£ $ € !

Praise God, I have been given enough money to pay for my long haul flight to Kigali, Rwanda from London! woohoo!

BUT I am in dire need for the rest of the expenses for this trip. The good thing is — even though time is ticking, I have a strong sense of peace in forging ahead. God told me it was time to go back, so I am believing Him for the finances (and not my credit card!)

I still need at least £850 to cover flights, immunizations, transportation, other travel costs as well as my rent for the next 3 months while I’m away. (My previous estimate was too small). If you or anyone you know would like to contribute towards this journey please click the donate tab.

MANY THANKS to everyone who has been generous with their prayers and money gifts. You are a wonderful blessing to me! 

how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…

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In the Spring of 2009 I lived in Rwanda and Burundi for two and a half months as a student on a Discipleship Training School (DTS). It was a life-changing season and forever expanded my capacity and love for people and missions. I wrote about much of my time in this very blog!

ImageNow flash forward 3 years: In preparing for the DTS that I am now leading, I heard God say it was time to return to these nations. It was as simple as that! He said “go!”, so in obedience I’ve arranged to take 8 of our students — first to Galway, Ireland and then onto Rwanda and Burundi from Feb-March 2013. We will spend 8 weeks exploring the landscape and history of these nations as we extend ourselves on behalf of the poor, hurting and marginalized — doing our best to be a reflection of the hope and love of Jesus and to share His message in all we do. We will be coming alongside ministries working with orphans, widows, school children, former prostitutes, people with or affected by HIV/AIDS and more. My role will be to love, to learn and to allow God to guide me while guiding the team. He will surely use this time to transform the hearts and lives of the people on my team as well the beautiful people we get to know in the nations.

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I have stepped out in faith and obedience, but unfortunately the finances have not caught up yet! The team is relying on me, but I cannot go unless I raise at least £800 ($1300) for airfare plus an additional £500 ($825) for travel expenses including rent and visa costs. We discovered that we must book our flights before we can apply for our visas in Burundi and time is approaching quickly! So that we can get a group rate, I need to book my flight in the next week. I humbly ask you to consider contributing towards this cost and join me in praying that the rest comes! No amount is insignificant. Just click on the donate tab to find out more. You can also help by purchasing my artwork at www.etsy.com/shop/greensJOY.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am tremendously grateful for your support and your prayers! Many blessings x Steph

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Welcome to DTS

I wrote this letter for the 18 trainees that arrived in Rostrevor the beginning of November. Sometimes it’s really difficult to express in words what’s in your heart…but I tried! I think it will give you a good glimpse of why I’m doing what I do. Every morning as I walk to the base, I remind myself what a gift it is to be used in changing people’s lives (if only for a short time) and my joy is stirred up again.  
All praise to Him. 

……..

Four years ago, I packed my bags and traveled overseas for the first time. I embarked on a journey that would forever change my life and I am so thankful for that! I think it’s safe to say that most people want to be part of something bigger than themselves and just like the disciples in days of old, Jesus invites us today to drop everything and follow Him.  Unfortunately, few ever truly answer the call. 

Thank you for accepting His invitation!

 “I hear a voice calling out | I hear a voice in this wilderness | Where darkness has reigned for so long | ground is being taken….I see a generation rising up | no longer accepting lies | as a band of worshipers run to the battlefield | they’re finding their lives | I hear a voice”

Three years ago while on a bus in Africa listening to my ipod, I heard this song by Bethany Dillon that stirred up why I’m passionate about DTS and why I’m sitting here writing you this letter. We are beings with a great capacity for creativity and power that will change the world. We were made in the image of the ultimate Creator! But so often we shape our identities around lies and things that never even came from Him. My heart and desire for each one of you is that you will receive greater revelation of God’s love and your identity in Christ. And as you gain understanding may you freely lay down what doesn’t belong and propel forward with greater motivation and inspiration in how to share His message through the unique form He gave you. May you choose to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) — vessels open and ready for His love and transforming power to be poured out in new and creative ways! May you deeply believe in your inheritance as sons & daughters of the living God and give yourselves to true worship in the pursuit of His Kingdom – on earth as it is in heaven! 

And so, my friends, you are embarking on your own incredible journey over the coming months that will change your life too and ruin you for the ordinary! We believe that this DTS will catch the fire of the Holy Spirit and spread it throughout the earth in ways that you haven’t even dreamt of yet! As we look ahead, let’s hold onto this verse from Micah 6:8 as an important reminder amidst all you will see and experience this season:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you?
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God.”

You are living on an island that has seen much division and even bloodshed over the years. Sadly, sometimes the Bible was used more as a weapon of division than a bridge between peoples. As we live in this beautiful land, let us seek to be a living testimony to the unity of the Spirit, the bond of peace, the one hope, and the one faith found in the person of Jesus, a man of no reputation. Let us lay down our own reputations and serve each other in all we do. That way we will be more ready to go into the world with the message of a love that embraces difference, destroys evil and hate, and welcomes the lonely and broken into the Kingdom of the God who died for them. 

We are so delighted to have each one of you here with us for the “Kingdom” DTS. It is an honour and privilege to be a part of your life and I can’t wait to see where God is going to take you in this journey. I hope that you will give 100% of yourself and receive all that He has in store for you. Our centre is called An Cuan – which is the Irish word for “harbour” and that’s what we aim to be. We pray that this place will be one of renewing, restoration, vision and equipping so that you’re fired up and ready to walk with the light of Jesus and be His hands and feet in your hometowns and the ends of the earth! 

You are VERY welcome here! 

xStephanie 

this too shall pass…

 

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV)

 

I’ve been creating artwork like crazy for the past few weeks! I love the process of creating as much as the final product. The journey of it is often cathartic and many prayers and conversations are released as I co-labor with the Creator to reflect the beauty of all that He has made. My designs (especially the one above) usually have deeper meaning to me and are inspired by my own life.

I’ve been sitting in the midst of a storm for a few months now with no concrete understanding or answers to my questions. I wish I could say I’ve had perfect peace, and sometimes I do, but there are certainly harder days full of anxiety and stress. But I still rejoice in my Maker because what we know as believers and followers of Jesus is that He is ALWAYS faithful and always working our circumstances (no matter how disappointing or heartbreaking) together for our good. We can rest in the confident hope that better times are a-comin’ and whatever difficult season we’re in is only a tiny mark in the grand timeline of our lives.

oh what great mystery.

San Paulo ruins

I had a day off today and felt compelled to revisit this world heritage site in Macau. it was lovely to wander the streets at my own pace and think about how amazing it is to live a life surrendered to God…adventures are the best with Him. It also makes me sit in awe thinking about how He orchestrates our lives and uses us to expand His kingdom. With Him, no time is ever wasted.

we love the little children…

Yesterday was the 2012 Macau Children’s Day to celebrate the children and show them how much their loved and valued. Hundreds of Chinese people showed up! Our group along with another from Kona, Hawaii became one team for the week and prepared a few songs and dances to perform! We also spent time praying for the event and the volunteers throughout the week. Many of us dressed up as clowns too and we served at the event any way we could. There was much face painting, balloon animal making and singing throughout the day! We couldn’t have asked for more sunshine. It was perfect (well…very hot for people like me who aren’t used to the humidity, but I still have no complaints!) It was a real privilege to help at this event and show love to the residents of Macau in a generally disadvantaged and hard to reach area. And the big finale to the day?! 60 people chose Jesus for the first time!! They prayed with one of the volunteers at the even and provided their info for follow up by the churches in Macau 🙂 Praise God! The youngest to accept Jesus was 3 years old and the oldest was 92! What a beautiful day!

Oh what a BEAUTIFUL day!

God is Love

French, Greek, Turkish, Swahili, Irish, Romanian, German, Chinese

(my apologies for any inaccurate translations or parts of speech!)