Monday, July 1, 2013

Ultimate Faith Challenge 2013

I spent the last week in Moberly with Pastor Jason, Miss Emily, and a ton of other crazy awesome people at Cafe41 (the youth ministry of Family Life Fellowship) doing a youth internship and Encounter.  These are journal entries from the week - which was life-changing, in case you're wondering.  Major kudos to you if you read the whole thing! I pray and believe it will bless.  We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev 12:11).

Monday, June 23
   For the first day, yeah, it was pretty awesome.  Pastor Jason and Emily are phenomenal.  They're practically adopted me already.  Everyone is like a huge family, and they just let me in as another sister.  It is so easy to love people who love Jesus.  You feel like you already know each other.  I've met soo many awesome people - and I remember most of their names!
   Praise the Lord for Sarah, Sydni, Hannah, and all the young ladies who came and prayed with me this morning.  They are so mature in God.  They will lead many people to know more of His love.
   The prayer walk was awesome.  I had never done one before, but it was super easy to walk through Moberly and pray for God's truth to overcome Satan's lies and deception.  Revival is coming!
   I'll be helping lead KidsNChurch on Sunday.  So excited!  Part of the reason I chose KNC was so I could just stand back and watch Cafe41 in action.  So excited for that, too!  Also super excited for Encounter!  Everyone keeps telling me how great it is.  I feel like I'll burst from anticipation by Thursday night if they don't cut it out.  I can't wait to meet God in a whole new way.
   Even with all that excitement, I'm pooped.  I love You, Jesus!  Bless this night's sleep and the rest of the week.  See You in the morning!

Tuesday, June 24
[in the morning]
   Last night I turned up the music in Miss Emily's car and we were all singing out loud.  When Emily dropped me off, the girl in the backseat (I'm a silly willy for forgetting who it was) said, "I just wanna make sure I tell you this: your voice is anointed by God."  I'm pretty sure she has no idea how much that means to me.  Just sayin'.
[before bed]
   Pretty sure I have never cleaned so much glass in one day.  Cafe41 is is clean (for now) and ready for more kids and more Holy Spirit than ever.  God is going to do awesome things through the youth in charge tomorrow night.  I can't to wait to see the cafe doin' what it does!
   Team-building was awesome this morning.  Granted, somewhat frustrating, but still awesome.  We played "Pipeline," which involves transporting a marble through different-sized PVC pipes.  (Of course, PJ's rules were a bit more complicated, but we'll stick with that.)  I'm convinced my team completed the challenge just because we were smiling the whole time.  Because we're awesome like that.
   I am having so much fun getting to know everyone.  I've been asked "So where do you live?", "Do you know my name/his name/her name?", "Would you consider moving here?", and many more.  Of course, I never have to talk since the "Dynamic Trio" (Michael, David, and Ricky) have this uncanny ability to interpret each of my facial expressions.  Or so I've been told.
   Father, I pray for more of your power, love, and truth tomorrow.  Eliminate distractions and make our  hearts soft and open towards You.  I know that You will give as soon as we are ready to receive.  Praise You, God, for all that You have done and will do.  I love You, Jesus!

Wednesday, June 25
   God spoke in so many ways today.  He showed us once again just how real He is.  Sarah's "happy bubble" seemed to be popped for a while this afternoon, reminding us that the devil is also real, and we have to be ready to stand and fight, but it made a strong return for Cafe tonight.  We have such joy because of Christ.
   The treasure hunt was awesome.  We didn't find the woman God showed me, but we found so many others.  People were surprised because we didn't want anything from them, only to show them God's love.
   Of course, I sweat more during worship at Cafe than did during the treasure hunt.  Yummy.  It was great, and the testimonies shared by some of the other interns were amazing.  I feel soo much closer to a person when I know what God has brought them out of.  Congrats to Sarah for making me cry first, and to David for making me cry the most.  I love them all so much!
   This week just keeps getting better and better, and Encounter starts tomorrow night, so I'm sensing it's all upward from here.  It is sooo good to get to know everyone more and more.  (How many times have I said that?)  They better come visit me.  I know I'll be down here as much as I can!
   Father, I pray Your blessings over the rest of this week.  Help us die to ourselves every day.  We have life only through You, Jesus.  Praise You, God.  Let us exalt Your name even more.  I love You!

Thursday, June 26
   We definitely made up for skipping team building yesterday by playing the tennis ball game.  It's hard to explain without showing, but it was hard - of course the elevator music playing the whole time only added to the intensity.  Drake was praying in tongues while we tried to get the tennis ball through the door. :D We didn't finish the task - silly hunger, silly lunchtime - but we learned a boatload about pride, teamwork, and forgiveness.
   Trying to fill 250 water balloons with these crazy children was quite the adventure.  We got wet.  We laughed.  It was fun.
   Nothing today was anywhere near as fun as the Encounter, though.  All those people kept telling me how awesome Encounter was without actually what Encounter was, and I just realized I'm about to do the same thing to you.  I apologize.  You'll just have to come.
   As soon as Pastor Jason said "boombashinga party" the Spirit washed over me and I started laughing and bawling at the same time.  Mixing those two is the weirdest feeling, but it was great.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't keep my balance, so I ended up lying on the floor giggling and crying for over 5 minutes straight.  I couldn't even take a deep breath.  The joy of the Lord is so strong.
   Praise You, God, for the freedom you gave tonight, and the chains You are going to break tomorrow.  I am sooo in love with You, Jesus.

Friday, June 27
   Praise God for Isaiah 41:18.  "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."  God is turning my desert into a rushing river of living water.  He never runs dry.
   So many things happened today that it feels like this morning was a week ago.  I spent half an hour resting in the arms of the Father, and then I laid right back down for 20 minutes more.  His love is so real, so peaceful, so deep, and so comforting.
   I officially have a force field of joy around me.  Ain't nobody poppin' my happy bubble!  I have known the deep, dark pit of depression, and now I know true, everlasting joy.
   I also officially have the gift of tongues.  Praise You God!  I speak in tongues, and I sing in tongues.  It is like nothing else I have ever experienced.  There is such freedom in praising God without having to  stop and think about the words coming out of your mouth.  And you know we're all about freedom!
   I just want to ask for more of the Holy Spirit every day.  (By the way, it's 1:30, and I lost.)  He is always ready to do a new thing.  God, let my fire never go out.  Let my hunger never be satisfied.  Let me never grow comfortable.  There will forever be more of You.  I want it all.

Sunday, June 30
   I just realized that July starts in like an hour.  Seriously.  Time flies when you're having fun!  So cliche, I know, but believe me, Holy Spirit makes everything more fun.
   Like KidsNChurch!  It was sooo much fun.  I love kids, and I adore watching God reveal more of Himself to them.  As big and tough and grown-up as they try to seem, they have such soft hearts and childlike faith.  These kids will amazing things for the Kingdom - and they don't have to wait to be "old enough!"  I got to lead them in worship, be part of a skit for them, teach them an object lesson, and just straight-up hang out with them.  I am so crazy blessed!
   I had a pretty intense fake crying session with Bianca before I left, and Misty told me the other day that I'm required to visit monthly.  I hope Kiatcha knows I was totally serious when we were talking about her shoving everyone into a van and coming to see me.  I already miss these people a boatload!
   Than You sooooo much, Father God, for the opportunity to do this internship.  Bless Niki, Aaron, and Delany for putting up with me sleeping in their home.  I pray that each person who was a part of the internship and Encounter would continue to walk in love.  We never wanna stop growing.  We just want more of You!  Praise You God.

2 heartfelt responses:

Jason Neustaeter said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates2102267584744475677>

We absolutely enjoyed your presence here this week! We miss you already, and the hand of God on your life young lady is outstanding. Keep striving and keep praying in the Spirit. Blessings!


Jennifer said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates2102267584744475677>

Dear Michaela, Your blog really is so inspiring!!! As I used to tell your mom, you're so mature for your age. What a blessing you are as you let the Lord work through you! Love, Jennifer