Joyska's Journal: July 2005

Sunday, July 31, 2005


wow... on Thursday I turn 34. No, this is not some sad plea for "happy birthday" or anything (although... just kidding). I just am in one of those pensive moods that make me think about my life.

I went out last week with a couple of new found friends to IHOP (the pancake spot) and ended up talking all night long. we got there at 11:00 and left at 6:00 in the morning. I haven't done that in a long time and it was great! We talked about everything and anything... we laughed, we got really serious, and we had some real deep theological discussions. I got home (tired) but totally "alive".

Things have changed so much over the last year. It's been a great year full of growing and moving, and coming to a whole new place both physically and in my walk with God. Since August last year, I have spent 6 months as Children's Director at WCV, went home for Christmas, went to Grand Rapids to visit friends and fam, said many hard goodbyes, moved to Kansas City, am now directing Prayer Ground, took a three month training at IHOP,walked a 5K and am training for another, had many visitors, lived with a room mate, and now live alone. That is a lot of changes!

But the amazing thing amongst all those changes is that I have never been more sure that I am where I need to be. I still don't own a car, I don't have a great income, I'm single, and now am even more on my own than I used to be, but I am WHO and WHERE God wants me... and that is good enough for me!
Joyska at 8:12 PM

Saturday, July 30, 2005

not much to say today words of wisdom
no funny anicdotes
no gross out stories
no profound thoughts
no hilarious jokes
do you?
Joyska at 8:00 PM

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It all comes back to the cross

we had a great discussion in a meeting this morning about the days we are living in and the things we are teaching the kids as a result. It is an ongoing conversation that sometimes is more sobering than others. Today was one of those sobering days. Regardless of what your view is on the end times, there is no denying that the terrorism, the storms, the occult etc are growing in intensity all around us... so when is it appropriate to talk to children about these issues?

For me that has been a HUGE question as the primary age group that I work with at this point is 1-5 year olds. The stance I have taken (and still take) is that it is the PARENTS role to expose children to the world at the timing and pace that the parent feels is appropriate. But in light of the issues in the world today... what do I teach? And how?

What my role becomes, is to help children TRUST God. To talk about his faithfulness and help them understand that God's heart is FOR them; that the whole reason for the cross was to restore intimacy with God... to be WITH him, to be His. My four and five year olds (as do adults!) need to hear God for themselves, to have a love for His word and to worship with their whole heart. It's about helping them understand that the gospel is NOT all about them, and their happiness, but rather that it is about GOD and his plan and LOVE for us.

So why is this sobering? It's the responsibility aspect of it. I can't just teach the classic stories as the classic stories... like Noah and the Ark (which by the way is the strongest story of Judgement in the Bible) or David and Goliath and make them about the person who followed God. I can't tell the story and have the kids walk away thinking they need to be LIKE David, or LIKE Noah, but rather that they see who GOD is in the story and that GOD is the one they are to follow, to be LIKE. To call on GOD when things shake, not themselves. I've been learning this for the last few months, but it really came together for me this morning.

I've been reading through the Old Testament for the last three months and there are sooooooo many stories that I could take to the kids and give the good examples of Godly men and women, but I am seeing the underlying truths of who GOD is in these stories and that is where I need to focus. It's a small tilt in thinking, but monumental in consequence.
Joyska at 10:27 AM

Monday, July 25, 2005

words of wisdom....

Words of wisdom from Nancy Saura:

NEVER take a laxative and a sleeping pill on the same night...

don't ask.
Joyska at 10:36 PM

Monday Monday

Well, the weekend was as crazy as anticipated. In total this weekend we had 120 1-5 year olds. I find it so amazing.

The Hamms were here from Winkler this weekend too and it was so great to see fellow Canadians. I know that God really met them here and blessed them. It was fun to see.

The teens are here for one more week. They are growing in their faith and are seeing God change them. I love watching the breaking and mending that is happening everyday. The base is buzzing with all the activity for sure, and many are saying... Okay... just one more week, (6 weeks of 200+ teens is a lot of strain on the base) but it is well worth it.

I'm finally starting to feel a little better. The broncial thing seems to be clearing up a bit and the sugars are coming back under control. Thanks for you prayers! The heat here is incredible as it has been 110 degrees with the humidex for almost a week. Today too. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Well I guess that is it for now.. hardly an amazing entry... but I'm tired!
Joyska at 9:43 AM

Saturday, July 23, 2005

we are growing

the Encounter God Services here at IHOP are growing. For the past 6 months, (almost) the EGS's have been busy, but not packed. That seems to have changed. I am often not in the service, as I am with the kids, but last night, while with the kids the proof of our growth was evident.

Friday nights I usually have 10, maybe 13 kids. Last night I had 23. Now this is fine, if you are ready for it and have adequate staff... not so fine when you are planning on 10. However with some willing parents we covered it. 16 of these wonderfully cute 1-5 year olds were visitors...the wave of the future for EGS's I think.

It's exciting though, and as I have heard Lenny say a thousand times "we only have some of these kids for a second... what impact will you have on them?" and these little guys love to worship! So last night, all 23 of us worshiped, danced, and praised the Lord with our whole heart! It was really cool.

Tonight will probably have the same amount of kids as well as many more Sunday Am and Sunday night. I can never say it's boring!!!!
Joyska at 9:13 AM

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

medical issues... YUCK!

Okay, okay i finally gave in. I went to the doctor this morning and sure enough I have a broncial infection. My sugars are out of whack and i'm a bit dehydrated.

He also put me on a whack load of drugs. So I am on an antibiotic, an anihistamine, and a new medication for the blood sugars. I'm seeing the benefits of the Canadian Socialized medical system, things are so expensive here! But I know this is what I need to do to be healthy and at full force. I owe it to myself and to the kids! It's just hard some days to look at it all and not feel overwhelmed.

Anyway I am so thankful for this doctor... he was kind, sweet, and listened to me! I love that! I am also thankful for being at the IHOP. I came back and let my CEC staff know what was up and they prayed for me for 40 minutes! I am SOOOOOOO thankful for that!
Joyska at 10:56 AM

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Prayer Room Full Again

there are now 230 teens on base for track 2. It's awesome and fun to watch them in the prayer room. But it also a little overwhelming!

This is a fun group though. I watched them last night as Lenny spoke to them and during worship and they really get into things. It's amazing to watch a room PACKED with teens fill with the presence of God and the power of the Spirit, to see teens cry out for his presence, to worship with full body and strength, and to see them weep and long for a deeper life in God. Again.. I've been doing this kind of thing for a long time, but have never seen anything like this!

My Winnipeg visitors needed to cancel their trip due to illness, so I am saddened by that, but Winkler-ites are coming! That is good!

That is all for now!
Joyska at 3:11 PM

Sunday, July 17, 2005

not so angelic

Nancy Saura used to say,"some days are diamonds and some days are rocks" Today wasn't quite a rock, but it wasn't a diamond either.

Here is my kid quote of the day:

Joyska: Kevin, we don't use guns in this class, no shooting anything...(he had made a gun out of lego stuff)

Kevin: Well, if I can't kill him with a gun, can I pour acid on him?

I think it might be time to find out what movies he is watching!

This from the same boy who can quote Star Wars Episode I as well as I can quote Princess Bride...
Joyska at 12:02 PM

Friday, July 15, 2005

heard in the prayer room

"I'm gonna live from the inside out, i'm gonna live from the kingdom within"

Again it is all part of the 100% pursuit. How do I live on the inside, how do I live in the secret place... the answer to those questions are what determine how we live on the outside.

It doesn't matter how I appear... it matters who I am. It doesn't matter what I sound like... it is what I think. It doesn't matter what I do... it is how much I love.

Got some work to do!
Joyska at 8:54 PM

Thursday, July 14, 2005

a new definition of Night Watch

Well, caffiene is good. I have been asked and recruited to come to the Night watch tonight... to watch the teens. It is the last night of the Summer Teen Intensive Track 1 and they are required to be in the Night Watch from 10:00 pm - 6:00 am. I have the honour of making sure they stay here and participate. So I am a Night watchman tonight. It's good, It requires me to be in the prayer room for 8 hours as well. so it is me, 9 other watchmen and 200 teens plus the Fire in the Nighters. I once again feel old, but good.

I am hubled to be here too. The Lord is really working on my heart these days. It's unto that 100% pursuit thing that keeps popping up on this blog. God has not let me walk away from it (thank you LORD!) My heart is pulled to his presence but my body and mind often are wandering, wanting and pursuing anything but that intimacy. I'm praying for a breakthrough in that area, that my sole motivation in a day is to find all my provision in Him.

Everything from time management to planning ahead, to my personal pursuits is being called into scrutiny. It is a hard process to walk through but a good one. Please pray for clarity of what the Father is speaking to my heart. My heart longing is to know Him more and for Him to be ALL. What that requires is a lot of giving up of the things I have loved more than Him. When I gave up my movies, I was so proud of myself... i have a feeling that was just the beginning!
Joyska at 8:10 PM

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

standing in the place of contending

today in the 10:00 prayer meeting, Dwayne Roberts had everyone who had a long term disease or injury come up to the front. There are a number of people within the community who are struggling with Cancer or other forms of disease, so there were about 10 people who went forward.

I stayed in my seat, because, though I struggle with Diabities, it is not like Cancer so I wasn't thinking I fit the discription. Anyway, I was praying and heard (again) "reach out and touch the hem of my garment". I knew I was to go forward.

I went forward and prayed for those who were sick, until some who knew I was diabetic began to pray for me. As far as I can tell, I am not yet healed, but it was an amazing experience. We prayed for the full 2 hours... praying for God to break in, to heal,to restore, to bring Him glory etc. The room was electric and many were impacted. I wish I could say that all were healed, and that all were changed, but at that point I don't know of any... but that doesn't change the reality of contending for what we know is true.

He is a God who loves to heal. He is a God who doesn't cause sickness. And he is a God who cares for me beyond anything I know. Sickness like Diabities is a hiccup in the grand scheme of things. So I will continue to contend for healing for me, for my dad and where ever I see it. Truth is always better than fiction!
Joyska at 6:55 PM

Sunday, July 10, 2005

week in review

It has been a busy week and I wanted to fill you all in on the goings on.

First, it has been a week of Winnipeg reunions! Larry Reimer, Cam Tucker and Joel Agustin all arrived in the wee hours of Thursday Morning. After an early run to Ihop (house of pancakes) and slamming Joel's fingers in the van door, we continued on with prayer room, Wal-mart, Jack Stack's, Panera Bread, prophetic rooms, healing rooms, some occasional sleep and lots of laughing and catching up.

Then I come out of the prayer room on Saturday and lo and behold, it is Sue, Cassia, Jazreel followed by Jehu, Jadon, and Harv. We were quickly joined by Joel, Larry and Cam and it was a big Winnipeg hoopla in the entrance of IHOP! We all said good bye to Lars and Cam, and went on to EGS. Joel is staying for six months, Harv and Sue are here til Wednesday am, and I love it! (not to mention the fact that Pam and Nancy are here too!)

This week as well has been a week of battling fevers, laryngitus (STILL!!!), and upset stomachs. Sickness is lingering a long time for me right now. Today is day 21. I know... stop complaining and go to the doctor!

Then on Saturday (before all the hoopla at IHOP) I did something I never thought I would actually do... let alone tell people. I participated in a 5K race. Now before you get visions of me running triumphantly through a tape with arms raised and a smile on my face, remember I said this was my first race. AND it was a 5K run OR walk. I did a little of both. It was a fundraiser to help inner city children in KC, and it was called Kids4Character. My goal was to finish, and to not be last. Well, I finished and I did it in just under 51 minutes. That may not be very fast, but I wasn't last. I saw a t-shirt on a woman that said "the miracle isn't that I finished, it is that I had the courage to start." I want a T-shirt like that. I knew I could finish, but it took years to get the courage to try and to start.

SO... I'm going to do it again on September 11... try to be a little faster, maybe run a little more, maybe not, that isn't the point. The point is I can. And now I can always say I can...and I did. (even in the midst of sickness).

So there ya go... my week in review! To top it off, during the testimony time at tonights EGS, Joely got up (on invitation of Tracy Sliker) and shared the miracle of incredible financial provision at the "11th hour" (Literally 7 hours before they left to come here!) and did it well! I tell ya, Winnipeggers are being highlighted EVERYWHERE!!!!

Too funny!
Joyska at 7:36 PM

Friday, July 08, 2005

old vs young at heart

tonight i walked into the Ecounter God Service with 200 teens for the STI (summer team intensive) 50 18-25 year olds for the One Thing internship, and another 80 or so 18-25 year olds who are part of the fire in the night. So... from there, i walk into the early childhood and hang out with the 1-5 year olds...

Did I mention that i will be 34 in less than a month?

I am honoured and priveleged to be here, no question,,, but I do feel a little bit old sometimes... and yet, I CAN keep up with them... I'm JUST as smart (probably wiser) and I CAN do the aerobic workout they all do when dancing...

Okay, maybe I am getting old!

But then as I was getting ready to leave tonight, three of the teens came up to me and wanted to just "hang out" with me more this week! SEE... I am cool and hip enough to be with these young uns. Either that or they want a free coke at Higher Grounds!!! heehee.

Then on MSN today, almost all my MSN buddies were 13 and younger! They WANT to talk to ME!! I love it... and sometimes, God interupts and a profound thing will happen for them, but most often for me... I learn something from them and am blessed. I love the young!

well, young or old, I know that God knows exactly the plan and place he has for me, so for now, being wise amongst the young is my lot... I can handle that.
Joyska at 9:24 PM

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


My dad was recently diagnosed with MS. Multiple Sclerosis. Those are scary words.
He amazes me. He was calm, collected, and strong when he said, "Please do not worry, but instead, pray." So that is what I am asking all of you, my friends to do...PRAY.

I have seen sooo many healings lately as the children and teens have cried out to God for those who are sick. I am getting them to pray for my dad too. I know that we serve a God who heals, and who answers prayers. SO please pray for my dad. Pray for healing (of course) for strength, for a positive outlook, and for the miraculous to hit his life with power. He is also a diabetic, as am I. But God is greater than any disease

Thank you for your prayers!
Joyska at 2:37 PM

Joel, Larry, and Cam are coming today, and Harv and Sue and family are coming on Saturday. I'm excited to have some Winnipeg friends with me again!

Yesterday, I sat in on a session with the teens. Graham Walsh, one of the people here (from Australia i think), talked about healing and deliverance. At the end he had some of the teens who needed healing come to the front. 3 of the teens were healed immediately of back injuries from sports...there were so many kids who came up to the front both for prayer and to pray that there were no teens left in their seats!!!

I love watching what God is doing!
Joyska at 5:53 AM

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Beautifully Terrible

Amongst all the chaos and excitement of Sunday night, Misty Edwards was leading worship and came up with this chorus:

He is beautifully terrible and terribly beautiful.

That phrase hasn't left my head. How is God beautifully terrible? I understand terribly beautiful, but beautifully terrible?!?

And then I watch the thunder and the lightening and that destructive power is incredibly beautiful. Revelation talks about the beautiful and terrible day of the LORD (which of course is where the chorus comes from), and about the judgement and redemption of God. It is a powerful concept and shows the righteousness of God... that "in him there is no darkness at all"... and that he will rule and reign.

God, thank you that there is no tolerance in your being for evil and yet you are full of Grace. We don't know how blessed we are!
Joyska at 1:43 PM

Sunday, July 03, 2005


God's fireworks are FAR more spectacular than anything people could pull off.

Tonight while at EGS there was a "damaging storm" over the Jackson county area (this part of KC)that literally was above our heads. There was a tremendous lightening storm that lit up the sky again and again and again. Then, as the service progressed, the storm got closer. We were listening to a great testimony of one of the teen leaders when


The building shook, the lights flickered, mics zapped,and all the worship team backed away from their microphones! The three large screens went blank, and the rain pounding on the tin roof was deafening!

Turns out that two buildings away got hit by lightening and it created an electrical fire... with enough smoke to make us think that WE were on fire!

I am definitely one of those on staff that gets some of the "back room" discussion, so I'm hearing that the building is on fire, but the fire trucks are there and we MAY need to evacuate the building... being in charge of the younger children created a level of anxiety. Then we realized it wasn't our building and Mike was powering ahead, so we would too.

Then the building started showing its flaws... it started raining in the gym, the carpet in my area started changing color because of the water coming in... and the sound equipment was iffy at best.

Needless to say, all ended well, and I am once again sitting in my living room, by the light of my computer, not watching fireworks, but watching God's light show... and loving it... as long as it stays light and NOT fire!
Joyska at 8:36 PM

the quiet before the storm

it's a quiet Sunday morning. I could get used to this being on my own thing. I've put on a pot of Tim Horton's coffee, I'm watching yet another thunderstorm roll in and I am praying for my kids this morning. we usually have 20-25 of the little guys (just in the 4-5 year old class!) and I am relishing the quiet before the storm. (literally!)

As I am sitting here, there are people running to get out of the rain right outside my apartment. (not realizing that they will get wetter when they run than if they walk... right BEV?) It is July 4th weekend and I am sure this rain is destressing a few of the die hard fireworks enthusiasts around here.

I realized the other day, that LAST July 4th I was in Arkansas with Jason, Yvonne, and Lannny. A year ago we were watching as these crazy Americans lit firework after firework with no fear of injury... including moving one that was already alight. Now I realize that I am a chicken, especially when it comes to anything to do with fire, but isn't it generally considered unwise to approach something with a fuse already lit that is designed to blow up? Just a question.

Anyway, God has his own fireworks going this morning and they are spectaculor!

To my American readers HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!
Joyska at 6:10 AM

Friday, July 01, 2005


Happy Canada Day

It is fun to be in another country making a fuss about Canada (in a good way!) I spoke to the teens this morning and had someone call me on my cell when I started... My ringtone is the Canadian Anthem!! It got a good laugh.

Speaking to the teens this morning was awesome. It went really well and I believe God did a lot in that room! (i really like the multi-purpose room!)

I have many Canada type plans... doing the mosquito dance, having a cup of Tim Horton's coffee, and eating Canadian chocolate! hehehe

My favourite T-shirt that I have seen on a Canadian today: a bright red shirt that says "I can't skate" hehehe

Anyway to my Canadian readers: HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!
Joyska at 9:53 AM