FAST Break….

Hello my blog readers! I have wanted to share about some of the things I’m doing outside of the classroom for a while, but I’m not really sure what to talk about. They say that you learn as much outside of the classroom as you do in. So besides my street smarts I’ve gained here, I’ve also had some awesome growth through personal challenges. Before I left I decided to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone in ways that wouldn’t be to hard. But I knew they would force me to address areas of my life I avoid reading into too much.
The first thing I decided to give up was makeup. Simple enough, I was almost out so it was more of a convenience to just go without. Then, day one, I felt completely naked, on my face :). And since we were meeting everyone for the first time I was so self conscious, I felt like each person was looking at all my flaws. Then around Wednesday I had to just surrender all my negative feelings about myself. If people are only looking at my flaws, then I don’t want to be their friend anyways. And since then, it’s been awesome! I haven’t had to fight to mirror time in the morning either! That’s where you see the claws really come out.
I also decided to fast COFFEE… I know, stupidest thing I’ve ever done. But it was getting to the point that when I left California, Peet’s stock took a dive. And I didn’t want to rely on anything (except God) for energy. That was rough… So I probably looked like a pretty rough chick my first week here, no make up and no coffee… Wow, I never thought about that. Bummer. The first Thursday I stopped having headaches. Sometimes I will smell it from across the room and start to head for the styrofoam cups, then I catch myself and I’m like “get a grip!” and it’s all good again.
I share this because I realize how much I lean on other things to bring be happiness or feel full. I know how silly it is to wear makeup to the gym, and I love that first sip of coffee. But instead of looking forward to or needing those things, I want them to be the last thing on my mind. God will fill every need, every time.

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I MISS…..

Lot’s of things… As much as I am blessed by the culture here and loving this time and experience… There are things I miss. And sometimes I’ll be doing things here that are normal and then realize that I would completely die if I were doing these things in the US. HAHA! And some people ask me what/who I miss most…
I miss my mum and daddy! The most. DUH!
I miss my phone. I think of my friends and family often. I would love to send you a quick text or call to tell you I miss you but I can’t, so I usually pray for you instead. So it’s not as much missing my phone as missing my friends and family.
I miss the food. The food here is so bomb, but I have this list in my head, pizza spots, sushi places, and yummi yogurt, I totally forgot about that… mmmmm food.
I miss feeling safe. As sad as it is, it’s a constant on my heart. I don’t get a lot of alone time because it’s scary to leave the base alone. In RWC I’d jump on my bike, or walk anywhere I wanted without hesitation. Here.. I don’t even consider it. I’m not panicked I’m just very aware… and nervous. I wish I could go on little adventures, and walks alone. But it wouldn’t be worth it.
I miss church. specifically House Wednesday nights. They skyped me in tonight and it so blessed me. I felt like I was there. I miss you guys sooo much. And I pray for you often!
I miss my creature things, which is such a good thing for me. I miss my car. I miss my bed, bike and my TV, and my junk. I miss it all. But I also don’t miss it at all. It doesn’t make sense, but I keep just realizing how simple life is without all my crap. It will all be there when I get back. And if not, eh… Except my BED. I’m snuggling a spring right now, I miss you bed.
I miss my life, job, school…. And sometimes it’s hard. Because I’m really seeing and learning what I value. Even as I read this. I am so petty sometimes. I’m in MAZATLAN MEXICO! I will never have this time again, I am away, and I’m learning and growing. And it’s rich. I love it.
As much as I miss all of you, and all of this…. I don’t miss you, because you aren’t far from me. You are in my thoughts often, the relationships I have built with you will last. I’m sure of it. And when I get back you’ll probably wish I had stayed longer. Especially after I post this! 😛

Salon De Ester

Was a complete success! Thank you for praying. I will admit to being a bit of a skeptic. How do you minister to people while you do hair or nails or make up? How do you communicate why we are doing it when I don’t speak the language? How do you even get people inside? I still have no clue. But God does! It’s unlike anything I’ve done before. We began last week with a lot of prayer, and brainstorming for the salon. This is tough, when you have 15 girls, with 15 opinions, and tough communication boundaries. But, we did that too! The Salon was beyond any of our expectations. The decorations and supplies came together in the last hour before we opened. And then we opened… And I realize… I don’t know how to do hair, or makeup… or ANYTHING! I prayed really hard the first night. I kept a broom in my hand and swept up hair while I prayed for the women being treated. The next night I got a bit more involved and did a few manicures on people we knew. It was super fun!
Sunday night I finished a manicure and a younger guy sat down with Lydia, who was doing nails beside me. I tried to speak with him a bit, but he had no interest since he was more of a manly guy, waiting for his girlfriend to get her toes done. So I see Walter, a mexican passing through to join the intercessor team. I run over and ask Walter to get a manicure from me and chat with the guy for a bit…. You know, tell him it’s a good thing to be a little sensitive and treat yourself. Reluctantly Walter gave in, and got a MANi. He chatted with the guy for like 20 minutes. Lydia and I had finished the manicures, but I could tell that the conversation was getting really deep so I was like, “Lets just keep massaging.” I bet Walter was dragging it out because he was liking it so much! So we wrap it up. The man thanks us and leaves. The next day a girl shared with us that when they were leaving about to leave the girlfriend was kind of lingering by the table so she went over to the couch with them and asked them if they wanted to pray to accept Christ. They DID! It was so sweet to see how God used to many different people to speak to them, but to each bring the same message.
Salon De Ester…. Success!
Tonight is our last night of Carnival. As fun as it was. I am ready to be done. We get done at 3:00am and wake up at 10:00am. I’m running on low batteries, and now rethinking my decision to fast coffee. But, we will spend tonight at the Carnival BBQ celebrating all that God did this past week. And enjoy some of our last times with the amazing people helping and visiting the base.
Please pray for my rest. That I can get enough and not be crabby. Thank you!

Carnival is in the AIR!

Ahhhhh Carnival. Well, I don’t think I have mentioned Carnival but it’s a pretty huge deal here, like the “Mardi Gras” of Mazatlan. So the city has spent two months decorating and preparing for four days of out of control partying! One night while I was walking with a friend we happened to catch the parade and lighting ceremony. That was unforgettable! Mexicans do their fireworks right!
So the next two weeks is actually considered an outreach for us because we serve and minister during Carnival, instead of party. 🙂 NO CLASS!! And I really didn’t think it was going to be this huge, until this morning when I realized that hundreds of people fly in for this, just to be involved! We have the Sept. DTS school back (16 students) a team from Melbourne Australia (12) a team from Newcastle Australia (6), Teams from Mexico, Canada, California, and other places I can’t remember (40+). So things just got busy and exciting! During Carnival YWAM has decided not to ignore chaos, but to get involved in a way that can bring light to the city. The different areas they use to minister are, skate church, intercession prayer team, evangelism, a free cafe, and a free hair salon. We were asked to pray and choose a ministry to partner with for the 10 days leading into and during Carnival.
As I was praying I was so easily led to want to get involved with the Salon, I have had huge walls move in my life since being here in regards to my vanity, and feel like God wants me to show the women of this community how beautiful they are. It makes me so sad when I see how the men here treat women, hollering and shouting at them, it makes me sick when I’m walking down the street and I can feel the perverts eye’s staring at me. I just have not seen women being honored here. I want to make women feel confident and know that they are beautiful. Hopefully that will see something different in the women serving them in the salon, which may lead them into a relationship with Christ! YAY…
Please pray for my week: That I can just stay with it. It’s absolute madness, a lot of organizing and challenges as we are trying to get together supplies for the salon and decorate, but with our group being 8 english speakers, and 5 spanish speakers, we are already seeing miscommunication. Patience, Love, Rest.
Thanks everyone… I see your prayers working daily.

I’m Trying…..

Sorry for the lack of an update, I was technologically challenged for a couple days… So I thought I’d fill everyone in on what’s been going on. PS, if there’s anything I’m not mentioning that you want to know, just ask. I love that you guys want to know what’s up, but it’s hard to write about myself. I feel like you’re all reading these like, “man, Shayla is so boring!” sometimes it’s true. But any suggestions to Spice it up, are welcome.
Here’s a start, so I went from having 4 female roommates to 6. That’s 7 girls in a room the size of a very small hotel room… Do you smell the estrogen? So, living in a tiny room, 3 spanish speakers 4 english speakers, how do we communicate the obstacles that come with living in community… Well, I avoid it. Until today. L. a spanish speaker asks me about some breakfast bowls I’ve left in the kitchen for…. 19 days…. I then say, “oh yeah, I should take them downstairs.” to which she replies, in perfect english, “Do it now.” Ok, guess I’ll be more on the clean team from now on.
And then there’s school. I am definitely learning so much. It’s crazy, but I’d guess that I’m learning as much out of class time as I am in. In class last week we learned about the Character and Nature of God. God is revealing his compassion for me daily ( Lamentations 3:22-23 – look it up, it’s a good one. :), and continues to stir more compassion in my heart for Haiti. That might also be because last week we had an internet meeting with them and the base there expressed their need for anyone to help. Their base has temporarily been turned into a hospital, and the help is pretty limited. I’m like counting down the days until we land. (Mid April)
This week, I’m learning to face my fears. Why? The topic, EVANGELISM. Tough one for me. I’m not big on talking to strangers (my parents didn’t encourage it) and fear of rejection is also strong. But, this topic is presented by a total rockstar! BOB, is living it out! He is so crazy for God. it’s wonderful to see someone so consumed in his faith that his heart yearns to tell “one more” about Jesus. And one at a time, he has led 18,000 people into a relationship with Christ. I haven’t ever felt like I have a gift for evangelizing, but this week has pushed me out of my comfort zone, in a good way. I’m still fearful, but realizing, that it’s good fear, and I need to channel it into a passion for the lost.
Prayer please:
1. For the fear, and learning how to face it.
2. For my community, there’s a lot of homesickness, drama, and financial provision for the base.
Muchas Gracias! – I’m getting way better at spanish. Well, I think so. Have a GREAT DAY!