming to the country to end up in domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced labour or forced street crime and begging. It is our responsibility to take the opportunity that the Olympics and Paralympics offer us to alert the world to the reality of this tragic crime and to inspire visitors gathered in this country for the Games to take action to stop this crime.

The GIFT box will introduce people to the concept of how you can be deceived; sometimes things are not what they seem. A series of 40 boxes in the shape of a giant present will be placed in strategic locations across London and other Olympic venues in areas with a large footfall, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Southwark Cathedral/Borough Market. Promises of exciting opportunities entice people to the box, however once inside it's a different story. The stark reality of human trafficking is revealed.

There are four different types of box, each with their own theme, dealing with the forms prevalent on the streets of London: domestic servitude; forced street crime, sexual exploitation, and forced labour.

Whilst the GIFT box will be evocative, it will also be family friendly, and will empower people to be advocates for change to end trafficking in their own local communities. "

Our YWAM Orlando GO team will be staffing these boxes for two full days, right in the heart of London! We just know that God is going to bring some awesome divine appointments as we share the message of freedom to all! It's not too late to apply if you'd like to join us! Email info@ywamorlando.com for an application today!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Michigan Weekend!

3:33 PM
This weekend Creagon and I headed to chilly Benton Harbor, Michigan! Yes, Florida has been averaging the 70's and & 80's lately, but we're leaving it all behind for the 30's & 40's of the Mitten State. But there's people we love there, so I suppose it's worth the freezing temperatures. We haven't been back to Michigan since we got engaged, and we're pretty excited to be visiting now as husband and wife. Many of our friends there weren't able to attend our Florida wedding, so it'll be great to connect with them in person. Also, on Sunday after church, we're having a lunch arranged to able to share what we've been doing at YWAM Orlando, what our plans for this summer are, and what our vision for ministry is as a couple. It'll be a pretty quick trip, but hopefully enough to get our fill of family & friends that we don't see nearly enough. Pray for safe travels, good weather, and great connections & conversations. I'll blog again when my fingers have defrosted from true winter weather.