Tuesday, April 22

Kris.V.Opened.The.Door.For.Me!

So I've been here 9 months now & still getting rocked to the very last second. Something happened this weekend that touched me so much that I had to write about it. It might not seem like a huge deal, it really isn't and I can't explain why it's so significant that I had to write about it...actually, I've SOZO'd myself & read Bethel books so much I can probably explain why it's so significant to me, but I'm sure nobody wants to hear any of that...anyway...here's the life-changing event...

Kris.Vallotton.Opened.The.Door.For.Me!

I don't mean supernaturally, paving the way or anything like that...he's done enough of that in class already. I mean literally opened the door. I was walking up behind him into Church, he saw me, he took a step back and held the door open for me to go in before him. I mean, there's being a gentleman, which is maybe just holding the open door after he was already inside. But, then there's being a man and showing off just how much of a gentleman you can be...in a good way. Going above & beyond.



It's such a small thing, stepping back & holding the door open. It's the same feeling I get when guys from school run ahead & open their car doors for me. It's being esteemed above the slight temporary inconvenience. It's being honored & valued for absolutely no reason other than the fact that God created me as a woman and them as a man.

So, I have to thank Kris & all the awesome men at BSSM (& the grandpa down the street who cheers me on when I'm running) who've showered me with honor without any idea they were doing it. To the men's small group that adopted my women's small group & arranged communion for us, sang and prophesied over us, just to show us love. All of you guys changed my life. Literally. I've always been taught that men like you don't exist & I was dreaming thinking they do but because you're here and you're REAL you've made me see who I am in God's eyes & who I can be. You've restored the standard. There's no going back from that.

Thank You!


Saturday, April 19

Learning How to Flirt Again

We interrupt the Italy updates to talk about my favorite topic...LOVE!

I'm still on my journey in finding love, my love, the love of my life. I've gotta say, it's getting harder the closer it feels. God speaks to me really clearly in this particular area, I think because I'm especially keen to listen :-) and I truly, wholeheartedly believe it's happening very soon, when this handsome young man finally walks into my life.

So I came across this video on YouTube.


It's really interesting. It talks about how over 40% of Americans over 18 are single and how most of us (still 100% Kenyan, just grouping myself in here for a second) when asked are looking for love, trust & companionship, but always assume that other single people are only looking for sex, money or status. So the guy asks the respondents to take a risk and tell someone that they are attracted to, what qualities they are attracted to. It's pretty sweet actually.

I live in that culture though, here at Bethel, where you affirm people and tell them what qualities they have that stand out. However, I must confess, it's a lot harder when it comes to guys I'm actually attracted to. I don't know why. I guess, I'm still in that school of thought where I like him, but I don't want him to know I like him, so I treat him different from how I treat other guys and I stare secretly but ignore him awkwardly, so in the end he stills knows I like him, except that now he thinks I'm a weirdo and ignores me anyway. Yeah...it's crazy.

This video made me think though.

It's one thing if our eyes meet across a crowded hallway and sparks fly...at this point though, I don't even remember what it looks like when eyes meet and how to give that flirtatious gaze without looking desperate. I used to be an expert! OH, MINISTRY SCHOOL WHAT HAST THOU DONE TO ME!!! Kidding, kidding, relax!

I should end this without making it any more embarrassing. Let's summarize...
  1. Take risks
  2. Always affirm people because everybody likes to hear how awesome they are
  3. Read a book on flirting and remind yourself about how it's done

:-)




Italy Mission Trip Day 4

"Heather, wake up."
"Wha--?"
"Wake up, it's 10"
"NO ITS NOT!"
"Yeah, wake up."
"Nooooooo!!"

Basically, that's what our morning looked like. The best thing about Italy was the shades on the windows. The room was pitch black, I could have slept all day and not even know it. So with tears in my eyes, I got out of bed and got ready. Our house mom was freaking out because she was told she had to get us there by 12. I was like, there's no way anyone is going to be ready that early, but still, we hurried up and got to Church by 12 and of course, no one on my team was there...but the leadership team was and that welcome we got was amazing...as was the spread laid out for us.



We just relaxed and had quiet time the rest of the afternoon and got to speak to someone coming to BSSM this year so we gave her all the inside scoop :-) Finally, we had service and the senior pastor took us into his office and prayed over us and we had some worship time there as well. It rocked!


His wife was the worship leader & daughter was the guitarist...how cool is that?! #kingdomfamilies







The service was amazing, we got to minister to a lot of people. The atmosphere in Church was really happy and open. We saw backs healed and pain leave and hearts ministered to. We got to break the preconceptions a lot of people had about God and love and spoke to peoples hearts.





 Next we went back to our host homes and got to have dinner with them and really bond and connect.


Tuesday, April 8

Italy Mission Trip Day 3 - Saturday

This morning, we had a bit of a team debrief at the Convento. This is the point I was praising the Lord saying, "what life is this I'm living, where I wake up in the morning and find out I'm going to Switzerland!" God is so Good!!! So we were split up into teams. Team 1 left for Varese & Switzerland, (with me) and Team 2 left for Asti.

We arrived at New Vision Varese Church and I have never been welcomed so warmly in my life. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I wasn't even thinking about how I would hande the language barrier, but somehow it all worked out. So we met our hosts and we had lunch with them. Boy, was that  spread!!!

So we were just chilling at the Church with the community and with a couple of the worship team members. It was raining but they decided to take us out to explore the city. They took us to what is apparently the best gelato in the world! The place was called Romano. I got a lemon gelato. It was really good.










 After some walking, we were heading to Switzerland. I was in the car with 2 Americans, a Canadian and an Italian. The border patrol officer asked us where we were from and our leader said, "Redding", the officer said, "Ah, I know Redding." I found that to be pretty cool :-)

New Vision in Mendrisio, Switzerland was beautiful. It was in a hotel conference room, there was artwork on the walls. I loved it.


Finally, some ministry updates! We prayed and got ready to minister. It was awesome to hear the hearts of some of my team members. We soaked for a bit & headed out. I felt incredibly comfortable & was saying hello to strangers.

We were activated in prophetic art & asked to draw some pictures to give out. When we were introduced, I got to share my picture which was a bad report cancelled out, with a big heart over it and a good report on the other side with streamers and balloons. I explained the word as someone had gotten a bad report at work and God was saying He has His eye over the situation and He's writing a new report so I asked if anyone there was facing that situation and 2 people raised their hands, but sadly only had 1 picture. (Looking back, I should have prayed for both of them and not just released the word of knowledge I got)

We also got to activate the kids there in prophetic art. It was amazing, those kids just grabbed the mics, no nerves at all and interpreted their pictures.



At the end of the night, we had ministry time. I paired up with Alissa, a 3rd year student, who is an amazing prophetic voice!

One woman came up who wanted us to pray for her son & a possibly bad relationship & a lot of other family relationships. I felt it really strongly I needed to love & appreciate her as a mom. Alissa went first & said she came here for her son, but God brought her here for herself. God wanted to honor and love her. Alissa called out all the gold in her and she was in tears. Then I took over and told her God honors and loves mothers. As a prophetic act, I knelt and rubbed her feet and told her to imagine me washing her feet as a sign of honor. She was wrecked.

A man came up who had diabetes and we prayed for him, he had no way of testing it out. His other request was to be a plane of the Holy Spirit. I pulled a Chuck Perry and asked him if he liked wine...lol, I don't know what I was thinking...anyway, he said yes. I told him the Holy Spirit is like wine. You can either pour yourself a little shot glass or you can pour a whole barrel. Then I asked him to imagine himself drinking out of a barrel. I don't know how well that translated, lol. I was getting a little joy-filled myself and he started laughing and we told him, he doesn't have to do anything or try hard, he just has to be himself.

A couple came up next and the girl was proper crying and I was a little freaked out, like, what's going on here? She told us basically that they were so in love and they just wanted to serve God and needed wisdom. I LOVED THAT! That was my favorite. Lord, lead us to a place where love & how to best serve you is our greatest problem! We just encouraged them that they already knew the answers and that they needed to communicate & share their hearts with each other , and we got to minister over them.

A girl came up next 7 before she told us anything, I could tell she was full of compassion & would lead people out of that. She wanted God to make her taller. We prayed, by this point I was expecting to open my eyes and see a 6 ft tall girl, but she didn't grow. Instead we called out who she was and showed her how much influence she had already and how she should be confident in God using her whether shes this height or that.

These are just a couple of the amazing things that happened in Switzerland, hopefully, I'll put some more stories up soon.

Next the New Vision Senior Pastor took us out for dinner. Pizza!

The chef posed for my camera :-)


The saddest fish I've ever seen

Calzones the size of your head!





The dessert waiter was hilarious! (I had Tiramisu btw)

At the end of the night, which was around 1a.m, we were taken to our host home. One of the other girls and me don't like cats, well, actually she has allergies, so the 2 of us went to Mirrella's house. The other 4 girls went to one of the worship leader girls house and slept out in a RV truck, fun times...but I loved my warm beautiful bedroom with the most wonderful, kindest woman ever - Mirrella. The boys got it pretty good too and slept in a fancy loft with a view. Anyway, all this to say, we were pretty spoiled with their hospitality. This church was amazing.

We set our alarms for 10:00 am.


Italy Mission Trip Day 1/2 - Thursday & Friday

For some reason I got so whacked last night, just praying for this trip. Elizabeth & I ended up dancing to Jesus Culture in the living room & talking till late sharing dreams. God's already at work!

Unfortunately I had a bit of a cold the last couple of days, but who cares, trip day is here and one way or another, this body WILL GET WELL! I woke up at 5 am today, one from not being able to breathe through my nose, two to get an extra shot or Apple Cider Vinegar, three out of EXCITEMENT! 8 am rolled in and Julie drove me to Bethel. I forgot my phone so I was late.

Well, we were on our way to San Fran to catch our flight. The drive went by so quick because I was asleep almost all the way, but I woke up in time to see some of the city and I loved it, its so beautiful. I also caught a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Our flight was at 4:25pm


Boarding the Plane. See those swollen eyes? I was so sick, I felt like I was gonna faint. We went to a sandwich shop in SFO and I felt a little better...my nose being blocked though led to some intense pain during landing - like, brink of tears pain & having a blocked ear for a couple hours.

Oh my gosh, I didn't need a sleeping pill, Bob put me right to sleep, no offense to Reggae lovers, I mean it in the best way!

Charles Du Galle Airport! We're in PARIS!!!







We were supposed to land in Florence at 3pm, but we were re-routed to Pisa. I was cool with the impromptu 1 hour shuttle tour :-)




Once we got to Florence, we were set free to explore, grab some food. We ended up at this fancy restaurant & I ordered pizza of course. Well, if you're like me and like a loaded pizza with 8 toppings and extra cheese, you'll quickly realize, that's not what pizza is in Italy. Pizza is simply amazing crust, sauce, mozzarella, a couple of thin slices of prosciutto/ham and you're done. I broke the rules & got extra mushrooms on mine though.

Doesn't this look exactly like Moi Avenue in Nairobi?!!


I was so exhausted by this point. Finally we were on our way home to the convento in Viarreggio, where I promptly collapsed into my top bunk.