Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hansa Center Follow Up Visit!


Hansa Center Treatment Update

God was SO amazing at leading me to the Hansa Center in Wichita for treatment in February this year. I originally heard about it through a friend I know through Iris Global where I served in Pemba, Mozambique. Later on, I came upon the story online of another woman in my city who was suffering multiple seizures and could not walk, from Chronic Late Stage Lyme Disease. At the end of her first two weeks at Hansa she was able to walk and her seizures had stopped! Talking to this new friend and seeing her hope in Jesus helped me to trust that I was hearing rightly from God when He kept whispering to me "Hansa Center".

The Extent of Damage

I went into the Hansa center with a diagnosis of CFS/ME. This was the only diagnosis that doctors could come up with after a barrage of testing throughout 2014 and 2015. As well as seeing my GP/DO, I was sent to an infectious disease specialist who couldn't give me any answers, and tried various natural health practitioners who were able to help me a little, but I was still continuing to get worse. Further testing later on showed the borrelia bacteria, which is associated with Neuroborreliosis, more known as Lyme Disease.

Eventually it came to the point where among other things, I was stuck in bed for 75-95% of each day, and could not go into the prayer room or church because of a problem with processing sound and vibrations. As a musician and singer, this was really hard. I also had postural orthostatic intolerance, being unable to stay upright for too long and needing to lay down flat. It physically hurt to sing, I had cognitive difficulties, neurological issues, pain, and found it hard to hope.

How Hansa Has Helped So Far

During my first intensive two week treatment at Hansa, I entered an environment full of peace and the presence of God. I was so encouraged every single day that I always left my doctor's appointments feeling better in some way, and with more answers about what was going on with my body. The doctors and staff at Hansa pray for patients as well as asking the Lord for wisdom in treating each patient.

The Lord set me up while I was there. My doctor as well as some other patients unknowingly spoke words in season to me that directly spoke to my circumstances in my life both directionally and in my personal journey with the Lord.

I left highly encouraged that I had heard rightly from the Lord in choosing Hansa as the place I would go for treatment. I had more energy during the next two weeks after treatment than I had had in months, if not years.

Now, among other things, I am able to tolerate being around people more than before, my energy levels have improved, my friends tell me I have less brain fog, and I am able to go into stores without getting dizzy and going into fight or flight mode from overstimulation. Praise Jesus!

Going Forward

There are still bumps and challenges in the road - I have layers of infection in my body and it's like an onion - each layer healed and removed reveals more layers and symptoms. Yet this is how chronic Lyme works and I am just so glad I am able to access treatment, as without it I would only be continuing to get worse, possibly ending up like many Lyme disease patients around the world - completely bedridden, suffering more severe symptoms than I currently have like seizures, more heart issues and possibly ending up in early death.

I Have So Much Hope

God provided for me and led me so clearly the first time to Hansa. I know that my life does not end here and He has so much more for me. My dream is to get well so that I am able to work more with children from hard places/traumatic backgrounds. My dream is that one day I may be able to sing again without pain, and to be able to go to church and other gatherings without traumatising my body further. I know God is holding me close, and carrying me all throughout this season. He is my Hope, my Faithful Friend, Saviour and Redeemer, and whether He heals me miraculously all at once or continues to use doctors that He has gifted to heal, I trust in His plans for my life.

Please check out my YouCaring fundraiser https://www.youcaring.com/serenahockey-815906 for more information on how to give.




Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 2016


It's the end of another year, and I am oh so thankful for the ways God has provided - even in the midst of one of the hardest seasons of my life!

Like Those Who Dream
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion [brought back the captives], we were like those who dreamed [those restored to health]. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. // Ps124 NIV




Like those restored to health
I read Psalm 124 a few days ago, which (while I have not studied it fully) to me speaks of the time when Jerusalem will again be the place where King Jesus rules and reigns from, and where all the nations will come and worship Him! I am so looking towards that day! And I am also so looking forward to the day when Jesus brings my body back to 100% health! The NIV version includes a footnote that "those who dreamed" could also be "those restored to health".

I am feeling so much more lately, the promise of healing that the Lord has for me. This has been one of the hardest seasons of my life. The most I have felt hard pressed, the most I have felt perplexed; all of those descriptive words from 2 Corinthians 4 have felt extremely real to me. Yet I am feeling expectant and so excited about the healing He has coming for me!

One day, I will be able to climb mountains and fly long flights across the world all over again. This will SO be a testimony of the Lord's goodness in the nations! Until then, I keep pressing on toward the goal, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith! He is so good!

SO close!
I am SOOO close to finishing my 4 year Diploma at IHOPU! Just a few more finals to go and I am done! Thank you to ALL who have supported me over this season!

Dreaming Dreams
I've been praying a lot about the next season God has for me, while asking God to open the right doors and close the ones He wants closed.

I have So Much peace, having already felt like the Lord was calling me into a season of really pursuing health here in Kansas City. I will continue seeing health practitioners that God has connected me with in the area. I have so much confidence that this is God's will for me in His role as the Great Healer!

I also have dreams that I feel like God has been stirring for me for the future. Right now they are impossible, and I feel to incubate them just a bit longer and continue to seek His face and heart! In the meantime I will continue to be connected with the International House of Prayer as He leads, here in this next season.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I'm back!

I'm back on twitter! Will be posting all things God, missions, adoption, child development, music, languages etc that I want to share but don't want to blow up my Facebook feed with ;) You may also catch some more of the "real" me through this feed!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Will You Fight?

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." John 15:1-8 (I wanted to quote the whole of John 15, but I know that the more is quoted, the less tends to be read!)

Hi Precious Friends and Family :)

So I was reading a book by Bodie and Brock Thoene. If you've never read their books before, basically they are extremely well researched historical fiction. To the extent of extremely well researched in Hebrew and Jewish culture and even going deeper into the text of the original scripture :) :) Some of their books are set in the time of Hitler and the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. Some series are set in the time of Jesus. I recommend their books to anyone!

I was reading this book called "When Jesus Wept". In this particular scene, David ben Lazarus (Lazarus who was raised from the grave) was the owner of a great vineyard. There was a plague of locusts and while Herod Antipas' vineyard was destroyed, Lazarus' vineyard was saved. Why?

From the book:
Jesus: "How did your vines survive and Herod's did not?"
Lazarus: "We fought to save them. Patrick, my servant, fought because now he's won his freedom. Samson, my vinedresser, fought because he loves me and loves these vines as if they are his own. We didn't give up. And when the oil from the smudge pots was gone and we could do no more, the Lord sent a wind and a flock of quail to eat the locusts."
Jesus focused on the contrast. "How is it that the vineyard of Herod is completely stripped? Not a shred of green remains. All his crop lost."
It was a simple question. Easy to answer. "The labourers hired by Herod's overseer gave up before the battle began. When the insects dropped down, the men didn't fight to drive them off. They were paid to work, but they have no love for the vineyard. No care for the outcome. It's nothing to them if everything is lost."
[Jesus replied]: "The hireling doesn't care, but the one who owns the land and plants, and the vinedresser who tends the vines, now there are lions who will fight to save the vineyard!"

I read this and was struck by thinking about who is the vine (JESUS) and who are the branches (me, you, the kids in Mozambique, every believer...)

So, He said to me in that moment of realisation:

"Will you fight?"

Will I fight? Do I truly love the vineyard (thinking of Jesus the vine and his people the branches)?

Intercessor, will YOU fight!

Yes I will! Because of my love I will fight in prayer and obedience! Jesus is worthy of His inheritance from every nation, tribe and tongue! He is worthy of wholehearted love!


Now just to clarify: HE is the one who fights for us- the Father is the vinedresser. But because I am His - because I was bought by the blood of the lamb, set FREE by the blood of the lamb; because I am released from my sins by the blood of Jesus - I am now free to minister with Jesus as royalty, as a priest! (Revelation 1:5-7). I will fight WITH my Jesus, FOR my Jesus, and for HIS heart, HIS people!

I will go to Brazil and help coordinate this 24/7 house of prayer in Fortaleza with a small team of myself and 4 others... 24/7 for 31 days! (Holy Spirit help us). I will go to Brazil and love the prostitute, the trafficked, the child who has never known freedom... I will go to Brazil and commit myself to unity with my team and to serve, teach, train, and lift up the Brazilian church to become labourers in the house of prayer, calling forth Jesus' purpose for the nations and to become abolitionists of human trafficking in their own nation!

I will go to Mozambique and lift up the hands of my Iris family who are labouring in Pemba, where the floods have devastated the villages, the roads, people's lives... where Iris doesn't have enough to even rebuild some of missionaries homes which were destroyed (all are safe), yet are working hard to do what they can for their friends in the villages.

I will also come back to Kansas City and commit myself to growth - being equipped and able to give more to those He sends me to!

I will pray. I will love. I will go! I will commit myself to living out a life of truth, integrity, standing for King Jesus and preaching (AND teaching) the whole gospel of the coming Kingdom, so that the Lamb will receive His reward. I will sing, I will pray, I will fight for the heart of my King!

Will you fight?

What does it look like for you to fight in your sphere, the place God has planted you? I would love to hear from you :)

Much love and prayers
Serena xoxo


Praise!
I am loving this house the Lord has set me in! My 4 housemates are from America and from the Ivory Coast in Africa. 2 are on nightwatch and 2 on days. 3 are in IHOPU and one is saving up for it next semester! We are between the ages of 21 and 27! They all love the Lord and I am soo happy HE has set me here! Of course there are challenges like how to handle noise from neighbours (townhouses, very thin walls, I have been an extreme light sleeper), but the housemates make all the difference! Plus, the weather is getting warmer and we are in a predominantly black neighbourhood - we have kids of all ages playing in the front yard, back yard and across the street! sooo cute!!

Prayer requests:
Continued physical healing and to walk in complete health!
Intimacy with the Father, with the Son, with Holy Spirit...
Grace to be able to do everything which is required of me schoolwork wise... I want to have the ability to soak up, retain and grow fruit from everything I can!
Grace to lead my worship team well. To prepare well, to set them up for success, and to love well.
Grace to labour in the house of prayer (yes, intercessory prayer is both a joy and a labour!)
Abundant provision soon, for tickets for Brazil and Mozambique.

Random fact:
It was 82F degrees (28C) yesterday. Today was thunderstorms almost ALL day. Tomorrow it is going to snow. Oh Kansas City.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brazil- Liberdade 2014

So... I'm going to Brazil.
What?

Liberdade - it means "freedom" in portuguese. 

I have the opportunity to go with Exodus Cry, a department of the International House of Prayer Kansas City, which exists for the ending of human trafficking.
Liberdade is the project to partner with the nation and church of Brazil in prayer and intervention leading up to and during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup will see an increase in the demand for commercial sex in each of the 12 cities it is being held.

"The battle for human trafficking will never be won in the courts of men until it is won first won in the courts of heaven through the prevailing prayers of the saints" - Benji Nolot

I believe that prayer is the most effective strategy that we have for ending this injustice. In prayer, we are partnering with the Lord's heart, partnering with the Great Intercessor Himself: Jesus Christ, and saying that we want to weep with Him, we want to rejoice with Him, and we want to be a part of releasing HIS purposes on earth as it is in heaven! It is out of this culture of prayer and intimacy with Him (in the red light districts of each city) that we will be fueled to go out onto the streets in intervention teams to the ones He loves.


More about Exodus Cry:

Exodus Cry: Every Person Should be Free from Exodus Cry on Vimeo.


Exodus Cry seeks to mobilize a 24/7 prayer room within the red-light areas in
each of the 12 host cities that will pray for 31 days, the entirety of the World Cup, for the ending of sex trafficking and spiritual awakening in the nation
Out of this 24/7 prayer reality, intervention teams will be sent into the red-light areas to reach out to those being exploited.

I will specifically be going as part of a team to Fortaleza, which is on the North-East coast of Brazil. It is a city of over 500 favelas, and is known for it's trafficking, corruption, gangs and inequality. It is currently said that Fortaleza is the capital of child sex tourism in the Americas, and ranked 3rd in the world. But I know that the Lord does not agree with this! 

The LORD has great plans for the children, the women and the men of Fortaleza. HE has great plans for His church! Fortaleza is also known as the land of light, and I know that there are believers in Fortaleza who are believing this and claiming this truth about this city. It is a place for the light of JESUS CHRIST to shine and for the church of Fortaleza to be a light to the nations, as well as being sent out to the nations to preach Christ and Him crucified. To be the hands and feet of Jesus and to spread the good news of His mercy and freedom!

Here is a 7 minute video on what the Lord has been stirring in my heart for Fortaleza...





My team has the privilege of partnering with Iris Fortaleza for this trip, which I am so excited about because it is like my two families are coming together! Iris and IHOP-KC!

So, how am I preparing for this trip?

  • Learning portuguese - I'm using apps, a course from the library, and spending time translating self assigned portions of the bible, songs and other books to force myself to learn more :)
  • Serving in the Portuguese team - I am an intercessor in the All Nations Prayer Room at IHOP-KC, where most of our team are Brazilian portuguese speakers, and one is even South African, with Mozambican and Portuguese heritage! (Jesus loves me so much)
  • Training - our combined teams are having training at Exodus Cry here in KC, in the offices as well as on the streets (yes the United States is the 3rd largest destination for human trafficking. This happens all around the world. YOUR country likely has human slavery going on right now. Pray and get aware!
  • Prayer - I am asking for more of FATHER'S heart, JESUS' heart through HOLY SPIRIT for His Bride in Brazil. And this prayer is already being answered... I am praying over Brazil, singing over Brazil, and sitting at HIS feet asking for HIS heart!


http://www.ihopkc.org/anpr/#asset/140313_ANPR_2000/auto/true Go to 0:42 mins - praying out of Eph 1 for a spirit of wisdom and revelation – encounters, the raising up of intercessory singers and musicians out of the youth in Belo Horizonte (Beautiful Horizon) – one of the cities for the World Cup. 0:46 mins is praying that they would know the exceeding power He has to them that believe. Visions and dreams. That they would step out for righteousness and justice.
http://www.ihopkc.org/anpr/#asset/140320_ANPR_2000/auto/true Go to 1hr 30secs - praying for the children in Iris bases in Mozambique out of Eph 3 (a lot of people are away in this meeting! But it was such a sweet time).

In Brazil
I will be spending at least 6 hours a day in the prayer room, 6 days a week
At least 3 days a week I will also be a part of outreaches (as intervention teams on the street). I am section leading for Fortaleza so am assuming it will be more time than this, and of course it will be day to day life in loving the ones who are in front of me :) and letting myself be loved by my Papa God, and my team.

Mozambique
The Lord also gave me the sweetest invitation to go to Mozambique right after Brazil, for around a month until school starts again. I will be putting my hand to whatever the Lord gives, and am so excited to see my Pemba Iris family again, and get to sit in on classes with Mama Heidi and Papa Rolland and others! There is always plenty to be done in Pemba, and I am open to whatever HE needs me in most. It will also be partly a time of refreshing after Brazil, as school will start as soon as I arrive back in Kansas City.

Time period: 2 1/2 months
Brazil approx 5th June - 17th July 2014.
Mozambique approx 17th July to 16th August 2014.

Most teams already have their tickets or are getting them this week. As it is the World cup, tickets are selling out fast, so I'm asking the Lord for the ability to buy plane tickets ASAP in His timing! :)

Flights all up, if I can buy tickets asap, come to $3200 for both Brazil and Mozambique all the way there and all the way back from Kansas City ☺ I’m quite excited about this as the original quote was over a thousand more! Praise Jesus for cheap flights! KC→ Chicago Bus; Chicago → Sao Paolo plane; Sao Paolo → Fortaleza → Sao Paolo plane; Sao Paolo → Maputo, → Pemba → Maputo → Sao Paolo → Chicago plane; Chicago → KC bus ☺

Total estimated budget: (high end is more flexibility/able to give more)
Low End: $5100
High End: $5500

Ask me if you would like more information on the budget breakdown ☺

If you would like to partner with me in prayer, keep in touch see below for a prayer guide for Liberdade! If you would like to partner financially, let me know as well ☺ We can see the Lord move on behalf of the nation of Brazil, together!

More information:
http://exoduscry.com/liberdade - you can download a Brazil field guide, as well as a 31 day prayer guide to join us in prayer leading up to and throughout the World Cup.
http://irisbrasil.org - Iris Fortaleza website

Thursday, December 5, 2013

His Sovereignty!!

So, I haven't blogged in awhile!!! Partly this has been because of just not being sure what to write, partly because of going through some harder situations lately which made it hard to write, and partly it has been because of waiting on the Lord... Partly it has been even that I've sort of felt like I don't have any really "exciting" amazing miracle stories to share. Yet even then there is so much I would have liked to share had I been able to write... Anyway, I was sitting down a couple days ago with a friend/mentor of mine and she reminded me of the importance of journalling. Of journalling what the Lord is sharing with me, of little breakthroughs here and there in my current faith journey of getting to another country, and even the impact of blogging as so many are impacted and encouraged by the testimony of what HE does in our lives... So, here I am again! and I will try to do better with speaking forth those things He has me share!

A few little things I'm excited about:

For the past 2 to 3 years I've been asking the Lord here and there about visiting a certain amazing ministry here in the states, or even interning with them. It's not like I haven't had opportunities to go, yet the Lord has not yet released me. Yet here I am now and the Lord asked me to go to a different country far away; impressing on me a friend who has recently moved there (except I haven't met her yet, but I love her already!), to join her for a short time in whatever HE is doing! It just so happens to be that she was with this ministry in the states for 2 years, and therefore has the DNA as well as Iris DNA... Basically what I'm trying to say is, HE hasn't asked me or released me to go visit this ministry which is right here in the states, yet HE has provided for me to GO and visit a friend and connection of that ministry in a country way far away!

Sometimes there may be opportunities that are closer and easier and along the same lines of what you feel called to and want to do, yet they aren't what the Lord has for you. WAIT on HIM and HE will guide you to the right place and time!

Basically, I've had another miracle story of provision... HE has provided a cheaper flight for me just this morning, saving me a few hundred dollars in airfares of the cheapest flight I could find earlier on (the new fare is just over 2 thirds of the original price which is huge!) and while I will have to take a bus to a train to a plane in a different city instead of just going to the airport here, it is still WAY cheaper and kinda more fun, more dependent on Jesus to do it this way :) This is just truth here by the way. Some people wonder how I can be continuously "travelling" all the time... Well, He provides when He wants me to go somewhere. And honestly sometimes it takes more effort and time and long overnight layovers at different airports... and choosing the simple lifestyle :) HE always provides for HIS daughter though :)

I'm writing this at my bedtime on the nightwatch schedule, so I apologise if it isn't very well written!  Thank You Lord I get to go to bed after this!

I just really felt to share about His awesome sovereignty in knowing exactly where we are meant to be at the right times! I'm going to blog again in the next couple days and share the story of how I ended up committing to go where I'm going! It was HIS idea not mine!

Love you all who read this!!

Please pray, for INTIMACY; STRENGTH to keep pressing in and believing for HIS heart for the people and nation I am going to; for GRACE to finish up with school finals well; for my BROTHER's visit in a few days time!!! for HEALTH - big one; for HIS WILL on earth as in HEAVEN!; for PROTECTION and for PROVISION - I still need provision for a visa, for bus tickets (cheap), for another plane ticket inside the destination country (cheap) and other expenses... :) :) I am SO excited about all HE is doing!! Thank You JESUS!! Pray for my family, too :) :)

...HE WILL have HIS way in the nations, whether we partner with HIM or not!! But oh, that HE would have HIS way fully in my own heart... this privilige we have, to partner with HIM... to be friends who pray, weep, love, rejoice with Him!

Be still, and know that I am GOD.
I WILL be exalted in the nations, I WILL be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 46:10