Rich and Full.

“I don’t feel like a human,” I told Tyler last Monday  as we were walking in the compound here in Kapenguria. It seems like a strange statement, but it was the only way I could think to express how I felt inside. The night before our team had a memorial service for what happened to Laura & Ebel—maybe that’s what sparked this weird feeling of non-humanness. Later that night I went into the tiny kitchen we get to use here. Ari and Ty were cooking, listening to lovely folky music. As I stood there watching them cook & laughing with them over something seemingly insignificant, I’m sure…I realized what I had been feeling all day: nostalgia. I felt nostalgic over nothing specific. I imagined that this night, cooking, listening to good music, the cool African night and having the privilege to eat dinner again with my “forever family”—-this was something, one day I was going to feel nostalgic over.  After dinner we all stood around the kitchen and porch area while the dishes were being done, listening to music and simply enjoying each others company. I had the overwhelming urge to twirl like a little girl in a pretty dress. It all felt like a nostalgic movie scene from a Cameron Crowe film. Like when Penny Lane & the gang sang Tiny Dancer in Almost Famous, or Orlando Bloom jumping in with one hand in the air in Elizabethtown. I almost felt as though I could cry, I wanted to stop time.  My twirling led to the boys seeing how many spins they could go with their forehead on the broomstick & then walk straight. It was absolutely hilarious. At one point Nicholaus was spinning when all of a sudden the power went out. We all screamed in laughter–especially when the lights came back on and Nick was just laying on the ground against the wall of the house. “I thought it was the end of the world,” he got out in between laughs.  To add the movie-esqueness of the night; Tyler, Nick, Michelle and I listened to The Album Leaf as we stared at the Milky Way that shined so bright in the African sky. We talked about nothing much at all, just soaked up the beauty of it all.  While we were laying there Tyler whispered “better pay attention in life, or it’ll pass you by,” after I missed a shooting star. It was a joke, but it hit a nerve. I realized in all my revelation that Lord has been downloading about His gift of FULLNESS—a fear had crept in. I’ve become fearful in every decision I think I might make–scared that I’m making the wrong one and I’m missing the fullness–which in turn paralyzes me.  The next morning Nick played the song in my previous post —“Train song” by Josh Garrels, God started working and damaging that fear:

“And I’m steppin’ out the door,
I’m doin what feels right,
followin’ my Lord through the darkest night,
And when the path gets narrow,
I follow Him…
He said “sing it on the mountain high,or in the valley low
‘He’s my God and He never let me go.”

The fear of missing out on the fullness will in turn guarantee it. I’ll come back to this in a moment….There’s only 2 short weeks left here in Kenya and as we were praying over this time here in Kapenguria we received words of fullness–that each day would be RICH and FULL of LIFE and that’s exactly my heart’s cry. On this past Sunday we had the privilege to attend the opening of church in the Pokot Tribe area, about an hour away from where we are staying. Please read up on the Pokot Tribe if you are curious…but some of the basic culture…The Pokot are polygamous normally having four to five wives.

Although it is against the law (which isn’t enforced properly) they still practice female circumcision (FGM). Boys are circumcised at age 15 and then there is a celebration called “sapana” for them in which they are then declared “real” men.The culture is under such strongholds of tradition and witch-craft so you can imagine the joy it was to see the freedom the Lord had brought to so many of them. It was such a joyous celebration that I am not sure how to put into words. To be part of a church being planted in an unreached people-group area was so surreal. The service was packed full of all kinds of dancing and fellowship–my heart was just “boiling” as Ari would say to express the feeling of peace and “this is right” you get when you know there’s no where else in the world that you should be except right there in that moment.

“This day couldn’t get much better, ” I said. Boy did I not even know what was coming….  On the jam-packed jeep ride home I had an “If This Were A Dream, What Would It Mean?” moment. All four of us girls were sitting on the middle bench, while the two Icelanders, were sitting up front and the boys were in the back packed with way to many Kenyans than should ever fit in a car. Ariel and I were listening to Jonsi in one ear while the sound of the Kenyan girls singing streamed in the other. It was as if Iceland was in one ear, and Kenya in the other. To top it off it started raining, really raining. Which is quite a big deal because they’ve been in a drought here. I smiled and thought about the day getting better and better.

When we arrived back at the compound Fanney had been busy making us french-press coffee and delicious coffee desert! Wow!

We spent some incredible time at their house and then headed back to ours for some rest. All four of us girls were just sitting in the living room enjoying each others company; it was only when Nick called us to dinner that I realized we hadn’t seen the boys all afternoon.  As we walked up to the table we realized that there were only four place-settings. There was a bright-burning candle and flowers all over the table. We sat down only soon to be crowned with princess crowns and African celebration necklaces. The boys proceeded to serve us salad and delicious pasta Milano, we just sat in awe. With every song that came on the playlist we said “awww..” The reality that this time, this season would soon be over hit us all this night. I was holding back my tears but then lost it when the boys surrounded us individually to pray and speak life into us! It was such a sacred time and the spirit was heavily there with us.

We were then guided into the living room for warmth and served chocolate cake and coffee! Oh it was so beautiful. The night came to a close with a movie and letters on our pillows :) A night (and day!) I’ll never forget.

So, going back to my fear of missing out on fullness…as soon as I laid it down to the Lord and let him take my cares, worries and fears…I’ve been able to enjoy this fullness that he’s been pouring into each day!

We head to Mombasa in a week…we’ll get to see the Indian Ocean!! I love my life.

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Meme nakupende Kenya.

In the past few weeks God has been growing, stretching and challenging me and the rest of our team tremendously.

We’ve been working with Janjaap (aka: Jayjay) & Esther (the couple we were led to by Peter). We’ve been working with their ministry with street women & street boys. It’s been so rewarding! Praying, loving and just spending time with them. We’ve seen physical healings, outpourings of the Lords joy and peace,  & realizations of God, the Father’s love for them personally.

Louise, one of the street women.

Some of my favorite moments have been with the street boys; one Friday we were teaching about the Holy Spirit–which was just an incredible day. The boys were open and asking for us to pray with them so they might be able to receive the Holy Spirit! How awesome is that? Me & Ari prayed for this one boy named Francis. After we had been praying for a little bit he started rubbing his forehead really intensely. He told us that he just had felt something leave his body, the translator said “Oh it was probably just a demon” really nonchalantly, ha. But then he said the prayer of salvation and gave his life to Jesus!
Bwana ase five! (Praise Jesus! in Swahili)

I’ve loved that we can’t walk into the city without stopping to spend a moment or two with the women on the hill. We’ve built real relationships with them and its been incredible! Just loving on them–they have such a hunger to be loved. What breaks my heart though, is seeing the boys (10+) sniffing diesel & glue to escape the realities of life. We’ve been trying to speak truth and life into them. To remind them to dream BIG! They’re at pivotal points in their lives where they can either sniff glue and accept the life of living on the streets or fight for more–knowing that they are sons of the Most High–and God has better in store for them; this is what were praying that they realize. So if you want to pray for them, some of their names are: Silas, Virginia, Peter, Bogwa, John, Kennedy and Purity. :)

Also this past week we were robbed at our hostel. Which shook us all up a bit. They took my cameras (Canon 5D and Canon Rebel XTi film), Michelle’s computer & camera along with Gilli’s computer and phone. I have been extremely bummed, bu God is good (All the time) and He’s used this to teach us to lean more on His understanding more & more. And to trust Him.

We’ve been blessed with some amazing times of soaking, rest and refreshment. After the night of the robbery, the next day we went over to Jayjay and Esther’s from some incredible, and much-needed soaking time. While we were there, God first just washed over me with peace and rest–then he started assuring me that he’s going to fulfill his promises of provision and is going to take care of me. When we were praying after soaking, God showed me this picture of me eating the crumbs of financial worries and future worries —he was showing it to me like a chart and I was eating wayyy at the bottom and where He wanted me was wayyy at the top at the banquet table. There is where I can really share His heart and do ministry–living from the banquet table! I felt such a sweet release! Ah it was wonderful. With that release came hunger that I’ve not experienced before. hunger for more and more of God pouring into me!

Michelle’s birthday was also incredible–we went out to a fancy Japanese restaurant for sushi (yummm) and then spent time in park praying over her new year, eating cake, and resting…it was magical.

God’s been teaching me a lot about the goodness He has in store for me (and you!) and A LOT about trust and reliance on Him.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield
The Lord gives grace and glory
He does not withhold the GOOD
from those who live in integrity.
HAPPY is the person who TRUSTS in you,
Oh Lord of Hosts!” Psalm 84:11-12

I love living this adventure with Papa and sharing His love. It’s truly wonderful.

Falling In Love

Last week was a pretty intense week, and at the beginning of this week I think I was still recovering and processing stuff that the Lord was showing me last week. I was relieved to find out that this week’s topic was relationships. How hard can a week on relationships be?
We started the week with a little bit of review (for us DTS students)–Ron (the speaker, from Colombia, MO) drew some diagrams and talked about not putting up walls because it blocks others out, loving your neighbor and being interdependent on the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Great things to take note of and a crucial foundation to any relationship, romantic or not. In conversation he asked me what I would like to know about relationships. I thought about it for a moment and decided it would be really nice to learn how to unconditionally love annoying people (haha). Ron planned to teach on just that the following day…teaching us how to walk through life with a heart of peace–not judging others–and not becoming focused on the hurt (annoyance) someone causes you. When you start magnifying this you become blinded and distracted from the race.

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?”
Galatians 5:7

All of this was great stuff, but still light compared to last week.
I spoke to soon,but before I can share what happened next I feel like I need to backtrack a little bit…

Earlier this year I went to an Encounter weekend where I discovered an ungodly belief I carried:  Somewhere in my life I decided to make a general belief about men, that they were destructive beings and not worth my trust. I believed that the only role men played in my life was to hurt, abandon or abuse. This was due to past Father figures, boyfriends and other authority figures. The Lord started healing this just this year, he brought some amazing brothers into my life and started opening my eyes to the beauty of his sons. He opened my eyes and showed me that when I expect men to fail and believe that they are destructive I am calling Gods sons less than who they are; they are sons of the kingdom! Full of worth and great inheritance!

Fast-forward to Wednesday Ron gets in front of the class and shares a heart-breaking story about a young girls road to restoration after she had been attacked by a man. Ron told us that the Lord asked him in that situation to get on his face in front of this girl and speak the words of the Father: ” This was not my will for you. Here I come humbly to you.” Ron then stood in the gap and asked for forgiveness on behalf of the attacker.

By the end of the story I, along with most everyone was tearing up and I wasn’t prepared for what was coming next. Ron turns and addresses the girls in the room and begins to tell us that he wanted to stand in that gap for us; he wanted to apologize and ask for forgiveness in place of the men who had damaged and hurt us. He came to us and got down on his knees took all the weight of other men’s wrong doings in our lives..and asked for forgiveness. Oh my heart….
Throughout last week I felt as though my heart was going to burst, it was actually painful. And although I did receive breakthrough, it wasn’t enough to feel a release in my heart; but in this moment my heart finally burst and sweet refreshing water was finally able to flow in. There is so much more building up to this moment, but some of it is a little to personal to share on the world-wide web.

I think the main thing was the realization that by me holding onto the hurt…constantly saying “but this person hurt me!” as a subconscious excuse to not fully forgive, it was making my heart ache–and distracting me from the race.

Oh sweet release.

We then moved onto marriage and love…oh joy joy.
The teaching was a little more on the open dialogue side…and I think he had a great answer to the question of whether or not God tells us who are future spouse is: he pointed out that God can’t promise you something that requires someone elses free-will–brilliant. He may on the other hand say “this would a good one.” while nudging and winking at you. :)

What I got out of what he had to say was basically every love story is going to be unique and different, that’s the beauty of it. It’s just wise to make sure your mind, spirit and emotions are all balance–and although God may not be clearly saying “this is the one” still be in counsel with Him. You and your love could completely feel as though you got a divine word that confirmed the love you had, it could be full of risk and movie-esque fate moments or it could be something easy flowing like a friendship into marriage. Either way its beautiful.

“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling… Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go… But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from “being in love” — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God… “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

What a healing, intense and lovely week.

Dreams, Plans & Hearts of Stone.

We started off this week with intercession for Haiti, it made such an impact–so powerful, just interceding for the people of Haiti. Speaking life and joy over the country. It was also touched my heart because a few of my close friends from home (Lauren Ellis, Nikki Pendergrass, and Leslie Watson) just returned from doing a missions trip there!

This week’s theme was discipleship, and what it truly means. It’s sort of one of those topics that we hear about all the time, but this week I’ve grasped a better heart-understanding.

“..If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it.” Matthew 22:34-40

On Tuesday we had the wonderful Simon Turner as a guest speaker at Seek My Face [every Tuesday night we have a time where we soak and seek more intimacy with the Father]. He led us through the Lords Prayer verse by verse, showing us how to customize it to our lives and praying to the Father.

That night the Lord was downloading a lot of vision for the future. He was highlighting so many instances since I’ve been here in Iceland that I had shrugged off as coincidence or maybe not even noticed at all–and he opened my eyes just to see the obvious. He has been knitting my life together so intricately and he was just giving me a glimpse of the things he has in store for me on the road ahead.

I was so excited yet a little frustrated. We all have these ideas of how are life may play out…dreams we have for the future and the people we plan to spend it with. So there I was being bittersweet that the glimpse God was giving me wasn’t what I had in mind. Basically doubting that God had the best in mind for me. I spent some quiet time with the Lord that night and he just continued to highlight the lack of trust I had in him. Which all stems from my lack of fully comprehending the Father Heart of God—fear of abandonment and all that good stuff.

The next morning I was still struggling with the things in my heart I was holding back from God and lo and behold the class that day was all about giving your whole heart to the Lord not just part of it. We were made to write down all the things we felt the Lord was pointing out that we were holding back from him and we laid them at the cross. Gotta love it.

I then proceeded to listen to Alyn & A.J. Jones message from emanate on having a heart of stone –“A heart of stone is a protection mechanism to keep you from pain. But it also keeps God’s love out too.” I was challenged so much in realizing areas of my heart that I have closed off…numbed as a defense mechanism.

The Lords just been showing me so much this week! He’s giving me vision for the future and what he has called me to. He’s showing me areas where I need improvement. He’s breaking me over the characteristics of Christ that I don’t display on a daily basis–or maybe even never. He’s healing broken areas in my heart that I have accepted–thinking they may never be healed. He’s showing me what it means to live in community and what it means to have compassion for those around me.

TRUST.

That’s the big one. Not only just trust in him, I find that easy compared to trusting his children around me. He’s teaching me to open my heart and share with those around me…not being ruled my fear that they might hurt me or abuse my trust; but realizing that that could in fact happen and taking the risk anyways because he has designed us to live in community–to be open. By shutting down my heart and not letting others in I’m actually shutting out the love of the Father as well.

I ended the week with a wonderful weekend! One of the DTS staff, Tyler, has a favorite coffee mug that he drinks out of every morning. We took this cup for an adventure and took photos with it all over town and with random people!

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Then on Sunday I took a trip with some friends to a black-sand beach…and the end point of the great Þjórsárhraun. The greatest lava flow on Earth since the end of the last Ice Age!

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Looking forward to what this week holds.

Out of the city.

This week has been full of exciting things….

During the first week I was here I was able to attend a Bethel healing conference being held here in Iceland. While I was receiving prayer I received a word that I was going to mother many of God’s children. I wrote it in my journal and tucked it away. Within the past week I have had a desire to have kids of my own, or just to be around kids. I didn’t really understand why this desire was arising when it was obviously not the time or the season for me to have kids. Haha.

On Sunday Kathrin and I were walking to church and talking about our desires for after DTS and my mother heart started pounding. We got to church and it was baby-dedication Sunday! After all the baby dedications the message was out of Galatians 4, when Paul is quoting Isaiah 54:

“Rejoice, O barren woman
who does not give birth.
Break forth and shout,
you who are not in labor,
for the children of the desolate are many,
more numerous than those
of the woman who has a husband.”

It was then I was awakened to the fact that I do not need a Husband to have a mother heart for Gods children.

On Wednesday night the staff showed us a video which told us our outreach was Kenya!

At first I thought they were joking because we have been bugging them to tell us where we are going for outreach since we got here. My heart was beating so fast when they went on to share with us that we will be traveling all over Kenya working in orphanages and wherever needed our help. They are still working out all the details though. I felt a peace but I was initially in shock–ha, I know God will continue to prepare my heart but at first I didn’t think my heart could handle it!

On Thursday we had Paul, who is from Kenya and attends the local church here, give his testimony. It was heartbreaking the things he saw but such a testimony as to what God has brought him through! He now lives here in Iceland with his wife and they also run an organization in Kenya (I forgot the name) that we might be working with when we go!

Also this week was teaching on the Holy Spirit and intimacy with God, taught by Ronald Botha. It was good to learn about the personality of the Holy Spirit and his role throughout the new and old testament. As well as the intimacy that God desires to have with us. It was definitely a great lecture week.

I ended the week with a beautiful day out of the city! (Finally!):

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What a wonderful day and week.

Happy Airwaves!

I don’t even know where to begin on updating you all. This week has been so jam-packed each day with so much!

The lectures this week have been on the cross + redemption and all the teaching has been done by Halldór Nikulás:

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The teachings this week totally ripped up my foundation and relaid it. Revelation that has always been there in the word–but I haven’t grasped it till now. It’s changed everything! He helped me see and realize more truth than ever. Halldór started with the parallels–I have a new understanding and renewed trust in God after realizing HOW MUCH he actually does pay attention to details!

A couple of things he touched on: *Eve was Adam’s bride who was created out of his side rib. We are Christs bride, made pure by him dying on the cross–when he was dead they pierced his side, so The Bride of Christ was created out of his side as well. *In the Garden of Eden Adam + Eve said through their actions “Not your will God, but ours.” In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus cries out “not my will Father, but yours.” *The crowd demanded the release of Barabbas (Luke 23:18-20), Barabbas means “son of the Father.” He was guilty, but freed–this represents us. **One more: At transfiguration Peter, James and John were with him; John=grace, James=replaces, Peter=stone. Grace replaces the Law—what freedom we have! And that’s what this week has been–so freeing!

Not only have we got to hear from the wonderful Halldór, we also got to hear from Eric St. Clair on our thursday night seminars. He spoke on the beattitudes–and taking every though captive.–this was also freeing because mostly when I’ve heard a “keeping your thoughts captive” message its always referring to sin, but he also added keeping your thoughts captive so that the enemy cannot plant lies, taking that first thought captive and casting it out before it has time to turn into an emotion.

In the latter part of last week I experienced swimming in Iceland! The pool is heated and then they have 4 hot tubs at 4 different temperatures to suit what is most comfortable to you, how cool is that? It goes all the way up to 108 degrees! I also has my first Icelandic Hot Dog–which is AMAZING. The hot dog stand is really close to the cafe so we go there quite often—-delicious.

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This week was also the start of the infamous Iceland Airwaves so that has been fun being able to hear some Icelandic music. It’s so beautiful! We went to see some friends of ours that we met through Michelle, their band Mukkaló at Hit húsið & at Nikita and I was in awe at their music, so peaceful.

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Mukkaló

Mukkaló

Mukkaló

We caught some other bands as well throughout the week:

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Andvari

Today while on our way to our “pro-cess/process” (there’s a difference depending on your accent, haha) we stopped at a yummy bakery:IMG_0782 IMG_0780 IMG_0783

The beauty here continues taking my breath away! I walked down to the ocean after class one day and just sat and stared forever, “are you serious?” I thought. I get to live in this beautiful place while learning more about God and my calling? This has to be a dream. Michelle and I were even sitting at the show tonight looking at each other just in awe of where we were. Sitting on the top floor of a clothing shop in downtown Reykjavik, we could look out the window and see the main street and we were listening to incredible music! All I can do is laugh and thank the Lord.

Love,

Felicia

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FLY

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ”

Matthew 6:25-27