From Perth to Cebu!- (Outreach Week 3)

the traffic here is so scary

Greetings from the Philippines! I have been here nearly 4 weeks already and so much has happened, but I’ll just catch you up on my final week in Perth first!

Our last topic was Holy Spirit week which was a really inspiring way to prepare for everything thats going to happen on outreach and created a real expectancy for God to move. It was a very full on week, involving lots of packing and also team meetings and trainings in preparation for outreach. We also had a commissioning night where people shared some testimonies from lecture phase and we were prayed for and sent off in our teams.

I also learnt a Hakka this week from one of the New Zealanders in my class. It was used as an act of spiritual warfare but it was super fun to learn especially with the scary faces! On our final morning we had a breakfast together as a class and shared some memories which was really nice. I did lunch dishes for the final time, what a shame.

im so small:(

On Saturday evening we drove to Perth airport and got a plane to Cebu, Philippines via Singapore. We arrived at the YWAM Cebu base the Sunday afternoon. The base and all the staff are so nice and the food was amazing! The base has lots of different connections and ministries within the local community that we were able to get involved with. They have connections with some islands neighbouring Cebu. We had the opportunity to join with the current YWAM Cebu DTS students on one of these islands for the night. Its a very small island, it only takes about 20 mins to walk the perimeter, and apparently we were the biggest group of foreigners ever to visit. As a small group of us walked around masses of children would follow us- it was a very surreal experience to be seen as such celebrities! It was also so heart-breaking to see how much the kids all wanted to look like us and they would always say how much they loved our skin and our hair, when they were so beautiful too! We did an open air presentation in the evening which was very highly attended and we had opportunities to share testimonies and lead people to give their lives to Jesus. Me and a partner also had lots of people come forward for prayer for healing too.

We tried to swim here, on the island, but it was very shallow so it was more like crawling..

The base here is also involved in kids ministry in 10 different slum locations, so we went to one of these pretty much everyday. We played games, sang songs, performed skits and gave teachings. One week we did a week course DVBS- Daily Vacation Bible School in one slum area. The kids were so lovely and I helped with a group aged 10-12. I was able to do some teachings for them, and also help them to say a prayer to accept Jesus into their hearts. Its such a good opportunity to disciple these kids who have no other connections to church or the gospel but they are so open and eager to learn.

am forever gutted when it turns out you aren’t actually supposed to keep the babies that people hand you

We also went and did prison ministry one morning. It was a little intimidating at first, but the people there were already Christian and were so responsive to our drama skit and messages which was really encouraging to see! We had the opportunity to pray for some of them afterwards.

Our stay also included lots of one-on-one evangelism, in the markets, beach front or going around door to door in slum areas. Everyone here is super friendly and eager to speak to us. The Philippines is a very catholic nation so most people have heard the gospel but a lot of them don’t have a personal relationship with God and don’t know how to. A lot of our evangelism has involved discipleship and handing out Christian bibles, in their language, to help people grow in their faith. On Good Friday we showed the Jesus Film for local people and invited them to know God on a deeper level.

We have been doing lots of fun things in our free time and have times together as a team to play games and catch up on how we are doing. We were invited to a wedding of two of the base staff which was super exciting. On an off-day we also visited the Kawasan falls which was a place that had some waterfalls which were great for swimming in and exploring. During our time staying at the base we got to know the staff so well and they really made us feel so at home. They cooked a ‘love feast’ for us before we left which was amazing and we have had many opportunities to try lots of filipino foods. My fave has been mango float which is like a trifle mango thing. We have also spent off-days in malls, enjoying free wifi, western food and trips to the cinema.

there was another place that had a waterfall slide into the water. so fun!

This week was also my birthday! It was a little disrupted due to it being a travelling day but everyone did a great job of making it feel special for me. We went out for dessert the evening before which was yummy. We are now in our second location in the Philippines, in Manila and we also went out for a birthday dinner as a team.

Ill send an update on Manila in a few weeks, but so far we are finding the city life very different to Cebu but I am sure we will get settled soon! If you could all continue to pray for good health for me and the rest of the team as we adjust to the new food and the new climates that would be great. I also have some plans shaping up for my next steps after DTS which I will try and update you on very soon, but prayer for that would still be appreciated. Sorry to keep you all waiting for this post, my time and internet connection is limited- I know you must have missed me lots:(

til then

love, peace etc

hope you had a good Easter and had more chocolate than I did:(:(

Jess xx

Here’s a pic of me crying at my mash potato cake. your welcome.
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Yet more beaches- (Week 12)

this is a quokka. he is cute. I am cuter.

elloooooo. This time next week I will landing in Cebu, Philippines so here is my final instalment in the series of my Perth life. Lots of exciting things have been going on and I have been very busy madly trying to sort out buying and packing everything that I am going to need for life during the next 3 months.

Last week focused on the Father Heart of God and we had a speaker, who was originally from Samoa, come to speak to us on this topic. He was very funny and loved telling lots of stories. The topic looked a little different to how I expected, as it mainly focused on how our identity is based in God as our creator and father, rather than in earthly relationships or material things. Understanding that we were made in his image gives us our purpose and value and we need to correct where we have wrong views of character. I have learnt how we are never lacking in love in any area because God is big enough to cover it all!

yummy beach

I have been trying to cram in as many beach trips as possible before we have to leave. A group of us went out for meal at a restaurant overlooking the sea which was totally lush. I also tried some kangaroo which was surprisingly chewy. I have also enjoyed a sunset swim in the sea which left us all awe-struck, despite the evening being slightly marred by some friends getting stung by jellyfish! We also had a yummy brunch date to say goodbye to some of my crew.

I also made a trip to Rottnest Island last weekend. It is quite a small island but there are sooo many beautiful beaches. You can take a bus around and stop off if you fancy the look of the sand! There are very friendly quokkas everywhere and I enjoyed lots of swimming opportunities. I also learnt an important lesson in how quickly ice-cream melts in the Australian sun.

honestly its so peng

This week’s topic has been authority and submission. I haven’t really enjoyed this topic to be honest. We have been learning about God’s logical, loving limits and how all authority on earth is God-appointed. We also learnt how obedience is an action but submission is a heart attitude and that we need to have the right attitude towards authority figures. If we don’t have submissive hearts our prayers will not be effective. We also talked about accountability and how to practically find our calling. hefty stuff.

We have also been doing more preparation for outreach. We had some cross-cultural training about how to enter into other people’s cultures respectfully and we also had some specific information on the cultural norms for the Philippines and Japan. We were given some training in kids ministry and we learnt some skits to perform while we are on outreach.

team Japhil

I helped to organise an 80s dance party last night which was super fun and felt lots like being back at home!

Would still appreciate all of your prayer support as I go into my final week here of lectures before leaving for outreach. I don’t feel too worried about outreach yet but I’m sure that it will be quite a big culture shock when I get there! Feeling totes emosh about leaving Perth and my friends, as I really do love it here but I am feeling ready for my next adventure!

Have a blessed few weeks.

Til next time

Jessamy

a photo doesn’t quite do it justice. but still pretty cool.

Hallelujah- (Week 10)

beeeeeeeeaaaaaacccchhhhh

Hey friends! 10 flipping weeks out here- int that crazy! Just two more weeks until we are splitting off into our outreach teams and heading into the nations. I will catch you up on my last two weeks before telling you a little bit more about what I will be doing for the next 3 months of my DTS.

The week before last had the topic of Lordship and making Jesus the Lord of our lives. Our guest speaker was from a YWAM base in New Zealand and he had an amazing passion and spoke in a very prophetic way. He presented Jesus’ death in such a real and raw way and delved deeper into characters in the bible such as Mary of Bethany and Noah. We learnt this week about trusting everything to God and how we need to surrender our lives wholeheartedly to him as he has the best plans for us!!

We had some baptisms in the sea at the weekend which was amazing to see and be a part of. And of course I had my usual Sunday beach trip.

pretty small group outings

The following weeks topic was relationships. It wasn’t really focused on boy-girl relationships as you may expect but on how our vertical relationship, with God, needs to come first and this will overflow into all our horizontal relationships. I learnt how we cannot truly love others if we don’t love God primarily. This week really dug deeply into how to practically live this out, and I as will sending 3 months on an outreach team with 9 other people I will have plenty of chance to put this into practise, I’m sure!!

We have been learning how to trust in God for provision of finances these past few weeks. Every morning we have been praying for people who still didn’t have all of their outreach money and we have seen some amazing testimonies of God’s faithfulness. We also had our group fundraiser which involved running (or walking in my case) up and down a flight of stairs called Jacobs’ Ladder. This was a chance to get a group pool of money to help those who did not yet have all of their outreach finances. However tonight we spent a time in prayer and worship and all of the money came in! We were then able to go out to the other DTS’s and pray for provision of finances for them. ‘mazing times.

the sweaty squad after completing over 2oo laps!

We celebrated pancake day last Tuesday on an outdoor grill, and afterwards the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were playing at an outdoor arena across the road from our accommodations, so we sat outside listening to the concert, for free! On Friday we had another time of open-air evangelism in the city of Perth and I got the opportunity to share the gospel which was a new but freeing experience! It rained this weekend. Shock horror. Please pray for me, it was a very traumatic time. Fear not though I still made it to beach and caught a few rays.

our final small group time. I ate so much food I was in pain. very worth it.

We had our final small group meeting last week which was very sad but it meant that we had our first outreach team meeting! We are leaving for Cebu in the early hours of the morning on March 31st. We will be staying at a YWAM base with another outreach team. We will be doing lots of kids and mothers ministry working in the slum areas outside the city. There will be one-on-one street evangelism and also potentially some opportunity for prison ministry. We are flying to Manila on the 23rd April. The eagle-eyed among you may have realised that is yours truly’s 19th birthday. I am told that it will be a good birthday due to the availability of air-con. I’m not entirely sure that this bodes well for outreach. We are leaving the other team in Manila and staying at a church that has connections with YWAM. The work here will be fairly similar, doing lots of street evangelism. On May 19th we are flying to Kobe, Japan for the remainder of the time. We will be supporting the work of a YWAM base there who have only been running for a year so we will find out more details of what we will be doing more precisely closer to the time.

I think thats all folks. I am getting more excited about outreach coming up but also feel pretty unprepared and do not want to leave behind all my beautiful friends who are on other outreach teams. If you fabulous humans could remember to keep me in your prayers as I go into this next phase of the DTS. I am also trying to decide on what my next steps are going to be after completion of my time here, so if you could pray for a clarity and peace I would be forever grateful.

Bless up.

Jessamy.

boom.

sorry not sorry

lots of free ice-cream- (Week 8)

Perth skyline

Good morning everyone! How you going? (thats what all the Aussies say). Life is still going really well out here and I’ve been having a great few weeks so here we go!

We finished off the fear of the Lord topic, the week before last, which was a real time of growing and learning. We were taught how fear of the Lord is made up of reverence of the holiness of God and having his hatred for sin. We also learnt practically how we need to show fear of the lord in all aspects of our life including our thoughts, words and relationships. We also had a class on spiritual warfare which was really interesting and explained the battle between the spiritual and physical realms in a new way.

We had a Valentines day breakfast which was very yummy and the boys performed a song for the girls which was super funny. The staff then went away for a five-day retreat at the end of the week which meant all the DTS (Discipleship Training School) students were in charge of the base. This gave me some much needed freedom and we were allowed to help ourselves to ice cream from the freezer, so I had the best time! We had hangouts every evening, playing lots of games and Just Dance and also watching a number of films. The weekend was also packed with beach trips, of course, and I enjoyed watching the sunset over the sea one of the evenings. I also had to lead our morning chores time, playing some games and assigning work duties.

lush

Last week the topic was missions. This was a little different as we combined with all the other DTS schools, as the staff were still away for the start of the week. The classes involved lots of testimonies and facts about countries and Unreached People Groups- groups in society who haven’t been reached with the gospel. The main message from this week was about how God can use our small faith and obedience to make a massive impact. We also learnt about the importance of having the bible translated into people’s native language so they can fully understand that God is personal and that Christianity is not foreign! We had lots of times of intercession for many different countries.

squad squad squad

Our Friday evangelism looked a little different this week as we did an open air on the streets of Perth with the Performing Arts DTS. We did some worship and then people gave testimonies and some skits were performed. Me and my partner spoke to a few passersby and it was interesting to hear different perspectives on what we were doing. Was a good opportunity to break off the fear of man! I had to do weekend service on Saturday which was a full day of cleaning, food prep and dishes which wasn’t too fun! But I spent all Sunday at the beach again which made up for it.

me and friend sat on the rooftop of a carpark watching the stars come out. thats the stuff.

I think that’s you all caught up. I am loving the community living and have made some great friends, who I will be very sad to leave when it comes to the time for outreach. The plans for outreach are still not really known to me- but hopefully I’ll be told something before I go! Thank you so much for everyone who has been so generous in giving to me! I am still about £400 off my target for my finances, so if you would feel able to support me with the last bit, then that would be massively appreciated and you can contact me via email. Thank you to all of you for the continued prayer support, if you could pray that I keep growing and having more encounters that would be beautiful! Always feel free to message me if you want any more juicy details about my life, if not… till the next time!

Missing all of you, but missing mashed potato more!

Jess x

one last beach pic just to make you even more jealous xoxo

Shout it from the rooftops- (Week 6)

Beach at Cottlesloe

Happy Sunday everyone! It has been a busy two weeks since my last post- so heres a brief update..

We finished off the forgiveness and repentance topic last week, which was a heavy week but was really good and we were taught about how God hates sin because it separates us from him. The weekend was filled with fun activities such as beach trips and visiting a local market. We also saw the opera La Traviata in the park in the city! it was a fun experience but I think I prefer musicals… We also played dodgeball, but some of others teams took it very seriously and I hid in the corner screaming because I was scared 😦

Meg and Meg both from the UK!

This week the class topic was evangelism and we had a speaker from East Coast Australia come to speak. He was very young but has heaps of experience and passion which was inspiring to see! He spent some time explaining why we evangelise and that witnessing to others is something we are all called to, no matter what we feel our giftings are. I also learnt how evangelism should be at the heart of church life, when it is so often pushed aside and left for ‘someone else’ to do. He then also gave us some tips about how to approach people and we held discussions on some key questions people often ask regarding Christianity. On Fridays we always go out into Perth City to evangelise but this is something I have never particularly looked forward to. This week, however I felt more expectant and equipped. Me and my partner spoke to an Austrian man in the park. He was very friendly, but initially every time one of us tried to steer the conversation towards the gospel he would change the topic. However eventually we got him to open up and he told us about a time he got healed after a priest prayed for him on a train. We discussed the gospel and also were able to answer some questions he asked, based on the topics we had discussed in class, which was pretty cool.

This weekend we also volunteered at the Billy/ Franklin Graham event in Perth. It was pretty cool to be part of such a massive movement and see people come forward to receive Jesus! I had yet more beach trips this weekend and also enjoyed a ferry trip in our small group time to get some waffles!

Hannah and I werking the merch stall

Thank you again for continued prayer! I appreciate all the support from back home, my time here is going very quickly and smoothly- though I do still really struggle with the 6am starts. Its difficult being here if you are not a morning person! Next week’s topic is Fear of the Lord which sounds interesting but I’m not sure what to expect. Prayer support would be appreciated that I don’t start to feel too restless with the continued routine! Hope England is treating you all well,

love yas, Jessamy xoxo

Breakfast on the beach! I got up at 7am on the weekend for this but it was totally worth it.

Outreach Locations… ooh- (Week 4)

There’s nothing like national pride eh

Hello friends! This past week has been super busy but has also been a fab time of learning and growing in relationship, so heres a little update.

We started off this week with a camping trip to Dwellingham which was in a beautiful forest area, with an amazing lake for swimming in! Unfortunately it was the coldest it has been since coming here- down to 15°C and rained constantly. Typical🙄 It’s strange how quickly you adjust to hot weather as I was feeling the cold a lot- despite having camped in much colder conditions at home. Crazy how if the weather forecast says that today is only going to be 26°C you know it’s going to be a trousers kind of day!

This is the lake at Dwellingham! It isn’t my photo but it’s pretty awesome.

Anyway camping was super fun and we also had classes outdoors which was an interesting experience, especially when the birds were very vocal. The topic was on intercession (a type of prayer on behalf of others) and worship. At the end of the week we then had the opportunity to put all we had learnt into practise, and have a go ourselves, which was really good. On the trip we also had our outreach locations and teams revealed. It was very intense as everyone had to close their eyes as we were moved, before opening our eyes to see our team!

From April to June I will be going to the Philippines and Japan! 2 months will be spent going to Cebu and Manilla in the Philippines, and the exact locations in Japan have yet to be confirmed. I am really excited for this and you may also recall that my mum went to the Philippines with YWAM many years ago! It was a bit of a bittersweet moment as most of my closest friends I have made so far, will be on different teams to me and I will have to leave them:( But I am seeing this as an opportunity to grow in new relationships and also learn to rely on God rather than my friends! Don’t ask me what I’ll be doing there because I have no clue yet.

My team! We also have another team going to the same locations as us who we will spend some time with in Cebu!

At the weekend we also celebrated Australia Day by dressing up and going into Perth city and sitting on the river front to watch the fireworks. They lasted for 30 minutes and were amazing! I also made another trip to the beach, of course, and we had a British hangout of everyone from Britain living on the YWAM base. It was beautiful to eat some scones and not have to explain to Americans what all our words mean!!!

‘Straya Day Shenanigans

This week of class the topic is repentance and forgiveness and the guest speaker already seems amazing but I think it will be an intense week! Thank you everyone for your prayer support when I was making my choice, if you could continue to pray that I really bond well with my outreach team and grow just as close with these guys too, that would be appreciated. Thank you for everyone’s amazing generosity aswell, nearly all my finances for outreach have come in so feeling very blessed.

I’ll update with anymore information about outreach specifics!

God bless x

I’m the lil egg on the horizon

Life Downunder- (Week 2)

View over Perth City from King’s Park

G’day everyone! I have been living in Perth, Australia for 2 weeks now, so I thought I’d check in with you all and let you know how I’ve been getting on. My time here has gone super quick, but as I’m sat writing this in the 35ºC heat I can’t even remember what cold feels like!

When I landed in Perth at midnight on Friday I was taken to a dormitory that houses all the 20 other girls doing the Young People’s, Discipleship Training School (YP DTS) course with me. I had to choose and make my bed in the dark, and then woke up the next morning to a roomful of strangers, which was definitely a very strange experience! The YP DTS is made up of 30 people aged 17-25 and has a mix of people from all over the world. Before coming here I was told not to expect there to be many English people, however there are 9 Brits out of 30 people on my DTS! We also have students from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Europe and Korea. There is about 400 people living on or around the YWAM base so it is always full of life. There are lots of other DTS courses going on at the same time and lots of staff and families.

Spot yours truly

Heres a little run down of what my days look like, as before I left I wasn’t able to give very much information! Our mornings often start at 6am with some morning exercise. yay. After breakfast and quiet times, we have morning chores which is half an hour of cleaning around base. Between 8.30-10am activities vary. Some days we have worship times either with everyone on base, or as a YP group, and other days we have times of prayer and intercession. We also have a bible study group. The rest of the morning is spent in class. Each week we have a guest speaker come in and talk to us about a specific topic. So far lessons have been really good and the speakers very engaging though it can sometimes be hard to stay awake! After lunch we have work duties, which for me is washing dishes for 2 hours. It is hard work and not always fun, but it is an important job and is a good opportunity to chat and get to know others better. We have afternoons free but they are often spent reading or doing our journals, though homework doesn’t seem quite as bad when you can do it in the sun! The evening activities sometimes involve more class, small groups or just having some downtime. We also have evangelism in the city of Perth on Fridays which I have been finding a challenge but I have also learnt a lot already. This is followed by Friday night meetings, though I have yet to stay fully awake through one of those. oops. The weekends have been full of trips out to the beach and BBQs, and even roo sightings. We have also visited a local church in the city and Hillsong Perth.

On the left is Moore River which is fresh water, and on the right is the sea! crazy!

On Friday outreach locations were revealed. There are 4 possible teams we can join and we now have the weekend to pray about it. My decision needs to be made by Monday morning about where I should go! Outreach will be from April- June and involves travelling, mainly within Asia, and sharing the gospel. I am still thinking over it but I will keep you updated with what I choose.

Massive thank you to everyone who has been praying for me while I have been here. My flight was less stressful than I feared and I have settled into life here really well, and made some great friends. If people could pray for my outreach decision this weekend that would be amazing. For discernment that I choose the right place and also that I have good group of people with me! If everyone could also pray for me to keep my energy up and for good health that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Love you all xoxo

I look happy but I was actually terrified he was going to attack…