08 May 2008

10 days and counting...

...until Jason comes home!!!

He'll be home on May 18th from his two months trip to Morocco and Italy. It's been a very long two months. A lot has happened...I've enjoyed a lot of it, especially the time for friendships, and also the ways I've been challenged...but a lot of it has been really hard too. I'm ready for the separation to end. I'm ready for this summer of wedding planning and preparing for the future, for ministry, for marriage, for our lives in San Francisco to begin! I'm ready for a few months in the fall to be able to visit family and friends and reconnect with life outside of SF...

In a week I will fly to Southern California to visit my family, and especially the brand new member of my family, my nephew, Samuel Chase Miller.

Isn't he the cutest?
So much ahead of him...I wonder what he'll be like?? I'm excited to see what he loves to do, how random and weird his personality will be, what he'll want to do with his life...

I'm already proud of him, and all he's done so far probably is sleep and cry.

And since we're counting down to one event, I just want to let you know that it is exactly five months from Saturday until my wedding.
I have a new neighbor in my apartment building that practices playing his trumpet every afternoon. I really enjoy it...unless he's trying to compete with r&b playing loudly out on the street below us...

24 March 2008

Trafficking in persons.

I do apologize for my terrible lack of updates. I have been back in San Francisco (after two amazing months in Asia) for almost two months now!

What's next? This weekend I am taking a course on how to teach English as a Second Language. One of my goals for this is so that I can teach the immigrants in our neighborhood here in SF English and cultivate relationships with them! Another goal is for the future...to someday be able to offer a piece of the restoration process for women that have escaped a situation of being trafficked.

Which leads me to the thoughts that I've had fairly consistently for the last two months (in all reality, for the last two years)...over 90 "massage parlors" in my city, dozens of them in my neighborhood. Women from all over the world who are sent from their financially struggling nations to live a life of slavery and abuse. Who are these girls? How did they get here? What kind of hell are they going through? What are their options?

My thoughts keep going to the story of Joseph, who was trafficked in his lifetime. Sold because of the hatred and jealousy of his brothers, God showed him favor in his time of slavery. That I believe is also God's heart for all trafficking victims. And He has put it on my heart to express that desire of His, to bring freedom, restoration and healing to these women.

It seems like an overwhelming and complicated process as I've been doing research, but at the same time, God has continually given me fresh hope and ideas are slowly formulating! Pray for both Jason and I as we pray about this and look at the possibilities of our long-term involvement.

In October, Jason and I will be married. It's hard to believe?? Time is flying. Wedding planning is crazy, but I'm actually really enjoying it.

This is all for now. I have more for later.

17 November 2007

Leaving again.

Well, I'm still striving to keep the updates coming.

It's been such an interesting season of my life lately. So many changes are ahead. In fact, a lot of inner changes are taking place already.

Right now I am about half way through staffing another discipleship training school. This school is 11 (again), except this time, the students are 6 girls and 5 boys (rather than last winter school's TEN girls and ONE boy). It's been a lot of fun, and they are great people! God's been bringing me deeper into revelation of where my heart is at. There is a lot in my heart that is not so good, and yet with the conviction comes the never-ending grace. That is why, despite a lot of challenge and change, I am more full of joy than I ever have been before, and that continues to grow.

What am I doing these days? Spending time with students, attending daily classes, involved in an amazing female prostitute ministry, preparing to go on a two-month outreach to Thailand and Vietnam (leaving December 3rd!)...
Next year is full of changes. Immediately upon returning from SE Asia, I will be flying out to Virginia to be in my best friend, Natalie's wedding. I will then spend a week with my parents and then when I return to San Francisco, it will be new things! I will no longer be doing Discipleship Training School, which will be quite interesting, since I staffed two 5-month schools in one year! It will be nice to be a part of the other ministries here at YWAM San Francisco for a while. In April, my first niece or nephew will be born! In June, my brother Luke will be marrying his fiance Allison. The changes just keep coming.

I love being here in San Francisco. I love to see what God is doing and how I can be a part of it. I desperately want more for this city...more truth, more revelation of who God is and His love. I want so much for them to be able to use their incredible gifts as a city to change the world and lead others towards Him. I see Him doing it...but there is so much more to come.

Some pictures of the recent events of my life:

The lovely group of people that I am blessed to work and live with for the next two months in Asia!

Some of my friends and I had a party for Guy Fauwkes Day...it's a British thing...
Well, I must go for now!

01 August 2007

By the mark.

When I cross over
I will shout and sing
I will know my savior
By the mark where the nails have been

By the mark where the nails have been
By the sign upon his precious skin
I will know my savior when I come to him
By the mark where the nails have been

A man of riches
May claim a crown of jewels
But the king of heaven
Can be told from the prince of fools

On Calvary Mountain
Where they made him suffer so
All my sin was paid for
A long, long time ago

31 July 2007


It's been easy to let myself slip into numbness since I moved here to San Francisco. There is so much going on around me that is a possibility either for great joy or great pain.

My dear friend Natalie was here visiting me this week. We went down to Sutro Park and sat on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. We watched a barge as it crept into the bay after a long journey over the ocean. We talked of our longings for freedom and for oneness with creation and our Creator. How easily we fall into fear of our own sensitivity and ability to live vibrant yet painful lives. Yet, how much we miss out on when we live in that safe state of numbness. Staring out at the endless sea, we couldn't help but be reminded of the undying hope and endless possibilities of living the life that we were created to live. The overwhelming power of the sea and also its steady ebb and flow spoke to us about the all-encompassing power of God's love and the constancy of His grace. I always look over those cliffs and feel an urge deep within me to dive straight off into the exhilerating uncertainty of sea and sky.

I write this entry as I take my first steps off the rocks into a vibrant, vulnerable life, with fear cast aside and Arms to catch me.

06 July 2007

Oh so long...

So...I know. It's been forever. Where to begin?

Outreach to Morocco and Italy was incredible. Being a staff and encouragement to 11 amazing and growing disciples of Christ was an experience that was challenging and extremely rewarding. I loved being able to look at myself and receive the challenges that God brought to me...how can I lead where I am so weak myself? By His grace, truly. The weaker I became, truly the stronger God showed Himself to be. He is incredible.

Outreach was awesome. Morocco!? Such a crazy group of people, so evidently marked by God for great things. We spent most of our time in the magical and mysterious city of Marrakech. Orange juice anyone? They serve the most delicious Orange Juice that I've ever tasted there. The women in Morocco face so much...many women live as beggars fighting to take care of themselves and their children who have been deserted by their husbands for whatever reason. As always, it is so eye-opening to see those in the world who face what I could never have imagined in the blessed life that I've lived. We blessed them with gifts, with friendship and with the truth of God's grace and unfailing love.

We also went to the city of Rome. Rome overwhelmed me with it's beauty and it's history...as we looked deeper we could see neglect and fear rotting the beautiful walls of this great city. My heart for Rome overflows...the people there so full of vitality and excitement...yet where is the truth and foundation that once stood at it's core? We heard many stories...some who had lost their way, some who had never known it. Everyone looking for it in some way or another. I pray and do believe that our team succeeded and pointing everyone we encountered in the right direction. It was hard to see them go, but I know that God has a special place for each of them.

Being back home is an adjustment! I was able to visit my dear family in Oklahoma. It was really wonderful. My Mom and Dad were able to spend more time with Jason and I loved to see these three who mean so much to me together and able to know each other more. It was a good time to relax, and rest as one can only rest at home!

Now I'm back in San Francisco. I love being here. I love seeing God alive and active here. I'm learning new responsibilities at work. I'm the official Registrar for the DTS (Discipleship Training School), which means I'm communicating with all prospective students and processing their applications for the next fall and winter schools! I'm also coordinating a block party that goes down on August 8th! Block parties are so much fun...we feed about 400 people in our neighborhood, plus we provide worship music, testimonies, free clothes, a play area for kids, and other fun stuff! It's amazing to see God in this neighborhood, to see Him blessing and providing for people that seem to be neglected and forgotten, but are truly not by Him.
In September I will be helping staff another DTS! This school will be going on their outreach to Thailand and Vietnam. I've been there before (on my own school in 2005), and I am excited beyond words to return! I'm excited to see a whole new group of young people coming to this city to learn about God and to learn how to pass that knowledge along. These people that come never cease to amaze me with their desire to know God and to be loved by Him. And He always responds in amazing ways...by throwing His arms fully around them, by carrying them to new places beyond their dreams, by leading them into freedom and truth. I love Him.

I also love what He's doing in my relationship with Jason. It can be so hard sometimes, loving someone in the way that is best for them and not myself. How simple that is and yet how hard! I've learned awful patterns that say I must love others in a way that benefits me. I'm so ready to be done with that. God has been teaching me how to truly love...at last I am beginning to see some changes...they come more slowly than I'd like sometimes...but He is faithful.

09 March 2007

Italia & Morocco...Two weeks and 4 days!


It is hard to believe, but we leave for Roma in two and a half weeks. We will spend our first night there in Rome, and then the next day we fly down to Casablanca, Morocco...it will be a long day of travel, because we will then need to take a train to Marrakesh where we will spend three weeks of our outreach! It has been exciting to learn more about the cultures that we will be stepping into...we have a girl that used to be on staff in YWAM Spain who is coming to give us an orientation on Moroccan culture!

We've also been learning some language skills (just the basics) for Arabic, Italian and French (because French is spoken all over Morocco)...For me, it has been really excited to learn more about Italian culture, as that has been on my heart for many years and always a dream of mine. It's easy to look at Italy as a wonderful and beautiful tourist spot, which it is, but there is much need and deeper things going on there. We've learned that evangelical Christians comprise only 1 % of the population of Italy. The Roman Catholic Church has lost over nine million members in this generation...and many Italians are growing to ignore and despise the church...my heart breaks...that so many "know" of God, but He's only been a distant and traditional God, not a real, personal, loving Father. Growing up "in the church", I feel as if I can relate a bit to that feeling...of being told who God is, but needing to come to a point where I discovered Him for myself. I know that our team will bring real stories and experiences, as we each have them, of God being real and relevant to us...He is not something that we've just been told about or taught...He is SOMEONE who has changed us and loved us in real and tangible ways. I pray that these beautiful Italians would be able to discover God for themselves. Pray for us that we have the courage and strength to share our stories as we are there.

Here is a picture of me and my friend Tia...we went to our friend Lynn's wedding this past weekend!
This is me and Stephanie, one of the our students!
This weekend, me and my friend Liz Dilley are going to Napa for a night to relax! She is such a wonderful friend, as she is wanting to pay for the car, as she knows I am trying to raise money for outreach still...I am excited for a weekend to relax in the beauty of nature and being alone! God provides, not just money, but time and rest when we need it most.