Posts Tagged With: Update

Beach Tears – God is Still Faithful

 “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. “

2 Thessalonians 3:3

 

Its hard to believe its been over two weeks  since I arrive here in Kona.  I’m not going to tell you that every moment has been perfect. Like any week, there has been ups and downs.

I have a peace being here because I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be.  I have had tears these last few days because I know these six months aren’t going to be easy.

***

I sit on the beach, the sun kissing my pale skin.  I listen to the waves lapping up upon the dark grey sand, coming in and out like someones breath. Suddenly tears well up in my eyes as I go back to a different day in my mind.  The day was the last day of this past March . At this time I was sinking in a deep depression. Every little thing took effort; tears were many, smiles were few.  My sisters and dad had planned a trip to the beach with some friends at the end of spring break, and almost reluctantly I decided to go with them. My dad was thrilled, since I hadn’t been doing much of anything other than sleeping and crying. I was exhausted the entire trip to the beach.  I slept most of the way there and back in the car, and just lay on the beach most of the time we were there.  I watched my sisters have a grand time with their friends, and I cried because I wished I could find that happiness to be like them.  Tears trickle down my face as I come back to reality.  I am just starting to realize what I have got myself in to.  This is not simply a vacation or camp.  I have a long road ahead of me, I am far away from anything I have ever called home and I won’t be going home any time soon.  I am scared and overwhelmed.

***

I has been almost a week since my tears on the beach.  I have come a long way this week.  The lecture topic for the week was the  Father heart of God.  Early on in the week we were told to ask God which of his characteristics he wanted us to focus on.  Almost immediately God put on my heart how he is faithful.  He is the same day after day, always loving and pursuing me, even when I don’t feel it.  As alone as I might feel, he is with me, holding my hand.  This has been a comfort to me this week.  I know God doesn’t  promise that life with him will be easy.  On the contrary, he acknowledges that there will be struggles.  But he promises to be with me always.  There have been many tears this week, but I think that’s OK.  I have a lot to adjust to but I have a faithful God to help me.

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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

Moments Away…Ready For Something New

DSCN0128

 

The time has come. Seven hours until the new year, 38 hours until I step on the plane to Kona, Hawaii.  And while I still have a lot to do, I’m so ready. Ready for the emotional and physical roller coaster of 2013 to be finally over; ready for the island breeze of 2014 to rush over my body.

My take-away from this year? Simple: God’s plan is NOT my plan, of which I am so thankful for.  2013 has been about my expectations being ground to dust, to make room for things so much better. There is no way I could have anticipated the mountains I would climb this year, and as hard as it was, I’m glad I climbed them.  I have found my victory is Jesus.

This new years, I’m focusing on what is coming, instead of what has past. I’m focusing on the blessings instead of the valleys. I could talk forever about the lessons I’ve learned this year, but I have neither the time or energy.  For now I’m simply looking forward: to the new friends I will meet, the new lessons I will learn, the new places I will see, and most importantly, the new ways I will grow closer to God. Because I’ve learned when everything is stripped away, he alone matters.

These past few weeks I have been meditating on the words from the Valley Song by Jars of Clay:

While we wait, for a rescue, with our eyes tightly shut,

face to the ground, using our hands, to cover the fatal cut.
And though the pain is an ocean, tossing us, around, around, around,
You have calmed greater waters, and higher mountains have come down.

I will sing of Your Mercy, that leads me through valleys of sorrow, to rivers of joy…

 

Thank you dear friends for reading and keeping up with me! I am so excited to share with you about new adventure! Stay tuned for updates while I am in Kona! New Years blessings on you!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | 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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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

Thoughts of Halloween

Today marks my third official year celebrating Halloween.  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this day, and I think I always will. I’m not going to get into a debate today on the ethics and theology of Halloween, I have many friends who both embrace and deny it.  I do believe it is a special day though.  I think that things happen on this day that don’t happen on any other day of the year.

 

Many different memories come to mind on this day.  I remember the dress-up box getting put away, because God knows who would get us if we dressed up on October 31st.  I remember being kept home from activities and church groups because of the costumes.   I remember our curtains being closed, locked out from the whatever evil the rest of the world was doing.  I remember all the candy that I would somehow get a hold of after the holiday was over.  I knew there was something magical that I wasn’t getting to be a part of. 

 

Two years ago I went to my first Halloween/harvest party.  I dressed as Ragity Anne, and prepared at my friend’s house.  I watched her and her current finance’ fight and yell about his drinking habits, and was thankful that I  wasn’t getting a ride home with them.  The friends I did get a ride home with was lit up with glow sticks and thankful we weaseled our way out of a ticket when we got pulled over.

 

Last year I made a warm welcome to Halloween at swing dancing and community college.  I prepared a killer costume of Deb from Napoleon Dynamite with the help of friends.  I organized a group of my friends to go to a special costume swing dance event.  Amazingly, the people I spend that night with are some of the friends who have supported me greatly this year.  

 

And this morning I found myself stranded in North Portland, dressed as the corpse bride, to exhausted and scared to get myself home, watching the city go by.  I made it to school around noon where I was treated like a celebrity due to my costume and rising networking status.  After crashing in a friend’s car, I made to downtown Oregon City where with my theater company we brought in the evening with a bang.  Soon I will make my journey back to Portland where I have the best of friends waiting for me to make sure I have a safe and fun night, whatever I need that to be.  

 

 

Stranded in North Portland!  Making the best of things as the corpse bride hangs tight waiting for a ride on this crisp beautiful hallow's eve morning. #corpsebride #halloween #lovethiscity

Stranded in North Portland! Making the best of things as the corpse bride hangs tight waiting for a ride on this crisp beautiful hallow’s eve morning. #corpsebride #halloween #lovethiscitySo tonight I am blessed.

 

 

To tonight I toast to the people that have stood by me through thin and thin.  I toast to those who have been affected by my careless words and behavior.  I toast to my friends who are rising above the gossip and rumors in order to keep people safe.  I toast to the Lord because he is so good, and I toast the devil because he reminds us how beautiful our God is.  The clouds have a silver lining, because the sun is so much brighter. GOD BLESS YOU ALL! 

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

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

Swing Dance Fundraiser…Less Than a Week!

The countdown is on!!! The Swing Dance is Friday night!!!

swing-dance-81

Now that I have lots of information about my trip and what I will be doing, I am even more ecstatic to share about it in this great night of dancing!  I am being blessed so much already by the people who are helping me put this event together and who have RSVPed!

For more information about the event please visit my earlier posts Fundraiser Swing Dance: To Kona and Beyond and Swing Dance Fundraiser Reminder and Update.

You can RSVP on the Facebook Event or on Google Calender

Thank you and I hope to see you there! Please feel free to introduce yourself!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the HeartBridge Performing Arts & Media DTS!

Aloha and Welcome to HeartBridge, Performing Arts & Media DTS!

We are so very happy to accept you as one of our 2014, JANUARY quarter DTS students! You are an answer to our prayers, by join our calling to Know God and Make Him Known through the Arts and Media.

Friday, January 3 /  There will be orientation and a welcoming Celebration. ( We are encouraging every students to bring one small gift from your nation to present to the Lord as gift in this day. 

Monday, January 6 / Our first full week of lectures begins.

Right from week 1 (Jan.6) – week 12 ( March28) the daily schedule will include Lecture content, plus Skills Training, which involves learning/rehearsing 1-hour long production called “Coming Home. If you want a glimpse, check our website:   www.goheartbridge.com  or www.uofnkona.edu  – Performing Art (we will give you the weekly schedule on Arrival Day.)

Then,  March 30 – June 30 will be tour ( Outreach ) to the Hong Kong ? and South Korea for 3 months. ( Cost is $6,000 )- Please open to change. We are still praying.

( We might have HeartBridge Company extended tour in Korea for one or two more months. )

During week one, it is our custom to hold auditions for every student to try anything you want. That will help our very experienced staff to identify your best gift for JESUS.

Many students have been asking what date they should book their return home. I recommend scheduling your return ticket home some time around July. 1-3.

And we might recruit few people for “Heartbridge Company” extended one or two more months tour in same nation we are ending if we see your skill level is intermediate to pro and character is mature.  Also we will have time to recruit for next our staff.  Then if you want to move into next YWAM, Kona Staff or other courses then YOU need to Change the date for your return ticket later.

For your information, we also have an incredible continual secondary school Biblical Foundation for the Art ( Sep. ) & School of Performing Art 1 ( Jan.) scheduled to start as module course towards AA or BA degree for the U of N, that may serve as the perfect warm up for you to join our two-year Performing Arts degree track called “Center Stage,” which runs from early as September , 2013. Please check the course info :www.uofnkona.edu and you can register through online after completed your DTS.

We welcome any student who has successfully completed the PADTS to audition for our full-time performing arts company called HeartBridge if your Art skill is  intermediate or professional level with mature character .

Well, we are so excited to see you soon and pray for you that God will protect you and provide everything you need.  May all your friends and families will blessed by your obedience to God!

Friends, I am humbled and overwhelmed.  These last couple days God is making his plan so clear.  His timing is not our timing, his ways are not our ways.  But he does have our joys and dreams in mind.

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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