Intercession: prayer on behalf of needs other than my own

Intercession: prayer on behalf of needs other than my own
Intercession: prayer on behalf of needs other than my own... Intercession accelerates God's purposes in the earth.

Friday, August 12, 2011

kwaheri :D

Day 14 was super beautiful. We did village evangelism, handed out flour and got to pray in a bunch of homes. I saw the Lord in the little things for sure... like shaking the women's hands and looking them in the eyes for more than a second. It blows my mind how you can show the love of Jesus even amidst the language and cultural barrier. The pastor of the village was super blessed by us coming to pray with him, he is a passionate man who overflows with the love of Jesus. So glad that there are shepherds like that who stay there when we leave. After that, we headed to the orphanage to hang out with the kids and decorate the school rooms with a bunch of scripture posters and what not.. it looks so good :) so colorful and fun. I got to spend time with Beth again, she runs to me whenever we get there- i've never been sought out so much! The way that Beth pursues spending time with me and gettin loved on by me is so pure, she's not worried about her image, she's just a kid who knows what it is to feel unwanted and is pumped at the fact that I would want to spend time with her.. praying that she sees the love of Christ in that. Though we sin and we are just straight up ridiculous and annoying at times, jesus always wants to be around us... super wild thought. Julius' son Oscar said that as we spend time with the kids who don't usually mesh with the rest of the group, they start meshing with others even when we're not around. That blew my mind because that is a lasting effect that we can have on the kids in that orphange.. praise Jesus.

Yesterday was incredible too. Went to the women's prison where this prisoner read psalm 139:1-10. My friend Taylor Neil sent me that scripture right before I got on the plane to Kenya.. 'If I take to the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.' Just as the Lord is with me in the states, He is with me in Kenya. Not even the prison walls and the barbed wire at that women's prison could keep the Holy Spirit out. They worshipped Jesus and preached the Word, exhorting and encouraging one another.. it was so beautiful to witness. After that, we met up with this YWAM team that we're spending the last few days ministering with. They're super diverse (South Korea, New Zealand, Paraguay, America) and I have enjoyed getting to know them SO much.. I talked to Eddy and Yuri about North Korea and how they can't go there and how if anyone tries to enter or leave the country that look through all your pictures, all your papers, everything.. They do not want God in their country. But last night, we were all worshiping together, and the Lord was like 'Not even North Korea can withstand me. I'm with you in Kenya. I'm with those prisoners in Kakamega prison. And I am even there in North Korea. None can withstand me.' That's what I've learned for the most part this whole trip.. 2 Chron. 20:6 "O LORD, God of our fathers, are You not God in Heaven? You rule over all the nations. In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you."

Today we went to a boys' prison and watched their talent show. It was seriously AWESOME. I thoroughly enjoy their dancing hahahaha.. then Cory shared the gospel and the YWAM team did the 'Everything' skit, and we did our 'How He Loves Us' dance... it was a super powerful time and a couple hundred boys gave their lives to Jesus. Then we taught them 'the interlude' dance, and a bunch of the boys came out and danced with us the second time around when we invited them. It was SO fun. Such a party. Jesus is hilarious, he is fun, and he really did come to give life and life abundantly.

"There is something about believing in God, that makes God willing to pass over a million people just to anoint you. I believe God will always turn out to meet you on a special line if you dare to believe Him." -Smith Wigglesworth

last post from kenya :) love you all

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

quite the invitation..

Mirembe :) (i think that means 'greetings' in swahili)

 Day 9 the girls 'african dared me' to eat this pepper that we got at dinner, so of course i did, and it was the hottest thing i have ever even imagined. my eyes were watering and snot was coming out of my nose and pastor julius was tryin to pour water in my mouth and everyone was dyin laughin at the whole situation.. and then Manna took a nibble of one and almost cried haha.. it felt like my tongue and lips were numb and swollen. (i think i am making a way bigger deal of it than it really was haha) but i wanted to share that fun story because our team has a ton of fun together. i thoroughly enjoy being here with them all. and by the way, i was totally fine a half hour later after eating like 20 bananas :) worth it!

 One thing i have learned is what REAL peace is- it's not a feeling. lauren keith helped me to see that the kind of "transcendant peace" that paul talks about is really just the peace of knowing that a wretched sinner has been reconciled to a holy and just God. so whenever i have been afraid here or scared of the darkness or overwhelmed by all the need or by the culture shock, i remember that i have been reconciled to God- that a solution has already been worked out to the biggest problem mankind ever had (being separated from God and dead in our sin).. Jesus solved the biggest problem we could ever have, and every other problem is small compared to the cross. Now, that is peace.

On day 9 i made this friend named Beth, and on day 10 she walked with me as we walked from hut to hut in the beautiful kenyan hills to pass out flour and pray for the homes and families. she had to part with our group at some point, but when we went to a home by waweza's orphanage later she found me again and ran to me and grasped my hand! As we walked to the orphanage she kept smiling up at me, telling me in swahili to stay with her. While i played 'football' and sat with steph and sang along and had ticklefights with some of the kids, Beth stayed right behind me, usual sitting on my lap. At one point we were chasin the soccer ball and a boy kicked it at her legs.. i looked up just at the right moment to see it happen, and i saw the tears forming in her eyes so i ran over to her. Beth is handicapped (not quite sure if it's just physical or if it's mentally too) but she has a lot of open sores on her poor little legs, so to get kicked by a soccer ball really hurts. I held her for a little while and prayed for her, and she cheered up a bit... I haven't been able to process much here or react to anything, i kinda feel numb at times because i know i will have to process a lot of what i see after the trip, but that little girl is one child that really has affected me.. i absolutely love getting to love on her. she's the one that nobody sees, that nobody gets to know, she's thirsty for love, and i am dying to show her Jesus' love because it is so wide and long and deep.

As a Christian, i carry the infinite value of knowing Christ everywhere. I gotta tremble and grow restless at that thought and not be content not doing my utmost for the glory of God. We have an obligation to put Christ on display.. and He is so good, so FULL of love, that i long to do nothing but that. One verse that the Lord has taught me a lot through is Jeremiah 20:9. We are to soak up the presence of God, and when it becomes too much to contain, we shouldn't contain it. That's life... Jesus loves on us and we love the world because His love that He gives us is so vast. It is so enough.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love." -john 15:9, best invitation man has ever gotten :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Straight Up JOY :)

What up what up my friends :)

The past few days have been so sweet, thank you for all of your prayers and support from the homefront! Day 7 we did a medical clinic. Neil made the kids balloon animals and we tied them around their heads and hung out and chowed on some sugar cane with them. Half the team went to plant some seed in fields, but I stayed back with Emily, Steph, Amy, and Kels. Steph, kels, and i went on a prayer walk through what i would call the "backyard" of samson's church where the clinic was held. we prayed for the land that God would bless it.. it was one of my favorite moments so far. God has already blessed kenya so much especially compared to areas in somalia and surrounding countries. kenya is so green and beautiful.. so we just prayed for the Lord to pour out provision for his children even more. We also got to pray for this lady Rose and her grandson that seemed basically lifeless, the poor little guy had no strength.. but to kneel and pray with Rose and believe God was seriously glorious. we got to pray with another family as well- Francis, Mercy, and their baby. I asked if they went to church to see if they maybe knew Jesus, so we talked about that for a while and then gave him a bible and joined hands and prayed for them. By the medical clinic, we got to pray for one man with a broken leg and another man that was in the hospital with malaria for a week. It has really struck me the past few days how most of what our team does here is pray.. I once got advice from two missionaries- one said that the most important thing to the people you are trying to reach is simply to BE with them. another said the best advice she could give me was to ENTER IN to every situation. so as i sat by some kenyans at the medical clinic i thought to myself, i could easily sit here and keep to myself which would be much more comfortable and i could still write a blog saying "we did a medical clinic!", but being in kenya is not a checklist to me. it's not about doing some good things and then telling all my supporters about it. God loves me no more or no less if i do good things, but man oh man do i want to be a face-to-face encounter with His love to each person i am around.. even at home i see younglife leaders around me checking lists- 'oh i went to the football game or the birthday dinner or the dance, i paid my dues, i did what all the other leaders do' but what i have been learning is that we often do the minimum listlessly.. but man, there's got to be another way. God's ways are higher than our ways. We do ministry like it's a job. But He can give us this inward passion that is just bursting at the seams looking for opportunities to be His love to people. Being in Kenya is hard and i miss a lot of things and people from home, but today during worship after breakfast i had SO much joy. Jesus really is enough.

So we throw tennis balls out our van windows, and we started writing "yesu na kupenda" on them which means jesus loves you. the other day we gave one to this street kid, then ended up seeing him a little bit later. his name is shelton. he is an orphan and has been on the streets for 6 years. ryan and a few of us played with him for a while.. and i cannot explain how beautiful it was to see shelton smile. that was one thing that has been hard to deal with- like where is God's provision in shelton's life? meg meliss and i talked about it for a while, and though this doesn't fix everything, i found comfort in this scripture- matthew 10:29-31. Shelton does not fall to the ground apart from God. The hairs on his head are all numbered. He does not need to fear because he is of more value than many sparrows which the Lord watches over though two are sold for a penny. I'm gonna remember that kid for the rest of my life..

Yesterday we went to an HIV orphanage. The one thing that struck me was just how normal the kids were.. I played volleyball with two of the boys, both of them said that their names were milton (not true, i just couldn't really hear them and it sounded like milton so we just laughed and i called them that for the rest of the time) then brian, steph, aud, and i got to serve the food which was awesome and hilarious. we danced and did a stomp routine with our spoons and bowls at the end. we're getting more comfortable with the people which is fun.. and you know i am not afraid to make a fool out of myself for the sake of the kingdom! haha so we are having a blast. The kids die laughing when we make animal noises.. Things are going well my friends. Keep praying that the name of Jesus would be lifted up in our words and actions. He is joy and peace. He is 'Emmanuel,' - 'God with us,' and for that I am so thankful.

shout out to my parents, to skylar, to wayne, and to taylor neil! i love you and i miss you :D hope you are doing well.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the good shepherd

Jambo sana :)

The past few days have been rough at times but looking back, they have brought more freedom than we ever thought we could have. Sunday we went to church by the orphanage which was soooo different from church in america haha.. we sang some songs for them and then they started singing in swahili and passing out instruments. There was so much joy and freedom, I danced with a woman named Cecilia and then got to talk to her later in the day for about 15 minutes, we ended with the promise that we'd see each other in heaven and feast together there haha :) it is good to fellowship with the Kenyan people. One piece of advice that someone gave me before the trip was to "enter in" into every situation and that has been something I am constantly trying to walk out. I don't want to settle! I want our team to be an encounter with God's love for each and every person we come in contact with.

So, at church manna and ryan preached and then people came up for us to pray for them. it was powerful.. the Lord was planting a lot of seed and we were reaping with shouts of joy. one woman's back was healed- she could touch her toes and lift her hands all the way up afterwards. and the Lord restored one woman's sight! haha it was so beautiful... today we went to the hospital to share about jesus and pray for people's needs. we met a lot of people with malaria and typhoid, others who had had operations, and even a newborn baby! we prayed the Father's love over them, and i am positive that He is going to reveal Himself and His grace to them. one thing i have learned through the past two days is that the Father makes the sun rise on the just and the unjust. he loves to pour out love, mercy, blessing, and healing on everyone regardless of who they are or what they've done, regardless of whether they have a relationship with Him or not.. the Lord is really showing me how passionately He loves the lost

one time my roommate steph and i tagteam led a crazy worship party with the kids in the orphanage! it was one of my favorite experiences yet.. we would get low to the ground and whisper the song and then all of the sudden we would jump up and start shouting the song and dancing.. the kids actually followed our lead! which is hard to do with the language barrier.. but it worked! and there was SO much joy as we sang "save your people oh Lord oh Lord, save your people oh Lord, la la la hey hey!" it was very precious.. God is showing me a part of His heart that i've never really seen before.... He loves children. Oh, how he loves them..

so much i could say, but i'll leave you with this.. Being here has been confusing at times, i have experienced legit culture shock for the first time, the team doesn't always understand and agree with each other.. but as we are open with each other and as we focus on jesus, clarity and peace come. John 10:11-15 says that as the wolf comes to try to divide and distract us, Jesus doesn't leave because he is not a hired hand, He is the good shepherd. We are not alone. We are not orphans left by ourselves in the dark. The good shepherd is with us.

"He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, it is written, 'let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." -1 cor. 1:30-31 :) we boast in the freedom and peace that jesus has brought us these past few days

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Jambo rafikis :) I'm here in Kakamega, the team made it safe and sound. Our hotel is awesome and the past 2 days have been absolutely glorious.. The first night we slept about 12 hours and our first full day was yesterday! We went to the orphanage and hung out with the kids all day- I learned a lot of Swahili but have no idea how to spell any of it :) The kids think it's hysterical when I speak to them in swahili, my favorite word is jahkula which means food haha.. I made a bunch of friends- Medrine, Joy, Maureen, Savilla, Esther, Dorcas, Selah, Sharon, Lucy... Steph led worship and we sang and danced with them. We fed them and then played with beach balls in the yard.. They LOVE piggyback rides and taking pictures and videos. We did that for hours... We taught them 'the bernie' dance as well, don't worry, I have videos! Every night we have dinner at someone's house and we eat SO much food so don't worry about us :) it is awesome.

Today we did village evangelism, which means that we walked from hut to hut through the fields and went in each hut and prayed for the people and blessed them with some flour. It was NUTS :) A few people and a couple babies had chest problems and a man was addicted to alcohol and was tormented in the night and a woman had a lot of pain in her legs and stomach.. so much pain and suffering.. but the Lord worked miracles in every situation. It was wild. Each and every one of them was touched and delivered by the Lord. Steph played guitar and we worshipped in the huts, there was so much joy! My mind is being blown that is for sure, but continually the Lord is reminding me of the gospel.. it is such good news and I am so happy to be serving Jesus alongside this team... There is so much more to say, but I can't say it all! The street children are my favorite- I love spending time with them. Continue to pray that we can just love the one in front of us. Each one. Every place we go. I know the Lord will keep blessing us with strength as we look to Him. Oh yeah I totally forgot! Today we went to the school that Waweza Movement built, and it was so awesome.. we shared the gospel with the kids and fed them and gave them sweets and beach balls. I met all the street children and went and sat with them while they ate and we had so much fun, mainly because I would say a couple Swahili words and they'd die laughing at me :) We took pictures and kicked around a beach ball for a while, and I felt like I made a legit connection with 2 of the street children.. it is hard here, since I don't know the language I hardle ever feel like I can make deep connections with the people because we just don't understand eachother.. but I dunno.. the Lord is bigger than cultural gaps and language gaps. He is faithful and he is working wonders all around us. The gospel is being told and lived out in every interaction, just pray that that continues and muliplies!

P.S. Our pastor Julius is incredible. We love him, he takes such good care of us. :)
Shout out to Skylar! I love you and I will see you soon. Wish you could see what i'm seeing.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Dust on My Feet


I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own

now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet

I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine

I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

It is 1:15 AM, and I am done packing. We meet at the airport at 4:30 PM... and I am super full of joy. This is my last update before we head out, so I wanted to share this picture and this song that I like a lot... the words "i carry you with me in the dust on my feet" speak to me a lot. So, the Lord gave me this sweet idea to take my white keds to kenya with me and work in them and walk miles in them, to get them covered in the dust and mud and rain of Africa and then to bring em back as a reminder of what I experienced there... He is a pretty cool God, huh? ;) Anyway... how can you be praying for me and the team? Please pray against sickness, pray for patience and for us to take our tensions with each other to the Lord, pray that we can laugh at ourselves and laugh at life (aka not freak out when things aren't how we wanted them to be), pray for a Philippians 2 attitude- one of service, one of humility, pray for us that we would be slow to anger and slow to speak... and that our hearts would be so incredibly full of worship to the King. that we'd be in awe of the gospel. pray for good rest as we stay the night in Washington D.C. Tuesday night...

Thank you :) The next time I'll write it'll be from Kenya! Woohooooo! :D

Monday, June 20, 2011

Christ, the FULLNESS of God

So, it's been a while. Not because I haven't been learning and praying for the team, but because I haven't been able to articulate what I have been learning! It was a long semester in which the Lord fixed my eyes on Jesus and went to town clearing up a lot of misconceptions that I had of Him. I'm gonna try to give you the simplest form of what I have learned... it comes from Colossians 1-2.

Colossians 1:12 says that the Father has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. THEN Colossians 2:28 says 'therefore, let no one disqualify you..." These verses are like bookends, like two buns of a hamburger. The meat, what's in the middle, is the most important part.

The middle consists of two main sections that are all about the sole sufficiency of Jesus Christ (1:15-20 and 2:10-15). The Colossian church has this problem where they worshipped these aeons or star gods in order to obtain salvation, so when they heard about Jesus, they just threw Him into the mix. He became just one of many gods that they worshipped. Paul combatted this idea by magnificently articulating the uniqueness and sufficiency of Jesus in 1:15-20.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Then in 2:10-15, Paul reminds the Colossians of what has happened in their lives since they accepted Jesus. They had been filled in Him (2:10), they had been circumcised in Him and were no longer controlled by their fleshly desires (2:11), they had been buried and raised to new life in baptism (2:12), they had been made alive with Jesus and forgiven (2:13), their record of debt from their sin had been cancelled or erased (2:14), and the demonic rulers and authorities who condemned them had been triumphed by the seemingly weak cross (2:15).

BOOM BABY. That's the meat. Because of who Jesus is and because of what has happened in our lives by accepting Him as Lord, we do not have to let others "disqualify us." See, there were many people in the Colossian church who thought that Jesus wasn't enough for salvation or qualification. They thought they also needed to worship these star gods, beat their bodies, have spiritual visions, and gain some kind of "special knowledge" from those spiritual visions. They were oppressing the rest of the church and forcing these other qualifications on them. But Paul was saying 'No way! Jesus is the fullness of God that fills all in all, and you have been filled in Him, and that is enough. You don't have to beat your bodies or worship other star gods or angels or have these spiritual visions. You have been qualified by God through Jesus. So, don't let anyone disqualify you!"

So, for our team... I know that we all have insecurities and thoughts that we are not qualified for this ministry of reconciliation. But the truth is, we are qualified. Not because of anything we have done, but because of Jesus and what He has done.
         4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6who has made us competent[c] to be ministers of a new covenant... 2 Cor 3:4-6

Pray for the team, that we would be reminded of the sole sufficiency of Jesus. That we are just jars of clay but that we have great treasure in us. Pray that our confidence would be in Christ alone and not in ourselves. That we wouldn't think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3), but that we would think much much much higher of Christ! Pray for our insecurities... we DO have something to offer the people we will meet in Kenya- even though there are language and cultural barriers.. Pray that we wouldn't be afraid or hesitant in our ministry- that we would really enter in into every opportunity, whether to pray for someone or to play a game with a child or whatever.. Also, pray for WISDOM. In James it says that if we lack wisdom we should ask God for it because He gives generously to all without finding fault. I gotta admit, I lack wisdom. We are learning more about Kenyan culture, but there will be tough situations I am sure... pray that we would humble ourselves, that we would observe a lot and learn from the people there, that we would go not with an attitude of "oh I have all this to give you because I am so wealthy blah blah blah..." but instead with a teachable attitude, ready and willing and overjoyed to learn. THANK YOU! Intercession is so powerful... we need it! :) Keep checking back for more... we leave in a month and six days!


"An intercessor pleads with somebody in authority on behalf of somebody else." -The Happy Intercessor, p. 66

"The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him." -Mere Christianity, p. 133