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Dishwashing….

He cares more about who I am than what I do….So, I have never heard God so clearly in my life as when He said that. I am trying to make this the attitude I operate out of in my life. I want to seek becoming more like Him rather than always trying to figure out the next big thing. The funny thing is I was washing dishes when He told me. I seem to find myself washing dishes a lot…..

1) My first roomies were the bomb. C and P have affected me in so many good ways, I probably couldn’t begin to recount their awesomeness. Part of the awesomeness of our house was the way we balanced each other out so well. C was a bathroom cleaning wonder. She did it weekly whereas I would have done it….never. P was a great cook whereas C and I cook and it is often disastrous. C and P hated dishes and would leave them in the sink for weeks for kitchen mold to eventually disintegrate into plate dust. So I became resident dish washer. I learned that God puts different people together and when you work together, you can keep a house from burning down.
2) DTS work duty. I never felt more like I was in summer camp than DTS work duty. I worked from 5:15 to 7:30 Monday through Friday in the kitchen. There is nothing like the smell of stinky campus kitchen at the setting of the moon in the middle of the night. πŸ˜‰ In any case, my job was pot washer. The sticky oatmeal pans were my favorite. Or not….In any case, this work duty really was valuable despite my complaining. I learned to have a good attitude (I hope) even when I was tired and I realized that if it weren’t for me, the whole campus would have to forfeit oatmeal. Either that or get food poisoning…. Never underestimate the power of a job well done.
3) Outreach….After a few weeks of trying to make dish schedules and teaching people to correctly wash dishes after themselves, it became apparent that a resident dish washer was needed. Yes, sometimes God calls people to set the captives free and heal the lame. But He also needs people to wash the dirty bowls. So I did….And I learned that my Mom is amazing. She cleaned up after me as I grew up and I have to remember to tell her that I am sorry when I took her dishwashing for granted, and I love her so much for putting up with me.Β 
So, in conclusion dish washing has really had quite the profound effect on my life…..

A Return

I’m back! Well almost. I have one day left of outreach, one day of travel, several days of debrief, one day of travel, and then *deep breath* home. I have really slacked off over the past five months on blogging. I feel bad actually since it was such a time of huge change and crazy events in my life. I suppose-and hope-these changes will make themselves evident as I continue to write. To begin, how does one start to summarize five months of a super eventful part of my life? I guess I just take a deep breath and start typing….We will see what happens….

I can hardly believe I have been away from home for five months. I sort of did a mental block before I came to my DTS on January 1st. I still am not quite sure why I came to do one. It was so random, and I realize now it was something I did out of desperation. A desperation to not have a feeling of unknown and uncertainty. I was done with my bachelor’s, I had not gotten into vet school yet, and one of my best friends was halfway across the world. What was I going to do with myself? I thought of some really stupid things including the military (Don’t ask about that one. Luckily God gave me one of those crappy nauseous tummy feelings and now I realize I would have made Β a HUGE mistake if I did that. I guess Moms are right most of the time, huh?) or getting my master’s at CSU-Pueblo (Which would have meant an extension of my bachelor’s degree and classes on the study of water-icky!). So, out of desperation, I found myself all by myself with no one I knew, my family across an ocean, no clue what I was doing with my life, and my best friend in Iraq. I was in a dorm room in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. What was I going to do with myself?Β I was stuck. Nowhere, nothing, and no one to drown myself in or find my fulfillment in. So, by default I had to run to this guy I had grown up hearing about and occasionally was spoken to through the Bible. This particular collision may be the best accident that has ever happened to me…
I can’t even begin to talk about all the ways that God met me in Hawaii. I learned that there is this being in this world that created me very lovingly and placed within me dreams and desires that He wishes to use for His glory. He is in a passionate pursuit for me, and has made himself available for a full on relationship with me. He was so faithful to meet me in my low spots, provide when I had needs, and stretch me in ways that have changed who I am.
More of the lowdown on my time at DTS. For now, I suppose I should try to evacuate the ants from my pants and sleep. Why is it I am tired all day and then sleep time comes and I’m super antsy…..
Seven days until I hug every member of my amazing family and about 3 weeks until I see my most amazing Marine….

:D

I shall return. Someday. I leave for Russia/Scandinavia tonight at 8:45. So begin the great adventure. πŸ™‚ I am excited to see what kind of crazy/everyday/awesome/quiet/loud things God will be up to on this trip. I may get on to update occasionally if internet cafes are available; however, I wouldn’t count on it. Add me on facebook-Danika Hayden-if you really want to keep up with me whilst I am gone.
God bless!!!

Twelve Days to Takeoff

So, I concluded that there can be too much going on in life to be able to blog about. I am learning so much here and God is speaking to me a lot. There is so much to process and consider that I do not know how to begin conveying any of it. Thus, I post about once a month while I am here. He he….

I am off in a matter of 12 days. Whoa!!! Takeoff to Russia on Wednesday. The first leg of our trip involves Jesus showing Himself through us in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Volgograd. We are hoping to work in an orphanage for part of the time and possibly with an organization that is involved in human trafficking in Northern Europe.

The most important thing on this outreach and for the rest of life after that is the presence of Jesus. He created humans to spend time with us. He died so we could spend time with Him. From this presence, His glory resides inside us. The true ministry-whether it is on outreach or in every day life-happens when people see this glory in us. The cannot help but see that something is different about us and the only explanation is that we have the Creator of the universe residing inside of us. I am SO excited to see how God will work in these next 9 weeks.

God is speaking to me about completely abiding in Him in each moment of each day. It is so easy to not only look forward to the adventures to come, but the adventures to come after the adventure. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t seen my family in three months and L in about five. I am SO excited to see them again. Admittedly, maybe more excited than the world travel adventure….? πŸ™‚ However, God holds all things and time in His hands. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have right now and am seizing every minute of every day.

The Profoundness of Shells

So, this is what I am realizing…I came to do a DTS thinking I was nicely put together, totally on track. Maybe I was. In any case, God is either revealing how broken I am or breaking me down to reform me. I realize what I hid away, buried or tried to change about myself in order to change how I felt or stop feeling hurt. I tried to pretend things didn’t effect me. I was to strong for it to get to me, right? No. Not that I should dwell in the hurt or bitterness, but rather that I should acknowledge it and realize that better is completely possible in giving the situations to Him and trusting Him for His results.
The world looks different than I thought really. God works totally differently than than this human world does. He goes against all natural instinct and preconceptions.
So (as I originally wrote this)…wow, I’m at the beach. It has become sinful to be in my room on a Saturday while in HAWAII. I was laying on the sand, and I decided to walk into the water. After picking up two vauna (sea urchins, just not the black ones!!!), I got bored. There was this little pool of water lined with sand. I stuck my hand in and raked up a handful. The excess water and sand dribbled over the side of my hands and through the gaps between my fingers. I was amazed when I took a close look. There wasn’t just sand in my hands; there was also some of the tiniest shells I had ever seen. There were like a quarter or an eight of a centimer long (2 millimeters??? It has been too long since university. Ha ha!!!) I am afraid if I attempt to describe them, you will imagine something that isn’t as original and creative as the teeny objects lying in the midst of the sand in my hands. Even as I look at them, they begin to grow dull since they are no longer wet. But I will attempt to do them justice….
First, there is one shaped like a cone. The lines on them travel from the bottom to cap off in a tiny blob at the top. It reminds me of tiny circus tent made of pink and white alligator skin. The second one is almost like a tiny conch shell. The base color is like coffee with creamer in it, but someone has taken a microscopic tool and etched lengthwise dark brown trails in it. The third one looks like something an architect would have designed (Guess God is the ultimate architect, huh?) for a modern business building. It is a green blob overlaid with black. It looks like scratch art where someone scratched the upper layer of black off in symmetrical lines to reveal the underlying green. The last piece is probably a piece of a broken shell. It looks like the surface of another planet-purple ground with little white mountains on it.
As I look at these shells, I am told I have some sort of resemblance to them. I am small and often not seen. He sees me every moment of every day though. And when I am seen, I can have a big impact on someone’s life.
Conclusion? All creation cries out His praise!! πŸ™‚

The Last Few Weeks Summarized in Sentences

Is the life I am living worth Jesus dying for?

Satan often attacks the gifts God has for us or strengths He has given us. They are often twisted into fears.

God sees our lives differently than we do. I see the present and past. He sees the future. He sees me in the midst of my struggles and failures!

Fear is misplaced trust.

Do I have faith in my ability to have faith or do I have faith in Him?

The tighter we hold onto something (think of sand), the more slips through our fingers. The more tightly we hold to our lives or desires, the more we lose.

I can spend my whole life trying not to be somebody. Or I can spend my life seeing what God has for me and becoming it.

You don’t find His power until you find the end of yourself.

The goal of the Book is to know the author.

If it’s not for sale, don’t advertise it (modesty).

What does it mean for believers to be salt and light? Revelation and preservation to the world!

A culture has never had a multi-generational revival. Why? Because the generations need to be reconciled.

The News for the Week

Five weeks down with only seven to go. C (who has done a DTS before) told me it would fly by, but I wasn’t sure how much I really believed her initially. The first few weeks went by fast in a way, but also dragged I suppose. I take a long time to get to know people, so the first few weeks were a lot of work and really tired me out. I have finally gotten used to this place and time has begun to fly by.

I am learning while two actions may look exactly the same from the outside, the inside motives can be completely different, causing different results. I am learning that the goal in life is not to become a Christian and win as many people to Jesus as we can. The point is not to do something good with our lives. The meaning is not to leave some sort of lasting impression on the world. The whole point of life *drumroll* is to love Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. From that love, all other things overflow. We learn how to love others. We gain a desire to obey Him. We learn what His heart is like and want ours to be like His.

In lighter news….geckoes fall on people’s heads here. It is so cool. I had one fall on my leg earlier this week. It was a cute little baby. I live for this gecko falling phenomena. Talk about excitment when it occurs.
Also, there are tsunami alarms around here. They are supposed to go off the first of every month at noon as a test. Well on February 2nd at 11:45 am the tsunami test alarm went off. Maybe it was really a tsunami. But the town is still around, so I figure Hawaii is just uber chill. πŸ™‚
I’m making crepes for my DTS. Mom, try not to laugh, but, yeah, I’m cooking. For other people. And they’re gonna eat it. The food I cook. And they won’t die. Or at least I’m not planning on it. Ha ha!!

Belated Update

I apologize for my lack of updates in the time that I have been here. It looks as if in the one month-as of today-that I have been here I have blogged a total of two times. Tragic. πŸ™‚ I have had so much going on around me that I was overwhelmed at the thought of attempting to condense it into a blog post I suppose. I decided, however, that I would write some main highlights and things that are going on, and if anyone has any questions, I would love to answer them.

God. God is working. God has been working. I have forgotten how to see that. I am learning what it is to actually and practically follow Jesus. Yes, many of us can call ourselves Christians, but how many of us have forgotten what it means to put down our agenda and follow Him to be His friend and find out what His “agenda” is. Through this process and realizing that I cannot even be a loving person until I have a love for Jesus, I feel as if the world is suddenly a new place. With the hope of Jesus Christ in me, what do I have to fear. With the God of the universe loving me, how can I be lost in depression? With the creator of the stars with a plan for me, how can I be anxious? I am not saying that we will not show these qualities in a fallen world, I am just realizing a new lens to see the world through. I am excited to keep walking with Him and discover new truths about Him and see what His life and heart is all about.

On a side note, stale Crunch ‘n Munch is fascinating. My fabulous mother sent me food. On the subject of food….I introduced my Korean friend to pbj. She saw me eating them. A lot. Up to twice a day and commented on it. I asked if she had ever had one, and she said no. *gasp* Life is not complete without trying pbj’s…She tried one and loved it. Success!!!!

The Vision

I am coming to a realization of the type of abandonment that is required of me in this relationship. I ask that God will continue to take me to a place where this sinks deeper. I am realizing how many things I pursue are merely me chasing after wind. My eyes are opening to some of the things He has created me for. I look forward to the continuing adventure of my life with Him.

In terms of updates and prayer requests, I will be going to Russia. We are still waiting for more concrete details, but our DTS has split into three major groups: Russia, Morocco, and the Balkans. These areas are three of the main human trafficking routes in the world. The three groups are planning on ending up in Amsterdam at the end, one of the largest red light districts in the world. All of these plans are a bit up in the air as things usually are when we are working with Jesus. πŸ™‚

Things that I would so appreciate prayer for…
-God to provide visas for Russia. This is becoming an increasingly closed country, and it can be difficult to get visas.
-Safety for everyone in this school quarter. Many of the countries we are going to are closed countries where one can be jailed for sharing about our passion for Jesus Christ.

If anyone has any questions, I would love to hear from you!! πŸ™‚

THE VISION

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.
They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.
What is the vision ?
The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers

choose to loose
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,

they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.
Don’t you hear them coming?
Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon.
How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.y

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