Around three months ago I woke up from a crazy dream where I had these pink fluffy things coming out of my cheeks. Every time I moved it would wobble and I looked ridiculous. I remember waking up itching my cheeks and asking God why did I dream that?
Don’t be afraid to look crazy or stupid for my name
I had no idea that that sentence would be the claxon to a marathon of an adventure that I would embark on for the next four months. This is the story of my next adventure. The beginning of a God-dream that only He could make come to fruition. This is currently an ongoing process and I’m so excited to share this journey with you.
A story in the Bible that has really fascinated me is the story of the woman at the well. Jesus is intentional about meeting with this woman. He sought her out in the heat of the day when everyone (quite sensibly) would be at home cooling off. You see physically she was getting water, emotionally she was carrying her shame, her loneliness and her past. Jesus sees through this and knows what she is really carrying, He doesn’t mess around but He does allow her to ask questions. He knows her soul, her past, the mountains and valleys that she walked and yet He still remains. This pivotal moment in history was the catalyst for a movement that would ripple through the village. The town reject runs to tell everyone that she’s encountered the Son of the Living God. Everyone listens.
The Lord laid this story on my heart shortly after I had the very strange dream. The heart for the ‘one’ has always been a part of my faith journey. I have, and continue to journey with so many young women that I’ve had the pleasure of walking through heartbreak and insecurities with. I have shared my heart on these issues and have listened and prayed with young women for a while now. I just love Jesus. There is significance in the one. Jesus bypasses a “busy” schedule for the one. He is intentional with the one. Jesus meets the one where they’re at. He loves the soul, spirit, past, present and future of the one. He won’t rest until He is with the one.
While I was praying, God led me to the last half of the passage.
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”John 4:34-38 (NLT)
After that verse I would learn that farming imagery would come up more than once since I first read the above passage. It would be given as a verse to study and feedback on in small group, my good friend would preach about it the following Sunday and I would even come across it in Michelle Obama’s book ‘Becoming’.
I wrote down three different YWAM DTS locations:
- Farm to Table (DTS) in Colorado Springs
- School of transformational business (DTS) in Los Angeles
- Anti-trafficking (DTS) in Los Angeles
From here I would research and continue on a journey of really thinking about where I was at in life. I thought, there has to be more than this, what about standing up for justice? What about life changing moments in life? What about living?
I have always figured that emotions and compassion shown towards people was a flaw. Like what I was feeling was too much. I never understood why I would just crumble at someone’s story, or documentary, movie or video where people experienced injustice. I would always feel so overwhelmed and helpless whenever I would think about injustice. Racism, sexism, asylum seekers, human trafficking the list goes on. God has a such a heart for the oppressed. He sees them and loves them His whole heart.
Give justice to the poor and the orphan;Psalm 82:3-4 (NLT)
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless;
deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
I have loved connecting deeply with people one-on-one. I think I thrive on encouraging and empowering women to go after their God-purpose and run head on into His will. I have loved being there for women who have experienced brokenness in light of their experiences and past hurt. I love getting to the heart of things, listening and asking questions. The complete and utter disgusting injustice of human trafficking has always hit home hard for me.
“The scandal of human trafficking values an individual by trading in the commodity of human life. According to CNN’s Freedom Project in 1809 the value of a slave (in today’s money was $40,000. Today the average price for a slave is $90 and there are in excess of 27m illegally traded worldwide.”
The statistics have always been overwhelming and I’ve always wondered what part I could play within it all. I went to a Stop the Traffik march and loved the active participation you could partake in when you feel passionately about something. So I knew that for this next adventure I would have to be the literal hands and feet of Jesus. This would meaning:
- raising awareness
- outreaching to victims
- aiding recovery
After looking at YWAM LA’s website I saw the following words pop out at me:
“A city transformed. Gifts. Passions. Creativity. Restoring thousands of lives.” They have a high value for:
I read blog after blog, resonating on what I felt like God was calling me to and noted quotes from blogs that I couldn’t shake from my mind:
“When doing ministry, you realise life isn’t all about you and you are called to something higher.”
“Fear kept telling me to deny God’s voice and stay comfortable outside of missions. Fear told me that I wasn’t ready to go into the unknown. Often times, dear takes over our lives and we listen to it. We let it dictate what we do instead of listening to what God is speaking to us.”
“It wasn’t secure or comfortable. It was unknown and terrifying. It meant working through my insecurities and being vulnerable in community. It meant going out on the streets and sharing a Father who pursues His children.”
“God is found in the unknown. He is simply asking us to take a chance and follow His voice. Even if it isn’t what we expected. Even if it sounds like the opposite of what we would want.”
One evening I spent time going through finances and calculating how a venture like this would realistically be able to work. It was doable and I know that God is Jehovah Jireh – the fact that I even doubted His provision in hindsight is so surprising to me! I then proceeded to write the names down of all the people I thought might donate and come alongside me in this journey. I wrote down 85 names originally and now I have around 156 names in a spreadsheet.
There is power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we becomeMichelle Obama, Becoming
I have always loved travelling, experiencing other cultures and seeing different ways the world around us operate. I also really love Jesus. The latter comes first and most importantly I just want to be obedient. My faith journey is unique, and so is yours. I know that I have so many more stories to listen to as well as tell. I’m excited to be on this adventure with you. So I’ll end this first part of my YWAM journey with the quote from Stephanie May Wilson’s ebook The Lipstick Gospel which can be found below:
Sometimes in our lives, we just need to get out. We need to leave. We need to go somewhere new for a change of scenery and a new perspective. Pilgrimages have been a spiritual practice for years, people leaving home and exploring somewhere new. As we embark on a journey, whether it’s physical like hiking the Camino de Santiago, or geographical like traveling the world for a year, we’re challenging our outsides to something new, and getting away from what we see out our window every day. We can change at home, certainly. But something profound happens inside us when we remove ourselves from what’s familiar and safe and challenge ourselves to something bigger.Stephanie May Wilson, The Lipstick Gospel
Be sure to check back for upcoming parts to this adventure. If you were interested in donating, partnering, praying or keeping updated monthly visit the link below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.