Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Community Engagement

This all spurred out of an desire to be in relationship with our neighbors and for our neighbors to know Christ. Overall, to bring the Kingdom of God to the West Side.

Community Engagement - dedicated intentional time to invest in neighbors and the neighborhood by praying God's will over the West Side.

How? Each afternoon the students have time for ministry. There are tutoring programs, volunteering in the Pavilion, helping out with some afterschool sport programs, and community engagement time. This community engagement time will look like students praying around the West Side and praying for neighbors. Out of that, building relationships with those neighbors where we are praying for them and forming friendships. Also, praying against strongholds in the neighborhood.

"Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” - Jeremiah 29:7

I am most excited for this opportunity. And that statement shocks me. I am quick to pick things that are task mode and not people focused, but God is giving me a desire for this and I am exciting to see how He will use me and grow me. I am excited for the ways we will see this neighborhood change, and for the friendships that will form between the students and our neighbors.

There is power in prayer, and I am excited to see young people praying the kingdom of heaven over the West Side. I am excited to see God move, and answer prayers. I am excited for meeting neighbors and getting to know the West Side better. I am excited to see students on fire for prayer!!

I plan on updating how this is going throughout this fall and into winter! I would love to encourage you to pray alongside us!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Freedom Reigns in this Place

I usually didn't tell many, because I didn't want to have to explain to many exactly what I was experiencing.

I have had dreams since I was little. Sometimes silly, sometimes the occasional nightmare - normal things.

But around my senior year of high school my dreams turned into terrible nightmares. Slowly these nightmares had invaded reality, making daily things frightful and instilling fear where it didn't belong. For a while it seemed petty, but it got more and more real. I wouldn't go into the park by myself, I was paranoid all the time, I couldn't walk past a light switch without turning it on. I would go to sleep with the light on and sleep under my covers. I would run if alone in the dark and constantly be watching corners and shadows. It was exhausting on top of low sleep quality. but I was completely blind to how bad it had gotten.

Then we had class, with Dave Huizenga (used to be a pastor at Sunshine Church) and he spoke on God as father. While speaking off topic a student asked about dreams and I followed up the question with what do you do with emotions that last after the dream?

He began to give a few examples of dreams and it felt as if he was seeing the images that last in my head and the dream content, and articulating them. I felt as if I were throwing up in front of 75 people at first - like a wave of shame I had been denying that I felt about these dreams surfaced, and the bondage I had been living in was brought to light. After class, I went to my room and wept. There was so much pain and terror associated with some dreams that I had been pushing down and ignoring and I was finally realizing and allowing myself to bring up.

I went to a trusted friend in the community and began telling her all these things and she asked to pray for me.

I accepted and she asked me to start - vocalizing all the emotions I feel and had felt, to God. I was weeping as I finally exposed my heart to the one who knew my heart better than I did, and the only One capable to heal it.

Then she prompted me to cast off any spirit of fear, or places of fear, or any strongholds the devil may have in Jesus's name. After this, she prayed for me. She prayed Ephesians 6 over me, and prayed over my room, and over a lot of things. As she was praying God gave me a picture.

I was laying on the ground, curled up in a ball and Jesus came running and put his arms over and around me and just held me.

Each time a fearful thought started to creep in, the picture would pop up in my head and fill me with such joy of His love that the fearful thought would be gone.

It was an incredible sense of freedom, trust, and protection form Christ.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coming Soon!!

I have compiled all the writings/poems/etc. that I wrote during my time in Guatemala, along with pictures and facts from Guatemala, in a picture book!

I am very excited to have something tangible for people to have. It will be a great resource for praying for justice issues, and what is going on around us.

The first copy will be arriving next Saturday! I will review it and then get some more info out about it.

Just a heads up, it will be a bit more expensive so I can put the profit towards BSHOP.

I am super excited about this!!! Even if it flops, I'm excited to a have a copy :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


It started when she was twelve.
Someone introduced it to her
One look and guilt and shame crept in

Her lips were sealed
Too afraid of people's judgments
So away she hid

But her hiding caused a ripple
Soon she couldn't look people in the eye
Except that one boy

Who accepted her amidst the struggle
Made her feel special
Made her feel worthy

He became her everything
Until he made someone else his 
This time the pain was too much

The pain showed up on her arms
The pain showed in her actions
The pain showed in vengeance

All the while she was fading
Losing herself in her own mind
Wishing for an escape

Years of hiding
Years of secrets
Years of comprised values

All this to fill a void
Everything done in search of something

This isn't based on a specific happening but can reflect a lot of stories of what people are facing, and even though it was written with a girl being the main character it is to male and female alike. It progresses from pornography, to hurt relationships, to finding identity in others, to sex, to self harm and depression. But the final stanza is the big picture. This world is searching to fill a void and so many times, instead of finding sustenance in Christ alone, are tempted to fill it with things of this world.

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. You are a royal priesthood, God's special people. So don't conform to the pattern of this world.  (Ephesians 4:1, 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 12:2)

...that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light

Monday, September 22, 2014

BSMS 2014

What a week.
When 12 students dedicate their life to Jesus and decide to set apart 8 months for seeking Him...
powerful things happen.
The camping trip began two days after moving in.
A time of testimonies and community building.
Entering as acquaintances and leaving as a tight knit community.
This group of students is so on fire
Ready to lay down everything to know Christ more
Passionate, and dedicated to a life sold out to Christ.
I am over joyed to have the privilege to be on staff and walk alongside these guys
I'm ready to learn from them
I'm ready to see God move in big ways

the boys!


The students!!!!

praying for the trip and the start of an 8 month journey together


Friday, September 5, 2014


The incoming students:


Megan Swa.
Megan Slo.

Please be in prayer for these 12 students as they commit the next 8 months here on Bridge Street for our 2nd mission school!!

Move in is Saturday the 13th.

Also, be in prayer for our two outreach locations for this winter; India and Guatemala


Monday, September 1, 2014

What's Next?

So Immersion is done.

It far exceeded expectations.  In review, Immersion is 10 days - 3 camping, 7 downtown. Biblical teachings in the morning, work projects in the afternoon, and evangelism at night.

We had 5 youthgroups:

Each group was so unique. From all different high schools and family backgrounds. All different skills and interest in camping. All different personalities.

Each group was fantastic. Although so different, each loved so much!

Immersion is a time of high schoolers experiencing intense community:
They encourage one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
They confess to one another - James 5:16
They serve the least of these - Matthew 25:31
They are set free - John 8:34-36
They experience living in very close quarters, and sharing every meal together.
Overall, I learned a lot as well!
  • serving
    • I learned about serving students well even if I was exhausted and needing a break. Learned more about leading by example, and servant leadership.
  • loving
    • 24/7 for ten days = a lot of work....and a lot of time to learn to love students and team members :)
  • studying
    • It was vital for me to stay in the Word, and be making time alone for Jesus to be able to be serve, love, and rest well.
  • kids
    • I LOVE WEST SIDE KIDS. being in charge of Kids Ministry this summer was one of the most challenging things I've done, but I loved it!
  • community
    • I loved having community around me amidst the chaos of students coming and going,  programs switching, moving living spaces, taking vacation, exhaustion and excitement, and the day to day norms. I love them!

So What's Next?

Bridge Street Mission School 2014
when? September 13, 2014 - May 2, 2015
who? 7 girls, 5 guys
why? To learn all God has for them, and go into the next season of life equipped to live a life on mission for God and disciple more youth to follow Christ.