Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Oh, good-bye Montana!

It has been seventeen years since my family moved here. We came with great anticipation of what our time would look like here. We had no idea what was in store. We had no idea the memories, the moments and things that would mark our time here as family. We all grew-up and changed in many ways as we have lived here. We have made great memories and have had hard moments, but overall we have seen God’s faithfulness throughout it all and now it’s time for a new season. A “new” place, rhyme and way of life. Montana, you will be missed!

It has been seventeen years of growing from a little girl to an adult and “moving” away from home, but somehow I always found my way back to Montana and my sweet family. Montana, your beauty reminds me daily of God’s intentionality for beauty and detail and His great love for us. Your love for the great outdoors and being adventures brings out the spontaneity and sense of adventure in me.  You are the home to Sweet Peaks Ice Cream which I could literally eat every day if it was healthy for me! ;) Glacier Park has always been a family favorite and a place where God has spoken so many words to our hearts. Flathead Lake, you are freezing cold, but I will miss you and watching the sun dance across your waves. The month of august always brought so much joy as huckleberry picking was a must. Huckleberry pancakes and scones! Montana Coffee Traders, your trailblazer coffee is my fav and it always reminds me to keep going forward. Your cold winters and grey skies were not my favorite or the forest fires in the summer. And neither were the politics in sports. There is always ups and downs in every season. Montana, thanks for being my home. It was good.

A few weeks ago before my parents drove out of the drive-way with all our worldly possessions in u-haul we had a family day at glacier park. We went to Lake McDonald Lodge. A family favorite! We found a little place to ourselves along the lake and built memorials to remind us each of God’s faithfulness over the years of living in Montana. This was something that I did at the end of DTS last year and it was so significant in my life. The act is from Joshua 4 where God asked the Israelites to build stone memorials as symbol of remembrance His faithfulness to them. So we each built our little memorials and then took turns telling how we felt the Lord had been faithful to us over the years of living in Montana.

Three things stood out to me as I looked back over the seventeen years. First, the amazing people God put in my life who invested in me, loved on me, instilled confidence in me and encouraged me along the way. Just to name a few: Mr. Thiel, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Hipple, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Thompson. The Larson family. The Meltzer family. Sarah and Julie from Bible Study. Annie. Tyler.

Second, the opportunities that my family had to do ministry together. It was/is not just my parents job, but our whole family is apart of it. Helping my mama with hospitality. Being involved in my  dad’s community development schools. Having people over to our home always.  Going to Jamaica, Thailand, Hawaii.
Nathan & Emily are missing and we missed them dearly! 

Third, the greater understanding of God through His creation. Montana is a very beautiful state (at least the part we lived in). The beauty, majesty and splendor gave me deeper understanding of God and His intention of creating it all.

Well, good-bye Montana! Next time I come back I will just be a visitor, but a visitor with lots of fond memories and the knowledge of how to be a local! :)

It’s been good, but I am ready for this next adventure. This next season. It’s good to change locations. To change jobs. To change the rhyme of life. (I think another blog post is clicking together in my heart about “transition and moving” since I have done it at least 12 times in the last 8 years!)

One thing that I have loved about spending my last summer in Montana is checking off our family’s Montana Bucket! Check out the picture to see a few of our favorite things in Montana!

Now to discover Lynden, Washington, my family’s new home and the surrounding area and then I can’t forget my soon to be new home of my own as I move to New Zealand! Let the exploring get started!

Much love,

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pavlova {Pronounced: pav-LOH-vuh)

Pavlova  (New Zealand & Australia Dessert) {Pronounced: pav-LOH-vuh)

As I type up this recipe many memories of my time in New Zealand start flooding back Remembering the time a Kiwi & an Aussie joined together to make this dessert for our outreach team’s thanksgiving meal (this dessert is a debate between the two countries of who invented it first). My DTS family. A season where God refreshed me and reminded me of His promises.  A beautiful country inside and out. A place of growing and being stretched in amazing ways. And I am in awe now that God is calling back there for another season. It’s has been a journey to get there (and I am not there yet). It’s letting go of plans, expectations, timing and learning how to support raise. It’s learning to be patient and to trust in God’s perfect timing. It’s learning to depend on Him completely and not look to world’s standards or expectations. It’s learning to be presence where I am right now and enjoy the people and opportunities around me. I would love to know the exact moving date, but I don’t so I am waiting and listening to whispers of God and surrendering daily to my plans because I just want to say “yes” to Him and His timing.

So, I am learning lessons through the recipes of pavlova….
The Recipe:
hands-on time 1hr.
total time 4hr., 30 min.

6 egg whites
⅛ tsp. cream of tartar
1 ½ cups of sugar
1 tsp. lemon sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
4 cups of fruit (kiwifruit, strawberries, berries, mango, ect)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ cups whipping cream
(Cream of tartar and lemon juice help stabilize the egg whites and contribute to volume. Cornstarch is a stabilizer, too, but it also aids in creating the soft inner texture.)

  1. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature 30 minutes (this helps create more volume). Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper. Invert paper so circle is on reverse side.
  2. Preheat oven to 250F. For the meringue, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment* beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the ½ cups sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is no longer  gritty ( 18 to 20 minutes), scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in cornstarch.
  3. Spread meringue over circle on parchment, building up edges slightly to form a shell. Bake 1 ½ hours (do not open door). Turn off oven; let dry in oven with  door closed 1 hour. Remove; cool completely on sheet on wire rack.
  4. In a large bowl toss fruit with 2 Tbsp. sugar. Let stand 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl beat cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Place meringue shell on a large platter. Spread cream mixture into meringue shell. Spoon fruit mixture on top. Serve immediately.

*You can use a hand mixer. Note the total beating time might be a little longer and the total volume a little less than with a stand mixer.

For individuals Prepare meringue as directed. Spoon 8 mounds (about ¾ cup each) 3 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, create an indent in each. Bake 1 hour. Dry in oven; cool as above.

Secrets to Success
  1. Pan Prep: Part of the tick to meringue is getting the right size and thickness so baking time will hit the mark. Trace 9-inch plate ensure success. (God is using this season I am in right now to prepare me. To teach me how to rest, set-up boundaries and to completely surrender to Him.)
  2. Soft Peaks: It’s time to add the sugar when the egg whites look foamy and just being to hold their shape, forming soft, droopy peaks when you lift the beater. (God always adds good to any season and He knows just what we need to grow into who He has created us to be!)
  3. Stiff Peaks: The meringue is ready when the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (the tips will stand straight) and all the sugar has dissolved. (As we start to get rid of all the “stuff” in our lives we start to change and become more confident in who we are.)
  4. Grit Test: Rub a little meringue between your fingers. You should feel just a granule or two of sugar. If it feels gritty, beat just another minute. (The Grit Test= testing to see if your “yes” is a real “yes” and if you will follow no matter what comes up.)
  5. Gentle Fold: Be careful not to deflate  the volume created by beating air into the meringue. Use a spatula to lightly fold in cornstarch. (Be gentle with yourself in times of change and transitions. It’s a season of so many different emotions and thoughts)
  6. Easy Shape: Use the back of a spoon to push the meringue toward eggs to create a shallow bowl. This gives your cream and fruit a place to sit! (Be praying for your next season asking God to prepare a community for you, a church family, friends, a home and a smooth transition into the new season.)
Baking Pointers:
1. Close the door: keep the oven door closed while pavlova bakes. A sudden change in temperature can cause the meringue to crack or collapse! (Don’t try to rush. God’s timing is always better even when you can’t see it in the moment. Looking back it will all make sense!!)
2. Bake low and slow: If you notice that it’s starting to brown, lower your oven temp 15F. When it’s finished baking, the outside will be mostly dry to touch. (Slow down and enjoy the opportunities around you no matter where you are.)
3. Let it rest: When the pavlova is baked, turn off the oven and don’t open the door. The pavlova continues to dry on the outside while staying more marshmallowy inside. (Don’t let rest be pushed to the side or forgotten. It’s something God created for all of us. Read more about my thoughts of rest in this blog post.)

I seriously can’t wait to call New Zealand my home and have many opportunities to eat/bake pavlova. In the meantime, I am learning to embrace the process of getting there and surrendering to it all. I would so appreciate your prayers as I seek God for the exact of moving date!

Much love,
Pavlova made with a dear friend! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Pair of Pajamas

It has been a really long time since I have put thoughts into words on here. There have been moments throughout the months that I thought about it, but no action done. This past week the Lord has been speaking to me to start again. It’s scary though. Writing on here makes me feel vulnerable. It shows my mistakes (I am not super great at spelling or grammar). It shows parts of my heart and the messiness that goes along with that. It opens up more of who I am. But my deepest desire for this blog  is to be as real and as honest I can be. It’s a place where I continue to discover who I am by allowing the words to just come out and that’s what I have been learning through this season of rest. The importance of standing up for “me”.

Last week, I finished a book by one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist, called Present Over Perfect. There are so many good nuggets of truth in this book along with all her others, but one thing I applied right away was getting a pair of pajamas. I got a pair of pajamas because (ok stay with me here in this little explanation) in the book Shauna talks about how someone told her that when you go to bed in your workout clothes your body associate it with working out so you are not really resting. Which I am completely guilty of wearing my running shorts and an old t-shirt from high school sports. Anyways, so you are suppose to wear pajamas. It tells your body it’s time to rest and sleep. So the whole point of this little explanation is to tell you I found the perfect pair of pajamas that sums up the lesson I have learned from this season of “amoeba”!

Rest. relax.Repeat
Rest. It means so many different things. To stop. To allow your body to recover. To not do. To just be. Rest has been something that I have struggled with for so long. I have always love to go, go,go, but God stopped me in this past season. He used a bad situation of getting an amoeba to bring good out of it  in teaching me a new definition of rest. You see before I would “rest” but almost always feel guilty for resting or feeling like I was suppose to be doing something. I couldn’t really figure out how I truly rested. You see I was messing the part where you relax.But what does it mean to relax???

Relax. It means to make less tense. To seek rest. To cast off feelings or thoughts.  Relax. The me before this season would say “who has time to relax?” What do you do to relax? What is relaxful? Who even knows?! But really I didn’t know what relaxing looked like in my life. I needed a fresh revelation. I needed to get my heart right with the Lord and seek His heart for this area in my life.
So I had to ask the Lord “what does rest and being relaxed look like in my life?” “How can I apply and live this out?” I know that resting is important to God because in the very first book of the bible God talks about how He created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. So if God rested who I am to say that I can’t rest. It’s not even possibly. It’s super arrogant of me to think that and a sin. The Lord has taken me on a month long journey of really discovering what it looks like in my life to rest and relax and you know what it includes putting up boundaries, saying no and taking care of myself. This is where I have learned the importance of “standing up for me”. It’s not an excuse, but it’s a good check to make sure I am giving my best self instead of striving and tired self with a bad heart attitude underneath. It makes sure my heart is right and I am well rested so I can give my very best in what the Lord is asking of me. Key phrase “in what the Lord is asking of me!” It means I need to be diligent about asking the Lord what He wants me to be part of , what He wants me to do and what He wants to let someone else have an opportunity to do.

Even though resting and relaxing have been on repeat for past 6 months (definitely with lots of struggles) I am learning to embrace it and really starting to love it. I am starting to see the beautiful thing God created on the seventh day, “rest”.

Rest is truly beautiful once you rid yourself of the striving in your life and the guilt you put on yourself for resting and not doing, but instead you ask the Lord “what does rest look like in my life?” Allow Him to take you this journey of discovering something so beautiful and rich in your life. You will be forever changed and I believe so much better prepared to keep on going for Jesus!  If would you like to talk to me more about this topic just let me know!

Happy resting!

P.S This is what my resting looks like these days. I first asked the question “What is life giving to me?” and from there discovered things that would be relaxing to me!

Daily: creating/carving out time to: read, bake or do watercolor art
Weekly: One day a week taking a morning to sit by the lake or in the sunny backyard and dream with God. Journel.

Monthly: One day a month: set aside a day to “do something restful”: go to a coffee shop & blog, read for the afternoon in cozy spot,  go exploring with a friend (no agenda), or watch a movie (just watch and not multitask) & eat popcorn (this is such a rare moment for me that it is truly restful).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The beauty of Kingdom Living!

It’s another rainy day. Rainy days can be so cozy and so warm and a great day for snuggling up to a good book, but when that’s what you have been doing for the past two months it starts to get old and I have started to get restless. My body is slowly coming back to normal (It’s amazing what a little bug can do to you. My goodness!) and I can see God work in all of this. How He has planned this season specially for me to rest and learn what it means to slow down and process a whole lot of things that I have just kind of pushed away for so long and covered up with pouring into others and being busy.

You see I used being busy and pouring into others as a great excuse to just push through the hard. To cover-up the pain that I was really feeling. I wrapped myself into my students, pouring all my time and energy into their lives and teaching them the best I could. I wrapped myself into mentoring the girls on my soccer team and loved coaching them. I wrapped myself into hosting ladies over for dinners. I wrapped myself into being a listening ear to friends and co-workers or whoever needed a listening ear. I felt like I had purpose. A purpose to be there for others. To point others to Christ. To give words of wisdom. I mean I was living overseas being a “missionary” and that’s what you do overseas, right?  

And now I am back in my “home country” and trying to figure out what my purpose is here? Why does it change because I am home and not off in a far away country?! I don’t have the answers yet, but something that God has been speaking to my heart is “Kingdom Living.” It started when I was on outreach in New Zealand. 

So what does Kingdom Living mean to me? First, I know that this has become a buzz word and that there is probably a really good definition for it out there somewhere and lots of research done, but I am not going to get into all the details and such I just want to share what my soul has been learning lately about this topic as I have reflected over it the past few months. Hope that’s okay! 

Kingdom Living to me means living a life with eyes focus on Jesus and seeing Him in the little and big of everyday. It means taking time to pause and be still to listen to Him speak to you throughout the day. It means looking around seeing all that you can be thankful for like the rain that’s refreshing the earth to a warm house to my water bottle that keeps me hydrated. It’s being attentive to the nudges that God gives you each day to do something for His Kingdom whether that’s speaking an encouraging word to a friend or even a stranger, or buying someone’s groceries or making a meal for a family or being a listening ear. It means living life with others. Loving on people. Serving where you can. It means smiling at someone. It means taking time to refresh yourself in Jesus. When Jesus was here on Earth He would go away to the mountains or the beaches to pray and be for a little awhile. So, why do we think we can’t do this too?! (We are trying to strive and we need to stop!) 

On outreach we had the opportunity to do “Kingdom Living”. Everyday we were willing to do whatever was needed of us. We helped do farm work. We cleaned pregnant ladies homes. We helped out at Youth Group. We made a meal for people. We baked cookies to hand out to strangers with an encouraging note. We had game night. It was awesome. We just flow throughout the days blessing people as the opportunities came up! 

Yes, of course I am all about preaching the gospel and telling others about Jesus, but I think sometime we get overwhelmed by that. We get overwhelmed with the pressure of saying the right thing or ruining it for someone. We forget that our actions sometimes say so much more than our words. We forget that little acts of kindness can do an big impact as well. We forget that people are watching us. And instead of getting overwhelmed or worried we just need to live our lives loving Jesus and reflect that love in all we do. I believe it’s a overflow of our quiet times with Jesus that produces this in us…

We need to ask the question: “God, how can I be your hands and feet today?” and then we need to be ready and attentive to listen to how He leads us throughout the day and to act upon what He says. I have realized that I don’t just want to coast through life. I don’t just want to keep Jesus to myself. I want everyone around me to know Him and love Him deeply. I want to live my life reflecting Him in all that I do and say. It’s not trying to do and earn anything because that’s not what God ask of us, but it’s just living my life in a way that reflects Him. Not striving or proving just using the gifs and talents and the promptings that God gives me throughout my days! I think Kingdom Living is the calling of a Christian and it should be something we all want to do. It’s not a duty or a checklist. It’s just living life with our eyes on Jesus! So let’s do it, friends. Let’s live life the Kingdom Life way! :) 

With much love,


A sweet surprise in the mail was a reminder of how much God loves me!
 "What is done in love is done well"- Vincent Van Gogh 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Know the Lord is Always with Me Even in Recovering from an Amoeba!

It’s been six weeks since I have been “resting” and with the bug being gone at around 3 weeks I naturally thought I would be all energy today. I mean the doctor said 6 weeks, right? Well, I am learning that it is going to be a much longer journey than I anticipated… I should have listened to the doctor’s in New Zealand who said 6 months because New Zealand just knows how to live a much slower pace than America!  That’s one thing I LOVE about New Zealand! 

For those of you who may not know all the details of my journey the past couple of months with being sick here’s a little snapshot:

The very last week I was in Nepal I got really sick. I mean I literally couldn’t keep anything in, but by the grace of God and a lot of grit I just kept on going. I mostly recovered at least I thought I did when I arrived back in New Zealand. I still had a few symptoms, but I just thought it was adjusting back to being in first-world nation again. I literally believe that God gave the strength to make it through outreach and debrief week. Once I left YWAM Bethlehem my body crashed. I was completely exhausted. I was staying with my mama’ best friend in New Zealand. I just thought my exhaustion was from the intense time in DTS then the next week my friend from the states came to New Zealand so we could do a little bit of exploring together. We spent one day walking around Auckland and towards the end of the day I felt like I was going to faint. It was a close call. We canceled our plans and instead spent the week at my mama’s friend as I continue to feel faintish and have no energy. We would do a few things a day and then I would need to rest. I went to the doctors in New Zealand where I got blood work done as well as stools samples sent to the labs. The doctor said I probably got something in Nepal and it would take 6 months to go through my system and that I just needed to listen to my body. I flew home and pushed through the holiday season with my family. I finally got my test results back where they discovered that I got a rare amoeba. Basically the amoeba has been eating all my nutrients so my body wasn’t getting what it needed to function hence why I felt weak and faintish. I went to the doctor’s here in the states and got some medicine and a few check-ups. I sent in another stool sample and it came back saying NO more amoeba! (happy dance) The doctor said I just need 6 weeks of rest (which is officially today). BUT guess what I still feel tired and can’t do very much in day, but I much better than I was a month ago where I hit rock-bottom and couldn’t do anything. I am learning that it’s going to be a journey gaining back energy and healing my digestive tact and not in the timetable I was hoping for… it’s been hard. My life has turned a complete 180 and I am terrible at resting for so long! I just get ants in my pants and want to do something!!!

So it may be a long road of recovery up to 6 months and to be honest right now that sounds daunting and disappointing (naturally), but I am also realizing that I am learning a whole lot during this time…

I am realizing that I am weak, but God is strong. I am learning what rest means in my life and that it’s hard for me, but what I need it. I am learning what self-care look likes. I am learning to give up pride every single day!  I am learning how to simplify my life and think about what really matters. It has definitely been a deep soul searching time. A time where I have had to be really honest with God. A time where I have to learn in a BIG ways how to trust God in the valley and to keep resting in Him. He is my only source of strength. 

I hope to look back on this season and see all the good in it. To see all the wildflowers in the valley, but right now I am fighting for it be over to be honest. It’s never fun to be in the valley! 

On the bright side I get to hang out all day in leggings, drink lots of tea, read tons of books (I need some lighter-reading books. I have been reading a lot of heavier thinking books and my brain needs a break. Haha! Any good suggestions?), spend time with my grandma, cook yummy meals, write letters, enjoy watercolor art and journal and not feel guilty about any of it because it's all I can do! Someday I will be working again, someday I will be in small group again, someday I will be able to drive the car again and more... it's a season and it will evidently come to end...yay! 

Thanks for all your prayers, support and encouragement. This words of affirmation lady sure appreciates it! If you could please continue to pray that my body would heal, that I would learn how to slow down, that I would create healthy habits for the future and that I give myself lots of grace in this season! Thank you so much! 

Much love, Daniella

Holding onto this promise always! 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My DTS Outreach in a Snapshot!

Hey, all! Can you tell we are excited to be the hands and feet of Jesus?! :)
Oh, the stories I can tell… from the crazy bus ride where I fainted (it’s a funny one if you want to hear it let me know) to eating the same meal everyday for 10 days in the village to playing “hot corn” with the village children to trekking 32 miles in two days with half my team sick to loving on children in a children’s home and daycare to hanging out with the youth in New Zealand to talking with a homeless man and woman on the street to making crafts with an elderly lady. There are so many stories to tell. So many people to tell about. So many experiences. So many lessons learned. So many joys and trails. Where do I even begin….

Trekking and Backingpack for hours throughout the villages! 

There is no way that I can put into words everything that I want, but I would love to give you a little snapshot of what God did during my time in the Himalayas as well as in Hamilton, New Zealand. Let me just tell you God is the same no matter where you are. He  heals, saves lives and brings hope to the hopeless everywhere. It was amazing to be apart of what God is and continues to do in both of these nations. Truly amazing! 

New Zealand or Himalayas one thing that is always the same, God! 

So let me begin with the very beginning, the Himalayan mountains. Just WOW! These mountains are stunning, but incredibly challenging. Never in my life did I feel so exhausted, and yet so amazed by God. As a team we trekked through the dirt roads, hills, steep paths to remote villages in order to deliver bibles to every home in the village. We encountered villages were some had never heard about Jesus. What?! It was completely amazing and heartbreaking at the same time having the privilege of telling someone for the very first time about who Jesus is and that He loves them and wants to have a relationship with them (this is something I dreamed about doing ever since I was a little girl growing up in missions and always hearing teams come back with their testimonies!) BUT how can it be that there are still people who have not heard about God? It just puts urgency on my heart to get pass my passivity and tell everyone around me about the most important relationship in this world, Jesus Christ. We were able to pass out 500 hardcopy bibles in their native language as well as 500 SD cards containing an audio reading of the New Testament reaching an estimate of about 3,000 people who now have access to the Word of God who didn’t before. And the most amazing thing about this whole experience was that we were able to partner with a local church in one of the villages who now can continue to invest in the lives of these people. How cool would it be if bible studies and community groups started breaking out in these villages. Would you pray for seeds to be planted and a hungry for God’s word to create a revival? 

Handing out the Truth! 
Speaking truth and beauty to these beautiful young ladies!
I love village life. I love the simpleness of it. I love the sweet people. I love that smiles and laughter are our “same language”.  I love how curious the children are. I love the beauty of hospitality the pastor and his family showed. I love that we had the privilege of being there all for the glory of God. It wasn’t about us or what we could do. We didn’t do any service projects or bring any of our western ways… we just brought the best gift we could ever bring, the Bible; the truth of who Jesus Christ is. It was worth every weakness, every mile, every sickness, every bumpy bus ride and fainting,  and every pain. It was worth it because Jesus is worth it and I want everyone to know about Him! 

It was a JOY to spend the afternoon with these kiddos singing, laughing and "talking"! 
After our time in the mountains, we returned to the capital city for a few weeks to partner with some long-term works there. We were able to share the gospel on the streets, see healing(s) and salvations. We had the privilege of spending hours in the prayer room interceding. Playing with children at a children’s home and a daycare. One of my favorite parts was being able to connect with people and hearing about different organizations and people’s heart for the nation and now this place will always have a special place in my heart with all that I saw and heard. I learned how much I love being in that type of role of organizing and building relationships with different people and ministries.  Our time in the Himalayas went so quickly…

I absolutely fall in LOVE with these girls at the Children's Home! 

Telling people about my best friend, Jesus! 
Soon we found ourselves back in Tauranga, New Zealand attending a Mission Conference and being challenged to dream a vision with God by Pete and Shirley Brownhill (The speakers for the week from Perth, Australia). {Someday I will share the vision that God placed on my heart, but for now it’s being modeled and shaped in my heart and trusting God for the timing.} We also gained a deeper understanding of the call that God has placed on the nation of New Zealand. It was an incredible week of learning, processing and loving the fact that I grew up in YWAM and get to be apart of an organization that is making God name known throughout the entire world! 

Love these ladies! 
The last part of outreach was spent in cute city of Hamilton among rolling green hills with sheep and cows and partnering with a local church doing practical work like cooking, cleaning for pregnant moms, farm work, helping host women’s ministry events, street evangelism and investing in the youth groups. I also had the privilege of speaking to some school-age kids in a program called “Bible in Schools.” I was able to share about my best friend, Jesus to these students who attend a public school. It was awesome! My team also performed foot-lose for them and we had a bible verse shout-off! It was so incredible to be able to a ministry in a public school!  We also came along side the vision that YWAM Bethlehem has for the nation of the New Zealand that “one day every Kiwi will love God, love the church, and love the lost.” It was just so lovely to do kingdom living with my team. We had the privilege to stay in some people’s homes as well as at camp. We met and made relationships with amazing people and we were all so sad to leave Hamilton and a few of us were so sad to leave the yummiest ice cream shop ever! Hamilton will always have a special place in my heart! 

Freezer Meal Prep for Mamas' to be! 
Youth Group! 
The Beautiful Rolling Hills of New Zealand! 
With all we saw, all we did and all we spoke the lessons that I learned the most were hard, but good lessons: First,  It’s all about humility (it’s all about Christ and how He wants to use you), in my weakness He is my strength (My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9), the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and that I completely come alive and JOY spills out of me when I am living out the passion that the Lord has so clearly put on my heart which is sharing the love of Jesus with children in whatever capacity He places me in whether that’s teaching, ministry, babysitting or hopefully one day being a mama. He has so clearly once again shown me that loving on, listening and singing with children is His passion for my life. 

Yes, outreach changed me. Yes, DTS changed me. But it’s not stopping there. This life is all about a journey and allowing yourself to be only changed by the one who created you, God. And my prayer is that each person I encountered didn’t see me, but saw Jesus! This life is so worth the heart-ache, the pain, the growing, and seeing the broken because in return you see the best thing ever- you see God do His work in incredible ways and this happens everyday no matter where you are. God is always working and He is always with us. [More on this glorious topic of "Kingdom Living"  in the next blog post coming soon].

Thank you so much for your amazing support and encouragement and prayers! 

Love, Daniella
It's a journey friends, let's keep running the race with our eyes on Jesus always!