Their First Glimpse of the World in Color

Yes it is April…time flies these days! It feels like just yesterday I was getting off the plane in Louisville after an amazing journey in India.

The 6.5 weeks I was able to spend in India were filled with miracles, healings, salvations, and hope. The look in the Indian’s eyes is that of hopelessness. But by sharing God’s love with them through conversation, dance, sharing a cup of chai, or playing in the dirt, we were able to watch the grey scale lenses fall from their eyes and witness their first glimpse of the world in color. These beautiful people touched my heart in such an unexpected way. Their hospitality was unbelievable and their deep desire to worship was beautiful. Though many of the people we met worshiped other things, we could see the relief and hope in their eyes when we told them about Jesus and the freedom they found by worshiping Him.

Here are a few pictures from my time in India. I am working on some more stories to go with different pictures, so those will come soon!

Mayakanon and his family. He had a severe physical and mental handicap.

Mayakanon and his family. He had a severe physical and mental handicap.

Me, Gabe, & Peyachima who also had a mental handicap.

Me, Gabe, & Peyachima who also had a mental handicap.

Mountain sunsets.

Mountain sunsets.

Hannah Joy, Levi, and I with a local 'sweets' producer.

Hannah Joy, Levi, and I with a local ‘sweets’ producer.

Typical Indian meal...rice!

Typical Indian meal…rice!

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Sweet village children

Gabe dancing with the kids at Keren School!

Gabe dancing with the kids at Keren School!

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Baby cows were my favorite

Baby cows were my favorite

This little guy was filled with so much joy

This little guy was filled with so much joy

David Raj and I on the last day in Chennai Salem

David Raj and I on the last day in Chennai Salem

You find God's glory in even the smallest of things.

You find God’s glory in even the smallest of things.

Mud Covered Eyes

So this week has been insane. We have been doing lots of house visits, going to the slums and villages everyday. Sunday we went to two church services & I got to share my testimony. I also helped lead worship. We went some places where we just did children programs (bible story telling, doing the peel banana song, baby shark, etc & acting out skits). Other places we went house to house and talked to the families. Most are Hindu so we start with the basics: family, job, what America is like, etc. It’s actually pretty cool. We went to one house (oh by the way we split into teams of 3-4 with at least 2 translators each) an it was my friend Gabe & I and our translator Pria. We got to pray for a girl named Paychiama who has a severe mental handicap. She was so sweet even though she doesn’t speak. She’s 13 I think. The next house down had a little boy with both mental & physical handicaps. He was 10 but looked the size of a 5 year old…I’ve never seen anyone like him before. His name is Mayakannon. That day was probably the most memorable this week. Other days we did a school program for two schools, we helped clean the YWAM base another day, had a worship afternoon one day, climbed a huge mountain again…it was worse the second time…soooo big! Also, we went to the monkey temple on a mountain this week- it was crazy! Monkeys everywhereee. There was a huge temple there too where there’s a natural mountain spring flowing, but the Hindus think it comes from the gods feet. It was interesting. Oh, Wednesday was awesome-my friends Gabe, Levi, Hannah Joy & I were on a team and we were walking the streets of the slums with the ywam Madurai staff & we saw a young guy and his mom sitting outside their home. Gabe and Levi decided we needed to pray for him. So we talked to him and found out he had a head injury from a few months ago that caused him to go blind in one eye completely. Levi said “I think I’m supposed to put mud on it like Jesus did”….so what better way to approach ministry in the slums than to make mud from the dirt from the streets & drinking water. They put it on his eye and prayed for him for a long time. When they washed it clean he could seen shapes and colors when he couldn’t before! It was so awesome to witness.

God is moving in incredible ways here! I can’t wait to see what else God has for us in the next 4 weeks 🙂

Let it Rain

I’m in Madurai! 

India has been amazing so far. The people, the food (even though its soooo spicy), and the culture. This week, after we got settled in, we have been visiting the local villages and talking with the families there. We split into teams and spend around 30 minutes to an hour with each family, sometimes having chai, and learning about each other. Then we get to share the good news about Jesus! Everyone here is very open to listening to us and everyone wants prayer. Something I asked God for was to be able to pray with people who have a psychological problem, mental illness/disorder, etc. And everywhere we’ve gone I’ve been able to do just that! It has been so amazing being here and immersed in the culture. 

A few random things I’ve noticed about India: they honk their horns all the time, they drive on the other side of the road, the food is SO SPICY, there are cows e v e r y w h e r e, goats andd chickens too, we got to visit the oldest Hindu temple, one tower had 1500 gods on it, people are very very hospitable, we drink chai…a lot! 

I’ll try to do a more detailed update next week when I have more time!! Miss everyone back home! 

Many blessings xoxo

India here I come!!

Wow…these past few weeks have flown by! Since the last time I posted, I have: gone home for Christmas break for two weeks, flown back to Louisville, drove back to NC to start our stateside program, stayed in 3 different homes with host families, had so many home cooked meals, spoke in churches about South Africa, helped with a church plant two hours away from my home town, helped clean a widows home, and so much more. Now I’m back I’m Louisville preparing to leave for a country on the other side of the world-India! Our South Africa team leaves today 😦 and we won’t see the other half of our team until February 23! But I’m so excited to see what God does in both South Africa and in India!

In India, we’ll be in Madurai. There, we will be working in slums, playing with kids, ministering to families, and so much more!!

I’ll be updating on here if I can, but I will send out a weekly email. If you’d like to receive one, please email me with your name at summer.brown3@yahoo.com

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

This was our last week of lecture phase!! I cannot believe that we’re going to be heading home in just 5 short days ): 

We had an awesome teacher this week from Miami, Bob Felder. He was teaching on evangelism and how we can and should share our faith with others. Wednesday, he sent us out in teams of 2-3 to go evangelize in local communities. He gave us this awesome demonstration that helps us more easily explain the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Basically we have been made to be in relationship with God, but sin has separated us from Him. And the price we must pay for sin is death. So God sent His one and only son to come to the earth as man and die for everyone’s sins. His death became a bridge that connects us back to God, it defeated death! But we constantly think we must try to earn God’s love and do good works to get closer to Him. But in reality, we just need to trust in Jesus because He has already paid the price for us! His death is what brings us back into relationship with God. This demonstration/illustration was so easy to understand and made it so easy to talk to everyone we came in contact with on Wednesday. 

I was in a group with my school leader, Amos, and my friend Taylor. The three of us were walking around in the Shelby community and got to meet and pray for quite a few people. One person we prayed for is on a heart transplant list and another had lost everything in a home break in and was dealing with family members having cancer. It was so amazing to be able to pray for peoples needs and lives. So many people were thankful that we had the courage and desire to talk to them. I now have a better idea of how God feels when He pursues us. He is relentless in trying to reach us, He doesn’t stop and He uses other people and situations to show us that He is seeking us out. This week I got to be a witness of His love to complete strangers and it was amazing to feel God’s love for them.

Side note: we got SNOW this weekend!! It’s to pretty to look at but quite cold. I haven’t seen this much snow in yearsss. So I’ve been spending lots of time inside knitting with my friends and drinking hot chocolate. Tonight we have our Christmas party at the base and I cant wait to enjoy white elephant with everyone. 

 

Merry early Christmas!! Blessings,

Summer

Thanksgiving Outreach

Me, Kevin, & the Vietnamese man we met treasure hunting :)

Me, Kevin, & the Vietnamese man we met treasure hunting 🙂

This week was so busy!

Monday-Wednesday we learned how to study the Word with Pastor Tim, from New Life church. He taught us how to look at scripture and understand the context and meaning behind it. We even got to practice in groups by teaching the class a scripture! It was really amazing to see the difference in reading the Bible once you understand the genre and context and learn how to look up words in the original language to see what they really mean.

Thanksgiving day arrived out of the blue it seemed! Our Thanksgiving was not traditional by the American standard. Starting at 7:30am Thursday, we began our Thanksgiving outreach! Little did I know, I was about to embark on a life changing, sleep depriving, fun, exciting, Jesus sharing three days. Thursday, we got in our outreach groups (Josh, Marin, Marina, Lisette, Drew, Vania, Liz, April, Kevin, and me) and departed for our first stop. We first went to Bardstown road distributed Bible’s to people in the local neighborhood. After we distributed Bible’s, we were invited to a nearby church to enjoy a free Thanksgiving lunch and socialize with the church members and people who came to eat (some were homeless, people who stopped by while working, etc). It was so amazing to talk with and share with the people we met there. Their stories were lovely and it was so awesome to just fellowship with them and share Jesus! Later that day, we went to Baxter (a poor and less fortunate community) and raked people’s yards for them! It was so fun to just bless people with something as simple as raking their yard. We even got to play with some of the neighborhood kids and build leaf piles with them!

Marin raking leaves

Marin raking leaves

Josh is excited to start raking (:

Josh is excited to start raking (:

Leaf pile!!!

Leaf pile!!!

Thursday night, we all got together to have a Thanksgiving meal. We had turkey, stuffing, creamed corn, and sweet potatoes. It was AMAZING! Friday morning came way too quickly though. We all got together for worship and fellowship before we left for ministry time. My group first went to a nursing home to sit and talk with the residents and sing with them. I got to talk to a sweet lady named Verna (who reminded me so much of my late great grandmother). She was so sweet and just told me about her past and her life. She was truly a blessing to talk to and learn about. Friday night was amazing too! We got to go to Light up Louisville and see all the Christmas lights in downtown Louisville turn on!

Then Saturday morning we started off again for our last day of ministry. We went on a Treasure Hunt!! That just means we prayed for God to show us a person or give us a description of someone to meet and then we go find them 🙂 We went to St. Matthews mall and partnered up. Kevin and I were partners and as we started walking around the mall, we saw our man! He was a little old Vietnamese man, sitting alone on a bench, just staring into the crowd. I knew I wanted to talk to him but I didn’t say anything to Kevin, but then Kevin told me he wanted to talk to him so I know it was a God thing. We sat down and talked to him and learned that he was a captain in the army and was captured by the Viet-Cong and was tortured and held as a POW for 8 years, leaving behind a wife and new born son. His life story was truly amazing and inspiring. I was in awe of his sacrifice. Kevin and I also got to share the Lord with him and just enjoy that God brought us to him. Saturday afternoon we went distributing Bible’s again to a different neighborhood and Josh and I were partners. We came up on this one house and met another guy named Josh! We got to talk with him about the Lord and he was very vulnerable with his life and shared his hurt and confusion of his purpose in life. I wasn’t sure what to say, but all of a sudden God brought to my mind all the words I needed to say to him! I was amazing and I felt like I was able to share with him the word of God! The man told me I hit the nail on the head with everything I said and I was so excited that Josh and I could meet with him and just share how the Lord loves him and wants a bright future for him. It was life changing (:

Now its Sunday and I still didn’t get any rest from this weekend! So off to sleep I go. I can’t believe I’ll be home in 12 days!

Much love & Blessings,

-Summer

Have Faith & You Will See the Miracles of God

God’s glory is His invisible character, made visible. (Romans 1:20)

So this week was awesome. We had Don Stephens come speak to us about the Kingdom of God and our Worldview. We also talked a lot about how we can see God’s glory in everyday life.

This week, my favorite part was learning about how we can see God’s glory in any and everything. We can hear it through music, see it in a sunset, in how the leaves change color, or how a baby smiles and giggles. Don talked to us about how everything matters. Everything from mowing the grass to reading the Bible, God wants to be apart of them all with us. There is no disconnect between the natural world and the spiritual world…God’s presence is everywhere.

Iron Bell

Iron Bell

This Friday was also really amazing. I went to the Iron Bell with some of my friends here (Allie, Matt, Josh, Cassidy, Samantha, Kevin). The worship was amazing and the presence of God was undeniable that night. After the worship and message on hearing the voice of God and bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth, they opened up the room for prayer. They had one area specifically for emotional prayer, one area for miscellaneous prayer, and one area for healing. My friend Allie wanted prayer while we were there for her pain. So we went down front and Matt was on the healing prayer team so he and I both prayed for her. After praying for her, her pain was 80% gone. But we were believing for full healing! So Matt and I prayed for her again and when we were done, all of her pain was gone! Jesus completely healed her and it definitely increased my faith. It was such an act of faith to pray for healing and expect it, but when the healing happens it was even more amazing and faith building-my first thought was actually…”Well, hot dang!” (She even had Holy laughter the rest of the night…it was something amazing!) Then we saw that another one of our friends needed prayer for his knees. So Matt, Allie, and I along with two other prayer team members prayed around him and for complete healing of his knees. We also prayed over him to take hold of his sonship in God, that God has purposefully adopted him as a son! And after we finished praying for him, the prayer team leader asked how his pain was…and he said he was pain free! That the pain he had for years was completely gone! It was truly amazing to experience and be apart of one healing, much less 2! God is so good and faithful.

Beautiful Waste

We have the ability to bring infinite joy or infinite sorrow to the heart of God.

This week at the YWAM SE Conference was amazing! I felt the presence of God so profoundly and personally. We spent the week in Talladega, AL with YWAMers from all over the Southeast. It was such a blessing being surrounded by people from different bases! The worship, led by Bryce Anderson, was filled with new and familiar songs and lots of jumping! I have never experienced such freedom in a worship service before; the atmosphere there was so freeing and joyful. I felt like I could truly worship God without any judgement or concern.

Aiden, Kayla, Sophia & I on our way to Talladega!

Aiden, Kayla, Sophia & I on our way to Talladega!

Jim Stier, the speaker this week, talked all about the Kingdom of God and having God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven. We learned that unless we experience the throne room for ourselves, how are we supposed to bring heaven to earth?! This is why we need to spend time with the Lord, seeking His face and His heart, getting closer to Him. The Kingdom on earth is not a physical establishment, rather it’s Jesus. We aren’t trying to just obey rules and follow laws, we are obeying Jesus and aiming to be more Christ-like and live a more God centered life.  We should be looking for a personal relationship with Him. When we live like that, when we live in the Word, we become the Word and, therefore, we can live in the Kingdom.

Quiet time by the lake

Quiet time by the lake

Jim also talked about how we are a delight to God! The deepest truth about us is not that we’re sinners. The deepest truth about us is that we are made in His image! We are a part of God’s family. If we spend time with Him and seek His face so that we can truly comprehend the affection He has for us, then we will constantly experience His delight in us. God has also made Himself vulnerable to us! We have the ability to bring Him joy or sorrow. Our love means so much to Him and we can love Him back by serving His needs and the desires of His heart. My job is to make God’s dreams come true.

This week, though tiring and eventful, was such a blessing. I couldn’t ask for a better base or friends to have experienced it with! My worship life is forever changed by the freedom I experienced there and the revelation that I will not let anyone’s opinions of me dictate how I worship MY JESUS!

I can’t believe that in just 12 days it will be Thanksgiving!! And it’s also less than a month until I will be HOME for Christmas 🙂 DTS is flying by, but I know the Lord still has so much to show and teach me while I’m here.

The Bible is a Little Noisy

Our goal this week: To see that my past comes to a condition where my past no longer has a negative effect upon my present and future walk with God. 

If the rate continues to grow as it has from 1990 to now, by 2020:

  • 70% of Africa will know Jesus
  • 90% of South America will know Jesus

Also, 25,000 people come to know Jesus in India EVERYDAY!

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This week we had Doug Easterday talking to us about the Father Heart of God. He is such an amazing man of God and he’s definitely hilarious. I’m going to miss him so much after this week, He felt like family after just an hour in class. Doug poured into our lives the true heart of God, being our dad. God is not interested in us getting better at religion, He just wants a relationship with us that is fresh and alive! He loves us so much and wants to be involved with every part of our lives. Doug proposed the question to us: “Have you ever gone shopping with God?” The idea behind this question was that we should be open do doing anything and everything with Him. God’s ultimate purpose is to have relationship with us. Jeremiah 3:19 “I myself said, How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation…” God’s heart is to be our FATHER! It’s not His job description but His desire. He longs to bless His children and we should love to bless God back! 

We also learned about having an orphaned spirit, which is when we have not been:

  • loved unconditionally
  • nurtured
  • taught truth without condemnation
  • free to be me
  • free to make mistakes, yet still being loved unconditionally
  • provided for financially with joy
  • spent time with you without having to accomplish anything
  • feel like you had to perform to be loved
  • been shown affection
  • able to hear “I am proud of you”

Although people in our lives are not perfect and cannot always give us everything we need, God is able to fulfill all of our needs. God created us to have needs that only He can fulfill. Thankfully for us, God has adopted us and purposefully chose us to be His! (Romans 8:15) 

We also talked about getting direction from God. Direction from God comes to you heart first, it’s the most loving thing He can do! Our hearts cry and our prayer should be something like “Lord, I know you will give me direction, prepare my heart for it.” Heart preparation is more important that head preparation. God stirs up change in your heart geographically, occupationally, in your ministry or church, and even your marriage! 

Doug was so amazing this week. We ended the week with a prayer time Friday afternoon. We prayed through forgiveness of our family, God, and ourselves. It was such a breakthrough for me to fully experience the release of forgiving others and myself and deeply feeling God’s love for me! This week truly helped me understand that God is my dad! He wants to have fun with me and build a relationship with me. God restored my past like the devil never took one bite from it. I learned that I need to trust God no matter what based on what I DO know about Him, instead of what I DON’T know about Him. My God is so good to me, there is no doubt in my mind that His love for me is great and that He wants to bless me! Every day my love for Him grows more and more as I learn more about Him. I want my life to be a blessing to Him and an example to others. 

Don’t Let Someone’s Idea About You Become Your Reality

ywam dts

This week we got to hear from our very own Amy Ford! She shared with us her story of redemption and how great God’s redeeming love is. It was such a powerful testimony of how God’s love defeats all; His love wins all. I learned more about my identity in Christ and how when we forget our identity our potential becomes frozen. If we forget our identity in Christ, we will live lower than what was won for us on the cross. Our false identities come from society, music, and even things people have told you about yourself…but thats not where we should find our source of identity. We are not defined by what we have done, buy by what Jesus has done for us and we are made righteous because of that! After learning about our identity, we got to spend time (as individuals) with two staff members praying about what God’s original design for us is. I learned that my original design is that I am compassionate, I create safety and beauty, that I’m trustworthy and faithful, and that God has a plan for me in a huge ministry! 

We also learned about strongholds in our lives. Strongholds start with our thoughts, influence our decisions, become permanent actions, replace our value, turn into a lifestyle…then we’re left in bondage. Even small sins are us agreeing with Satan. Those small sins and agreements with Satan allow him to come into your heart and mind, and that’s where he gets access to build strongholds. Strongholds can look like: fear, shame, anxiety, pride, rejection, etc. I learned though, that we shouldn’t focus on the strongholds; rather, we should focus on Jesus and deal with the strongholds as they come up, then turn our focus back to Jesus again.

Andy came and talked to us the last few days of the week about giving up our rights, but maintaining our responsibility. Some of the rights we have to give up are: our future, attention, sleep, justice, ministry, style, music, talents. etc. We talked about how that doesn’t seem fair…but then if we wanted life to be fair–fair would equal hell. Therefore, we need to look at everything as grace because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  We also talked about obeying and honoring our parents as well as being faithful with little so God will trust us with more!

NOW THE FUN STUFF!!

Monday we had Love Feast! We got to get all dressed up and eat a nice dinner and just spend quality time together. Then Thursday we had local ministry. We got to talk to some students at the Jimmy John’s beside the school and get to know them better. Jay was also our very own DJ at Bethel St. Paul!

Love Feast with Marin and Marina

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Jay, our amazing DJ at Local Ministry

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Emelie makin some mean hashbrowns 😉

Our brunch prep team! It was early...

Our brunch prep team! It was early…

Worship is always the best part of the week :)

Worship is always the best part of the week 🙂