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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Life As YWAM Staff: One month down, lots more to go!

Hello Friends!

Wow! The month has seriously flown by, it feels like I just landed yesterday and now our DTS students are arriving! This time of preparation has been fantastic, so many things to learn, so much to do! Let me fill you in a little bit on what I have been up to in this past month.

As most of you know, I hit the ground running, as soon as I landed I was heading straight to a conference where I would be part of the team leading the youth program. Needless to say, it was totally awesome! Our program included games to get to know the youth, bible study, worship, a trip to the beach for team activities, and possibly the longest game of capture the flag I have ever played in my life! We also joined the main conference and listened to the speakers there, we heard awesome testimonies and teachings. Working with the youth really refreshed my heart, this is what I had been preparing and waiting all summer to be a part of again. It felt like coming home, and made me even more excited for the coming DTS.

After we came home from the conference, it was straight to DTS staff training. We came together as a DTS staff (there’s only four of us) and went over “what a DTS really is, and how is it supposed to function, what is the purpose of it?”. We went over teachings on what our roles and responsibilities as staff in the DTS, and how we can create the best environment for the students to grow. It was a lot to learn, and my studies are far from over, but I am thrilled for the opportunity to take on this new role and grow as a leader.

The next big event to happen was staff days, where all the staff that work here at Borgen gather together to talk about the new year. The ministries taking place, the dreams we have for new ones, what this season will look like, and ultimately to spend time in prayer and worship together. It was like a family gathering, and I am so blessed to be a part of this family and its ministries.

Between, DTS staff training, staff days, and now until the students arrive it is all DTS prep time. We as a staff are planning everything, the daily/weekly schedules, assigning responsibilities, creating assignments, events to participate in, etc. I absolutely love it, I’m so excited to see this DTS unfold and see God at work in the student’s hearts!

Besides that, I have been enjoying hiking, fishing and exploring my surroundings, the Lord really knew what He was doing when He created all this beautiful nature around us.

That sums it all up pretty much! I survived the first month! I’m so excited and blessed to share this journey of serving God with you all, stay tuned for more updates!

Love,

Dani

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One Lesson At A Time

Hey hey hey hey!

Yup, it’s me again, and it’s time for another update on my life this summer. As you guys know (if you read my last blog post) I am going to be a missionary!! WOOHOO! Crazy I know, right? Well it’s the best thing I have decided to do since I ate a full tub of ice cream by myself. I just wanted to let you guys know how it is going and how you can get involved and support me!

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, wondering what I should write and update you all about, and I think I’ve finally found it. It’s on my lesson (which I’m still learning) about pride, being able to receive blessings from others, and with that being totally dependent on God, because He really does provide. With that, here goes nothing.

I come from a family of hard workers, and yeah, I know, that’s no uncommon thing, or really, it’s what everyone says. I’m used to working for what I get, I bought/own my own car, my first computer, worked most summers on the farm and/or for the family business. Point in case, I am used to working for what I get, and I happen to really enjoy that. However, with that comes a sense of pride of “I can do this myself”. Over this past year, I really learned how much I CANNOT do this myself. I can’t do life myself, nor do I want to anymore, I have something that is forever and I’m overjoyed about it, I have Jesus. If you don’t know Him, you should get to know Him because He’s seriously the best thing that has ever happened to me. I digress though, the lesson here as you can obviously see, is my pride and what it does to rob me of joy in receiving blessings from others. I am sure that I am not the first nor the only missionary that received their call and went “Are you serious God? How am I going to pay for this?”. Admittedly I have drug my feet in writing my fundraising letters, and am still working up the gumption to send them out. (Don’t worry, I will). It has really given me cause to reflect though, why is this so gosh darn hard for me? Well after mulling it over, I really do think it comes down to my pride and my fear of being wholly dependent on God.

It’s one thing to say you’re dependent on God while you have a job that is paying you money, it’s another to work and depend on God moving in others to give to you. It’s like that trust fall exercise we all did as team building when we were younger. Turn around and fall backwards completely trusting your friend to catch you before your head smashes into the ground. If you had any friends like mine growing up, they let you fall past the panic point before they caught you, but they always caught me. That is what I’m doing now. I’m going to turn around and trust; I know God has called me and He has my back. It might be scary and I might go past my panic point, but in the end, He will always catch me and provide. So, if you feel led, and want to join with me in saving the galaxy, click the link under “about me” and read through my fundraising letter. I’m excited for this journey and even more pumped to see what God does next in my life. Stay tuned!

Love, Dani

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I’M HOMEEE

Well I’ve been home almost a month now so I suppose it’s time to write another update and talk about how the rest of outreach was and how being home again is. It’s probably best to pick up where I left off in Bulgaria, and continue the journey in chronological order.

Greece was a whole different world after coming from the snowy Bulgaria, and the sea was less than ten minutes from our apartment. It was still plenty cold when we got to Greece but there was no snow so going outside for long walks was way easier. After being cooped up for so long it was good to finally be able to stretch our legs a bit and see the sun.

This part of the outreach promised to hold a variety of new and very difference challenges from the ones we faced in Bulgaria. Greece didn’t hold any firmly set ministries that we could join into like we had in Bulgaria. It was up to us to figure out what God had in mind for our time in Greece. I think this may be my favorite part, because much as I love planning (and I really really do), it was exhilarating to just go with the flow and explore each day with what God laid on our hearts. Spoiler alert; it turned out beyond awesome. We did everything from street evangelism to working with big organizations in refugee camps. My favorite adventures came from taking to the streets with my ukulele and working in the refugee camp.

Greece has these huge squares around town and my goodness are they amazing! They hold a variety of all kinds of artists, painters, jewelry makers, musicians, and dancers. You name it and you’ll most likely find it. It was a sunny day that some of my team members and I went to one of these squares with our instruments and started playing worship music. Well, we definitely met some interesting people! One was a vagabond by the name of Marco, he had been on the streets traveling since he was 18, no other reason particularly than he just wanted to see the world. We talked to him for at least two hours; about life, about faith, and his travels. He played music with us until he had to leave. On the surface this story doesn’t seem like it should be one of my favorite memories but if we take a step back, I’ll explain why it is.

Our God is a God of relationship, He knows us and desires for us to know Him and build that relationship with Him. We are made in His image and so therefore are also made for relationship. The reason I’m so fond of this story is because we had the opportunity to build a relationship with Marco, even if it was just for those two hours. We listened to his story and his music while enjoying the sun with him. We spoke to him about life. We not only shared God’s love with Him, but shared God’s love for him from our hearts by our actions.

So, learning the importance of how to just love people was the most important part of the ministry work in Bulgaria, and I have to say, it has carried over into Greece. I continued to grow in how to love people, as did the rest of our team. We had the opportunity to love a new people in radically different situations than the previous month, but no matter the scenario the solution was the same. They all needed love, and specifically God’s love, and we shared it with them. How cool is that?

I am so blessed and privileged to have been a part of such a grand adventure of serving others. It truly has been the best six months of my short life. Thank all of you who have supported me! I would not have made it as far as I did without your love and prayers. I am eternally grateful.

The question I’m sure you’re all asking now is “What’s next?”. Well, I’m sure you could have guessed it, but I will be continuing in the same line of work. I will be heading back over in August for a two-year commitment to work as staff doing the same exact thing I did for the past six months, and hopefully more stuff! I’m really excited for what lies ahead of me as I take on this new adventure! Make sure to stay tuned!

I will be doing some more fundraising in the coming months, so if you’d like to see how you can get involved and support me please email me at norainnoflowers14@gmail.com!

Much love for all of you guys!

Dani

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Bulgaria – Outreach Part One

The first month of outreach has been a success! So many things have happen in the past month it’s hard to narrow down what to share. It has been amazing to be apart of so many ministries in the field, the people here are doing a fantastic job. However, I’m sure many people right about this too, it’s not glamorous as so many people would like you to believe. We didn’t see mass amounts of people come to salvation, we actually weren’t even allowed to talk about God in the streets. What we saw, and did was actually so different than what I grew up imagining missions to be like. I’m so thankful for it though, because it really shows the value and the emphasis of just loving people.

Growing up, my Mom would tell me to live my life in such a way that people would know I was a Christian, because the way you live my be the only bible someone ever reads. I never really knew how important that was until all I could do to help someone and show them Jesus was just to love them. Actions speak louder than words, and people only truly change when their hearts have been touched by the love of Jesus that we carry.

So what did loving people look like in Bulgaria? Well it was a lot less glamorous than you’d expect, but it was real, and that is the most important and wonderful thing about it. Out on the Ring Road, we served coffee, gave out hand warmers, food, and talked to the girls as much as we could between customers. We got the opportunity to build relationship with them and visit outside of the Ring Road. I wish I had a better vocabulary to describe the girl we got to hang out with the most. She is truly a wonderful person, who has been given a bad hand, who has done what she had to. She was abandon as a child, unwanted her whole life. She fell in love, married, and had a child, but they fell into rough times. So to make ends meet, to provide for the child she brought into the world she started working. Her motive was to provide a life for her son, but in the end he was taken from her because of they life she leads. She has made sure that even though her son does not live with her, he knows that he is wanted and has family. It was so heart breaking to hear this and know that if we had been put in the same situation, would we have done anything different? She tried everything, but in the end sacrificed it all so that her son could be provided for. It hurts, and yet all we could do was listen to her, love her, and treat her as she should be treated, God’s precious daughter. Because at the end of the day, it is His love for her that will change her, and His strength that will bring her healing.

Another ministry we worked with was teaching bible stories to children in Roma villages. Let me paint the picture of this: it’s around three feet of snow outside, the buildings are made of patched together brick mostly, with only a small wood stove for heating. Honestly, it was usually as cold inside as it was outside. These kids were showing up in ratty summer clothes, practically barefoot in some cases. It is so hard to not be enraged with the sheer unfairness of it all. It makes me squirm just thinking about it. Yet, these kids were so full of life, love, and happiness. The kids would just swarm around our legs, I couldn’t move sometimes because my legs had three or four kids hanging on them. They were so beautiful.  All we could do was teach them stories, play with them some, and love them as much as we could in the short time we had.

Honestly, loving people in Bulgaria was so hard. Not because the people were hard to love, but because we could only offer love to them. The crazy thing about it is, love is enough, especially God’s love, His love is way more than enough. That is the important thing to remember, that it’s not our love, and what we do, but His love.

We did many other things, but that is the most important thing I want to highlight from Bulgaria. God has been really showing me what it looks like to love others with His love.

 

Love you guys! I’ll be home soon!

Dani

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On to the Next!

It really feels like life is going at hyper speed these last few months, every time I sit down to write it seems another thing pops up that needs to be done. Well that being said, it’s now 2017 and the end of 2016 needs to be summed up and explained a bit, then I’ll let you know more about the forecast for 2017.

2016! Wow what a year. If you had told me that I would be sitting in an airport in London heading back to Norway; then shortly leaving for Bulgaria and Greece afterwards I would have given you a strange look and walked away slowly.  However, as crazy as it seems, I am beyond blessed and frankly need a better vocabulary to describe the feelings of sheer joy that I have being where I am and doing what I’m doing. 2016 has taught me many things, but the most important thing I have found that God really is good, and He is good all the time.

Let me explain a bit. Lecture phase of DTS is over, we have been put through the wringer for three months of examining ourselves. Learning about not only who we really are, but who God is and what He intended for us individually and our world. We focused our energies on learning how to apply His love and His principles to our hurting world, and let me tell you it’s been amazing.

At the University of Washington which I graduated this past spring, I studied International Studies, and Comparative Religion, my area of focus was in Latin America. I studied some of the worst things man has done to each other, genocides, rapes, gang violence, drug cartels, corrupt governments, etc. I’m not going to lie, my faith was shaken, I was looking at a world that was so messed up and asking the age old question, how can a good God allow all this? I didn’t understand, and it made me question a lot of what I believed in. I was angry, confused, and frankly lost hope. All I wanted to do was help people, and stop the suffering, but the more I studied the more hopeless it seemed. I could not understand how people could be so terrible to each other and how a good God could let innocents suffer like that.

Thankfully when I exited university, my Mom encouraged me to take a DTS, which I reluctantly did. I can say now with certainty even though it’s only half done, it has been the best decision of my life. I got answers to the questions that had shaken my faith from the past four years, and came to rest on firmer ground. I definitely think, I am better for having gone through all of it. I have studied the depravity of humankind and understand our capacity for evil and how a truly loving God still acts and works in our lives.

Free will: two words when put together have the capacity for the greatest good and the worst evil. Work with me now because I’m still wrapping my own head around this concept as well, but to me it comes down to this; if we can’t choose whether or not to love God, is it really love? Is it really love, if we’re just forced to worship and do what He says? I mean it’s good for us, and the world would be a lot better of a place if we had just listened but we didn’t. God loved us so much that He gave us the choice to choose Him or not, no strings attached. However, we are free to choose, but not free of the consequences of our choice. If we choose to be greedy, then we will hurt others, if we choose to lie, we will hurt others, you get the picture.  When we choose to disobey God, we separated ourselves from Him and just look at our world, we are suffering the consequences.

So what does that have anything to do with what I’m doing now? As a justice school, I’m back at it again studying the injustices of our world, the horrible things that people do to each other. In particular in the next few months we will be working with ministries that are reaching out to prostitutes, refugees, and other groups (orphanages, Roma communities). Looking again into the depths of human trafficking, girls forced to sell themselves to live, people fleeing from war torn countries, people who are discriminated against, and those who are left alone in this world. There’s a huge difference this time though, this time I have hope, a hope that I can share with all of them. A hope that I know will make an impact on them because it is based in the most beautiful thing known to man, love. Ephesians 3:19 “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God”. He is my hope, and the reason I will continue to fight to bring love to all of those people who are suffering.

So there is your quick sum up of the past few months, and my plans for the future all in one. Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me in this adventure! I’m really excited to go and put all I have learned into practice!

If you have any questions for me or encouragement, my email is in my info page, feel free to drop me a line anytime you like!

 

Much love!

Dani

 

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