Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last Night on the Streets...for now!

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 else arrived, I prayed and asked God to take charge of the evening...and he did! The night was pretty busy, but through it all I had an overwhelming sense of peace. Multiple people were walked or wheeled back to their hotels, and the vomit van saw some action as well. I also got several opportunities to visit the emergency staff that are now located in the west end. All in all it felt like a "typical" Wednesday night.

Through out the evening I found myself in a variety of situations. I got to walk a guy back to the Ibiza Rocks hostel with Lucy. At one point he sobered up enough to realize that he was being walked home by two girls. Next thing I knew we were all holding hands as we headed towards his hotel!

As the time for me to leave gets closer, I find myself getting more and more reflective. Getting to lead tonight feels a little surreal. It feels a little like I've been commissioned and sent back to Vegas with all that I've learned in my hands. I don't have all the details about what the future holds. But if the streets have taught me anything it's that God is willing to lead us if we'll just follow!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Heart History

It's 5:32 am and I'm in the prayer room alone. It's not something that happens often, and while I like the prayer room when it's full of multiple voices lifted in prayer, I must admit there's something I love about it being just me and God. I stop to pray first for the situations that are going on out on the streets. Then my heart turns towards thanksgiving. As I look around the room, I start to think of all the nights and hours I've spent here, and how God has shaped my heart and life through that. I think of the life long friends that I've made in Ibiza over the years. I've sat in this room shoulder to shoulder with them crying out for God to make a difference on this beautiful island. God has used this tiny space to hugely impact my life!

I get a chance to say thank you before the doorbell rings and I welcome Becky and Robb back into the room. Soon we're back  in the prayer rhythm, and the story continues...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saving the Best for Last

It's Monday which means I'm living in the week that I leave Ibiza (boo). I've got a full week of work, and a few other little treats planned before I fly out on Thursday night. Today started off in the center. On my way in I checked on the status of my new favorite mural.

Things are progressing quickly, though I'm not sure it will be done before I leave.

The center was great. Lots of good chats, and as always the chance to prove my Mario Kart dominance (nice try Jamie!).  After the center we had a team meeting, and since it was my last one they prayed me out. It was amazing to listen as my community prayed, and through them God confirmed things that he's been speaking to me all summer.

After dinner (vegetarian chili!) it was time for the streets! While I was in the prayer room last night one of the things I prayed for was re-connections. Initially my prayer was directed at the short-term team who are here until Friday. I prayed that God would re-connect them with people they've met in the two weeks they've been here on the island.

And then God did something amazing...

I was out with Steve and we got into a conversation purely based on the fact that Steve bumped into a guy and said "excuse me". The guy (who was called Evan) was so impressed and appreciative of the courtesy that he stopped to chat with us. As our conversation progressed we realized that back in the first week of the season Becky and I walked one of his friends home. I distinctly remember the guy and that night back in May. I also remember talking to one of this guys friends on the phone to let them know that we were going to drop his friend off at their apartment. Turns out that friend I talked to was Evan! Steve and I got to have a fantastic conversation with Evan and before we parted ways we were also able to pray for him. It was surreal as we stood in front of a bar and a brothel and turned our eyes heavenward. Evan loved it and left with a smile on his face and a promise to stop by our worker's center.

I love how God works on the streets. He surprises me all the time, but sometimes he give me exactly what I've asked for. I only have two nights left this season, and as I anticipate those last night's I'm hoping that God has saved the best for last!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Birthday's, Curly Fries & The World Cup

It's Sunday, and I'll be honest...I didn't get out of bed today until almost 3:00 pm! Now to be fair we live nocturnally here, so even on the weekends we don't get to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning. Not long after my relaxing start it was time to head off to my last church service of the season. After church we headed down to the sunset to chill. Today is my friend Miha's birthday and it was so fun to get to celebrate with her.

After sunset it was back to the west end to watch The World Cup. With Curly fries in one hand and a Kopparberg in the other I watched as Germany came out on top. The day ended with a late night stroll by the water and some relaxing apartment banter. 

On our way home from the evening I ran into Trevor who I shared a little about in This Blog. We said a quick hello, but as he walked away it was a reminder for me to keep praying for him. I love how God reminds us of those kind of things through brief and seemingly "coincidental" encounters. I think there are no accidents and that God is at work even more than we know! 

Now I'm off to bed where I'll be dreaming about packing and my last few days on the island...

See ya tomorrow! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hippies and Community

I love getting to re-visit some of my favorite places in Ibiza. It never gets old. I also love getting to experience new parts of the island, and yesterday I finally made it to the famous Hippie Market...

There were handmade soaps, jewelry, and a number of other bits and baubles for sale. It was beautiful and I'm glad I finally got a chance to check it out. After the market we headed back home and had a meal together. After dinner as we sat around listening to Charlie tell some of his dating horror stories, I was struck by how much I love living in community. I am at times overwhelmed by the love and support that I feel in this place. When I think of all the lifelong friends I've made here in Ibiza I just stop and give thanks! Thinking about Community makes me think of these verses in John 13:34-35...

"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

When we live community well we are proving over and over again that we belong to Christ. Our love and care for one another identifies us as his disciples. So much of what I do here in Ibiza is trying to point people towards a God who loves them. I love that I get to do that in both obvious and subtle ways. I share the gospel verbally, I share it when I get to carry someone home who's covered in vomit, and I share it when I love my brothers and sister's well. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Last Night on Call...

It's less than a week to go before I leave Ibiza, which means I'm starting my official farewell tour. Tonight was my last night on call and it went out with a bang!

During the week we go out into the streets of the west end Monday through Thursday from 11:30 pm until   5 am. Then on Friday and Saturday night we're strictly on call. Since Bernard and I were on call together we decided to go in to the center and watch a movie.

Note:  While we were there I also beat him a few times at Mario Kart. He may have won once, but I'm not at liberty to divulge such information at this time...

I feel like the overall theme of the night was PATIENCE! Alcohol tends to fuzz up the brain making it hard for people to remember their own names let alone what hotel they're staying at. I've sat with people for hours waiting for them to sober up enough to remember. Our first call  of the night was pretty straight forward. There were 3 friends outside of Ibiza Rocks who needed help back to their hotel. Luckily one of them was sober and knew where they were staying. But later on in the night we responded to a call from the medical center where we met Matt. I think if Matt had one goal for the evening it was that he wanted to go to sleep! He didn't care where he was at, or who was trying to stop him. He couldn't remember the name of his hotel, all he knew was that he wanted to go to bed. We spent hours with him trying to sober him up enough to get a hotel name out of him. Eventually he did remember and we were able to put him in a taxi and send him on his way. Matt's story reminds me of these verses in Luke 6:32-33

"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same."

Basically Jesus is saying if we only love when things are easy or going good what's the point?! Anyone can do that. The tough bit is giving love when things are hard. God has taught me so much this season about loving and serving at ALL times. And tonight was definitely a chance to get to practice that.

Tomorrow I've got the day off, and it looks like we may be going to the hippie market which excites me because I've never been!

Until then...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rocky Road Thursday

Last summer someone from 24-7 decided to take brownies into the west end for all the workers one night. From that one act Brownie Thursday was born! Who would have thought that the concept of chocolate and sugar would have grown men and women dancing in the streets like six year olds on Christmas morning!

This week instead of making brownies my friend Robb decided that the west end needed rocky road! They were delicious and a bonifide hit on the streets!

Earlier today I was in the center, and am happy to say that our Wii is finally fixed. In honor of that I promptly beat both Becky and Bernard at Mario Kart (bow down peasants!) I consider myself a bit of an expert, so all you challengers get in line and be prepared for defeat! 

After dinner it was time to say my first goodbye of the season. Aaron and Aimee (who help lead the work  here in Ibiza) are headed back to the U.K. on holiday this week. After my goodbye's it was time for the streets! The night was peaceful and full of great chats and chances to walk people home. I went out with Louise my first hour, and towards the end we were excited as we thought we were going to get a prayer request off of two young guys we met. Instead they returned it with their telephone number and the message "You're hot" scrawled on the front. It's never a dull moment around here! 

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sunset, Ice Cream and Gavin & Stacey

Today started with prayer and ice cream...two of my favorite things! Since I went to sleep last night (this morning)  around 6 am, I decided it was okay to lounge around in bed until about 2 pm, then I got up, had a little personal prayer time and then headed off to meet one of the other long-term team members Becky. We decided to head out for some ice cream with a side of girly chit chat.

On our way we noticed a mural that's being painted here in town. It was nice to just stop and watch the artist at work. I can't wait to see what the finished product looks like! 

My schedule today was pretty open until the streets at 11:30 pm. So after ice cream I hung out at home and did some reading. Then around 8:00 pm I got this serious urge to go watch the sunset. At first I was going to put it off, but I kept feeling like I was supposed to go...and so I did.

As I sat and watched the sunset I was struck by the fact that it felt like God had called me out to watch so he could display some of his beauty for me (Psalm 19). So I just sat and soaked in the love! On my way home I passed a sleeping stranger on a side street just a few blocks from my apartment. I quickly ran home to get one of the guys to go back with me to see if we could wake this guy up before he got robbed. We managed to sort him out quickly, and it felt like an opportunity to share that love that I'd felt God lavish on me during the sunset...

After dinner it was time for the streets! I got to go out both hours with James who's one of the guys on the short-term team. It was so amazing to watch God work!  Through out the night James kept meeting people he was connected with back in England. The 2nd hour we went out, we barely got a few steps out of the center before James ran into one of his childhood friends! I just love the way God orchestrates things on the streets. James and I met some interesting people last night. One of my favorites was a guy who wouldn't stop rapping! He even made up some freestyle rhymes about 24-7!  In the end we were able to give him a bible and sent him away with a smile on his face.

Then around 4 am we got a call to go help a guy outside of  one of the bars close to the center. Once we found him we realized pretty quickly that he'd taken drugs. We took him to get checked out by the medical staff that's here in the west end. We ended up sitting with Stefan for 2 hours before they would release him to go. In that time we managed to talk about football, travel, and his love for the television show Gavin & Stacey. I held his hand while Jaime held the ice packs on his back (to help bring his body temperature down). Once the medical staff released him we were able to get him back to his hotel. We left with a handshake and a promise that I would watch my first episode of Gavin & Stacey soon! 

What a great day! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Just Call me Beyoncé

When I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to be a long one. Here's a peek at today's schedule:

1:00 pm - Wake- Up
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm - Meeting
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm - 24/7 Center
8:00 pm -10:00 pm - Team BBQ
11:30 pm - 5:00 am - Streets  

I woke up, had an amazing prayer time with God, and jumped right into the madness! The center was busy yet full of space to have great chats with some of the workers.

We added a few prayers to the prayer wall which is getting more and more full!

Last week we actually ran out of bibles (a good problem to have!) Today we got a few replacement boxes in.

Once the center was done, we headed over to Abby and Charlie's apartment for a BBQ. Good food, and a great chance to get to know the new short-term team who will be here for 2 weeks.

I got a little break before the streets (just enough time to change into my t-shirt!) and then it was time to head out. At nighttime our rhythm means that 1/2 of us are in the prayer room praying while the other half are out on the streets. Then each hour we swap. I was in the prayer room for the first hour and it was so good! I love it when everyone in the room focuses in and we begin to pray that God would bless Ibiza and the people in it.  My first hour out, I went on the streets with Steve and we had a great hour . We walked down by the water past many of the workers we see each night. One worker in particular is a little extra special, because every night he sees me he calls me Beyonce, which of course makes him my best friend ever! If my self confidence ever needs a boost, I can always count on him to give it!

Steve and I ended up finding a guy named Paul who was in a vulnerable position. He was very drunk and on his own. We sat with him and chatted for a bit, trying to offer our assistance. Left alone Paul would have been  prime pickings for thieves or worse.  After about 30 minutes with him we swapped out with Ruth and Mark (who managed to eventually re-unite Paul with his friends)

I think the highlight of my evening was meeting Stephanie. We found her with the medical staff waiting for her sleeping friend to sober up. While we waited we got into a great conversation. She asked me why I did the work I do in Ibiza. This is really one of the most popular questions we get asked. I explained to her that I wanted to show God's kindness to people, and then she told me that she used to be a Christian. We had an interesting little chat after that, and in the end I got to pray for her. Later Charlie and I were able to get her and her friend back to their hotel and in bed safely. It was a good night.

Now it's 6 am and I am going to bed...until tomorrow!

I'm still raising money to cover my expenses for the summer. If you'd like to donate Click Here 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Let the Countdown Begin...

As I sit here typing, I have less than two weeks before I'll be leaving Ibiza. My 90 days is almost up, which means soon I'll be back in Las Vegas. In honor of the short amount of time I have left I've decided to blog everyday before I leave!

Today we welcomed a new short-term missions team. These teams come in for two weeks and just jump right into the work with us!

Today they sat through an orientation and then I got to lead their first prayer walk on the island. During their three week stay, the teams do 3 different prayer walks. Today's walk was around San Antonio. I love leading this particular prayer walk because when I came to Ibiza for the first time in 2009, that prayer walk is one of the things I loved most about my time on the island. 

After the prayer walk, I headed back to the apartment I share with 5 other members of the long term team. Tonight was my night to cook dinner!

Tonight I have a night off, so I'm at home catching up on my bible reading (we read 30 chapters a week together as a long-term team) and thinking about watching a movie!  

One other exciting bit of news from today. I ordered my copy of "Gatecrashing" by Brian Heasley. 

Brian along with his wife Tracy used to lead the work here in Ibiza. And now Brian's written a book about his time on the island! Can't wait to read it! 

See ya tomorrow! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Poppy in Ibiza July Newsletter!!!

So I know it's July 6th, which means I'm a few days late, but my July newsletter is finally here! Click the link below to check it out...

Got something cool starting tomorrow so I'll see ya then!