His Love = His Wrath

Last week was the fourth week of the DTS, and me and my friend Alex, who is leading another DTS alongside me, were the lecturers! It was a little bit scary because we decided to do it very short notice, but it was exciting to see what God would do in the week.

The topic of the week was Fear of The Lord, and at first I felt very unequal to the task of teaching this topic! I feel I could spend my whole life gaining more and more fear of Him, and hatred of sin. 

The Bible says in Proverbs, “The Fear of The Lord is the Begining of wisdom.” And it says, “the fear of The Lord is the hatred of evil.”

As I was studying to learn more about this topic, I was faced with the reality that one of the biggest blocks to fearing God is that we see Him as a loving, gentle God. 

So one night during the week, God showed me this,

Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be misled- you can not mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”

God is so loving and good and each one of us is His child. He knows that when we sin, it will only create more destruction in our world. Our gossip and rejection and lust and anger sows lies in others creating even more brokenness and sin. It will hurt others, and it will hurt us.

We should not think that God could be okay with that. When sin is what is destroying His children, corrupting our hearts, turning us from truth, bringing death and brokenness and hate? How could a loving God be okay with that? The only thing that makes sense in Gods character is that He find sin completely abhorrent. He is a just protector of all His children, that is why His wrath burns against sin.
Once I had this revelation, I was kneeling on my floor crying out for God to forgive me and give me the Fear of Him, to see what my sin is doing to others and myself and to see how He feels about it. 

I was able to teach my students this also, and on Friday we had a time of asking God for fear of The Lord and many of the students got to confess their sin and be free of it for the first time. That’s the thing about fear of The Lord… Holiness is contagious!

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Led by Love

I was walking down the street with my friends, our hearts set on reaching out to those around us.

I will be an answer to prayer.

We encountered a lady, whose frustration was worn like a smothering winter coat. Stories of break-ins, injustice and difficult tenants spilled out of her with the slightest touch of concern.

Can we help you? Come to your house? Can we pray for you?

We follow her to her apartment, relieve the stress, prayer flows out of us in response to her needs. She cries.

“I prayed last night that God would help me. He sent you.”

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We were meant to be going door-to-door, asking tenants if they desired prayer. No-one answered.

God, why is every door closed to us?

Nine knocks later, the door opens to us. A woman in need, sick and immobile, lonely and confused.

Can we talk with you? Can we do your laundry, dishes? Can we pray for you?

A Carer calls, and, cup of tea in hand in a room full of love, our new friend replies,

“I needed help and there was a knock on my door.”

 

Some people say that it evangelism is hard. You have to know it all, you have to have the gift.

From what I’ve seen, the gift is love, and we have more of that than we know what to with.

Pour it out.

 

 

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Thoughts on Contentment

We live in a commitment-phobic world. 
I would like to suggest that, as a result, we also live in a dis-contented world.

We are always on the lookout for something better, like Prince Charming inviting every woman in the entire kingdom to the ball so he could find the prettiest, best one. We want all of our options laid out in a buffet in front of us before we choose. We select something we love, something we feel called to, and then we find minutes or months down the road that if we dropped that person, job, lifestyle, plan, we could pick up something we are more enamoured with. It is this constant searching that creates a lack of trust and contentment in us.

When I need a coffee, and my friend offers me a cup of instant, I get to make a choice. Is this what I want? If I choose, yes, then I can happily drink my cuppa. I have gotten what I wanted. Or, I can say no. No, I want an espresso. So, my friend offers to drive me to McDonald’s. I can purchase a long black from there, happy I have made my choice. Or, I can stand in the line at McDonalds and think about the hipster cafe down the road, and go there instead, and keep moving forward in what I think is the best, without ever even tasting a single drop of coffee.

When you make a choice, it is possible feel in that moment that you have found what you needed or wanted. The reason for that is because, you have found what you wanted! That is why you chose it!

Now, I am not the kind of person who often wants a cup of instant. But sometimes I drink it because I really want coffee and that’s what is available. And it really doesn’t taste so bad. And some people call it settling, but I want to put that to bed right now. There is such a thing as settling, and it is knowing what you need and deserve and choosing not to wait for its imminent arrival. There is a difference between that and figuring out how to find enjoyment in what you have been given. That is called contentment. And it is beautiful and it fosters commitment. Because contentment isn’t always looking for something new. It roots itself, it enjoys, it flourishes. 



 

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Three Years and More to Come!

Almost three years ago, I had two monstrous suitcases, a giant backpack and a guitar strapped to my back as I made my big move to Australia. I guess it was just something in me that wanted to take everything I owned on this adventure, to be fully in it and not leave anything behind.

Baptising one of my students last year!

Baptising one of my students last year!

As I am writing this blog, I have seen myself grow even more in this conviction over my time in YWAM. I have jumped wholeheartedly into every opportunity presented to me and intensely discipled 27 young people on how to love God wholeheartedly, and be healthy, selfless leaders in their circles of influence. I have traveled to six nations in my short time in YWAM to see and participate in over 200 people receiving Christ. I have worked long hours behind computers, planning and chatting and working to see young people around the world discover that they can be a part of missions. I believe there is nothing that anyone has done, or been, or any lack of achievement that will keep God from joyously partnering with anyone who makes themselves available.

I don’t want to stop living this life. I came here with a commitment to three years in missions at YWAM Newcastle, and I am nearing the end of those three years with a different kind of commitment in my heart. A commitment to whole-heartedness, a commitment to missions, wherever that takes me, and a commitment to disciple anyone that comes in my path.

In this upcoming year, that commitment is going to look much the same as it has the last three! I am going to spend this next year here at YWAM Newcastle, leading the World Explorers DTS once again. Leading DTS is an incredible chance to grow in leadership, evangelism, discipleship, and service. It’s a chance that not many 24 year olds get and I am excited to have the chance to continue growing in this way.

It's hard work being a missionary in Tahiti!

It’s hard work being a missionary in Tahiti!

For those of you who have stuck with me on this journey, you have no idea how much it has meant to me. I have felt your prayers in the jungles of Borneo, the slums of El Salvador, sitting in my office and taking young women for coffee and a long, hard chat. You have been a part of Gods provision for me that has taken me all over the world! You have shown interest and friendship that has encouraged me to keep going when things have been hard. I would love for all of you to continue supporting me as I keep going in missions.

If you have any questions about these last three years in missions, or the next steps I am taking, please email me at Danica@danicawithamission.com! I would love to hear from you!

 

 

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The Surprise of the Century!

Okay, maybe that title is a bit of an exaggeration, but I was successful in pulling off a pretty epic surprise on my family! I showed up at home (with some help from Dad) shocking and exciting the rest of my family!





I spent a month visiting with them ( and a few of you) before heading back to the warmth of Australia!



The reason I decided to visit when I did, in the dark and freezing winter, is because of my current responsibilities at YWAM! I am working to get teams out on outreach, so I am helping to purchase plane tickets and organise visas, to train the leaders and be an encouragement and help to them while they are away. In the past, people who have done this job have been really helpful for me when I was taking a team out, so I am excited to be that resource for others. 

I also have some fun news regarding what is coming next for me, so stay tuned for my next blog, coming in a week or two!

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God’s Goodness in Guatemala

What do playing with 350 orphans, giving out cookies on the street, running a VBS, and praying for recovering drug addicts have in common? Our ministry time in Guatemala, of course!

Our time in Guatemala was all about relationships. We were able to interact with so many kids and young people, as well as many adults in a variety of safe homes and rehab programs.

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Running a VBS

One of my favourite days of ministry was when we went to partner with the YWAM base to train young people. The program runs for 3 weeks as a type of mini-DTS, including basic training in knowing God and making Him known, as well as a week long outreach.

My team got to come and present a drama and testimonies on the topic of evangelism, as well as an hour of teaching. I rarely teach on outreach as I like the students to have the opportunity, but this was one of the chances I got to teach and on a topic which I am very passionate about. It was so much fun to share what God has taught me about evangelism over the last few years, but also very exciting to see all these young people impacted by what I was saying.

For me, the time in Guatemala was all about discipleship. Even with my students, God showed me how to take things to the next level in their character growth. It produced some tears, but also a lot of growth as students were confronted with areas of their lives that needed to change, leading one student even to say, “I have never shared these things about my life with anyone before.” We went deeper than ever into what God had for them as missionaries and simply as people who love Him.

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Eating at a traditional restaurant with my team

Now, I am back in Australia. I just spent these last two weeks graduating my students and giving as much as I could into them one last time! They all did so well, and I am proud of them and the choices they have made these last 6 months. They are all motivated for missions in their futures and I am excited to see God using them in their fields- university, YWAM, churches and foreign nations.

Now, I am taking some holidays to celebrate Christmas and talk with God about whats next for me. I will be updating you all soon. I wish all of you a merry Christmas!

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Salvadorian Stories

The last month in El Salvador has been both full and fruitful.

Here are some of my highlights:

Over this last month I have gotten to see each of my students personally lead someone to a relationship with Christ. This is an amazing privilege for me, as it is one of my goals that each student would walk away from outreach feeling equipped and passionate to continue evangelising wherever they are. We have seen 26 salvations and many people rededicating their lives to God.

One of my students was in my group for evangelism one of the first days here in El Salvador. We were approaching a house and I said to her, “So, you can talk to this family, right?” She nervously agreed and then proceeded to do an awesome job sharing her testimony. “What now?” She whispered to me. “Gospel, gospel!” I chanted at the back. She shared the gospel with the man, who then indicated he wanted to receive Christ. I walked my student through each step until we left the man with all the information he needed for his new life with Christ. My student was radiant with having led someone to a relationship with God for the first time, and since then she has led several others into a relationship with God on her own. That is one of my favourite parts of what I do, it’s so easy to encourage these amazing young people, and it makes all the difference in their lives!

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Praying with team members and contacts for people on the streets of San Salvador

Most of you know that I love evangelism and I think I mention in every blog how seeing people saved is one of my greatest joys! A few days ago, we were at a church in a village where I met a 14 year old girl named Marcela. She and I started talking about everything I knew how to say in Spanish, favourite sports, bible verses and foods…and so on. Then I asked about her family and she said she is the only Christian. I really felt to pray for her but I also I felt that God wanted us to go share the gospel with her family. So, throughout the day we were very busy but I kept feeling God prompt me to go talk with her family so I just kept bugging our contacts until they took us to her house. Her mother, father and two siblings were all there. I shared my testimony and the gospel with them and the father and brother both wanted to accept God. So, we began to pray for them. As we did, two of my students began to tell their testimonies and words of knowledge from God with the mother and sister and then they also accepted God! It was an amazing day to not only see these 4 people enter Gods kingdom, but also to be able to rejoice with my new friend!

Hanging out with little kids in a village with a long skirt and bun- I am definitely a missionary!

Hanging out with little kids in a village with a long skirt and bun- I am definitely a missionary!

One of my students really struggled with believing she was capable in ministry. The first time I asked her to speak publicly, she gave about a 30second testimony before ducking out and considering her attempt a “failure”. As we worked through why she believed herself to be less capable than other students, many false beliefs about herself and God came to light. As I encouraged her, she told me she wanted to try again. Since then, she has given several testimonies and two sermons. She confessed to me a few days ago, ” I love preaching!” I am so proud of her that she has conquered the comparing spirit and simply allowed God to work through her.

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My student preaching for the first time!

Another student very recently became a Christian. He had never read his Bible. Over outreach, I have my students reading Mark, Acts and Romans and we do a Bible study on it each week. Over the last month, He has gotten so interested in the Bible and it has been amazing to watch Him rave about stories in the Bible that have gotten “old” for many of us.

We have also gotten to see many healings, especially of a mosquito bourne disease called Chikungunya. It causes people to have swollen, sore joints, so that they have difficulty moving. One lady we met had not been able to work in 3 months because of the disease. We prayed that God would heal her and before our eyes she started moving and bending her wrists, knees, and elbows without pain!! She was so joyful and it grew our faith so much that we started praying for everyone with Chikungunya and have seen 2 more people healed of that disease this week.

I have also loved getting to grow in my leadership. It is hard sometimes, but God has given me so much grace and wisdom in all situations we have faced! I am so thankful for every opportunity He has given me to lead and challenge my students, as well as minister to the people of El Salvador!

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The team at the top of a volcano! Natalie, Elijah, Andrew, Me, Luke, Hanna, Hayden and Kaylea.

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Open Doors In Windale

Outreach is here! Already things are happening to grow the students in their faith and to bring godly change to people in the local community.

For those who don’t know, this past week was spent in a neighbourhood called Windale. Statistically, it is the 6th worst neighbourhood in the entire state of New South Wales. This is because of a high amount of government subsidised housing and a low amount of jobs and education.

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We didn’t have a plan going in, except to walk the streets praying and see what doors God would open. A few days into our time there, we were playing worship songs in the town centre and a man walked by, stopped, and called out “Are you guys Christians?” So that was when we met Joel.

He’s just a normal Christian guy, in the best sense. A few years ago he simply owned a house in Windale that he rented out. And then he found himself following Gods call into the hearts of the needy, and living and ministering there. Though he is not a minister or missionary in the traditional sense (aka he has a normal job), he is a father and a friend to everyone in his neighbourhood.

Through Joel, we met many people and got to minister to and pray for many of his neighbours and friends. There was one lady in particular who, after making a connection, confessed to me she was self harming. She then invited me into her home and allowed me to talk to her about who she is in Gods eyes while I bandaged a recent cut.

I also met a new mom who has been stressed about getting things done in her home. A few days later, one of my students and I were able to go into her home and watch her kids while she cleaned. At first we thought that was all we were doing, but as we stayed there it became apparent that what she really wanted was someone to listen to her. We got to sit with her as she shared many of the difficult things in her life, and as she began to cry we encouraged her that God is with her.

We were told we would not receive a warm welcome in Windale, but God opened many doors to minister to people as well as to encourage this man, Joel, who is doing a great work in the neighbourhood. Please pray for him as he will continue to minister and bring change to this place long after we are gone.

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I am Multiplying

I had a moment this morning. For the last 10 weeks, I have been pouring heart and soul and spirit into my staff and students. But sometimes I get so busy that I don’t stop and think. So, I don’t often have these moments.

But I realised this morning what I am doing. I am multiplying.

I feel funny sometimes calling myself a missionary, and not because I am not one, but because really my job is more like a missionary trainer. My job is to multiply myself. And I have this passion, this call, this unrelenting desire that people all over the world would know God and be saved and experience abundant life. So, I don’t just mentor these guys so that they get free from addictions and stop being rejected, and love God more (although that happens every day), but I mentor them to also have this passion to reach the lost.

And that’s why I am so excited to take them to the nations! I want them to know the joy and thrill of leading the lost to salvation, i want them to realise through experience that they have the power to help others, I want them to see countries as more than just land but as unique, loved people.

So, Australia, Guatemala and El Salvador. That’s where I am taking them!

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Andrew (in front) L to R- Elijah, Me, Kaylea, Hayden, Natalie, Luke, hanna

This is my team.

I need you to pray for them. I believe in them and what they are going to do with their lives, and I want them to believe in themselves and be crazy missionaries!

I need prayer for myself as well. I need wisdom, and patience and protection. I need to not get sick on this trip, because that keeps happening and I am over it. And I need a lot of money for airfare and food and housing in the countries.

So, please pray for myself and my team. I believe that prayer changes things and I want and believe to see a lot of change in myself, my circumstances, my team, and these nations. And I know you do to, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog, so please fight with me for these things. Thank you so much! I could never do this without you as you are the ones going to God on my behalf!

Also, You can find more details on the outreach by clicking here and going to my outreach page! It will tell you all the dates and info on countries and ministries, as well as how to donate.

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You Make This Possible: A Video!

Hello Friends and Family!

I have created a video just for you. I borrowed a video camera and took it with me everywhere for two days so you can see some of the things I do!

Watch the video by clicking the link below.

You Make This Possible

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