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! 

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