Sunday, October 19, 2014

Celebrating new life in Jesus

One more week down and time is flying! Despite our busy schedule I enjoyed some good rest and sweet times in the Lord's presence this week. I've taken up painting with watercolor and I find it very relaxing and a good way to be creative and process my thoughts and the things the Lord is saying to me. And at times it's even a way for me to bless other people.

Once a week Johnny Gillespie comes in to do training days. We go through core truths of the Gospel and practice sharing the good news with each other. It's been such a practical, necessary tool and I've loved getting to think through different ways to share what Jesus has done in my life. One thing we focused on was sharing what our life looked like before and after meeting Jesus. And I realized something about my own story... 

I've always been a person who has loved people deeply. I grew up feeling like this was a weakness, because I would always end up getting hurt. I experienced a lot of pain and loss due to people I loved dying or moving away. I was constantly looking for people to love me back the way that I loved them. But once I experienced the perfect love of Jesus, my need to be loved changed. Rather than offering my heart and waiting for someone to give love back I was able to love freely from an overflow of Jesus' love. There was no longer a need to measure the love people were giving me because I had already received what I needed from the Lord. And since then he has been showering me with love through his presence, his word, his blessings, and the people around me. Walking in love is so much better than searching for it. And I've come to accept my ability to love people deeply as a gift from the Lord!

On Thursday, we went down to the pier as a class and celebrated as 7 of my classmates were baptized in the ocean. It was so exciting to hear their testimonies and the ways the Lord is moving in their hearts. Does it ever get old getting to see people choose life over death? Jesus is so good!

And Ken and Bonnie Keller came to Kona! I was so blessed by them. They took me to Splashers and as you can see by the picture above, the burgers are a bit out of this world :) We visited and talked about what the Lord is doing in Hawaii and Arroyo Grande. My heart was encouraged for sure :) Who's coming to visit next?!
Love you all!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Relationships and living intentionally.

Some people say doing a DTS (Discipleship Training School) is like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hose. I have come to find this statement so true. So bear with me if my thoughts are a bit jumbled. I'll try to give you the highlights...

This last week Eric Swanson-Dexel spoke to us about relationships - our relationship with God, family, marriage, friendships, and living in community. Relationships are something I value so much (But believe me, I'm not perfect at them). God created us to be in relationships, yet they are not always the highest priority in our culture. We are so consumed with checking our phones, trying to get to the next conversation or task that we often lose the value in seeing people. There is so much to learn about the character of God in hearing people's stories and the ways he has won them over. 

God has been showing me what it means to live an intentional life. Each day he wakes me up and I have the choice to live. I choose how I love people. I choose who my life is pointing to. How you live your days is how you live your life. And as I walk closely with Jesus, I will automatically love people from an overflow of him. It makes me so excited to go out and love people well. 

Lastly, God is showing me more of himself and more of his heart. I love this quote from Anne Lamott that says, "We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be." We are not called to live a life of mediocrity, but an exceptional life because he made us wonderfully unique. I'm constantly learning what God's love looks like and how deep it goes. I don't understand it in the slightest and can't comprehend it's depth, but there is beauty in that fact. So I'm constantly learning to accept it and allow it to call me into worship.

On our way to volunteer at the 2014 Ironman Championships

This weekend some of us had the opportunity to volunteer at this year's Ironman Championships in Kona. We passed out cold drinks and cheered people on as they swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran a full marathon (26.2 miles). These people are insane and so inspiring! It was so fun to being able to cheer them on and encourage them as they were running. The guy who won finished in 8 hours and 12 minutes!! And amazing side note, some YWAMers spoke to him the day before the race, prayed for him and felt led to tell him "The Lord is with you. And to show you that he's with you, you are going to win the Iron Man Championship." And then HE WON. I can't wait to hear the testimony of this man in Heaven one day :)


 And then Sunday (of course) consisted of beach time, school reading, and Acai bowls :)

This is my beautiful friend, Juliane. She is from Norway and we love to laugh together.

Week 3, here we go!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I'm in Hawaii!!

Hello friends!
This is my first update to you from the beautiful land of Kailua Kona, Hawaii! As I write to you, I’m sitting at Daylight Mind Coffee Company, and I had to share my view with you. Unreal, I know. I find myself waking up everyday looking out at the ocean with a thankful heart that the Lord would bring me to such a beautiful place to learn more about him. But isn’t that so fitting to his character? He is the giver of life and every good thing and I find he often draws me to himself through his beauty.

I can’t believe we’ve only had one week of classes, because it already feels like I’ve been here a month. We had a couple days of orientation, our school went to Hepuna Beach (as seen above) on the first day of “class” and went cliff jumping (Can check that off my bucket list!), and we’ve been having classes, exploring town, and just getting adjusted to life in Kona. The Lord is moving and stretching me in so many ways that it’s hard to put into words all that he is doing. But guys, Jesus is so good. Of that I am certain.

One of the things God is reminding me of this week is that I am here solely to know him and to fall deeper in love with him. There is no other agenda and I love that. When else am I going to have six months dedicated to just studying his Word and falling more in love with him? One thing I love about our classes is that we will randomly stop just to respond to God’s goodness in worship, prayer, and intercession. One day we were worshiping through music and I was so overcome by God’s love and his presence that I just couldn’t hold back the tears. It was a wonderful moment to just soak in God’s faithfulness and beauty.

Yesterday, my friend Micaela and I took the trolley to Magic Sands Beach, had the most amazing acai bowls, walked around town and swam by the pier. It was the perfect day of rest that I needed. And then our outreach team had dinner together...

And YES, we found out our outreach locations this week! I can’t post exactly where we are going, but if you’d like to know please text me or send me your email address so I can send you the announcement!! 

Some things you can be praying for:
*Deepening of relationships and unity in our school and outreach team
*That God would continue to wreck my heart 
*That I'd learn to continually walk in his love
*Funds for my outreach

Thank you so much and I love you all! Oh and if you'd like to communicate through snail mail I'd love to hear from you! My address here is:

Tamara Shibata
Comm Trans DTS - 4th Quarter
University of Nations
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy
Kailua Kona, HI 96740