Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wanting to fast foward but i'm stuck in slow motion

Wanting to fast forward but I’m stuck in slow motion…
Have you ever seen the movie Click, with Adam Sandler in it.. well if you haven’t he has this special remote that controls not only the TV and radio, but life. If he had a cold, he could fast forward until he was better. If he was fighting with his wife he would say fast forward until we are not fighting. When he was sick of his job, he would say fast forward until I get my promotion... sounds great but then he ended up missing his whole life, because one time it took him 10 years to get his next promotion, so he missed 10 years of his life. He missed a lot in those 10 years; he even ended up falling out of love with his wife and getting a divorce and not realizing it. This has a lot to do with my life right now and the season that I’m in. It’s a difficult and confusing one to say the least. I find my self reaching for the fast forward button all the time. I know what’s in the future, God has told me and shown me, I know that I will be an overseas missionary, I know that I will not only love on the poor but live among the poor.
My friends once gave me a great visually on life, its like life is a big story book, with those fun old antique looking ruffled pages, and some stick out farther than the other, so our first instinct is too look at that longer page sticking out, but if we just read that page of the story, that’s in the middle of the book, we aren’t going to get the story! We missed all the pages in-between. When you reading a book you just don’t skip 3 or 4 chapters, it won’t make sense then. And That’s my life right now, I can’t skip ahead, even if I know what’s going to come, if I don’t go through the pages in-between then it won’t make sense. If my future is Africa and overseas then I need to figure out what is in the middle of here and there.
God has been good though, he has shown me some of those pages, I have doubted why I’m working 2 jobs and not just hanging out with the homeless like it was my job. He confirmed me having the job I do, because I am seeing my coworkers either start walking with God for the first time or rededicate their lives to him!! Ah which is just incredible, Praise God! All praise goes to Him. In this I have found peace because I know God is using me here and God is here just as much as he is overseas! So often I want to fast forward, but if I would have come home from India and then got on a plane right away to Africa I would have missed this chapter and people might not be walking with the Lord today like they are. J Right now I’m stuck in slow motion, and how I wish I could say fast forward me to the overseas mission field, but what would I miss? And Who would I miss?

God, grant me the serenityto accept the things I cannot change;the courage to change the things I can;and the wisdom to know the difference

This is an emergancy

Thanksgiving was a hard day for me.. because as much as i love my family, they did everything that i wouldn't do :) I think its nice that everyone gets together as family and friends and celebrates all the things they are thankful for. But i don't agree with the hundreds of dollars that are spent on food, and people intentionally over eating when there are millions of people starving to death.. hundreds in your city alone. Yesterday i had to honor my parents as they asked me to stay home and share dinner with them and the 20 other people we had at our house!.. Which was still ok because I got to pray for people :) always fun. But my heart wasn't in indulging myself with all this food my heart was to be on the streets with people who didn't even know it was Thanksgiving day, because really what i'm thankful for is that God has opened my eyes to a different World. My eyes no longer just see a thanksgiving feast and think oh yummy, i see that feast and think about the homeless who would love to have a nice warm feast like this. Sometimes its hard to have this mind set because people don't always agree with you, like yesterday my own family didn't even agree with me. But Jesus said, wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.. So everything is fine, I’m just taking the Road less Traveled :) which is exactly the road I want to be on.So yesterday as we were wrapping up all the TONS of left overs, we put some in a bag and took them over to some homeless people by my Dad’s shop. We got out of the car and they came running up to us, it was 5pm and by now they were all drunk and couldn't walk right, and they didn’t speak much English, so it was interesting. : ) but we handed them the bag and they got all excited... i got like 5 hugs and a couple of kisses from my new Mexican friends hahaha. As we were pulling out, one guy came running towards us rubbing his arms like he was cold and then pretending to put on a jacket, so we could obviously tell that he was cold and asking for a sweater. Florida is a beautiful and warm most of the time but this winter looks like its going to be a cold long winter as its already in the 40's most nights. I didn't even think about bringing lots a blankets, thankfully we had one in our car. We handed him a nice bright pink blanket, he was so happy and put it over his shoulders right away, with the biggest smile on his face! However going to sleep last night was heartbreaking. As I laid there, and I was cold.. but I had so many layers on and i had a big comfy blanket, but I was still cold. I laid there with the picture of this man in my mind, walking away from my car with a little pink blanket, and I thought about if that would keep him warm enough. The vision wouldn't stop, but it just kept playing over and over in my head, and then that vision went into other pictures, as I laid in my bed crying myself to sleep thinking I could have done more..I want to do more, I will do more.

Friday, November 7, 2008

40 Days of Feasting.. and i'm Never the same

To put these last 40 days into one word or one sentence is literally impossible, there for I shall write you a novel. : ) The front is where I attend “church” only I don’t like calling it that, so I guess the front is where I attend worship! Its intense and God has a special anointing on that place and the leadership there. Anyways so they called us to a 40 day fast for the elections, it ending November 4th 2008 the date of the election. Starting out this fast I wanted to fast mainly food, but after almost passing out several times I decided, to still fast other things, but I mainly be feasting on God! Isn’t that fun like a fast isn’t fasting from things, its feasting on God and his word. So these last 40 days I have been so hungry for God and at the same time so full because he kept feeding me!! Ah I get excited just looking back at what he has done. I’m looking through my journal as I write this and I’ll just give you some little nuggets of what God did!

9-29-08… Monday night I was at the front were we were all crying out for India because of all the persecution and the killings of Christians. I sat there so upset because yes this affects all believers, but I have been there! I personally know some of the Christians that this is affecting and my heart broke for them. But as I’m crying God places a heavy burden on my heart and my broken heart because more broken and I’m deeply broken as God speaks to me, saying… This pain that you are feeling, this broken heart that you are feeling, is not me crying for my sons and daughters in India who are getting killed for me, because they get it, I cry for you guys, the ones who don’t get it, the Christians who aren’t willing to die for me, my heart breaks because I wonder if you would really die for your faith…. Talk about conviction!

*One night as I sat in the presences of God, I realized the Presences of God is truly unmatchable, intoxicating, an encounter I long for everyday.

9-30-08… Got kicked out of a strip club parking lot for praying!! Haha his presences it a threat to the enemy.

“JESUS”-I learned Just His name is so powerful. That name can make people feel uncomfortable with in one second! Ha like at starbucks when the person ask you what you do and you say I am the Lords servant you can see them get all uncomfortable and change the subject and all I did was say his name! I have seen people just say Jesus and the person is healed. People all over the world but you hear about it in countries like China and Middle East, and now India, Christians are being killed because they are telling people about this King and I don’t hear about any Mormons or Jehovah witnesses getting killed for their faith because there so something about our God that is a threat because just his name has power in it.

10-6-08…. It seems like this whole fast God was teaching me about what it truly means to be a Christian because I just finished the heavenly man which is an intense book of a Chinese Christian, then I saw a pastor speak from Rwanda and later I heard a speaker from Turkey speak. The Turkey man has seriously been through so much torture, they would pull off his toe nails and pull out his teeth and if he passed out they would splash water on him to wake up so he could feel the pain, and they would pull his arms and legs so they would be stretching out his body in ways it shouldn’t be! And at the end of all this, he seriously was half dead, and he would pray the Lord’s prayer, and the guards were like you are crazy! But they couldn’t believe he was still alive so they said tell me about this Jesus that you are praying too, and he got to tell them all about his savoir! Ha how cool. But at the end he was just like ok now what do you American Christians do? Do you sacrifice anything for your Lord?

10-10-08… I go and hang out with old people at this assistant living home, and there is one women in particular who I see every time, her name is Virginia. She is so cute and fun and is always laughing. But today she was sad because she said..i just realized that I’m all alone I have no family and I’m just lonely and that makes me sad. I notice she had a bible in her bag so I said- Lets look in there because that book has some good stuff about Joy in it. And so we look at verses about joy and rejoicing, but then she asked where can we find a verse about peace, because she said I want peace.. and I go Oh Girl he is all about peace! Ha so I found this verse, “now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in everyway. The Lord be with you all.” And I didn’t read it to her, I just found what page it was on and then she read it herself out loud, and as she was reading it, the presence of God feel in the thickest cloud ever! She started to breath heavy, and I’m like Virginia are you ok? Because you know shes old and stuff and she could be dying on me, and she says.. I can feel it, I can feel him giving me the peace and its taking my breath away, then tears started to stream down her face and she got noticeable chills (goose bumps whatever you call them) then she said I feel a breeze against my back like I’m floating because I have so much peace, seriously it was like God took her out of this world and into the supernatural for like five minutes! And I’m just sitting there, being memorized as I watch God physicaly touch this woman! It was crazy. Then she is so cute, she goes I use to think a piece of chocolate was the best thing ever but this is so much better! I think it was a prophetic word to me, lol!

10-14-08… a pastor shared this story. Back in the holocaust days, there was this church that sat right in front of some railroad tracks. And every Sunday at the same time the church was meeting the train would ride by with Jews inside on their way to be killed and they would see the cross on the church building and they would cry out for help. This happened every Sunday as the church was in silent prayer the train would go by and the cries were unbearable. So the church had a meeting and deiced to switch their service around and so when the train went by they would be in a time of praise and worship, and when they would start to hear the train coming they would play a little louder and they would turn up the music a little more so they could wash out the disturbing cries. Our nation is doing that today, as we sit back and watch babies be aborted, as we sit back and watch the porn industry reaching record high profits. We are in our little church turning up the music to wash out the cries of the world, the cries of the homeless the orphaned, the lost, and the unloved. How much longer will the church continue to go on with normal life, turning up the worship music, to forget about the lost in this nation and this world? Its really ironic if you think about it.

10-21-08… Pastor Phil, who God uses him to heal his sons and his daughters, anointed me and prayed that I would receive the gift of healing like he has! Sweet!

10-27-08… I truly feel the freedom I have to follow Christ! My family is still having a hard time in supporting me and the crazy dreams God has placed on my heart. But when my family and society makes comments like I won’t be able to do that, It doesn’t affect me anymore! Like I hear them but I don’t, if you get what I’m saying! Because the freedom that I have in Christ has been so real and so powerful this last month, that I have experienced freedom in him and no one can discourage me now because I am free to follow Him!

10-30-08… along with this 40 day fast, the Pro life campaign has been doing a 40 days of life, where have they been praying for the end of abortion. So at some of the planned parenthoods where they perform abortions ( not all of the planned parenthood perform abortions, but a lot of them do.) people have been standing on the grounds praying. The front took this Thursday to pray in front of this building for the whole day! I was there for only 2 hours but what God spoke to me in those 2 hours was something I needed to hear and I think all Christians need to hear. On the way to this silent protest we heard this song that has the lyrics ‘don’t walk away’ .. and I was praying I was praying that God wouldn’t walk away from his unborn babies here that he would save them and then he turned that prayer around and spoke to me, saying… Leslie you don’t walk away, now you have seen it, you have actually seen in with your own eyes a building in which they take the lives of innocent unborn babies. You are now responsible for making this aware to people, because you have seen it, now please don’t walk away.

11-1-08 …. I could speak forever about this night! But basically I was visiting a home church with me Sister Lauren, and there was a guest speaker there. And she was majorly gifted with the spiritual gift of prophesy! And we worshiped and she spoke a little but most of the night she was just prophesying and praying over people. And my sister went before me and I was like ahhh this is crazy, because everything she was saying was right on in a way they she would never know but only God would give her the knowledge of what to say and what to see. She prophesied over me and God gave her the same knowledge about me! And what she said to me was the devil is trying to kill your dreams he is trying to steal away the gifts and the dreams God has given you. And of course that is so true and close to my heart that is was like I was sitting in my fathers lap weeping and asking him to help me hold on to these dreams that he has given me, and he said he would : ) so that’s good : ) haha I love it. And then ok for the last month or so I feel like I have been able to see more, like into the supernatural, or the spiritual whatever you want to call it. I feel like God wants to show me angles and such, but I’m just not excepting it, like I can almost seem them, but if I just receive what he wants to give me then I will seem them, so this has been going on for awhile and I was thinking about it this night. And Crystal the girl that was prophesying goes… Oh girl you are a seer and God is going to start to show you things, he wants to show you vision and angles, you will start to see into the supernatural… ahh I don’t care who you are, that is straight up crazy cool right there. The next night God gave me 2 visions already to speak to people!!

11-3-08…. In YWAM I feel in love with the sound of acoustic guitar. And my favorite thing to do is worship, seriously! So I have been wanting to get a guitar so I could worship God all the time and make my own worship and I just love that guitars are all over the world, and worship really brings the presences of God. So if I’m traveling the world being a missionary I would love to know how to play guitar so I can invite the presences of God in every place I go. So ya but I am poor, and couldn’t afford, so I was just praying you know God if you want to give me a guitar I receive it! lol. Now I have a little money saved up and I could buy one if I wanted to. But the other day Lauren was talking to one of our friends about praying and she used.. oh ya Leslie is praying for a guitar as an example as to what they were talking about. The next day she showed up to my house and said God is answering your prayers because he told me to give you my guitar!!ahhh so I should stop writing about it and starting playing it, now I’m praying for the gift to supernatural be able to play it haha just kidding but seriously because I have no idea what I’m doing!

11-4-08… ELECTION DAY! The whole day the people from that front where praying the whole day the voting polls were open, so it was 7am -11pm, because it wasn’t just when the polls were open in FL but from the west coast to the east coast. And this whole fast people have been saying your just praying for the elections?! But really its so much more than that! I haven’t even prayed once that God would put one of them over the other in office. We have been praying that our nation would turn back to God that we would seek his face, that we would realize the sinful nature of this nation and repent! That night I had to work so I got to The Font at 7pm and you could tell people were warring for the nation!! Because they weren’t sitting down and saying a silent prayer we were pacing the room crying out! When God placed something on someone hearts they would go up front and pray into the microphone so we could stand in agreement with them. One time someone brought up the subject of sex trafficking that in California there is something on there ballot that is so insane! Its not a matter of weather sex trafficking will be illegal or legal it’s a matter of the cops not being able to investigate cases concerning this issue! So this was a major cry out as guys went up there and repented of their lustful desires and prayed for the men who were doing this to girls 3x younger than them. We prayed that the words on this ballot wouldn’t be confusing but they would turn into a vision of these little girls sold into this sex slave industry. Lauren got up front and prayed, because she has been to Thailand where sex industry is huge and she has seen men drag women in prostitution by their hair because they think they own them for that night, and cops just stand back and watch it happen.. its because we have become numb. So we were praying for God to make people feel the pain, make them not numb anymore, but make us aware of this horrible act. And be careful what you ask for because the whole room just cried out because we could feel the numbness breaking and we could feel Gods broken heart for these men and women!

**It’s funny how the presence of God can change a mood so quick because one minute we would be crying the next laughing and the next yelling with passion. But then God placed it on my heart to cry out for the church to wake up! And I wanted to go up in front and pray and get everyone pumped up and ask God to wake us up! But God had a different plan, he brought me to my knees with tears rolling and rolling down my face saying I’m sorry. He spoke to me saying the church is having an affair. Instead of being in love with Jesus and his presence, the church is having an affair with religion and denominations. We have lost sight of his face and the intimacy that we can find in him alone. And if we can hear the sound of rain coming and if we were made for battle then we need to wake up. We have lost sight of Him, because if we were following and seeing his holiness, his mercy, his greatness, his power. Then we wouldn’t walk past an adult book store without doing anything, we wouldn’t stand to have thousands of orphans just in my city alone that I live in. Also before I got to the front that night I was downtown where I stopped and talk to a homeless man, Vince. Vince has been homeless for 25 years and when I asked him if I could sit down and just visit with him he said no one ever just wants to sit down and visit with him. The election day I notice how many church buildings we have. I always knew we had a ton but when you have huge signs and people saying vote here you realize all the church buildings. If each church would take in and house one orphan then we wouldn’t have any more orphans that are with out a home and with out love. When God had me pray that prayer I was overwhelmed with sadness, as I myself was being convicted, I’m not just hating on the church here, I’m saying I think we have lost sight of our first love and I know that breaks his heart and in turn it breaks me to the point where I can’t get off of the floor but all I can do is just lay there and cry at my fathers feet. All I can do is lay at the foot of the cross and thank you for what he HAS DONE and in the same breath same I’m sorry for what I HAVEN’T DONE.

God has dramatically changed my walk with him in this these last 40 days, to the point where he has stolen my heart and I have told him that I never want it back. The Holy Spirit has moved in my life in ways that I have never experienced. The Holy Spirit has invaded my comfort zones so much and it’s the most exciting thing ever! Sometime I get discouraged working 2 jobs all day everyday but now that I’m walking in this new truth and asking God everyday to use me to bring him glory and asking him that everyday I have an encounter with him, everyday is an adventure! I can’t get enough of it and everyday I want more! After this month I will never be the same. God has revealed himself to me in a whole new way and I have seen him and heard from him in ways that I never had before. I love it when I see more of him and less of me in my life! Sometimes its funny and hard though because I had a day of work and I went to the bookstore to read a book because I’m too cheap to actually buy it..haha, but I’m sitting there next to this woman, and it was like I couldn’t even sit there and relax and read a Christian book because God was speaking to me about this woman next to me! Its like I’m reading this book about God but does this woman even know who he is! Ah so I have learned if I want to be alone or just relax I need to just stay home because now I can’t even go to starbucks anymore with out God asking me to talk to that person, but love it! I love every minute of it.

I have learned also that the Holy Spirit is Crazy and powerful and that when we have an encounter with Him he moves in ways that can’t be explained… I use to think it was weird to see people like fall to the ground, or speak in tongues, or shake, or cry really loud, but now I realize that person is having an encounter with the king of kings and they are having an encounter with the same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead! So how can they just stand there and not be moved by him? Ya God is like my best friend and we laugh together and we are all casual but he is also the only living God who spoke life into existence and that is pretty intense, so as we are seeking his face and we see him and when you encounter Him some crazy stuff happens! Because that’s just how he works, its called taking God out of the box.

God just keeps changing my views on missions. Now my mission is to tell people about this amazing man named Jesus and lead them to have a relationship with Him. I still have a heart for the poor and unloved. I am still planning to go to Africa but am having a hard time finding an organization to go with. I found this one that is awesome, but I just don’t know if its hardcore enough for me.. and then I found the worlds largest slum in Kenya! Ahh its crazy like 1.5 million people in this one slum and like 400,000 orphans, now that’s hardcore.

I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future! “In China we have no possessions to hold us down, so there’s nothing preventing us from moving out for the Lord.” All I know is that I don’t want anything to hold me down because I want to be able to go when God tells me to go.

…….When God truly moves in our heart and in your life you cannot remain silent. There will be a fire in your bones, like Jeremiah, who said, “ His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” Jeremiah 20:9 Our God is an all consuming fire….These days I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn! You can never really know the scriptures until you’re wiling to be changed by them, God has been offending my mind to get into my heart. This God, man he is a life wrecker haha he has wrecked my life to where I can and will only live for him.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reality is not a word used in my Vocabulary

Something i just learned is that i believe in God.. Not reality. I Go by what God says, not reality. Because you know what, when Moses parted the red sea and him and all the Israelites walked on dry ground, reality is.. that is not possible! But God makes it possible. When Jesus would heal the blind, raise the dead and cleanse the leapers.. reality says not possible, God makes it possible. So ya that was a long time ago, but it still applies today. I go to a youth group where each month they need a thousand dollars to pay the rent, and each week somehow God provides with broke college students, and strangers.. sometime in one night, with one check they have the whole month paid for! I see healings happen that aren't suppose to be possible. I hear stories of broken fingers straighten out right in front of their eyes. I have seen God provide money for ME personally in the the craziest ways! This whole YWAM thing, Lauren and I together, he provided over $10,000! People we didn't even know, they have never seen us, they just heard what we were doing would hand us a $500 check. At church i would set my purse down and forget about it, and then get home, look inside and there would be an envelope in my purse with $200 in it. I have seen my friends of deadly illness and make it out alive. Reality is.. none of this stuff should have happened!! That is why Reality is not one of the words in my vocab, because when someone says, "Reality is...." I know that nothing is impossible for God. As Christ follower, we should want to see the impossible made possible! Because that is what HE does.

This is a passage about Faith. The reality is, God is BIGGER than reality.

Hebrews 11
By Faith 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.
3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he[
a]considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring[
b] will be reckoned."[c] 19Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
23By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29By faith the people passed through the Red Sea[
d] as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[
32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned[
f]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Camp <3

Camp....awesome :) this camp was everything and more than i thought it would be. So all the families are poor inner city black families and i love them! The staff at camp made up a very diverse group.... There were blacks, whites, Straight people, Homosexual, Christians, Jewish people, all different kind of beautiful people! This camp was so loving and non judgmental and just so excepting of everyone, like everyone greeting each other with a kiss on the check and a hug and i was talking to a campers mom and she said i just love this camp because its a place where i come to just be myself and i love it here because there is so much love. and as i was talking to her i got really sad that like she can't get that out in the real world and then i started to think about Christians and where is the love? Jesus when he was on this earth talked to tax collect and prostitutes and talked and loved the least of them, he loved them, he didn't even say you are a tax collect or a leaper i can't talk to you So these weeks at camp i learned i am not called to judge but i am just called to love them.

The children think they are coming just for a normal summer camp where they do arts and crafts and go swimming in the lake, which they are, that is what they are at camp for. But the parents are there because they know it is a camp for HIV and they are at the camp to get help on how to tell their children that they have HIV, or sometimes the kids are taking pills 3 times a day because they have HIV but they don't even know it! My first week i has pre-teen girls and they have all been told about HIV. One girl who was HIV positive, the rest just their parents were but they were not. So since everyone knew about HIV we had a social worker come in just for like 30 min to tell them if you have any questions or concerns we can talk about it... and no one talked! and then she asked do you guys talk about this at home with your family... and they all said no!! I really think people need to talk about this more, i mean it is just crazy, its like this big elephant in the room! i think the parents need to talk to their children about it more and ask them if they have any questions.

That same week one of my campers her mom wasn't feeling well. So her mom came up to me right before lunch and said Leslie can you please make sure she stays here as i go to the Med Room because I'm not feeling good. Right away the young girl dropped her head and became really sad and wouldn't talk to anyone. So i asked her what was wrong and then she told me... I;m just worried, my mom has fainted before in the grocery store and it was really scary, i just don't want anything to happy to her. And that is when i realized that this poor 12 year old girl, she thinks that whenever her mom gets a headache she is going to die!! that is on situation that i was really able to see how HIV affects the families.
Another girl, is 12 years old, and her parents have HIV and her Grandpa and 2 uncles have died from it. So she is now bisexual because she says she doesn't want to Die of HIV and she knows that if she is with the same sex that her chances are lower of getting HIV.....

The 2nd week was totally different i had 10 yr old and none of them knew about HIV. I had 2 Girls who were positive and they didn't know why they took pills 3 times a day. So that was crazy to witness also.
This camp is an amazing place that helps these families deal with this Major issue in their lives. I pray God has me go back next year!! Because I'm already looking forward to it :)

I wish I could show you pictures of these beautiful families but because of privacy issues i am not allowed to post any pictures of the family.

Fun Facts

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write an update... but i shall start at the beginning!
Being home at first.. was very hard. I really missed the amazing friends i had made overseas. It was also really hard being back in America after spending 3 months in a very poor country. I find myself missing my friends and the countries, Switzerland and India a lot! Now It is September and being home is becoming much easier! Thanks to God :) He is teaching me new things and putting me through new adventures each day, so i can't complain because I'm having fun :) So here is some fun stuff.....

I have been a christian my whole life, i just did YWAM ....but no one told me about the holy spirit no one told me about the Power we have as Christ followers! Like seriously...Romans 8... the same spirit that rose Jesus Christ from the grave lives in me! it just blows my mind! And so i have been learning about that a lot, and it was just cool how it all happened because i wanted to start hanging out with non believers and love on them and tell them about Jesus but like i go to this Starbucks trying to do that and God has me read in the bible about the holy spirit, because God was telling me like I'm not ready to outreach into the community because he wanted to show me/ tell me how much the holy spirit really can use me. Like Galatians 2 :20 i know longer live but Christ lives in me... I get it now! i really do die to myself, die to my flesh, so that the holy spirit lives in me... the same spirit that raised JC from the dead is in me.. is in us! as Christ followers, that blows my mind!! Its just crazy i have been a christian my whole life but my walk with God has dramatically changed!

What to know more about the Holy Spirit? Read: Matthew 3, Luke 3, John 14:15-31, John 16, Acts 1 and 2, Romans 8, 1 Corinthians 12, 2 Corinthians 12-18, Ephesians 4:30

Like i said i have never really been told about this, and this brings me to another topic. I asked my mom why i haven't had any teachings about the Holy Spirit and she said because we were raised in the Lutheran Church and they don't focus on the HS. Also i have heard of other denominations that believe that speaking in tongues is from the devil. The thing that i don't understand is that right in the bible.. Acts 2 it says the speaking in tongues if from the HS. I have been really confused lately why Christianity has sooo soo many denominations??? And they all have different rules and they all pick and choose what they want to study and believe out of the bible... But here is the thing... It is ONE God and ONE bible.. where do ALL these denominations come from?!?!

Jesus Prays for All Believers (John 17:20-23)
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Dude right there Jesus is asking us to be one... to be united.. If the church thinks having all these different denominations is being in unity... I think the church has a twisted image of what it means to be united. You know we are always praying to Jesus for this, and for that, and for this job, or this health issue... But do we realize that Jesus has a prayer for us! that he wants us to answer! and sadly i don't think we are answering it.
I Pray one day the church can answer His prayer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Closing Time

This 6 months journey has taking to me to Switzerland, India and Back. But I’m back with a new out look on many things. I loved these last six months and God has really used them to be life changing.

Lecture Phase ( the 3months in Switzerland) was so amazing. My relationship with God was totally changed and I felt this love from God that I have never felt before. He became my best friend and the love of my life. Everyday I couldn’t wait to learn more about him and talk to him more. In lecture phase I also went through some hard times and God always showed me his love that is indescribable. I learned that God is a personal God, and although I am here on this earth to serve him, he is not interested in prisoners he is interested in a 2 way relationship, and that is something that I experienced in Switzerland that I will stay with me forever. God is never changing so he has always had this unconditional love, I just needed to open my eyes and realize it, and in the future when I go though hard times again, it isn’t like God leaves me or loves me less, it is me who changes. Looking back I remember saying that I wanted to devote this time to God, where I could get away from school, family , friends, work, and just the worries of the day and give all my attention to God. These 3 months I was really able to do that. Of course new distractions came up but my main focus was always getting to know God on this deeper level.
I had so much fun in Switzerland too! I loved being in a room with girls from New Zealand, Canada, Korea, France, and Norway. All the people that I met from this DTS are amazing and I have made friendships that will last a life time. Skiing on the Swiss alps was such a great time! I’m so thankful that I learned how to ski better, because at first I wasn’t the best, but now I truly miss it.

Outreach was an adventure; I saw and did things I could never image. India was very intense. It was very dirty, with slums and homeless people and beggars every where you go. There is also hundreds of God in India, some are even tress and cows and so there are many many temples everywhere, at least 3 on every street. So it is a nation that could use all the help it can get. My favorite place was Calcutta because that was the poorest place we stayed, and I really loved helping out at Mother Theresa’s home and spending time with Slum families. I also had so many chances to talk about my faith and my relationship with God, so something that I can tell that I really grew in is that I have become more comfortable talking about my faith and more confident when I speak weather it is in one on one with someone or in a big group. Something I also learned about myself on outreach is I love being with people that.. Well that it wouldn’t be normal for people to hang out with them. I love being with the slum people, the homeless, the physically disabled , orphans, AIDS and Leprosy victims… there is something about them that I just love and I love sitting with them and loving them. I think also because a lot of people don’t come and sit with them, they have all this love for you when you do! And its beautiful.

This whole YWAM experience was the best 6 months of my life. But for me it doesn’t stop there, this wasn’t just an experience…. It was the start of an adventure, and that adventure is following Jesus. I would love to continue to serve him in overseas missions, which is where my heart is.

I just want to say Thank you, truly thank you. Thank you to everyone who read my blogs and gave me encouragement. To everyone who support me. To everyone who supported me finically. To everyone who prayed for me. To everyone who has been involved is somewhere, thank you so much it has meant the world to me to have support!

WHATS NEXT: On August 11th I will be traveling to New York, where I will be a camp counselor at a summer camp called Camp Heartland ( ) It is a camp for children who have AIDS, and it is summer camp where they can just go and have a fun time at summer camp. The camp will be 2 weeks long.
God, for some reason.. has broken my heart with this Issue of AIDS. Especially what is happen over in Africa where 5,500 African die everyday because of AIDS, and where there are 12 millions orphans because of this disease. Also in Sub – Saharan Africa there are 300,000 million people who don’t have access to clean water. So Africa was been placed on my heart and is where I would like my next trip to be.

P.s I will continue to update this blog and share about my crazy adventures follow Jesus…. if your interested :)

Love and Be Loved.