Samoa, The Experience: Final Part

This post is going to focus on more on a couple of the lighthearted and somewhat funny events that happened during our time in Samoa. I hope I can paint an accurate picture of these events and that you will laugh with me not at me (maybe at little bit at me).

A tale of two centipedes.

While the power was still out after the cyclone, I had to venture to the bathroom in the dark one night. In the cubicle, I looked down at the ground and I could make out a black “thing” scuttling towards my feet. Well needless to say, I got out of there as quickly as I could. At first I thought I had overreacted because the cover on the strap on my jandal had become a bit loose so it must have been that. I wish it was. I turned to look back to where I had been 5 seconds before and caught sight of a thick, black, possibly 30 centimetre centipede!!!! I was horrified. Possibly one of the scariest encounters with a bug in my life!!

Not actual one I saw, no way I was sticking around long enough to take a picture. But creepy right?

I practically ran back to my fale to tell the other girls what had happened. We were all sitting on the floor and as I am trying to describe what the centipede looked like, one of the girls from my team said, “Was it like that?” A smaller brown centipede scuttled its way into our room!! Really??!! We all screamed (okay pretty sure it was just me) and moved to our beds as quickly as we could. The centipede scuttled under one of the beds. The fijian girl we were staying with, had to carefully move the bags from under the bed so we (she) could get rid of it. I don’t know what she planned on doing. I was already writing my will in my head. Once she had moved a couple of bags, it got scared (how dare it) and dashed through a small gap between the wall and floor to under the fale. Thank goodness. After that we were all very reluctant to step foot on the ground again. I remember asking our roommate if centipedes can climb and would we be safe. I noticed she paused before answering and said that we should be fine but to just make sure our mosquito nets were completely tucked in to our mattresses. But she didn’t tell me whether they climb or not… I think I already knew the answer but I wouldn’t have minded if she lied to make me feel better. πŸ˜‚ The next morning we all carefully checked the ground before getting out of bed and opened our bags extremely cautiously. I hope I never cross a centipede in my life again! Two in one night is more than enough!!

Over the Edge

Lookout just above waterfalls

Gorgeous garden at lookout

On one of our last days with YWAM Samoa, we decided to spend the afternoon at some waterfalls called The Sliding Rocks. They are natural waterslides, at your own risk of course. I am not someone who is very adventurous so I knew from the start that it might pose a challenge. The waterfall we were at started with a small slide into a basin where you then sit up on a ledge and slide down a bigger waterfall. (Scary right!!??) My team mates made it down the slides no problem, however I took a bit of convincing. This did not seem fun to me. After 10 minutes of trying to convince myself to do it, an american tourist offered to slide with me because I was getting nowhere. He sat next to me and counted us down before we both took the plunge.

Not the one we went down but it is similar in size to the first plunge into the basin.

Even though it was only about 2 meters into the first basin, that was the scariest thing I have done in my life. The tourist then told me that I should go the next one alone because he nearly crashed into me down the first one. I told him to go first and then slowly pulled myself onto the ledge. It was then I realised I had been wrong with my thoughts before, sitting on this ledge about to slide down a waterfall was the scariest thing I have done. I looked for any other way down to where my friends were but the only “safe” way down was the waterfall! (Gulp) I took a deep breath and pushed off and slid down which half way through the slide it turned into a free fall as the rocks only went part way down. I was shaking and gasping for breath as I came up for air. It was the most crazy and scary thing I had done. But hey, I did it!! And you know what, I climbed up and did it again. It was a day of conquering fears, realising that I am far more capable of things than I thought I was, and it was also a day of fun with many happy memories!!

After I conquered the falls!!

There are so many more stories and memories from my time spent in Samoa but the ones I have shared have shaped me the most and left lasting impressions on my life. In 3 weeks time I head to South Korea for a discipleship training school with YWAM. I will be away from home for 6 months!! My short term discipleship training school with church has helped me prepare and helped me grow more in myself. As I head overseas for a longer period of time, I now know that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. I know that God is ALWAYS with me and He has me in His hands.

I hope you have enjoyed my very long drawn out series (really sorry about that. Bad time management) on my discipleship training school and mission outreach. I hope it encourages you to reach out and trust in God wherever He leads you!!

Many Blessings

Princess Warrior Maid

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Samoa, The Experience: Part One

I have decided that because I had far too many amazing experiences and opportunities in Samoa that it would be too long for my post so I will split it up into a few parts. This part will focus on some of the outreach and ministry opportunities we had.

Hospital Outreach:

On our second day in Samoa, one of the girls in our group got a message from someone back in New Zealand that there was a man in the hospital in Samoa that needed her blood type. This was a great opportunity to be a blessing and do some ministry at the hospital. We rode on the back of a pick up truck part of the way (which is extremely common over there) before catching a bus the rest of the way. After arriving at the hospital we split into two groups. One group would go to find the patient that needed blood and the other group would do some outreach outside the hospital. I felt led to go with the group to find the patient. I don’t think I can recall a time where I have felt so strongly the pull of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t want this to pass me by.

After going to a couple of wards asking for the patient (we had a name…. we weren’t just asking for a random patient who needed blood. Just FYI) we found the right ward and room. The man had his grandson with him. They were extremely hospitable and grateful. We had the opportunity to pray with them and in turn they were a blessing to us.

Buses in Samoa

Buses in Samoa. Love them!!

Buses in Samoa

This was just the beginning of our hospital adventure. We then had to find the blood donation place. (Blood bank????) We must have walked around for 15 minutes or so before we found where we had to be. The two other ladies with me were giving blood and I felt I needed to as well. So I filled the form in and patiently waited my turn. It was then that it dawned on me, “Sarah, what are you doing? You haven’t eaten for a couple of hours. How are you going to do this?” I have had a couple of bad experiences giving blood because I can get dizzy and feel faint easily. So this started to stress me a little bit. I started praying “God, you better know what you are doing here. Please just let me not get sick or faint! I am taking a huge step here and trusting that I am hearing you correctly.” (I thankfully had found a lolly from the airplane in my bag so I now had some sugar in me) About 2 minutes later a girl and her brother walked in and filled in a form to give blood. I was reading my Bible in the waiting room when I felt led to ask the girl if she had given blood before. She hadn’t. She was 16 years old. Her sister had been in hospital for 3 days after a miscarriage and had lost 1 1/2 litres of blood. She wanted to give blood for her sister. My whole world felt like it had been put into perspective. I can’t put it into words but my life from that point was never the same. This is what God wanted me here for. To confirm that I could do this and so I could I encourage and pray for her and her family.

My stomach and Cyclone Gita:

On Friday the 9th of February, our 4th day in Samoa, the amazing, delicious and different food we were having started to disagree with my stomach. I am someone who loves food and loves to try new flavours so I was in my element with the (majority of the) food we were eating. While my tastebuds were loving it, my stomach was not! Lets just say that by 3pm, I was making multiple stops to the bathroom. (Too much info??) This week my team had been to a couple of services at the National Prayer House for Prayer Week. However because I was sick, I was unable to go and this was the last night of it. I stayed behind with one of the girls from my team who was also sick. We took care of each other while the others were away. The next few hours consisted of finding a plastic bag to be sick in, multiple trips to the bathroom together for our own reasons and encouraging one another. It was hard to be sick so far away from home. It was a very wet and windy night as well so it wasn’t that convenient making trips to the bathroom as it was about a 30 meter walk in the rain through wet grass in jandals. When the others got back from the prayer meeting at 11pm, I was feeling worse and pretty miserable. I had to get myself a bucket to put by my bed “just in case”. At 12:30 I had to get up to go the bathroom to be sick. Such an eventful night. You would think/hope that it finishes there right? Nope. 5 minutes after being back in bed the power went out. My sleep from then was very broken. It was still raining and windy and miserable! One of the girls we were staying with had tried to board up some of the windows in the fale because the wind and rain were so intense, I think rain had started coming in. Finally at 3:45am I was woken up with a torch being shone in my face and was told “Sarah you need to get up. Pack a bag with some clothes, your valuables and your pillow. We need to get out of here now.” We had 10 minutes (if that) to put a bag together and get into the van that would take us to a safer building on base. So by 4am we had been evacuated to the library with an hour before the cyclone hit its worst. The next 4 hours were filled with much prayer, singing and a little bit of crying (Me. I was pretty shaken up) There were 6 of us staying in the library overnight. I only slept from 7-8am. It was a rough, loud, wet and windy night. A huge tree had fallen on and destroyed the kitchen/dining area. But despite the traumatic night and intense storm, everyone seemed in good spirits. The staff and students on base all pitched in and started to clear the base up of fallen branches and a group of guys worked on cutting up the tree that fallen on the dining area. All over base you could hear the joyful shouts of triumph when they had cut down trees and cleared branches away.

The dining room before the cyclone

The fallen tree (left)

The dining room after the cyclone

I greatly admire the people there and the fact that despite what had happened, there was no complaining or sitting back till something happened. They were proactive and it was all a great adventure for them and us. That experience taught me that no matter the circumstances, be joyful, be thankful and find the adventure and lessons in life.

I think of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for Christ Jesus in you.”

I hope you enjoyed this not so wee post about a couple of my experiences in Samoa on mission outreach. Please keep posted for more stories.

Many Blessings

Princess-Warrior Maid

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DTS and Samoa: The Lecture Phase

This gallery contains 4 photos.

“I thought I would take the time to share some stories and some of the thoughts I had during the trip” Continue reading

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A Full Life.. . Full of Life…. Life Filled…. Wait What??

A life lived to the fullest…..

This statement can conjure up several ideas of what a life lived to the fullest could look like. For some its having all the latest gadgets and gizmos. For others its hitting all the cool hangouts and parties every weekend. And still for others its reading an entire library worth of books. While these things can give us satisfaction and fulfillment for a time, they do not have a lasting effect. There are always new and improved versions of the latest technology, therefore there is the struggle to get the fastest phone with the most memory capable of being submerged in up to 10 metres of water and still survive. Hitting up all the parties can leave you with memory loss, a wicked migraine and a sense of regret the next day. Reading an entire library worth of books can……. wait, I see no down side to this. That sounds like an amazing life. But while reading is a great hobby, and can stretch your mind, it is far to easy to get caught up in the fictional world and lose sight on reality. (Which I am guilty of)

I have felt challenged lately to take a good look at my life and ask myself, “Am I really living a full life? Apart from me, does anyone else benefit from the life I am living?” Up until the last few months, I had been self centered in my view on Gods plan for my life. I would tell him what I wanted, where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. If I did ask him to lead me where he wanted, I didn’t allow a lot of room in my plans for His plans, so really, my words were empty. I believe that at the time, I really did want to do what God had in store for me but I didn’t know how to let go of my dreams to fully allow His bigger and better plans to take root in my heart.

This process of letting go of my own dreams to allow Him to move has been a long and painful journey. Don’t misunderstand me, God didn’t want me to give up my dreams because He is a cruel God and doesn’t want good things for my life. My dreams had become more important than living for him. So I needed to let go and trust that He had a far bigger plan than I could imagine. I possibly mentioned in another post how ever since I was very young, I wanted to get married and have children. Apart from becoming a famous actress, that was the life I had imagined for myself. Early last year I had a tantrum and told God I wasn’t happy with how life was going for me. You have to watch out when you say things like that because God is a father and sometimes needs to discipline just like an earthly father would. He had two different people speak into my life. One who knew me and one who did not. I remember telling one of my best friends that all I wanted was to get married and have children, that it wasn’t much I was asking for and shouldn’t God be able to do that. Her reply has completely changed my point of view on the subject. She said “Maybe God wants something more for your life.”

Looking back I had the opinion that if I had a small, easy dream to fulfill, I wouldn’t be as disappointed if I had a bigger dream that didn’t get fulfilled. But my God sees my deepest desires and knew that I would not be completely satisfied with just that. I love that about Him. He knows me far better than I know myself!

Since then, I have been praying for opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and step out in faith. I have had amazing God moments where I have been able to speak with people about my faith, offer words of comfort and wisdom and pray for people. Focusing my attention on others and their needs has redirected my heart to what God wants me to do and where He wants me to go.

Since I started writing this blog post a few months ago, yes this has been one in the making for a while, I have applied and am going on a discipleship training school for one month. This will involve 2 weeks of training and study about being a disciple of Jesus. Then we will spend 2 weeks in Samoa on mission outreach. Had I not let go of my own dreams and dared to believe that God had a bigger plan for me, I may not have seen this trip as an opportunity to grow in faith and challenge myself.

What I have come to see in all this is that maybe a full life is not about what I can get out of it all. But what can I do with what I have? I believe there will more opportunities to be blessed if we take what we have and use it to do something for God. Rather than looking for ways to fulfill our selfish needs. Just like in Stacie Orrico’s song More to Life, “There’s gotta be more to life than chasing down every temporary high”.

If we are blessed to overflowing shouldn’t those blessings spill out of our lives to others? I am going to Samoa tomorrow for the outreach phase of the DTS. We had an amazing two weeks learning to be disciples of Jesus and growing in faith to the point where we can’t help but want to share the love and good news of Jesus. We will be in Samoa for two weeks. I hope that in that time, I learn to take every opportunity the Lord gives me to step out and bless others.

In my opinion, Jesus came so that we may have a life lived to the fullest (John 10:10) and I don’t think that He intended for us to just look out for and indulge ourselves. With this in mind, I believe that a life lived to the fullest looks like taking opportunities to be a blessing, stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new and letting go of the fear that will hold you back from accomplishing all of this. We can do this by putting our trust in and looking only to Jesus Christ who is the perfecter our faith. Hebrews 12:2.

Bit of a long post this time but God put this on my heart quite some time ago and has kept giving me different experiences to add to it. I hope this blessed you or encourage you in some way.

Many Blessings

Princess Warrior Maid

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Why Me? Why Not Me?

Why me? Why not me? In different situations in my life I would find myself asking one of the preceding questions. Why do they pick on me? Why am I not a cooler person? Why am I not invited? Why am I still single? I know that I am not the only person who asked at least one of these questions or one of the like.

Living in a very self-centred and self serving society, it is way too easy to create a habit of asking these types of questions daily. Why didn’t I get that promotion? Why did it have to be my car that broke down? With all of our ipads, iphones and ipods, it’s no wonder we are unknowingly sucked it our own little world where the main attraction is us. It is drilled into us just by the names of our everyday devices.

Now, I will admit that I am guilty of being sucked into my own little world. If I am listening to music or playing on my phone, in order to have a coherent conversation with me, you need to have my full attention before you start talking. I bet none of you are like that though, but you may have a friend like that.*wink*

But technology is not the only way we are self-centred. We can develope an attitude of entitlement. We believe that we deserve something, pray selfishly for it (yes there is such a thing) or try to obtain it in our own strength and then get disappointed when it doesn’t happen or we don’t get it. For many many years, ever since I was a young girl, I wanted to get married and raise a family. That was all that I wanted in life. Well, that and to become an actor. At the rate I’m going currently, becoming an actor is more likely.

Here is where the selfish prayer comes in. I prayed to get married because I wanted someone to hug me and tell me they loved me. Now don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a loving family and was often told how much I was loved, but there is just something about a man telling a woman that he loves her, that seems more magical. Must be all the fairytales and disney movies I watched. I wanted a fairytale romance.

I remember when I turned 18, I told my parents that if a guy were to ask me out, I would be ready to say yes. (just so we are clear, I hadn’t turned anyone down before this, no one had asked me out but this was my way of saying “come on God”) Well a week went by and nothing happened. I didn’t have guys lining outside my door waiting to confess their love for me. A month, and still nothing. Then a year passed and then 2 years. And then finally 5 and a half years! Why Me? Why do have to wait so long?

Without realising it, I had centred my life on finding a husband. As though that was the most important thing in the world. Not trusting God, I had come to resent that fact that I was still single and had started to complain about my current relationship status. I remember praying one night and saying, “I don’t know what you are doing. I don’t know what you have planned but I am not happy right now.” Then I started to list all the reasons why I thought I deserved to get married. As if I had any right to be telling God, the creator of all, how he should be doing his job.

I was wallowing in self pity. But God was not going to leave it that way. Shortly after this, two people spoke into my life and it completely changed my point of view. One was best friend. I was telling her how it wasn’t fair because all I wanted in life was to get married and raise a family. I wasn’t asking for much. It should be really simple. She replied with this simple yet wise statement that I will never forget, “You may want something simple, but maybe God wants something bigger for you” In getting so caught up with what I wanted for my life, I had lost sight of what God has in store for me.

Step one: refocus. I had to refocus my sights on the Lord.

The second person was a lady at church. While praying for me she said that there was something I needed to repent from. That God doesn’t give second best and where I am right now, is where He wants me.

Step two: repent.

I had spoken harshly to God out of selfishness and had been extremely discontented with where I was. The cool thing about God is that he doesn’t hold our mistakes against us. So once I had asked for forgiveness, He started afresh within me.

Now, instead of asking, “Why am I still single?” I ask, “What can I do for you because I am single?” And, “How do you want me to spend my time as a single person?”

I won’t lie, it has been a really tough journey. I still get the shadows of that feeling of loneliness, but because of what God is doing within me, I am so much happier. I have refocused my life to focus less on me and my problems and more on the God who is so much bigger.

This applicable in any situation no matter your walk of life. God cares. He has a plan. While it may look different than what we want or imagine, He will never disappoint.

I hope you will be encouraged through my story and may your journey shifting your focus onto God be a rewarding one.

Many Blessings

Princess Warrior Maid

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By the Grace of God… My Story.

I decided for this post to be about my story. My testimony. In the past I have shared my testimony with different groups and people and each time it has changed slightly. That’s because God is always doing something new in my life. However the thing that has always remained the same is his grace. His undeserved love and favour. I mess up all the time (hard to believe I know) but he always shows mercy amd extends his grace towards me when I repent. So this is my tetimony of what God’s grace has done in my life. 
God’s grace has always been present in my life. That’s not to say that my life has been easy because of it. Quite the opposite actually. But the experiences and blessings because of my faith in Him have been worth the struggle. I was raised in a loving Christian home. I knew who Jesus was and what He had done for me. But I learned later that knowing and believing are two different things. In primary school I was a target for bullying. A lot of what was said to me and about me back then stuck with me long through my teen years. I struggled with knowing who I was as a person. Who I was as the Lord’s masterpiece. I gave my heart to the Lord when I was 12 at a GetSmart Conference. (youth conference) I felt that I was ready to make the decision for myself to follow Jesus with my whole heart. This was the beginning of a very bumpy journey as God would start to reshape my life as I allowed Him. (He is gentleman, He won’t go where He is not wanted) Over the next couple of years I felt as though I struggled to fit in. I suffered social anxiety and felt socially awkward. While I had a few friends who truly cared, I was blinded by lies the enemy was whispering to me. “You are not good enough, pretty enough cool enough. You are not enough.” Lies.
At Easter Camp 2012/13 (huge youth camp with 5000 youth from different churches) at one of the afternoon optional sessions, God spoke to me through one of my youth leaders saying that there was a stake in my life holding me back from being free. (One of the speakers had told a story about how elephants in India are trained. When they are babies, they are tied to a stake in the ground and because they are so little, when the tug at in to try and get free, they can’t move it. So when they grow up and are still tied to the stake, though they have the strength to move massive tree trunks, they still believe that they cannot move that stake. They don’t even try) Now whether this stake in my life, whatever it was, had mades its home within me and was consuming me inside. Sounds morbid I know but that’s the only way I can describe it. I prayed about it for the rest of the day asking God to show me what was holding me back from being free to be me. He eventually revealed to me through a long buried memory of an incident at school where a fellow classmate had told me that she didn’t like me because of my “personality”. Little did I know that these words would take root in my heart and for the majority of my teen years, I would be shaping and judging myself based on those words. After praying with my leader and a nothing short of miraculous release, the pesky demon that had been whispering lies to me for years, was finally gone. I saw his claws be ripped from my heart and angel of the Lord dragged him back to Hell where he belongs. Sounds crazy I know but God showed me this as a form of closure. I am no longer a slave to those lies. Has my life been easy since then? No. Of course not because I am still human. I still get insecure but I know to recognise those feelings as lies and I pray as soon as they come. 
Now, did I deserve this favour from God? No. He is God. My creator. God of the universe. But He shows us his love by giving His Son, Jesus, to pay the price we would have had to pay for our sins. Death and eternal separation from God. He made me worthy of that Grace, that favour by paying the price I should have paid. 
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect or pray if you feel so inclined, on your life and see if you can see God’s fingerprints. Even the littlest things such as catching a glimpse of a gorgeous sunset are ways that God is telling you, “I love you just the way you are”.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of insight into my life and feel encouraged.  
Many Blessings 

~ Princess Warrior Maid

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The Walls

​This is a little something I was inspired with while going for a walk this afternoon. I had to walk past and dodge some over grown hedges. I had a sudden thought, “What if hedges ate people alive?” Pretty morbid and creepy I know, but I wanted to see what would happen so I just started writing and this is what came out. Hope you enjoy. πŸ˜„

Stay away from the walls. They are ravenous beasts, swallowing everything in their paths. You think you are comfortable, you think you are safe, just sitting there in the background. But that’s what they want you to think. You are far from safe my friend. The walls are hungry. They crave insecurity. They feed off it. How else do they become strong? Don’t blend in. Don’t be a wallflower. As soon as you become that, they have you forever. Your freedom will not be so easy to achieve. Stand out. Be you. Don’t let anyone put you in a corner. Stand up, push back and declare “No! This is who I am”.
I hope you enjoyed this. Its a bit different from what I normally write but I thought I may as well give it go. 

Never be afraid to be you!! You are perfect the way you are!! πŸ’œ

Many Blessings

Princess Warrior Maid

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