Posts Tagged With: Blessings

In Kona: He Restores My Soul

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

 He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:2-3

My dear friends,

After over a year of anticipation, I am here in Kona!  It truly is beautiful here!  I couldn’t have asked for a smoother trip here yesterday.  Since it was my first time flying alone, I was fairly nervous, but the Lord sent me such wonderful signs that he was with me.  One of my fellow students in my program was on my plane, and I got a window see on the plane next to a very kind christian couple.  When I got off the plane, immediately there were people from YWAM there to help me!

Today is my first full day here, it is going well.  It rained hard this morning, but unlike the familiar icy cold rain found in my home in Portland, this rain was warm; full of life.  This rain felt good.  It started raining when we all gathered at the Plaza of Nations; all the new students uniting for the first time.  It rained all during our morning welcoming ceremony and orientation, then the rain lifted just as we were finishing worship and praying together.  It was as if the Lord was looking down at us and saying through the rain “I see you all gathering here in my name. I bless you all, keep doing what you are doing.”

I feel so at peace about being here.  God has made is unmistakably clear to me that this is where I need to be at this time in my life.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel scared or restless; that doesn’t mean that it is going to be easy.  The opposite actually, I know this will be very hard sometimes.  But I know that this is what God wants me to be doing, so it will be more than worth it.  I am doing my best to get rid of my expectations about these next six months.  I am trying to put aside my priorities, and make connecting with God my main priority.

When we arrived at the base, each of the students in my program was given a gift bag, with a card in it from our leaders.  In my card, I was given the word “restoration,” and the verse above: Psalm 23:2-3.  I have a hope that the Lord will restore my soul while I am here; I am going to do my best to be open to him, give him every opportunity to do so.

Plaque in the Plaza of Nations

Plaque in the Plaza of Nations

Gathering in the Plaza of Nations; right before the rain started

Gathering in the Plaza of Nations; right before the rain started

YWAM Motto: "To know God..."

YWAM Motto: “To know God…”

"...and make him known"

“…and make him known”

Thank you for reading! Please don’t hesitate to subscribe to my posts by email and check out my Go Fund Me page for updates on my funding.  I am going to try to be posting often with pictures and updates on what I’m doing and learning.  God bless you all!

Categories: In Kona | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Zealand Bound!

 

I have some exciting news to share! Instead of doing the first part of our outreach tour in Hong Kong, my school leader has decided that will be traveling in New Zealand with the founder of YWAM! We will be spending the month of April touring and serving in New Zealand, and then spend May and June in South Korea! Below is a portion of a letter from my fabulas school leader, Maria Jackson.

DEAR STUDENTS,
WE ARE SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU ALL SO VERY SOON.:)

TODAY, ONE THING WE MADE DECISION FOR OUR OUTREACH LOCATION.
THAT IS, WE WILL NOT GO TO HONG KONG BECAUSE DOOR IS NOT OPENING.
BUT OUR YWAM FOUNDER LOREN CUNNINGHAM WANTS US TO TOUR WITH HIM TO NEW ZEALAND ONE MONTH OF APRIL.
SO TODAY WE MADE DECISION WITH HIM.
NOW OUR OUTREACH TOUR NATIONS WILL BE NEW ZEALAND AND S.KOREA.
WE ARE SO VERY EXCITED FOR YOU AND IT IS UNUSUALLY SMALL SCHOOL.
AND WE WILL HAVE 21 STUDENTS AND 13 STAFF. SO ALL TOGETHER WE WILL BE 34 OF US!

This news is so exciting for me! I am so at peace about going on my DTS, even though my health has been in question.  I have faith that God will provide what I need for this trip; physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially.  Please for continue to pray for me, I am definitely experiencing some spiritual warfare.  The devil can try to keep me home, but its NOT GOING TO WORK!

Blessing friends, hope you Christmas is peaceful 🙂

Categories: Preparing for Kona | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Swing Dance Fundraiser Recap

On October 25th, some friends and I hosted an awesome fundraising event for my DTS: A Swing Dance Party!  We had a great turn-out, people of all ages and stages of dancing.  We definitively raised awareness for my trip and had a LOT of fun,  plus raising over $300! God is good! It was also an honor to dedicate the night to the family of Dave Huttala, who had died exactly one year before.  He was the dad of a dancer friend of mine.  Please enjoy these pictures of the event: Photography by my friend Dane Vandwiele.

 

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Rewind: All For You

 This is a song I wrote while listening to a sermon at church with my grandma.  I posted it on my personal blog “Choosing Joy” on November 25th, 2011.  I have been meditating on these works a lot lately! All based of scripture!

All For You

By Heather McClish – The Corpse Butterfly 

Verse 1:

       D                                  A                         Bm

I am strong in the Lord who sees past my sin,

         G                                 A

Who sees the few strengths in me.

             D                   A                 Bm

He has a purpose for my life that is good,

Em          F#m          G           A

He has a plan that I cannot see.

Chorus:

G     A      Bm        G2       A

All for you, make me all for you

                 G2             D                     G2   Asus    A

Build me strong, fill me up, help me shine for you

                G       A       Bm           F#m       A     Bm

For I know that your plan has a start and an end

            G                    D

I am yours, you are  mine

              E     E7     C2    G     A

I am beautiful to you

Verse 2:

D                            A                         Bm

I will trust in the Lord who longs for my life,

           G                                      A

Who wants to make beauty from pain.

  D                      A                     Bm

He owes me nothing and I owe it all.

  Em                 F#m        G        A

Redeemed by him it is all my gain.

Verse 3:

                    D                     A                          Bm           

I am loved by the Lord, who sees my heart,

             G                               A

My heart that is prone to wrong.

            D            A                Bm

I am nothing own my so this be my cry:

Em             F#m              G           A

My life is God’s and to him I belong

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Post Thanksgiving Update

Laughing...because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Laughing…because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Dear friends,

I am coming home from the Tri-Cities tomorrow and I NEED HELP! I have been very successful with Black Friday Shopping and have been able to get most of my Christmas/thank you gifts for people and a lot of new comfy/workout clothes for Kona. I got some new bed sheets and towels for my move also! I have been advice to get what I can here for cheap because everything is so expensive in Hawaii. So now I just need to sort everything out! I need to sort: what I am planning on bring to Kona, what clothes I am going try to sell, what items I can use for my next fundraiser or donate to my Grandma’s House, what items I need to put into storage, and what things go together to make nice Christmas gifts!

This is fun work, guys! And I have tons of yummy food to feed you and old things to give you if you so desire! But I do need help staying focused and lifting things. I also have finals week after next and need help studying! I actually enjoy my classes and homework, its just really helpful having someone with me keeping my on track and quizzing me.

I am sad to announce that I am having more health issues. I will not get into the nature of this yet because at this point there are a lot of unknowns…which is so frustrating! So my Go Fund Me site I would say is about half missions funding and half medical funding…crazy. I am excited to be ending my second day without any Dr./Urgent Care/ER visits…but I know it all will continue once I get home again. What I can say right now is that my right wrist is still giving me trouble (its is still obviously sprained/dislocated), I am very low iron and I seem to be having some heart trouble.

One more crazy hiccup in my life…my beautiful purse was stolen/lost on the bus on Tuesday! Yes, I have checked in with my bank. Yes, I have emailed Trimet. NOTHING! Finally I had all my IDs and cards in one place…then ALL GONE. Fortunately I still have my phone and keys.

So, here are the prayer/help as you can needs for right now:

  • That my purse will be returned
  • That I will have clarity concerning health decisions
  • That I will be able to focus and do well during finals
  • That I will be blessed with helpers to get things done; even the simple things are so hard sometimes
  • That my friends will be able to understand my needs and help me, especially financially
  • That I will be able to get on a good sleep rhythm
  • That I will be able to have good boundaries with certain people, no matter how much I love them
  • That I will have the energy and focus to get the important things done
  • That I will be thankful for many people and things I have been blessed with
  • That I will rely on GOD NO MATTER WHAT

I have several new blog posts in the works, including a Thanksgiving thankful post, and a recap of the Swing Dance Fundraiser…WITH PICTURES!  But this is what I have got for now. As much as I hate admitting it, I need help.

Keep updated with my Fundraising Site and Facebook Page, and of course for all my silly and/or deep thoughts on Twitter.

Blessings on you all!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Transfer to Lines 32, 34, 35, 79 and 154”

Well, I was going to write a post entitled “I Have a Big Mouth,” which I think I will still write sometime, but I decided to write this one instead. Today I’m going to talk about riding the bus.

Public transit has a big stigma. I really surprises me how many people will ride public transit all over the world, but never in their home town.

I rode the bus for the first time alone when I was twelve. We were taking care of my aging grandma, who we couldn’t leave the house with.  I took the bus to my dance lessons. I didn’t complain, because I knew my mother was doing the best she could.  I didn’t have a cell phone, but neither did my parents. Sometimes it was scary, but I lived.

Riding the bus has never been my favorite thing to do, but it gave me freedom.  I wasn’t completely reliant on others for rides anymore. I had the power to leave a situation of I was uncomfortable or scared.

After doing some traveling with friends in europe, public transit seemed much less taboo to me. All of my friends and I were riding transit together, no matter how well off they were back home.  Even my rich friends had to walk sometimes. I thrived, because I had done so much of that already at home.

Most of the time, I really enjoy riding the bus now! It is more relaxing than driving. I love watching people, listening to music, and running into old friends. Bus riding is very physically taxing, but emotionally calming. Its the same route, the same people, the same automated messages. For so many people, its their rhythm, their routine.

I will always associate different bus lines with certain people or events. I was asked out on my first date on a 33 bus.  I listened to endless Group 1 Crew and TobyMac while riding the 35. You get the idea.

In conclusion, riding the bus is still not my favorite thing.  Sometimes I see people I don’t like; sometimes I get scared. Its a freedom and a responsibility. Its a gift and curse. But sometimes, its ok. Sometimes listening to early in the morning sitting on the bus and listening to that certain song while watching the city outside wake up is just what I need.

What do you think? What sort of stigma do you see public transit having? How do you think it varies from place to place? Don’t forget to pray for Sarah Evans and check out my new Facebook Page! Blessings to you all!

Categories: Rewind, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rewind: Krayon Kids Camp – Joy*

Posted on my personal blog “Choosing Joy,” on July 18th, 2011.  Please read and enjoy!

*Name has been changed for the purpose of privacy. I have Chosen the name “Joy” because she brought joy to my life.

A few weeks ago I have had to wonderful privilege and opportunity to work at Krayon Kids Camp as a day camp counselor. The first half of my day I would spend with “the red group” consisting of mostly 9 and 10 year olds. I (along with the other red staff) would get them checked in, play games with the kids before camp, and then accompany the kids to their skills classes: vocal, dance, hip hop, and drama.

During lunch, which all the kids had together, so ages 7-12, I was just supposed to hang out with the kids, get the engaged with games and each other, and make sure they didn’t get into trouble. On the first day at lunch however, I met Joy.  I had already known that Joy needed some special attention, and for some reason I was very eager to meet her.  She was petite eleven-year-old, with shoulder-length blond hair. Her face was covered in freckles, and maybe some scaring, but I wasn’t sure.  I introduced myself, but mostly I just sat and watched her play.

In the afternoon, the kids were all split in different groups, workshops. They had picked which workshop they would be in when they registered for camp, but now came the chaotic part where we had to split all the kids up (not color-coded this time) and make sure they were all accounted for.  I had not been assigned a workshop that I would help in.  The camp directors just said they would put me where they needed me. With this in mind, I (trying to hide the eagerness) volunteered to go with Joy, relieving the camp counselor who had been her “buddy” in the morning .  I was briskly given an ok, and so I hurried off to join Joy in her workshop, which turned out to be “Glee Disney.”

It was an instant connection. As we started singing through the familiar Disney songs and learning the lyrics, we smiled at each other, beaming. For the record, I LOVE Disney songs. Apparently so did Joy. She was incredible. She sang so beautifully, and she had the most beautiful smile.  Before I knew it,  I was being told that it was time for me to take a break, and I realized it was mid afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten or taken a break at all. As I left, she looked at me with those beautiful eyes, saying, “You leave me? Please, come back soon!”

After that, I was given “Joy Duty” for the afternoons, and I loved it. Some days were good days, and sometimes they weren’t.  Her workshop was actually rather complicated. The kids were learning a medley of different Disney songs, with choreography. Joy pretty much already knew all the songs, which was great because I didn’t know how well she could read. She hated LEARNING the choreography, because they would play the same part of music over and over. She hated the repetition, and sometimes she just got tired out. So sometimes we had to have breaks and “Joy-appointed” time outs, just to talk and do puzzles.  She learned the movements to the songs pretty well, but I always stood next to her, as if one of the kids, and did the routines with her.  That seemed to help her a lot, helped her feel connected and helped her stay on track.  Joy wanted and tried to make friends with the other kids, but that was hard. For one thing, she couldn’t remember their names, but would identify the kids like “the girl with the feather in her hair,” or “The girl with the funny laugh,” or even better, “You know, THAT girl!”  Plus, I think a lot of the kids we scared of her, because she was really touchy.  I didn’t mind if she held my hand, rubbed my arm, or gave me a kiss, but a seven-year-old might.

As the week went on, things went more and more smoothly. Her laugh was incredible and she never ceased to amaze me. She even auditioned for her favorite song, “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid.” She didn’t get to solo, but I don’t think she even understood. She was just happy that she got sing and “make the kids happy.”

I was originally told that Joy would not participate in the “end of the week presentation” at all. But as the week went on, I hoped and hoped otherwise. She was eager to do the show, and I wanted more than anything for her to do it too. I knew that the idea of performing in front of a ton of people could cause a melt-down, but I was willing to risk having to deal with that.  It wasn’t fair on her for her to practice so hard all week-long, and not have anything to show for it. So on the last run-through on Thursday, I had her do the whole thing without me. “Joy, can you show me how well you can do it?” She did the whole thing without a hitch. It was incredible. And the look on her face when she was looking at me, just melted my heart! I could see the pure joy on her face. Not only had she made me so proud, but she was sharing one of my favorite loves, singing and dancing.  After the whole thing was over she exclaimed, “Heather, Heather! Did you see me? I did SO good! I did it all perfect! Did you see?”

The Friday performance was there before I knew it.  I did have worry as we walked into the gym, for one thing because Joy hadn’t eaten any of her lunch. I knew it would be loud and echo-y in the gym, which could be a lot of sensory overload for her, for anyone hadn’t eaten properly. But we hustled in to the gym and got in to our spots where we sat and waited as announcements were made. Joy draped herself over my lap, and starting eating her lunch, right there on the gym floor. Finally the parents started to file in. The two of us watched and waited, looking for Joy’s mom. When most of the parents and there was still no sign of Joy’s mom, I  started to worry. I thought to myself, “I’m going to have a serious meltdown on my hands if this girl’s mother doesn’t arrive.”

The first groups started their performances, and still no sign of Joy’s mom. Good thing WE weren’t first up! Finally, right before It was our workshop’s turn to start, we spied Joy’s mom walking in the door. We waved, and she waved back, looking almost surprised that her daughter was with the other children, ready to join in.

The kids scrambled to their places and the music began.  Gotta admit, the adrenaline was pumping for me too. All of us camp counselors were kneeling in front of the kids, facing them, ready to prompt them with choreography. And then it started….and it was INCREDIBLE! The rundown of the songs went as follows:

  1.  Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)
  2. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
  3. Arabian Nights (Aladdin)
  4. Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid) 
  5. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid)
  6. A Whole New World (Aladdin)
  7. Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
  8. Fathoms Below (Little Mermaid)
  9. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
  10. Friend Like Me (Aladdin) 

Whew! A lot to learn in one week, huh? But ALL the kids did incredible! It was like a miracle. Joy had gone from flopping around and barely being able to handle learning the work, to doing the routines almost perfectly! I was so proud of her, and she was incredible to watch! Because she was SO HAPPY! I see so many kids just go through the motions with performing (and LIFE for that matter). But that is the special thing about some special kids like Joy aren’t always afraid to show how DANG HAPPY they are!  It’s just so simple: “This is what makes me happy, so here’s my lovely smile!”

Anyway, back on topic, Joy succeeded in every way. And her mother, with tears in her eyes, DEFINITELY agreed. Joy’s mother was very touched, and when I saw the look on her face, I knew I had been part of something miraculous. Her verbal gratitude toward me was beautiful. I am also pleased to say that I will most likely be babysitting Joy during the school year!

I finished the week feeling very accomplished. THIS is the reason I want to work with kids with special needs. It’s so fulfilling! I got to BE JESUS to this little girl for a week, and it blessed me SO MUCH!

Joy* and I on the final day of camp

Categories: Rewind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rewind: Children of the Light

Posted on my personal blog, “Choosing Joy”  on January 26th, 2013

 

 

From Darkness To Light

Eph 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

Eph 5:8  for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 

Eph 5:9  (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),

Eph 5:10  and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 

Eph 5:11  Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  

Eph 5:13  But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 

Eph 5:14  for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, 

“Awake, O sleeper, 

and arise from the dead, 

and Christ will shine on you.” 

 

Recently I have been studying and meditating on Ephesians 4:17-5:21, entitled “Living as Children of the Light.”  These are the verses that have especially stuck out to me. I love the that Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12) and that there really no such thing as darkness.  Darkness is simply the absence of light, just how those of this world live in the absence of Christ. I also love how the Tabernacle from the old testament was lit up inside by seven lamps reflecting on the gold interior (Exodus 37:17-24), as a visual that true light is from the Lord, as reveled by Christ in his teachings.  Also, when Moses was in the presence of the Lord on Mt. Sinai, his face was radiant because he had seen the Lord face to face (Exodus 34:29).  This demonstrates the figurative way that Christ radiates through him when we are in him; when we are children of the light. The word for “light” in this passage is the Greek word φῶς (phōs) which is not the word that would describe how the sun or another object shines, but is usually used in reference to God. Another way that the last phrase of Ephesians 5:14 can be translated is “and Christ will give thee light.” Christ shines his glory upon us who are in him, but also illuminates our lives, we become translucent and Christ radiates through us.  As the light exposes ourselves, Christ becomes evident in us as we daily die to sin and awake to our identity in the Lord. 


I am encouraged by the fact that God chooses to use me to radiate his light if I remain in him! The rest of this passage shows what it looks like to be a child of the Light, but in short, we are to imitate Christ and the way that Jesus lived. What an honor to bear his essence, I am truly blessed to be a blessing. If only everyone could understand the honor that we have received to be considered children of God, children of the first, true and only light.


 

I am blessed to be the hands your grace

I am blessed that one day I will see your face

Your face that is the light of the world

Your face will be all I see…

Blessings on you today, may you too learn and desire to live as a child of the light!

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With You in Spirit Tonight

Here’s another letter from a relative I received today. God is with us!!!

 

 

 

I remember swing parties and will be with you in spirit tonight, even though we are separated by some 66 years and an entire continent. I’m also excited for you as you prepare for your Great Adventure and will be mailing a contribution soon. 
 
I will also read your blog and email you from time to time. (I’m not a big Facebook fan.) When I turned 18, I had just finished my first year at Lindenwood College, a small Presbyterian school in St. Charles, MO, just outside St. Louis. I was on my own for the first time and loved every minute of it.
♥♥♥
Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rewind: My Journey Towards Choosing Joy

Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together.  Please enjoy the stories and pictures.  Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago! 

Continue reading

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