Unstoppable

Every time a session of ISM comes to a close I’m surprised at how quickly 4 weeks can pass.   For me the weeks are full of discovery.  Every class is different and every student has something unique to offer.  Even when we come from different cultures, and unique spiritual backgrounds, one thing that always remains the same:  The desire to bring hope to hurting hearts is the reason everyone comes.  How beautiful is that?  How amazing is it that we get to inspire this generation a little more, and that putting feet to dreams is a job? It’s a privilege to work with this generation, year after year.  There are so many beautiful young adults who are wanting to make Jesus known in the world and bring the GOOD NEWs to anyone who is willing to be be loved.  Pray with me that this class of 01.15 will be so filled with the Holy Spirit that through them His beautiful, life changing  presence is felt:

in the streets,

the taxi cabs,

the back of motorbikes,

on a bus,

in the market,

in the brothel,

on the train tracks,

in the mountains,

on the littered streets,

in the office,

and around every dinner table.

Be strong and courageous ladies – the Lord your God is with you.  Jesus’ love is a powerful, unstoppable force and He lives in you.

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Meet Praise Phiri coming to ISM 01.15 – internship Global Cafe Cambodia

Hi!  I’m Praise and I’m coming to ISM in January 2015.   Growing up in a christian home its often all too easy to talk and act like your a christian and go through the motions without any real substance to your ‘confession’ (this was my experience for many years)

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And God is more like a genie that grants our wishes(and prayers..) & when they are granted we refuse to rub the lamb again… And our prayer life vanishes (until the next time…)

For me making a commitment to follow Christ  was the best decision and its wasn’t an easy decision but one that changed my life and it was great to know that my commitment was a response to his great initiative that the cross pictures perfectly.

Going on mission is what i believe he has called me to and even beyond this season of my life and i expect great things and great seeds to be planted in my life and the lives of others around me, both in Asia and wherever it is he leads me next.

I know that being surrounded by like minded people will help me grow in my faith and as a person and that God will do amazing things in my life and even in the lives of those around me, and that my ministry however small, carries great weight and significance.

This trip is all about actions supporting the words of my confession and i hope to gain skills that i can use in life and especially later on as a long term missionary.

Praise

Praise lives in the UK.

Kylie Hobern – ISM intern 09.13 is returning to serve in Thailand

My decision to go to Thailand on a mission’s trip was something that I had thought about for a long time, but never really felt prepared enough to do. God gave me a heart for missions as a young child which naturally led me into a career as a nurse.  I focused on my career for many years and felt God lead me into the area of sexual health.

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If I am honest, I did not see how God could use a sexual health nurse on the mission field, teamed with the fact that I had not been to Bible college and did not have a PhD in theology.  After seeing a DVD on missions working with women in the sex industry in Thailand I felt a real pull towards this type of work, and so applied for ISM, and subsequently set off for three months in Thailand.

 

Thailand challenged all my perceptions, not only of missions work, but also of myself as a person and my walk with God.  I felt this was a chance of a lifetime so I decided to embrace every opportunity that presented itself.  On some level I viewed Thailand as an opportunity to see if Missions was for me, if God wanted me there, and ultimately if I was good enough.

 

My internship was at ‘The Well’ In Bangkok and being a part of this team was a major factor in me wanting to return.  The internship co-ordinator, Richard, was great in not only challenging me in stretching myself throughout my internship, but also matching my skills and passions with the needs of the organisation.  I found this enabled me to really see where God could use me and it also helped me to feel a valued part of the team.

 

My experiences at both ISM and The Well enabled me to put reality to what had been on my heart for many years.  Serving in every opportunity that arose gave me a heart not only for the women in the sex industry, but a love for Thai people and Thailand in general.

 

What I have learned and love about God is how He just flips all you think you know on its head, and then and only then can we really see what he is trying to tell us.  The one thing God taught me through this experience is that missions are not primarily about personal skills and biblical knowledge, (although they do help) but that mission work is about being willing to serve.  Like Isaiah who in his dream heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”, I too am willing simply just to go so that God can use me to minister to those in Thailand.

I’m now in process to return and I’m looking forward to what God has ahead.

– Kylie

Somebody’s Child – John Robinson – Place of Grace

The church is doing amazing things all over the world. Let’s celebrate all the good God’s beautiful people are doing EVERYWHERE!

One of our partners, Place of Grace is an amazing ministry that you could  chose to do your internship!  51WViKk5tnL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX342_SY445_CR,0,0,342,445_SH20_OU02_

John Robinson and his wife Gillian are the directors of Place of Grace.  John has written several books about his life journey.  “Nobody’s Child” described John Robinson’s journey from brutal foster homes, through borstal, prison and life on the streets, to his discovery of the transforming love of Christ.  His second book is Somebody’s Child. In 2004 he received the Unsung Heroes Award. “Somebody’s Child” continues John’s story.   It can be found at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Somebodys-Child-Story-Hope-And-Streets/dp/0825461499/ref=pd_sim_b_1/279-6693175-2783620?ie=UTF8&refRID=0Y9VTQ92RM11MY213YB0

John told me this week after he wrote Noboby’s Child God whispered to him, “you are Somebody’s child.”  He and his wife seek to help disadvantaged families living in the slums in BKK know they are loved deeply by God. To intern at Place of Grace please apply at www.ismsea.com

 

3 Significant things that make ISM different.

1.  ISM trains you for 4 weeks to specifically do missions in South East Asia and SENDS you do a missions internship to a ministry that suits your passion and skill set.   You get to chose the type of ministry, in one of several South East Asian countries, and you choose the length of time.  We help guide you to the right fit.

2.  After training you aren’t sent on a team to do your internship. We believe this is significant.  A team environment is like a missions trip.  Missions trips are amazing but you are still in a comfort zone with a team.  A missions internship is more like a missions life.  We help you learn how to serve, really serve.

3.  You get on the ground training and ongoing mentoring by real missionaries.  There are people who travel the missions world, and read books about missions, but books and experiences can’t replace being trained by people who have learned over years what it means to be a missionary.

Apply Today!  www.ismsea.com

 

 

 

Stand up all you dreamers!

Stand up, stand up
Stand up all you dreamers
– “Wake Up” All Sons and Daughters Live Album

What are your dreams?

If you had a best case scenario and no barriers or boundaries, what would you do with your life? No barriers and no boundaries.  Now, what is keeping you from accomplishing it?  Most of us have an endless list of reasons, money, timing, opportunity or fear but sometimes the only real barrier is action.

You can choose to shape the life you live
. But you have to DO something.

Why Dream?

1. Dreams cause you to step out in faith and watch God do what only He can – the miraculous.

2. Dreaming with God 

causes dissatisfactions with the natural life.  You are a supernatural being designed for supernatural living.

3. When we believe in supernatural living – that empowers our dreams 
and only causes our dreams to get better
.

4. We have gifts, talents and a destiny to fulfill our dreams.  When you dream you realize you were designed on purpose for a purpose and our gifts impossible to extinguish
.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts (donation) and the calling of God are irrevocable (without regret)

If you have a longing to make a lasting impact with your life,  I challenge you to do something about it. Dreams don’t become reality without action.  This Fall consider taking a leap into the unknown.  A wise, godly man once told me two things:

1.  As a believer when you jump into the unknown with faith, you can be sure that the foundation under you is God.

2.  Without doing something, your dreams and passions are just wishful thinking.

At ISM we have 25 opportunities that can help you make your dream become a reality.  It’s time to turn that passion into action and make those dreams your real life adventure!   www.ismsea.com

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Meet Karen Harvey coming to ISM in January 2014 – Internship at NightLight

Hi my name is Karen Harvey and I’ll be serving in Thailand with NightLight beginning in January 2015, seeking to shine God’s light in the darkness and bring hope and dignity to His daughters!  I’m a 2014 graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Ministry.  Washington State is my native land, and mountains are my favorite kind of landscape!

 

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I grew up in the church and though there wasn’t a specific moment that I recall, I made the choice to follow Jesus around age nine.  I knew that this meant that I was loved and that God would not leave me.  Around this time, I began developing a passion for the oppressed and undignified of the world.  In high school, I went on mission trips to Mexico and Honduras that were profoundly impacting to me.  I realized my love of other cultures, serving those in need, and the ways that God can work outside of my own personal context.  I also met a wonderful missionary family doing their furlough in my hometown, which put the idea of being a missionary into my mind.  My faith grew a lot at the end of high school as I joined youth group and a small group Bible study and found Christian community for the first time.  I knew that I wanted a Christian college, and I chose to move across the country to attend Hope College- a small school with deep traditions, community, and faith.

 

I’m in my last weeks at Hope now and it has been so incredibly sweet.  I’ve learned what it means to give every part of my life to Jesus- to seek His glory in whatever it is that I’m doing.  I’m privileged to have witnessed God at work on my campus and in the lives of my friends.  I’ve learned so much about who I am in Christ and who God made me specifically to be.  I watched the sun rise over the Great Wall, adventured in Tibet, and learned more about myself than I thought possible during my semester abroad in China.  I got to live in God’s creation in Colorado and live life with the coolest teenagers I’ve ever met last summer.  I’ve been most blessed by a wide variety of friends and mentors who have taught me more about who God is and shown me love and grace when I don’t deserve it.  Even in the challenging times, God has taught me about perseverance and that He will ultimately use my struggles to reflect His glory.

 

One time of my college career that has been especially impactful is the summer between my sophomore and junior years that I spent serving at a children’s home in Kenya.  I saw God’s heartbreak for the orphaned and forgotten of the world, and how deeply He cares for His children.  I love to be His hands and feet, and He is good enough to let us do that!  After this experience, I sensed that the next phase of my journey would take me to women in sex-trafficking and that is what my experience in Thailand will be.  My journey to Thailand officially began at the Urbana conference at the end of 2012.  The speaker said something to the effect of “light isn’t needed where it’s already light- we’re called to shine light in the darkest places.”  I saw in my mind a red light shining in the darkness, and a pair of eyes, broken and without hope.  On my Urbana commitment card I committed to serving in missions and I wrote, “to bring hope and dignity to His daughters.”

This is my call for the year 2015.  I heard about NightLight through a friend, and remembered the name when I started research post-grad plans.  From there I got connected with ISM.  God opened and closed doors until I knew that Thailand was where I was going to be.  He has been so faithful, even in the smallest ways and I know that He will be with me just as He always has been.  I’m excited to join up with what He’s already doing in Thailand through NightLight!

 

Today I got engaged.

With permission, M’s diary entry January 15, 2014.

Today, I got engaged.

When I woke up, I knew that this was going to happen. I was prepared.

So I kneeled. He proposed, but I was on my knees. I am the bride, but He’s the one that accepted me.
Of all the places in the world, I would’ve never imagined Thailand. He prepared a good surprise.

Today, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Today, for the first time, I praised the Lord in his own language.
Today, for the first time, I understood why people are not afraid when they get engaged. Today, I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t look back. I was 100% sure of what I was getting myself into, and I really wanted it.

Jesus – today, I know who you are. And you are the one I want.

The Scary Part of the Trinity – Kylie Hobern – ISM Student Sept 2013 – intern The Well

 

“For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world against mighty powers in the dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places”

 

The evidence of this spirit world is all around us today and I was never more aware of this than when I was a child.  Growing up in a Baptist church it was common to see healing and on occasion the casting out of spirits.  One healing evangelist used to travel around New Zealand when I was young and me and my brothers were petrified of him.  He was often known to say “the person in row 5 six seats along has the spirit of … please come forward for prayer”.  So at every one of his meetings me and my brothers would count along the rows and the seats and fervently ask for forgiveness petrified that we may have some unknown demon inside of us.  Not only was the identification of spirits alarming to us  but the casting out of demons resembled something out of a horror show which often played on my mind for weeks afterwards.  I guess as children you never get to see the freedom that people experience after deliverance only what occurs in the moment.

 

Growing up this influenced my Christian walk in two significant ways the first was it installed in me an unhealthy fear of the devil and his power but more subtly it negatively influenced my view of the holy spirit.  To me the holy spirit was a ghost (often referred to as the holy ghost) and was the scary part of the trinity that you didn’t want to mess with because the bible stated that blasphemy of the holy spirit was beyond repentance. 

 

The ISM training program titled week two as “Holy Spirit Week”.  I remember my heart beating hard and praying to God to spare me any trauma over this week.  It was amazing therefore  at the end of the first week for Sandra to talk to us about praying and preparing ourselves spiritually for this week and it was then that I decided that I would be open to what God wanted to teach me about the holy spirit.  The teaching was like nothing I had ever experienced Peter informed us of the many characteristics of the holy spirit (none of these being scary) and on the second day we were asked to look up Romans 8: 15 – 16:

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves, instead you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children, now we call him Abba Father”.

Well I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach this verse was for me, right in there in the middle of the bible it stated that the holy spirit does not make us fearful!!!!  

 

This teaching lead me to open my heart more and more to the possibility of the Holy Spirit not only was a good guy but also an essential part of my Christian walk.  At the end of Wednesdays session Sandra invited those of us who had not been filled with the holy spirit to come forward for prayer and of course my hand went up.  I must admit I was somewhat reluctant but I had learnt to much that was good about the holy spirit not to come forward.  The experience was nothing short of amazing and for me it was an experience of overwhelming peace.  All the fear that I had built up over the years dissipated and was replaced with both peace and joy as I experienced a deeper reverence and love for Christ.

 

Being filled with the Holy Spirit has given me ability to see the power that we have access to as Christians which is both exciting and comforting.  I now look forward to living a life free of  fear in the belief that greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world.     

 

Kylie Hobern

Meet Emily Bustard ISM student Sept. 2013 – internship, Living God Church – India

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Emily Bustard

Hi my name is Emily Bustard and I am from Collingwood, Ontario.

I grew up in a strong Christian family. However, it wasn’t until my later years of high school that I really began to realize the need to make my faith my own. During that period I began to desire more of God’s presence in my life and a deeper personal relationship with him. This definitely grew exponentially when I went off to university. The last four years studying at Trinity was an amazing season of my life filled with so much growth, friendship and joy. I had the opportunity to lead a dorm of girls. This confirmed my heart to encourage and love on others. I graduated from Trinity Western University in BC this past spring with a BSc in Biology. I am taking steps toward the medical field with the hopes of medical missions in the future.

 

I have always had a real interest and desire to do missions. During high school I went to Panama and Cuba on short term trips. These were just the beginning spark of a growing desire to find ways to help fill the many needs out there. In university I went to Haiti for a month and loved it, being able to just play with kids, build relationships and serve. The past few years there has always been this desire in my heart to serve in India. Having just graduated I was seeking God for an opportunity to serve overseas with the hopes that it would lead me to India. When an opportunity to join ISM came available I was so thrilled. I am so excited for this fall; to be able to love on others and serve.

 

I will be interning with Living God Church in Chennai India. I am anticipating a wonderful journey of much growth, in which I can journey, along side those around me, closer to our beautiful Jesus.