Israel

In November, 2013 I took something called a Bible Core Course in Norway. As a part of the 3 month school we took a 10 day study trip to Israel. I felt so alive and in touch with everything I'd heard and read about while I was there. It was just so amazing. I won't say more, just look. But if you're every wondering if you really could venture to Israel--my advice to you is you can and you should.

- Melissa

faces + places

Changing gears.

What do Sweden, Mozambique, Israel & Turkey all have in common? The answer is...me! Time to catch up with all the places I've been and the faces I've seen there.

But let's be real--this blog is dusty, rusty, tired and basically unused. I did try this blogging thing. This hip hipster thing. But the reality is, that I'm not a blogger; I'm a photo-taker-ographer. I do like to write, but only really for myself. Writing for other people is very draining and scary for me--something I need to grow in I know. 

So for now, I will grow slowly. I will let my photos speak for themselves, speak for the people in them. I will try to write here as well--but only the authentic, simpleness that I know I can give all the time instead of scraping my soul for a cool story or adventure that will have the perfect balance of inspiration and comfortability. 

This may seem like old news compared to my most recent missions trip to South America or recent engagement to the man of my dreams, but I wanted to post some pictures from some of my more personal travels in the past year. I'll start with two countries--Sweden & Mozambique.

I'll let the pictures speak and if you have questions afterwards, I'm around :)

MOZAMBIQUE

Zimpeto, Mozambique - Last July, I felt challenged by God to go work with Iris Ministries, a ministry of Heidi Baker in Mozambique. I was unsure why, but I felt very clearly that God really wanted me to go. So, not knowing much, my friend and I headed out for 2 weeks of living, working, serving, playing and experiencing Mozambique and the amazing people and kids there through loving on abandoned children, investing in the missionaries there and more. Many children there enter HIV positive and are "somehow" cured later. Hashtag Jesus! 

SWEDEN

Stockholm, Sweden - I went to Sweden in August of last year to meet up with one of my best friends in the whole world, Aubrey Souza, who was on her way back from a 3 month internship in Kenya working with street kids. We were blessed to stay for free with YWAMers. Recording my time there wasn't a priority, but here are a few glimpses. Photos really cannot do this beautiful city justice--the color, the atmosphere. All the young vibes and hip coffee shops and sparkling waterways and "Doom churches". My favorite walks were in the narrow passages of Gamla Stan (Old City), which is directly below.

 

Walk in the Spirit,

Melissa

First month of DTS.

January-February Update

Hi everyone! Thought it was about time to let you all know what I’m up to and what God is doing here in Norway! We’ve begun our 5th week of teaching on the Discipleship Training School which means we are half way through the lecture phase—so exciting! Let me just say first that the students are incredible and since my last blog, we’ve accepted one more foreign boy student; another answer to prayer. So far, we’ve covered the topics of Lordship, The Word of God, Holy Spirit, Identity and now Father-heart of God.  

Cleaning up trash in our village of Sola! "Gud elsker Sola"

A typical day for me starts at about 6 in the morning with time with Jesus. Then staff meetings, worship or prayer and then teaching. After that, the activities are based on the days of the week. I help lead game nights, practical help, bible reading groups and outreach planning along with other staff members.  Hopefully, a longboard ride is in there somewhere too (for those of you who don’t know I got SUPER BLESSED—I was given a longboard by my 2012 DTS as a welcome gift to Norway!). Lately, my big challenge has been getting 32 people situated with all the visas they need to travel to 15 different countries in 5 different continents—but with God’s grace and many hours behind us, it’s happening!

Giving a devotional during staff training. Feb 2013.

Being in Norway is great. Adjusting back to the culture has it’s ups and downs but I couldn’t have more peace about what I’m doing and where I’m at. Papa God is really digging deep into my foundations and uprooting things that don’t belong and making me ready for the rest of my life—with Him. I feel Him growing the nations in my heart. It’s scary but I’ve given Him permission to do it. I am also surrounded by wonderful people who are discipling me simply with their input and friendship. This past week some of us staff had a special missions training which was so challenging--who else doesn't like public speaking? But it was so inspiring as well and a great reminder of just how central "missions" is to God. "GO and make disciples of ALL nations"; I'm doing it.

We announced outreach teams last week. Some of you know, but now I can publicly say that I and 2 other staff will be leading Team Africa!! We will leave Norway in mid-March and travel west to Mexico, South Korea, India, Tanzania, Kenya, Denmark and then back to Norway for the student’s local outreach and graduation, (the rest of the school is divided into a Pan-America team and Asia team). The purpose of my specific team is really to focus on mercy work and loving people in every circumstance.  I’m personally so ready to get rocked by God and experience more of the REAL world. Most people on this planet make do with so little and are satisfied with so much less than I. I’m ready to get that knowledge down from my head and into my heart. Because I think that’s what God is about. People. Real people.  So that’s what I’m choosing to be about!

Hello from snow!

I’ll stop now before I start preaching, but. Something God’s really been showing to me personally is what an amazing Dad he is. Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This is true. And I’m trying to live like it’s true. :)

Walk in the Spirit!

                              Melissa