Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
When we'd last left off, the team and I were getting ready to head home when we ran into a couple of workers that I'd gotten to know during the summer...
One of the biggest things we do in Ibiza is build relationships. The workers in Ibiza are young, and predominantly British. They work hard, for very little money...mostly so they can spend the summer partying in Ibiza. When you meet a worker out in the streets, you never know how long they're going to last. Some stick around for a few weeks, some a few months, and others the whole season. When I say they work hard, I mean it! It's not uncommon for them to work 10 hour shifts 7 days a week with the occasional day off. We try our best to just love on the workers when we can. The 24/7 Ibiza center that we have is open Monday - Friday for workers. It's a place that they can come and get free internet...we have a wii, table tennis, and some big comfy couches. They get to relax, and it's a great opportunity for us to get to know them better.
To be able to afford to live in Ibiza for the summer, a lot of workers shack up in apartments with 3 or 4 people living in one bedroom. So the center also becomes a place where they can get some space away from home. Through out the years several workers have found salvation and discipleship via 24/7 Ibiza.
I'd met these two workers one night towards the beginning of the summer. I was out in the streets that night with someone from one of our short term teams. We were stopped by one of the workers because he wanted to tell us that he thought God was trying to talk to him. He tells us that he doesn't really believe in God, but he thinks that God gave him a vision the night before. We get a few minutes to chat with him about his vision, and in the end get to pray with him, and give him and his friend bibles. I feel like the Holy Spirit is leading me to read a specific verse for one of the guys, so I do that, and underline it in the bible I give him. While we chat, he tells us that back at home in the UK, his boss is a Christian, and is always inviting him to church. I leave the encounter knowing that I'll keep praying for him, because God is obviously pursuing him!
So when I get to run into them again, I'm excited. I get to chat with them for a few minutes, and learn that they've met another Christian on the island, who's giving them bits of scripture to read. I've been praying for them, and God has been moving...
I wrap up my chat with them, and then with the rest of my team finally get into the van to head home.
Our journey doesn't last long. The rule is that we don't stop working until the van is parked at home. If we see someone in need on our way home, we stop.
Someone spots a young man asleep in a doorway on a dark street. So we stop to help him. He's been drinking a lot but we manage to wake him. He's so embarrassed, and can't believe that he's fallen asleep in a doorway. While we're chatting with him, one of our team members spots the couple who declined our help earlier. They are in big trouble.
While the boyfriend is actually still stumbling along the sidewalk, we find his girlfriend lying in the middle of the street! The scary thing is that it's a dark area, so it would be easy for someone to simply not see her, and run her over. Since our van is so close we manage to talk them into letting us take them to their hotel.
When we take someone back to their hotel who is really drunk or high, we usually leave a bible and our card on their nightstand. The next day we get a call from the boyfriend. He didn't remember much from night before, but he found our card and just wanted to say thank you. When people call back the next day, it's a great opportunity to get to chat with them sober! I remember once during the summer I helped two girls one night, and the next day, they came by the center to chat and say thank you.
God gives us so many opportunities to share his love and the gospel with people.
Well that's the end of my crazy Thursday night in the West End...I'm hoping there will be many more to come!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I wanted to share in detail about one of my favorite nights in the West End of Ibiza. It was crazy, wild and totally unpredictable! I remember after this particular night when I got home, I wrote about it in detail in my journal, so that I wouldn't forget anything!
It was a Thursday night...at around 4:30am. We were actually done for the evening, and getting ready to head home. There was a 2 week mission team working with us, and we'd just sent them back to their hotel for the evening. After they left, we got a call on the batphone. During the summer, we give out cards with our number to workers from the local bars and clubs, and to people we meet on the streets. Usually if we get a call on that specific phone, it's someone calling for help. It was a simple call, so 2 of the team headed off to solve the issue, while the rest of us waited. Once they returned, we locked up, and prepared to head home.
On our way to the van, we were stopped by a group of prostitutes. They'd found a woman passed out in an alley, and pointed her out to us. We were able to wake her, and determine where her hotel was. It was in walking distance so we helped her up, and proceeded to walk her back to her hotel.
On the way, we bumped into a young lady named Jenny. I'd never met her before, but she worked in one of the bars in the west end. She pulled me to the side, and just wanted to say thank you. She'd seen the work that 24/7 Ibiza had been doing, and she wanted me to know that she thought it was great. As we were chatting two of her friends joined us. A girl and a guy. That's when the conversation got really interesting. The guy really wanted to know why I was there doing what I was doing. And he wasn't just asking in a flippant way. He really wanted to understand what my motivation was. So not only did I get to tell him why I'd come all the way from America to work with 24/7 Ibiza, I also got to share my testimony with him and the two girls. We spent about 15 minutes talking about God, Christianity, and the Church.
During our conversation, a few of my team members managed to get the girl we'd found in the alley back to her hotel. And now they'd returned. My conversation with Jenny and her friends was winding down, when suddenly chaos broke out.
Several things happened at once.
A group of 5 ladies ran buy us in a hurry (we think running from the police). There was lots of screaming and yelling, and as we glanced down the alley to see what all the commotion was about, we see two people take a pretty hard fall into the street. They'd been accidentally shoved by one of the girls who was running. We rush down to see if they're okay, and there we meet a couple that's on vacation. They've both taken drugs and are pretty out of it. Eventually we'll determine that they've taken ketamine, which is a pretty popular drug on the island. It's not a pretty sight. We find out where they're staying and ask if they want help getting back to their hotel, which isn't far. The boyfriend tells us they're fine, and that they can make it on their own. But it's very obvious to us, that they are not okay...
We hang back a bit watching from a distance. The girlfriend is in a really bad way, not able to stand, and her boyfriend is really in no condition to help her. At one point he is walking away (towards their hotel) and she is left sitting on the curb. We try again to help, but they decline, so we have to leave them. I really hate this, but we can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped...
Little do we know that we'll run into them again very soon...
Since there's nothing else we can do, we decide to head home. On our way back to the van, we run into two workers that I've gotten to know pretty well over the summer...
To be continued...
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Some of my favorite people to work with are a beautiful group of African ladies on the island. They are brought to Ibiza during the busiest time of year to work as prostitutes.
They are the victims of Human Trafficking.
These beautiful African women, are promised the possibility of a job as a house cleaner or a nanny in Europe. So they leave their homes in Africa, hoping for a better life. Once they get to Europe, they learn the harsh reality. All of a sudden the person who's been "helping" them find a job, tells them that they owe a debt that must be paid off before they can go home. I met one lady who was told she owed $94,000! They are then told that the only work available to them is prostitution. Here are a few shocking facts about Human Trafficking:
(Check out UN.GIFT for more info)
We actually have a Sunday evening service in our center in Ibiza, that was started because several of the African ladies told us they wanted to go to church. There were many Sunday nights, I found myself in the back of the room trying not to cry, and wondering how I ended up getting the chance to love on these daughters of God. Their situations are despicable, and there are times that I feel completely helpless. But I know that God sees them, and loves them, and that I am to do the same.
Just one of the amazing things I get to do in Ibiza...
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I was reading Genesis 7 today, and verse 16 really jumped out at me...
"A male and female of each kind entered (the ark), just as God had commanded Noah. Then the L closed the door behind them."
When I read vs 16 I started to wonder something about Noah. As he built this giant boat that God had given him instructions for, did he worry about how he would close the door?
I mean, let's be honest...A huge boat with an open door would do him no good, when the flood waters started to rise.
Now maybe I'm way off base, and completely wrong. Maybe Noah had a door closing solution all along. Whether he did, or didn't, I don't know. But what I do know is that the door had to be pretty darn big! After all the ark was over 4 football fields in length, and almost 50 feet high.
Biblically there's no mention of Noah worrying about the door. Noah's even listed in the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11. Here's what verse 7 says:
"It was by faith that Noah build a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before..."
So Noah had the faith to follow and trust God, even though he had no point of reference for the things that God was telling him were going to happen. Upon further consideration, I've decided that...
He probably wasn't worried about the door.
But after reading his story today, I started to reflect on my situation.
God has called me to go to Spain. But right now I'm still in the U.S., waiting to get my Spanish visa. The process has been just a tad FRUSTRATING! When I think about it, It's almost like my visa is Noah's door.
When God gave Noah his instructions, Noah got to work. He didn't let the fact that he didn't know all the details stop him. He may not have know how he was going to close the door. But he kept working. Building and gathering exactly as God had told him.
I think Noah trusted that if he obeyed, God would work out all the details.
I think sometimes I worry so much about potential problems that could be coming my way, that I lose sight of the things that God has told me.
I know that I will make it to Spain. I also know that I can't control when or even if the Spanish government will grant me a visa.
But what I can do is trust God with the details. And the doors...
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
It's been quite a week! I've been dealing with some last minute visa issues, and trying to stay calm through out the process!
Long story short, I got a letter from the Spanish Consulate telling me I needed to submit documentation to show that I was qualified to be a missionary. The fun part, was that the request came from Spain, so the Spanish Consulate here in the states couldn't give me any idea as to what documentation I should submit. And to top it all off, I have to submit it within 10 days...
My first instinct was to freak out.
As I've gotten closer to leaving for Spain, I've felt more and more that God has been challenging me in the area of FAITH. I think my little human mind thought he was getting me ready for life in Spain on a missionary budget. That seemed the likely area to have a little faith growth in, don't cha think?!
Now I'm realizing that maybe those lessons of faith aren't just for Spain. Maybe they're for my everyday ordinary life also. Because Lord knows I've been relying on some faith this week! Over and over I've been reminded of God's faithfulness, and of the things he's been teaching me these past few months.
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." - Hebrews 11:1I was reading Hebrews 11 today, and it's filled with examples of men and women of faith...Like Noah, who built a boat and filled it with animals, because God told him to...even though I'm sure most people thought he was crazy! And Abraham and Sarah...I love that Sarah's included in this list. If we go back and read her story (Genesis 17), we're reminded that she didn't get the faith thing right at first! When she first heard that God was promising her and Abraham a son, she actually laughed at God. And if we keep reading, we learn that at one point, she even tried to take matters into her own hands! But here's what Hebrews 11:11 says about her...
"It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise."It was by her faith...not faith in herself, or her own ability, but her faith in the fact that God keeps his promises.
I should have all of my original letters and the translations by Friday, and once I get them I'll be shipping them overnight to the consulate.
I'd love if you kept me and this situation in your prayers this week.
I believe that God called me to go to Ibiza, and I believe that God keeps his promises....
Sunday, August 14, 2011
In late 2007, I started reading a blog called Curious in Ibiza. It’s written by Brian Heasley who, along with his wife Tracy, was the leaders of 24/7 Ibiza.
On his blog, Brian shares stories about the things that happen out on the streets in Ibiza. He shared stories about getting to pray with people out on the streets, of building relationships with prostitutes, and the more I read, the more I was intrigued. The ministry sounded so unique, and I loved the thought of being out there in the trenches armed with God’s love. I became a blog stalker! From reading his blog, I knew 24/7 Ibiza offered opportunities in the summer for people to come take part in 2 week mission teams. In the back of my mind I thought it would be cool to eventually get to do that.
Then in the spring of 2009 Brian posted a blog that included the dates and descriptions for all of the mission teams they were hosting that summer. I noticed that the very first team was an intercessory prayer team. Here’s the description:
Before the busy summer begins, we plan to spend time praying, giving the season over to God, preparing the way for the summer months ahead –
After reading that, I instantly knew that I was supposed to go. I freaked out; because I knew I didn’t have the money to go. It was actually my pastor at the time Randy Woolstrum, who encouraged me to calm down, and have a little faith. Before I knew it, God provided the money, and in April of 2009 I headed to Ibiza for the first time.
I spent 6 prayer filled days on the island (My trip report), and I fell in love. I fell in love with the people, the work, and with the heart of 24/7 Ibiza. When I left, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be coming back. But to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of doing another short term trip.
Boy was I in for a shocker!
On September 9, 2009 (I remember, because I wrote it down in my journal!), I was going to bed when God rocked my world. I was praying when in the middle of my prayers, this thought came to me…”Poppy, you need to go to Ibiza.” I remember I sat straight up in my bed because this thought had literally just come out of nowhere! Not only that, it was so clear. After that I was wide awake, and for about an hour I prayed as my mind began to race with the possibilities. After some prayer and confirmation, I reached out to Brian and Tracy. I remember I felt a bit like a crazy person. Technically I had been to Ibiza, but I had never been during the busy season when they actually do most of their work. They suggested I come for the summer, and we would take it from there.
So in the summer of 2010, I headed back to Spain. As a US citizen I can use my passport to stay in Spain for up to 90 days without a visa. That summer I stayed for 88 days! I had an amazing three months, and by the end, I was even surer that God was calling me to commit to the ministry on a more long term basis.
So now, I’m working on trying to move to Ibiza to work with 24-7 year round. I really don’t know if I can express in words how excited I am at the prospect! Mostly because I feel so privileged that God has called me to go join with the work that’s being done there. I’ll also admit that I’m a little scared. Mostly about the amount of money I need to raise to be able to stay in Spain. But then I remember my first trip, and the way that God provided, and I know things will be okay.
So, that’s it…that’s the story of my Ibiza journey.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I just read this great poem by theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that sums up how I'm feeling as I wait. Here's my favorite bit...
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat
yearning for colours, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
thirsting for words of kindness, for neighbourliness,
tossing in expectation of great events,
powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.
Who am I? This or the Other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? Hypocrite before others,
and before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army
fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!
Monday, July 25, 2011
It's my Birthday month! Last year at this time I was celebrating my 40th in Ibiza...
I can't believe it's been a year since I got on a plane, and headed to Spain for the summer.
If you've seen this month's newsletter, than you know that I've finally gotten some good news about my visa! September 15th is the tentative date that it'll be ready for pick up. Which means soon, I will be able to leave! Now I'm starting to finalize stuff here in Vegas.
I still need to:
1. Sell my Car! - I've never done that before, so it should be an interesting experience. I'm going to try to sell it myself instead of to a dealership. Anybody got any car selling advice?
2. Death to the Pack Rat! - Yes I admit it, I am a pack rat! I'm making myself go through my remaining boxes, and throw away all of the stuff that I don't really need. I have one box that I've been through at least 4 times! I'm learning to let go...
3. Packing and Shipping - I'm trying to pack as much as I can, so I don't have to ship a lot. To ship an average sized box to Spain costs about $60-70, so I don't want to send many of those! I'm thinking I'll ship my bedding, and pillows, and maybe a few other things...
4. My Books! - If any of you have ever had the privilege of helping me move before, you know that 80% of what I own are books! I know that I can't take all of my babies with me, so I've been trying to decide which ones I'll take, and which ones will stay here in Vegas. Tough Choices!
As the days pass, I'm getting more and more excited to go. For the past several months, God has been teaching me a lot about FAITH. As I get ready to step out into the unknown, I feel like more than ever He's asking for my trust. I read this great quote last week...
"When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught to fly"
- Patrick Overton
Here's to learning how to fly...
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
and you'll be on your way to all kinds of Poppy in Ibiza updates. This months newsletter comes in the form of a video. That's right folks...live action Poppy!
If you'd like you can view a copy of the newsletter for yourself HERE
Don't miss out!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I am still in Las Vegas, and part of me feels like I'm a high school basketball player who's been benched. I'm sitting on the sidelines, on the edge of my seat just waiting. Hoping that at any moment the coach will call my name, and tell me it's my turn to play...
On Sunday, I got to share a little about 24-7 Ibiza at church. It was awesome, as I always love talking about what we do in Ibiza.
It was a bit challenging, because the pastor gave me 5 minutes to share! Don't get me wrong, I was very thankful for the opportunity...it's just that as I began to write out everything I wanted to share, that 5 minutes got smaller and smaller. I had to cut, and edit and really get to the heart of what we do.
The purpose of his invite was to help me with fundraising, but anytime I get to share about 24-7 Ibiza I want people to understand what it means to me. I wish I could just zap them to the West End on a Wednesday night at about 2:00 in the morning. If I could do that, I think my fundraising goals would be met a lot easier!
Trying to explain the streets in words can be tough. But I do my best, and then pray that the Holy Spirit does the rest!
Still wondering what goes on in Ibiza? Just check out the What's Poppy Doing in Ibiza? page of this blog.
Don't forget to sign-up for my monthly newsletter. The next issue will be coming out in a few weeks.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
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This week, I've been reading the book of John, and John 4:34 really stuck out to me.
Then Jesus explained: "My Nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me, and from finishing his work."Here's how Webster's defines the world Nourishment: Sustained with what's neccessary for life, health and growth. To strengthen, build up or promote. To Cherish, foster, or keep alive.
There is nothing like the feeling you get when you know you're doing exactly what God wants you to. It's the ultimate sense of PEACE. I love that Jesus uses the word Nourish. By doing God's will, we not only find peace, but we also find spiritual growth. Doing what God wants for us each day is the thing that sustains us!
Jesus should be our example as he looks to God to nourish him, and not anything else. God wants to sustain us, to strengthen us, to build us up and promote us.
So let's get busy doing the things that God wants for us each day. And remember, It doesn't have to be some huge undertaking...it could be showing kindness to your neighbor today. It could be showing forgiveness to someone who's hurt you. The cool thing, is that if we ask, God will show us what to do...
Saturday, May 7, 2011
One of my top 10 favorite movies is The Last Samurai. I watched it last week (for like the 30th time!). There's a scene in the movie where Tom Cruise's character starts talking about the Samurai. Here's what he says...
“From the moment they wake, they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue…I have never seen such discipline.”Every time I watch this movie, I’m always struck by that line.
I start to think about my own life, and my lack of discipline, and wonder…what if?
What if I woke up each day with that kind of devotion towards my relationship with God? Completely putting away yesterday and tomorrow and just focusing on TODAY.
Some nights when go to sleep, I have this moment of clarity. As I lay there in the dark, I look back on what I did that day, and sometimes recognize that I didn’t really do much of anything that matters.
I spend so many of my days worrying about and longing for what’s coming…or dwelling on and regretting the past…what about today? I want to let those things go, and give God my focus NOW.
What can I learn today?
How can I do to grow in my knowledge of God today?
Who can I serve today?
I don’t want to live my life on auto-pilot. You know what I mean. Those days you wake up and start going through the motions of life. You’re just doing what you normally do, without even thinking about it, and before you know it, it’s 3:30, and you haven’t really put forth much effort.
I want to be AWAKE and ALIVE for every second of the day. I want to be OPEN and ready to SEE and HEAR…
I’m really trying to have that attitude today as I’m anxiously waiting for my Spanish Visa. Instead of worrying about how long it’s taking, or dwelling on the fact that I want to be in Ibiza like YESTERDAY, I want to focus on God here in Las Vegas in this moment. What can I still do while I’m here?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I would like to officially say that waiting sucks!
While I wait, I'm preparing in other ways. I've been going through all of my stuff. It's amazing the amount of boxes one can accumulate. I'm throwing things out, and trying to downsize. I'm also trying to figure out what I NEED to take with me. Notice the emphasis on need. There's lots of stuff I'd LIKE to take, but if I take it all I'd be paying $1000 in overweight luggage fees alone!
I think it's finally starting to hit me that I'm actually going to do this!
I feel like this...
...like I'm on the edge of a great adventure. I'm about to jump in, trusting that God is going to lead the way. The amazing thing is that I'm not afraid.I'm Expectant
"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all." - Proverbs 3:5 (MSG)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
For those of you who don't know...I'm working on heading back to Ibiza for the next three years! I'm so super excited, and in in the middle of the process to make that happen.
This past weekend I went to California to visit two churches that are dear to my heart. CFC and Grace Christian Center. I felt so loved and supported, and it's always good to get to talk about my passion and heart for Ibiza.
I'll be heading to Kansas this next weekend to see by best friend Jenny (Woo Hoo!) and to raise a little more money!
So thankful for all of the people that God has put in my life!
Tonight was my last night on the streets...for now! And to top things off I also lead tonight. As I sat in the prayer room before everyone e...
I just read this great poem by theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that sums up how I'm feeling as I wait. Here's my favorite bit... ...
Tonight was my last night on the streets...for now! And to top things off I also lead tonight. As I sat in the prayer room before everyone e...
Here are some pictures of my apartment! I live in San Antonio, just “Around the Bay” from the West End. It’s a bit quieter over here, so it...