Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Burden

Tonight, was almost overwhelming. I'll talk about it all almost in reverse order, just so whatever is most recent to me comes first.

Tonight we had an extra meeting for the Compassion Justice DTS. John Bills was speaking about HIV and AIDS...which I will be working directly with in South Africa. He started by telling us not to pity people and to have hearts of compassion. An empathy that stirs an action response to stop the injustice.

After he said that I sort of shared that the reason I signed up for the CJDTS was because I am not a naturally compassionate person and when I see someone crying I automatically want to find a way to make them stop crying than to comfort them and help them through it. As John was speaking, God just broke me.

He talked about the AIDS epidemic and how little help was going to aid these people in comparision to the natural disasters that kill even less people. For example. 150,000 people died in the tsunami. 150,000 die in Africa each month...and what is being done for them?

We watched a video clip of a man who had been raised Christian, and then while he was in college, he had turned to homosexual relationships and contracted AIDS. He was in the hospital and a pastor came and visited him, and this man came back to Christ and realized the error of his ways. He was talking about how he wished sexual purity had been more valued in our culture...and how he had viewed God as a God that has grace for you and forgives no matter what you do, but he realized that there are consequences for your actions on earth...and now he was dying of AIDS--a natural consequence. And it said that the next day, after this man gave his testimony--he died.

The video ended and I was so moved. Ezra, my team leader, came up and had us pray for whatever God was leading us to pray for. I literally couldn't even pray aloud. I had tears running down my cheeks...overflowing. I was trying to contain sobbing. I was still crying whenever we were closing. I couldn't even talk for a while afterward.

God is so full of mercy for his children. A man, who had walked away from Christ was brought back, and God took him home. Now he has a new body, a new life, and he is free from the guilt and condemnation of his sin. I was just overwhelmed by how much God loves his children. I was sitting there just wanting to sob because I was so sorry. So sorry for being so selfish all the time. For not even thinking or praying for the people dying around the world.

Before I came on my DTS, I had been telling God--God I am not burdened for your people as much as I should be. Stir in me! And God told me..."Wait for the burden"
And I didn't know what that meant...and maybe I still don't, but honestly....I am so burdened for these people. I still want to break down sobbing. This is something that would keep me up at night.

How good is God that he knows me.

I won't go all into the other stuff as much. But we had a small group time...and we all shared our testimonies. I told my story, and afterwards I broke down. I unveiled a lot of stuff I hadn't spoken about in a while. A lot of areas where I still felt hurt and broken.
God has brought so much healing to me, and taught me so much...but there is just so much to learn.

God is speaking to me so much and even more clearly. I'm so hungry for Him.
I can't exist apart from Him.
Pray for just a release of God's word on me. I am so overwhelmed by God and His goodness and His desire to speak to me.

I encourage everyone to do a DTS. Its like going to school to learn how to hear God's voice, to have breakthrough in your life, etc. Its like what you hear in church--applied and lived out everyday...with people all around you available to answer your questions. I want to live in this place.

And who knows--God may be able to work that out :]

Taste and See that the Lord is Good.

<3 You All


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Last Night

So last night was an interesting night. All day we went through orientation and learned about what we would be doing, and I am so pumped up to give it my all and get the most out of this experience. This is why I am here, so there is absolutely no point to slack off and not get my work done. No reason to be distracted!

But after orientation they picked us all up to go to CiCis, because we needed to be out of the church facilities. It was pouring rain and the we all loaded in the bus and ate a bunch. I was kind of feeling like a loner, bc I didn't really have anyone to sit with and I just was feeling all down on myself. Then we went to watch a move (Little Giants) at a church nearby...and I was just tired and I thought I'd rather just lay down on a pew than talk to I sort of did that, and I was texting Laura and Daniel about how I was feeling totally overshadowed and upstaged...and honestly, they both just encouraged me a lot. I just needed to be myself and not be so concerned about the fact that I'm not the center of attention.

So after the movie (which ended prematurely, bc the disc was messed up) I decided to make sure no one else was feeling lonely...and therefore I wouldn't be lonely (advice of Laura Johnson)...and I just started feeling better haha...I realized I need to get over myself, and realize no, I'm not the only person here worth getting to know--and I need to make myself friendly.

So I got back to my dorm and I got on my laptop and I started talking with a couple people living in other houses...just trying to introduce myself with people and make things more comfortable. I heard Stephanie--our house leader--in the kitchen, and I hadn't talked to her much yet, so I thought I would make myself visible and become part of the conversation. So I sat down at the table and I got to hear other girls in the house open up a lot about some of their struggles and eventually the conversation turned to all 6 of us roomies acknowledging that we were placed in this house at this time for a very specific reason and we needed to tap into whatever God had planned for us. We all decided it would be a good idea to pray with each other each night before we go to sleep. So everyone shared a burden they were carrying from back home--whether about friends or family members...and we all joined in agreement and prayed for each other.

We decided to war together for each other's burdens and have faith that God is going to be moving in the spirit realm to contend for us.
I am so excited to see what God does in each of us, and in the lives of our family and friends back home.

So it is just incredible to think that God goes before us and prepares a place for us--even when we are not aware of it.

So I'm ready for whatever. I want something crazy.
Bring it.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day

So I'm here. I got to the YWAM base and it was kind of overwhelming just because I didn't know many people...and there were people EVERYWHERE.
My parents took me over to my house, affectionately named K1, and I discovered I have 5 other roommates in my room and 4 others in addition to that. AHHH
Oh well, I have a pretty spacious house and everyone seems pretty cool

But I went back to the YWAM base after my parents helped move into my house.
I went through registration and got a lot of little stuff taken care of.
I think I'll get along with everyone, but I am looking forward to everyone really KNOWING each other.
A lot of the girls in the house already know each other, so I'll really have to try to get to know people.
I'm the outsider in the room--but I'm not too worried :]

Here is what my year is going to look like!
There are about 20 of us in the CJDTS.
We'll be reading Is That Really You God, The Shack, Adventure Series, and Red Letters.
As far as teaching goes I have
John Bills- Hearing the Voice of God
Michael Berg- Biblical Restoration
Ezra Griffiths- Lordship
Mary Sliter- The Seven Mighty Nations
Al McBryan- Nature & Character of God
Steve Sizemore- Intimacy with God
Dean Sherman- Relationships and Spiritual Warfare
Bob Felder- Evangelism
Steve Shamblin- Maturing in Christ
David Stabler- Inductive Bible Study

I'm pretty tired.
I promise I'll post more once more stuff gets going!


SHOUT OUT TO JESSICA BURK!!! (and her child within)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I've looked over my blog from the very beginning sometimes and I am amazed at how far I've come since I started this. My very first post was dark and depressing. I was a soul looking for answers with my eyes closed. I just had lost hope, and I was desperate. I was debating what I should do with my life and I felt an enormous amount of pressure to have my life all figured out. I didn't know whether I should go to a university, stay at community college, or do a YWAM DTS.

Now almost a year later, I'm about to start my YWAM DTS. I'm not going into this as a means of mending my brokenness, running away from my life, or even a position for me to buy time for my future. I'm going into this confident in who I am, and who God has created me to be. My desire is to see God make me even MORE whole than I feel like I am. The awesome thing about my walk with God is the fact that He is constantly changing me and stretching my faith. I never get to a point where I'm just WHOLE and complete in myself--I need God to intervene with who I am and who I am becoming. I need his constant guidance.

This will be an opportunity for me to get away and focus entirely on my walk with God. To be obedient to Him with no distractions. What can hold me back in this situation? My school, friends, or work? NO! This is IT. I'm so ready.

I'm also freaking out :] Its easy for me to appear purely excited on the outside, but the thought of being out of my ZONE intimidates me. I feel like I'm more intimidated than I am nervous. I am used to being established as leadership at the mvmnt. I know my Move Group girls love me, and I know my family loves me, and I know I have people that support me, believe in me, and just GET me. I am starting totally over with a whole new group of friends!
Honestly, I'm more worried about how I'm going to act towards people than I am about how people will act towards me! Is a terrible side of my personality going to come out because I have 5 other roommates in one room?! Am I going to be annoying, or shy, or awkward? I have many different facets to my personality--and I don't know who I'm going to be. Which is the weirdest feeling ever. I'm scared I'm going to be the awkward kid that makes jokes that no one laughs at, or has an awkward laugh, or doesn't smile, or just gets nauseous all the time because I'm nervous. Seriously!! I feel like I'm starting highschool at a brand new school in a brand new culture.

Probably this post is just a glorified version of what I'm feeling, because my DTS starts tomorrow morning and I'm trying to get out all my legitimate concerns!!

Maybe this will help my mind. This is what I want out of my DTS.

1. I want to know God's heart for people. I want to understand his compassion for those who are desperate, and for those who may try to mask it.

2. I want to burn with a constant desire for God and his Kingdom

3. I want to learn how to be a friend.

4. I want to see myself become stronger willed in areas where I need it, and more submissive in other areas.

5. I want to get a clear picture of what the next few years of my life will look like.

Thats the plan.
I will update OFTEN. I'll let you know how my fears and concerns all play out.

I love you all.
I miss you!
(Shout out toooooooo : Mom, Dad, Josh, Joe, Jon, Cassie, Amanda, Robyn, McKenzie, Kelsey, Hannah, Catherine, Leslie, Laura, Daniel, David, Layne, Jamie, Dustin, Brittany, Perla, AND the rest of the mvmnt staff)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Here We Go

I am starting my adventure going to YWAM Orlando tomorrow morning around 8am. I am excited and ready to go, yet at the same time extremely sad.
More excited than sad, but I've definitely had my moments of breaking down.

I just want to thank all of you who bought t-shirts, who sent checks, who encouraged me, and gave me good recommendations. I am so excited to do this--this has been my goal for so long, and I want to embrace every moment.

Please pray for me while I am gone, and feel free to check this and comment often! I will be regularly updating it once it gets going.

Love You All
so so so so much

<3 Rachel