It is hard to believe that I am halfway through the lecture phase of my trip! It is going so quickly! I am getting really excited for outreach to New Zealand and Fiji-we will be on our way there in less than 2 months! I will be sure to update more on this when all of our details are finalized! I’m loving this experience and just about everyone who is on this journey with me, but there is no place like home. Weeks like last week make me miss home more than ever. Last week was probably one of the most difficult for me. Our lecture topic was on the Holy Spirit. Our speaker was a base director of Island Breeze Sydney and is originally from a tribe in South Africa. It was really interesting hearing about his tribe and their way of life. He has an amazing testimony of how he came to know the Lord and completely surrender his life to Jesus. Apparently South Africa is a very spiritual place. Our speaker talked about how he would be casting demons out of people and witnessing various other miracles on a regular basis. He was very in touch with the spiritual world. Let’s just say this freaked me out. I definitely believe that there is a whole spiritual realm going on, but I guess because I’ve never seen it like he was describing it to be, it was difficult for me to believe. I felt like a skeptic pretty much all week. A lot of his teachings didn’t match up with what I believe and what I have been taught, but then again I did come here expecting something like that to happen at some point! I have been doing my best to keep an open mind to the many new things I have been experiencing. My prayer since I knew I was coming here has been for God’s Truth to prevail through anything I will be taught in my time here. I don’t care if my beliefs are wrong, I am simply in search of God’s Truth. Truth was a word I felt had no definition last week. I had no idea what to believe. I knew I didn’t quite agree with what was being taught: things about specific types of baptisms and spiritual gifts and what we have to do to utilize these gifts, etc. But I was so afraid I was wrong. Should I conform or hold tightly to what I knew to be true? This was my battle last week. It was very frustrating. I definitely let fear and confusion get the best of me for a couple of days. Now that it is behind me I am glad to have gone through that. I can honestly say I didn’t change much about what I believe, but I did learn a lot. For one thing I feel much more sound in why I believe what I believe when it comes to baptism, spiritual gifts, and the Holy Spirit. The truth about comparing everything you hear against scripture was a truth I held very tightly to last week. It is so important to take what you hear and compare it to scripture to see for yourself! Holy Spirit week was definitely a good learning experience even though it was difficult more times than not. It is times like that I am reminded of my purpose in being here…to grow greatly in my relationship with Jesus…and to make His love known to people in my life…. I do believe this purpose is being fulfilled, so I need to remember to not get caught up in things that come in the way of this.
Hope everyone has an excellent week! Please continue the prayers-they are very powerful! J