Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Worry?

Yay! I'm officially accepted as an Iris Harvest School of Missions Student:)

You have no idea how excited I am. For real!

I got my acceptance letter on July 17 for Harvest School 17. My birthday is also on the 17th. The number 17 has a lot of spiritual meanings but since it is a multiple of 7, it means greater spiritual perfection. wow!

Jesus' plans are just crazy.

What I'm doing now is praying a LOT, getting connected with other people on facebook who are going to HS too, praying for finances, getting paperwork done, praying some more, sending out newsletters, and trying to hear Jesus' voice in all the craziness.

I've been super overwhelmed today. Trying to figure out finances and such. I know that I know that I know that Jesus will provide all that I need in time. But looking at the numbers right now, it looks pretty much impossible. How in the world am I supposed to get around $6,000 by the end of August?! What, Jesus?! To the human eye this is just completely insane for someone who currently doesn't have a job or very much money saved up.

But that's the beauty of it. Jesus doesn't want us to look at things through our human eyes. If we did that, then we would just live in constant fear and worry cause it simply looks impossible. Jesus instead, wants us to look at things with our spiritual eyes. With Him, ALL things are possible! He has told me to go to Harvest School, and He promised that He will provide. So, I'm leaning on that promise. No matter how impossible it looks.

I can't keep living in worry. I need to simply let go and trust. I need to rest and watch Him work it out. I need to listen to what He wants me to do next.

He's such a good Papa God. Why should I have ANYTHING to worry about?! Seriously?! He's got it!

Just feeling a bit overwhelmed and stressed today but I'm trying to rest in Him. I would appreciate your prayers for constant joy and peace through this journey:)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tete and Shekinah

Yay! I'm finally getting around to writing about where I'm going and what I'll be doing.

Nick and Marlene Boyd are a young missionary couple who just got married in January and moved to Tete, Mozambique to start their ministry called Pioneer61. Now, these two people are so incredible. I love them dearly! They actually met in Mozambique last year through Iris and that's a whole other story how Jesus put them together. :)

Marlene went to the Harvest School two summers ago and after the school, she moved to Tete for a year by herself as a full time missionary. While there last year, Jesus brought her to a group of boys from the city. There are 30 boys between the ages of about 8 to 18. They are all homeless and live on the streets in the middle of the city in Tete. They are considered the lowest of the low, nobody loves them. They are thieves, alcoholics, into drugs, and just living lives in sin. They have built up a bad reputation for themselves since they steal so much, that everyone in the city pretty much hates them. Even the police beat them sometimes. It so messed up. So, Jesus brought Mar to the boys and He immediately broke her heart for them. He told her that they are who she needs to be ministering to. He  gave her such a momma heart for them.

When her and Nick got married in January, Jesus told them to move on February 20 to Tete and feed the boys and love on them. They are the only people who have ever looked out for them and loved them. Some of them either have a mom or a dad or another family member, but they don't want them so they kick them out in the street. Children in Mozambique just have no value. It's so sad.

So, Nick and Mar moved back to Tete and began ministering to the boys and bringing them two meals a day and bringing them to their church and doing small outreaches with them. Their heart for the boys is to see them completely transformed into men of God and they want them to be the ones preaching in the streets and sharing the love of Jesus in their city. Jesus has told them very clearly that it is not their job to transform them. They have simply been called to feed them and love them. It's Jesus' job to transform them. They bought some land and they are going to build a home for the boys too! It will be called the Shekinah Healing Home. Shekinah is the name God gave Nick and Mar to call the boys. It basically means "the manifest presence of God." The verse God gave them for the boys is Jeremiah 29:11. Since they have been ministering to them, a few of the boys have been transformed and are so in love with Jesus now. It's so beautiful! Although most of them are still stealing and drinking, Nick and Mar know that Jesus will transform them and all they can do is love them with their Jesus love!

Tete was our last stop in Mozambique on our trip in June. I didn't really know anything about their ministry before we went. I already knew Nick and Mar though. We met last year and God kept connecting us in several ways. I thought my purpose in going to Tete was to see them and bring Mar some stuff from Emily, a friend here in Nashville. Well, Jesus had other plans!

From the moment we landed in the airport in Tete, my heart was beating on fire and I had such a peace and it felt like home. I was like "ok what the heck Jesus? I don't even know anything about this city or their ministry or anything. How can this feel like it's where I'm supposed to be? I don't get it!" We landed at like midnight and the next day we took breakfast to the boys and prayed with them. The minute we met them, Jesus broke my heart for them. He told me He wants me to be a part of their transformation. He wants me to love on them too and watch Him transform them.

Growing up with brothers, I'm used to being around boys and I really have a heart for raising up men of God. Nick and Mar have been praying for people to come be interns with them and help them out and love the boys. I had no idea about that at all and the whole week our team was there, Nick kept bugging me about coming back to be one of their first interns. I was like "psh yeah right!  There's no way that's Jesus' plan for me. I just graduated high school. He can't be calling me to come to the other side of the world to love on a group of boys." But, as the week went on, Jesus kept showing me through several ways that that's exactly what He wants me to do. He wants me to go to Harvest School in October, then go straight to Tete and be an intern with them for about 3 months!!!

This is completely crazy and not at all the plans that I had for myself. But that's how I know it's Jesus! His plans aren't always our plans. But His plans are always better! Since this is so clearly what He is calling me to do, I know without a doubt that He will provide all that I need. It's going to take a lot of funds, but I'm not worried about it:) He will provide!

Now that I know Tete is where I'm supposed to be, it was super hard leaving. Nick and Mar told the boys to call me "Titia Brooke" cause I'm coming back to be one of their aunties. That made it even harder leaving because I feel like they are my boys now too! But I also know that Jesus has me here in Franklin for a reason too.

There is SO much more that goes into this story but I'm running out of room on here. If you want to know more, please please please contact me somehow! I would love to share the rest of my heart about this with you!

Friday, July 6, 2012

His Plans

Alright. So now that the word is out about applying for Harvest School, I thought I would tell you what it is and why I applied. 

For those of you who don't know, Iris Ministries is a huge ministry based in Pemba Mozambique. They have bases all around the world, but their main base is in Pemba. The short story is that Heidi and Rolland Baker sold everything they had and moved to Mozambique several years ago and started rescuing children from the streets and dumps. Basically just loving them and feeding them. It started out with just a few kids, and now they have many bases all over the world and house hundreds of orphans and feed thousands of village people every week. They do many different things but their main goal is to love. Heidi's heart is to love any and everybody with the love of Jesus that He's placed in her. It's truly incredible all that the Lord has done in and through her and this amazing ministry. Thousands of healing's, miracle's, and salvation's. So beautiful. 

One of the things that Iris does is called the Harvest School of Missions. What that basically is, is people from all around the world who have a heart for missions, come and live in Pemba for about 2 and a half months and pretty much get trained up to be a missionary, while living in the mission field on base. Heidi and Rolland's desire is to see people radically transformed for Jesus and be trained up and fully equipped to go into the mission field, wherever Jesus calls us, and share the love of Jesus. One of the main goals for the students is that they will become a laid down lover for Jesus. Raising up people who take themselves completely out of the picture and say yes to Jesus and fully surrender and follow His plan. 

When I was in Mozambique last summer, I felt like God called me to go to Harvest School but I didn't know when. I thought it was for this summer, but as you can tell, that didn't happen. I now know why:)

Jesus has called me to go to Tete, Mozambique and be an intern with Nick and Marlene Boyd and their ministry, Pioneer61. I'll explain everything about that later, but I know for certain that this is what Jesus is wanting me to do. I felt like He wanted me to go around October or November of this year but I still felt like I was supposed to do the Harvest School first. But, I thought next summer was the time for me to go to Harvest School, which would mean waiting a whole year at least before I go back to Tete. 

While in Pemba in June, I asked a couple of the missionaries who live there to pray for me about timing for Harvest School cause I wanted confirmation for next summer. At the same time, they both said "well, why not come to the October Harvest School?" I said, "ummm well I think that's too soon and I think I'm taking some college courses and that's just not what I really want to do. It makes more sense to go next summer." Mrs. Amy Lancaster has been trying to get me to go to Harvest School for a long time and she kept bugging me about going to the October school too. 

On the Saturday after I got home, I was praying and asking Jesus "ok, seriously what do you want me to do? I want to go to Tete soon, but You want me to go to Harvest School first. But if I go to the October school then I would go straight to Tete. I don't want to be gone for that long! That would mean I would be gone for several months and miss all the holiday's with my family. I don't want to do this." Right after I said this, I was reading in my message bible app on my phone and the verse of the day was when Jesus was calling His disciples. He said you have to be willing to give up everything to follow me. Including your family and even yourself. 


Literally about 5 minutes after I read this verse, Mrs. Amy sent me a text that said "Hey if you are going to do the October Harvest School, you need to get your application in cause spots are filling up quickly. I'll help in any way I can to get you in!" 

Woah again.

Um ok Jesus! You are calling me to go to Harvest School and give up my life here for a couple months and lay my life down for You, then go to Tete and put into practice all that I'll learn in Harvest School and love on Nick and Marlene's boys they are ministering to. 

This is crazy. Not what I had planned for myself. But SO many things are pointing to this and I know without a doubt that this is where Jesus is leading me at this point in my life. That's how I know it's Jesus too, because it's not my own plans. 

Another big confirmation for me was when my parents found out. I thought for sure they would freak out and thought my dad would ask about how much money and what about college. I was wrong! I was really praying that God would go ahead of me and prepare them and bring them confirmation first so that I wouldn't have to try to convince them that this is what God wants for me. The first thing my dad said wasn't about money or college, instead he said, "well, we've always trained our kids to listen to the voice of God and obey what He says!" Yay, Jesus! Both parents are fully supportive and feel this is what God wants for me right now. 

All Jesus told me to do was to say yes to Him and send my application in for the School then leave the rest up to Him. If I get in, then I know He will provide all the money and everything else, if I don't get in, then it's simply not His timing and I need to be ok with that. 

This is just an act of obedience that I am doing. He told me to do it very clearly, so I did. It wasn't easy, but I'm slowly learning to let go of myself and just say yes and trust Him. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

His Voice

Jesus completely wrecked my life (in a good way) while I was in Mozambique in June. So many stories. So many testimonies. So many laughs. So many tears. So many new friends. So much rice and beans. So many beautiful faces. 

I could share story after story and tell you all about the food, sleeping arrangements, bathrooms, airports, and living conditions. But none of that really matters. 

Jesus told me to share the life changing experiences and encounters that I had. I hope and pray that He will give me the words to share and that He speaks to you through something that He says through me. 

I am not a blogger, I have no idea what I'm doing. All I know is Jesus wants me to share my heart with someone, so that's what I'm going to attempt to do one post at a time. 

I went to Mozambique this year and the year before with a team from We Will Go Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi. This year there were 11 of us on the team. Mr. David and Mrs. Amy Lancaster, Jonathan, Olivia, Sarah, Katelyn, Krystal, Reagan, Ms. Nancy, and Chris. They are all incredible people. We became such a family on this trip. So thankful that I got to share all the experiences that I did with them. We were able to be there for each other and pray for each other and grow closer to Jesus together, one step at a time. We were all stretched in different ways and Jesus set us free from a lot of stuff. It seriously means to much to have these people in my life now. Love my new family!

Last year when I went to Mozambique, I felt really overwhelmed with everything. It was my first mission trip overseas and it was A LOT to take in. Major culture shock for sure. I felt like I couldn't soak everything in and really press into the Holy Spirit because I was so blown away by the differences from the U.S. to the poorest nation in the world, Mozambique.

I'm in at a place in my life where I'm completely open to what God wants to do with me and where He wants to take me. I just graduated from high school, quit my job, have no plans for college, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. 

One of my main prayers going into this trip in June was that I would be able to hear God's voice so clearly in every situation and every circumstance. Last year, He prepared me with the culture shock so this year I was really able to focus on Him and hear His voice even clearer and press deeper into His heart.  

That's one of the main things he taught me. How to listen to His voice and hear His heartbeat. Once I was able to completely surrender myself to Him and His plan and purpose for my life, he allowed me to hear His voice and He showed me what His will is for me. I'll share what that purpose is, in a later post. :)