• Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

YWAM update – Ready to launch

IMG_0333

Hello everyone,

We wanted to update you on our journey in missions and share a little more of what we will be doing on the YWAM base this year. Isaac and I will heading up all music and worship for the base. This includes leading a six week music ministry school! (i’m super excited about that.) We will disciple the students who come for DTS in September and play a vital role in ministering to them while at YWAM Discovery Bay. Isaac is going to be in charge of all the bases promotional stuff, which includes creating graphics and managing the website, along with co-leading the team of students on outreach. I’m not sure where yet, but I will let you know when we find out.  I’ve been given the responsibility of writing the monthly newsletter (that also sound like a fun job to me.) Of course, we have plenty of other responsibilities that are not exclusively fun like – cleaning, cooking, general yard work and administrative tasks. 

The kids are going to have an awesome time being a part of all the activity which goes along with living in a community like YWAM Discovery Bay. I’m hoping other families come to DTS this year. We could potentially have a little Sunday school type of program for the kids while the adults are at their lectures each day.  It’s going to be busy, but I’m of the mindset that you can do anything with kids you could have done before… it just may take more time, and will probably be more complicated.   🙂  

We’re ready to launch!

Our hope is that we can move onto the base next month, but in order to do that we need to raise $800 in monthly donations. YWAM Discovery Bay has a strict policy which basically states that all staff must have raised at least 90% of their support before moving on base. This is just to protect the family from struggling and becoming financially burdened.

Maybe that sounds like a lot of money… Maybe it IS a lot of money and it seems unlikely, or even impossible, to raise that much support in a month! It’s easy to get doubtful. But then I am reminded that the God we serve majors in doing the impossible. Nothing is too hard for him. Who am I to limit Him? Or put Him in a box? Instead I will put my hope in Him and trust.  Where he leads he certainly provides.

Would you prayerfully consider how you may be able to support us as we serve with YWAM?  I realize that not everyone is going to be able to give financially, and we never want anyone to feel guilty about that.  Our family is very grateful – we want to thank everyone who has been praying for us and supporting us financially for the past few months.  You are a blessing to our family and we are thankful for your partnership. We could not serve this ministry without you!

If you would like to donate you can do that by going to:

https://www.ywamdb.org/donate

The best way is to set up a recurring payment. That way the base directors can count this towards out staff and will go for the remaining $800 we need. If you have any questions please leave me a comment below and I will answer you as soon as I can!

Please pray for us as we work to raise the last portion of our finances and make the move to Discovery Bay. Thank you! 

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33

In Christ,

Isaac & Kristi

We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope

IMG_0332

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since Isaacs accident in 2010 I’ve encountered a handful of families who have gone through traumatic accidents.  I connect with them because I can relate. And I try to encourage them by our story.  So many people did that for Isaacs family and I when he was in a coma. It really helped us to know others had gone through the same thing.  It gave us hope. And now hope is what I want to give to those I find in similar situations.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4

So when I read the story of a baby boy who was in a coma after nearly drowning in a bucket of water, my heart was broken for the family. I sent them a message and told them we were praying, I shared Isaacs story and offered hope for healing. For our God is mighty to save.  The Houston family is a family in my community. Craig is a pastor at a local Baptist church. He and his wife Emily have ten children (gotta give them props for that – so awesome!)

Craig and Emily had been out of the house while their older children watched the younger ones. The youngest, 11 month old Lemuel, got downstairs and fell into a bucket of water. As soon as they found him, his brother started CPR. They called 911, and Lemuel was transported to the hospital where he was revived. Everyone did everything right as best they could. Baby Lemuel was unresponsive and in a coma, but he was alive.

You can read the news paper article here —> Kitsap Sun News

The Houston family was amazingly strong and reflected Christ in their suffering. I have been so encouraged by their faith and steadfast reliance on the Lord.  Through all the heartache, they have been the light of Christ. For two weeks sweet Lemuel remained unresponsive in the hospital. His family surrounded him, sang to him, held him and loved him deeply. Hundreds of people joined together in prayer, doctors and nurses did everything they could and we all waited, hopefully, for healing.  I was confident this little guy would wake up. God healed Isaac, of course he would give life to this innocent baby! So I was in shock when I heard Lemuel had passed away. His parents held him, and all was peaceful as he went to be in Paradise with Jesus.

You can read his parents blog here —> Houston Blog

When I got the news Lemuel had passed I cried with a heavy heart for the Houston family. I prayed, “Why God? Why did you let this happen? I don’t understand.” I felt angry. Not at God, but at the reality of death and loss.  I know in my heart that Jesus hates death and loss too. He wept at Lazarus’ grave even though he knew he would raise him from the dead! Why did he weep? I always thought it was because he empathized with the sorrow of those who loved Lazarus. Jesus went to the cross to kill death and put sorrow in its grave. No longer does death have the final say – for those in Christ have hope of REAL eternal life. C.S. Lewis believed the life to come is more real than this one and I believe that must be true.

I remember laying in a hotel room, wondering every night if Isaac would live or die. I had to let go, moment by moment, and put my hope in God. Whatever happens, my God is still good. In Christ alone my hope is found. I remember coming to a place spiritually where I said, “I trust you God, whatever happens, I still love you. You alone have the words of life.” And though our story has had trials, God chose to restore Isaac. I am grateful everyday! But what if our story had a different ending? What if the man I loved had died? What if his family and I had been forced to say good-bye? We certainly would have walked a different road of healing. And I will never understand why God does what he does. All I know is we must give him glory whatever situation we find ourselves in.

My family and I grieve with the Houston family. I cannot imagine the depth of sorrow felt by the mother who has to bury her baby. Or the grief felt by the father who must let go of his son. The regret and heartache felt by siblings who wonder “what if” things didn’t happen the way they had.  They will always miss this sweet son and brother.  But their faith has been evident as they hold onto the hope they have in Jesus Christ. Death is not the end of the story. God always knew what would happen on that day, and He is an expert at bringing good from the bad.  He gives grace upon grace.

Like the Houston family, we must continue to trust that God knows better than us. We must believe that He saw it was better to take Lemuel to Heaven, even though it leaves his family broken and on a road of healing.

“We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.”

Join in prayer with us as we continue to remember this dear family. Jesus loves them deeply, and enters into their sorrow. I know he feels with each of us – with them especially, as they grieve. May Jesus use them, and be glorified through them as they continue to hope in Him.

Our God is mighty to save.

~Kristi~

 

Christmas Stories

89a1608a-6161-44cb-bc7e-71911e43114e

It’s almost Christmas and I can’t believe it. I’m really excited to celebrate this year because my kids are actually old enough to understand why we have Christmas. We’ve been doing advent with them and it’s so awesome to see them taking the meaning to heart.  I’m also excited for them to open presents (kinda the selfish part of me) because they are going to have SO MUCH FUN! I think I have fun through them. I remember the excitement and anticipation I felt as a kid going to bed on Christmas Eve, knowing that in the morning we would open presents. So i’m really looking forward to my kids experiencing such joy.  Isaac really loves Christmas too… like much more than any person I know.

I remember when I first met him in New Zealand (6 years ago) and we were gearing up for the holidays. Christmas over seas is different. But Isaacs mom was so sweet and sent him a box all the way from America filled with stockings, little finger puppets, Christmas cookies and candy canes and some other fun stuff. He loved it! Especially the finger puppets, because you know, a 22 year old “man” is really just a big boy in disguise. Here’s one of my favorite Christmas memories.

One time in New Zealand Isaac said, “I have a surprise for you tonight. I will meet you at your house at 7.” I said alright and was excited when, later, he knocked on my door.  He beamed at me in the porch light. He was wearing a Santa hat and held a stocking full of stuff. “Grab your hat!” he said. It was cold outside so I quickly threw on my jacket and beanie, and met him at the foot of the stairs.  “Here, put this in your ear,” he said as he handed me a headphone earbud, “Okay…” I knew he was up to something great now. The voice of Elvis Presley filled my ear as I recognized the song “White Christmas.” “It’s not snowing, but we can pretend.” Isaac said with grin. Then he handed me the stocking he was holding. “This is my Christmas gift for you.” He told me. Why was he so charming and sweet! I opened it and pulled out candy canes, little notes, chocolates, ginger bread men, and my favorite – fruit the he made look like kiwi birds. He had cut little beaks, legs, and wings out of paper and then taped them to a banana, an apple, and two mini oranges. I laughed when I saw them and thought to myself, “he really likes me! he’s so creative!” After that we just walked around listening to Christmas music and talking under the stars. That was a sweet time, and probably the best date i’ve ever been on.

Isaacs great, genuine, fantastic love of Christmas baffled me a little… until I met his Father! the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – to borrow the expression. And my dear father-in-law now holds the record for “Biggest Christmas enthusiast” in my book. I guess Isaac got it from him, but I love it.  I’m so glad my family loves Christmas and likes to do fun traditions.

There are so many angles to look at when we think of Christmas. I’ve been blown away lately as I think on Gods plan of redemption.  If you know God then you know it is SO in his character to do something that would appear unassuming and humble – like having his Son be born in a dirty stable. Angels announced it, and wisemen sought it, but the rest of the world just slept right through it. The plan of setting all things right began with a humble God clothing himself with flesh and entering our sorrow. From the beginning of his life to the end Jesus did not cling to the fact that he was God and deserved greatness (Philippines 2:6.)

Small beginnings right. Everything in God kingdom reflects this. The last becomes first, the weak is made strong, the lost can be found, the slave can be free, the broken is mended and the dead is given new life. God is amazing like that.  I think he likes to do impossible things.  I’m so grateful for that! Because if God is for us, and loves us so much that he sent his own Son, nothing is impossible for us in Him. And, I don’t know about you but I have many things that seem impossible to overcome. Even just living a sane life with four children seems impossible somedays!

This Christmas lets remember who (and what) baby Jesus in a manger represents – Nothing is too hard for God.

Merry Christmas!

 

Trust/support update

babes

I think we could write hundreds of books about what it means to trust God. I’ve been a Christian a long time but I can’t say I have figured it out.   Maybe it’s because I keep having to “relearn” everything.  I keep wrestling with the same questions i’ve had since I was 15 – just in different forms. Trusting someone I can’t see is still mysterious to me. What does it mean to trust God? Why does “trusting” God feel like jumping off a cliff?  And am I just supposed to blindly free fall with my hands tied? I wish I could be so solid in my faith that this was easier.

We know God wants us to trust him. It’s important.  So important in fact that the Bible uses the words “Trust” and “God” over 200 times in the same sentence.  Jesus often called God father and spoke of how as a parent God meets his children’s needs (Matthew 7:7  is at least one example.)

So i’ve been thinking on this and trying to imagine what that feels like.  What does it feel like to trust God? I didn’t have to go far to picture it as I live with a house full of little ones that trust and depend on me.  I have a six month old daughter who will not sleep unless she is touching me.  She cries when she hears the vacuum or anything loud. I’ve seen her get scared and immediately her eyes go searching for me. Once she hears my voice or sees me smile she calms down. Why? Because she trusts that I am protecting her. I am the source of her security – her refuge.  My older children have learned this too and apply it in other ways.  Is it safe to explore a new situation? Can I climb that tree? What if I fall? What if I am rejected by the new kids? My three and four year old look to me in these situations and if I give the okay they completely trust everything will be okay. Even IF those bad things happen mom and dad will make it better.

It’s just astonishing to me that God in his infinite might and glory IS that loving and compassionate to us.  He actually desires we trust Him like a child trusts their parent. Total dependance. Total hope. Fearless and free. I think God loves the chaos and dissonance we go through as we struggle and overcome. Like a parent, He has wisdom and stands tall along side us as we learn to be like Him.  When we struggle, we still have hope because we trust our Father knows why and will make it right.

 

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8  

“Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

 

 

As scary as free falling may be I believe I can trust God through it.  May we cling to our Father today and make Him our refuge.

 

I wanted to give a quick update on where we are at with our support raising for YWAM.  We’ve raised about a fourth of our needed support! We still need to raise $1750.00 in pledges. Isaac and I are very grateful for those of you who have chosen to support us in prayer and financially.  I am blown away by the generosity we’ve been shown.  We continue to trust that God will provide everything we need.  I’m going to attempt making a video sharing more about how we plan to be involved with YWAM. If Isaac helps me it will be cool… and if it’s all up to me it will be CHEESY (then you can blame him for leaving it up to me.)  I’m thinking a vlog is probably the best way to connect with people so be looking forward to that!  If you’d like to donate you can go to www.ywamdb.com.  All donations are tax deductible.

Thanks! Blessings, Kristi

Moment Redeemed

dried-flowers-1149191_960_720

I spent some time helping my aunt this weekend. She recently bought a storage unit full of stuff without knowing exactly what was in it. The previous owner of the unit had passed away and it was auctioned off.  The contents of the unit proved to be a surprise to her, as she moved it all into her house and garage.  As we sorted through boxes and bags, we discovered many of the items had never been opened. There were packages from Macy’s with brand new sweaters inside, and boxes of items ordered online and then stashed in the closet. Most of these things were new around the 80’s and 90’s time frame, but they had never been opened! There was so much of it.

This reminded me of when I was a kid. See I had this TERRIBLE problem. It was bad. Like I should have been on the show “My strange addictions.” I used to go around the house throughout the day and find things I liked or thought were useful, then I would take them and put them in my dresser drawer. Weird. I know.  This included, but was not limited to: Candy, money, toys, clothes, stickers, kitchen magnets, gadgets (like nuts and bolts) rubber bands and tooth picks… (ya never know when you might need one a them right!?) My mom called me a pack rat and rightfully so.  I always thought I might have a use for these items later, but in reality they just sat in my drawer. FOR YEARS. Until I was old enough to realize this was a ridiculous waste of space and emptied the darn thing.  Anyways…

So here I sat, opening boxes of old, new, unused gifts. Strange paradox huh. I think I spent the whole two hours wondering why the woman had bought all these things and then just stashed them.  I mean, I know some people have hording issues (like I used to) and maybe this was her way to “fill a void” in her life. But really it made me kinda sad. I opened a box of papers she had saved from way back when and out fell a paper towel with something wrapped in it. As I pulled apart the paper I found dried rose petals.  They must have been precious to her as she had saved them for years.

Made me think of the dried roses I keep above my kitchen cabinets that have meaning to me. Bouquets from the first Valentine’s Day I spent with my husband, my wedding flowers, and my sister’s wedding flowers those type of special things people save.  But now I’m staring at her special dried flowers wondering what moments in her life she must have cherished represented these? Days gone by.  Gifts unopened.

The brevity of life is haunting when it hits you. When you remember that you are just dust and breathe which will soon return to the Maker.  No one is exempt from this fate, and when we are reminded of this truth we try our very best to put it out of mind. Yet even though they are uncomfortable reminders they serve a purpose if we let them – to spur us on to live to the fullest with the time we have.

Now I’m going to share a secret with you… and you might think I’m odd… but here goes – I don’t think cemeteries are creepy (usually.)  When I was younger I used to help my family clean up our local cemetery because my grandpa was in charge of it. I would sit on the headstones and lay in the grass.  Often I wondered whose life the crumpled names represented. It gave me this healthy reverence for the fact that I am alive today, but someday I will just be a name and a memory.  I don’t like death – Not one bit. I hate the loss death brings. No one is immune to it. And honestly I’m afraid of dying.  But how beautiful is it that the soul is eternal? As I walked over those headstones, even ones that belonged to my great grandma who I loved, I am grateful that she lives today (very much a live) with Jesus.

What can we say about today then, since we still have breath in our lungs. I think we waste too much time on Facebook, TV shows, anger and worry! Think about your life … what gifts do you have stashed away in the closet (Not literally of course, those might be for Christmas!)

What gift of your time, your love, your talents, your creativity, your passions might you have stashed that you can give the world?  God has specific things for you to do with your precious life that only you can accomplish.  He has set dreams in your heart on PURPOSE. Are there things hidden in your soul that you have a desire to do but you always tell yourself “I’ll do that someday”?

If not now – then when? If not you – then who?

I want to make the most of my time and this is personally something I am working on because it takes balancing.  There are some practical things we may need to figure out to accomplish those dreams (like for me… where to contain my kids while I write a book…) but Someday is TODAY. And today is all we may have.

So please don’t stash your gifts! Take a step towards using them. Be bold with your life and live with eternity in mind.  For the wise, living Word reminds us:

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Ephesians 5:15-17

Worship Night

hands-in-the-sky

My family and I have slowly been getting involved with the YWAM base in Discovery Bay, WA. For the past two weeks we’ve gone to the bases “Community Worship Night.” Honestly I was a little hesitant to go because I didn’t know what to expect. We have four kids who are all so little (and noisy!) As a mom I knew my main focus was going to be trying to keep them quiet and since i’m hobbling around on crutches I feared that would be difficult.

But wouldn’t you know… God is so good. His unfailing love goes even into the small details of our lives. When we got to the base and walked into the building where worship was taking place we were met by loving smiles. We have been so blessed by the base staff, I just love them to pieces already! Our children immediately joined a handful of other kids who were playing the prayer room just a few feet away from where we were sitting.  These other kids are the children of the staff members. They have titled themselves the “Stafflings” – which I thought was pretty adorable. They are a few years older than my kids (6-11 years old) And they like to take care of the little ones. I’ve been so impressed by their kindness and love towards my babies.  It gave me peace to watch them play.  It was like my soul gave a sigh of relief!

Isaac and I were both able to really engage in worship… something that we haven’t done with a whole heart in a long time. I felt the overwhelming love of God cover my heart, filling it to the brim and I remembered how deeply intimate Jesus knows me.   It was good to be in God’s presence and experience His love.  How quickly we forget! We all need to experience His love like that. I think that’s why worship is so vital to our spiritual life – because when we remember who He is – we remember who we are. We are filled up to pour out.

At one point during the night I glanced over at my husband. With both hands raised and voice lifted to heaven he looked in his element.  He was in God’s presence, and for a moment nothing else mattered or existed.  Joy fluttered through me as I remembered seeing him like that once when we were just friends. His passion for Jesus was contagious and he wasn’t daunted by what people thought of him.  That was one of the things that impressed me about him – he loved Jesus genuinely and was not ashamed to show it.  Sometimes the worries and distractions of life suppress that love from shining through us and we don’t live it out like we ought to.  Sometimes we forget what really matters.  We forget who we are.  But despite our inadequacies the Spirit is still alive in us and He longs to reveal His unending love to each of us.

God shows us grace upon grace when we seek him. One of His greatest desire is that we would truly know Him. He just wants us to come – whatever state we may find ourselves in.  I think the only requirement is that we are open to Him – honest – with hearts looking to receive.  Seek him and you will find Him – because God wants to be found.

I hope you will find time to worship Him this week. You will not be disappointed!

Oh and hey! If you find yourself anywhere near Discovery Bay I highly recommend joining us next Monday at 7pm for Community Worship Night.  Isaac and I are going to be leading the worship portion with help from the lovely Megan Kinjorski (and hopefully a few others.)  To Jesus be all the glory forever!

Blessings,

Kristi

 

Whose Nation Is It Anyway?

usa

Did you watch the presidential debate? I did. And after a brief episode of disbelief and amusement, I spent some time researching Trump, Clinton and Johnson.  I’m still surprised that these are our only choices for president this term. I’m really disappointed.  I know i’m not alone in that – Many Americans don’t like our potential candidates.  Lets be honest the only reason they are in the running is because they have money.  I promise I will not make this solely a political post! This is, of course the topic of heated arguments and disagreement between most people right now.  And my goal is to be an encouragement not promote discord.

But it’s easy to get spun up about what will happen if the wrong person ends up president (or in this case either person!)  What if they aren’t wise? What if they cause more economic problems? What if they ruin our military or send us into more war? What if they take away our hard won freedoms? Those are legitimate concerns and YOU need to be educated about who you vote for this year. “But all my choices are bad! It’s a tie between the Liar and the Loudmouth!” You argue. Yes… that seems to be the case my friends, but we need not be worried because God is still on the throne.

“Praise the name of God forever and ever, for He has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.”  Daniel 2:20-21

That’s the TRUTH. Immovable and eternal God controls the course of world events. He is still the potter and we will always be the clay. Clinton and Trump are not exempt from that!  They are clay.  God will do what he wants to do and no one changes that. However… sometimes God allows us to experience the negative consequences of our actions. The actions of world leaders always effect the people they govern.

If you know the Bible you will know that there are many times in history where God set bad leaders in power just so he could use them to display His glory.  Men like King Nebuchadnezzar, King Xerxes, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the Pharaoh of Egypt.

Pharaoh is a good example. He was an extremely powerful man, and he controlled the important kingdom of Egypt.  He used the Israelite people as slaves to build his kingdom, but then God called Moses to set them free. Every time God sent a plague Pharaoh initially gave in, saying he would set the Israelite’s free, but then changed his mind (hardening his heart.)  God said to Pharaoh,

“By now I could have lifted my hand and stuck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth.  But I have spared you for a purpose – to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” – Exodus 9:15-16

“So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.” – Romans 9:18

Now this gets into some deep theological stuff that’s really interesting (and somewhat controversial.)  I’d encourage you to read all of Romans 9 to get a better understanding of it. But the fact is God used Pharaohs bad to accomplish His good purpose. Every time Pharaoh got prideful and refused to let the Israelite slaves go, God did another miracle – showing the world His awesome power.

I don’t have an answer for why God allows bad things to happen to good people and I cannot say we won’t endue hardship in the future regardless of which person becomes president.  Sadly, “One Nation Under God” may not be a fitting title for the USA anymore as her actions become less and less in line with obeying God – and that is a super scary place to be.

No one knows what God is orchestrating with the nations in the coming days. But we can take heart in this – He is always in control and He is forever good. He never falls off this throne or losses sight of what’s happening in the world (or in your life.) All people, nations and time it’s self belong to Him.  Our good father does not abandon his children, but will go before us and help us through whatever happens in this life.

“For God is King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.” – Psalm 47:7-8

On Mission

IMG_0926  bllog

For the last five years I have felt discontented.  For as long as I can remember I have wrestled with this internal message that says – “You have something vital to do with your life. You’ve been given much – what will you do with it?”

This pressure to use my life and gifts is like a strong tide that pulls and pushes me. In the quiet moments as I think about how brief our days really are I can’t help but feel the urgency to make an impact.  I know everything I could give the world would be worthless if not used for Jesus as He is the one who has given me life and every good gift.  This feeling is only enhanced by the miracle God did for my family and I, when He rescued and restored Isaac from death. In our weakness He is strong.

Then that desire was silenced and lay dormant for a time.  I would rise up now and then when we reviewed our life, swelling like a wave but then receding again.  See we’ve been distracted by good things. Isaac and I got married, made some sweet babies, moved around a bit, made dear friends and loved the churches we have been connected with.  Great things! This is the season of life we’ve been in. Ministry has been on the back burner and replaced with the business of meeting basic needs.  Seasons change though…. And while we will always been in the business of “meeting basic needs etc” we can change our life focus to be on something else.  And that is exactly what we intend to do.

Everyone is called to different things right? Some people are artists, some are accountants, some are called to manage wealth and some to milk cows. That’s the beauty of life and I think we are all happiest doing the thing God made us to do.  It has taken me a long time to work that out.  But recently, Isaac and I have figured out what we are supposed to be and what we are called to do – for now.  The following letter explains that and details a little about our future plan.

(Oh, and P.S. Some of you may get one of these in the mail. If so, that’s because we weren’t sure you’d read it here and really want to have your support!)

~Kristi~

______________________________________________________________________

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”  Proverbs 19:21

On a warm September day seven years ago Isaac and I met for the first time in the Los Angeles airport.  We knew God had called us to seek and serve him through missions, but we had no idea that this was just the beginning of the adventure he would take us on.  We joined a group of other young Christians and boarded our plane to New Zealand where we would spend the next several months learning and serving with Youth With A Mission.

During our Discipleship Training School God changed us in amazing ways. We saw more of his heart for the lost.  We saw a world full of broken people in need of a Savior. From the suburbs of Melbourne Australia to the jungle villages of Fiji our faith grew as we shared the gospel and saw Jesus change people’s lives forever. As most of you know Isaac and I became the best of friends during this time. God grew our hearts together and planted seeds of future dreams in our minds.

One of those dreams was fulfilled on September 24th 2010 when Isaac and I became husband and wife.  Since then the plans of the Lord continued to unfold before us as we have joyfully welcomed four little Godwin’s to our family.  God is faithful and has sustained us through trials and storms. We have been very blessed with our life, but there is another dream and passion that God has placed within our hearts – and that is for missions.

When we moved to Washington State this year we came with the intention of being closer to family. But God quickly revealed to us that was not why we were in the Northwest.  Isaac and I have felt this stirring in our hearts, a desire to serve the Lord with our lives in fulltime ministry. But what would that look like? Where was God leading us? It all seemed so vague and we would get discouraged from time to time because we feel this calling to ministry but no clear direction about how to walk it out. We kept praying and waiting on the Lord.

The Lord kept bring them to mind some old family friends who are YWAM Directors at a base in Discovery Bay Washington.  So I contacted them and they invited us to come meet and have a tour of the base.  They have been praying for young families to join them as staff.  They shared a specific need for someone to come on board who could manage the base media and website development.  They also told us about a future dream God has given the base – to run worship and music DTS.  As we explored the base and learned about these possibilities we felt the Holy Spirit confirm in us that this is where He wants us to be.  Our hearts felt a burning and excitement at the idea of coming on staff.

God has brought us to YWAM Discovery Bay for such a time as this.

The base has several schools which it runs yearly. The Discipleship Training School, School of Frontier Missions, which focuses on outreach to India, China and Thailand.  And a five week language school (TESOL) which focuses on how to teach English as a tool to fulfilling the Great Commission.  We would help lead teams on outreach trips to the listed locations, disciple students, and serve in the worship/media/sound development of these schools. Our family would fit right in and be used greatly to impact the students coming to the base.

Isaac and I have committed to serve with YWAM Discovery Bay for two years and are now in the process of raising support. Presently we are serving part time by commuting to the base a few times a week to be involved in the ministry and learning our responsibilities. We are blessed and the Lord has sovereignly provided a house for us on the base so our expenses are minimal for a family of six! We will move on base and work full time once we have raised 100% financial support.

Where God leads he will always provide. We fully trust the Lord to meet our needs.

Financially we will need $2,300.00 a month for all expenses. And so we are in need of individuals to join our team and commit to giving a set amount each month. If you have questions regarding our financial need or more details about the ministry we would be happy to answer them for you.

Some ways you can give monthly are:

  • Mail a check Addressed to:

YWAM Discovery Bay

P.O. Box 989

Port Hadlock, WA 98339

(Please put “Godwin” in the memo line)

We want to stay in touch with you because this is a partnership, and you will be a vital part of the ministry.  I will be keeping everyone up to date through a monthly newsletter. You can sign up for that by writing down your email address and returning it in the enclosed envelope, OR follow by our blog isaacgodwin.com.

I will be keeping a list of our support team so please let me know how you plan to be involved. Thank you for your support!
“Thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

Blessings,
The Godwin’s

 

My Hope is Built

imgres

I faced a disappointment this week. Nothing as serious as a health issue or a death. But a disappointment none the less. You know how your true heart comes out when you are all alone in the quiet? I found myself crying in that quiet space as the weight of this disappointment lay on me. And all I could do was repeat what the Spirit put on my heart.
“He has not abandoned you. Your God is faithful to the end. He has not abandoned you. Just as a nursing mother can’t forget her new baby God can’t forget you. He is not too weak to save, but sovereign in allowing you to go through heartache.” Certainly a comforting message. But why I wondered do I even feel like this? Disappointment is something that comes with a fallen world of course… but as a child of God where do I go from here? What do I do with this? How can he remedy it?
I realized a big part of the reason I felt such a blow from this specific disappointment was because I had been putting hope in it. As if it were a “savior.” “If only this would work out! Then things will be better for us.” Granted that’s normal right? Like everybody wants good things to happen in their lives, we all want to feel purpose and live comfortably. I don’t condemn people for wanting good and God doesn’t either. But Jesus does say, “If you want to be my disciple you must HATE everything else in comparison, you must be willing to LOSE it all for me.” (Luke 14:25-27) Seeking your own “good” is no longer top priority. Loving Jesus is.
Hope is essential to the human heart. Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” We must have hope to keep going. I remember being a teenager and young adult filled with hopes and dreams. That’s one of the things that makes that season of life so amazing. Your future is before you! There’s a world of possibilities at your feet and it’s that hope that drives us forward. Having hope in something keeps our souls looking up.
And the world provides us thousands of options about where to put our hope. In a career or achievements, in financial security, in a spouse, in friends, in a home or possessions, in something new, you fill in the blank. We can build our hope on so many things, but every one of those will fail us eventually. We were never meant to have a substitute savior. The truth is that when we put our hope in anything but God we turn our hearts away from Him and become hopeless.

“This is what the Lord says: Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like a stunted shrub in the desert with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness and uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. ” Jeremiah 17:5-8
Cursed or Blessed. Stunted shrub or growing tree. Where do you place your hope? I’m still processing this and learning what this means for the Believer as we walk out our faith. I don’t fully understand how God will remedy the brokenness we face in life. But I do know he is a firm foundation – a solid rock to build upon. So I will choose to build my hope on Christ the rock. Today that looks like letting go of my “hopes” and being satisfied in Him. Trusting that He is still good and the future is bright in Him. He is my reason to dream and remain hopeful about tomorrow.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Blessings,

Kristi

Praise God in this storm

Storm-Clouds-by-Sarah-Lee

Hi everyone, this blog entry is much later than I originally planned. I broke my leg and wrist on August 3rd and have been recovering. It’s kind of ironic as my last post was about how we don’t really make our own path but go where God determines. Through this injury my plans have been quite interrupted and that truth resonates even more in my heart. I’ve never had a disabling injury before and it’s really made me realize how much I take for granted.
So here’s my little accident story: I have a beautiful baby girl, Eliza. Since she was born I’ve been doing this special photo thing where I take a picture of her every month on the day she was born to see how much she’s grown. Well on August 3rd I found a free moment and was attempting this little photo shoot. I had her laying on the floor next to her monkey toy. I got a chair to stand on since I needed a certain angle to capture the picture I wanted. As I hopped up on the chair the seat broke. Split second decisions. I kicked off the chair with my left leg, pushing it out of the way so it didn’t crush my baby. I landed on my right leg but couldn’t catch myself. My leg hyper-extended backwards as I collapsed to the floor in intense pain. My left wrist caught the floor in another attempt to stop the fall.
As I’m lying on the floor crying in pain my sweet four-year old Josiah ran down stairs to help me. He was a good boy and unlocked the door like I asked. I couldn’t get up and knew I had broken my leg. Stranded on the floor is not a good place to be when you have four little ones running around the house! Fortunately, my phone was near me and I called 911. Eliza was still happily laying on the blanket oblivious to the drama. In the minutes it took for the paramedics to get to my house her big brother Jude (19 months old) had toddled over to loving poke at her.
The paramedics were so kind and gave me a sense of peace. I felt like such a ridiculous sight laying on the floor as they assessed my injuries. They were trying to take my mind off the situation and asked about my kids. “Who are these little ones?” said one of the paramedics as he nodded to my oldest children. “That’s Josiah and Evelyn” I said, “They are a little scared.” “It’s okay guys, we are here to take care of your mom.” He assured them. “Oh and that’s Judah…” I said looking behind me. Then I laughed in embarrassment as I realized he had hand soap rubbed all over his head making it white and foamy! “Ha, so that’s what Judah and Evelyn were doing while I have been stuck here.” I thought to myself. Could have been worse I suppose. At least they didn’t get into markers or knives.
At the ER x-rays revealed that I have several breaks in my tibia plateau (the bones behind the knee cap) and wrist. I was given a nice dose of morphine and sent home in splints. A few days after I got upgraded to a legit cast on my wrist and adjustable leg brace. At first I was on complete bed rest, which was not a good thing for me and I developed a blood clot in my leg. That was the scariest thing so far as blood clots can be life threatening. But my doctor got me on blood thinners right away and the clot has dissolved for the most part. Now I can hop around a little on my crutches and the pain is much better in my leg even though I cannot walk or put pressure on it.
Isaac and my family have been amazing help to me. They have to help me do everything! Literally. My mom and/or sister come over every day to take care of me and my children while Isaac is at work. And the church has been so generous in bringing us meals almost every night since I got hurt. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am for all the support and prayers! It has been a humbling experience to receive so much kindness. I have felt so weak and helpless during this time. And that’s hard for me because I’m used to being strong and accomplished. I’ve realized that I can be pretty strong-willed and stubborn. I don’t like to need help… but that’s pride isn’t it.
I know this is just a bump in the road and that God allows us to go through difficult things. So I want to learn and grow through this experience. I was very sad and depressed for a few days after the accident. But I realized I could go through the situation one of two ways. I could cry and complain, sulk, get depressed and focus on myself and what I’d lost. Or, I could keep praising God and live with a thankful heart. I could choose to fix my eyes on Jesus who is my hope. Maybe that’s really simple… and there are people who are going through much bigger struggles than this. It’s hard to “praise God in the storm” (as the old Casting Crown song says) it’s unnatural. But if we do God is faithful to lift our hearts EVEN if he doesn’t change our situation.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-3
I want to finish well the race marked out for me. Good, bad and ugly as it may be. I want to stand before God someday and hear, “well done good and faithful servant.” Because I chose to walk through every situation with my eyes fixed on Him rather than on myself. It’s all by God’s grace that we can do this, but it’s also a choice. May we be people who make the choice to praise God in the storm.