Thursday, December 17, 2009

I wake up to the call to prayer. ½ the population of the United States crammed into a country the size of Wisconsin. People are everywhere. Beautiful faces but broken hearts. Hopelessness is the overwhelming feeling you get when you gaze into their eyes. I want to look at them; stare, gasp even when the man with crippled hands reaches out to me. Maybe he will make 40 Taka, 20cents. How do you reveal a God of hope, love, and joy to the millions of Bangladeshi’s who everyday are just trying to survive? I want to ask about the slavery that happens here…am I too scared? Maybe I’m scared of the truth. “This is the real deal”, Justin whispers to me as we walk down the crowded streets. I want to grab his hand but have to resist. Even as a married couple we are not allowed to display any type of affection in public. Instead I walk a step behind him avoiding eye contact with any male older than me. I want to understand. The western context in which I was brought up in holds me back from engaging at a deeper level. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to hold the old woman and laugh with the children. Instead I walk silently with my head facing the ground, careful of where I’m stepping. Garbage everywhere. Babies lying on the sidewalk, I don’t know if they are dead or alive. A single tear rolls down my cheek…I can still hear the call to prayer. This is the real deal...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bangladesh at a glance

Just a little taste of what we are experiencing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This place is unlike anything i have ever seen. More to come.

Friday, December 11, 2009

To India and Bangladesh we go!!

So we are officially leaving TODAY for outreach. We will be in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday Dec. 13 and spending a little over 3 weeks there before heading up to Darjeeling, India where we will spend the rest of our time doing ministry. I won't spoil all the details just yet because we just sent out an old school paper newsletter that ya'll will get by mail in the next week or so.

Our team is healthy and ready to go. They have been through three months of lecturing and now have the opportunity to flesh out everything they have learned. Please pray for the health and protection of our team as water-borne disease and malaria can be easily picked up in areas we are going to...we are asking God to give us a supernatural tolerance for this stuff!

Also be praying that God will use our team in incredible ways and that we will be a blessing, not a burden to our contacts.

We will try and update ya'll as much as possible but as you can imagine internet connectivity is about as reliable and available as clean water up in the villages we will be staying in.
So with that said, God bless, we love you all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Take a look at these good lookin' kids!

Say hello to our outreach team! From left to right;
Kyle (USA), Spencer (CAN), Bekah (USA), Kale (USA), Justin, Sa Rah (Korea), Oana (GER), Dylan (CAN), Hanna (NOR), Kelly, and Mario (USA).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

90 degree thanksgiving

If you've never experienced it before, thanksgiving and christmas in the heat is something every single one of you should do. Perhaps so you can understand how truly awful it is. I know, i know, i shouldnt complain...i can walk 5 minutes to the beach from my front porch, but there is a certain something missed when you are just sweating as you eat thanksgiving dinner.

A group of about 15 Americans from the base got together for a wonderful thanksgiving meal. There were games, laughter, stories, and a group of people who have really become like the family we miss and love back in the states. Every one of us in some way have given up our time, energy, degrees, money, but most of all family to come out to this beautiful [but hot] country. We are all serving in different ways, using our gifts and abilities to help further the Kingdom. It was so cool to just stop and 'smell the roses' if you will. We all work so hard for something we love so much. But it comes with a price. I want all of you to know that although there was lots of laughter as we celebrated Thanksgiving down under, it wasn't without some tears as well.

You are so loved and so missed. Thank you for your continual prayers and support. We are truly thankful for you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

marathons...the prayer and running kind

(at 4:30 AM getting ready to run)
A few months back i was able to run a half marathon. Not only was this a HUGE accomplishment that i had been wanting to do for years, but in the midst of staffing a DTS it seemed like a huge feat. I had such a good time (even though i had to wake up at 4am just to run!). Justin came out and cheered me fun! I want to run another..hmmm, perhaps in India? haha

I encourage you guys to set a goal.... something you have always wanted to do and then GO AND DO IT!!! Even if it is something that is just for you. So you know that YOU did it. There are very few things that are as rewarding as setting a personal goal and then going for it.

Last week we had our notorious prayer week.
This is a time where we put all schedules and plans aside and we....PRAY. We have a few hours of lectures in the eveningswhich usually consists of ministry and worship, but we open up the church for a 24 hour around the clock prayer time. Students and staff are separated into groups and put into 2 hour slots to pray. During our "fire in the night" sessions we have 15 out of 23 students coming and staying up all night to worship the Lord. We had some amazing breakthroughs. People were getting healed emotionally and spiritually as well as a few physical healings! I love it when God moves in "old and new testament ways" but in our day to day life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

so its been awhile...

I know what your thinking...It's been a while since we blogged last(!) A lot is going on so try and keep up!

The school is going great. I wish you all could meet our wonderful students.
They are going for it with all that they have and it is so exciting to see. We are currently cruising at week 7 of the DTS. We have seen so many breakthroughs and I just know that the Lord has so much more in store. Willingness is a huge factor on the DTS. If you are willing, God will blow you away with what He has in store. These students just want it! Outreach is quickly approaching and my heart just grows bigger and bigger for the people of South Asia. It's funny, a year ago when we arrived i would have never thought i would be dying to leave the beautiful sunny coast to live and work in, i cant even stand it. I love how God
works sometimes!

We had the opportunity to go to Hawaii
this past week to partake in one of the most beautiful events...a wedding! Justins best friend growing up Bart got married in beautiful Kona, Hawaii. It was tough to say goodbye to the school but we packed our bags and enjoyed ourselves tremendously for the week. It was so nice to sleep and eat (american food like; Taco Del Mar, Wendys, Macaroni Grill, etc.) it may sound crazy to you...but these are the little things that you miss when living overseas! It was also great to hang out with friends and family and talk God and life and dream crazy dreams.

God has been teaching me [us] so much through leading this school. How to let go and fully surrender everything to Him. It isnt our school, its Gods school. A friend of ours Dan makes this point to us almost on a daily basis. We are so blessed to have humble challenging people around us to help us grow in our leadership. I personally have been challenged in working in the office. As many of you know, i love to be around people and interacting with the students, but because of this new role i have really stepped back and am focusing on building up the new staff and getting all of the logistics sorted. It is challenging and a bit frustrating but i am learning and growing so much. I am starting to see things in such a new light.

I am going to put up a few more blogs with pictures and some more fun things that are going stay tuned!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why three:twelve?

A couple of hundred years ago a few young men sat around a table and decided to expose the buying and selling of people for was it was: a horrific crime against humanity driven by a narrative of superiority, security, and greed...the "we versus them" mentality that still plagues our world today. I once heard it said that the equivalent would be a few people today discussing over coffee how to dismantle the modern automotive industry. Slavery was not only tolerated, but accepted and driven by every major political, social, and religious power of their day. A true David and Goliath story. William Wilberforce and others would, through much persecution and perseverance, see slavery “legally” abolished only 20 years later.

Just because something is illegal does not make it cease to exist. Human trafficking is the third most profitable and prevalent global crime network next the arms trade and drugs. Human beings have been reduced to commodities, bought and sold to service the demands of global consumers (us)…from the sugar we drink in our coffee to the shirt on our back to the steel in our cars (steel comes from coal which is harvested by slaves in Brazil which comes from burning trees furthering the horrific degradation of our environment).

The root causes behind slavery are vast and complicated, but most of them can be traced back to poverty; meaning the lack of resources to provide for a sustainable and purposeful life including education, health care, employment, access to credit, infrastructure, etc. But poverty does not make someone a slave, violence does. And it’s not like people just enslave other people because they like to be mean, they do it because it’s profitable.

For too long economic growth and prosperity has been an end to which we in the West have pursued blindly and stupidly; rarely did we challenge or even consider the means by which we continue to obtain such an end. Environmental sustainability and social equity have been afterthoughts at best; a small price to pay for a life of affluence and security. We at three:twelve believe a different way is possible. We believe sustainability and social equity can bring new life to our beautiful planet and hope to our fellow humans who have suffered in the wake of our apathy.

In the heart of Margaret Mead who said "a small group of committed people can change the world, in fact, it is the only thing that has," let us continue the courageous fight against slavery our abolitionist fathers started, let our generation be the first in human history to be truly free...we have 27 million of our fellow humans counting on us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DTS Update!

So last week we had a good friend of ours, Jason Solari, come up from the YWAM Brisbane base to speak on Hearing God’s Voice. The students connected with him so well straight away and as it was the first “lecture” week of our school they also began to connect with each other. As Jason told testimonies of his experience and went through examples in the Word many of the students began to recognize the still small voice of the Lord for the first time. Jason really emphasized RELATIONSHIP above everything else. Its not about us coming to God in order to get something from him or just hear him speak to us for the sake of speaking, but God longs to communicate with us intimately on a daily basis…and we all know that relationships, whether it be with friends, a spouse, or a co-worker, come down to communication.

This week our Base Manager, Dan Pennington, is speaking on the kingdom of God…something very close to our hearts. We’re not all the way through but the students and staff are being equally challenged on what Jesus’ essential message was and how we can live it out today.

Thanks so much for your prayers and for reading our blog…we really feel this is an amazing connection point for us and you who support us and believe in us.

Much love until next time.

Monday, October 12, 2009


about two years ago a friend from LA and I were sitting around contemplating life in our 20 somethings in university do. We asked ourselves a few questions along the lines of "what am I good at/what gives me joy?" and "how could God use that to make a difference in the world?" After weeks of talking and dreaming and talking and dreaming we finally came up with a fairly simple idea: let's start an apparel company and give the profits to people in need.

needless to say "real life" got the best of us and the dream died...somewhat. It wasn't until a few months ago we began to rececitate it. Over the past year God really began to lay the issues of slavery and trafficking on kelly and I's hearts. We really weren't sure what to do with it, but after a while we realized we couldn't shake it and this could possibly (probably) be an area God is leading us to work in more long-term. We began reading anything and everything about modern-day slavery, including finding out what the Bible had to say about it (to our surprise there was a lot). After many a nights of talking and dreaming and praying and talking and dreaming (you get the idea, a lot of thinking went into this) kelly finally said "let's stop dreaming about this and just do it."And with a few international phone calls home to my friend Eric three:twelve began to breathe again. Since then, we have started the journey of forming a 501c3 nonprofit, which is more confusing than it sounds.

three:twelve exists to create sustainable livelihoods for victims of slavery and injustice throughout world. It is our hope that throught the sale of Fair Trade organic apperal we can raise awareness on issues of justice and equity, empower ex-slaves through creative ventures and sustainable employment opportunities as well as invest in community initiatives - from education and clean water to skills training and aftercare support.

yes, its a big dream, far beyond our abilities and resources; but faith is creating with our lives what only our hearts can conceive...and three:twelve is the impossible we would like to make possible. To be a part of creating a world where the kingdom of God meets the needs of those on the outside, the forgotten and marginalized. We realize its only a small part, but a bunch of small parts, like yeast in a batch of dough or a mustard seed in a garden, eventually spread throughout the whole. more later.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

you don't see this everyday!

Justin running to the beach
The crowd...
all smiles because....
That's's whale season folks!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

chat it up at Starbucks

Hey everyone!
I was so stoked to share this with you i couldnt wait to write! Every week as a school we go out to do local evangelism. Because it was the very first day of the school we didnt make anyone go out. A few of our staff and students really wanted to go out anyways. They headed out to the local startbucks before praying and ended up chatting with some people in line (when you have an accent, its not hard to get attention). Anyways, after praying and acting in obedience 4 people asked the Lord to come into their lives for the first time!!..on the first day of DTS....4 people! I was so blown away by this! We knew God was going to do some really cool things and it is already happening. I have been a part of local evangelism for a while and been ok with just "planting seeds" but this takes things to a whole new level. The harvest is ripe. I challenge you in the ordinary mundane things (like grabbing a coffee) to share with someone the love of might just make all the difference in their lives.
Until next tim....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

how He loves us

He is Jealous for me
loves like a hurricane I am a tree
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of the sudden I am unaware of these
afflictions eclipsed by Glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
and how great your affections are for me

Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
how He loves us so

We are His portion and He is our prize
drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean were all sinking
So Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy wet kiss
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when i think about
the way...
He loves us
oh, how He loves us
oh, how He loves us
Ya, He loves us.

I recommend if you don't know this song to download it. Kim Walker "How He loves us". It brings you into a place of Worship. Listen to the words. Let them sink into your soul. Lets worship the Lord!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beautiful faces

I was just getting excited about going to India and thought i would look up some images. God is already breaking my heart for these beautiful people. Thank you for praying for us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Curry anyone?

So this week has been really good as we continue plugging away at staff training. We've been covering everything from how to do proper one-on-one's and small groups to what it means to lead out of influence not authority to whose going to make sure the speaker has their coffee. As many of you know, Kelly and I have just finished an entire lecture phase (3 months) and are beginning a new one. If we were playing by the rules we'd been in some foreign country eating rice and curry before heading out to run an evening youth program for street kids...yes I admit outreach is my favorite part of the DTS program so we are extremely excited to be heading out to India and Bangladesh for 2+ months in December!!

We have had the advantage of being around and planning outreach before the DTS even began and are stoked to say that all of our contacts are already in place. Now its just a matter of waiting on God to put together a sweet team; then begin training and praying like crazy before we step onto that machine that flies us across the ocean to spread the Good News to our fellow humans in South Asia.

For Kelly and I this is more than just another DTS outreach. It's the first step into a vision God has been speaking to us for a few years now. To put it simply we just feel God is calling us to go and stand in solidarity with the oppressed and enslaved of South Asia for a season; to see how we can be a part of creating a world Jesus describes as the "kingdom of heaven." The Word calls us to "walk as Jesus did," and I can't help but find as I read through the Gospels Jesus continually walking with, spending time with, and advocating for the outcasts, the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed. Our hope is to discover how we can be a part of bringing the good news of the kingdom to the peoples of South Asia.....SO with that said, we will actually be staying in South Asia for approximately 6-8 weeks AFTER the DTS outreach is officially over. More details to come on what "the dream" actually looks like (or at least what I hope for it to look like), but most of our time will be spent scouting out and visiting dozens of ministries within the India/Nepal region, specifically those focusing on human trafficking and slavery as well as holistic and sustainable community development and lots of Fair Trade stuff. So yeah...thats it for now. peace.

*see Is. 1:17, Micah 6:8, and Jeremiah 22:11-17, Amos 5:21-24 if you feel like being challenged by God's heart for justice.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So the September DTS is finally and officially in the works. All 8 of our staff are here safe and sound...Roz and Dan from the UK; Bri from Australia; Cj, Amanda, and Paul from Canada; and Megan and Callie from the States.

It's been sweet as we have seen God already unify our staff team through the first few days of staff training. Kelly and I really have a vision to break the norm with this school. We hope to see the students and staff living and learning together as we seek out what it really looks like to live the kingdom; it looks a lot different than we might think. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" was the cry of a revolutionary who came not to start a new religion but to transform the social, political, economic, environmental, relational, and spiritual landscapes of our society. To "repent" literally means to re-think your life. To re-think the way we spend and earn money, the way we relate to people of other cultures and religions, the way we define success and greatness, even the way we view war and international diplomacy. What does Jesus have to say about these things? Does he say anything? We have all heard more than our share of the message about Jesus, but what about the message of Jesus? You know, blessed are the poor, love those who hate you, do not judge lest you be judged, if you want to become great you must become slave of all, it is better to give than to receive...did he really mean all that?! Do I actually believe all that (i mean who really considers the homeless guy down the street blessed)? At least I say I do, but I'm not sure it would be very apparent by the way I live my life.

Our hope for this DTS is simple: to look at the message of Jesus afresh, with new eyes, that we might begin to understand what it looks like to live out this message in a way that brings real change and real hope to our fellow humans. Our pray is that the students on this DTS will catch a vision to create with their lives what only their hearts can conceive; that is faith. To risk that Jesus' way of life really is the best way, and it has something real to offer a hurting and broken world. That if we begin to dream and live those dreams, the invisible will become visible and the impossible will become possible.

Jesus puts it this way: "Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these...(emphasis mine)"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the "unjust" manager...

Robert was one of many other cocoa plantation managers in the area. High temperatures and unbearable humidity have made the Cote d'Ivoire a favorite place for cocoa trees to grow and thrive. Robert had been contracted by Nestle and was entrusted with the resources needed to plant, grow, and harvest the little beans that end up in our houses as bars of chocolaty goodness. Unlike the other managers in the area, Robert hired able working men to work his plantation and paid them a fair wage (enough to feed their families and send their children to school). Eventually Nestle starting noticing that of the many contracted plantations Robert's was running the least cost efficient. The bottom line's of the other managers were significantly reduced through exploitation of children...they could be hired for a pittance or even paid nothing at all. Nestle told Robert that he had two months to cut cost or they would cancel his contract. Robert knew the consequences of laying off the men that worked in his cocoa fields, for he himself knew the struggle of providing for a family. He had a decision to make: play by the rules of Nestle which would force him to hire and exploit children or continue on paying fair wages to able working men and lose his plantation. Robert, being the shrewd man he was, actually chose a third way. He decided not only to continue paying fair wages, but he would use his last payment from Nestle to help out his community. He had heard of a boy who had been wounded by a machete working in the fields and offered to pay for the medical bills the family could not afford. He voluntarily cleaned up a mess of cocoa husks another manager had discarded inappropriately on the land of a community down the road. He even began cutting some of the debts of employees (I mean he had nothing to lose at this point right?). During this time a reporter from the UK had been investigating the labor practices of cocoa plantations in Cote d'Ivoire and discovered the work Robert had been doing to improve and help out his community. Word quickly spread and Nestle was actually praised for the social and environmental standards that were being implemented in its cocoa plantations (funny how that works right?). The story goes Robert was later contacted by the executives of Nestle and rewarded for the way he had managed his plantation.

The parable of the "unjust" or "dishonest" manager never made much sense to me...maybe its because he wasn't unjust at all. Maybe its because he had actually acted justly or "shrewdly" as the Word says. Check it our yourself in Luke 16 and read it afresh. Maybe the message of Jesus was a bit more subversive than we thought.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just a few pics of some of the friends i made while we were on the Gold Coast. This beautiful Muslim family was from Kuwait...Their lives didnt seem much different than ours. They got a Wii for Christmas and loved to go out to coffee with friends and talk about boys :). PLease keep them in your prayers that the Lord would encounter them in powerful ways! Until next time!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let them come...

So over the past few weeks kelly and I have been making the messy transition from fully staffing the July school lecture phase to fully preparing and leading the entire September school. Its hard to be spending less time with the current school since we've built so many amazing relationships, though we continue to disciple them through 1-on-1's and small groups we have had to take a step back in order to devote our attention to the 6 new staff and 24 new students coming in the next few weeks!! Its exciting to see God continue to move in the lives of the students, especially as they prepare for outreach phase (my favorite part!)...pray that God will enlarge their hearts for the nations of India, Thailand, and Indonesia as well as create opportunities for His love to be shared to these people.

Please pray for staff training to run smoothly as seek we God's vision for the September school and work out the many logistics of making a DTS happen!

(a side note me and kelly)
We have been married for 14 months now (i think) and its been the best and fastest ride of my life...and yes a bit challenging (try getting married, moving to australia, being in charge of running schools for a bunch of 18-20 somethings, not mention the constant traveling and 60 hour get my drift). But I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I want to say "thank you" to all of you who have be faithfully praying for me and kelly as we continue to step into a vision we believe God is giving us. Yes, I'll be the first to admit its still a bit blurry, the only way I (and God) would have it...seeing clearly doesn't require much faith. (more on that next week, the vision i mean). So that's it for now. peace.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Project Affwan

This last week we had an amazing opportunity. Our entire DTS went down to the Gold Coast to attend Project Affwan. Each winter, thousands of Gulf Arabs come to the Gold Coast for vacation, many of them coming from countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Many of us (including myself) have never had the chance to talk with a Muslim personally about their faith, let alone develop a relationship. Everyday morning we had speakers teaching everything from Arab culture to understanding the Quran to effective evangelism techniques, many of the speakers were former Muslims from Egypt who are now believers. Let me just say that it is no easy task trying to understand the Muslim faith and why they believe what they doesn't make it any easier that they are trying to convert you to Islam just as much as your trying to tell them about Jesus.

The very first night we went out we had a surprisingly good time. Our group of guys were a bit nervous about connecting with some random Arabs in downtown Gold we started at a place of common ground, a place that has successfully diminished all cultural barriers in almost every region of the planet: Starbucks (you can laugh). We sat down and a couple of Arab guys sat down near us. With a bit of Arabic "Assalam Aleikum" (peace be upon you) we quickly managed to engage them in a conversation that would end up lasting for 2 hours. Hamad was from the UEA and Amir from Saudi Arabia. They were here studying at a university and they were eager to learn about where we were from and what America was like. Its quite sad when all they know about our culture is what is shown on MTV. Its hard for them to separate Christianity and America, to them it is one in the same. We talked about many things and had a great time. God really gave us an amazing opportunity to connect all week with same group of guys as well as meet many other Arabs. Our DTS as whole really went for out Arabic/English bibles, tracks, and simply telling their testimonies.

 God really challenged me in something and I would encourage everyone who reads this blog to this as well. Try and get to know someone who is NOT like you; i mean culturally. like not born in the states even. someone who eats different, thinks different, talks different...maybe even believes something completely different (in fact its better if they do). Maybe it means connecting with someone in your class, or even in your church...or maybe the crazy homeless guy down the road. Just a thought. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The July school has officially kick-started and is underway! God has really moved in the lives of a lot of the students already. We are so blessed to be a part of this school! Although things are extremely busy the Lord blessed us with such a season of rest while we were home. This week we are learning about 'Hearing Gods Voice' and it is truly amazing to watch these students HUNGER after the Lord. Whenever I pray for them or we have a time of Worship, they are just so hungry and I can just feel the Lord wanting to come and break through! It is really cool to be a part of!

An update for prayer for Justin and I: We are at the point where we have to apply for another visa. We were planning on just getting a 1yr working visa but because we would have to leave the country to apply and BOTH of us would have to do so, it became quit expensive. SO, we decided we are going to 
apply for our 428 which is a Religious Workers visa (good for 2 years). We can leave and come back whenever we want on it, however it is costing us approx $1,000. We have to do full background checks and it is very in depth so if you could PLEASE PRAY for favor from the immigration officials. We also were so blessed by YOU when we were home that we can actually afford to apply for this visa but it is definetly stretching our budget! We believe that this is what the Lord has put in front of us and we are ready to face the challenge with open arms!
Other then that things are going extremely well over here! It is winter so things are cold (no central heat
ing) in the mornings, but the afternoons are in the high 70's low 80's (tough winter huh). Just
in and I feel a renewed vision after being home for the DTS and as well for ourselves and we work out what 
the Lord has for us next. Like we told most of you at home, our hearts are longing for the N
ns and to be out there in the midst of it all. We are seeking God for wisdom as to where to go from here. Thank you for all of your prayers and support and I will WORK ON updating you more regularly!!

In Him!!
the tierneys :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

home sweet home

After a what seems like a whirlwind trip we find ourselves back to a little bit colder Australia. We had an amazing time visiting our friends and family and found so much favor as the Lord was blessing us with new supporters. I have never felt so loved and welcomed back to the church as i have this last trip home. I realized that people really DO read these blogs lol, and that we have such a cloud of protection around our marriage and our ministry. I wish we could have taken more time to tell those of you THANK YOU. 
To our new supporters WELCOME. Justin and I are on this crazy journey with the Lord and we love to share as much of it as we can with you! 

Since being back in Australia it seems like we haven't stopped which come to find out we actually really like! We have been full on leading (with our good friend Matt) the July school staff training. During these times we are training on things like; WHY we use discipleship, HOW AND WHY we do one on ones and small groups, the logistics of the school are un-covered and we really pray for a unity and vision for the school. I have to say that i have never been more excited to staff a school than i am for this july school.

The Lord has been just teaching and showing me so many things since being back "home".  I am reading this book right now by Gary Haugen called "Just Courage" (i would definetly recommend picking it up). It is a very challenging and inspiring book about our role as Christians and the World. "...this is the critical transition, when we who have been rescued by Christ come to understand that our rescue has not been simply for ourselves, but for an even more exalted purpose. In deed our own rescue is Gods plan for rescuing the world that He loves..."
Our heart for the Nations seems to be burning since we've come back. It is almost this ache inside of us that we just cant get rid of. I guess you could almost call it a burden. To go to bed at night thinking of these children, these women who have no rights, no freedom, no hope in this world. To look at ourselves and ask the tough questions like "what do you want us to do about this Lord?". I am scared to ask these questions because i know the answer will be challenging. I am ready though. I am ready and I am willing to go. I feel so empowered, so loved, so backed up by the church and His body of believers (thats you guys) to do this thing. Our future is unknown, our lives to some seem crazy, but we are on this crazy adventure called LIFE and i couldnt ask for anything more.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Family, Friends and a whole lot of FUN!

Since coming home we have had so much FUN! When we arrived in Los Angeles we got to hang out with a lot of Justin's friends who were graduating from Azusa Pacific University. We got to play on the beach (like we never get to do that in Australia!), hang out in Hollywood, and have some really cool conversations with those who are now being let out into the world. It was so cool to hear all of their dreams and aspirations. One group of girls is going to start an intentional community in Pasadena, a few guys we met are becoming college pastors, one who has a heart to take younger kids to Africa and places around the globe to get them in touch with poverty and injustice. I was so encouraged being there hearing Gods heartbeat with all of these college grads. 

We have been so blessed since we have been in Portland. I have had a wonderful time seeing my sister and parents as well as friends that i haven't seen since...the wedding! We have been encouraged by our Missions Pastor, had time to just sit and wait at the feet of our King, and gone back to our church where we are continually challenged and can sing at the top of our lungs in adoration and worship of Him!
 ----------UP NEXT: Indiana!! -----------

We are looking VERY forward to getting to Indiana and seeing Justin's family and friends out there. We are SO blessed by these people (well, by YOU) and are just trying to take it all in before we go back to Australia.

As many of you know we are home trying to find people who would like to partner with us in our 20/20 campaign. Out of those 20 we are excited to say that we are only looking for 19 more!! Thats right, we have 1 person who has jumped on board with us! This may discourage some people but we are so excited! Our heart behind the 20/20 is yes, to raise $400/month more in support but more so it is to give more people the opportunity to get involved in what God is doing in the Nations THROUGH us and what we are doing with YWAM Sunshine Coast. We will continue to keep you updated on how we are progressing in our support raising!

NOTE: If you are living in Indiana we are coming your way! Please email us or call us 574-612-2568 if you are around. We would love to meet with you and catch up!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunsets and silhouette dreams

Since we have been back from outreach i would love to say that our lives have slowed down and we are rested and ready for the next step...but i would be lying! I think since we have returned fromd Vanuatu our lives have just got busier!! Some cool things are happening though. Its been fun and crazy and Gods been in the middle of it all!

After the school we flew down to Newcastle to do our Cert IV in Training and Assesment. In Australia YWAM is a government accredited organization...(i could go into A LOT of detail but to spare you from a lot of reading i will just say, email me if you want to know about that!) So for 2 weeks we were learning about assesment and training development. It is a 2 part course which we are completing these next few weeks in Melbourne. It has been fun going to different bases and meeting other staff. We have been learning about Gods heart for YWAM and for the DTS program specifically. I think the best part about the training has just been seeking Gods heart for the students who are coming through our base and how we can best equip them to be sent out into the Nations.

We had some time when we were home to dream a little bit with some friends of ours. We like to get together and talk about how we can make the DTS better and more of a long term life choice of missions instead of a 6 month God "stint". We have started brainstorming about something we could start that we are calling "Boomerang". This would be a internship that students and staff could be a part of either after their DTS or while they are staffing. Something we see happen all the time is people coming through who have a heart for the Nations and for missions but dont know how or where they want or can go. They are scared to go by themselves into a country for life (fair enough right?!). Our dream is to have long term people set up in outreach locations (hopefully 4 or 5) where we have long term people set up. Ultimately these people will be sent for a 6-12 month "internship". These would be places where either we have extremly reliable contacts OR we would have one of our own placed there. This is where Justin and i come in. As many of you know, our heart is for the nations and discipling them. God has really done a lot in teaching us where and how this is going to be played out (more on that in the next blog!). Our hope is, if this is where God is placing us, to use this as our opportunity to get out there. The first phase would be to establish contacts by going to a country or two for some time ourselves and sort out some details and then host and take teams back to those locations. Ultimately it would be for us to be stationed there long term and teams, churches, individuals would be sent to us. Now, this is all very up in the air, but if you multiply Justin and I by 4 or 5 people in different locations. Hopefully eventually having teams of people there and DTS outreaches sent 3 times a year....we will be effectivly raising up a harvest of workers where they now have an outlet for the Nations!!

I know there is a lot to read and thank you for all of what you do for us. I cant wait to write more about what the Lord has been breaking our hearts for. I might shed a few teams while writing it! We love you guys and thanks for reading!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For the Sake of Remembering

You can go on an outreach and be affected and changed by the people you come in contact with...then you can go home and go back to your normal life and every once in a while look at the pictures of that time you went overseas. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES. Every face has a name. Every face has a story... I read once that if we have any resources, any power, any voice, any influence, any energy, we MUST convert them into blessing for those who have no power, no voice, and no influence...We must be careful not to look at OUR world as THE world. The stories are all so different depending on where you go...the one in Vanuatu paints a picture of happiness, faith, and hope.

Ni-Vanuatu people are incredible...I wish i had more words to describe them. One of the most incredible things is the way they Worship. They put us to shame holding back, no fear, just pure and FREE worship. It brings you to a place that you never want to leave. A place where you know that you know that this is what worshipping the Lord is really about. And the children. They have a way a sneaking into your heart and taking hold of it. You dont notice it at first...but every time you see them and they run into your arms, your heart jumps a little bit. They love you. They dont care about what you look like, what you weigh, what your wearing...they love you for you. I couldnt help but wonder if that was the way it was supposed to prejudices, not a care in the world for what you smell like or anything else...just love. They love that you love them.
I think one of the best things that happened to me was a conversation that i had with one of the "mamas". I was telling them that Justin and i had gotten married since the last time we were there. They LOVED the fact that before when we came we were friends, and now we were married. They started talking about white babies and black babies and at the end of our talk i heard them whispering to one another some ideas. They told me that they wanted me; US to have one of their children. Now in America this seems like a form of abandonment or something but i Vanuatu it is one of the highest forms of honor. They wanted to give one of the children to Justin and I so we could take them back with us and raise them and always remember our friends we have in Vanuatu. Its a little weird to get your head around...but it was so classic. I was flattered...until they started telling me that when we have a child maybe we could bring them back to Vanuatu and give them to one of the mamas there...this took things a little too far! I just loved meeting and talking with these women though. I learned so much about culture and their faith and just how strong they really are...