He’s got the….

WHOLE WORLD in his hands, the whole wide world in his hands….. This week was the last week of classes, yay! And world missions week, YAY! Our teacher was muy chido (very cool)! He’s originally a Minnesotan gone YWAMer, gone pastor in Mexico City. And he’s been there 25 years. So he taught in Spanish. And he was AWESOME! He taught on Genesis 12:1-3 – Look it up! That’s the verse my friend gave me that encouraged me to come here. Love the way God speaks, confirms, and affirms.

He was the perfect balance of rad mission stories, mixed with scripture, experience, and wisdom. Loved his message. He challenged us to go to the tough places. He spoke about God’s covenant with Abraham a lot. I loved that. And that the great commission is to preach, to ALL the nations, tribes, languages. ALL. Every person should hear the gospel message.

On Thursday we talked about communication. We took this test. And as I’m taking it I’m like this is terrible. This can’t tell how I communicate. It was SPOT ON! I’m a people person. But I was pretty evenly spread otherwise. So I’m also a combo between, ideas, process, and action. But if I get to choose, I love people. It was funny as they described it everyone was like “That’s definitely SHAYLA!” Then he was like, “Advice to people people, Don’t take things so personally!” JAJAJA story of my life. I now plan on making everyone take this test just so I can know how to best communicate with them, or that we are doomed as conflicting communicators!

It was a great last week. I am so ready for classes to be done. It’s time. Outreach is here, time to put my class time into practice! Please pray for my team to be unified as we leave. And pray for me, I know that I struggle with communicating, with patience and gentleness. God’s working on it. So, I’ve committed to not spraying any of my team members with pepper spray when they make me angry. I’m going to stop threatening it as well. Have a great day!


Haiti or Bust!

That’s right, this marathon is getting intense. Just got my second wind. It’s nice. Ok… So what’s the update on the trip. Well, this Wednesday we got our tent assignments! I was assigned to the tent with Ms. Neat, and Ms. Clean. They are already trying to convert me, I’m the soon to be Ms. Tidy. But for now…. Not so much. We also came up with some team goals for outreach.

Goals…. Read the bible cover to cover aloud over Haiti. The word is our sword. Outreach might feel like a battle with the enemy sometimes, so we thought it’d be a smart start to proclaim the word of God aloud over land that was once promised to Satan. With each step we’ll take land for the kingdom.

We’re going to see some miracles. We’re going to start bible studies. And that’s just the beginning. We had a board full of words from God about what he’s going to do in Haiti. I can’t even remember them all right now, and I’m to lazy to run upstairs for my journal. Sorry, you can stay tuned for the awesomeness to come. I’m very excited.

The plan, this is the most accurate plan of action that I know of. And it’s from my memory… So it’s not completely accurate! JAJA! We leave here Tuesday night on a bus to Mexico City. We are working with a group in Mexico City called Mega Cities. Mexico City is Mega, because it holds 28 million people. We’ll be helping out there for two weeks, and stuffing our faces with tacos (my plan, not the staff plan). Then we will fly to Costa Rica, then to Dominican Republic, and then drive into Haiti, around May 5th. Please pray for the safety and sanity of our team. Blessings ❤

Boleto Para Haiti!!

TICKETS PURCHASED!!!! Time to brag on God, like huge bragging. I got in all of my outreach money!!! So, a week ago right now, I needed $1400 for outreach. And I’m a complete lunatic, but I wasn’t freaking out. I was feeling pretty good actually. One of my gifts is Faith. God called me to Haiti, He promised the funds, He has all the money in the kingdom at his disposal. $1400, it’s pocket change, how can I doubt God. So I started praying…..
See, I thought I had my outreach covered, and I actually didn’t. So, I went to a little cafe, ok it was a glorified taco stand, drank coffee, ate tacos, and prayed. I asked God who he wanted me to call, or email about support. And God gave me name after name. I prayed about posting a blog to raise support, but decided that it wasn’t an advertisement. I wanted it to be personal. I sent a lot of emails.
A side note. I know it must seem as though I’ve blown my college fund on tacos, but God has really spoken to me about money over the past year or so. I was raised pretty frugal, like really frugal. So, since I’ve been here it’s been my hugest struggle to spend money. The first 2 months, I didn’t eat tacos, or ice cream… I prayed about every peso I spent. At different times the base has taken offerings for various reasons. I had the hardest time, I feel like God wants me to be responsible with His finances and how He’s provided for me. So, He’s been teaching me a lot about managing my money…. I feel like that whole story had a bigger point. Oh well, back to how God brought the funds.
So I had already seen God bring huge blessings, and I wasn’t sure I’d see anymore money come in. I was beginning to write up plans to rob a bank. Then Monday morning, a couple people got back to me. But none were able to support. Then Tuesday I was like Super Praying. And I got like 3 new sponsors! I was like ok, ok, 3 more days…. God has this! The whole time thinking that God would bring me to the very last second to bring the rest of the money. Later that day I called my mom and she told me someone was trying to reach me. I got in touch with that person, and they were like, “hey, we want to pay off the rest of your outreach.” WHAT!? How is it possible? It’s not due for 3 days, and you want to help now? Because God is soooo GOOD! I feel so encouraged, and so blessed. I have some amazing people who intercede for me back home. Thank you if you prayed, or if you gave, thank you for reading this, because I’m just really super grateful!
Oh, I remembered my point. Later that day, as I was still shocked at God’s provision, I felt like part of my heart that is so tied to money, and worrying about money, and worrying about giving, and how much ect, I’m undone. I’ve been seeking and waiting. And it’s been so challenging, God knows. So, I struggled with pride, and asking for support, but when I stepped out and let God lead my heart. I felt like my heart was really heard. God totally brought my miracle. I’m like so so so happy.
So, here’s the not so sunshine and rainbows part. Six girls still need funding, five, have less that $500 of the $2,800 we need. The price of their ticket will be increased. But the now have until Friday to get it in. If it doesn’t happen they will have their entire outreach in Mexico City. So, please pray for them, and if you are reading this. And something stirs in you to give, maybe it’s the Holy Spirit. Let me know, they’d be so happy to take your money.
This week has by far been one of the most amazing roller coaster emotion weeks ever. Thank you for reading about my life, it’s exciting. I leave, in 9 days!!!

Transform the World!

That’s the plan. I had no clue what biblical world view was. I thought it was reading the bible, and relating it to the world, and having a personal view of that… I got all the words in that way. Not really the idea though.
Our teacher, Jose, another spanish speaker! YAY… Not a fan of Obama, like not at all. I’m not a huge fan myself, but I think of Romans 13, all about submission to authorities, and I’m like well, God placed Obama in office, so I’m going to pray for him. This guy was ranting, it was 2 hours of Obama Drama. Oh, anyways, biblical world view. So he taught a lot of history, which is boring, but I like it, when it’s not weird Obama tangents. But how crazy that America was founded on the morals and values of  wanting religious freedom, and now it could get your kid suspended to speak of God, or pray in school.

We focused on transforming our minds. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” I love that it tells us to test so we can approve God’s will. Because God’s dreams are way better than anything I could dream up. And I think when we transform our mind, we are really trying to see clearly what God has for us. Last night I was chatting with a friend who basically feels like his mind and his focus is mirky water. God is the artist, and he’s dipping his brush in the water to clean it, and the water is getting all funky. It needs to be changed. God is a good artist. He knows the water needs to be changed. So if our mind is feeling like the mirky water, we need to ask God to transform our mind, and change the water.

The other focus from his point that I loved was working. We see our jobs as a means to an end. Paycheck, that’s it. But that’s our mission field. Missionaries aren’t just called to the ends of the Earth. Schools, hospitals, grocery stores, all need missionaries. It’s a heart attitude not a location. And he said, “Work as much as you can.” WHAT? We (I’m speaking for America) are taught we should work as little as possible for as much as possible. So the more we can get away with giving less effort, the happier we’ll be, because we won’t be working as much, because work is punishment. That’s not true. You choose your job, and you can choose your attitude. If you are in a job and you hate it, that’s your own fault. Someone wise told me that, he’s my dad.
So this week I learned, I am a missionary, because I say I am. Not because I live with an indigenous tribe, not because I sleep on dirt (I don’t, yet). But because I do whatever my calling is, for God. Or at least that’s my plan.
This week was tough on my focusing abilities. All I can think about is Haiti, and food. But I have Haiti on the brain! Thanks for reading my blog. Last week of classes this week. Pray I can keep my head on straight and regain focus.

Semana Santa, HOLY WEEK!

Not Claus. HOLY WEEK! Jesus has risen, He’s alive!!! YAY! So blessed by this day. And no, not because of the peeps and chocolate rabbits. I haven’t had either. I have gained a new respect for the gospel message. God totally met me and spoke to me this morning about the death of sin, and being made new and alive again in Christ! LOVE HAS RISEN! Whoot whooot!! I still want a chocolate bunny though.
This week was also a type of spring break here. The beach was redonkulous. I couldn’t believe how many people oiled up and packed on the sand. I stayed far from that scene, by choice. We had the high school camp here. We relocated the camp to the base because there was a shooting at the place we were going to have it. Even with the date and location change, we had a ton of kids come out. It was a pretty sweet summer camp. I must say, I felt lucky that I didn’t really have to plan, or organize. I was a participant. I did however sleep on the floor in the girls room. Even though it was restless, I was so blessed by young women seeking God’s heart. Wednesday was the end of the camp, 😦 also sad, was my paint ball skills. I’m a great shot (THANKS DAD). But I must have looked like a chicken with it’s head cut off, running around the dirt lot trying not to get shot. A girl on my own team shot me from about 4 feet away. Yes, it’s a gnarly bruise! Then I decided I needed to unload the rest of my rounds on the Mexican girls since they hid the whole time and weren’t getting their moneys worth if they didn’t get shot at least once… Once, HA. Oh, then I ran out of balls (paint) in like 5 seconds, I surrendered. They turned on me. I had 14 orange spots. I looked like a wounded giraffe. It was a pretty shameful awesome time.
That night the parents came to retrieve their adolescence. We had an awesome time of sharing. One kid told a story about how he wanted to badly to attend the camp and his mom couldn’t afford it, so 30 minutes before he came he had sold his skateboard for 300 pesos (less than $30). Since our YWAM has a skate ministry we found a new board and gave it to him. With tears he thanked us and explained how faithful God has been. He talked about how badly it hurts right now, that his parents are fighting and separating. God made him a promise that he will never leave him. Such a beautiful testimony from a teen struggling to grasp God’s love. There was not a dry eye in the place. Another huge highlight from the night was when we were able to pray over the students and their parents. Again, tears were flowing. I felt a huge spirit of healing for the communication of the teens with their parents. I was also able to preach again! I felt so much more confident in my words. The Holy Spirit totally prompted me to ask Chris to let me share. It was sweet, I totally boast in the Lord on this one. I am not a good speaker. But God brought that message! So exciting.
Now, it’s time to flash back down memory lane. See a pinch of little Shayla. Spring breaks of my childhood were spent, “picking rock”. What is picking rock? It is literally picking up and clearing rocks from the field. I did this every spring break. We would fight over who got to drive the tractor, because that was a like a break. One Easter after Sunday service, we picked rock. It was like bonnet off hard hat on. I had the most bomb childhood. But I was thinking about that because after our camp we all had to gear up and scrape and paint the base. I’m a morning person, and apparently I was doing manual labor soon after exiting the womb so I was stoked to work on my spring break. I’m so serious. I do some of my best thinking while I’m busy doing tedious tasks. So I was glad to pass the time processing all that’s happened the last couple weeks. God’s bringing huge revelation, I’m feeling good. All in all, it was a sweet semana santa!
This week we learn about biblical world view….. or something like that. Since I have no clue what that is, I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. We have 2 more weeks of classes before we ship out to De Effe. It’s coming!!!!!

My Heart Screams….

I AM FREE! It’s a Newsboys rip off, I know, but it’s so true. This week was Freedom in Christ week. Our teachers like I mentioned were so amazing. They were able to present a tough subject in a way that was sensitive to the class, but so necessary to speak truth into each of us about reaching into the dark places that are so hard to deal with, and DEAL. This week was nicknamed unpacking your bags week.
Why unpacking our bags? Well the way Doug explained it is like this, we all have sin and “dirt” (stuff from our past that we aren’t proud of, or never deal with). When we accept Christ into our hearts we are forgiven from that sin. But even with forgiveness sometimes we still hang onto the feelings or emotions from those things. Or we never deal with the feelings and store it away. Then, when things get hard we can dig it up and be like, “Hey, I’m like this or that because I had this or that happen to me.” And where that is absolutely acceptable in some circumstances, sometimes we all know it’s just time to deal. Your bags are heavy, time to unpack your bags, get the healing, receive the forgiveness and walk in the faith that we no longer have to live under this cloud of our past or pain. Make sense?
Let me share how we came to this understanding. Doug and Jan asked us Monday to start making a list of lies we believe. I didn’t think I was believing “lies”, I feel like I’m pretty aware of how I feel and that I can form my own ideas instead of listening to the lies others try to press on us. Who’s lying? Well, here’s the first lie I identified that I was believing, I need an education. I love college, I enjoy learning. But I feel like I will be seen as less if I don’t complete college. That’s crap, knowledge doesn’t make me a more valuable person. Jesus didn’t go to college, neither did my parents, and I look up to their lives more than anyone else. Maybe the uneducated know more than we think. (wow there’s a little rant for ya). The next lie, and I’m going out on a limb here, because this is a touchy one for me. Did you know that America’s “standard” for the perfect size is 5’7 1/2 and a size 4….. Hmmmm I heard that and my response, in my head was, “that’s ridiculous” followed by, “I wish I was a size 4.” WHAT?! I believe that lie too!? What’s wrong with me. I’ll say this, me fitting into a size 4 and wearing shoes that give me an inch and a half lift everyday is a lie. I hate that we are bombarded with lies like these and we think that this will bring happiness and fulfillment. LIES! (oh, ranting again.. ps, I’m tired)
Then what… oh yeah, Class got crazy on Wednesday and Thursday. We had the SEX talk. We went through the steps of romance, and talked about soul ties (when we bond ourself to another person through intimacy). We also added any of those to the list that needed to be broken. Friday was awesome. We wrapped up our time praying with one another and our leaders to break the lies and soul ties that hold us in bondage to our past. There was a lot of tears, huge break through, and huge Freedom. One of my favorite weeks…. I say that every week.
So, lastly, maybe… I might have more to add. But, this week it happened… We lost our man. The solo hombre who’s been hangin with the girls threw in the towel on us this week. We’ve known he’s been struggling with the dense estrogen levels on base. But this week God spoke to him about leaving the school and redoing his DTS in September when he can really experience living in community with men. That’s right women, we need to stick together! Let’s burn those bras now!! BAJAJAJA…. Still kidding…
This week is Crusada! OUTREACH! I’m ready for a break from classes after the emotional weight of last week. I feel drained. But this week is super cool, we are running a camp for high school students. We had one kid signed up. Then today when registration opened we had about 30-40 kids show! YEAH! We are splitting into teams and having activities all week long, like paint gun shooting, beach olympics, and concerts. It’s going to be a blast! Pray that the students enjoy the time and grow closer to God while they are here. I’ll try to provide another mid week update.
Have a great week. I’m lovin all the prayers, bless you ❤

Lovin on HAITi

So Jazzed to share about my outreach! But I also want to share this…. A girl on my DTS was wearing a shirt with a peacock on it. A mexican walks up and says, “Oh I love that, ROYAL TURKEY”! I was like excuse me, royal turkey, peacock… Totally fits. I am now calling peacocks royal turkeys, and you should too! YEAH!
Ok, so HAITI!!! We are a GO! Not that we weren’t before, we just didn’t even get confirmed that anyone knew we were coming until this week. So, first big news, we are living/working at an orphanage. If you know anything about me, I love kids. I might never come back! I’m so excited! However, the orphanage is over crammed big time! They have 120 orphans right now! We will be living on their dirt in tents, but the YWAM staff that just started a base there is doing that as well so it’s no big thang. Well, it’s not to me, one girl had tears in her eyes when she heard. Her next question was, “What is the shower situation?” I was like, “We are missionaries! It might be 5 weeks no shower girl!” Sounds like the shower deal is bucket from the well and sponge bath. 😛 BAJAJA But whatever… Ok, what else, we learned a few words in Creol which is the language used in Haiti. I guess when you say, “What’s your name?” sounds the same as “Do you smell?” in Spanish, the Mexicans were cracking up about that.
The last big thing we learned is 2 parts. 1. The team that is starting up their asked if we can bring them $10,000 to start a church. We are praying through that because we already need to raise $2800 each and only one person has all her support raised. But, $10,000 for God is pocket change so I think we are in! 2. We learned that they actually don’t have bank systems in Haiti that we could wire the money to. So we would disperse it amongst the group and go from Mexico City, to Costa Rica, to Dominican Republic, and into Haiti with over $20,000 cash on us (we would also have all the outreach money). <—- If you plan on robbing me along the way, go look at my facebook. I'm a ninja I'd kill you.. And, God wants the money to get there, so He'd protect the cash! AMEN!
The other thing that is challenging me huge and hurting my brain is my ministry. I was told last week that I and 2 others in my group will be leading all the children's ministry stuff, crafts, games, dramas, ect. I was stoked, I love kids! Then I found out there is 120 children, and then I found out that one person I am working with isn't going anymore, and the other is 17 and her parents won't sign the release for her to go. WHAT!? This is crazy! Oh well, I'm not that stressed yet, I have a few tricks up my sleeve and thanks to Caelan and Riley I know that sometimes you aren't creative and kids just want time and attention. I grew up on a farm, sometimes we threw cow chips for fun, we'll work it out….. Ewwww that is so bad, please pray for me. I'm very excited!
Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you have a super blessed day!

HOLY Guacamole!

Just Kidding! HOLY SPIRIT! This week was totally Spirit week. I even got everyone dressing up like in high school. It was super funny!
Ok close your eyes, WAIT… No, don’t then you can’t read this. Open one eye and picture this… A 5’7 middle-aged Italian man, spiked hair, how do I say this…. He could kill me just by poking me. He’s large. Not only is his stature intimidating, he began class something like this, “DO YA KNOW, GOD LOVES YA!? I WAZA PIZZA MAKA!” In the loudest meanest Italian/New Yorker accent ever….. I was like, “Ok, maybe he hasn’t realized it’s a class of girls and we are all about to cry.” But we didn’t. Well I didn’t. And despite his ability to scare the bajeepers out of me, this was my favorite teacher yet. It’s rare that you see a manly man who doesn’t hesitate to brag on the blessing that God has given him. He spoke to highly of his wife and daughters, so refreshing to hear his heart and the truth in his words, he is an extremely thankful man. So cool. That alone was a huge blessing to me.
Ok, now onto what I actually learned. I am constantly reminded how little I know, about everything. The Holy Spirit was another topic that I didn’t have confidence in. I knew there was a HS I knew it was God. But where did the HS come from? When did it come here? And is it really in us? If it is in us, can we really feel it? Some of these weren’t as much questions, but things I wondered here and there. He answered it all. My favorite was that anything he taught us was backed up with the word. He started right at the beginning and dug in Genesis 1:2, “Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the SPIRIT of God was hovering over the waters.” Well there ya have it. there has always been a Holy Spirit. I know this can be touchy for people, so if you want me to share more about what I learned please ask. I was just really glad to feel like I have knowledge of it. And I’m super confident about that knowledge because it’s all based on scripture. YAY Holy Spirit!
This weeks topic….. “Freedom in Christ” we will be learning about ourselves. What hurts us, helps us, past, present, future. This is a big week! Previous students say this was a pivotal week for them. The teachers are a retired couple who are legends here. God has already been stirring a lot in my heart. So I’m very excited, and very expectant.
Please pray, for my brain and heart to take in all the knowledge I can. And that God would be hard at work this week. I’d also love prayer for our team. It’s tough to feel completely unified when we have so many different boundaries and interests. I know we love one another, we just need to stay bonded as we prepare for Haiti. Which brings me to… Please pray for the Haiti details to come together! I’ll post an update on the details this far on Wednesday or Thursday! Thanks people who love me, and creepers who came across my blog on Google. Glad you read it!

Jesus, the Cross, and more JESUS!

We stopped for tacos, I decided to only have one, but we were having good conversation, and the tacos were soooo good. Of course I had to have two. I’m totally satisfied with my two tacos. Then Shay says, “I could totally do 3!” So I look at the tacos goddess on the other side of the counter and I say, “THREE IT IS!” Now I have a taco tummy. I wouldn’t feel like I was living a true Mexican experience if I didn’t share a good taco story. Don’t worry, I learned my lesson. I’m sticking with two from now on!
Last week we learned about Jesus and the Cross. The week blew my mind again and again. Our instructor was a pastor from Durango with a lot of spice. He taught in spanish so it was awesome to try to translate the message along with our translator. I’m definitely getting better at understanding. Speaking it is still a struggle.
His main focus was to not make the cross this romantic thing. Like how we all feel like, “awww Jesus totally loved us and died.” It was like a wake up call I was the “awww Jesus totally loved me and died for me, so precious….” It’s actually really sad. Multiple times Saul’s words brought tears to my eyes. This week challenged me to look past some of my own ignorance and see the pain, not just the pain Jesus received, the pain I caused. How did Saul demonstrate this? I’m glad you asked…. On Wednesday he asked us a question, “Who has sinned today?” Well, my hand shot up like a rocket. A few people raised their hands as well. The ones who didn’t were lying so their hands were up in their hearts. Then Saul blindfolded himself and asked us to come up and slap him across the face for each sin (I told ya, spicy). I know this sounds like a freaky masochistic exercise right? I pretty much refused to slap him for a couple minutes… Then I was like, ok the guy is trying to prove a point. So I gave him a couple of slaps. A few other people delivered slaps as well. When we were done Saul said he forgave us before he took of the blindfold. Then he explained the gospel message again, and that we don’t see the pain and agony Jesus suffered, but we are still responsible. Not the romantic Jesus loves me story I kept in my brain.
I was super blessed by all of his teachings and didn’t think it would be that interesting. Jesus died, the gospel message we’ve all heard 3 thousand times, so how can I learn about this for five days and not lose interest. I have no clue. But I did! It was fantastic.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t see Jesus as this angelic beautiful creature who came and did good so I could go to heaven and he’d suffer. But knowing more about the battle and the suffering he went through only made my love grow. Such a great week of classes, still trying to grasp all I learned.
This week is SPIRIT WEEK!! Get out the pom-poms! Just kidding, last week Jesus, this week Holy Spirit!
Please pray, for my heart this week and that the teachings would captive me and interest me. Sometimes I start to drift into daydream land. So I need focus. And that we’d learn more about our trip to Haiti and God would be moving and preparing that. Thank you for the prayers, thank you for the ShayShay Shouts! I love it all!

Making Jesus Lord

That’s the book I had to do a group book report on. It’s written by Loren Cunningham <— founded YWAM, go figure. They make us do a book report each month. Which is great for me since I love to read but never make time. This book was all about how amazing life is when we surrender our rights to God and let Him have control in all areas of our life. It's tough to do. But as the book demonstrates it can be so rewarding. It's basically a book of short stories of how people have done this and been obedient, and how things typically turn out better then they ever would have thought.
Our group decided to write out a living will to God declaring all of out important possessions, ideas, and attitudes God's. You'd think this would be easy, but I had a really hard time. Some of the things on my list were, my car, my laptop, along with other useless possessions. But then there were my attitudes and ideas, I've always wanted to graduate college, that made my list. I also had to surrender my dreams, there's a lot of them. I'm kind of a dreamer, and I know and trust that God will do things even greater than I imagine. I want my dreams to align with His dreams for me. 😀
So after I write out this list of crap that I cling to because it's important to me I continued to realize how little it all means. One of the things on my list was, "my right to a good reputation" I thought about writing that for a long time. I want to have a good reputation. But it shouldn't matter to me what others think. God knows my heart, that's what counts right? But I couldn't get over it. I kept justifying why I want people to think well of me. How silly. "My reputation" officially in the will!. It's in God's hands, along with my car, friends, and family.
Our group explained what we did to our class then we signed each others will's for accountability and dramatic effect (we thought about signing it in blood, but then we thought about that and decided it sounded really stupid)….. It's cool though, it really changed how I thought about things that are "mine" and what I place value on in my life. And I read a whole book in a month. I rarely make time for that! I give it like 3.5 our of 5 stars..
And Hannah G… this blog is for YOU, that's 3 in a week and I know you are the only one reading! XO

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