Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Here is a wee update on my time at IHOP........

My time in Kansas City at the House of Prayer was really incredible,
it is hard to know where to start!
I arrived at the beginning of December really focused on pursuing
intimacy with Jesus. This was the perfect place to come!
I realised just how superficial my own walk with Him had
become, I had become more focused on externals, on looking
good on the outside. Misty Edwards (one of the worship leaders) summed
it up one night when she sung 'I don't want a name that I'm alive, if
I'm dead on the inside.'
I really want to ask forgiveness for sometimes 'giving a name that I
am alive', when the reality is that I have been pretty dead on the
inside. I was so convicted, and just cried out to Jesus for change,
for Him to awaken my heart.
The disciples were so undone by Jesus, that they were willing to be
martyred!! This truth challenged me a lot! I want to be so
passionately in love with Him that I am willing to be obedient no
matter the cost.
Another song that Misty Edwards sung had the lyrics - 'to know more
than a page, to feel your embrace....' Amen!!
Much of the worship at IHOP is prophetic - the worship leader will by
led by the Holy Spirit. Many times I felt God speaking to me
personally - it was amazing!

ONETHING is IHOP's yearly youth event. Initially I was not planning
to go but felt that Jesus was speaking to me about it when
journalling.
Oh my goodness - it was one of the most significant week-ends of my life!!
The teachers spoke with such a fire and passion. The messages were
alive with truths about holiness and intimacy, and the need for both
so that we don't get into legalism.
The worship was intense and really focused on drawing us up to the
Throne Room to worship.
On New Years Eve ONETHING ended at 11.30am, and THE CALL Kansas City
began which ran from 12pm - 12am - into 2008.
I have never been at anything like this in my life! The Call is a
movement emphasizing prayer, worship and fasting for spiritual
breakthrough.
Lou Engle, a modern day John the Baptist has pioneered these events
all across the US, (and now worldwide) calling thousands of young
people to fast, pray and repent for individual sins as well as the
sins of the church and the nation. I had to leave shortly after it
started to meet someone who I was saving a seat for. When I came back
in there were young people all over the hall
(over 20,00) weeping and crying out to God for His mercy on America!
It was like nothing I have ever experienced. I received such a burden
for the US, and felt so privileged to be a part of what God was doing.
I began to understand more and more in my heart just how much God
hates sin, how it grieves him, and how necessary it is to be a praying
people - praying for His mercy on our land and the people in it. I
know a lot about the God of love but not much about the God of
justice........
Lou Engle talked about the 50 million babies which have been murdered
by abortion in the States alone.
He spoke of the impending judgement which is due, that God loves
babies and there is an urgent need for people to take their
intercessory place before the Throne pleading for His mercy.
He quoted Ruth Graham – 'if God does not judge America He must
apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.' Wiao - very challenging.

This event, my time at IHOP coupled with the Omega Course which I was
studying (as I had missed most of the sessions at Jubilee) has
signposted a turning point in my life. I really trust that I will
never be the same again....... It is all too easy to get caught up
'in the cares of this world'. I pray that by the grace of God I am on
a journey that has only just begun.

My plans for this year are not definite yet, am trusting God - that He
will lead and guide my steps. I know that He is faithful.

Lots of love
Sara Victoria

As I have not been blogging since July I decided to do a massive update now. The following entries are a wee summary of what I have been up to.........(beginning with the most recent)

DE
CEMBER - JANUARY
I have been in Kansas City visiting the International House of Prayer. (IHOP) I was there for a whole month! (see next entry) I have loved being here!!! I visited IHOP in March with Patricia and some of the interns and I really felt that I would be back – and here I am! For those of you who don’t know anything about IHOP, here is some info - Since September 19, 1999, they have continued in non-stop intercession with worship 24/7. Currently, over 400 people serve on the full-time IHOP–KC staff in intercession, worship and fasting as they are being equipped to fulfill the Great Commission by reaching out in evangelism, prophetic ministry, healing the sick and providing for the poor.

OTHER THINGS I HAVE BEEN UP TO IN STRATFORD………..
In Stratford, the house of prayer runs from Monday 6am until Friday at noon. Myself and a lady called Karen Doyle cover the on-call on Monday’s ensuring that there is cover from Monday 8am until Tuesday at 8am. The interns are required to spend a minimum of 12 hours per week here although I have not been able to do as much in the past few months due to other commitments.


I help out with some things at the Bootsma’s home when either John or Patricia are travelling, along with Marta which I have really enjoyed. John & Patricia’s kids are awesome, and it has been a privilege to get to know them and spend time with them.



This is Lisa Bellsmith. She is the administrator at Jubilee amongst many other things! Depending on the day, you can also find her counselling, teaching, hosting or in the kitchen tidying! I have been working with her more since September and have learnt a lot from her.


I am currently doing a DVD course called Omega. (as part of my internship) This is a quote from IHOP re the course; ‘There is coming a time when life as we know it will be forever changed. The Bible describes it as a time of great trouble and gives us much information on how to survive and even thrive in this time. The Omega Course is designed to help us prepare our heart for the days to come. Mike Bickle gives a broad overview of the End Times in describing the people, places and events that matter most at the end of the age.’ I have been really shocked, challenged, impacted and driven to pursue the truth for myself from the Bible through this teaching – I would thoroughly recommend it. I can honestly say that I will never be the same after hearing these teachings. I am checking out the scriptures, and while I do have some questions – I am seeing my eyes being opened to what Mike Bickle is teaching.


September 2007 – November 2008
I volunteered with the Stratford House of Blessing to help with a weekly cooking class for young adults with special needs. Myself and a lady called Christine ran the course, and we had 3 regular attendees, Teresa, Karen and Judy. It was great getting to know them. A couple from Jubilee called Norman & Florence Kehl started the House of Blessing. All the services are free; there is a food, clothing and furniture bank as well as many programs like the cooking class to help people in the community. They also have a maternity home which offers accommodation to young girls who are pregnant and have no-where to go. A pastor and his wife live with the girls and support them during their pregnancy and for some months after the baby is born. They then help the girls to get established back into the community. Norman and Florence are such an inspiration to me – they love so unconditionally – they truly love like Jesus.

30th November – 3rd December 2007
At the end of November, I travelled with Patricia to Oklahoma. We visited a group of approx 30 people who meet in Broken Arrow, Tulsa in the wonderful Jim & Myriam’s house. They are a couple from Brooklyn, New York who moved to Tulsa a number of years ago. God really touched the people over the week-end. Patricia preached at 3 meetings and prophesied. It was a great experience seeing Patricia in action! She is really being used powerfully by God in the places she travels to. As per usual, I bonded with a dog! This one is for you Graham & Rachel! This is Tino the Chiwawa in his santa costume! I was actually crying with laughter when this was taken! He is such a cutie……

17th November
Myself and Marta organised a spa day with a meal following, for a group of 17 ladies who live just behind the church. A team from TACF School of Ministry (my old Bible College) came for a few days, so they helped us out. We had back massages, hand massages, manicures, pedicures, tea/coffee and goodies and an area for the ladies to come and receive prayer and prophetic words if they wanted. We then transitioned into a 4 course meal, cooked by 2 chefs who come to Jubilee, served by the guys from TACF – the meal was awesome! It was a great day, and a time to get to know the ladies better – I have got to know their kids through a program called Kid’s Connect which runs every Thursday night at the church, so it was nice to spend time with the Mom’s.

Monday, January 07, 2008

2nd October – 11th October 2007
This is my beautiful Mom! She came to visit in October for 10 days. We had such a good time together spending some time in Toronto, Niagara Falls and Stratford. Again – it was too short!

18th September – 20th September 2007
At the end of September, my Dad and his wife Elizabeth were in Vancouver. They flew home via Toronto and stayed in Stratford for a few days. It was lovely spending time with them both – it was too short!

15th September 2007

In September I had the awesome opportunity to be a part of an event called ‘Heaven’s Rehearsal’.
The organisers had a vision of getting representatives from every nation in the world (there are currently 262 sovereign nations – I think I am remembering correctly!) and having a huge worship and prayer event for Jesus. It was held in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and there were around 25,000 people who came.
.

Above is the UK, we were together for the whole event.
Marta, who I live with in Stratford represented Sweden, and our friend Jenn who is from Quatar originally, represented her nation.

video

20th - 24th August 2007
I attended a 5 day school at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship in August about God, and his heart as a Father. We are His children, and when we accept what Jesus id. The teaching was excellent! These are some of the ladies who I met – ther
e were 2 ladies from N Ireland, and my room-mate – the lovely Michelle (who is on my right) was from England. The main theme of it was that everyone has a fundamental need of a heart revelation of their heavenly Father, about how we need an experiential encounter with Him which will change how we relate to Him.


Hello everyone!

This is my Christmas newsletter......

I have been interning at Jubilee Christian Fellowship, Stratford, Ontario since 4th February this year. It is so hard to believe that I have been in Stratford for nearly a year! I have really enjoyed my year here and the intern program has exceeded my expectations. I am currently in Kansas City at the International House of Prayer for 1 month and will be returning to Stratford on 4th January 2008. (see end of newsletter)

I would like to share a little of what has been going on in my heart this year……..I feel that this has been a year of continuing to press in for victory through faulty mind-sets which have been my truth for many years. (the process began when I was living on the chicken farm with John & Evelyn) Even my name reflects that things are changing, as I am Sara Victoria, (meaning conqueror and victory) not just Sara! I have based so much of my life on lies about myself, others and God, and I feel that I am beginning to experience for myself the truth, and the truth is freeing me." Amen!! John 3:16 (The Message) That is the truth of who God is, and who I am.

My year in Stratford has been a wake up call to how little I actually know Jesus, which is what being a Christian is all about! I know all about Him from the words I read in the Bible, and I can serve Him no problem (I often let myself get too busy) – but can I really say that He is my closest friend? In IHOP today we sung the following words – ‘to know more than a page, to feel your embrace Jesus.’ I am on a quest to ‘know’ him, to feel His embrace, to be walking in close relationship with him, fully surrendered to Him in love.
The following words also really impacted me from a song we sung at IHOP - ‘I don’t want a name that I’m alive, when I’m dead on the inside. Wake me up! This really challenged me to think about much of my spiritual journey over the years and in recent times. I was deeply convicted. I have spent a lot of time and effort trying to give the impression that I am alive, when at times I have actually been pretty dead inside. I see that I have let issues of the heart, fear of man, people pleasing and other such things take my eyes off focus.

I want to ask you to forgive me where I have ‘given the impression that I have been alive, but have been dead on the inside.’ My desire is to be fully alive to Him, and to His plans and purposes for my life.

I would also like to share with you about my personal battle with depression. I was always under the impression that Christians were not meant to be depressed – but it did not change the fact that I had many of the symptoms of depression which really hindered me from being able to receive from God!! I spent most of my adult life not admitting my need for medication until August 2006. I finally went to the doctor shortly after coming back from TACF and I can honestly say that it was the best thing that I could ever have done. About 2 weeks after starting the pills, I had a clarity in my thoughts that I had not had for years and years. This confirmed to me what I was beginning to suspect – that there was a chemical imbalance in my brain that these tablets were helping. (I had been researching the long term effects of the recreational drugs that I had taken in my late teens and early twenties and one of them was that the brain cannot make the necessary chemical – serotonin, for balanced mood.) Praise God for medication!! (I am however believing for full healing in this area in Jesus’ Name but am continuing with the pills until I clearly know it is time to stop them!)

I have been on such an incredible journey with God and I thank Him for much healing and breakthrough in my life. When I came to Canada I was a basket case! I had many fears and phobias mainly due to my own bad choices and was desperate for freedom! God has been faithful, and I can say that He really does have the power to transform. If He can do it for me, He can do it for anyone! I am excited about the year ahead!

Above is a wee bit of what I have been up to........

Tuesday, July 17, 2007



Today my friend Henna arrives from Finland.
I am looking forward to seeing her - I met Henna at TACF when she was on
Bible School. She is a Youth Pastor in Finland, and she is coming here for her holidays.
We are going to stay on the farm with John & Evelyn for a few days and will then come back
into Toronto for the rest of her stay.
See you soon Henna!!!!!
:o)

THE CALL - NASHVILLE 07.07.07




These pictures are from the Call which was held in Nashville last week-end.
Patricia and some of the interns went down. Our Youth Pastor was there and
spoke about it at Youth on Friday night. He told us how many of the 55000 people
who attended had been fasting on water only for 40 days - for their nation.....
to see a generation come to Jesus.....to see a turn of the tide of immorality which
has gripped America.
God is doing something in our generation. This stadium is filled with Christians
who are passionately crying out to God for mercy on America!
We need to wake up, Jesus is coming back........... Oh God, make me ready!

I cut and pasted this article about The Call from
www.bpnews.net

THE CALL - NASHVILLE

The nondenominational event marked 40 years since the "Summer of Love" in San Francisco unleashed a wave of sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, abortion on demand and pornography in the country and separated a generation of Americans from God, organizers said.
Public confession and repentance was a hallmark of the day, as a series of individuals testified about the havoc those sins had wreaked in their own lives and they publicly prayed for forgiveness –- both individually and on behalf of the nation.

Sam Brownback, a Republican senator from Kansas and GOP presidential contender, greeted the crowd when the meeting opened at 10 a.m., affirming that he shared their convictions about the sanctity of life and the need for spiritual renewal in America.

"America is a sleeping nation. We have casually and nonchalantly let things slide and get worse," said Morgan Blount, a staff member of The Call from Dallas. "We are calling for young people in this country to wake up and take a stand, to pray about our world instead of just complaining about what's wrong with it. We are calling them to take action and believe that the Lord can change things."

Prayer is the key to spiritual awakening, said Adam Thomas, a staff member of The Call from Louisville, Ky.

"This weekend was about prayer, whether you are Baptist or Catholic or Church of Christ. We believe that prayer changes things," Thomas said. "Our desire is to see God come back on the scene like He did in the 1800s, when there was a great awakening that shut down entire towns with the power of God.

"I believe that a movement of prayer is going to unlock these things for America. We believe history belongs to the intercessors. Ezekiel 22:30 tells us God is looking for a company of people who will stand in the gap in prayer so the country will not have to be destroyed. We want to be like the widow in Luke 17 who kept pressing the judge until he gave her what she wanted."

As midday temperatures soared near 100 degrees, worshipers lifted their hands in prayer. The stadium floor was sectioned off for those who wanted the freedom to prostrate themselves or kneel in prayer.

Many of those in attendance had fasted for up to 40 days in preparation. Prayerwalkers left Nashville's Centennial Park at 7 a.m. and made their way in silence through downtown to the stadium.

To symbolize their desire for America to return to a covenant relationship with God, three couples simultaneously exchanged marriage vows late in the afternoon.

Organizer Lou Engle, who initiated The Call in Washington, D.C., in 2000, chose the date -– 7/7/07 -– because seven is the biblical number of covenant.

"In the Old Testament, the cult of Baal was identified with violence and death, sexual promiscuity, pornography and promiscuity," said Dutch Sheets, senior pastor of Springs Harvest Fellowship in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We are here today to confess our nation's sin and ask God to renew His covenant with us. This stadium is a courtroom today. We have filed for divorce as a nation from the spirit of Baal, and we are petitioning God for custody of our children."

The event was broadcast live over the Internet at thecall.com and Christian television networks like God TV, TBN, DayStar and Inspiration Network also carried part of the proceedings to as many as 200 countries.

The evening closed with 300 men -– the number of Gideon's biblical army -– blowing the shofar while those in the stands shouted.

"That was the highlight for me," said Julia Richardson, spokeswoman for the event. "You could feel the presence of the Lord. In the sound of the shofar, we pray our destinies are released and that the city of Nashville would see a new wave of the Lord."

Future gatherings are planned later this year for Las Vegas, Kansas City, Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit and Berkeley, Calif. An assembly is scheduled for Washington, D.C., in August 2008.
--30--This summer is the 40th anniversary of the infamous San Francisco Summer of Love: the launching point of a youth uprising that unleashed a tidal wave of drugs, immorality, eastern mysticism, and the rejection of authority that has altered the very fabric of Western culture to this day. Right in the midst of all this, God began to move and bring awesome revival thathas became known as the Jesus Movement. This revival has impacted the believing community around the world in a deep and lasting way.

I am now nearly half way through my year in Stratford.
Hard to believe............

Kids Camp is just finished.
I was a counsellor for 7 girls, aged between 6-8. I loved it!
And I loved my girls!
Some of the kids came from really broken homes, and it was
so amazing to be a part of their lives for a week.
All of the interns had to speak for 30 mins. I did it!!!
This has been the most challenging part of my time here,
writing talks and then doing them. I was so nervous, but
I just kept decreeing 'I can do all things with you Jesus,
because you have promised you will give me the strength....'
and He did!
I taught from David's life - how he worshipped God, and
taught on hearing God's voice.
One of the girls in my group trusted on Jesus after hearing
Tim, one of the interns speak. It was exciting.
There are so many fatherless kids who need to know the love of
Father God. Thanks Jesus for opening the way to the Father for
everyone!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

LOVE

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. (The Bible)

Jesus, help me to love like this, without you I can't do it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Here are some summer pics of Stratford.... including a black swan! Didn't know
they had black ones!




Last Monday night we had a leaving party for Jamie
(the girl on the left) who has been here since February.
She works for the theatre in Stratford designing the costumes
for the productions. All the costumes are finished now, so she
is going back home to Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Jamie loves Tofu, so we had Italian Tofu. I had never had it before - it
was quite nice!



I recently decided to take Glory-Anna (the youngest of the children
I have been babysitting) to the River Avon to feed the
swans. We had some corn - I should tell all you swan lovers
that bread is not good for them! (We have signs at the river telling
us not to give them bread, but corn and greens.)
We had a lovely time - and I took some photos.
However......just after this photo, the swan started to attack me!!
It came at me with its big orange beak and started biting my leg!
They are huge when they straighten those big long necks.......
It was quite scary - I wasn't hurt though.
And I have forgiven the swan!


Last week we had a mini tornado with lots of thunder and lightening.
It came on so suddenly! One minute it was really sunny and bright, and the
next there was a major storm. We got all the kids in, closed the windows,
brought all the garden furniture inside and watched the storm outside from the
comfort of our own living room. The photo does not do it justice though........
This is outside the front door of the house where I am living right now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

This is a newsletter from the church Patricia visited in Amsterdam last week.........

Testimonies from the School of Prophetic Evangelism with Patricia Bootsma and team

(May 3rd-5th, 2007; Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Introduction
We want to share a few of the things that happened during School of Prophetic Evangelism which was held in Amsterdam on May 3rd-5th, 2007 in order to give God glory for what He’s done. The School was organized by God’s Embassy Amsterdam and RED (a new interchurch youth movement launched by Sander Vos, one of the leaders of God’s Embassy). Patricia Bootsma from Canada was the speaker.

Testimonies
20 people gave their lives to Christ during the 2 afternoons and the one evening of outreach we held in the city! Among these were 4 prostitutes. The teams who visited the women reported the women were very open for contact and for the gospel. One woman even needed to be held up by the team members while they prayed for her because the power of God was so strong in the cubicle in which she worked.

The music teams that went out to sing prophetic songs over the people in the Vondel Park and in the Red Light District reported a strong presence of the Lord on the streets as they sang. In situations where there were language barriers between the team members and those they had contact with, several teams noticed that the presence of God was so strong that people wept and held onto them tightly as prophetic songs were sung even though they couldn’t understand the words. One young prostitute from the Czech Republic just kept repeating the words “so much love” as she wept over the women team members who had just sung for her. One man was so touched by the words of the song that God had given the team for him that he asked Christ into his heart right there on a bridge in the Red Light District. During this conference we learned a new term; “Presence Evangelism.” Time and time again we saw that the tangible presence of God made people open to hearing about the love that God has for them even more than the words that were spoken out over them.
3 people were also healed from various physical ailments on the streets.



This is Bales and Nathan. Nathan is on the right. I really want to honour this guy. He has what he calls a night ministry where he is out on the streets of Stratford until 3-4am every night. He has trained his body to only need a few hours sleep each night! He is in the bars and nightclubs and just about every social event that is on in Stratford building relationships with people. He loves to see people coming to know Jesus like he does. He knows nearly everyone in Stratford, and is always trying to connect people. He had me at a Baha'i dance event a few weeks ago because there was a girl from Northern Ireland that he wanted me to connect with. There are a lot of Baha'is in Stratford.
I got a message from him a few nights ago asking if I had any contacts in Poland that he could pass on to a friend of his!!
Everyone knows Nathan - in the church and out. He is unique!
Bless you Nathan! You rock!!

The past few months on the internship..........

This is Patricia Bootsma who runs the intern program. She has lived a lifestyle of radical abandonment to God for many years, and her ministry flows out of an intimate relationship with Jesus. She inspires me to press into God for the same!
Her and her husband are pastors of Jubilee Christian Fellowship, Stratford.
John has an amazing pastoral heart - he reminds me so much of my Dad!
They have 6 children from 3 -16 years old.
Over the past 3 months I have been getting settled into Stratford and finding my place here.
It is a really lovely place - now that everything has defrosted! It was a really cold winter with snow showers up until the middle of April.
There are now 12 interns on the program - 8 girls and 4 guys. (6 of us girlies living together)
We all have commitments during the week;
My week looks a bit like this.......
MONDAY
House of Prayer - 2 hours (rest of day is off)
TUESDAY
Guitar lesson
Intern cell with Patricia
Teaching (variety of teachers) Lessons have included; a 3 week teaching on intercession, prayer and worship, the fear of the Lord & the different names of God.
House of Prayer - 2 hours
WEDNESDAY
House of Prayer - 2 hours
Equipping Night at church - I had the opportunity to teach a few weeks ago!
Patricia asked us all to prepare a 10 minute talk which we had to give at intern cell. She then wanted someone to teach at Equipping night, so I offered. I really want to be stretched in this area. I was so scared initially, I could not do it!! I taught on the battle of the mind.
Worship after Equipping Night - the interns lead worship for this session.
THURSDAY
Office (morning)
House of Prayer - 2 hours
Kids Connect (evening)
The church is right next to a low income housing area. Kids Connect is an
outreach into this area. There are around 25 kids that come each week!
Worship with interns & Patricia - Patricia meets with us on a Thursday night between 9 - 11pm and we all worship together at the House of Prayer. We play instruments, sing and read the Bible.
FRIDAY
On Call day for House of Prayer - Myself and one of the other interns (Marta) have the job of making sure that the House of Prayer has people covering the shifts from 8am Friday morning to 8am Saturday morning. We have to cover any gaps to ensure that there is someone there 24/7.
Healing Rooms - every Friday I help with Healing Rooms at the House of Prayer. We pray for the sick knowing that Jesus died so that we can be healed.
Youth - I can only go to Youth if I have cover for the House of Prayer. When I can go, it runs between 7pm and 11pm. The Youth Pastors have just finished a course on sexual purity with the young people.
SATURDAY
House of Prayer for 2 hours
SUNDAY - on a rota basis:
Nursery
Prophetic ministry
Worship team (singing)
Setting up and taking down communion (which we have every week at Jubilee)
Setting up tea and coffee for after the service


Other things I do/have been doing..........
- The interns are responsible for organising 2 outreaches each month - it is totally up to us to decide what to do. The photos below are of an outreach that one of the guys; Rob arranged.
It was on a Saturday afternoon outside the house of prayer.

We set up a table outside offering free prayer and dream interpretation. A couple of the interns did worship (piano and guitar). Some of us went around Stratford, praying for God to lead us to people who needed encouragement, and asking God what He wanted to say to them.
One man was healed of neck pain! And a girl who came - she wanted prayer for
her mum who had breast cancer decided to give her life to Jesus!!


- Myself and Sarah (below with Gabe and Aquila) organised a lunch for 80 people a few weeks ago. We made Shephards Pie. I have never cooked for quite so many people!
I really enjoyed it. This is us starting out!!


- I also helped co-ordinate a pot bless lunch in the church last Sunday.

- I helped to organise another visit to Spruce Lodge Nursing Home.
Myself and 2 other interns did a church service with hymns and a short message -
very short because it was me giving it!!

- I had a 2000 word assignment to do on the Tabernacle of David which was a lot of work for me! Anyone who knows me knows the amount of work I put into my assignments! I worked my wee tail off!

- All the interns have the opportunity to travel with Patricia. She is an itinerant speaker and travels. We went to Cambridge, Ontario at the end of March with her. We went as worship and prayer team. As the team were praying, Jesus healed a lady of scolosis of the spine which she had had since she was 12 years old!! Patricia received an e-mail the next day. That was exciting!
Since then Patricia has been a few places, but I have not been able to go.
She is just back from Holland, where she was teaching in a church. The church then organised teams to go into the Red Light District.
They gave out roses to the prostitutes, and prayed with som
e of them, wanting them to know that God loved them. The team were really impacted by the trip.
On Thursday, Patricia was at TACF (where I was at Bible College) so myself a
nd another intern went with her. I was so glad I went because 6 of my friends were there!!! Jim & Margaret Todd, Richard & Margaret McBurney, Julie & Ivan Roberts. It was sooooooo nice to see them. It was such a surprise. I had a good chat with them at the end of the meeting.

- I am living with the Bootsma's for a few weeks helping them look after the 3 youngest children.
I have been really enjoying it. They are amazing kids! I am here until 10th June (staying while Marta who normally lives with them is on holiday).


So that is what has been happening with me!!


Random stuff...................
I had my first swim in the lake a few Sunday's ago! It was sooooo c
old. This is Rebekah and Becky - we are all just about to take the plunge.


I found a Samy stand-in! (I have a dog called Samy back in Ireland - a Samoyed. This is Chinook a husky who belongs to my friend Bev. He is so cute!)


In the intern house, we had a squirrel family living in the attic. They were chewing our
electrical wires and had to go! This is Al Langis who put a trap in the attic and
caught them. He drove them to the country and released them!
With 6 girls in the house, what do you expect! We all wanted the squirels to be
alive - just not in our attic!

BIRTHDAY!!
Tuesday 24th April was my birthday!!
I was meant to be leaving for Toronto to go to my old Bible College (TACF) because
Patricia was teaching there for the week, but I had a bit of a stomach bug and ended up spending most of the day in bed! I was well recovered by the afternoon, so
I went to the House of Prayer to spend some time with Jesus.
I was able to get a ride to Toronto the next day so a car-load of us set off
at 6.15am. I had arranged to meet Amy - it just happened that she was leaving her
employer to the airport - perfect! It was sooooo good to see her - I had not seen her since
I left Grafton in February.

Patricia was teaching in the morning, and we (the interns) were
helping until around 12.30pm. Then we headed out to Montana's for a birthday lunch.
Rebekah & Sarah (2 of the interns who I live with - the girl in the black is Rebekah, and Sarah is in green) had decorated the table with lots of balloons!! I share a room with Sarah - she is awesome! She is from England. Rebekah is from California, and the other girl in the picture is Sarah-Ann, who is Canadian and also lives in the intern house.

Patricia treated me to my lunch - we had Mexican fahita's - one of my favourites!
Paticia is in the right hand photo, third from the right.
Amy had secretly arranged to meet John & Evelyn at TACF - I was so surprised!!
They then took me out for a birthday dinner. I ate SO much!! They bought 2 desserts and we had them as birthday cake!


A typical Amy photo!!!

SEDER PASSOVER
On Sunday 25th March, Jubilee hosted a Seder Passover meal with
Return Ministries.


Return Ministries is an organisation in which Jews and Christians work
together to fulfill God's plans and purposes for Israel and the nations
according to the Word of God.

Little explanation of Passover..........
The Festival of Passover

Passover is the oldest and most important religious festival in Judaism,
commemorating God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt
around 1440BC.
The term Passover refers to the 10th and final plague
(the death of the firstborn) which came upon Egypt when Pharoh refused
to release the Israelites from slavery.
God’s instructions were that if the blood of a lamb was placed on a house-hold
door post, He would ‘pass over’ and the first born would be safe.

Today’s festival is based on this historical event and the things which
happened leading up to it.
The focal point of Passover is a communal meal, called the Seder which
is a time of celebration of the above.
Passover is a way the Jews express their faith in the One (God) who
acted on their behalf in history, and expresses the hope that He will
continue to act in bringing deliverance to all people everywhere.
As Christian’s we also can celebrate the Passover remembering our
Jewish heritage.....which is what we did at Jubilee!
More importantly it is a picture of Jesus - who was our passover lamb,
and we can celebrate what He has done for us

Below is the plate with all the emblems.

On the SEDER plate there is:
  • Hard boiled egg - symbolising new life
  • Roasted shankbone of lamb - reminds them there had to be blood sacrificed to save their lives.
  • Bitter herbs - horseradish - reminds them they were servants to slavery.
  • Greens - parsley, celery - symbol of coming of Spring which brings hope.
  • Salt water - reminds them of the tears they cried in Egypt.
  • Haroset - nut, apple, cinnamon, wine mixture which has the appearance of straw in remembrance of the mortar used to build the Treasure Cities for Pharaoh. It is symbolic of the hope of freedom that enabled their ancestors to withstand the bitterness of slavery.
  • Matzah - the unleavened bread that reminds them of the haste with which they left Egypt.
This was really interesting - I had never done anything like this at all!
Exploring the Jewish roots of my faith - after all Jesus was Jewish.....

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oh my goodness - sooooooo much has happened in the past 2 months!
I don't know where to start!!

MARCH TRIP TO IHOP
At the beginning of March, Patricia was doing a teaching session with some
staff at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and we had the
option of travelling with her.



Here is some info cut and pasted from their web-site.........
On September 19, 1999, a prayer meeting began which continues t
o this day. Prayer and worship has continued twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Prayer RoomMary of Bethany extravagantly worshiped Jesus by pouring her alabaster flask of costly perfume onto His body. For this, the disciples criticized her; y
et Jesus commended her. It is our desire to worship Jesus in this way, pouring out our lives before Him. We long for IHOP to be a place of encounter—a place for personal transformation, fresh revelation, and training in the Word; a place where hearts are set free and bodies are healed; a place where believers are unified and fresh direction is received; a place where we can gather to intercede for the in-breaking of revival.


3 vanloads of us set off from Stratford on 12 March at the crack of dawn
headed for Kansas City, Missouri. We arrived there around 11pm and
were staying with friends of John & Patricia's - Paul & Shirley and their
3 children. (all 13 of us stayed with them for 2 of the 5 nights!)

The House of Prayer is like nowhere I have ever been!
It is one of my favourite places, and I really feel like I will be going back......
The main emphasis of IHOP is on knowing Jesus - talking to and
worshipping Him. There is prayer & worship to Jesus - all the time!
Bands take 2 hourly shifts, so there are 12 slots per day and there are
different themes, but there is always music.
The people pray with such a passion and boldness for many things
such as poverty, abortion, human trafikking and different countries
around the world. Patricia was teaching on the Thursday night,
the rest of the time being our own, to spend in the House of Prayer.
As we have just begun 24/7 in the Stratford House of Prayer,
Patricia wanted us to learn as much as possible from Kansas City
as they have been going for over 8 years!

Hello! Oh my goodness - It has been such a long time
since my last blog entry!!!
This is my February update, more to follow......
Lots has happened since then!!

FEBRUARY UPDATE
Hello everyone!

I have a bit of news - I am now going by Sara Victoria instead of just Sara.
(Victoria is my middle name) I felt God speaking to me about using both
names in 2005, but when I tried to change it at the School of Ministry in Toronto,
it was really difficult because everyone knew me as Sara.
So I just left it. Anyways, I come to Stratford and there is another girl on
the intern program (who I share a room with) called Sarah.
So to avoid any confusion, I suggested the name change and from then on
I have been Sara Victoria!

So I have finished the first month of my internship at Jubilee Christian
Fellowship!
It has been a great month, and I SO know that I am meant to be here. I am
excited about what the next year holds. More than anything, I want to grow
in my relationship with Jesus. I am seeing that this is all that really
matters......... He is awesome!

Anyways......I arrived in Stratford on 4 February. I was meant to move
straight into the intern house, but as it was not ready I stayed with the
pastor and his family for 1 week. After one week, the house was ready and I
moved in. There are 5 of us at the moment - all girls. (2 Canadians, 1
American and 1 English girl) We all get along really well. (there are 10
interns currently on the program altogether). The house is at the back of
the church which is really handy. I live about 20 mins walk from the town
centre, and there is a bus stop right outside our front door if we need it.

I spent the first 2 weeks really getting established here, cleaning the
house (as the previous tennants in the house had left it needing quite a lot
of work) and getting to know Stratford.
I have arrived in the middle of winter - it has been so cold! I got mild
frostbite on my hands! Today, the roads in and out of Stratford have been
closed due to the bad weather. There is lots and lots of snow (Stratford is
on the Snow-belt).

My schedule is coming togethe re the internship.
The main part of my internship is spent in the Stratford House of Prayer.
The house of prayer began in Jubilee, but has now moved to the town centre -
and many of the churches in Stratford, Catholic and Protestant are
participating which is amazing!
It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The vision is to have prayer and
worship to Jesus 24/7.
The interns are to spend 2 hours per day here 5 days a week. However I have
been spending as much time there as I can! I am so hungry for more of God,
more of His presence......
Mondays and Saturdays are our days off.
Tuesdays we have intern cell with Patricia Bootsma. We then have teaching
for 1 hour and after that a guitar lesson. On Tuesday evenings there is a
worship night in the church.
Wednesdays, we meet with the Youth Pastor. Trevor (youth pastor) is starting
a series on sexual purity with the young people. All the interns will be
involved in this. This will be on youth night - which is every Friday.
Thursday is my office day. I help the administrator by answering the phones
and helping people as they come in. My project is the weekly bulletin which
is given out every Sunday. I knew that all my years of typing exams would
come in handy! I compile the bulletin and print it off.
Friday is Youth and I am on a rota for a ministry called Healing Rooms where
we pray for the sick. On Sundays I am involved in Kids Ministry (I am doing
the nursery and 3-5 year olds), Prophetic Ministry and will be singing in
the worship team once a month.

I am also involved in some other things.......
- I visited a nursing home last night and helped with a hymn sing. I really
enjoyed meeting the residents and will definately be wanting to be involved
in future visits. I had to do a mini-sermon which was stretching!
- Outreaches twice a month with all the interns.
- Mentoring a new believer
- 17 March, one of the interns has arranged a really special dinner for
single mums who live in an area of low income housing next to the church
- The interns have all been given the opportunity to study towards a degree
with a Christian Leadership University in America. (I will get credits from
the internship towards it) I am looking into whether or not my visa permits
me to study or not. I would love to do this!!
- I have the opportunity to travel to different countries on ministry trips
(I will keep you posted as things develop!)

There are other things which I may get involved in as the internship
progresses.
John Bootsma visits the prison once a month (not sure if there is a woman's
prison).
Also I am looking into heling with a community project called House of
Blessing which is actively involved in helping those less advantaged.

I feel so blessed being here and am excited about the coming year!

Lots of love
Sara Victoria
:o)