Monday, January 20, 2014

YWAM LA: Week 2

Michael and I just finished our second week of missionary training. For the past year, days felt so short and now that I'm here at YWAM each day seems to go on for so much longer! I HAVE to get up early and for those of you that know me that is a foreign concept in my life. But I am learning self discipline and my days are now filled with prayer time, school, fitness, work, community and dates with Michael. I almost have no free time! Before I came to YWAM I never wanted to leave my room, well I wanted to I guess...but never could seem to pull myself out of bed. The only time I really left my bed was to get up and go to work. Yes, I know it was unhealthy! I now finally have the desire to leave my room and I now FINALLY understand the value of a day and all that can be accomplished in that time. I slept in last Saturday for the first time in weeks and felt like I wasted half my day! Now I know why when I was a child, my dad used to barge in my room every weekend to wake me up at a decent hour and tell me to do something with myself! Because he understands the value of a day! It's amazing what all you can do in just one day!

This week we learned about evangelism. Evangelism is the spreading of the gospel by preaching publicly or by personal witness. And from others I've seen and things I've experienced I've NEVER liked evangelism. It was so awkward and "weird" to me growing up. Through out the week though I've heard many testimonies about the power of evangelism and how it can quite literally can save someones life! So we as a team went out to Venice Beach, CA to evangelize. If you've ever been to Venice you'll know that the boardwalk is covered with drugs, the homeless, people of all sorts of religions, and people searching for hope and truth. You can really feel and see the dark oppression that's over this place. Before we went out I made signs for my team of four. Signs that affirmed how beautiful these people were, regardless of their past and present. These were messages to affirm how they are so loved by the creator of the universe! And I just felt God was telling me to share with these people something they probably don't hear all the time or haven't heard in a very long time. The second we walked on the boardwalk we had people immediately coming up to us with positive feedback and we got to pray for them. Some people just came up to us because they saw us praying and asked if we could pray for them as well! And for those who didn't come up to us they still got a message from Jesus. (For more pictures and stories about Venice visit my friend Sarah's Blog)


This week we also found out we are going to Kenya, Africa! I'm beyond excited, so much I started crying when our teams were announced. In April we will leave for Africa and we will be in the city of Nairobi and Mombassa. We will also be staying in villages in between and living in slums. I'm not quite sure what all our mission includes at this point, but I know for sure we will be building aquaponics (google aquaponics), building water tanks, helping churches, serving families, going to play with kids, preaching, healing, speaking life, and loving. And even though we are going to share Jesus with these people and love and serve them in any way we can, I have a feeling they will help me more than I helped them. I will keep you all up to date when I find out more about our mission to Kenya. 

 Man, so much has happened this week! It has been packed full of so much stuff! I ALSO joined the women/girls ministry Beauty Arise. Beauty Arise is an invitation for girls and women to rise up and follow Jesus. We seek to provide relevant Bible-based resources and special events that will both teach and encourage girls in the truth of their beauty, value, and identity in Christ. Our heart is to be a voice of encouragement in the midst of a world that is so often critical of who we are. Our desire is to see young women grasp the reality of God's personal love for them and to be a support for them as they live out His purpose for their lives.
"Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me." -Song of Solomon 2:10 

Thank you all for following Mike and I on our journey around the world! We really appreciate all your love, support and prayers!
Gracie xo

If you would like to help support our mission you can visit YWAM Donation or email for more information. If you would like to send a check or snail mail please address to
Gracie Penhale
11141 Osborne St.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342  

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