winding down

Carla

Hello dearest ones! I hope this e-mail finds you well. That your hearts are rested, the works you do with your hands blessed, and your days balanced with both meaning and fun! Sunday was our officially our last day of ministry for the outreach portion of lecture phase. I know I talk about this frequently but I am so surprised at the way time goes by! How time can stretch on to seem as though unending and then flip and gallop wildly away like a runaway horse! Tomorrow the Southeast Asia team is going to Darjeeling India (a nearby city) to have debrief and begin the processing all the cultures, ministries, people, and sights we have seen. I already know this will take more than a few days—God has shown me so much. Beauty, pain, gentleness, suffering, heartache, breathtaking sights, confusion, gaps, excess…
Thank you (thank you!) for your committed prayers for myself and the Southeast Asia team. God has especially taken time in this season to show me the tremendous power behind prayers. I’m not sure where you are with prayers. Perhaps, like me, you have some that God has not answered yet? I want to encourage you, when we walk with God, and ask Him for things in His will? God is SO faithful. Continue  pressing in. It is so exciting to be a part of what God is doing!! I hope you too are walking in that excitement! Our team has been tremendously blessed to be a part of physical healings (yes!), breakthroughs, divine appointments, and God adventures—and YOU are a part of that too because of your partnering with me through prayers, and support.
This last portion of outreach was the first time we did ‘open-air’ type presentations. SO incredible—God has allowed us to see such a variety of ministry opportunities throughout our time in Southeast Asia: teaching, relational, mercy, drama presentation, prayer, worship, open-air, preaching. WOW! On Saturday we went to a girls’ hostel, this is a place in Kalimpong India where girls who are attending elementary through high school stay. There families are in different places and it is like a boarding school. We (Nelson, Anna, Sara, Noelle, Rachel, Raynor—our translator, and me) went there and did a program for these incredible women. I was SO blessed—God prompted my heart to step in and be the ‘MC’ or the voice of transition between the dramas, the message, and testimonies to make each shift go smoothly. There was a time when for a moment, our program stalled out because of some confusion. Rachel was preaching and the verse we were going to memorize wasn’t found quickly and I felt God prompting me. Does God ever stir your spirit that way? In the middle of some kind of confusion you know God is telling you to, “GO” and that you have something to share BUT you haven’t spent a lot of time preparing for it? This was my turn. So I made eye contact with Anna and Nelson and proceeded to walk to the front of the classroom. I introduced myself with a, “Hello! My name is Cola. Like Cocoa-Cola.” And all these beautiful girls and women laugh. I tell them about my family, and how I met Jesus a little over a year and a half ago. Then I begin speaking to them about what God has placed on my heart to speak to them about: identity crisis.
I got to tell them how I used to find my identity and worth in what I looked like. The clothing that I wore, my hair, the way I applied make-up, and comparing my appearance to others. I shared how I used to find my identity in the knowledge that I had—how well I did on tests at school, the knowledge I had to impress others. How I would not admit if I did not know anything because that made me vulnerable. The way I found identity in WHAT I did: an artist. How I found my identity and affirmation based on how much people liked or didn’t like the art I made. Or the sports you play and how well you play. How your identity is often found in the money that you have (or don’t have).
“ALL of these external things,” I told them, “can change. Instantly.” I snapped my finger. I asked them, “How does that impact your identity if any or all of these things are taken away? These things fluctuate. Someone is always going to be more—beautiful, educated, wealthy, better job. The measure of these identifiers is not constant.”
“Do you know what is constant and unchanging?” I asked. Then I shared with them about the freedom I have in realizing I am AND being a daughter of the MOST HIGH GOD. That He is my Abba, my Father, my Friend, my EVERYTHING. That the love He has for me does NOT change, and that I walk in freedom in the areas we talked about: appearance, education, money, work. These things are GREAT and a blessing, but temporary and changing, unlike your identity as a daughter (or son) of God.  I spoke for awhile talking about the healing God has done in my life in these areas. Then I prayed for these women about bigger God sized dreams, wisdom for their exams and guidance for the futures, security in their identity as daughters of God, that they would know God’s love in a BIGGER way.
After that? I told them how much I LOVE to learn new things, and asked if anyone wanted to teach us (Noelle, Sara, Rachel, and me) an Indian or Nepal dance?? They did! So we had a dance party with these 80 or 90 girls—SO MUCH FUN! ((God is so fun!)) Then we got to have tea with the girls afterwards. You know what I find incredible? That here in India, these girls are walking in the EXACT same struggles I did at there age. What do I do with the rest of my life? I am so confused. Boys.Relationships.Dreams of bigger things.Insecurities.Such a blessing to see.
The YWAM base here in Kalimpong has been a refuge. We came as a DTS (discipleship training school) was graduating and last week a new one has begun. Seeing the staff and students growing together from an outside perspective has been a privilege as well. After our team debrief in Darjeeling India, we will fly to Israel to finish our last week of lecture and talk about future ideas and re-entry advice. Wow! 
How can you pray?
Please pray for continued focus on the Lord and protection over quiet times together.
Wisdom, discernment, vision and dreams for the next season of life for myself and all the of the Around The World DTS students as this chapter comes to a close. Please pray that we would have ears to hear what God is calling us to next, courage to take the next steps, and that no decisions would be made out of fear.
Divine appointments and relationships, opportunities to share the love of God with others.
God’s provision and multiplication of finances

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