30

I’m not quite sure why, but somehow we’ve made talking about finances into this taboo subject. I love how the Dutch say it, “verboden”, please call my dad to hear that thick accent. All I know is that when I decided to sign up for missions at this point in my life, financing was the absolute last thing I wanted to talk about. Thankfully God spoke quite clearly to me about it and gave me peace, knowing it will work out and it will be totally random, just the way I like things. But I also know there’s a specific amount of responsibility put on me to see it happen as well, and so I’ve had to jump out of my shell in order to talk about it.

When I first started, my head would drop when I said the word “Hawaii”, and I would shrink back into my shell when someone committed to supporting me. I meant it in the most humblest form, but felt convicted that I wasn’t standing tall in my calling. So I’ve worked on it and made some improvement, and I would like to boldly stand before you your computer screen and ask you to join me on my journey.

I’ve made it quite far when it comes to my budget, but I’m not there yet, and I leave in 7 short weeks. (Did I just say that number?!?) I’m looking at the numbers and trusting God and asking if you would consider supporting me monthly. To ask for $300 from one person is a lot, so I’d like to break it down.

30 people, $10 a month.

Everything is automatic, set up right before I leave so it’s all running smoothly. I promise you, you will rarely notice the $10 dollars flying off to Hawaii to provide me with some food or maybe even a day on outreach. I’ve just gotten confirmation that I will be staffing a DTS (Discipleship Training School, the course I completed in Australia) as soon as I land on January 3, so your donation will immediately be put to use as I train and mentor students as they come in for missionary training, as well as doing outreach on the island while working with the school.

30 people.

10 dollars.

Think and pray about it. I thank you in advance! You guys have blessed me so much already by being a part of this journey from behind your screens, and I’d like to thank you for that. I know a few of you have mentioned that you look forward to reading my blog posts while I’m gone, but I’d like to work on writing more while I’m still here in Canada. If you have any questions please let me know- I love getting feedback, so write away! 🙂

(Formality: If you set up monthly support, you will be sent a yearly donation receipt! Just a little bonus for you!)

With Strength that is not my own, Sam

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As good as it gets

Hey there friend. I’m so sorry for my lack of “blog etiquette”. I’ve been more then silent lately, for a few reasons, some good, some not so good- but I will continue to be here. I will continue to speak when I’m called to, and continue to pursue this beautiful heart of Jesus. Just recently I was reading through Colossians, and something really awesome stood out to me, so perhaps I’ll share it with you and you can soar with it!

“We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.”  Colossians 1.3-5

I just love that our faith in Christ and our love for all God’s people grows because of the hope that we have. And looking back on the month of May, I needed a lot of hope, and God is always faithful to provide. (Just a short sermon for today) 🙂 I’ve been dwelling in this peaceful place with God recently and am enjoying the beauty of limited words. He is so good to me.

I’ve also been doing a lot of preparation for my next step back into missions. I’ve been having a tough time explaining to people that I will indeed be a full time missionary even though I won’t be in a third world country at all times. So, seeing this as an issue, I’ve been taking some time to look into different ministries I’ll be involved in, and I am blown away. My heart is overflowing with excitement for my job, passion for God’s people, and sadness for the injustice and lies that Satan continues to throw at God’s beloved. With each discovery I’m making, my heart is growing, and God is confirming over and over my decision to just jump into this full time. Most recently I’ve been in the process of writing a support letter (oh yes, the dreaded finance questions), and I’ve actually been very excited about this! At the beginning of this journey, God promised that my support would come from very unexpected sources, so I’ve been eager to send out my letters and see who desires to partner with me! The letter is just about finished, I need to add a photo or two (oh the photographer in me), and then I’ll be doing a whole lot of stamping and address searching! If you’d like a letter, even just to know more details of what exactly I’ll be doing, email me at shine121photography@gmail.com

I do believe this may be the shortest blog post I’ve written yet! This is alarming- I wonder what I may have to say in the next one? 🙂

Thank you so much for being patient. And thank you for being here with me. I’ve gone through a bit of “Where do I even belong anymore?” lately, and it is so encouraging to know that you reading this do not expect me anywhere, as long as we can sit on opposite sides of the screen and love on each other. Be blessed!

I’m in love with Jesus. Just saying.

With Strength that is not my own, Sam

Drum roll please…

Sometimes I read this and I’m just so.. exhausted! So I give you so much credit for sticking with me! I have a few things to unroll today, and I’m not so sure how smooth its going to be, so maybe pause for a second to grab a tea/coffee/anything and then we’ll have a go at this together.

Alright. Back now? Great. Let’s get at it.

So. When I flew home from Australia, I spent almost my entire flight to LA writing. (Surprise, surprise!) And until recently I haven’t really looked back on those pages. Partly because I read too many other books to be reading my old journals, and partly because I have this stupid obsession of only looking forward, when clearly I can and should learn from my past. Anyway’s, for no other reason but a thought from God, I decided to flip back, back to my last day on that beautiful Australian soil. And this is what I found:

SO much has happened in the past 5 months. It has been SO good, to say the most simple thing to close this up. I trusted God when He called me out of school last February. I trusted that He knew what I was doing. I knew the path I was on wasn’t what He needed from me. And now, I’ve found myself right back in the same position. I have so many paths that I can choose. Do I go back on YWAM? What about Africa? Maybe the Youth Centre? Or what if I go to Hilsong? And every time I pray, I ask God for direction. But over and over I get the answer…

“JUMP.”

Pick something.

But what do I choose? Anything. If you pick Hilsong and its not what God needs, He’ll tell you. If you make plans for Africa and its not from God, He’ll make sure you don’t get there. And even, what if you go to school but never pass? What if you fail? Who cares. Would you rather spend an entire life making awesome plans, or living OUT those plans?

I read that and sat, for quite some time, and mustered up the strength to surrender again. It reminded me of camping in the Outback, when a certain Mark Parker yelled at us until we cried (good tears). It reminded me of my friend Cory, staring us dead in the face, hitting us with word that would sting for months to come. “You have already been forgiven, of everything! Why are you wasting His sacrifice by telling me “I can’t.”  YOU can, because HE did.” And here I am, saying “I can’t, because…” I don’t know if this is 100%. I don’t know if I’ll succeed. And it’s all a crutch.

I have a plan. It’s a good, beautiful plan. I know the downfalls of letting secrets out prematurely. But I also know the benefits of having a group of fellow confused friends behind me pushing into our Father, so I’m letting you know what’s been bouncing between my head and my heart these past few weeks. Here goes nothing, I suppose.

In 5 words. Photography. God. Hawaii. Missions. Africa.

How does one go about linking these 5 together? Well.. logically speaking.. you don’t. But with God.. Oh, with God, anything is possible.  (Matt. 19v26) So I’ve been looking into my passions and my talents, and trying to figure out how I can use them. I mean, God’s given me a gift, it’d be wasteful not to use it, correct? And then comes this lovely little phrase.. stumbled upon. I “happened” to stumble upon this website, which lead me to another, and I end up at the YWAM Kona website, staring at the page explaining the contents of my heart.

PhotogenX.

http://www.uofnkona.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=343&Itemid=635&lang=en

Please, go check it out. It’s incredible. It combines writing, biblical studies, injustice exposure all into one, while using photography to string them all together. I would hone in on my talents, study in depth God’s word, travel this beautiful earth, and reach out to the lost and hungry hearts of this land.

And yes. It is with YWAM. This coming from the girl saying “Going back isn’t for me. I loved what I experienced, but I don’t need more” What a joke that was. And this is purely an informative blog post. I’m not asking for donations. I’m not saying this is set in stone. I’m just saying this is on the horizon. And I’m asking you to pray with me. For clear direction, for faith to jump at something, for support to get there, and just to say ‘hey’ to the One who makes all this possible.

And I bet you’re wondering how Africa fits into all of this, right? Probably not, but I’ll tell you any way’s. If you know me, you know I LOVE Africa. Could not emphasize that more. And I’ve been torn recently. Do I pursue photography further, or jump right into missions in Africa?  Yes, I do think I’ll be a “full time” missionary one day. Clearly I didn’t think about how God could join those together, silly me. But I’m starting to see how this will work out. I’m have this funny feeling that if I go with this Kona stint, I’ll meet a few people who can connect me with the right places in Africa. So! To Africa with love! And, a camera too!

I think we’ve made it. Over 900 words, and I could keep on going, but that would be cruel. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. For taking time to bother yourself with me. Thank you for being constant supports. Even if I don’t know your names, I know someone is out there.  Maybe next time I post I can actually add some insight into your life, but right now, I’m trying to figure me out.

Love, love, love.

With Strength that is not my own, Sam