Saturday, 30 June 2012
Here are few words my leaders Jesse & Tanya wrote briefly about our time in Uruguay! I may or may not write my own update, but you know me if I do it will not be... as to the point. As I have said before, I like details. Hope you enjoy! Many blessings!
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
When a Christian is Squeezed what comes out. Jesus? Or everything else? Leaving YMCA Bright and early to make our way to Uruguay! To be honest I was so excited to be leaving Argentina and was greatly anticipating Uruguay. It was about a 4 hour drive to the border with only 2 more hours to go we run into a police road block. We pull over and they ask us for our insurance. Well when we entered into Argentina they told us it was not required to have insurance so we never bought any. Apparently we were misinformed. The police men seemed a little irritated but not as much as we were. They told us that we had to pay the $600 dollar fine for not having insurance. This is money that we don't just have. We knew that if we had to pay the fine we would not be able to get very far in Uruguay because we would be using our gas money. With the team struggling financially really having to trust God Literally for every penny, this was very stretching for us! As we were praying about what we should do one of the girls said she had a word for one of the cops. So she began to prophecy over him and tell him things that only God would know. Shocked by this the police man asked “what about him” pointing to the police man writing up our ticket. She began to say things about his character that God sees and the first police man looks even more shocked and says “ yea you are right he is like that.” This lead to him allowing us to pray for him and with that he gave his life to Jesus and you could tell he was trying so hard to hold back his tears. He said he couldn't take away our ticket, but he wanted to help. He told us there was a gas station just down the road he said that if we went there we could tell the man there that he sent us and he would fill up all our vehicles for free! Now we didn't pray for this man to get something out of it! But because God loves and always has things to say about his children if we just get past our own self and our own problems God can use us to do amazing things. When we step out in faith and obey Him, He will always provide. Finally we arrive at the border. Everything seems to be going fine. Everyone gets there stamp and we are just waiting for the cars to be approved. After we have waited for a while they tell us we can't get the cars through without insurance. Well we have no way of getting insurance for the vehicles because there was no place there at the border to get it and we can't go back into Argentina because they have already stamped us with exit visas. We were stuck with only one glimmer of hope. They decided to pass one of our Vehicles through so we can illegally (without insurance) go into Uruguay to get insurance for the rest of the vehicles. So the people with their names on the titles of the vehicles leave. Leaving the rest of us freezing cold stranded at the border. Luckily, we all have been fasting on Mondays as a team, which is what this day happened to be, so we didn't have to worry about food. Finally, after what seemed to be an age New Wine, our camper van, returns with insurance and an amazing story: Only about eight kilometers down the road they found an insurance office where they were greeted and helped more than they expected. The process does take some time, but after only a few hours they have the insurance and can head back. Well as soon as they walked out of the door to leave a guy on our team begins to feel the pull to go back in and pray for everyone. So that is exactly what they do they march back inside. The office workers seemed confused. Then Liney one of our Colombians and native Spanish speakers begins to yell “We want to pray for you if you want prayer come over here.” So everyone, the office workers, people in line, the janitors, and even the people in the back office all race to the center of the lobby. They join hands and Liney begins to pray for them. The phones began to ring, but no one left the prayer. Some people were crying others seemed confused, but all were so hungry and blessed. As they left people were thanking them and hugging them. God can always change the dullest atmospheres into Kingdom bearing ones if we are just willing to obey. They get back to us and the insurance people had given them information for a cheap hotel that would have room for all of us. So we headed out for Fray Bentos, Uruguay! We find the hotel the insurance people had told us about we go in and the insurance people had called and told them that we might show up so they were ready for us. We stayed there one night then headed out for our next city on the way to the Capital Montevideo. To this point we still had no clue where we were going or what we were doing. So our first morning there, in Uruguay, we prayed together as a family before leaving. What we didn't know was that many of the things that God was telling us and speaking to us about was about to be fulfilled. In Colonial, Uruguay we found a place to stay, but it was a lot more expensive than any of us had so the majority of us slept outside in the cars parked on the street outside of the hostel. Colonial is a beautiful city that reflects a really old almost European city right on the coast. We spent one night there. Me and one other girl slept in the Suburban and it actually wasn't so bad other than it being extremely cold. Finally we were ready to head out again to make our way to Montevideo. We drive for about 2 or 3 hours then New Wine, our camper van, begins to rattle. The people riding in it feel they are to pull over right then and someone would get out and look under it. As soon as they pull over the entire front Axle collapses and breaks off. The timing of it was perfect. If they hadn't pulled over it could have been a really severe crash and if it hadn't fallen off right when they pulled over the person that was going to look under it would have been smashed like potatoes! God is so Good that just shows His timing is perfect. Thankfully we were not far from a gas station/mechanic! So our caravan headed to the gas station. We got out and made ourselves at home in this gas station. It was so Cold and it was a very cloudy day and we waited. We waited for a good 4 hours before we decided we would just leave New Wine with the mechanic and come back for it later. About 45 minutes down the road Our RV and Caravan leader, Open Heaven, Breaks down. Because of all the extra people and weight from taking everything out of New Wine. So now Council and Might, our Buick, and Over Flow, our Suburban, have to go out and find the first place we come to, to stay for the night. Well the first place we come to we knew would be cheap... Also known as a Sex Motel. They are always on the outskirts of town and you pay a small amount by the hour, apposed to by the night. This was not our first motel like this we have stayed in and they usually are the most convenient at the time. So we book 6 rooms giving us 4 girls with a one double bed per room all the guys in one room and Jesse, Tanya, and Zoe (our leaders family) there own room. We work out a deal giving us a much cheaper night. We unload everything and begin to make trips back and forth to get the rest of the people and there stuff. We find out we are only about 30 minutes away from the airport. Which is going to come in handy since 3 of our guys and one of our girls were leaving that next day to go home and visit there families for a few weeks. Making us 3 men to 15 woman. Missionary Ratios. The next day many people leave early to head to the airport. The rest of us discover we are about a 5 min walk away from a gas station with a cafe and wifi. So we ask if we can extend our stay a few more hours until we hear something about our vehicles and can find somewhere else to go. We had planned to stay until 3pm. In the mean time one of our girls had been diligently sitting at the gas station searching for some form of a contact we could work with and maybe have a place for us to stay. The first guy she comes across (randomly online) tells us he knows of someone, but was very much stuck on the fact that they wouldn't help us so we shouldn't try. However, for some reason he emailed this ministry anyway. And just like that we had a contact that was willing to receive us. So we fit as many people as possible with all our stuff in our two working vehicle to go meet this guy that has contacted us. We arrive at the house of Andreas, the man that wanted to help us without even knowing us, and he had coffee and tea for us then his wife arrives home with ingredients for sandwiches. We talk with him for a while and another man arrives, David, who is going to show us to the house they have set up for us. So we say our thank you's and goodbyes and load up once again. About 20 minutes down the road Council and Might, the Buick, begins to over heat. So we pull over causing us to loose Over Flow, the suburban, who we were following to our next location. So we let the car sit then head back to Andrea's house. Andrea's is able to call David who was riding with the people in Over Flow to get them there. They have successfully arrived at the cabin and are heading back to pick us up. Well on there way back they call us to meet them at the airport because they have gotten pulled over for there break lights not working. By the grace of God the cop doesn’t do much just warns them not to drive anymore then leaves. So we meet them at the airport (a central place) and follow close behind so they won't get pulled over again. Finally arriving at this beautiful house it is now after dark and with our vehicles we don't think it wise to go back out to try and pick up the others we have left behind at the sex motel. We get a hold of them over facebook. They were not so excited to stay another night there, but they understood. Only down fall being was we had a lot of there stuff and they had a lot of ours. And that was just our first week in Uruguay. We knew God would have a lot in store if all this would happen just in the first few days in this country commonly know as “the missionaries cemetery.” Many Many Blessings and much love! Please keep me updated on your lives as well I love hearing from you all. Rachael Michelle.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Argentina Once again! Leaving Chile for good this time entering into Argentina for the 9th and hopefully last time this trip! We have no contacts, but are expectant on God to provide. Two days of travel to get to our destination in Buenas Aires. One of those nights we crammed into a few rooms at a trucker motel, another days drive away from the city. The next day was spent all day driving and working out contacts. We had somewhat of a contact through YWAM, but with a lot of miscommunication and confusion it didn't work out and became very lost in a not so great area of Buenas Aires. With no hope of anywhere to stay for the night and the team really struggling financially we didn't have the money to put ourselves up in a hostel in the area because they are more expensive than anywhere else we have been. With no clue where we were and the time was going on two in the morning we find an alley with a big patch of grass surrounded by trees. We decide to set up camp there for the night and asked a neighbor if it was alright, he was skeptical at first, but then told us it was fine. All the boys slept in between our two giant blue tarps, some of the girls slept in the vehicles, some on top of the vehicles, and me and two others set up a tent. All of us very exhausted from the 15 hour day of driving it didn't take long to fall fast asleep. That morning we woke up to the sound of to men talking very loudly in Spanish. I sat up in my tent to see what all the commotion was about. Two cops were standing over the the boys asking who they were, what they were doing, and who said they could sleep there. The only two that woke up from the noise were two that do not speak very much Spanish! Finally David one of our Colombians who speaks Spanish woke up and explained to the cops who we were and why we were there. The cops were so confused asking us if we were stupid. Telling us that this was a horrible area and we could have been robbed or killed especially because we were foreigners. We told the cops we would be leaving soon and for them not to worry. They left us laughing at our ignorance so we all laughed, what else are you going to do in that situation? Before leaving two of our team members went to go pray for the neighbor that gave us the okay to stay there. He wasn't there, but his wife answered the door and allowed them to pray for her and her husband who happened to be very sick. She was extremely touched and walked away with tears in her eyes. Stinky and dirty we got up to try and get ready for the day (using the bathroom where ever we could do so without being seen). We decided since we were in the area we should just go to Claudio Freizdon's (an extremely well known revivalist in South America) church in the city. We were very excited because this would be one of the first churches to visit where we didn't have to do the service in 9 months, we could just receive. After grabbing some food at a local mall, using there wifi and bathrooms to get directions and brush our teeth. We leave for Rey De Rey igleasia (King of Kings Church). We arrived after the first service had already started so some people went to go sit in a cafe others just hung out in the RV while me and the rest went to sit in the service. Claudio's son-in-Law, Chad, from Canada, was speaking so we were able to understand most of his message. After the service me Ben and Taylor went up for prayer when he got to us he began to pray in Spanish so Taylor asked him to pray in English. Surprised, he asked where we were from and we told him we were missionaries with Iris Ministries and he prayed, blessed us, and told us Claudio was speaking the next service so we had to stay (apparently he is not there very often). Well one of the girls on our team had been contacting this church and had a friend who works there. So she got us a seat in the 3rd row from the front of this giant mega church with little headsets to translate so we could all understand what was being said, that in itself was such a blessing! A few minutes after Claudio had been preaching he looks to us and says “do the Iris Team of Missionaries want prayer?” We all shout “YES!” and he calls us down front. We stand in a row and he begins to bless us and everything we are doing. Then he says “I am going to pray over you the same anointing and mantel I received 20 years ago.” With that he started laying hands on us going down the line. Almost everyone fell out in the spirit. He said “receive in Jesus name” and with that he told us all to sit back down. So incredibly blessed we sat through the rest of the service in amazment. The one contact we had wanted us to work with the church and we told her we would be more than happy to, but we needed somewhere to stay we could camp outside, but in the city that is not realistic with our giant American vehicles. They told us of a hostel that was only $20 dollars a night, but most of the team does not have that kind of money. So we said we would find 10 people that could pay that and the rest of us would sleep in the vehicles. They found out we had slept on the side of the road the night before and really wanted to help us so we didn't have to sleep out in the cold again. Maybe we were just naive, but everyone seemed really concerned with our well being, as far as sleeping outside in the city. They leave to talk and come back and had decided to put all of us up in the hostel they had made reservations for, but by the time we get to the hostel they hadn't kept the reservation. So they put us up in a different hotel. We told them they didn't have to we were more than happy to sleep in the vehicles. However, they told us they wanted to put us up so we graciously accepted it. The hotel we stayed in was one of the nicest hotels, to be honest, I have ever been in, in my life. Easily $100 dollars per person a night and they put us up for 2 nights allowing us to come to there homeless ministry during the day to feed us. And we willingly helped out with the ministry doing whatever they asked of us. That is where I met 2 of the sweetest men ever, Roger and Michael. I sat and talked with them for hours. They asked me and 2 other girls to share our testimony with them and so we did. They listened intently and had so much input, Truly some of the wisest men I have ever met. They were such beautiful people and knew more about respect and honor than most. We prayed with them then had to leave to have a meeting with Chad. One of the nights in the Hotel me and the girls in my room felt were should spend the night praying for direction for the team and Argentina. What started out as us just praying for our family turned into full on intersession with repenting, crying out for team members, and for Argentina. God really showed up and it was a very sweet time. That next day we didn't know where we were supposed to go or do... Everyone was feeling a lot of pressure and confusion. In the end we decided to Go and stay at a YMCA someone had found and contacted because it was out of the city, and those of us that wanted to rest could and those of us that wanted still do ministry in the city could. A lot of time there was spent together as a family worshiping, praying for each other and talking about what was to come next as far as Uruguay. Over all the time was not waited, we were able to rest, reconnect, and do our own forms of ministry. While there we visited La Boca, Argentina, known as the Tango capital of Argentina. It was a beautiful city with Tango dancers in the streets you can watch and take pictures with, colorful buildings, and lots of beautiful art. One of our girls, Liney, saw some kids on a field trip with there school and she asked the teacher if she could have 5 mins to talk to the kids. The teacher agreed and Liney began to preach and talk to them about God and there destinies. The teacher said “okay that is enough” and Liney said no 2 more minutes and she began to pray over them and lay hands on them before the teacher could get them back in there line and walk off. We spent the day walking around the city ministering and site seeing. Because we took public transport it took 2 hours to get there and almost 3 hours to get home by train and bus. By the end of the day were were exhausted, but somethings are worth it! God has been doing so much in my heart these last few months I can't wait to be able to get my thoughts collected enough to write about it all. I am so honored to have all of you praying for me and keeping in touch with me! Please let me know if there is anything I should be writing more about or what you want to hear. Also I really would love to hear from all of you as far as what is going on in your lives. Keep me updated so I know how to pray for you! Blessings, Rachael Michelle P.S. Pictures coming soon I haven't gotten them uploaded yet.
Monday, 11 June 2012
After a month of travel exiting and re-entering into Chile and Argentina about 6 times, thus far. We left our knew families in Punta Arenas Chile on a cold dreary Saturday morning and headed further south! All the way to the The southern most part of the world! Our 12 hour bus arrived in the beautiful, but very cold Ushuaia on the Island Of Tierra Del Fuego around 9 pm. Once again we had no idea where were to go or where we were going to stay, but one thing that was on our minds.... Food. As always we thought it be best to find a place to eat and then find a place to stay for the night. Luckily for our sake these southern most areas have built a culture around night time living, everything is open late and everyone stays up late. The 3rd meal of the day in the south instead of supper they have what they call “Once” (pronounced Own-say like 11 in Spanish). Which is basically just bread tea and coffee after 8pm. After we had prayed and we begin to walk away from the bus stop a man runs up to us and asks us if we are the missionaries coming from Punta Arenas. To our surprise we were being waited for by a church that was contacted by someone from the last church we were at. They had accommodations and food waiting for us just a few blocks away! God is so Good and definitely takes care of us. Trust God people because he Knows! They set us up in these beautiful cabins used for church retreats in the woods for 2 nights. I had some good quality God time in those woods even though it was freezing cold. Our first day there was a Sunday and they had asked us to Preach. So we, like usual, didn't plan just waited to see what Holy Spirit wanted. Breck one of the men on our team says he has something on his heart to share after a few others had shared about who we are and what we are doing. The usual. What Breck shared was amazing and God used Breck to not only touch the church, but I am pretty sure more than half our team was crying as well, including myself. Well what we didn't know was in the crowd there was a few YWAM people visiting that church. So after the church we were able to have lunch with them and meet with them and through that they offered for a few of us, if we wanted, to stay at their base for free and even teach in there DTS (Discipleship Training School). After those two nights in the cabins and church members driving a church van to pick us all up and take us to there church to do ministry and services we were moved to a ladies home and a few of us moved into the YWAM base and a family offered a free stay at their bed and breakfast. I was staying at the YWAM base with 3 other team members and 6 YWAMers. We were a full house, but were so blessed with food and free lodging we didn't mind! We got to teach 2 of there classes on Identity! It was amazing I was able to share and when I teach I learn do much more for myself. God really showed up for all of us. The YWAMers were amazing and showed us so much Love! Ushuaia is amazing and beautiful we got to climb a mountain to a glacier over all a 6 hour day of hiking up and down one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. While on the mountain we took communion and worshiped God in the high places Covered with Snow. We also were able to go to the National Park in Ushuaia that is considered the complete end of the world. You can go no further south than that point. It was only an hour away from where we were staying. After many days of Treasure hunting, ministering with the church seeing God show in people lives like never before, it was time for the first time in the whole 8 months so far, to start heading north. As we headed north God allowed us to stop in Punta Arenas once again to visit and be blessed by the Grace and Peace Church that had blessed us so much just a few weeks before. Just like before they welcomed us back into their homes and families. We were able to speak in their beautiful church once again and just simply be apart. Our last Sunday visiting with this church they washed our feet and prayed blessings over us. We have never been held up in so much honor. Then we were able to pray over our families and bless the people that housed each of us. It was a very special time for all of us. They taught so much about true hospitality, honor, and family. Through all that we were able to really be united as a team! We left our new found families once again with high hopes of someday coming together once again. Back to Santiago Chile to finally reunite with our vehicles, Suitcases, and 2 new team members Nicole (Harvest school 15 from the U.S.) and Carol (Harvest school 14 from Brazil). As a girl on our team said “living out of a backpack really makes you miss living out of a suitcase!” Overall, our time throughout Argentina and Chile consisted of 6 ferries, 14 buses, and 8 border crosses between Argentina and Chile. Which over all comes to 154 hours of just travel time alone! Back in Santiago we stayed at the church that hosted us before for a couple of days. We were so honored to have, once again free meals, a place to stay, and being surrounded with a community that is so loving and generous! Finally We left there to get back to the YWAM base we had stayed at before an hour outside of the city. Where our vehicles had been parked. We took a few days there to “down size” and re-pack things and just be with each other praying and taking time to seek for more of God before moving on to our next country or city, which at that point we were not sure where that was! God has been doing so much in me and in this family we are more of a family than ever before. For a traveling Iris base, as we are that works the way we do this is huge. He is bringing us up and showing all of us what it looks like to live like what we say we believe. Thank you all so much for the prayers and all the support I have gotten. I would Love to hear from any of you that would like to share with me what is going on in your lives and anything I can be praying with you for! Also if there are things from my journey that you would like to hear more of please let me know. I tend to leave many things out in efforts to not make my blogs like books! The Much Love and Many Blessings, Rachael Michelle
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Santiago and Punta Arenas. It took 4 days to get to the YWAM base in Santiago, Chile. We stayed in a Hostel on the beach an extra day along the way to celebrate Easter. Once arriving at the YWAM base we settled in and met together to worship and pray about what God wanted us to do. We felt God wanted us to stay in Chile for a little while longer so we got a contact from a team member, David, who knows a pastor of a church further in the city of Santiago. After contacting them, the church was very excited and welcomed us giving us with so much hospitality as well as the entire sanctuary of their little church for all 23 of us to sleep on. They also provided and prepared (by members of the church and the pastors family) food for us 3 times a day also letting us shower in their homes. Showing us so much love and hospitality that we hadn't experienced anywhere else before that time. We ministered with this church every night in the Church and in the streets and God showed up. God is going to use that church in a mighty way because of there openness to Holy Spirit and willingness to learn. We saw many get healed and our own hearts were postured in a completely new way to receive. As we felt Holy Spirit Move we left our knew family. Little did we know that was just the beginning of God using us to help spread revival fire to the southern regions of the world. After taking many buses, many long ferry rides, staying in many hostels in so many different cities finding God's little treasures all along the way. Seeing Him heal people on the street and Him touch there lives through us is still and will always be a huge honor. 2 weeks of traveling we finally came to a stopping point. Or so we thought. We arrive at the bus station in Rio Galleos and we have to decided where to go next. Go on to Ushuaia or make a stop in Punta Arenas. So right there in the bus station we stop, wait, and listen for what the Lord was saying. The majority felt we were to stop in Punta Arenas which meant jumping on another 8 hour bus right then, right after getting off a 10 hour over-night bus. Listening to Holy spirit as tired as we were we jumped on the bus. Finally we arrived in Punta Arenas no clue what we are doing or where we were to stay. We find a hostel in our price range with heat, hot water, and internet that was a miracle in itself. We plan to stay 2 days, with no idea what God had waiting for us right next door. Our first morning there we all sleep in and our leader Jesse hears Hillsong worship music coming from the church next door (which we didn't even recognize was a church the night before). Jesse didn't feel he was meant to go over so He told Taylor, a guy on our team. Taylor wanted to go over and just sit in the worship because up to this point we had not been in a church service we weren't leading. As Taylor was sitting there in the back row the pastor pointed him out and asked him who he was and where he was from. Taylor begins to explain he is a missionary and all about what our team is doing in south America. They call him to the front to pray for him. God gives Taylor a word for the church and he asks if he can share it and they let him. When he sits back down they asked if he had any contact information he could get so he runs back over to the hotel to grabs some. When he walks back into the church they call him forward once again. While he was at the hotel they had taken up the offering and felt God say to give it to him! Little did they know that morning Taylor had just run out of money and didn't know what he was going to do as far as the next leg of the trip. Praise God! After the service he brings some of the church members and the pastor over to meet us. We were all amazed at the God appointment set right before us! We made plans to minister with the church and it was an instant connection! The church decided to House us and feed us. We were divided into different house's of families from the church. I was in the Pastor's house with 4 other team members. They fed us so well 3 times a day, gave up there beds for us to sleep in, and really brought us into there families. Before this time we had not been so welled received by any one else. That week we ministered with the youth doing treasure hunts in the streets, had services, and home groups. On the day we went treasure hunting with the youth our group was not having much luck and everyone we approached turned us away, but before we went out we had prayed for clues and as we followed the clues they lead us to these three homeless drunks. We stopped to talk with them. As we talked and explained how God had brought us to them walls began to break down and we asked if we could pray with them. As we prayed and heard some of there stories God began to break into their hearts even more. We found out that Marcelo, used to be a worship leader in a church and was a man walking with God until his wife and son died and he began to drink. We sat in the cold on this street for probably 45 minutes to an hour with them. They were all weeping by the end and said they wanted to re-commit their lives to Jesus and said they would start attending the church. Amazed at all God was doing through us and them as we worked together God showed up. This truly was a divine appointment. Revival is coming to the south and that church is going to be where God will start. I know those are big words, but when you see true humility and true hunger like those people had you know the presence of God will continue to poor out in big ways. Grace and Peace church truly are readying themselves for an incredible out pouring! After a week we felt it was time to move on so We got a bus heading to Usuhaia. A very Hard Good-bye, but we all felt we would be reunited with this church in the future.