Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Asia Trip

Just to clarify more of the purpose of this Asia trip.
My reason: while in Mozambique, God gave me confirmation after word after confirmation that I was to go to south America with Jesse and Tanya in sept 2011. As a last confirmation before I said yes definitely, I texted Katie my friend and leader at church, asking her for a word or picture from God for me. I didnt say what it was about, only that it was not about a guy! So I got a text back from her (which was a small miracle in itself, as most of my texts weren't going through and most that people tried to send me weren't coming through either!) at 6.30am the next morning. The scripture she got for me made absolutely no sense to her, but made perfect sense to me! Then about 1/2 hour later, Tanya came to my house looking for me to say they were having a south America meeting (which I didn't even know was planned. It was the first of many). At the end if that first meeting, we were looking at the map of the world and Tanya mentioned they were going to Nepal as well in April. She was like 'hey why don't you come to Nepal with us too?' my first response was no as my church conference is in April and I had been every year since 2004. It was an event I always made priority for, even cutting short family holidays to Malaysia for. Once I actually let God bring it up to me again it took me two days of crying and letting go... Even now I am still thinking of conference and kinda wanting to be there, but I KNOW that God wants me here am I am right smack bang in the middle of his will. So then God would give me names of more countries in Asia, and every time I would get another country, I would find out from an email from Tanya or from Jesse on skype that they had added that country to the trip. We had not talked about the country, God would just tell me and then Jesse and Tanya would add it!

Jesse and Tanya's reason:
One of their reasons is that at then end of the central/south America trip, they will be moving to Micronesia with another family to start a boat ministry to all the different islands and also start another mission school, both for micronesians and for international students. This will be more aimed at people who have a heart specifically for unreached people groups and will have more practical content such as surviving in the bush on almost nothing. This will be an Iris mission school and Heidi will be involved. This Asia trip is also to meet contacts and find out where the needs are, so that when students come to the school in Micronesia and they have a specific country on their heart, they can be sent out to a specific country and the need in that country as well as contacts will be known.

There is 7% left on this battery now, so that's all for now but feel free to email me for more info! serenaxh (take the space out)

Pease continue praying:
For health
Unity in the team, and that when Kelly and Kelly come from the states to join us, we will all fit in seamlessly together :) pray for their preparation as well
Provision. For each of us in the team
Intimacy- most important! Wth Jesus.
That we would continue to just make the choice to worship. Make the choice to lean in to Daddy's heart. Make the choice to love. To let God in to the deepest parts of our heart. To make time for Him and guard our intimacy and guard our hearts from offense and anything of the enemy that may try to take root.
There is a different spiritual atmosphere over katmandu and although it is very beautiful and perfect weather, me and others in the team have felt quite drained and there is definitely weird stuff going on here
Pray for the family we are staying with and the childrens home that they have :) the kids are gorgeous and God is doing such a great work here. Our hosts are the most beautiful family and we get to stay in their home... It feels such a relief after staying in hotels and apartments so long. Their natural kids here in the house are also lots of fun :) we get to eat beans and rice!!!! You may think I'm weird, but I love it :)
Divine connections and that we would be continuously conscious of the open heaven we walk in, of Gods presence, of our authority and His burning love for every person we meet

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Visits with great groups of people

Our time in this country has been so great :) At times I kind of felt frustrated as because of safety concerns, some of our plans were changed. I am the kind of person who likes to have things organised and planned or at least know what we're doing. At least when there is a goal or purpose in mind. Other times I can be more of a spontaneous person... but anyway, I was finding it hard as things weren't as organised. But God had his own plans and connected us with amazing people. Each group or person we got to connect with has been so amazing and we are seeing the Lord do some great things through them.

We visited a school a train ride away from where we're staying, which was really great to see all these village kids getting to go to school and get an education. We got to play games with the kids and tell stories and see how the people in charge of it have these amazing plans for the land that it is built on. They have planted all kinds of fruit trees and want it to be really self sustainable, so they don't have to buy food from other places. The day after we visited the school, we got to visit this zoo where as I mentioned before, the monkeys escaped, we got up close and personal with aggro hyenas and I touched a leopard... ! But the highlight was definitely the kids on the train platform. They kept asking for money but after awhile realised we weren't going to give them any, and we just played with them and loved on them. When our train came a couple of the kids came back and pushed through the crowd to give us one hug goodbye.

Yesterday we were able to go with a friend of ours to visit a village a while out of the city. We were invited into one ofthe family's homes which was made of dirt just like outside the home, but everyone took their shoes off anyway as we stepped from the dirt outside to the dirt inside. It was swept so clean and reminded me of the dirt yards in Africa where they sweep their yards every day and it is so clean too. So we hung out a little with the family and then they took us outside to show us the shrine they had to pray to their gods. We then went over the road to where there was a few more houses and visited some more families. The highlight of that trip was just sitting on the edge of a pathway (made of dirt, which they will sit on but they will not sit on the dirt next to it) overlooking these fields with a nice breeze blowing over us all... I originally sat down next to this little old granny, who had a walking stick and was wearing a sari without a blouse - which means she is really one of the poorest of the poor. I wanted to take of my top and give it to her, but then I wouldn't have had anything much on... not good in a culture where they pretty much always wear sleeves! It was so good just loving on the people and talking with them a little through a friend who spoke english as well as the local language.

I had been thinking of visiting a particular organisation here in this city ever since I knew we were coming :) It is run by my cousin's sister-in-law and they rescue and shelter children from really vulnerable situations such as their parents wanting to poison them, abusive situations and children at risk of prostitution. So today we got to visit the home and just really get to hear what they do, pray with them and play with the kids. This was such a great time for me personally as my church ran a trip to this home last year, and I had wanted to come but the Lord didn't say to. I didn't know that it was in His plans anyway for me to visit now instead. So if God is saying to wait or you don't feel him saying to go when you think you want to, just wait on him - he has the perfect plan! The kids in this home in the words of another team member, are just "all so incredibly cute"! It's hard to think that they have come from such challenging backgrounds as they are all so happy and free... They love the Lord and they have great people looking after them. You just know that they are going to be able to step into whatever dreams and futures God has for them. I had really been feeling that this visit would bless us and also bless them and it seems like that is what has happened. So I am just really happy that we got to visit!!

Tonight we have dinner with our hosts - it is our last night here :) I am so thankful to God for how he has just blessed us so far in the connections we have made and the people who are now in our hearts... We did not end up getting a guitar but it is okay, we can still worship God without a guitar!

Thank you so much for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for refreshing, wisdom, clarity and the best use of our time, provision, unity, strength, JOY and LOVE! that we each of us in the team would continue to walk in intimacy every day with Jesus.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quick update

Hi everyone!

So Thailand was amazing, I was thinking of writing my own news but as it is already 5 days since Thailand and it feels like a lifetime... I figured I will just grab content from my friend Dee Dee as she wrote a lot during our time there.

Just since my last email, see below this email what happened with our Iris Thailand team: (written by Dee Dee, from the States). I am including even some of her more "personal" sounding stuff just because it was similar for a lot of us on the team. Even leaving Thailand and arriving in the country I am now in it was such a difference in the spiritual atmosphere. There is still "stuff" going on here, but it is different than Thailand and at the start it even felt sooo restful and peaceful. However now I can definitely tell there is stuff going on that I am struggling with trying to breakthrough. It helps that in the apartment I am staying, there is a keyboard in my room!!! So I have had a couple times of worship on my own and today our whole team of 5 + baby came in to soak a bit. It is such a present from Daddy that I get to play keyboard again, as I hadn't touched my keyboard since before Mozambique and then only for a minute while in the process of selling it. It is such a tool that God has given me for breakthrough. While we are here in this country, myself and Jesse and Tanya and going to go in together to get a guitar, which we will then take to South America as well. Pray we find a great guitar at a cheap price!

God has blessed us so much even with monkeys escaping at the zoo so we could get up close and personal! haha. My highlight by far though was getting to play with and love on the kids at the train station (beggars) while we were waiting for our train. Also we have now bought our tickets into Nepal. We will be arriving in Nepal this Thursday.

Hoping to catch up with some other contacts here - pray for the right connections and the right use of our time here.

See my facebook for some recent photos :)

I have to go now as we are going out for dinner with some Iris friends.

Will update more later!!

Love and bless you all! Jesus is so good! Press in and believe for more! and  people from my church - please let me know what amazing stuff is happening! I love to hear of how God shows up in greater measure in your lives and in church as it really encourages me so much too!

Love Serena

Day 10: Pressing in to see breakthroughDue to a restless night, a few of us stayed back in the morning to catch up on some things and get ready for a jam packed day. A few went to do some prison ministry and pass out waters and sandwiches. Unfortunately they weren't really allowed to take any pictures, but the people who went said it was really good to go and minister/pray for people.
When they returned we all met across the street over at BIG C (which is the shopping center and central location for many ministries such as the Crossing which we will be doing another block party for kids on Saturday and Hand to Hand ministry which has the children day care). From 1 to 5 we were to go help with all the kids’ daycare. There were about 50 kids ranging from ages 1 to about 6. Due to a few miscommunications, things were not as organized as they were usually and the kids were pretty crazy. However, one thing I love about this team is they go with the flow…didn’t stop them from just loving on the kids and playing with them. We orchestrated a few games and songs, but after a few hours, we could feel the chaos set in.  Around 4pm a few stayed back to help clean and prepare with Sarah for some Police that were coming next week to inspect the grounds, and a few of us returned back to the rooms real quick for a break.

We then met up with the guys who had returned from outreach up North and walked over to the Crossing behind BIG C to where the skate park ministry was. Christian and Jesse brought their skateboards and immediately began to just fit right in making friends and skating. The rest of the team walked around the surrounding area and passed out invites to kids to the block party. It was a bit easier in that several of the ministries are already aware and putting the word out for Saturday, opposed to in Bangkok where most people were street people and had no way of hearing so we were eager to invite everybody!

We then broke for dinner, which at this point much of the team just needed a boost. It had been 3 days of not sleeping for Carrie and I and we were starting to feel our minds just shut down. At one point I just sat with a few of the girls and just cried saying my heart is so willing but my strength was just zapped and felt I couldn’t function anymore. Pushing through was becoming harder, but I was grateful we were heading to the prayer room for worship.
Every Thursday night different churches and ministries meet at the Pattaya House of Prayer in the middle of Soi 6, surrounded by bars and open up the downstairs to worship and pray together. It was neat to see many of the people we had worked with in the week and made contact with like Angela, and Bae (who lead worship Wed morning), Sherry and Craig who lead in the prayer room and Jason and Sarah. It was like family knowing so many faces. Christian, Bae and I led and it was a blast. We had three guitars and about 8 jimbay drums in a circle and were just going for it. I just love Christian’s heart and just the unity in the spirit that was happening amongst us all was so refreshing and exactly the boost we were longing for. It’s amazing how when we pour out in the spirit, it is freeing because it’s not coming from our strength, it’s coming from His!
Here's a snap shot of the open doors worship... can't really see everyone, but crammed in the corner is about another 6 people playing drums! It was so loud and powerful!

After about an hour, I decided to walk outside and worship in the street. About ten minutes later a short white man with a beer in his hand walks up to me. He looks me in the eyes and ask: “You guys having a party?” I told him with a fat smile,  “Yea!” He then asked “Are you guys Christians? What kind?” Sarah and Jason introduced themselves and told him it was all churches coming together. He told us that just 5 days ago he had just married a Thai woman and that she was in Bangkok, and he came to Pattaya to have fun. He said he was from Ireland and no joke ten seconds later Christian not seeing or hearing what was going on began to play “You are the God of this City!” which was written in a bar in Pattaya from a group of Irish guys a few years back. As Sarah heard this she told him it was a divine appointment from God he was there and she began to explain to him the song that was playing that that it’s no coincidence.
I invited him to come in and sit down and enjoy. He took me up on the offer and we pulled up two white chairs in the street. I began to pray quiety and felt led to ask him if I could pray for him. He kind of starred at me for a minute blank and almost unsure how to answer, but then said yes confidently. I signaled Jesse who was standing behind him to pray too. Jesse squatted down next to the chair and we asked if we could lay hands on him. Again he was a bit unsure, but said yea. We began to thank God for bringing him here and that God brought him for a reason. At one point he looked up and could feel him start to wrestle. He began asking questions about religions and why then were there so many gods. He told us he was Buddhist. Jesse just began to share with him his past also believing in other gods and the things he experienced and visibly saw, and that it was only Jesus that could save him and satisfy. He told us he had heard it all before, and right then I felt God give me words. I asked him if he had peace. He began to shake his head and say no. I asked him if he wanted peace. He began to cry. He told me he wanted to experience Jesus not just talk about it. I told him if he was open and willing I would pray for peace. But he was so broken at that point he just began to get uncomfortable and got up and walked away.
My heart was just breaking. I knew he wanted to be filled. I could see it. He came to us. I followed him down the street and watched him hide behind a bush to chug the rest of his beer. I started just praying, and then he came back towards me and still with tears in his eyes shook my hand and said. “Thank you, you are very nice.” and walked away. I just began to cry. Sarah and some of the girls came around me and began to pray and break with me. Unbeknown to me Jesse had gone back in to the bar he was at and sat down with him to continue talking with him.
We saw him one last time when we were leaving Soi 6. He was standing there with a Thai woman on his arm and with another buddy. I got to bless him again and tell him I would be praying for him and hopefully run into him again in my time here.
I am unsure what will happen to him, but never did I think in being here that I would get an opportunity to reach one of the men. In first stepping on the plane to come here, I would see all the white middle-aged men and my initial instinct was judgment. As God began to tenderize my heart, I began to love the men, but still not think they could change. God proved me wrong last night. His love is so much bigger and so much better than I think, and He is constantly showing us this.

Day 11: Enjoying some R & R and team catch up time…So finally a decent night of sleep, although others on the team said it was a rougher night for them. It’s like it comes in waves for us all… so pray we all get amazing sleep one night this week!
Today we had a few things on our plate that due to need of refreshment and catch up, we decided to do a swimming day at Hard Rock Café, hang out together and then spend a bit of time re-unifying the team.
A few people left around noon to go back to the slums and help pray for some deliverance and healing for some people for an hour, while the rest of the team hung out waiting for them to return.
We had a few hours to swim, and relax and even enjoy some fun entertainment. It was mainly a huge target spot for tourist, but not a lot of people. Due to it being so hot and muggy here it felt nice to stay in clear water for a while. I took some pics of the place as well as random things we experienced as we sat and laughed.

We then all met up in the afternoon to chat. The boys shared their time in Isaan and that they were really able to spend a lot of the time with favor with different connections. Although nobody spoke English, they were able to join up with their contact at one of the churches and see the Holy Spirit fall on several services and people they ministered to. They said it was really good going up there, and loved serving with Kala and Brandon.
The rest of the team meeting we processed the last couple outreaches we had, shared some testimonies and then brainstormed what we were feeling as far as Iris Thailand so far. It was a good time just to hear from the team and open up what we were sensing and seeing as a whole. We have a few more days here, and will be continuing to process vision and future plans, but for today talked a few things out.
We then headed to dinner to meet up with Patricia King’s Extreme Prophetic team, to hear what they have been doing in Thailand. Malina, who is one of Patricias personal assitants and here for the conference lives in Bangkok and runs a halfway house in Pattaya. The team comes through 3 times a year to lead prophetic trainings and outreaches for a week. Patricia, actually is on a tour through Asia, and won’t be at the training, however will be swinging through and specifically asked to meet up with our team on Monday, so will share more how that goes.
I wasn’t much in the loop with what Malina or their team is involved in, as Yonnie and Naomi and others on the team all sat at her table. I sat with Jess and another guy named Rob who is teaching at the school, and been involved in the trainings the last few years, and it was nice just sharing what God is doing in Pattaya and the unity amongst the ministries and how they feel so accepted in what they do here. He shared a bit of their outreaches with the students and that it’s over 60 students they split up and train in prophetic outreach.
After we split ways with the team, some of the team stuck around in the mall to see a movie while the rest of us headed back to the hotel to use some internet and head to bed.
Us who came back to the rooms then had for the first time heard about the Tsunami in Japan and began to pray and think about how that was going to effect us and possible change of plans.

Day 12: One last party!!!Woke up a little, after a better sleep last night. Had a team meeting to worship, pray and connect. It was a great time of resting, in that we had no rush to get anywhere till later in the afternoon for the last block party. We soaked and rested in the Father’s Presence and it was much needed. Katherine O’Brian delivered a timely word of Jesus’ heart towards the team as many of us were so tenderized by His love and affection for each of us.
Yonnie then explained that they were up till 2:30 in the morning working out the possibilities of Iris Relief Japan and how to get over there right after Thailand. We could feeling the tearing in the team as many wanted to just go and be of aid and love to those in need, but yet still be present in Thailand and finish strong and well. It was a battle for many to really seek quickly and be in both places at once.  But really love this team in that they lay down their life for anything and anything Jesus is doing, and if that meant staying mindful and focused where we are at even though many hearts were just anxious to know the plans of the future, we stuck together and wholeheartedly agreed in prayer to press in reaching out our last few days here.
After a few hours to grab some lunch, get some things organized, and prepped we walked across the street and met up in BIG C with Jess, Janie (who came out for a few days to join us) and the rest of the team. We talked a few minutes some logistics then split up to pass out the rest of the invites to kids around the surrounding area again. It was fun running around the mall and outside finding kids to hand something free to them. We got all kinds of looks from the parents, and it’s pretty hard not speaking the language to tell them we aren’t trying to promote anything. Overall Thai people are pretty receptive and smiled when we would just hand them the paper.
We all then met back up together at the Crossing to blow up some balloons for décor and games, and enjoyed some loud rocking out to Jake Hamilton as we set up wii and some of the kids gathered around to play. The party was to start around 5, but in Thai culture, that’s pretty flexible. So many of the kids didn’t start showing up till around 5:30ish. Mostly we had little kids ranging from 2 to maybe about 10. The older skate kids, mostly stayed away or chose to skate under the parking garage. We played games, hung out, loved on the little ones, but after a while I started to feel this real desire and burning to pray and encourage. It was hard with over 50-60 kids running around screaming to get any one of there attention. As I talked to Jess, we both thought it would be awesome if some of the little kids end up leaving around dark, the older kids might start to merge back towards the skate park and we could have an opportunity to pray for them.

But as the night prolonged, most the of this little kids stuck around later. We ate dinner (which they got a huge roasted pig! It was so tasty!) and other noodle/rice dishes for everyone to eat. Finally after dinner, Yonnie began to grab a few people she wanted to bless and had us pray over them. We began to speak what we saw God was showing us and one by one started blessing people we didn’t even know or had met.

After praying for a few people, I sat back against a wall and started talking to Craig, one of the missionaries here. As we started chatting I noticed a Thai women next to me, Natasha had her hand on her back and was praying, and another Thai woman sat in front of her translating what Natasha was praying. I felt draw to them, and put my hand on the woman’s back with Natasha’s. I could hear Natasha praying healing over her back. After a few minutes, started to really sense a lot of fear over her and that stuff was coming against her and she was having a hard time fighting. Both Natasha and I covered her in prayer and broke off all the stuff we were seeing that was coming against her. After she said the pain in her back completely left, and explained a little bit to us about the attacks she was battling.
Then she asked if we could pray for her daughter and she signaled her over. She was about 4, and sat in her mom’s lap as we laid hands on her and began to pray. As I opened my mouth the Lord started to show me her. I had the translator tell her. “She is a dreamer, and dreams a lot at night and has many good dreams. She has fun dreams. She sees a lot. She is a princess and Jesus loves her. She is very special.” We continued to pray, and when we were done, the mom looked at me and asked how did I know? I told her God knew and shared it with me for her.
She then asked if we could pray for her son. She signaled him and he came over and sat in her lap. He looked to be around maybe 8 or 9. She told us he had to have surgery when he was little and he was never the same in his personality afterwards. He is very hot and cold temperately and still has health issues. We prayed for healing, but wasn’t able to know if he was healed due to it being more of a time will tell issue. So pray for him that he will experience full healthy and wholeness, emotionally and physically. The Lord began to give me words for him too: “He is very good at sports and loves sports. He is an influencer and a very strong man. He will influence and be looked up to by many men and connect especially in sports.”
After, the mom again told me it wad totally true and God. As said before, Thai’s don’t always show a lot of emotion. Both her kids just made it seem like it was common knowledge for me to understand and see that in the spirit. After her son ran off, she shared a bit of her testimony about where she came from. She worked in the bars a while ago, but then came to Tamar, came to know Jesus and started working there. She was going to do a Discipleship Program, but having two kids and needing to provide it was hard for. So she then really had a heart to have a business and is now doing that. So Christian then came and sat next to us and joined us and we got to bless her business and believe that God was going to give her all the finances and favor she needed to grow it and give away to others as well.
We also got to encourage the translator. It’s so much work translating, but not only the act of it, but having the gift to want to translate things accurately and with the heart and passion. She seriously was amazing and afterwards said she prays that she would be used in translating and grow more in speaking the right words and heart behind it.
It was such a fun evening of pouring out. I especially enjoy praying for the families. We got to pray for one more women who came up to a few of us girls and asked us to. She spoke English and we could tell was a fiery one in need of encouragement. After she got pretty wrecked with joy and excitement.
We all were pretty wrecked with laughing and enjoy the end of the evening together. Many of us got to just love on the adults and people who came out to be a part of the ministry. The Holy Spirit had a lot of fun and we were enjoying being a part of what He was doing.

To end the evening we gathered up to chat about the last few days, and we prayed about Japan, in hearing that the Nuclear plant had an explosion. Many in the team were just breaking and crying out, in such a desire and heart to go.
We headed back to the hotel and a bunch of us girls gathered in Yonnie’s room to get updated on the news and help Yonnie facilitate and do some admin stuff. It was fun helping connection and do some media stuff, that even not possibly going at this time, still being able to assist in setting up and preparing them to go after Thailand. The huge benefit is we have such a ready strong team, and Thailand is not far.
A few things though to be praying about:
1.    Yonnie and the IRIS RELIEF team for Japan. To help them get everything they need to get over there and for direction for staying over there. They are depending big time on God to lead and show them how to help, but need favor in getting in right now and working out all the follow go to:
2.    For us to finish strong here in Thailand. We all have enjoyed this time and have a lot of insight and vision being here, but pray we have good insight and direction to what’s next for future prospect trips and where we situate here and how. Tomorrow is our last day

Day 13 & 14: Final daysWoke up yesterday morning and had to get going early. Met in Yonnie’s room around 10am to talk as a team and worship. Then went to True Friends church to worship and fellowship together. It’s fun always seeing familiar faces of people throughout the week we connect with like Jason and Sarah and their family, Craig and his boys, Jess, and Angela again and others we got to pray and encourage throughout the week.

The Thai girl who translated the words at the party for the woman I got to pray for the previous night, preached as the other Thai girl that some of us at the end of the night also prayed for translated. It was fun seeing the duo together tag team and watch the Lord move through them. The message was powerful and passionate!
Afterwards, we loved on and prayed for different people. As it started to get late, we gathered as a whole team for the last time, as Christian had to run to catch a flight and got in a circle holding hands as family. It was pretty emotional, only running 2 weeks with this team, and not knowing most of them, yet the connection of love and closeness we experienced working together and unifying so quickly! It was such a sweet time to just pray and lastly stand together as we looked around seeing the amazing warriors we stood with and fought hard these past few weeks to see God breakthrough in Thailand!
I had to run with Jess to put together worship for the Extreme Prophetic Conference. A lot was happening so fast in transition, that I didn’t really have time to take it all in, but we spent a few hours doing some sound and going through songs, then about 40 people came for the first night to kick off the start of the conference. It’s so fun to worship with Jess. She has such a sensitive heart to what the spirit is doing and goes where He is going. It has been hard for me in breaking through the thickness in this atmosphere. There really is no way to describe it, but it’s like trying to breathe in thick smog. I felt this when worshipping, as if I couldn’t get past the fog or see where I was going. There were definitely times of clearing, but it’s really teaching me how to just press in to listen in such oppression and darkness. It takes a lot of faith to just trust and be confident in what He has given me and go with it.
It was fun meeting the team and sit and hang for a bit with them, but after a few hours started to get tired and wanted to meet back up with the team. Rode back to the hotel, and popped into Yonnie’s room around 9ish to find the team altogether praying and speaking over each team member. Jumped in excited and got so filled just seeing each person get lifted and blessed individually. As it got late, we decided to meet again early to finish praying for the rest of the team.

So woke up this morning around 8:30am, started to pack up everything and get our room cleaned out. Carrie and I walked over to BIG C for the last time together to grab some coffee. Everyone piled again into Yonnie’s room to finish praying for each team member. We ran out of time again, and Kim and I opted to get prayer later after our meeting with Patricia King. We all then threw all our bags in one room, and hopped on a Song Tao to the hotel Patricia was staying at. We ate at the hotel restaurant, and broke into a few tables. Many of us wasn’t too sure what to expect. We originally only had twenty minutes with her, but she was gracious to spend over an hour with us.
Mainly the reason we were meeting with her was because her and Heidi Baker a few months prior were talking in passing and Heidi had mentioned an Iris Thailand team was coming through for a few weeks and Patricia asked to meet with us. Not knowing if it was going to work out with her busy schedule, it was honoring she made it work out and was worth hearing her heart and vision she felt for Thailand and for Iris here.
They have been doing conferences for the past 3 years specifically in Thailand and Patricia just shared her heart for this land and that she saw it was harvest time and that the workers are few, that Thailand is ready and they have seen huge shifts in the spirit in the last 3 years. When we asked what she saw for Iris in Thailand, she really affirmed the heart behind Heidi and what she has imparted for us to walk in and that Thailand is ready for us to come. She talked about us pioneering, stopping for the one and that we were going to get to sow into what other people had already done here and that it was just going to be easy. Also that we were going to raise up people but that it would not be for a long time and that we wouldn't have to breakthrough a ton because of the work sewn before us.
It was good confirmation and in the last minutes we had asked if we could pray over her. It was powerful standing with this woman who has such authority in the spirit.
She then had to leave and we rallied the team up to finish praying over Kim and I. In the whole 2 weeks being here, felt like personally been going strong and pushing through, but when they laid hands on me and began to just speak such strong words of encouragement my heart just broke and I sobbed. I was so deeply touched by each person who saw me and loved on me. I felt so affirmed to be a part of this team, especially being one of the few who have not done the Harvest School, but so many just kept saying I was family. I have thoroughly loved running with these guys and they have really pushed and challenged me so much in stepping it up and laying it all down to see His glory revealed to those who have never seen or experienced the power of His love. I know I will never be the same. I have seen amazing things these past two weeks, in part I have shared, but nothing has blessed me as much as having this humble and fiery team to run a long side with. I thank God for the years of waiting just to experience that!

By Dee Dee, from - go here for pictures!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thailand - halfway through

So I have been in Thailand for 4 days now and it feels like way longer!
Got here on Sunday night and was met by Jesse and one of the girls from the team. We took a 1/2 hour taxi ride to where the rest the team were. They had just finished up at church. One thing about Thailand: lots of stairs! We get lots of exercise. The place we were staying in was like lots of hallways and doorways and random barrels in corners and rooms, kinda Indiana Jones style! It was a pretty cool place to stay as they do not allow sex tourists to stay there. Anyone who brings a prostitute back with them is escorted out.

Next morning we travelled 2 1/2 hours to Pattaya - Thailand's capital of sun, sea and sex. The time here has been amazing so far.

We have- visited slum kids ministry, we also prayer walked the slums and visited the people and loved on them. We played games with the kids, taught them to hear God's voice and prayed with them, got them to draw a pictures of what God was showing them. This one granny played duck duck goose with us :) She said that she was sad until we came and prayed with her and then she wasn't sad anymore :)

We bought roses and went and sat in the bars with the prostitutes and ladyboys, just being friendly and loving on them. The ones I spoke to mainly spoke quite good English. I was with two other girls - one from Iris and one Thai from the ministry we were visiting. So we talked mainly with the bar mama/manager and a couple other women. About halfway through this other girl came and sat a little ways down the bar from us, putting on her make-up and getting ready for work. I really felt to talk with her and even though we only had 10 minutes left I got up and sat down next to her, giving her the traditional sawatikaa greeting. She reminded me of my Chinese cousins a bit so it was easy to relate. It felt like we clicked straight away and God just gave me His heart for her... I felt so full of love for her! She wasnt from Pattaya, she was from Isaan which is in north east Thailand, and a lot of the prostitutes actually come from Isaan as they normally have to support a family and so they come to work in Pattaya. So I asked how long she had been in Pattaya and she said 2 years, but 2 years was too long to be working here and a woman should only have to work here 1 year. She would stay for 3-4 years though and then go back to Isaan as she wanted to be able to live with and look after her mother. Her mother was back in Isaan and so was her sister but her sister was married and so wouldn't be able to do it. She looked really young, definitely no older than me and oldest would be early twenties. I asked to pray for her sister as she told me that her sister had tried to have babies and couldn't. But she didn't want prayer and so we just talked more :) I asked what time she finishes work and she said 4am, then about 8am she will have a shower and try to get some sleep, before starting work again that afternoon. I said that my mum used to be a nurse and work almost the same kind of hours as her! We laughed about that and I gave her a rose that had a card attached saying something like Jesus loves you and thinks you're beautiful. She already had a paper from the ministry we were working with which invited her to English classes, so I know that she will see people who love Jesus again and that my time with her was just more watering of the seed which will one day come to fruit and she will be able to fully love Jesus and be completely free...

After having dinner with a local family who have lived here for awhile, we went and prayer walked the street where they want to start a night care centre for the children of the prostitutes, so that they are safe and aren't at as much risk as they could be. Across the street is this big hotel which they are pretty sure has trafficked eastern European women in it. The reason they think that is because whenever the women are outside and they talk to them, they are stumbling around as if they are drugged and they are very fearful and won't say much at all. After 3 months of building relationships with them, they then just disappear and new girls come. So its like they are being rotated. There are also sweat shops in the area which have trafficked children working in them. please pray for this family and their ministry.

Today a few of our team went and visited two jails and gave the prisoners food and water. We also just made friends with them and tried to talk to them... Most of the guys in the cell I talked with were from Cambodia. There was one from burma and one from Thailand. One was only 15 years old. They dont know when they will be let out.

We then visited a Christian preschool ministry and teenagers skate ramp/hangout and gave out flyers for our block party coming up. Tonight our Iris Thailand team had the privilege of leading worship along with a Thai national at the house of prayer... GOD showed up! This is a meeting of a lot of different people from different ministries around Pattaya and they come together at least twice a week to pray and worship over Pattaya and over each other. Unity is a big thing here in Pattaya and it is very intentionally worked on as the spiritual atmosphere over Pattaya is not conducive to it. So it is so so good to see how all the ministries work together and get along. There were too many people to fit upstairs in the prayer room and also we want to fill the street with the sound of worship. So we sit in the downstairs room, spilling out into the street and worship... It is situated on one of the darkest streets in Pattaya- quite full on in terms of all the bars and the girls working the streets. We had about five guys who were on the street for other reasons come and hang out with us and one of them God just totally encountered. He was Irish and he came and sat with us just as Christian had started to sing God of this City, which is a worship song written by Irish people who had come to visit Pattaya and wrote this song to sing out over Pattaya!

There are four days left of this trip, 5 days left in Thailand. It is so good to be here with people from my school in Mozambique, as well as meeting others who have been to previous schools and a couple who haven't but will be... Soon! I love how God just connects us with those with similar hearts and although I will have to say goodbye again in a few days, I know I will see them again one day and it is not a sad goodbye it is a privilege to be able to meet and love all of these beautiful friends God has given me. Shout out to my melbourne friends too... I love you and so so appreciate your fb posts and emails! I do not get a lot of time online so cant reply to all, I'm sorry!

Please pray:
Our party on saturday for all the people in the area- last party in Bangkok the team saw 5 deaf people either partially or completely healed. They got to sing prophetic songs over people, interpret their dreams, saw people saved... A monk from another religion got his sinuses prayed for and said it's the first time he felt peace 2 years!
Unity to continue and grow stronger within the team
Provision for this family in Pattaya to be able to use this building for a night care centre for the children of the street workers
Provision for myself and some others in the team- we still need to get tickets to another asian country and then to Bangkok, I also need provision for tickets to Australia where we will be loving on the indigineous people and also to Bali where we will be helping a friend with what they are doing there. Also prayer for wisdom as to where which way to go to get to chai nar. There are a couple of different options. Also prayer for provision in general for the trip.we know that God has called us and confirmed to us that we are to go to these countries and love on the people there. We know that he is faithful and if we are to go, he will provide. He is a faithful God!
Pray that we would Connect with each individual God wants us to connect with.
Pray for open hearts
Protection as we go forth in Gods heart and love
More of Jesus
Balance between ministry time and soaking/processing time and social time
Clear direction and vision for how and where the Lord wants to start an Iris base in thailand

If you would like to give to this trip or even to one of the ministries we are visiting, please email me at Serenaxh or click on the link 'give to the adventure' and you can give by pay pal. Just make sure you put on the description what it is for and or email me the amount and what it is for.
Thank you so much those who have already given! Because of you, kids in the slums and girls in the bars get to know they are loved by Jesus and have a purpose and you are a part of seeing the spiritual atmosphere shift over Pattaya

Love and JOY in Jesus!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

1am and still packing

In 25 hours time I will be in Thailand!

Please continue to pray for:
Grace for the journey - that I would be able to sleep on the plane and catch up on much needed rest! Rest and refreshing!
Protection  - for the whole group and our families as we love on the sex workers, the children, the poor.
Health - complete health! I have been fighting off sore throat/cough this past week or so
For God to connect us with the right people at the right time, and preparation of their hearts and ours too!
Unity within our team
If you read this early enough, that I would just be able to get everything done in time for leaving! I am not only packing for this trip, but sorting through all my stuff tonight and putting into boxes and bags to store in different peoples houses, and sorting out other logistics of leaving...
JOY! and intimacy with Papa God :)
I love you all!!!