Time For Updates and a Change of Plans

My dearest friends!

Apologies for the delay, I had everything written and ready to go and somehow it all got deleted. The joys of technology!

This past summer was so amazing! I attended three weddings in the two and a half weeks after arriving home mid-June! It was a crazy blur of celebration! Two of the weddings were my cousins who are the same age as me. It was amazing to see them commit their lives and find their forever person. Seems like yesterday we were playing at the ball fields together and look at us now. Besides that, it was a summer to hang out with friends and family and reconnect after being gone for so many months. A big plus and blessing was that all my brothers live in Washington now (so cool!), so we had a lot of great, quality family time!

I wanted to give you all an update on some highlights that have occurred since coming back to Norway after a month in the states. It’s been a season of God stretching and growing me in ways I never thought possible. The past few months have been full of unexpected shifts and changes.

The crazy thing about ministry is that it never really goes according to your plans. It’s been a full season of so many unexpected things. Since returning to Norway: we’ve canceled the DTS, I’ve been in three conferences, three training’s, traveled to youth groups, contacted churches, cleaned and worked practically around the base, and more. It’s been crazy.

This is going into my fourth year here and I never thought that the DTS could or would actually be canceled. In previous years I remember being nervous about the number of students but it always worked out. However, this year it simply did not, we went from having five students to having one. Obviously you can’t run a school with one student, so we had to cancel it. It was truly a shock to me. When I prayed about returning this year, I felt that it was specifically to lead the DTS. It’s definitely a time of pushing into God, seeing as I’m not exactly sure what this season should look like for me. It’s been a journey of coming together as a base to pray for the next DTS, seek new vision, and recommit ourselves to what we believe DTS at Borgen should look like.

In the meantime, we have taken to the road! There may not be a DTS this year, but there is still plenty of work to do. We have set out to grow our connections again here in the north, to travel to different youth groups and churches to minister to those around us. Seeking ways to engage more and serve the area that God has put us in. It’s easy to feel like nothing is happening because nothing is going according to plan. Or at least, nothing is going according to my plans… Yet the amazing thing is, God is still moving, opening and closing doors, and it’s all an opportunity to grow in faith if chosen to see it that way.

So now, I’m leading a mobilizing ministry team that is doing a ton of different things. The DTS staff have decided to stay together and we will travel throughout the north to share the gospel, work with youth, and invest deeper than we could have done had we run a DTS this year. Even in the chaos of changed plans for this year, God is blessing us with new opportunities.

I’m definitely blessed with a life that forces me to trust Jesus so much, and challenges me to continually put down my plans in exchange for His. So if you guys could be praying for a few things, that would be amazing!

Prayer Points:

1. Traveling Ministry Team: That God will open doors for us to share His love and heart with those around us, and set a fire for missions here.

2. Youth Work: We are pushing into new youth work programs and trying to get them off the ground

3. Revelation of God’s heart for the north: That God would pour out on us afresh His heart for the northern regions to see His will be done here

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Spring YWAM Adventures and Updates

Where to begin? Spring has been a journey! A time of preparations, celebrations, and the best of course, sharing the good news.

Between working on the DTS and preparing for this fall. I’ve been blessed to join in a DTS Foundational Workshop, practical work at our base, a pioneering Bible to All project in Sweden, and join in on an evangelical conference in Vienna, Austria.

DTS Foundational Workshop. As most of you know, I’m currently leading the DTS at the Northern most YWAM base in the world. For the past few years our international DTS center has been working on a reframe of the DTS curriculum. As our movement continues we want to stay current with our ever increasingly international crowd of students and bases. This workshop was heavily focused on introducing the new reframe to the Northern DTS staff teams, training and equipping them to turn out the best schools we can. It was an awesome time of learning, strengthening friendships, and seeking God’s heart for discipleship in Northern Europe.

Following that, we had a dugnad week at our base! Dugnad is basically the old style work party, all the staff gathered together to do practical work around the base and prepare it for a new season. It was awesome to work with our hands; gardening, painting, raking leaves, trimming trees, etc. It’s a huge blessing to steward the property and buildings God has given us. Our heart is to honor God by taking good care and making the place He has given us beautiful and well kept.

Then to Sweden we went! About half of our staff from Borgen made the 12 hour trip down to Vilhemina Sweden to partner with them in launching the Bible to All project in their nation. Bible to All is a project we have been doing for the past few years in Northern Norway, it’s an initiative to offer a free bible to every home in the country. We have had so much help from the Swedish bases in handing out bibles and this time it was our turn to go help them. Thank you all so much for praying for us as we handed out the bible! It was received so well! We handed out over 1,000 bibles to homes in Vilhemina county.   

Awakening Europe. Wow. I had heard really good things about this conference and its heart to see the cities of Europe set on fire for Christ again but it went above and beyond my expectations. Courtney and I decided we would go and join for the full week and be a part of their “Flood Event”. The Flood event was about 100 people hitting the streets of Vienna armed with the gospel and free tickets to the conference. We shared the gospel, prayed for people, invited them to hear about Jesus. At the conference itself over 800 people gave their lives to Jesus. It was amazing to see the power of God move and His love invade and change lives.

Then it was back to Norway for some staff bonding and a farewell party for Courtney. Courtney has been my mentor, best friend, role model, and all around best big sister anyone could ask for. She has served as a DTS staff, Base Leadership team, DTS Leader, among other things during her 4 year stay in Norway. It was definitely a tough goodbye, but I’m excited where God will take her next as she heads into Hollywood to see it redeemed and changed by God’s love.

Thank you all for your continued love and support! I will be coming back with another update of the summer and the plans for the fall soon!

Much Love,

Dani

PS. If you haven’t yet, check out my facebook page “No Rain, No Flowers” for smaller updates and more pictures!

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Another DTS Done, Now What, What Happen?

I can officially say DTS is complete! The past few months of outreach have flown by in whirlwind! We were blessed to visit SEVEN different cities while in Russia, and traveled almost 6,000 miles between January 8th- March 17th.

When we prayed for a vision for this DTS and what our outreach would look like; one of the words we got was “trailblazers”. It’s been amazing to see God’s hand move in our team, and how accurate that word has been for the past few months. Our last week at the base was a sweet time to see them draw closer to Jesus, and get excited to see the lessons they learned come to life, and be put to practical application in Russia.

Most of the cities we went to had never heard of YWAM or received a team from them. God opened up so many doors for us to minister to the people of Russia and make a way for more teams to come in. Open evangelism is illegal in Russia, so most of our ministry was within the churches. We preached, taught, and shared testimonies in different churches, youth groups, and children’s ministries. Even with the restrictions on the sharing of the gospel we were able to help build relationships, and share the gospel in different ministries that were reaching out to unbelievers. One of my favorite moments was the youth conference that the students planned, on their own, at the end of outreach. 40 or so youth came to the conference!!! Our team and the youth group from Olenegorsk (one of our student’s youth groups) planned out the entire conference: worship, teachings, workshops, games, everything! It was truly spectacular and in the words of one of the participants “an answer to prayer”. Our team grew so much on outreach! I love DTS for seeing how God continues to challenge and grow us as we walk through different seasons of life. This year’s group were a bunch of leaders, and it was awesome to see them all grow more in their different giftings and deepen their relationship with Christ.

God is doing big things in Russia! Please continue praying for all the seed’s that have been planted!

One of my personal takeaways from this year’s outreach was: What does it mean to lead well WITH Jesus. So many times it can be easy to bulldoze ahead when there’s a goal to accomplish, or to feel like the things God’s asking of me are a heavy weight. I let my mind shift into: I, have to do this. I, have to run full speed ahead, I, solve the problem. In reality one of the joys of walking in relationship with God is that He partners with us in the midst of chaos, in the midst of pain, and in the midst of joy. We are called to work hard, and to be diligent in the tasks set before us but, God’s not a slave driver. He steps into every season WITH us. I can’t make it through in my own power, or my own strength but when I create that pause to listen and partner with what he’s doing, I become a better leader.

Looking ahead,

I will be participating in some different ministries with the base and joining a seminar! In the end of April I will be joining together with other staff from Northern Europe to do a DTS Foundational Workshop, we will grow in our skills as disciplers and learn more about how we can run better schools. Following that I will be joining Bible To All, our bible distribution initiative here in Norway. At the end of May our base will join the first wave of bible distributions in Sweden. In between all those events I will continue planning the next DTS that will run in September this year.

Prayer Points:

  1. Grace over the planning of the next school
  2. Open hearts and minds to grow for those joining the workshop to grow as mentors and leaders
  3. Travel safety between ministries
  4. Acceptance of the bible as we distribute it
  5. That everything goes smoothly with switching my drivers license over to a Norwegian one!

If you would like to hear more stories about Russia, or what’s coming up next feel free to drop me a line as always!

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Lecture Phase 2018 into Outreach 2019

Hey All!!

WOW! it’s been a couple of months since I last updated you guys and SO much has happened!

Last year I started my journey as DTS school staff, and this year I’ve taken up the challenge to lead the school with my beloved friend Courtney! Let me tell you, it has been a steep mountain to climb, but it has been well worth the effort. Leading the school this year has given me even more responsibility and a vast amount of opportunities to grow and give back.

Our staff team this year was comprised of all Americans from the west coast! Tyler and I from Washington, and Courtney from sunny southern California. Our year has been full of challenges, but in those challenges we’ve found victories. One of the challenges we faced this year was all of us being in entirely new positions; Courtney and I as fresh-faced DTS leaders, and Tyler staffing for the first time since completing DTS. This certainly taught us a new level of grace for each other and especially for ourselves (I’m still working on the one for myself). Without a doubt though, we have seen God be faithful to show up throughout the year. I’m excited to lead together with these two in the new year and into outreach.

This past fall Jesus has been speaking some key things to me about Identity, that have really been hitting home. We all know that the source of who we are, our identity, is rooted in Christ (at least it’s supposed to be), but, what is Identity? Where does it come from? How does it dictate my actions?  How do we put into practice what it looks like for us to live out of an identity based in Christ? 1 John 4:19 says “We love because He first loved us”. That sounds like such a nice, happy verse, but it’s entirely ineffective in our lives if we don’t realize the second part of it: “He first loved us”. We can’t love people well until we realize how much we are loved ourselves.

Love gives us strength, energy, daring, and the ability to step out in confidence and not fear failure. It changes how we look, but more importantly, how we approach the world and the people in it. The deeper revelation of God’s love for us, cements our identity and grants us greater ability to love those around us. Taking the time to strengthen and develop the identity that God has spoken over us has the ability to change lives. Our culture today gives people so many options as to where to find their source of identity, but when we walk out in that confidence of “He first loved us”  it gives us stability and the ability to speak into that brokenness.

It has been truly amazing to see each of our students, and ourselves, grow in accepting the reality of 1 John 4:19 (“We love because He first loved us”).  I’m excited to see how it will continue. It’s thrilling watching Jesus tug on their hearts as they grow into the leaders He’s called them to be.

Looking ahead, it is with immense pleasure that I can announce that our team will be going to Russia for outreach!  There is so much I’m looking forward to seeing and being a part of! God has so many wonderful things in store for us and our team there. I know that we are beyond blessed for the opportunity to see all this country has to offer. We will be mostly driving through the western part and would really appreciate your prayers as we travel and do ministry.

Some key prayer points for myself and my team would be:

  1. Prayers for Health: Winter time brings sniffles, and that coupled with hours of driving together can make for some tested immune systems.
  2. Team Unity: Our team is made up of 5 students and 3 staff, We want to be dutiful to pursue deep relationship together and push each other towards Jesus.
  3. Safety Driving: We will be mainly driving across Russia, with me as the primary driver, so prayers for safety in harsh road conditions and inclement weather.

I’m excited to see God continue to move in the lives of the students as they begin outreach and get to put into practice the tools they’ve been given while in DTS. As always, if you are eager to know more about what I’m doing please don’t hesitate to send me an email, I would love to share more with you!

Much love,

Dani

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Northern Norway, Round Three

Hello Everyone!

Wow, what a crazy summer and beginning of fall! In case you haven’t heard yet, I’m back in Norway!! I’ve been here about a month… well; sort of. Technically I’ve been in 4 countries in the span of 30 days; which has had me on about 10 flights, 2 and a half weeks in a tent, 1 backpacking trip, 2 conferences, 1 school module down, and the whole DTS school to go. WOOOHOOO!

Let me catch you up on what has been happening this past month and give you an idea of what is coming! I landed back in Norway on July 27th and immediately started preparations to go on a scouting backpacking trip for the outdoor track I will be leading this fall. Needless to say it was an awesome time! My co-leader (Jason) and I, hiked, spent time with Jesus, and planned the route on which we will take the students this fall. God really showed up and spoke about how the trip will look, and we are both so excited for this upcoming adventure!

Next up, Gofest. Gofest is a conference put on by YWAM Norway where they invite all their friends, family, previous ywamers, and fellow christians to come together and hear great teachings and worship together. Since I’m serving in YWAM Norway I had the joy to go volunteer and work at the conference. It was an amazing time of seeing God’s hand move and worshipping Him with fellow believers.

After Gofest we had a short drive and ferry ride across the North Sea. We ended up in Sjellboro, Denmark for Northern Europe DTS training. The DTS staff for this year, (Courtney, Tyler, and I) spent a week learning from, and fellow-shipping with other DTS staff from across Europe. Our lectures consisted of reviewing curriculum, how to communicate effectively what we believe, healthy mentor-student relationships, and how to lead with the Holy Spirit, etc. These have all helped build the foundation that will enable us to really follow God’s lead in our schools and grow further in our relationship with Him. Everything starts with us, as staff we are leading by example. If our relationship with Jesus is dry, our schools will be as well and our students will see emptiness where the love of Christ should be.

This fall I will be participating in a DTS leadership school; we will meet for three modules and have homework in between. The weekend right after DTS training, we had the first module of the school. Let me tell you it was AWESOME! Andreas Nordli, the leader of YWAM Norway was our teacher for the weekend. Something that really impacted me from the first school module is understanding of leadership styles in a cultural context. Being able to see and adjust my leadership style to fit within the culture I’m in helps me to grow and be a more effective leader.

Now that you have been brought up to speed on everything I’ve been up to since I left home, time for the best news of all! DTS HAS OFFICIALLY STARTED!!!!!
We have already spent three days in the mountains getting to know each other, spending quality time together (without our phones), doing super fun team building activities, worship and prayer. Now we are heading into the first week of teaching which will cover the gospel and hearing God’s voice.

I’m super pumped for all the work I know God will be doing in the lives of our students this year. I would also love to invite you all to join in praying for them with us! We have two boys and four girls, and three staff members (two girls and one boy). A few specific prayer points to keep in mind would be:
1.) The students would grow closer together, and the relationships formed here would be
life-giving and rich.
2.) The students would have softened hearts ready to receive from Jesus in this season.
3.) Wisdom and grace for our staff to lead them well and push them towards deeper
intimacy with Jesus.

I love my job, It has brought me into contact with some amazing Jesus loving people who want to see this world changed, and God’s love reign over all. I’m privileged to join the ranks with them to share the good news and to train others in what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

As always, if you are eager to know more about what I’m doing please don’t hesitate to send me an email, I would love to share more with you!

Much love,

Dani

DTS Staff Team! Tyler, Courtney, and Dani! (LtoR)

DTS Students! Brennan, Maria, and Anna (LtoR)

More DTS Students: Sara, Debbie, and Svein (LtoR)

Team building activity!

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Spring Has Officially Sprung

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Hello Everyone!! With spring comes new life, and I hope you are all experiencing that this spring. The snow here in the North is finally melting and you can see the green grass underneath! The sun is up until 10pm … Continue reading

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Seeya Thailand, Next Stop: The Philippines

It’s so crazy to believe that we are already four weeks into outreach! Our time in Thailand is over, and we’ve arrived in the Philippines. We’ve only experienced 38 days of 2018 and I can’t wait to see that the next 327 days will hold!

Our time in Thailand has been quite an adventure. We’ve worked with schools, juvenile centers, villages, homeless, slums, done practical work and taught English! God really opened a lot of doors for us to go and spread the good news. In these ministries we’ve had the privilege to share bible stories, sing worship, and do skits that represented all that Christ does for us.

In the schools we did a program, that included songs, games, a skit, and a bible story, sometimes we would get to share a personal testimony as well with them. The ages were usually around 5-12 years old. After an hour or so of our program we would follow the different grades to their classes and teach them English for another hour. My teaching partner and I focused on teaching about the different modes of transportation, (i.e. car, truck, plane, helicopter, motorcycle, taxi.) We would write it on the board and have them repeat after us. Following that, we had them practice writing it and do crazy motions and sounds that described each object, in hopes that it would help them remember it in future. About half the schools we went to were for disabled kids and adults. My heart really goes out to them, it was so much fun to do songs and skits for them! The joy on their faces that someone came to visit them, and wanted to perform for them was enough to melt any heart, it certainly melted mine.

 The other ministry that left a huge impact on my heart was the village ministry. We went to two villages for three days each. In the first village we went to it was all practical work, we were visiting a church and pastor who was building a home for abused children, specifically girls. The walls were up and that was it. Over the course of the three days, we painted the whole thing and helped put the roof on it! It was so awesome! Soon little girls will find hope, love, and healing in that place away from the abuse they have already suffered. God is so GOOD! I am so blessed to be apart of such a project. It was also a wonderful time of fellowship with the other YWAM team that was there from Kona. We killed a pig together and had BBQ and then a goat the next night! Talk about some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten! It was wonderful to sit out underneath the stars in the countryside of Thailand with a huge fire blazing and friends all around.

The second village we went to had never seen foreigners before, we were the first white people and Christians to ever come to that village in Thailand. I know that there are still people in this world who have never heard of Jesus, but to meet them and tell them about Jesus, WOW! It was so amazing! We visited the sick and prayed for them, we went to their schools and did skits, told stories, and taught them English. We worshiped in the place we were staying (right next to a buddhist temple) and sang out praises to God for everyone to hear. The best part was at the end of the three days, one of the teachers, from a school we had been at, came back to learn more about the stories we had told her students. She wanted to be able to retell them and help the students understand them. The Kona team had the new testament in Thai and gave it to her, please join me in praying that she will be the first covert in that village.

With all that accomplished, it’s still hard to believe that out of all the things in the world I could be doing right now, I’m a teacher in a bible school. If you had asked me even a year and a half ago, what I would be doing in 2018 the answer would have been very far from what is my current reality. At the same time, I have never been happier in life than I am now, the feeling of purpose living for Christ and following His calling on my life brings so much joy even in the hard times. More than that though, is the peace that fills my heart, I don’t have to worry about what life will throw at me. I will do my best. I get to lean on someone who is much greater than I am and ultimately, He takes care of me. No matter what life brings, there is always hope for tomorrow because Jesus holds all of my tomorrows. What a comfort and joy!

Thank you all for following along with my journey here, our students are inspiring me daily with their growth and hunger for more of who Christ is. They have more confidence by the day, and are certainly not the people we met back in September in Borgen. Please pray for their continued growth and the unity of our team as we take on this next phase of outreach in the Philippines!

Much love,

Dani

 

As always, if you feel led to donate, there is a tab above that will take you to my donations page. With that I would also like to ask for two of our students, they have paid all their outreach fees, but have little money for anything else. So if you donate and it’s for them, drop me an email with the amount and I will make sure it gets to them.

 

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Challenges, Blessings, and Outreach 2018

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“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7 Hello again family and friends! The month of December has flown by, I ‘m currently … Continue reading

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The Joy of Doing a DTS Again

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Family and Friends! Hello! Where to begin, it’s been way too long since my last update. So much has been happening up here in the far north. The snow has finally arrived and has been sticking for about a week … Continue reading

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Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

We’re already a month into our DTS! I can’t believe how fast time is moving. The wilderness trip is still by far one of my favorite things about DTS, our intro week is depriving the students of their phones and taking them up into the mountains and we stay in a cabin together for a couple of days. We do bible studies, team building, roast hot dogs, and s’mores.  I love it because we have to spend time together, there’s nothing to distract, except of course God’s fantastic creation. Yet, our mutual marvel at God’s creation brings us closer together, sitting around a table singing worship songs by candlelight, it creates a fellowship that I absolutely love.

With that week finished, we came back down from the mountains and started into regular classes. Our first week’s topic was The Bible. One of our base leaders, and our DTS leader Agnete taught this week. I can definitely say I will never get tired of hearing people teach on how to study God’s word. I learn something new every time; see it in a way I haven’t before, it fascinates me how many things I can get from reading the same passage.

Since then, we’ve had three more weeks of teaching and will soon be launching into another week, which will be our first track week, the Justice and Youth track students will split and receive teaching specific to their tracks. Thus far we’ve covered the topics of prayer, evangelism, and the nature and character of God. It’s been amazing to see the growth of the students in just one month. How they have come out of their shells more and more with each other, with us, and the teachers. They have had such great questions and are hungry to learn more about their Creator which is awesome to see. I’m so blessed to walk alongside them in this process and continue to grow myself during it. It’s the best part of being a part of a community of believers, the journey is never done, there is always more to learn about our Creator. It’s pretty exciting and there’s only more coming, God has some amazing things in store for this DTS group.

In other news: I have two big announcements for you all! I have been praying about starting an outdoor track here at Borgen and I feel God has said to “Go for it”! I would greatly appreciate your prayers in this matter as I explore all the possibilities for doing such a track. Second, we’ve decided on our outreach locations! Our team will be heading to Thailand and the Philippines in January! Please keep us in your prayers as we seek out what ministries we will be apart of in those great countries! Always, if you want to know more details or have questions of what we’re up to drop me an email at norainnoflowers14@gmail.com!

Love,

Dani

If you would like to support my efforts here as a missionary, please check out my “Join With Me to Save the Galaxy” page!

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