The view

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I’m sitting in my lounge staring out the large windows over a new skyline that represents my new life. Everything is white and beige and the city stands tall, proud and oddly shaped. From my room I can hear the call to prayer (Adhan) that rings out across the city four times a day and I can see a river that runs out to the ocean. There are also trees, lots of trees! To be honest the trees have surprised me the most, who knew the desert could be so green?
I’m in Abu Dhabi. Capital of the United Arab Emirates, it is a young nation of only 43 years (as of the 2nd of December 2014). Before its formation it was just 7 tribes, brought together by Sheikh Zayed. Him and his family are much loved here, and to be honest I can see why! In just 43 years he has made a young nation into a global talking point. He has invested heavily in health, education and infrastructure and with that has come a burst in expats and business unlike anywhere else. In just 43 years it has gone from a primitive society, to a cutting edge technology driven one. It’s a change western society has taken lifetimes to develop and cultivate. I’m not sure why exactly I’m in this crazy, beautiful place, but I feel that I was made for such a time as this!!

I’m coming to the end of my third week and boy has time flown!!! The weather is beautiful (clear, sunny days with a slight breeze) and things have gone very smoothly for me. I am making some beautiful friends at both work and church, and I’m loving hearing so many accents and learning about so many different cultures. There is lots to learn and navigate with work but I’m just excited to be part of such a ground breaking venture in health care in the UAE.

I feel peaceful, I feel blessed, I feel settled. I’m not feeling home sick yet but sometimes just missing the depth of friendship and seeing people regularly. In the quiet times though, I’m remembering I’m never alone. Jesus goes before me, stands with me, cheers me on and leads me through.

Off to a Thanksgiving dinner party tomorrow!

Much Love
Amy x

 

A few photos from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque…Imagine what Heaven will be like!!!

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Apologies

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope you have all managed to squeeze some fun holiday and family time into your busy schedules!

My apologies for my lack of correspondence over the last few months! My laptop died a sad and tragic death towards the end of last year and I am yet to replace it! I have however, decided to get a little creative with where I type up posts and continue to bring you regular posts this year.

As a little update I’ve attached a link to my Christmas article published in the Salvo Magazine  Women in Touch. You’ll find the article on page 21, titled ‘The Royal Birth’.

http://issuu.com/salvos/docs/wit-dec-2013/21?e=0

Happy reading. I look forward to sharing life, thoughts and challenges with you as we trek through 2014. It is going to be a great year!

Amy xo

Made For Now

esther“If you keep quite at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family will come to an end. Yet who knows- maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther 4:14

Who knows- maybe it was for a time like this that you were put on earth!

I love that noble and grand decree made to Esther all those years ago and I love that it still echoes truth to us today! Maybe, just maybe, you were put on this earth at exactly the right time, that you were made specifically with ‘now’ in mind and you were designed with a purpose!

A few weeks ago, I sat in an emerging leaders seminar for CMA (Christian Ministry Advancement) and listened to a man by the name of Don Ankenbrandtt share some of his story. He highlighted the fact that in church life there are only so many ministry positions available (kids, outreach, worship etc), yet we are all called to participate and minister in the body of Christ. We all have a purpose to accomplish for the Kingdom, here on earth. Out of this knowledge Don realised his passion and purpose was helping others discover theirs! He (and others) started the 210 Project to help people discover their place and purpose in the Kingdom of God! The project looks at your gifts, abilities, strengths, passions and more to help guide you into an understanding of where God has called you to be.  As he shared some of the stories of people who had worked through this project, I felt excitement stirring in my heart.

One man came to the end of the 210 Project and realised he had a passion for apartments. ‘What the heck do you do with that’, one might say? Out of his passion came a ministry call Apartment Life. A church adopts an apartment complex and the owner offers up one free apartment and in moves one missionary family or couple. The missionaries in conjunction with the church, help people move in and out the apartment. They hold social gatherings, offer day care, financial help, support and prayer! They now have 6 apartment blocks operating under this initiative.

One guy discovered he had a passion for fishing and orphans. What does he do with that now? Runs summer fishing trips for business men to third world countries and takes them to visit local orphanages while they are over there. As a result, their hearts are stirred and orphanages gain financial assistance. How awesome!

Imagine if every believer, and indeed every person, discovered their passion and purpose in Christ and pursued it whole heartedly! Can you imagine what the church would look like, what your life would look like, if you were passionate, excited, joy filled and living with purpose everyday?   Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

You can check out the 210 Project here: http://www.210project.com/

Two more sleeps until I fly out and make my way to Honduras. I have been packing, making lists and checking them off madly for weeks (very unlike me, I am a last minute person to the core!). I think I used up all my excitement over the weekend and now I am in a state of calm! I look forward to sharing with you when I return!

Much Love,

Amy xo

Complete confidence!

I am a Christian and I have been for some time now.19th Faith street sign

Growing up, I attended church and had a faith from a young age. In my teenage years, I wandered away from the Lord and did what, sadly, many teenagers are still doing today – drinking and partying. I re-encountered Christ the year I turned 20 and have had my life turned around. I barely recognise the angry, rebellious, insecure young girl I used to be.

As a christian, I personally know and can attest to the transforming power of the gospel in my life! I have experienced God’s love, forgiveness, grace and redemption. I have discovered a deep joy, a place of refuge and the giver of life. I know now, that I was born for such a time as this and with an eternal purpose at hand (blog on this en route). Yet still, my simple mind struggles to grasp how those around me can discover these same truths and come to know Jesus personally.

While I have helped lead people to the Lord, I normally come away excited that they have come to faith but confounded as to how the heck it even happened. A few weeks ago I was walking with a beautiful friend and I tried to explain to her the hope and joy I have in Jesus…epic fail…I fumbled to find the words to explain what was in my heart and I was so disappointed in myself.

Paul says in Romans chapter 1 ” I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe..”. What an awesome statement of faith!

As I prepare to embark on a mission trip to Honduras, that is all about saving a nation in one day. I am seeking the Lord to ready my heart and increase my faith that I can say ‘I have complete confidence, not in my own ability…but in His!

Where do you put your confidence?

Ps. For those who haven’t seen it yet, I’ve attached a link with the video advert for my trip! I will be going as part of the medical team…18 days and counting!!! http://www.1nation1day.com/vision

Review

In exciting news, I was published this week!

The Salvation Army has a women’s magazine that was kind enough to ask me to write a short reflective piece for them! The magazine, titled Women in Touch, is a quarterly magazine that goes out across The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory and explores Christianity, shares wisdom and provides encouragement. The editor was also fabulously kind and wrote a lovely review of this blog. It is both exciting and humbling to think that my voice is being heard and it is a privilege I do not take lightly.

I’ve attached a copy of the article and the review, you can also find the June issue in it’s entirety at this link…http://salvos.org.au/about-us/news-and-resources/women-in-touch-magazine.php, it is well worth the read! 

Sending out love,

Amy

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Ps. Just finished the first of two weeks holidays! Loving spending time with my family and my sisters sweet copy/paste/paint skills. Making the long drive home tomorrow, I’m so blessed by all the amazing people in my life. xo

The Journal

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I have a journal. In fact, I have several.
Some have just a few pages filled, others are almost complete.
Most are from when I was much younger, one is current.
Some are dated close together, some have days, weeks and even years between entries.
All of them have spelling mistakes.

The words contain pains, secrets, triumphs, hopes, dreams and reality.
Some pages have tear marks and others show frustration.
Some parts you can hardly read they were scribbled so quickly.
There are many prayers recorded.
God was listening, whether I knew it or not.
Some promises have come to pass, others are yet to come.

It tells a story of a girl, where she has come from and where she is going.
It’s an adventure.
It shows enough of the future to keep me excited and
reveals enough of the past to spur me on.
God’s hand is in it, His word alive and active.

I gave my sister a journal today.
It’s to record her adventure, to tell her story.
To remember where she has come from and keep her eyes on where she is going.

Matthew 28:20, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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Do you have a journal?

In retrospect.

When I was younger I loved the story of the virgin Mary, and her miracle baby, Jesus. I hoped that in the 21st century I could somehow be the new Mary and have my very own miracle (I was still in primary school). I used to play ‘mummy’ with my dolls for hours and pray that God would bring them to life. I may be the only child to have put the virgin Mary twist and prayer into my childhood games, but I know I wasn’t the only young girl playing the ‘mummy’ game!

With mothers day behind us (in Australia), we’ve all had the the opportunity to reflect on the women we are blessed to call Mum. Facebook has been scattered with photos, words of praise, affirmation and love for the people who brought us into this world! God definitely knew what He was doing when He made women and in turn, mothers.

Mums are protective and fierce, nurturing and loving. They are filled with wisdom, encouragement and sound advice. Mums have an incredible ability to mend what is broken, rebuild what has fallen and create something out of nothing. Mums are great at bringing correction and letting us make our own mistakes, all the while cheering us on. They are our biggest supporters… Mums are nurturers of life.

This ability to nurture is inbuilt into many women from a young age and is demonstrated in their choice of play. I believe it is in us, because it is in the character of God: Genesis 1:27 ‘So God created mankind in his own image’.

As we thank Mums across the world, I’m also taking a minute to thank God for them and for displaying His love through them! How blessed we are!

Happy Mothers Day! grad3

Ps. Sorry it’s been such a long time! Somehow the month of April completely escaped me!