Sunday, March 23, 2014


Beginning in April 2014 I will be embarking on an 18-21 month photo journalism school with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) as part of a travelling team united by their eagerness to learn the relevance of photography for the prevention of injustice. What a mouthful. Want the naked truth? I believe I'm called to obey a God that loves to kindle potential in each of us and for reasons beyond me, He chooses us to partner with Him in His awe-inspiring will. I'm desperate to see how my artistic flair can be harnessed and relevant to preventing the giants of the world's injustices.

For this new adventure I have begun a new blog and if you'd like to follow my story, as well as hear more about this school, this is where it'll be told:

Monday, December 30, 2013


I'm starting to organise my last few years and the stories collected according to countries and places. Before Hawaii, I had the classic dilemma of needing money with not much time to get it. I frantically searched for whoever could offer the most hours and a combination of desperation and disbelief led me through the doors of a busy city-centre pub. Despite not being able to picture myself there, I was hired and this classic English pub was to became my home from home over the next few years. Hindsight has granted me to see that God intentionally led me to this environment that I'd never have naturally put myself in. After working there for nearly two years my time came to a natural and God-led end, and so here I want to remember and celebrate my pub days; Harkers. I can't deny in honesty that it isn't a place of drunkenness, excess, greed, sin, immorality, loneliness, wealth and exclusivity, but to judge it as only that is to be premature. This pub was too a place of community and friendship, of connecting, sharing and generosity. I have loved momentarily crossing paths with people who I never would or could have done without this pub. It's taught me that I find life enjoyable and satisfying when I’m surrounded by people who are nothing like me, a lesson I expect will dictate my long-term job choices. I’ve learnt that the combination of opinion and alcohol easily leads to intense conversations. Mostly people seize this platform to state their stance, although few occasions I’ve had a quiet invite to follow with how I’ve learnt to see things. I’ve noticed that life is pretty rough on people, and they don’t need me to be another judge in their lives, deciding whether I deem them likeable or one I want to get to know, rather I can decide to like them regardless. In that environment I felt I stood out. I don't mean to sound arrogant but I don't want to belittle the light I feel God has sparked me and others to be. After all, in dark places, even a flicker of light seems outstanding and is hard to ignore. I feel heavy with gratitude that God led me to a mission-field as well as to a job, and know with certainty that His motive was His heart and love for the people in that pub-community. Now, I write filled with gladness and sadness that God allowed me to play a small part in His unfolding pursuit of being known in this city-centre pub.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I want to be careful not to get in the habit of writing victorious and upbeat blog-posts that come towards the end of one of God's lessons. Doing so, whilst seeming like it celebrates God (and true it does) paints a rather biased picture that the whole of my faith looks like this; like a baton being passed from one warm lesson to another. Tonight, with my eyes wet and red in that tell-tale way, and past the hour I ought to have gone to bed at, I want to write about the middley part of walking with God. The part where the ending is still all blurry and when faith is at its ficklest. Right here, I feel stuck. I daydreamed a few days ago, seeing myself hanging with my hands gripping a high bar, letting go and soon being caught by God before I reached harm. This adequately depicts where I'd say I am now, in the free-fall part, waiting for the reassurance of the catch. But the thing is, I feel like I've been in this free-fall part for a while now, for long enough actually. I hope in God's guidance that as January 2014 begins I will join a photography school with YWAM, backpacking 5 continents for 18 months. I've grown to feel sure that this is His desire for me, and yet I know awfully little about the school. I don't know the where's, the when's, who I'll meet or how I'll meet them. I don't know what comes after the school or whether I'll have all I need to finish it at all. I don't know what visas I need, or what injections. I don't know how long I've got left at home with my family, I just don't know. Oh I am so impatient, I vaguely remember asking God in the past to teach me patience, but I thought He'd do it quicker than this. Whilst I shouldn't hide that at the moment choosing faith feels naive, vulnerable and uncomfortable, it is far better and sweeter than beginning to fathom a plan that doesn't incorporate God's. And so from here I write to you, dear reader, wherever you are, with my faith like dental floss. I hope and I wait, trusting that if God pulls this off, it'll be one of the best lessons yet.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I'm one of those people that thinks a lot, I think. I wonder whether people around me have minds racing just the same, and whether this inner-pace and race of thoughts and observations is normal; going on in each of us. Sometimes it feels like there's traffic within my head. I'm not meaning to sound poetic, nor do I propose that I have this pulsating brain that is constantly growing and calculating my surroundings, that's not the picture I'm trying to draw. But rather I feel rarely and subtly aware right now that my mind may be what consumes me most. It is full of what I'm noticing about my life, my work, my works, my relationships. I'll mull over how the majority of my time is being spent and stretch to learn how better I can use my time. I'll pressurise myself with expectations to change, to grow, to perfect, to be less of the me I am and more of the me I feel like I want to be. The worst thing of all is that I cover and permit this inward-looking tendency because I feel it's my duty to make sure I'm doing okay and that I'm moving forward in my faith. Sometimes, like now, I'll sit and my churning thoughts become churning prayers which are muddled and long, and I tie myself in a knot. I've confused myself and lost my perspective and forgotten whether I feel like I'm doing okay with God or not; whether I should be smiling or crying. But then, this triumphant realisation rises in me: You're so God... You're so above me; You're so sovereign. It's so simple; it's so beautiful. I'm called to look to Him and not to myself, we all are. In my day-to-day life I'm noticing the difference between when I do and when I don't create the room to be still and dwell on God's godliness. Looking to Him isn't my default, it needs practice as I convince my mind to stop looking to myself. Yet, slowly but surely, with God's aid and lure, a change in habit is being made.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I don't want to be writing right now. Perhaps this contends for the worst way to begin a blog post, but regardless, it's true. My mind is lazily searching for words and my fingers are stiff and stubborn against typing. But I want to ask: what happens when life doesn't feel remarkable? I've had times when my walk with God feels quick-paced and vibrant and enticing and full of reason to be excited, but what does it mean when there is a lull and a deprivation of anything worth noting, or telling, or writing about? Are these times when God is doing less? Have I again gradually dropped in the distance-scale to being far from God? I recently led a group of youth with a Bible study on how God commanded Israel to perceive the importance of remembering. Particularly the first handful of books in the Old Testament really really home-in on how significant it was for these people to remember. They were to make habits of telling their children about God's revealed character and what He had already done for them. They were to have clothing specifically designed to act as reminders for them. God was so thorough in explaining His expectation that this nation Israel needed to respond to Him by diligently remembering all He had shown them already. In this Bible study we ended with the challenge to each other to add something to our lives that encourages remembering what God has done. Solely motivated by wanting to practice what I preach I have begun my version: intentionally pausing at the end of each day. This looks like stopping to recall in my mind everything which happened that day, it's quite simple really. I've found that there are quiet yet spectacular moments within each day which naturally get brushed under the carpet as they are hurried past and subsequently lost. In this action of pausing some of the more special parts of that day are resurrected to my consciousness and I'll dwell on them for just a short while, recognising God's slight hand and feeling grateful. I guess I'm ending with a lesson that I find warm and encouraging: we can alter what we find worthy of celebrating. In my own life I've felt like there hasn't been anything sparkly enough to write about on here. Rather than this being a symptom of an unremarkable season prescribed by God, it is no more than an issue of perspective. There is hope!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


On my 21st birthday a friend asked me what present I wanted from God. Initially I found this a bizarre concept but the child in me quickly arose with the valid point: what could I lose? After all, I hadn't asked God for a birthday gift for 21 years so I was surely due something special. But what did I want? Upon arriving in Hawaii and consistent for the first chunk of months I couldn't escape hearing about photography, it was being pushed up right before my nose. I would accidently meet people who were photography students and hear more about the role of photographs in raising awareness within and outside of the Christian world. My natural response to this was a growing desire to stretch my passion for the arts into exploring photography. And so on the 18th of February, 2012, I prayed to God asking Him for a professional camera. Later that day my room-mate gave me 21 gifts and one of them was a small eraser. This edition of erasers came in 100 shapes and sizes for children to collect and swap. A small few of these shapes were little cameras and as I opened the plastic wrapping, in my hand was a brightly coloured camera-eraser. Never underestimate God's sense of humour! I was overwhelmed with God's faithfulness as I understood that although that day I wouldn't be the boastful owner of a Canon camera, that I could take this little eraser as a promise that one day I would. God would provide. This blog post is to be such a celebration of God. Our God truly delights in being involved in our lives and He adores it when we credit interventions, provisions and blessings to Him. Later in the year I was given money and so without a penny of my own I have bought a Canon DSLR camera. This gift was worth waiting for!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


So this is the part where I collage together a few things that I have learnt from my travels to afar. Excuse how presumptuous it is that at 21 years old and after a mere 3 years experience of the 'missions' world I feel like I have a bank of knowledge. I write assured and excited that I have plenty more to learn but I do want to give voice to the smaller reflections which arose after time. To begin, I have found that it is better to be in a place for a longer amount of time than shorter (although perhaps this confident declaration has a tinge of being specific to how God has made me). You see, the longer you stay then your understanding of what is 'normal' gives way as a new culture begins to convince you, steal you and teach you. I remember being in India and thinking that 6 months couldn't last any longer. My journeys which followed after this are progressively getting shorter in their duration and I feel aware of God's intention show me that 'short' isn't quite long enough. It's too luxurious; too possible to sidestep around cultural expectations; too forgiving of not needing to make relationships with people and not learning the language. Frankly it's harder to be torn from wherever you geographically want to be in order to commit to a vague location. But I see now that there is such fruit to giving a place more of your time; being generous with your time! If the only reason was for making relationships alone, this argument ought still to stand. Along a similar theme, I find that it is better to work for a charity or organisation for a longer amount of time. In Mongolia we worked with an inspiring business which hires women with dignifying jobs in order to free them from lifestyles of prostitution. The first few weeks were ones filled with hearing of testimonies of how the women came to freedom and to faith. We got to watch the women work in skill and diligence and saw their creations of beautiful jewellery. Happy families. However, staying longer meant seeing beyond the blue skies. We saw conflict and deception and tears and regret. As someone who hopes to work towards the prevention of trafficking in the future I initially questioned why God was showing me this. I know now that I needed to see the reality of this future and have my naive perception of easy happy endings broken. I am so grateful to see how messy it gets when you work with people who are hurting, and grateful to understand a slight bit more of the cost it takes to invest into a charitable organisation. God willing, there will be many lessons to follow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Travelling to Mongolia was the fourth time that I journeyed to a new country in the hope to serve and learn. Romania, India and Thailand were all incredibly different experiences and yet there was a running theme uniting them: exposure to women in prostitution. Thanks to God's majestic orchestration, Mongolia was no exception to this theme and this time I felt a new question arising in me. The question was, 'can people be ruined?' and it is one that after an investment of time, wrestling, tears and hopelessness I have not fully been able to arrive at an answer, but I will give you what I've got. When you intend to explore an injustice you needn't look for long to understand how each disgusting scenario is riddled with all that is unfair. It is comforting to be convinced that the lowest of the world's low are there because their own unwise decisions have arrived them there, but frankly this isn't always the case. Sometimes it is by another's choice towards selfishness or lust and their willingness to inflict hurt and abuse in the quick pursuit of love or satisfaction or ease. As I realised this I began to deeply question whether a person's life can be ruined by another; whether there is hurt that simply will dictate the rest of their lives. I spent much time dodging this thought because depending on what the answer was there is potential to seriously question God's character and His justice. As a Christian I am quick to claim that God can heal physically; emotionally; spiritually and that He is able to transform lives. Don't get me wrong, this I still believe, but as I stood face-to-face with the injustice of prostitution I realised that these are 2D, cheap statements that mean little unless I understand precisely what they do mean, according to God's standards and not to mine. I saw that dealing with broken people is messy. You can't input an equation of safety + sustenance + dignity + support and hope this will work every time, as lovely as that would be. People are unique and their journey out of addiction or abuse or prostitution is an individual one that rests heavily on two things: God's input and their choices. Thankfully, God's input needs little invitation and is persistent and enduring, however people's choices are completely their own and sometimes no matter with how much encouragement they will decide to face away from God and to regress into what hurts them more. I realise as I type that this sounds like no happy lesson but I hope that it stirs one thing... The dawning that God is so much greater than us and what we can do. He bears sovereign understanding, un-expiring compassion and the willingness to involve us when we are sensitive to His lead. It is He who stirs, who evokes, who leads and in prayerfully joining the restoration of people we can submit to knowing that it is by Him, not by us.

Monday, August 6, 2012


When I was younger I assumed God desired of me this one spectacular decision to follow Him; to be His. As I began learning how to walk with Him I saw that one decision isn't enough, I am far too fickle and far to quick to lust after all that doesn't reflect Him. My young and inquisitive mind tried to understand precisely what God required from me and I concluded that there needed to be some sort of daily recognition of my devotion to Him. I confess that this realisation wasn't a happy one as the thought of this tired me and made me question the value of my first conversion towards Christ. It used to be a regular part of my routine to whisper to God in my mind that He has me; He has my attention; my service; my obedience. I'm not sure whether this was more to remind God or myself. When I was daily telling God that I chose Him, I underestimated what a relationship with Him looked like. God wants more. Since being here in Mongolia my life has got somewhat busier. My love for stealing quite times of solitude to spend with God has become a luxury and this busyness has squeezed spending time with God out of my life. I write as I do because I want to stress this current posture of stale faith. Without daily dwelling with God I am still able to call on Him when I need, to utter that quick plea, to pray in front of people, to interject my opinion in conversations about God. However, all this is dangerous because I'm drawing from a stale place. I'm recalling from past testimonies and revelations which are expiring, where my initial understanding has dulled. The lesson I am learning is that it is regularly and incredibly relevant to create time to spend with God in order to stay fresh. I am being evoked to confidently say that any stance other than complete need of God is incomplete truth. God is able to take whoever is stale, empty and dry and input life in its fulness. Live fresh.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I write assured of the privilege it is to serve God. The past two weeks have hosted traveling from Kona to Honolulu to Japan to South Korea to Mongolia. It has been a time of new countries, new cultural norms, new foods, new friends, new attire, new words and a new alarm clock setting. A lot of energy was put into frantically planning towards this outreach that as our time to leave Hawaii crept closer I began to realise how incredibly unprepared I felt. By the end of our school my class were united in tiredness and with my math skills I couldn't calculate how we would have the strength to serve for two months overseas and why God had asked this of us. Thankfully, since being here my fretting has been soothed. The Mongolian people we have met with have been bursting with contagious joy that so far our time has been somewhat refreshing rather than straining. The most-part of our time here has been spent working with an organisation which sells jewelery and mittens made by women freed from lives of prostitution. For me this is my fourth missionary trip and my fourth exposure of meeting and working alongside Christian women who are being restored from the sex-trade. I'm aware and excited that God is being intentional with this and whilst my heart for freedom continues to grow, little by little so does my understanding of the complicated tangles of deception, abuse and profit which fuels the business of prostitution. In the past four years I've never had the privilege to work so closely with the women as here. We live next door, lead their devotions, attend their tea-party socials, work, pray, eat, ask questions and laugh together. I'm excited to be a part of the impact that the truth of the Bible can have and I write from this country full of joy.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


It has been a while since I sent out some prayer requests and I would love to use this as an opportunity to give an update from Hawaii. I proudly write as a graduate of the Chronological School of Biblical Studies! I sat with my graduation certificate in hand, reading that I completed this school in Hawaii, and I was overwhelmed with realisation of God's faithfulness as I remembered His promises to take me both to this island and to study His word. I am full of love for the Bible and hold the complete understanding that I am called to a lifetime of being a student of this Book. After handing in our Revelation assignment our class has had lectures to train us on how to teach overseas; my team and I prepare to go to Mongolia! I am on an all-girl team led by my mentor and staff of this school with two other students. After visa complications, much prayer and mutual peace we decided that it was wise for us to focus all of our time in Mongolia (not going to Russia). I am grateful for once anticipating we would too go to Russia because I now have the desire more than ever to one day go to this nation.  In Mongolia we will spend about a month in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, serving a ministry which works with Mongolian women rescued from prostitution and their children. We will also spend time with a YWAM base outside of the capital which is an adventurous train-ride away. We are all bursting with excitement to serve God in this nation which none of us have been to and enjoy that God is suffice through our incapabilities and He will use us to bring glory to Him. I'd love to share a few prayer requests and invite you to come alongside our team as we set out to Mongolia. Please pray for:
- Our visas - We miraculously got our Mongolian visas approved and returned to us within 6 days (!) but when we are in Mongolia we will need to extend this 30-day visa and we ask for prayer for this to be a smooth and prompt process
- Finances - I am so blessed to already have handfuls of testimonies of God's provision for me but I am still in great need of money towards outreach. I fully trust that God will provide for me in order to serve Him in Mongolia and have seen Him provide for me first in all the smaller details (I got given a rucksack; a sleeping bag; tooth-paste; shampoo, all from different people), reviving my faith. I ask for prayer for me and my team that before we leave on the 4th we would see our money come in
- Teaching - in Mongolia woman aren't particularly respected and neither are young people. As an all-girl team under the age of 25 we ask for prayer that we would be considerate to the culture and present ourselves in a way which shows we are worthy to be respected and to teach the Word of God. We trust that although being all girls can be seen as a weakness, God's power is made perfect through weakness and He is going to use us greatly!

Thank you so much for your prayers

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Tonight we handed in our assignment for the Gospel of John and I think chapter 13 has soared into my favourites-list. I'm aware that this chapter gets recycled into a lot of teachings but despite being near completing the Bible I felt, through it, exposed to love in a clarified way that I hadn't caught before. I love that Jesus' whole ministry was drenched in humility and in case the disciples didn't pick this up Jesus did the deliberate action of washing their feet. I'm confident that my culture and worldview has lost the ability to understand the significance of this action like His disciples did, but I perceive that it shows humility in it's extremity. You see, Jesus knew Judas would betray Him (John 6:70) and yet Jesus bent His knees to the floor and rubbed the dust off Judas' feet, knowing that despite His efforts to persuade spiritual cleansing in this man, His action would only evoke physical cleansing. Jesus' love wasn't constricted by His understanding of the result it would evoke. Although in some sense this seems like a waste of time or effort, who are we to become judges of people's worthiness of love? We're not; we are called to love like Christ. I was thinking that the world's version of love doesn't look like Jesus'. Worldly love doesn't endure rejection and as a result the world is so thirsty to see love that simply is; such that can be neither earned nor dissuaded. I'm careful of writing these truths and treasures that I find in the Bible without letting it affect my life because this is what I'm good at. I want to pray now for opportunities to love when people don't deserve it. I'm not talking about finding that drug addict (although I'm not opposed!) but frankly my life doesn't look like this. I'm talking about starting in a Christian setting. To those who accidentally offend me because of culture collision, or the friend who says a curt comment; hurts my feelings; doesn't help me when I need it. These are all regular things which slightly wound be and teach me to be a little bit more cautious with my love. I pray for more opportunities to practice love that doesn't feel fair; love that feels undeserved. Love without ulterior motives.

Monday, June 11, 2012


These past few weeks I have never felt more like a child before God. I imagine I can get quite precocious in front of Him as I recognise the lessons He has evoked from me, but there has been little room for this prideful perception recently. I have been in such need of His practical input and in this posture of helplessness I have once again been confronted with His faithful character. And so I write in celebration of this! As I often find in obeying God, sometimes all I have in my hands is an understanding of His will and yet no concept of how I can pursue making this into a reality. With being home for 6 months in 2011 before jetting off again in September I had far too little time to earn fully towards this Bible school. As I fretted and regularly reminded God of this broken equation of too-much-fees and too-little-earning time I began to gain tea-spoon testimonies of His provision which prompted me to acknowledge that He is helping me to come here too. During my Chester stop-off in 2011 I felt Him challenge me to ask Him for money at the start of every week and to trust that He would provide. Each week, without exception, I prayed and saw small amounts come in, sometimes on the last day of the week (I think God has a sense of humour), but nevertheless, the money came. Now, as the final term of my school loomed, so did the deadline of the final payment as to which I could not pay. I write to celebrate that a month before the end of lecture-phase all my school fees came in! I am still hoping and anticipating that God will continue to miraculously provide for me to serve in Mongolia and feel my faith has been revived. I too want to acknowledge that it was so spiritually uncomfortable to be in need before God, but when I took the time to look to His steadfast character I was able to find more integral comfort in that place than anywhere else.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


We're studying Philippians and I am transfixed by this one verse and it is all because of one little word:zēmioō.’ The verse says 'For His sake I have suffered loss ( order that I may gain Christ' - 3:8b) and zēmioō’ is the Greek word for 'suffer' and it describes sustaining damage and receiving injury. It really changes everything! It shows that there is a cost to leaving everything in order to follow Christ’s example. I’m thinking about my own life and when I feel the sting of loss I can recognise my nature to constrict these experiences to being as little as possible. In this small book I see a great call/reminder that it should be costing something to be a believer of God; to represent His gospel; to shine blatant in a dark world. It has provoked this inner debate in me because in one sense I understand and live in the freedom of Christ. This is freedom from needing to perform in order to receive everything He has done. He already paid such a price, so why is there still a cost? This didn’t rise up in me out of my reluctance to pay-up but I just wondered where in my understanding I had gone wrong. I realised that whilst it is true that Christ achieved everything He needed to through His life and the cross and whilst He paid the price so that I don’t have to, my faith in Him will still need to manifest in some way. If there was anything I learnt from the book of James, it was that true faith manifests. Therefore I think Paul was showing that for one who is a zealous follower of Christ, they can expect to follow really closely in Christ's footsteps. This means denying yourself and denying your rights and embracing rejection. This isn't the price we pay to be righteous (for it is by His efforts, not ours) but rather this is what faith will look like. There will be a sting as each believer learns to live in a way where their personal, self-centred desires suffer and whimper. But Jesus is worth it, isn't He?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Time flies. Since I posted 'Aloha' with the novelty of sandy belongings and sunsets (which I still enjoy) it has been nearly 6 months and the passing of two thirds of this school. We have sprinted (and crawled) through the Old Testament and I thank the Lord for bringing me here because I never once anticipated the Bible to be as rich as I'm finding or as satisfying to invest in. Sometimes my vision/hope clouds and I feel incapable in the face of such a Book, but I seemingly get called back to the truth that God desires for me to learn more than I do and thus He will equip me appropriately for His call. A lot of what I have learnt about God's character are things which I'd already credited to Him but since studying I can see that my belief in who God is was never certain or able to hold-up in a debate; it was too vague. Now with the Bible I feel more sure of YHWH; my feet are being nestled onto a firm rock. I am writing this post from the midst of Spring Break which has been a time of rest, refreshment, writing, swimming and exploring. I eagerly await to see how the last term of this school will unfold!


As chronological students of the Bible we have been able to trace humanity's decline into sin alongside God's unravelling plan of redemption. For this second term we've looked at the Prophets and one of our assignments was to record each prophecy and revelation regarding the coming Messiah. Before we read the book of Matthew we each had to write an essay encompassing all the expectations the Israelites will have had in regards to their awaited King. It has been so rewarding to tie the laces and step into the shoes of a Hebrew person of around 400BC (Malachi's time.) For those who would love to adopt the mindset of an anticipating Jew of the Old Testament I've attached my essay below. It has been so interesting to read about Jesus' fulfilling identity. This essay is written from the perspective of a righteous Jew shortly after Malachi's prophetic ministry who trusted in the words of the prophets:

Monday, March 19, 2012


I'm learning that I work better in the mornings and so I've become an acquittance with homework and toast. I'll race the sunrise and get to work as the day wakes up and the sky starts to tint and on a recent occasion I wondered: how did I get here?! Something it provoked in me was to contend with my concept of time. If my time is my own then every instance I do something that stretches beyond my desire becomes part of a 'duty' category. This tires me and my stubbornness to finish rises up. However, if my time is not my own but surrendered into God's hands, then whether I enjoy what I'm doing becomes less significant. Whilst I adore serving this God whose will is so satisfying, there are times when serving Him isn't filled with adventure. Sometimes it doesn't look appealing; sometimes it is having a Book open on a desk that you need to wake up to sit and study. Since being here God has transitioned my understanding of time so that I'm not constantly longing to do whatever I like with each hour of my day, but rather I feel this deep value for investing time in what I know will reap a later great reward. This is satisfying.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I come bearing updates from Hawaii! Our school is 9 months long with an additional opportunity to become teachers of what we're learning in nations and places hungry for Biblical truth. Although I've always known this to be an option, and I can't imagine ever denying a proposal to work overseas, I didn't think that this would be something I'd be able to do. As I've been here I've naturally been planning on how I can burst with what I've learnt about when I come back home. I am getting a passion to teach, which is holding hands with the understanding that it is a huge responsibility to represent and regard such a Holy, Holy book which shouldn't be taken lightly. As a school we were each challenged to pray about whether we want to commit to serving abroad on an eight-week outreach. God soon spoke clearly that this is His will for me, which provoked my surprise and delight! I am on the team that plans to go to Mongolia and Russia, although we still are very much in our baby-steps phase of planning. As seems to be a yearly theme of mine, I have in my hands an understanding of what God wants me to do and no means at all to attain it myself. But it would be unfair for me to deny God of His surpassing, unfailing faithfulness which I rest in. Knowing my own incapability excites me because there is such room for God's capability to shine through.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


To me, the Bible was a locked treasure chest. I'd feel inspired and drawn by some stories or examples or verses, but I knew that I was just scraping at its leather-bound surface. I'd hear speakers speak and preachers preach these precious stones of revelation that they'd found within the Bible, and my thirst would increase but I'd still remain with no key in hand. I didn't know how to get into this Word that is so central to what we believe and to be frank, I didn't think it was publicly accessible anyway. The depths of the Bible was for the elitely scholarly minded; for the budding ministers and the teachers of theology. Despite feeling inadequate in the face of this historical book, I couldn't deny my own frustration at why I couldn't understand it deeply for myself. The sips of wisdom I was drinking from others wasn't satisfying or answering my questions which began to stack. Here I am writing in past-tense because by God's grace He organised for me to come to this school to realise how wrong I was. I pray to encourage that the rich breadth of this Holy Book can be found by every single person! With my key in hand I am overwhelmed that for 20 years of my life I had access to seeing so much more of God's character sitting right there in this Book, waiting for my investment. If I can hold this key, then you can too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


With my pocket-full of wisdom and my suitcase-full of desire to learn more, I am finding the Bible so satisfying to study. Something I noticed that I used to do is find excuses for this 'God of the Old Testament.' I'd read a blur of battle and prophecy and judgement and conclude that this was the past-tense God, and I'd thank goodness I know the new One. This week we have been studying Jeremiah; the weeping prophet. With my hand on my heart I say that I have never seen God like this before. It has been breaking me and striking me dumb. My eyes are opening to see that love and judgement aren't polar opposites, rather I think judgement is part of YHWH's outpouring of love. Out of His holy justice sin has to bare a price; it cannot go unpunished. The book of Jeremiah is absolutely drowned in God warning His people relentlessly not to mess with sin and not to be blind to what it provokes. Even though for decades they ignored His imploring, judgement was never the bottom-line for them. He planned for restoration to be its fruit. I'm seeing that love is so much more than provoking short-term happiness, it fervently pursues  life in its fullness for another.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I'd love to put my joy into writing and say a simple, heart felt thank you to the people in my life. For the prayers,  letters, emails, support, questions and donations I am so overwhelmed by God's blessing which He pours on me through people. Even across the seas I feel connected to a place that supports me and has released me to do God's will  and to come home and tell the stories. And so, thank you. I burst with gratitude for my Church, friends and family.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


We studied Joel and eavesdropped on the characters of the story. They experienced a devastating attack from a relentless army of locusts as the farmers watched their livelihood be devoured. The people in Joel mourned and wept over their loss and declared that like their vines, their joy had withered. It really got me thinking about what we place our joy in. You see, for the farmers the joy was in their harvest. That would be the time when they would reap what they sowed; when their labour would end to introduce rest and profit. But this is such a fragile way to live. God had called for these very farmers to serve a dry land and to acknowledge Him as their provider of rainfall. What a privilege profession to call on YHWH and to daily see the miracle of His sustenance. I think about my own life and how desperate I am to see fruit. That's the dream! Because when you see a flourish your heartbeat can steady as you are affirmed that all you have invested in was worthwhile. I feel this deep call from God to be satisfied in the process. So much of looking ahead can steal so much of tasting joy in the now. In acknowledgement and acceptance that my short-sighted vision never really knows what's coming next, I choose to abandon this fragile hope of future joy and live celebrating the season.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I've been thinking about how we make conclusions. As people, we constantly calculate and evaluate that which surrounds us and our ability to dissect circumstances aids our further choices. However, as people who are called to a life of submission beneath our Maker, I feel challenged to see how short-sighted and biased our assessments can be. In the book of Job there are 34 chapters which describe him receiving guidance from his friends who concluded wrongly about the causes of his affliction. Job's circumstance was un-cooked, and thus people's neglect of perception of Yahweh led to unhealthy advice. I can remember times in my own life where I have obeyed God and yet been met with discouragement and closed doors. Then, my raw understanding flowed from this newly created wound which questioned God's nature, or His guidance, or my ability to discern His voice. I think prematurely and I am quick to claim that I understand. This broken lesson revives in me gratitude that this God whom we follow and invest in, He doesn't fluctuate or change. Therefore throughout life's spectrum of experiences we can stand assured and convinced that we are loved, watched and pursued by this great, redeeming God.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Following a few weeks of festive break my days have been peppered with rest, road-trips, hikes and the luxury of being able to ignore the clock. Therefore, on December 31st I sat continuously surprised that a new year had crept upon me without me noticing the date until 3pm that day. I quietened before God and began to journey with Him through what each month of 2011 had brought. I newly saw the subtle gifts which He had sown into each twelfth, gifts of provision, adventure, laughter, friendship and works. I saw the seasons of rest which He had interjected amidst priorities, busyness and rush. As 2012 stampeded closer I sat aware that I have no reason or right to fear the unknown of what this next year brings, because I clutch onto the awakened understanding that for this whole year Yahweh has been faithful to me, often beyond my recognition, lacing me with grace.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I grew up with a love for adventure. I always wanted to explore and climb and find, and until a year ago, I brushed this off as a diluted form of rebellion or boredom. But then someone was praying with me and spoke out that God had put these loves within me. I never knew that they could please God; that they were from Him. Whilst I've been in Hawaii I have submitted under God's orchestrated timing and have been able to have a day off/of rest each week. These have been spent delving into exploring the art of God's creation, mainly the beach! I feel so overwhelmed and humbled by how intimately God knows me. Better than myself, He knows how to lead me into rest and recuperation. He strengthens me for His will and delights in planning enjoyable things; He is a privilege to serve.


Each week I have the privilege of going to a homeless feeding to meet, listen to and serve islanders. I am noticing a recurring theme which weaves itself through my many conversations: spirituality. I feel exposed to seeing people's vague religion which is knit throughout years of hearing different beliefs. Whilst all whom I talk to know of God the Maker, their understanding goes beyond that. Soaring higher than their understanding of Yahweh is a reigning perception of the spiritual realm. What makes me so sad is that on top of their jigsaw knowledge of the Bible are layers of varying un-Biblical beliefs. I hear people challenge God's very nature and declare lies about His Name. In nearly all of my conversations I feel God instructing me to ask questions (and to only say my opinion when I am asked - this is definitely a discipline!) I hear elusive descriptions of life, energy, vibrations and the ocean being a source. I see that people have open hands to embrace a concept of god, but if truth is scarce, they will clutch at whatever presents itself first. I am beginning to understand that the world is in desperate need of truth. Unless I invest in the Bible and stand assured of what it says, then my own unclear, roughly-edged ideas have the potential to add to this deceived collage which is non-Christian's understanding of God. There is a hunger for truth.

Monday, December 19, 2011


For one of our recent assignments we studied Kings and Chronicles together - it makes one momma of a book! Something so pleasantly surprising about SBS is that the verses and chunks of the Bible which I'd usually skirt right past (because they didn't sound quote-worthy for a card) are the ones which I now find so interesting! Therefore, I was inevitably in for a treat with Kings... I loved seeing each king's life summarised into a few verses or chapters. So rarely do we get to see a whole lifespan concluded into its highlights and evaluated as whether it was 'good' or 'evil' in the sight of the Lord. I felt challenged to imagine myself amongst the line-up of 40 kings with my own snappy biography; I wondered what my own would say. As I emerge myself more and more into the Word I feel God's standards being clarified to me. The Bible is becoming my mirror. In honesty, the reflection I see isn't so great, but I am thankful to see the bad in me, confronted by different Biblical characters, so that I can walk the way of faith and obedience which so few of the Old Testament leaders managed to stay loyal to. I want to learn from some of the king's subtle, accumulating mistakes.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I like to climb
I like those height defeating steps and my fingers searching for grip
With my humble flag strapped to my back,
I anticipate the time this season will be marked 'complete.'
I have my map the world gave me
Its short-cuts and must-sees flashing to my attention
The described mild route up a neat lawn
Over a neat hill
Framed with neat rows of daisies.
My eager toes, which pull my feet,
Which obey my heart's hunger for this climb
Seize to a stop.
Before me I see the majestic face of a steep mountain's cheek
I see rocks and edges and crevices and creeks
My sight surrenders before the height does.
But before me I feel a beckoning
A deep welcoming, voicing
"I know they didn't tell you what this really is, 
But I've approved this climb.
By My grace you will walk and see the most of Me
To which you've ever been exposed."

This is a poem I wrote when I felt confronted with the overwhelming depths that searching out the Bible takes you to. 

Friday, November 25, 2011


The pattern of life here has started to take its swing and just as being in Hawaii got slightly less recurrently amazing, our class was whisked away on a three-day retreat to Makapala. For one of our breaks we all jammed into a van and got driven to the mountain coast. There we were invited to hike with a couple of staff members up to the top of one of the heights. Wearing flipflops, armed with a bottle of water, a camera and the awareness of my limited sportiness, I was sceptical when God asked me to go on that hike. But I went, and we climbed past post-card views and ate the tree's fruits on the way. The climb itself was so hard, but remarkably once sitting on the dusty, windy surface of the peak, the trials it took the get there were no longer significant. We sat higher than a plane which flew past whilst birds circled and God's air-con cooled us. God the artist struck me dumb. On the walk down I contemplated how wealthy we are in God. We are so rich when we are His! He reminded me that on earth we are called to store up treasures in heaven, and pointed out that no where else on this world can we be investing in the future and yet experience such richness in the now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Once again winter stirred and like a bird I flew to warmer shores. I have been here on Big Island, Hawaii, for over a month now. It has been a season of flip-flops, flights, unpacking, new routine; new friends; new alarm-clock setting; new food; new accents, sand, sunsets, study, homework, lectures, sea breeze, hiking, acting and delving into the life-giving depths of the Bible. I remember being in an evening worship service in India over two years ago and hearing the speaker mention Hawaii. I asked God that if Hawaii would be a place He would take me to, that the speaker would mention the State three times. They did. Now that I'm here I get occasionally overwhelmed by God's faithfulness to me and how long ago He began preparing me to obey His lead.