Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Happens When You Go To Africa - by Danny Randall

One of my fellow mission students at school in Pemba with me posted a note on his Facebook page... it moved me so much I just had to share it. With his permission, here it is... bless you!

Hey there friends! I have been thinking about africa a little and what I gained out of it.  So much good was accomplished in me. So much God did through me and so many others.  The blind saw, the deaf heard, and the lame walked.  And that wasn't even the best part!  God took me into His heart and showed me around more than He ever had before.  Or maybe I was just finally focused fully on Him without distraction.  Either way,  He gave me a glimpse of eternity.  There is a bigger picture you know. Bigger than just living day today with no end in mind.  There is another world coming. Another kingdom. And God showed it to me.

 It is a kingdom where the least of these our brothers are honored above everyone. Where those trying so hard to be first and best are last.   we are one big family. God showed me that once I really begin to see all people as family, it will be impossible to give up on them or write them off.  I learned that loving others deeply from the heart is a miracle greater than raising the dead.  I learned that humility and preferring others to ourselves brings the kingdom here to earth quicker than anything. Perhaps the most beautiful truth my heart grasped was that however I treat the least of these my brothers, that is exactly how I treat Jesus. God wants me to look in their eyes and see my Jesus.

 It wasn't (and still isn't) easy to really live these truths out, but it is the only life worth living.  It's the only way to keep our souls intact.  Taking care of the poor and the oppressed is not negotiable.  It's not for those with a special calling.  It is for believers period.  Nothing upsets the heart of our Father more than when people are oppressed, mistreated, or ignored while we look the other way and stay in our bubble.  If you don't believe me, then read the prophets.  God is passionate about bringing His world into ours.  He is looking for laid-down lovers who will search His heart and find out what they can do to bring heaven to earth. Ok, I am off my soapbox(for now) concerning taking care of the poor.

One last thing. this was much more personal.  Most of you know that my wonderful mother passed away last year in august.  My heart still feels the glaring absence of her presence.  Everyone who knew her loved her.  However, in Africa on my birthday, God did something very special for me.  He brought my mom to me in a vision.  My eyes were closed but I saw it as clear as when my eyes are open.  Her and Jesus were talking about me. Telling each other how proud they were of me  and how precious I was to them both.  I saw my mom fully resurrected and in glory. She was pure light and it took my eyes some adjusting before I could look directly at her.  She told me that I was pure light also but that I just couldn't see it yet.  She had all her dark brown hair back and her face was smooth and wrinkle free.  All her muscle mass had returned to her and her contagious joy and laughter were in full force.  Cancer will never touch her again.  It holds no weight in God's world. It is powerless.  There was much that was said between us, some with words.  But it was so beautiful.  Only our Father in heaven could think of such a perfect gift for His son having His first birthday without his mom.

So this is a short synopsis of what I learned and what happened in Africa.  God is amazing and He is breathing new life into everything and everyone.  I want to thank everyone who prayed for me, gave me finances, and offered me their friendship and support.  You guys are truly amazing.  I leave you with one last thought.  Jesus is not reserving the miraculous for overseas.  He is just as able and ready to do the miraculous here in America.  The question is are we willing to give up our agendas, our control of our life, and our wonderful image, and depend fully on the Holy Spirit for everything?  God searches the whole earth looking for those whose heart will be loyal to Him alone.  Be blessed!
 Danny Randall, Iris Harvest School of Missions Student, 2010

Friday, January 28, 2011

6 weeks to go!

It is now only just over 6 weeks to go until I leave for Asia, although a few others in the group will be starting a couple weeks earlier in Thailand, scouting out the area for the Lord's strategies on starting a new Iris base there. This will be specifically to go with God's heart on ministering to and setting free those many girls and boys who are selling themselves for sex every day. "In Thailand as well as in other countries, six year old girls are sold by their parents for $10.00 to the brothels where they are forced to have sex with many men every night."  This is so sad and so not what God has in mind for each of these young lives. He has called, created and purposed them for so much more. See Christian and Christy's blog at for more information about this trip which I am not going on, but is taking place just before I leave and Jesse and Tanya will be on this trip. I will most likely be meeting up with them in this country and flying straight on to where we are headed next. Christian and Christy's blog also includes a link to a 10 minute teaser for the film "Call and Response" about human trafficking.

As I continue to transition from living in Africa to living in Australia in the western world, and also prepare to leave again soon for this next trip, please continue to pray! Your prayers are needed and so appreciated!

Pray for:

More of Jesus. We want more and we need more. That we would keep our eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith and also keep our hearts soft and open to continuously receiving His love... We are going because of Him. We are going to be his hands and feet and to see Jesus in the eyes of every man, woman and child that we have the privilege to meet. We can only do this if we first stop every day for Jesus before we stop for the one... Pray that we would dive deep into His heart every day, and lay down and die every day, that He may fill us to overflowing with His love and joy! We love him and he loves us. He loves each of us so incredibly. He loves YOU so inexhaustibly.

Visas - favour as well as everything to go smoothly with getting documents in time etc.

Finance - for plane tickets, visas, other means of travel, support along the way and to be able to bless the existing ministries and people who we will be serving with as the Lord leads

Unity - genuine love and unity among the team who are going. We are a small group, who will be meeting up with others in various countries. That our hearts would be bound together in the Lord and we really would be like family- loving, supporting and encouraging each other all along the way

Direction - that we would hear completely clearly from the Lord, every step of the way. Pull down any assignments of confusion or uncertainty that have been set against us. Pray for specific keys and divine strategies from the Lord, and boldness to step out in prompt obedience to whatever He leads us to.

Health/family - please continue to lift us up in prayer for divine health and protection for each of us and our families as we travel. Grace for the journey. Nothing we eat shall harm us and nothing we touch can hurt us. Also in some areas there would be varying amounts of demon worship and witchcraft going on. Greater is He who is in us than he who is the world, no weapon formed against us will prosper. We are called to go into some of the darkest places of this world to bring the light of Jesus Christ. The light shines into the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. The light also exposes and uncovers what is going on in the darkness. We know that we will see many people set free and whole family lines changed forever as we venture in and love on the least of these and those held in spiritual bondage.

Please also continue to pray for preparations for the South/Central America trip!  
Some of us will be heading to the US by early august to get things together, however planning has been going on since october 2010 and will continue and only increase as we get closer to leaving. There is much to organise, such as vehicles for the trip, mapping out our trip and making contact with those already in the countries, and various other logistics. This is a trip expected to last around a year or longer.

Thank you so much again for your prayers! Because of you many of the worlds unreached people groups will soon be able to be called reached! Even in the place where I did mission school - Pemba, Mozambique the missiologists used to call the local tribal groups almost impossible to reach, yet they are now experiencing revival. Today, so many of these people in Asia and the Americas have never even heard the name Jesus, and many are dying every single day without having heard of the only one who can give them eternal life and joy and love every day of their lives here on earth. You may not be able to go yourself but know that your prayers are powerful and are changing lives all over the world :)

If you would like to be put on my mailing list for receiving news/prayer points specifically about these trips or any further trips, please email me at serena - copy and paste, then take away the space in between serena and xh

If you would like to give anything financially towards these ministry trips, click here: "Give to the Adventure". Bless you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 1, Pemba, Mozambique

I feel on my heart to share some of my journey in Pemba, Oct-Dec 2010 with you all, so here are some excerpts from week one, Iris Harvest School of Missions, Pemba, Cabo Delgado Province, Republica de Mocambique!

“Your vision’s too small” - Mama Heidi

No matter what dreams or visions God’s given me,
there is SO way more than I could ever imagine!

“The devil simply doesn’t have the ability to blackmail us." - Papa Rolland
“If you have any desire at all for God, it’s from Him. He has the ability to finish what he started."

“The foundation of Iris Ministries is to actually believe the bible!”
“Zero compulsion except love” - Papa Rolland
“Iris is a vehicle to new places. Just relax and let Him be in control. Keep your eyes not on the vehicle but on the driver."

This is the way to avoid crashing and burning and becoming stressed out! All of every day is all about Jesus! If it becomes about the future, then that is an idol. Keep it about my Jesus.

“You can’t make yourself love people if you don’t know what love is.
                    LET HIM LOVE ON YOU!”  
                                       - Mama Heidi

“The only way you can be a radical lover and give radical love is to receive radical love. Unless you LOVE you run out of steam. It’s whipping yourself to do it. Stop Every Day of your whole life for Him, before you stop for the one. So long as you are in the centre of His heart.”

“Your good works need to proceed from faith. If it’s not done out of affection for God, then it’s sin.”

“He meant all these good things to INCREASE your affection for Him.”

“Don’t complicate love. Keep it simple :)”

Ministry time after one of the sessions:
I saw a single long stemmed rose, and I was like that to God. He wanted me. There were thorns on it and now I know why. Because my thorns hurt Him. My defenses are still up a bit. “God loves you so much it HURTS!”

Sunday 10th 10th 2010! My first Sunday in Pemba.

One Samuel Two
 6 “The LORD kills and makes alive;
      He brings down to the grave and brings up.
 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
      He brings low and lifts up.
 8 He raises the poor from the dust
      And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
      To set them among princes
      And make them inherit the throne of glory.

      “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,
      And He has set the world upon them.
 9 He will guard the feet of His saints,
      But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.

      “For by strength no man shall prevail.

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory! This is so God’s heart. God is an upside down God. Most of my visions and pictures from God since August 2010 had been upside down and I really felt that He was making a point, in saying how upside down His kingdom is! We go to the least of these and God changes a nation. His heart is the least of these. Yet his heart is the rich as well. His heart is all who are hungry, whether we are hungry in the natural or the spiritual… It is a good thing to be hungry, as God loves to fill those who are hungry!

I just found a journal entry from week 2… but it applies to this

“I love that God is an upside down God! I’ve been seeing all my visions since August from underneath or upside down, and it’s been driving me crazy!
I think God is going to rearrange everything upside down here in the way I think and the way I SEE.”

Journal excerpt from 10.10.10 (again)
Apparently I woke up my bunkmate last night with shaking because God was being funny in my dreams. He was literally making me laugh! So I woke at 4am with her saying “Serena”? and the muslim call to prayer going on outside.

Today church was incredible – reminds me of my home church, with all the dancing and even action songs! And also the immediate presence of God (there is one song especially which I cannot seem to find on a recording although it is partly on the Finger of God DVD… It is slow and is about Yesu – Jesus. It brings the tangible presence of God straight away and I miss church so much… as much as I can when it is mostly in portugese and the makua tribal language!).

After church I ended up sitting on the floor with this whole group of Makuan kids. Junita, Anna, Aida, Owlla and two others. I also met their Dad Manuel who was in a wheelchair/bike. None of them spoke English. The baby played in my lap… The Mozambicans are Beautiful, Beautiful people!

We went to the beach after lunch and there were hundreds of makuan kids everywhere. At least three hundred of them and mostly without parents!

They smiled, hugged, laughed and grabbed us and pulled our white skin and rubbed our faces and rubbed our hair. And splashed us and jumped on us in the water – many at one time so that it was really hard to stay standing!!! And some of the older boys got a bit too touchy. We learned that Sundays on the beach are pretty much not a good idea. Most of the kids though are really nice and are just so excited that we would come and play with them on the beach. One girl followed us halfway back to the base and kept running up, grabbing my hand and saying “Ciao” with a beautiful smile at least six or seven times :)

Photo credits: Esther Brueckner-Leech, Angel Huang, Betsy Graton

Monday, January 3, 2011

Harvest Mission School Oct-Dec 2010

Loving on the least of these

Worship in a mud church - Joy!

The villagers are so generous in giving us mangoes!

Children are the same everywhere!

Sunset at the prayer hut on base


Some of our boys from Casa 11's adopted dorm - I love them to bits!

Baptisms in the Indian Ocean! New LIFE!

Deep Unto Deep Green colour group I love you!

This year past, and 2011!

Every year of our lives God intends for us to be an absolutely incredible year with Him - loving and being loved by Him, building relationships, stepping out in faith, going deeper into His heart and growing in everything He has for us! 2010 for me felt significantly like it was going to be just a year of deeper intimacy with the Lord than I had ever known and more freedom than I had ever known.

Well 2010 definitely turned out like that! 

I had started reading about revival and renewal in 2004, during my break times in the college library. It was there that I first read about Rodney Howard-Browne, Toronto and Rolland and Heidi Baker. I remember being so hungry and really wanting more of the Holy Spirit, and also thinking about visiting Mozambique one day.

In Malaysia, January 2010 while visiting my parents, God spoke to me that I was His lily. I googled lilies and one thing that stood out to me was that some lilies take up to 5 or 6 years underground before they start to show. God reminded me of that time in 2004 when I had really started to hunger for my life to be more of a representation of heaven on earth, and more intimacy with Him.

I got back to Australia and found out that Rodney Howard-Browne was coming to speak at my church that March! That was incredible and on the Tuesday night after he spoke I was at a creative team discipleship for my church, and one of the things Jesus showed me was himself in a Tarzan-ish costume. It was so funny! I'm asked him what he was doing looking like that?! (by the way he's fun with me. I work with children so he often shows me stuff in cartoon or related to kids or in a way that only a kid's mind could understand or would find funny). So he says to me that my life with Him is just going to be this whole huge adventure. He said "this is the life I want you to live. A pioneering, adventurous life with Me!" Because my Jesus is NEVER BORING! It will always be FUN, and FUNNY! It will be a journey into the unknown at times, scary at times, definitely mind-blowing, beyond and far exceedingly over and above all my highest hopes, dreams and expectations. But most of all it will be fun. And it's all for love! The most amazing, powerful, abundant, undoing, overcoming force in the world! His love. 

I then saw Him as a caped man on a white horse and he held me against His chest, which was a white bright chest. And we kept stopping and ministering to/healing the ones, and then swinging them up on the horse with us. More and more precious ones joining in the adventure!
The day after this vision I flew up to Queensland to a conference with Rolland and Heidi Baker. They had an Iris stand set up which I avoided the whole time. I knew God would get me to Go if I looked at it. Well God got me anyway. I ended up going to the Iris Harvest School of Missions from October to December 2010 where God took hold of me and wrecked me for the nations. He wrecked me for the least of these. There was one significant session where I laid down every dream He had ever given me or I had desired myself and I saw them float away. I had the sense that there was no past, no future, only NOW and it was the NOW that mattered. “My future is a blank canvas ready for You to paint on”.

It was after this during the launch of our 24/7 prayer week, as laid-down Mozambican pastors were praying for all of us international students that He gave me the Abraham call to GO, complete with a picture of a green pedestrian light, except the little man was running instead of walking.

Throughout the rest of the school God revealed to me personally more and more exactly what that meant. He also confirmed the call to the nations through different people, most of which knew nothing of what God had been speaking to me. Further to that, I visited a church on Christmas Day in Australia which I had never been to before, filled with people I had never met, and one of the ladies confirmed this from the front by pointing me out and saying I had a call to nations - just another expression of love from my Father - when I didn't need it but He knew it would bless me :)

It was during my time in Mozambique that I also met Jesse, Tanya and baby Zoe – long-term missionaries with Iris who I first met as leaders of my team’s weekend outreach into the bush. (You can see their blog at )

I feel like Jesus has asked me to go with this family to reach the lost and love on the least of these in a few different Asian nations. This will take place in the months of March to May. We will be visiting existing people already there, serving with them, ministering to the local poor and broken, and also reaching out to unreached villages, and loving on them. We will also be visiting Australia to work with people there and reach out to the local indigenous people.

In September I will be again travelling with this family as part of a group of other people who have felt the Lord speak to their hearts about South America. We have felt His heart for the most down and out, lost, forgotten people and it is to see them transformed by the LOVE and FIRE of God. His heart is to see them gathered in from the darkness and brought into the light of His kingdom! We will be leaving from California in the first couple weeks of September, travelling all the way through Central America and down into South America - going through as many of the countries as we can and targeting especially those unreached tribes and people groups who have never heard the name of Jesus before. We will also be connecting with local YWAM bases and other churches and believers who are based in these countries permanently - they will be the ones who will disciple and train long term. We will also be ministering to the poor and broken in the larger cities that we travel through. We estimate this trip to take as long as or around a year. We will be travelling by 4x4 and RVs and some people will be involved for parts of the trip, some for the whole trip. This trip will be documented as much as we can on an online blog which will be updated regularly, and will be found on the Iris Ministries website:

We hope that through this others can join with us in praying and interceding for the whole of Central and South America to saturated with God's love and power, seeing lives changed, restored and set free!

I love you all and would really appreciate your prayers as I step out in following where He leads! It is all about His heart :)

Pray for more intimacy with the Lord - we always need more of Him! Pray for all of those involved in the trip that we would hear clearly from God about where and when He wants us to go, and how He wants us to prepare. HIS wisdom, strategies and strength :) Pray for provision and favour for the journey. More love, more joy, more peace!!


You are Needed and WANTED!

He is all we need, and we need each other. We need our family with us. Every one is important. Every individual is needed. 'The church is not the same without your gift'. We are all needed and wanted because there is no one else who can bring what you bring. Who can love like you love. Who can be who you are. Who has the exact same passion and unique ministry that you do. We are all different, all unique, yet all bound together. No matter if I don't even know you! The body of Christ includes the local body, and the body all over the world. What you do here is impacting someone, some way over the other side of the world. Yes it's true! Maybe not in the immediate, but as they say, a butterfly flapping it's wings here can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. Don't underestimate yourself and what God has gifted you with. Do not underestimate the power of your prayers.