Welcome Back!

Hey everyone!

I have finished my first year with YWAM Kauai and I’m excited to say I will be returning this summer to staff my 2nd year and school!

Right now I am home in Canada to on respite to spend time with family + loved ones!

Thank you for being a part of the adventure!

 

MORE phil!

Long time no see…talk?

To those that still have their notifications on for this thing, wow — thank you. To those that have stumbled back here wondering if I’ll write anything — wow — thank you. Basically one big “wow, thank you” should be lifted up for anyone still with me on this site. I’d also like to lift up the biggest “wow, thank you” to my heavenly Papa who has been with me every single day and never stopped pouring out an insane amount of love over me — cheeehooo!

I wanted to take a quick minute to sit down and update you all — it has been a few months since I last wrote.

So, here goes…I went on outreach! To Papua New Guinea. And my world was rocked. Honestly. I saw things for the first time that I thought were strictly biblical — as in, only happened in the bible and not on this Earth. Man, I was wrong — and I’m happy I was wrong. God’s grace & mercy covers our mistakes, our doubts, our questions, even our defiance. God moved in incredible ways throughout the beautiful country of Papua New Guinea. I saw Him restore sight to the blind — yes, really, this one man was named Andrew and I watched with my own eyes God restore his sight.

I watched children who had never walked before walk for the first time — put their feet down on solid ground and run.

I think that’s what it’s like with God for me. There are seasons that I become like a child, unable (or perhaps refusing) to walk. I think this is it for me. I’m stuck in this perpetual stillness and pain and think there is no way out. But when someone prays for me, or when God speaks to me — when I actually take time to spend time with my Father — I am set free! Set free of the obstacle, the pain and granted the glory to run! To run free! And I don’t just run to run — I run to honour God, I run straight into the arms of my Papa — because He rescued me!

This is what I experienced time & time again throughout my life at YWAM. God rescued me. God redeems me. you. us. Every day. That’s something I’m still blown away by — God doesn’t redeem us once and that’s it *brushes dirt of shoulder*. His sacrifice — his offering — Jesus’ death on the cross. That redemption is an every day — every single moment healing, saving, rescue & comfort.

Wowowowow. Thank you Jesus. I will never stop singing your glory.

Now I am back home in Canada. I’ve been home for 7 weeks now & it’s weird. I love parts of it. I love being with my family — man I missed my family. And I love my friends that I have here. But I’m ready to go — I’m ready for my next steps. I’m ready for the destiny God is calling me into & I cannot wait!

Home

I’ve lived on Kauai for 8 weeks now which means 8 weeks of sleeping in my little metal bunkbed, pb&j sandwiches every Saturday, waking up to Malia’s pillow on the floor and being moved by the words our speakers have for us. I love every minute of it — even the lineup for the shower, even the ants on the floor, even the humidity on a day you just wish it was cold for 5 minutes. It’s all beautiful. I love waking up every morning and fumbling around in the kitchen for ice, coffee, waffles, fruit, you name it. I love hearing Dani’s laugh in the “basement” while I’m in my room. I love knowing who’s already awake in the morning based on the sound of their footsteps.

I love Christian’s microphone announcements. I love hearing Grape (Sarah T)’s laugh when she’s FaceTiming her sisters. I love when Sarah Swaney gets excited about the brain and when Hannah rap battles with her. I love when Dani knows exactly the right thing to say. I love when Sam sits next to me on the couch and gives me a little squeeze and when Vale listens to my terrible rendition of her beautiful Latin name. I love when Joel brings a new perspective to something I hadn’t thought about and Alex is able to support him with scripture. I love when I can hear Reagan singing from her room and Malia playing her ukulele. I love when Claire laughs and Laura shouts “ew!” or “Cuh-LAIRE”. I love when my family laughs together. I love when Mahea gives words of affirmation and checks in with you. I love when Jared (M) gets excited about recycling and compost. I love when Stephen sounds extra southern when he’s talking to his Mama and when Jared (B) teases everyone out of his brotherly love.  I love when Rae always has something positive to say and tells everyone they’re beautiful.

I love everything about this home — this family. I love that I can count on them to hold me, cry with me, laugh with me, pray with me. I love that we dance and shout and talk about Jesus together. I love that we live inside a little grey house with 3 “living rooms” and 1 bathroom and a mango tree in the backyard. I love the little patch of grass that is worn out in the front yard from everyone working out there. I love the little white stain on the bathroom counter that never comes out no matter how hard you scrub. I love the string of lights that hangs over our table that makes everything so much cuter and homier at night. I love the quirky outdoor shower and the clothes line and the shed — mostly that I don’t live in the shed (haha).

I love this little walking town of Waimea — the sidewalks, the shave ice, Big Save, the beautiful Aunties. I love the winding roads on Kaua’i, the change from living in the bottom of the canyon to the lush mountains surrounding the one Walmart on the island.

This is the perfect home for me and I’m so grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend here. This place is stored in my heart forever. Thank you Papa for giving me this beautiful island to call home for such a time as this. You are so good to me.

 

 

 

 

6 weeks in, 6 weeks until PNG

Hello, everyone! It’s been, well, far too long, many apologies. Life here gets crazy — fast and before you know it you forgot to call your Mom, you have no clean clothes and you’ve lived in Waimea for 6 weeks, whoa.

6 weeks in and I haven’t done a great job at updating you all, so I’ll do the best at giving you a summary so it feels like you’ve been with me for the last 3 weeks.

Week 4 we talked about Worship with Mark Riley (“Uncle Mark”). I think he is my favourite speaker we’ve had so far — not necessarily every lesson but just how he speaks. There’s something so loving, so gracious, so genuine about who he is — he really is like our uncle. He spoke on Worship and how worship really isn’t just music, really isn’t just one genre, one style, one way. Worship is about giving thanks. Worship is about praising Jesus (praise is a weapon for warfare — so cool!). Worship requires a spiritual posture — a posture of humility, focus, surrender, gratitude and JOY.  Worship is a declaration. Declaration = Recognition. Recognizing that you are worshipping/praising the one true Saviour. The best way Uncle Mark explained worship is that we first give adoration to God — we give our adoration, our love to Him! Because we are worthy to! We are worthy to praise Him because He is worthy to be praised. Awesome.

Week 5 we talked about Worldview with Tom Osterhus. This was sort of a difficult week for me to wrap my head around because it was just SO MUCH to take in — not bad, just a lot. We talked about Animistic Worldview (because when we are in Papua New Guinea we will be witness to a lot of Animistic ideologies), Secular Worldview and Biblical Christian Worldview. The main phrase Tom spoke that we all took from this week was “Ideas Have Consequences”. This was super interesting to explore because it can have such amazing, beautiful examples and it can have really sad, heartbreaking consequences. We learned about different countries and how if their leaders have certain ideas it can negatively affect the entire nation in terms of food, agriculture, landscape, really everything. Their ideas have consequences — on millions of people. We can look at this in our own lives too — if we believe that we are not worthy of love/friendship/acceptance then we don’t ever accept it when it comes our way because we allowed this idea to have truth. Then we wonder why we’re 24 years old, still single and pretty sure we’ll never get married. Our ideas have consequences. So what ideas are we going to let in? What ideas are we going to give truth to? What ideas are we going to let dictate our actions and inevitably the consequences. Let’s let truth in.

Week 6 was this week, our topic was Identity with Kimberly Campbell. Kimberly is one of the few people that pioneered YWAM Kauai’s base so it was amazing to have her back and hear her stories. Identity is a really huge topic and she covered it in a beautiful approach. We talked about the truth of our identity being rooted in Christ. We learned about our different roles with Jesus. Kimberly taught us about the Father/Child role, the Shepherd/Sheep role, the King/Servant role, the Bridegroom/Bride role and about being a temple. It was really difficult (in a good way) to learn the truth in these roles. For so long I let the world and my culture dictate who I am. I allowed boyfriends to tell me what kind of beautiful I was — what my hair, clothes, body should look like. I let my friends tell me how I should eat, dress, talk. I let my peers tell me I was fat, ugly, annoying — essentially worthless. I allowed myself to believe this. I allowed myself to say I was unworthy. I forgot along the way about the truth. I forgot, somewhere along the way about what God says about me. I let the world tell me I’m ugly, when God tells me I’m beautiful. I let the world tell me something is wrong with my body, when God tells me He loves and made me exactly how He planned. I allowed the world to tell me that I’m not significant, when God reminds me that I’m His daughter — I am HIS. Wow.

We’re 6 weeks into lecture phase and leaving for outreach in 6 weeks. We’re at the halfway point of Part A of this adventure. I know we’re in for a load more learning, emotions (duh) and truth about who we are in relationship with Jesus.

I can’t wait for what’s next!

Many many blessings & aloha!

 

— A

 

 

3 weeks & 4 days

Hello to anyone staying updated on this blog! It’s Sunday! My favourite day! And it’s hot (as usual). In case you haven’t been staying updated here’s what we’ve done/learned this past month:

Week 1: Bible Overview (awesome) with Abigail Elliot

Week 2: Hearing God’s Voice (insane — in the best way) with Christian Fox

Week 3: Discipleship (so good) with Kahu [Hawaiian for pastor] John

This past week was Week 3. Kahu John spoke to us all about the price of being a disciple of God and what that/missions work looks like in a practical way in our lives.  There was definitely some learning and growing in certain areas that I wasn’t expecting — but still welcomed. The biggest thing that really spoke out to me was the topic of forgiveness. Kahu told us that we need to forgive others so we can truly accept the forgiveness God has for us — whoa, what?! I thought God forgave us, always, irregardless. This is true, but when we hold onto unforgiveness for others, it hinders us from receiving the full forgiveness from God. Talk about a “heart-dropping-into-your-stomach” kind of feeling. We talked about how forgiveness or a lack of forgiveness is like a fish hook. When someone hurts us they get onto our “fish-hook”. But here’s the important part, we need to get them off our fish-hook through forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean they didn’t hurt us, forgiveness doesn’t mean what they did is acceptable, they are still in the wrong — we know that, God knows that. What forgiveness does though is take them off our “fish-hook” and puts them on His “fish-hook”. That way we have freedom from their hurt and we give their actions to God. I need to work on this — I don’t feel ready, but I know it’s important. Kahu told us that “unforgiveness will literally kill you”. So I’m not going to let the people that caused my the most pain in my life to continue hurting me. They don’t get that power anymore. It’s in His hands now.

On a different note, we went to camp! On Friday after community outreach we grabbed a  sack-lunch and hit the road for Camp Hale Koa. [My community outreach on Fridays is working at Clint’s Garden. Clint is a haole (white) local that has lived on island for many years. Myself, Sam, Vale, Joel and Christian go to his house/garden and help every week. It’s the BEST). Anyways, we drove up into Kokee and stayed in this camp that is run by a couple named Rich & Lucinda — totally inspiriting, loving, gracious and faithful. We got to spend the night in cabins in return for helping them clean up camp. Myself, Reagan, Hannah and Vale spent hours cleaning all the windows in the main building. It was necessary, and so worthwhile. It was so amazing getting to help out and have their hospitality in return. Totally how God has called us to live — helping, serving, spending time in community.

We got home last night and spent the evening on the couch/floor. It was too hot to do much else.

Today we went to church, got free lunch (especially appreciated as broke YWAM students) and now have spent the afternoon lounging.

If you’ve read this far, I could use some prayer. I’ve been having an on-and-off head cold and it’s starting to hinder me from doing activities with my team. I thought it was on the mend, but today is feeling worse. So please pray for that — if that’s your thing.

Anyways, if you’ve read this far, you must miss me, ha. It’s cool, I miss you all too — deeply. But I know I’m doing well in this place and I’m excited for what’s to come.

Blessings & Aloha,

– A

2 Weeks In

Well, here we are! 2 weeks of classes are complete, and man, life is good. God is good.

Last week, we had Bible Overview with Abigail Elliot. I learned more about the history, theology and truth about the Bible than I have in my entire life. Sorry Mom & Dad. Last Sunday we went to a church that served us free smoothies and lunch because we were visitors! What a beautiful approach to community and true welcomeness. So good.

This week we had a speaker named Christian Fox — a man who loves God, CrossFit, and his family (the order is up for debate, just kidding, sort of). He spoke to us on Hearing the Voice of God, something I’ve always been able to do, but not nearly in the same way as he had us practice this week. In the past I’d heard God, absolutely, and spoken to Him, often enough to feel close. This week though, whoa. Christian taught us different ways God speaks to us (through scripture, directly to us [heart, mind], music, dreams, images, etc.) and it was amazing to learn how God can use these things to tell us so much. Then, we practiced, we sat down and did this for ourselves. At first I thought this sounded kind of crazy but after experiencing it, man God is good. I cannot wait for the days to come in my  continual walk with the Lord and the awesome conversations we’re going to get to have!

Thursday night was worship night and we drove up the canyon a little bit and got to sing while watching the sunset, it was such an unreal experience.

Today is Saturday, all the gal students (minus my Canadian pal S.T) hopped on a bus at 7am and rode for 2+ hours to the town of Hanalei, it was such a hilarious, beautiful, sweaty, happy day. We explored the town, found vegan Mexican food (PTL!!!) spent the afternoon in the waves at Hanalei Bay and tried shave ice for the first time. In true Kaua’i fashion I tried the Lilo & Stich flavour — it was an excellent decision. Today was such a special day and the weekend is only half way through! I can’t wait for what’s in store tomorrow!

– A

Orientation Day

It’s Friday morning, I’m sitting in my new living room with 12 new friends and it’s quiet. Good quiet. The kind of quiet where you smile because you know everyone is comfortable and happy and focused. I’ve been in Waimea for under 48 hours and I already feel that pull. That longing to stay here in this moment with all these people and want to make time stand still forever because this feels so good.

We have our official orientation day today, where we’ll go through what our new life is going to look like for the next 6 months. I’m so excited but also so peaceful. I know God has called each of us here for a specific reason and I cannot wait to see how he has woven all our stories together.

It’s a beautiful life and it’s just getting started. Thanks for sticking around

– A

So, here we go!

Today is Sunday, my favourite day of the week, that’s why I’ve named this blog the way I have — Sundays on Kauai. I figured on my favourite day of the week it would be best to write my very first post. So, here we go.

I leave for Kauai and all things YWAM on September 6th, in just three days. My love for travel and seeing the world has always been great. I was raised as a missionary kid [a pastors kid] for the first few years of my life and so the love of travel and speaking to people around the world about Jesus has always been there. The time for me to step into this for myself has finally begun and man, I am in my feelings today.

I have flown by myself a few times before, but never for this long. 17 hours of travel, 2 countries, 3 flights, one very anxious, woman. As I prepare for this (mostly just emotional preparation) I am reminded that God is on my side — that’s what I teach the beautiful children I nanny. That when they are scared of bugs in the bathroom, or loud sounds outside that yes, it is alright to be scared for a moment, but we cannot remain in fear, because God is on our side — he’s got this. But we give the best advice to others that we often need to take for ourselves. As I get consumed by fear, my anxiety worsening, I am trying desperately to lean into the knowledge that God is on my side. That I am not stepping into this fear alone. I will be alright. People do this all the time.

So, here we go, three days. Into a new world, a new friendship group, a new future family. It’s going to be incredible, I just know it.

Thanks for joining me,

A