Friday, November 25, 2011

Give Thanks

Our Thanksgiving Tree
     Yesterday I had the privilege of preparing a Thanksgiving feast for my YWAM family here in Norway. It was so fun making all the traditional food for everyone at the base! All five of the Americans were hard at work in the kitchen---we even had three full generations represented, so it really felt like being back home cooking with a family. When it came time to feast, we shared with our 150-ish guests the history of Thanksgiving and asked that everyone write on a piece of paper what they were thankful for  to hang on our "thankfulness tree." It was so sweet to go up and read what was written throughout the meal. This was an especially difficult week for some of the families who were facing serious health problems and even separation, but yesterday was a day of truly miraculous breakthrough and there was much to put on the tree. A grateful spirit was thick in the air as we devoured our turkey and dressing, and I'm happy to report that in the end I was so full that it hurt (and as any good American can testify, that's how you know you did it right). 

     Here's some things that made it to the top of my thankfulness list this year: 1) Skype: the bridge of communication between me and those I miss and love the most 2) community: that even when I'm away from home, I still feel surrounded by a family 3) snail mail: I have a steady stream of letters coming into my mailbox from dear friends each week 4) creation: from the majesty of the Alps to the farmlands of Norway, it fills me with wonder and awe of the Creator 5) the journey: God's goodness as He patiently leads me forward into the unknown. Hallelujah! 

And just for good measure, I'll end with a song:

"Thank You" by JJ Heller

For painted purple skies 
For never telling lies
For giving all you had away
For crying when I cry
Ooh thank you... 

For changing autumn leaves 
The salty ocean breeze 
For coming down from heaven to save a wretch like me 
Ooh thank you... 

I can't understand why you left your throne
But I know that you came and you saved my soul... 

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Ooh, thank you 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Starring Yours Truly

About six months ago, YWAM Germany filmed a promotional video for our various ministries and Discipleship Training Schools. They interviewed me about my ministry, Pick A Pocket, and then I totally forgot about it! Low and behold, I'm all over this thing. If you want to know more about what I'm doing in Germany, watch the video below. (Try not to judge us too harshly for the audio time-lapse! And the subtitles are pretty small so you may want to go full-screen unless you have an affinity for Deutsch. )

YWAM Germany on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but
for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and
ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what
wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”
-Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nations to Nations: Benny Prasad

With Benny Prasad at Nations to Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Last week, my school traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to study the spiritual climate of present-day Europe with Tom Bloomer, the international provost of University of The Nations. It was an amazing time of gaining understanding about post-modern Europe through studying the history of Geneva and the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century which began there. We were able to visit the church where John Calvin preached as well as the home of Jean-Jaques Rousseau, the 18th century philosopher who greatly influence the French Revolution. 

While we were in Geneva, we also had the opportunity to take part in two Nations to Nations events. Nations to Nations is a ministry of YWAM that is seeking to restore the identity, dignity, and destiny of all peoples and nations through intercultural worship. These events are essentially huge worship gatherings where the different nations being represented are invited to lead segments according to their cultural tradition. For example, we had French rappers and hip-hop dancers performing, followed by a traditional African praise song being sung in Zulu. Among these diverse worshipers was Benny Prasad, an Indian musical prodigy and an amazing man of God. In 2002, God told Benny that he would travel to all nations of the world to share his testimony, preach the gospel, and perform his music. As an Indian, this is a virtual impossibility, but this year God's word to Benny was fulfilled when he performed in Pakistan, the 245th and final country, making him the world record holder. He has performed in countries as closed as North Korea and as remote as Antarctica. His story is truly incredible. Take a look at the video below to hear more about Benny:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Geneva, Switzerland

"These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, 
long to thunder praise, but stand reverent, silent so that 
man's weak praise should be given God's attention."
 -Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts