Monday, August 11, 2008

Itchy Butt crack and Robbed! Nice!

August 10th m(the title will be explained later) :)

Hello Hello Hello from Herrnhut Forest!
A little over four months ago, I flew away from Colorado and arrived in Kona Hawaii only to be pushed and prodded and challenged to change. The culprit of this challenge…the HOLY SPIRIT! There have been, and still are, definite times of resistance on my part but I am learning that it’s easier to give into the Good than try to validate my cause of ignorance (if you know what I mean). I have come to be very comfortable with this tension and agree that if a day goes by without me feeling the splice between “who I am, now” and “who I want to be in the future,” than something has been overlooked in my spirit.
I believe the last time I wrote was while in Paris and that seems like a lifetime ago. Since then, we have traveled to Berlin (stayed there a week), than onto a small town called Herrnhut (where the 100 year prayer movement started and missionaries have been being sent out from for ages), headed to Czech Republic for a week, only to double back into Germany to a little town called Germa, and than once again to Herrnhut. As of now, we are waiting for our next move. There is a possibility to go to Prague this week but money is very slim and time of the essence. We are suppose to be on a bus to London on Sunday night and Progue would overlap the times. If we don’t go to Prague than we will stay in Herrnhut, Germany at the YWAM base until Sunday! I’m set with anything we decided to do.
Several interesting stories have taken place over the past couple of weeks. Just to name a few… *In Berlin, we were truly on outreach. We stayed at this beautiful school but on the wood gym floor and no hot water for a week. I got use to the cold, community showers and didn’t really have a problem with it, but I do admit that when we arrived in Herrnhut, (a small small town) the relief I had prayed for arrived. This place is covered with foliage and has a trickling brook flowing past. There are hiking trails right outside the building and I found myself wondering all over the place just enjoying. However beautiful this place was, it had a major downfall!!!! MOSQUITOES!!!! I left that place with over 60 bites and (lets be honest) it was the first time I had mosquitoes in my BUTT CRACK!!!! If you’ve ever had one of those you understand the weight behind that reality! They itched like crazy. Yep, I had an itchy butt crack for about a week and it was very uncomfortable let me tell you! 
* We went to perform at a music festival called “Freak Stock” and it was all Jesus lovers. It was held at this old race track with several tents set up for the main bands! There was great food, laughter and music! The people that came just camped out for a couple days and chill. There were mostly hippies and “extreme” Christians, if that stereotype is really valid, and that place will be one of the fondest memories of outreach.
* In Czech Republic my wallet was stolen!!! (yeah that’s a fond memory!) All my access to cash and money was in that wallet so as of right now I am moneyless and having to fully be dependent on God to provide. My credit card and debit card were taken but those have been canceled so now its just the sore pride and putting pieces back together. However, God has already come through with $32 of cash from random donors within my group and I am so grateful! So Czech was not my favorite place.  .
*To back track a little, on our way to “Freak Stock” we travelled in a Russian bus for what was suppose to have been four hours. Well, well, well….four turned to 5 and 56…….the tripped ended up being 10 hours long. The problem, however, was not the amount of time we spent in the bus, it was the condition of the bus. This bus was rank! It had no air conditioning and was crammed beyond all words. The 5’4’’ peoples knees even touched the feet in front of them. Also, it was stand still traffic with scotching heat permeating through the windows. What do you get when you add 51 people that consist of mostly girls, on a bus where bodies are touching, with no air to breathe and no food to eat and little hope of escape????? A HOLOCAUST! HAHAHA! But what an adventure! I was annoyed at times but I knew it would eventually end so it was cool. (All those trips to Mexico paid off for sure)!!
There are indeed other great moments but those are a few that I thought fun or interesting enough. In my spirit, Jesus has really been working on giving me a ever-changing perspective on life. I am studying 1 JOHN 4:7-17 in my personal quite times and it has really started to change the way I think and appoarch life. I would encourage everyone to meditate on that passage for it quite literally sums up the entire Christian life and the heart of Christ. Also I’ve been reading Psalms 104- pretty sure God rocks! Read that one in the message and NLT because its so encouraging and awe- inspiring!
I will be home in less than three weeks and am so excited to see you all. I am trying to remain fully here at DTS until August 29th and than I will be able to think about home. Sometimes its so hard though because its close. In Hebrews it talks about having a “patient endurance” and “special longing” for those he loves. I am there friends and family. Although my work and learning here are not done, I patiently long to see you soon!!!! I’m gonna close with a challenge: Do your actions show those around you that you love them? Do you really love them or is it to keep up pretense of being a good “Christian?” If you don’t really love the people around you, it’s ok, just ask Jesus to give you that revelation and be ready to receive it. ITS INCREDIBLE and well worth the process.
See you soon- love you all- ASHLEY