Breaking of the Heart.

Sawadeekah from the Land of Smiles!

After an 18 hour drive from Denver to LA and approximately 20 hours of flying, we’re glad to say we’ve finally made it to Thailand!
Our main focus this week has been night ministry in the Red Light District. We are working with a ministry called MST (Male Sex Tourism), a project dedicated to reach the men who come to Thailand primarily for the sex industry. Each evening our team takes time to intercede about where to go, and what God is speaking to us specifically about the men we might meet. Once downtown, we split into groups of three and spread out amongst the red light district, asking men to take anonymous surveys. About 40% of the men are curious and stop. The survey has a list of questions such as: what country they come from, age, religion, and most importantly their views on prostitution and how informed they are about HIV/AIDS in Thailand. After the survey we ask them if they are interested in receiving a packet about HIV/AIDS, a story of a former bar girl, and a story of a former costumer, both of whom God redeemed. About 20% of the 40% who stop take the packet.
It’s really not about the surveys or even the packets, but about relating to these hurting me, and being someone to listen to them, and show them we truly care. Most of them men have such a seeking heart, and a hunger and most shockingly a desire for something more satisfying then what they have found here. Most often when we hear about the red light district as Christians, we can’t help but feel compassion in our hearts for the women. Sometimes we forget the men are hurting, seeking, and in need of Christ’s love as well. It’s been a struggle for the team, to see them as Christ would, but God is truly beginning to break our hearts for these men.
Unfortunately our day ministry while in Bangkok fell through two days before we arrived. Instead of working in rehabilitation homes for former bar girls, we have done one day of painting and cleaning, and most of our days here have been spent in prayer and intercession, worship, and a lot of team bonding.  Our team was pretty disappointed at first but we’ve all begun to see the change of plans was definitely God. We really needed this week of prayer and preparation for our time here.
We leave Bangkok tonight at 6pm (5am MST time). We will be taking an 8 hour bus ride overnight to Selapume (Northeastern Thailand) where we will be spending the next 2 weeks and then heading a bit further east for another 2 weeks. We’ll explain in more detail later about our ministries there.
Thank you so much for your prayers, they are what uplift us while we’re out here! Our team is one week in and doing wonderful!
Prayer Requests:
  • Team unity
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Against exhaustion & distraction
  • Taking every thought captive
Love, Jami Joann

Fullness of Joy

This morning as our team had prayer and intercession, I couldn’t help but feel the presence and the fullness of the joy of Christ. We all could.

It was incredible to say the least.
I know that during our time here God is going to do such a work in us, and in those that we reach around us. God is really speaking to our team, and working in our hearts and preparing us for great things. Both personally and for the people we come in contact with.
Personally God has really been speaking to me about where my focus is. And to Ted God has been speaking about where he is allowing God to reign and where he is not. It’s been amazing to see how these two are linked together, but we both are also growing separately as well.
I was writing in my journal a prayer yesterday when I wrote something my mind did not even think about. When I read what I wrote I was shocked. What had been on my mind I began to write, but what had been on God’s mind for me to see is something else. I literally did not intend to write what I ended up writing.
As soon as I read the words, God spoke to me. Telling me not to try and transform Ted or the team or people around me into who God is creating ME to be. I realized that I had been putting Ted and people into a box and trying to form them into me.
It was pretty straight forward, and opened my eyes for sure. I am very excited to move forward knowing what I have been doing and changing this area in my life.
If you could pray for me in this area. I would love that a lot.
I need to run.
Jami Joann

Orientations & Celebrations.

3:10 P.M. June 24th

We have finally arrive in Bangkok, Thailand! Notice the time difference! Mountain Standard Time is 2:10 A.M. I almost just called my family through SKYPE at home, then realized this very thing.
We arrived late last night, and awoke to a full day of orientation, delicious Thai food, a team scavenger hunt to get to know the area, and a celebration.
A few prayer requests:
  • Team unity: We’re doing really great in this area, but we could always use prayer for this for the duration of outreach.
  • Adjustment to the food, smells, people, culture, & heat: Again, doing fine so far, but it’s also just day 1 really.
  • Being resourceful & wise with team expenses. We have a much lower budget this outreach than our last.
  • Ted & I leading: please pray for us as we know that God wants to really teach us how to work together better and how the enemy would love to see us torn apart as leaders.
  • God to work through each person on the team (all 13!) and for everyone to go deeper with Christ, and walk in Him daily.
The celebration part of our day is this: today is our first year anniversary! I still can’t believe it’s been a year. Whoa. I’m so blessed to be married to such a great man and I’m excited for many more years to come!

100 Miles No Service.

“Hey Guys, we need to start praying. We’re now on empty and there’s no service for another 100 miles.”

I awoke to Ted speaking these lovely words, as our van heading to LA drove through the desolate Utah mountains.
And I actually thought he was kidding, so I leaned forward and looked for myself. Sure enough, we were on E.
Our team began to pray, asking God to just fill us up until we reached a gas station. We traveled another 20 miles, and still were rolling. We all continued to lift our voices to God, asking for His favor. And sung a few songs of worship and then waited.
Sure enough we ran into a sign that said a town was nearby. So we turned off and found a sign which read “Emery 25 miles”. I’m glad and so thankful to say we made it to this little town in the middle of no where. I documented this so maybe i can post photos later.
All of this to say, we did make the drive to Los Angeles, California. 18 hours of off and on sleeping, fuzzy radio stations, catch phrase, games with students, laughter & occasional crankiness.
We are now sitting in LAX & flying out in 2 hours for Tokyo, Japan. I believe our first flight to Japan is 15 hours, and from Japan we will fly to Bangkok, Thailand (!!) which is a 4-6 hour flight, I can’t really remember.
Also, we had to release two students, due to some guidelines being broken that we just recently became aware of. We are now a team of 13 instead of 15. Please pray for our team to really move forward strong. Also, I will be joining the group in a few dramas, and ted probably as well, because we are missing two people. Pray that we’ll learn quickly!!!
We love you all, thanks for checking up on us, and for your prayers!!
Love, Jami

Our Lovely Outgoing Team!

Full of energy.

Garrett Hendry (18) Florida

Alanna Rodgers (20) Australia

Josiah McIntyre (24) Alabama

Joshua Griffis (21) Kansas

Bob Whelan (21) New Mexico

Kendra Sabala (21) Kansas

Yosuke Suzuki (26) Japan

TJ Vincent (18) Illinois

Whitney Zahtila (20) Thorton, Colorado

Whitney Simpson (18) Nevada

Jose Baca (19) Mexico

I thought you might enjoy placing faces with the team! Please pray for us as we are on outreach! I will update you with an tentative itinerary soon!

The Journey of Selflessness.

Heres My(Ted) first blog!

There are many times I wonder what Jami and I are doing with our lives. I mean who wants to live off of a little bit of money, and barley make it by? Who wants to … want all the time? Really why Live this way? Why do what we do?

In the Fall of 2005 I did a Leadership school at YWAM Denver. In this school we were required to design a ministry program that would meet the needs of a people group. So I chose the homeless of Denver. After a little while of research i realized that there wasn’t much information to be found. So i decided that the only way I’m going to find out there needs was to go and be homeless for a weekend.
The night started out at the Hard Rock Cafe for my friend Darren’s birthday. Right after the party I said bye to my friends and walk of into the unknown of the Denver streets. I’ll be honest i was pretty scared and i had no clue where to go or what to do. So i decided to sit next to some junkies who were playing guitar for a few bucks to get there next high. After a couple of hours of people watching the mall died way down….I knew what that meant..I need to find somewhere to sleep tonight. So I start off towards the main park right by the capitol building. As soon as i got to the park I knew i needed to find somewhere else. So i went to the library with the hopes of finding a little corner where i could find some sleep for the night.
I got to the library and found nothing but an older gentleman on a bench. He looked like he had been on the streets for a lifetime. His skin had the look of Dried leather. He had a smell of the streets that were trapped in his clothes who had not seen a washer in that last months. I knew I was here for this purpose so i sat down and started to converse with him. To be completely honest i don’t remember his name, but I do remember his story…
The man had had a Family with a beautiful daughter in what seemed like a lifetime ago. But he explained that over time he had let the bottle get the best of him, and lost everything including his family. He had been in and out of prison and rehab facilities trying to get back where he was. But he found him self moving farther away from what use to be. Now here he was just out of prison  and once again drunk.
So i felt i should share the hope of Jesus with him, and I did.
after letting me talk for a bit he turned to me and said ” I know Jesus I met him this last time while being locked up, but I think he has forgotten about me.”  “What do you mean?” I said. He went on to talk about how he had accepted Jesus in his heart and it seemed like life was new, and nothing could go wrong. Then the day he got out tried to get a hold of his daughter who now had a daughter of her own. But she refused to see him and just hung up on him. So he just walked to the local liquor store and drank the pain away. So he felt that Jesus just left him with no hope. I just naturally started to talk about the hope of the Lord and the great plans he had for this man. Then a passion just rose in the depths of me for this man. So i spoke with more emotion about the desire of Jesus for this man. All of sudden the man fell to his knees and started crying then he started to scream out to the Lord that he loved him and begged for forgiveness. As all this took place i started to weep and after 20 minutes we both were on our knees weeping at the beauty of the Lord.
At that moment the man looked up with tears in his eyes and asked me if i would walk him to the detox center. I agreed and we started out on a walk that would change the way i thought about the purpose of my life. We walked on a very dangerous street by all walks of life. There were gangs of young men just sitting on the sidewalks and prostitutes walking the corners looking for that costumer that will get them off that corner. After a while of this we turned on a small little street and went down one block then we arrived. The man looked at me and said thank you.
He was walking across the street when he suddenly just stopped and turned around. Under a bright street light he gave me a big smile and waved, and at that moment i knew God had done something. The man’s face was different and he had a light in his eyes that hadn’t before. God moved in this man’s life!
I saw the hope of humanity under That street light, and I knew that I could never live the same again. I knew I had to make a sacrifice for the people that Jesus loves so much! My life is not my own but its His.
So that is why i do what i do.
In this I am not judging anyone in the way they live or what they have. I am just walking you through my thoughts and struggles at times. Be Blessed!

In Dreams Awake.

If you were to ask us, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”, we would probably answer with something like “experiencing another culture; people, food, lifestyle, raising awareness, and with our own children too!”.

Pretty vague,huh?

I’ve spend many hours wondering about our future, and where we would be, what we would be doing and accomplishing, what kind of people we’ve lived with, what types of food we would try, how many children we would have, what languages we could speak, what kinds of cultures we would have experienced, etc. The more I think about this, the more excited I get.

Ted and I are what you would call, a different “breed” I guess. We both have a heart to head overseas. And we both have a heart for people of all shapes, sizes, colours, backgrounds. Sometimes, even for me this seems a bit too vague.

One thing I have realized lately is this, yes Ted and I are what would be called “visionaries”,people who have many different visions, dreams, goals, and ideas, but don’t necessarily remember the practical side of things. The finances, the time and energy, the conditions… When we sit and begin to think of these things, well, this is were we become a bit overwhelmed.

Sometimes when I think of these things, I feel as though it puts our dreams, visions, and goals in a box. And we are the “outside the box” people.

We sometimes beat ourselves up about this, not because we regret who we are, but because we have so many dreams, and ideas, that we don’t actually pick one up, and begin to strategically plan and invest in it. (I hope that I am making sense).

God reminded me that we are in Him, therefore we have His heart for people. We have His heart for the used, neglected, poor, hungry, abused, etc. We have His heart for the Nations. When I think of this, I cannot help but realize His heart is not at all vague, but relational to the core. He wants to see ALL come into His Kingdom, and know Him. Experience His unconditional love, His loving mercy, and His unfailing grace. Ultimate Freedom in Him!

This excited Ted and I. God is our Source, our Foundation which never wavers, our Hope which we can bring into the world, our Beauty everlasting, our purpose, our reason to live and love others.

I read this quote once, (C.S. Lewis) one which is now up on our wall of our living room. A daily reminder and truth. It read:

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.”

I find a discontent when I am living outside of this dream. The dream that God has placed in our hearts. Do you know what I mean? This Holy discontent?

God recently spoke to Ted and I about a decision. A very difficult one at that. (This blog is already a novel, so I will share this with you in our next blog!)

Love, Jami Joann

Life Rollercoasters.

Have you ever ridden a rollercoaster? One which has many loops, sharp turns, and many ups and downs?

I think that would best describe our emotions and life as of right now. This may sound like a harsh reality, yes but it’s really not. I can assurre you, our rollercoaster in staying in place and on the track. Weird metaphore,I know, but it describes us perfectly right now. (Plus we both LOVE rollercoasters)!

The past two weeks have been the busiest weeks in quite a while. Being pulled in almost every direction, the good & the bad.

You may remember me sharing about a youth retreat Ted and I would be running this past weekend. If not, well, we were asked to be the “youth part” for a church retreat. We ended up having 14 youth, ages 13-18, Junior High and Senior High. Only three of the 14 were guys, so the majority were young girls.

It was incredibly rough to be honest. Both Ted and I left the weekend feeling compeltely drained and unsuccesful. Our teachings were alright, only the students could care less about anything, but freetime. I was a teen once (not even that long ago) and I too remember those moments. Plus each of them were influenced by peers, which usually leads them down the wrong path. God did teach us personally, which I guess was the plus of that weekend.

Also, as you know, the new students arrived last week. It’s been an intense two weeks, learning the students names, and getting to know our small groups. Plus, the “thailand outreach” was so up in the air, due to ticket prices, that every other day until Monday, we were totally unsure of what would happen. In fact, we were almost sure we wouldn’t be going to Thailand…unless that is…God performed miracle tickets…and guess what? HE DID!

We are officially going to Thailand, on a tight budget yes, but a budget none the less! Our outreach team, as of right now, we are a team of 14 including Ted and I! Amen, huh!? Thank you for your prayers!

Another thing, which is way less priority…we were given a Macbook laptop as a gift at Christmas, which was such a blessing. Well, it has been giving us trouble, and just Tuesday (the day that ted was going to do a presentation of thailand for the school) our computer crashed. Completely crashed.

I took our mac into an Apple store yesterday, and they told me that our computer was “the most corrupt mac” they’ve seen. I didn’t know what that meant until the guy then said that they wouldn’t be able to recover any of our files, because it looked like someone went in and changed all of our english files to gibberish. Ted and I are really shocked. As of this moment right now, we are shipping our computer to the apple headquarters and then waiting until they send us a new computer (for free). Which is nice, but our documents and photos are ALL lost.

Please pray for us, because this is really hard. We did have a back up hard drive but not a lot was on it. Which means our thailand, wedding, ted’s afghanistan photos…all gone. However they did say that we could send it in to another place and pay $700-$800. Which will not happen.

I was just telling someone, that I am not really freaked out about all of this, I know God will work it out.Even if it means, we just get our computer backed, all cleaned and fixed, but lose the documents. In the long run, it’s really not that big of a deal.

There is ALOT MORE that I will share in the coming blog! It’s a bit about our future, and the sudden change God has placed in our “plans”. HAHA, our plans, funny how we sometimes think we know!

Jami Joann

A Wonderful, Shocking Surprise.

We are leading a Thailand outreach in June off of this Spring school!! Can you believe it? I feel as though we just returned from the beautiful country (well, i guess we did). It is unreal to us, and we were not at all expecting this! What a blessing!!

This team is completely opposite of our last experience. What do I mean by this? Well, for one, the budget it $1,000 less per student, which for the students is amazing, and as a team…a very tight budget. Secondly, we will be traveling shorter distances, due to the financial side of things, and we will actually be staying in more rural villages rather than in the big cities. Which honestly, Ted and I are thrilled for this. I believe the students will really enjoy this as well.

We do not have anything set in stone, and even if we did I probably at this point wouldn’t write to share because things can change so quickly and easily. For example, as of right now we are okay to lead the team to Thailand, though the budget is very tight. We will need to be completely frugal in our spending on housing, food, transportation and such. IF for some reason YWAM does not think Thailand will work with this budget, then we will most likely be asked to lead somewhere in South America.

Ted and I are willing to lead anywhere, but our heart and our goal is to head back to Thailand. Now that we have already experienced the culture once, we feel ready to lead this team to the same country, yet with a entirely different experience.

Prayer Requests:
  • We will begin to call travel agencies to find the cheapest tickets possible tomorrow. Please pray for favor!
  • Guidance in where to take the team, and what ministries to work with while we are in Thailand.
  • Guidance in how to be frugal as we began to budget everything in.
  • Our students coming in on Monday. Please pray for immediate team unity! (We had such an amazing team unity last time and would love to see that once again)
  • We have 11 students who are international students. Incredible yes, but it does make it a bit hard for us as we begin to get Visas for each.  (by the way it is very rare to have over half the students be international, we love it!)
  • Peace for Ted and I.
  • Balance with our daily jobs, as leaders outreach and small group, as a couple, and with the Lord first and foremost!

We love you! Thank you for standing with us through prayer and/or your financial support! \
Love, Jami Joann

Beautiful Peace.

Ted and I are now back to work at the Arvada base. It has been an interesting time transitioning.
Transitions with many colours of emotion, time, and energy. The good, the Best, and the Ugly:
  • being newlyweds and immediately working on school staff.
  • living up at Eagle rock since September until december.
  • each having a small group.
  • losing dear friends and immediately leaving for outreach.
  • experiencing the beautiful culture and people of Thailand.
  • eating, sleeping, and traveling with 27 people.
  • traveling back to the states.
  • moving back into our lovely, quiet apartment.
  • saying goodbye to our small group students.
  • taking a tiny vacation mostly consisting of sleeping, cafes, friends, and family.
  • coming back to work at the base.
*Note: most of the transitions above have honestly been challenging but very growing for us. God always works things out for good, it is true!
Ted and I had a little date at lunch time, and it has been amazing to see how God is continually working in each of us. It has been challenging, in fact, the past four months have been some of the most character challenging months for us both.
One very difficult thing, which we came back to in Denver, was feeling like it was “odd” in Denver. The first week we arrived at YWAM we were surprised to find people at the base really living life like the shooting never happened. We honestly made some assumptions, wondering why it seemed like everyone was “hush” about even taking of how they were doing.
After talking to an elder, realized that many of the staff have already went through the grieving and have really moved on,  and others have been struggling and are being counseled.
For Ted and I, it is still fresh to us. On outreach, we really just moved into our outreach mode as leaders. I’m not sure if that was a good or a bad thing, I kind of feel like it was a mixture of both at times. Now that we are back, the first two weeks were a bit rough around the edges. We were on what seemed like a roller coaster with our emotions.
I can gladly say that now, Ted and I are doing well. We are still working through a lot in our hearts and minds right now, dealing with the shooting and the reality that Phil and Tiff are no longer with us. The reality has really hit us hard, being back at the base for good now.
We are determined to talk when things in our minds and hearts and emotions come up. To cry and to laugh when we need to. We are determined to really seek after what God calls us to, in loving everyone and not judging their hearts. We are determined to really move forward in our callings, and in our dream of heading overseas.
We both really feel the peace of Christ and how faithful God is in loving us, even when we are unfaithful. Isn’t God amazing in His pursuit and continuous love for us? Oh golly.
I guess, since you have read this, then you probably know how to pray for us. If you would like to pray for us, and for everything we are working through, and if you get a word for us, please let us know!
Thank You so much for welcoming Ted and I back, and being so loving and faithful in your encouragement to us both! It honestly means a lot to us both, and we can feel your prayers.
We love you!
Jami Joann