Published: July 8th 2011July 7th 2011
Hello my dear friends! I really hope this blog finds you well and in good health and just loving life. I know that there are probably loads of things you could be sad or angry about or struggling with right now, but the fact that you are able to read this blog means that you are very blessed. It means that you have been given many opportunities that many others in the world have not, it means that (most likely) you have heard about the good news of Jesus Christ, whether its been a little or a lot. Which means you may just know that living a life for Christ means living a life of abundance, so whatever you are going through right now, you don’t have to be miserable, there is hope! :) Something I really have learnt a lot is that we have two choices in life, we can choose to have an empty and unfulfilling life or we can choose a satisfying and joyful life in Jesus Christ. No matter what we choose obviously things will go wrong and surely we will go through all kinds of trials in life but if we choose to follow Christ we can still remain joyful and have absolute peace throughout it all and as a result we can be happy. Im in Amsterdam at the moment, its my last day here. The hostel I’m staying in at the moment its a Christian one and its so amazing! All of the people that work here are Christians who have volunteered to work for a certain amount of time (minimum 1 month).They have really awesome bible studies and prayer groups and the other night we had some prayer and the girl who ran it read out this verse, Due 11:26, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.”
She said something cool that really stuck with me. The way she put it was that we are all created with a Jesus-shaped hole and because we all feel that hole in side of us, that feeling that something is missing or we need something more in life we often try and fill that hole with many things that the world can offer us but really the only thing that can fill that hole and completely satisfy us and complete us is Jesus, he’s the only thing that fits. HOW COOL! So in these verses the curse is that horrible unsatisfied, empty feeling that we will have to live with if we decide to go our separate ways from Jesus but the blessing we can receive if we obey the Lord and his commands, trust in him and partner up with him and decide to live a life that focuses on bringing him glory.
I feel like this is such an important thing to understand, whether you understand it now or you think maybe one day you will or perhaps you don’t agree with what I’m writing, but since you are reading this it means you must have some sort of interest in me haha and what im doing and what im about so basically just wanted to share with you something that I know wholeheartedly and that I believe and that is the reason I think God is so wonderful, and that is the reason why I love life. Its not because Im overseas and travelling around a lot, (although that’s pretty cool!!) but its because I am involved in an intimate relationship with Jesus and he is just so so good! Although, travelling has been such a wonderful chance to me to learn (or be reminded of this) and to just grow a lot.
So basically, I’m in Amsterdam…wow what a place. Its very cool but also a very sad place. I like the canals, I like that everyone rides bikes, I like the people, I like my hostel, I like the ministries and opportunities here, I like the food and the cool streets and buildings and loads of things but there are a few things that im not going to miss. Firstly, everyone is just always high! Haha and man I have never smelt so much weed in my life, every time you walk down the street, it literally reeks!! So im excited for some fresh air again! There are also lots of red light districts, in fact my hostel is on the same street as one. You walk out of the hostel and down a few metres and hello! A lot of people think its funny to see the girls but I just feel so sad. The whole area is filled with prostitutes, standing in windows and hanging in and around the streets and there are so many sex shows and stores and its all pretty crazy. The whole thing just makes me feel pretty sick. I have never seen anything so in your face. Its not hidden at all, not like in other countries where everything is all on the down low. Its just there, so close and so obvious to everyone who walks past. But the good thing is that God is here!! I have been meeting with some people from the YWAM (youth with a mission) ministry here in Amsterdam for prayer and last night I had dinner with one of the ladies there and so she told me all about the ministry and the different people they partner with and all about their work in the city. They have a prayer house and today we prayed particularly for the Red Light District. They are doing amazing work and its so cool to see ministries right in the heart of it all.
So yes its a very sad and very confronting place but God has really raised up many wonderful and hard working servants to reach out to the people here, its so very cool. But yeah it is crazy to see how the idea of sex has been completely turned into something so far off from what God created it to be and it really saddens me to see so many girls trapped in this horrible industry. But prayer is oh so powerful and ill definitely be constantly praying for the ministries here and that God would have his way with this city. Because he is the king of the world, and of all the cities in the world, no matter how messed up they may be.
So yeah, sorry if thats a little heavy for you to start off with but it is the sad truth about Amsterdam.
It is a cool place though and not all of the areas are like that, so I have enojoyed meeting cool people and hanging out and exploring the city.
On my train from Prague, it was an overnight train and I met a guy from Sweden and a girl from Venezuala and we were all in the same sleeper cabin and we got along so well and have heaps of fun chatting and getting to know each other and it made the first part of the train trip go really fast. It was raining again and i just loved it! It was so nice to be on the train whilst it was raining and we went through Germany! Wow, my first time in Germany and it looked so cool in the mist. Im REALLY excited for Berlin! So my next stop is Brussels, im leaving to go there today, its only a 3 hr train ride so a nice and quick one and then I have 3 nights (2 full days) in Brussels and then on Monday im off to Berlin! Ah! cant wait :) I dont really know what to expect of Brussels, people either LOVE it or think its so boring. but man im just keen for some delicious waffles and chocolate! awww yeah! hahaha its funny because some people have planned their europe trips for so long (which i will be doing for my future trips! it seems wise haha) but i just have not planned anything of mine. I literally left australia with a list of countries i wanted to go to and a rough order. I changed my plans SO many times and I have really liked this spontaenous trip and think its been the best way to go for my first one. Especially because ive been on my own its been great and so easy to change my plans to meet up with others or to go to somewhere someone else recommended and yeah im loving the flexibility. but it also means i didnt have time to research all the cities and places ive gone so i literally get to the place and then just ask people, so what do people do here? haha the reception people always look at me so weirdly cause i mean if you are making an effort to come to a place usually you know whats there and what you want to do, but not me. I think i just chose random places i wanted to go because they looked cool and here I am. Haha its been great! So perhaps on my train I can read up about brussels and figure out what Id like to see. Honestly, Im keen to just take it easy and chill out and do whatever. As long as I get my waffles and chocolate im happy! :) I feel like ive definitely gotten to the point where im pretty tired all the time. I feel like im not as excited to go to a new place as i was at the start, but i guess thats to be expected. Its just a lot of moving around and being tired and just exhausted from everything so like ive said i am excited to have a longer period of time in Berlin and then back in England, time to relax a bit too!
Ive also been thinking about Uganda a lot recently... im going to be there in 24 DAYS! oh wow. I have been reading the blog of one of the girls who went with the same organisation im going with, and it seems so crazy! There is going to be a lot of hard work and exhausting days involved but also a lot of fun and im SO excited!! I just know its going to be a big shock to go there after being in Europe and probably will be hard to adjust to and also when i come back to Australia, it will all be so weird.. but i know my eyes are going to be opened and I am going to grow and learn so much more and really gain more perspective on life. I just dont really know what to expect, im trying to imagine it but i feel like its impossible to imagine what it will really feel like to be in Africa. I love thinking about all the possibilities and all the opportunties that God has lined up for me there and yeah it makes me excited more than anything. But i know it will be very tiring so I need that last week in England mainly just to rest and recooperate and prepare myself for this next adventure. Wow im past half way, I have 3 or so weeks left in Europe and then off to Africa! I really have wanted to go to Africa for so long and am so excited that its actually happening. Anyway I best be off but I would really appreciate all your prayers as I prepare myself to go to Uganda and just that I will get all the rest I need before i leave and just pray for safety and a smooth trip but also that I will be prepared spiritually for all God has in store. Constantly praying for you all, and im sending all my love to you! Thanks so much for reading, you are a legend. GOD BLESS! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx