Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Time in Kona So Far

Aloha! Wow, I don't know why I waited so long to write about my time here. I have so much I want to say! So, I hope you have set aside a nice, big chunk of time to read this. I will break this into categories so that my jumble of thought's doesn't become totally incomprehensible.

     I feel so blessed that I get to live on this base here in Kona. It is so wonderful to be living in a community of people who believe like I do, but who come from so many different backgrounds and cultures. There are 39 nations represented this quarter, and in my room there are 5 (Brazil, Switzerland, Korea, Germany, USA)!
     Twice a week, the entire campus is invited to join together for worship. We've had the privilege to worship God in not only English, but Korean, Hawaiian, and French as well. The Korean word for Jesus is Yesu. I love saying it and hearing it, it's beautiful! Yesu! The campus also gets to all come together during meal times. These are excellent times to meet people from the other schools.
     While living here on the base, we are all expected to contribute to the community. Each person is assigned a work duty. We work for two hours each day during the week. My assigned work duty is transportation, so I drive a shuttle to and from Wal Mart and wash cars and vans. I have surprisingly had a great time during work duty. 

     I have learned so much during the lectures. Our focus the first week was hearing God's voice. In the past I've been very skeptical in this area. Many times I passed off what God was speaking to me as my own thoughts. We took time in the classroom to practice hearing His voice, and it was a lot of fun. I used to have a fear of sharing with people what God spoke to me, but that fear is going away, and I now feel a boldness in this area. The second week was about relationships and sexuality. We discussed the biblical view of marriage versus the world view. There were a few things that really stood out to me. The first is what is said in Romans 12:2. It speaks about not conforming to the pattern of this world. I've heard this several times, but I felt like God was saying to me, "you know what this says, but you need apply it to ALL areas of your life, not just parts". I was also very struck by Joshua 7. I realize now that my sin does not only affect me, but all around me. This is a heavy concept to digest, but so crucial to be aware of!
     We have also been learning photography. One of the main points of photogenX is to use photography as a voice for the voiceless, so we will be attaining skills throughout the DTS which will help to do this. There are people at all different levels of photography. I am a beginner so in these first few weeks I am just becoming familiar and comfortable with my camera. Here are a couple of my favorite shots so far:
Queen's Bath

Green Sands Beach

     Outreach is a crucial part of the discipleship training school. During our lecture phase we all participate in some sort of community outreach. We were presented with several community outreach opportunities. I am on a team of 5 that goes to a local homeless shelter once a week to hang out, play games, teach life skills, and serve in other various ways. We've been twice and both times have been rather interesting. Next week I'll be giving haircuts and we're bringing drums. I'll post more about this as we get more involved. The second part of DTS is the major outreach phase that we spend in another part of the world working in the mission field. Last week our class of 51 students was presented with 6 outreach locations. We were then given 45 minutes to pray about it and write down our top 2 choices. Long story short, I'm going to Cambodia! I'm stoked! I feel really good about this! We also have teams going to the Philippines, Japan & Thailand, South Africa, Mozambique, and Asia. I don't know much about what we will be doing in Cambodia yet. I know we will be staying at a YWAM base in Battambang, and we are each going to have a bicycle for transportation. As I get more details, I will post them. Please keep our team in your prayers. There are 13 of us total, here is a list of names to pray for: Zach & Laura (leaders), Aubrey, Grace, Josie, Carrie, Thunder, Paul, Jessica, Sharon, Campbell, Kat, and Katie. Check out our first team photo here!!/photo.php?fbid=528542276039&set=gm.144867742235322&type=1&theater

     We have very busy, long weeks full of amazing class time, so on the weekends it is nice to clear our minds and let our brains rest a bit. This, however, does not mean we let our bodies rest. I've taken advantage of the last 3 weekends and taken in some of the sites and attractions on this beautiful island. The first weekend, our staff took us to a gorgeous beach
Hapuna Beach

Our second weekend, we rented a couple cars. A small group of us hiked through lava rock to a pool where the queen used to hang out. Then we woke up bright and early and drove to Captain Cook to a bay to swim with dolphins. Unfortunately, it was a very rainy morning so we didn't see any dolphins, but we did get to snorkel and it was so cool! I wanted to take full of advantage of having a car for the day, so we continued adventuring well into the evening. We got to see quite a bit of the island and practice our photography.
rainy day at the bay

And then most recently, we went down to South Point, which is the southern most point in the US. There we had the opportunity to jump off some cliffs into the bluest ocean water I have ever seen, and we hiked to a green sands beach. The fun has not stopped since I have been here! Whether I am in class or out exploring, I am having an awesome time. You may be wondering if I am ever going to stop and rest, and the answer is yes! I plan to use this coming weekend as a refresh and recharge time.
cliff jumping at South Point

Mahalo (thank you) for reading! I won't make all my posts this long, I hope to update about once a week. I am thankful for your prayer and support, so I will do my best to keep you informed.

Friday, April 22, 2011


     I have been here in Kona for two weeks now, and already I have had so many amazing experiences. I am excited to share some of these experiences with all of you, but right now I am just going to share some thoughts on a book I just finished. It is 11:30 pm and this book report is due tomorrow. Oops, I am praying for healing in the area of my extreme procrastination.
     The title of the book is Is That Really You, God? written by Loren Cunningham and his sister Janice Rogers. In case you don't already know, Loren Cunningham and his wife Darlene are the founders of Youth With a Mission. I would not be doing what I am doing today if it was not for the obedience of these two very inspiring people. It all started with a vision Loren had while in the Bahamas. He saw waves of young people going into the nations of the World telling people about Jesus. What began as a vision quickly became a reality. Loren talks about how he envisioned the youth going into the world not just being added to every year, but multiplying, and this is exactly what has happened and is still happening.
     I learned quite a bit in reading this book. One thing that really struck me is the fact that it doesn't necessarily take an extraordinary person to do something extraordinary. But rather, it takes listening to God and being obedient. It's amazing to read stories of what God can do if we only just listen and obey. Another thing I found interesting was what Loren refers to as the Wise Men Principle. The Wise Men Principle is confirmation when listening to God speak. The wise men who followed a star to the birthplace of Jesus all heard separately where to go, and they were all led to the same place. Many times, God will speak the same thing to different people.
     This book is incredibly inspiring and really made me think. I am actually still pondering and processing on a lot of what I read. If you haven't read this, I would highly recommend you do so!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A New Journey

I am about to begin one of the most exciting things I've ever done and I am full of emotions. I leave for Hawaii in less than 24 hours and I'm feeling excited, anxious, nervous, apprehensive, antsy, eager, but mostly I'm just totally stoked. I don't know exactly what to expect, but I do know amazing things are going to happen. So are you wondering what I'm getting myself into? Tomorrow I will be joining the PhotogenX Discipleship Training School run by YWAM. For three months I will be on the University of the Nations campus in Kona studying things like God's character, missions, hearing God's voice, and many other exciting topics. I will also be learning more about photography which is something I currently have very little knowledge of. After the three months on campus, we will depart on outreach. This is an 8 to 12 week period spent in the mission field. I don't yet know where I will be heading, but wherever it is I am excited to go! I can't wait to see how God works in my life over the next six months!