Joyska's Journal: August 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

pics say far more than words... i like these shots!

Ronna and Jane... "Team Captains" EXTRAORDINAIRE!!

Lisa and Zeke -- he's our "gatekeeper"

Ray... one of our "Street team Leaders!"

Joyska at 3:58 PM

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

oh the drama!

As I type this, there is a bomb in a bank vault a block away from the Bellerive Apartments where we spent the afternoon with Hope City. While the drama wasn't evident to us at the time, we had our own drama going on inside of a much happier kind.

Tuesday is the day we go to pray FOR the city IN the city. We were small in number today, but the Spirit was moving. We've been praying alot lately for God to break in to the city and see the addicted set free. We pray about seeing the churches rise up and hearing the cry of the poor. Today i looked around the room and this is what I saw:

A woman who has been drug free for 16 + years

A woman who has been alcohol free for 8 months

A woman who has been drug free and alcohol free for 3 DAYS (after 25 years of drug use!)

A man who's heart has been radically saved and changed and is "working it out" in his current situation of marriage/divorce/girlfriend

A woman who's history includes abortion, adultery, and theft

and me... broken and messed up in my own ways

and all of us were crying out for the transformation of God and His redemption in the city. Why?

Because we all have seen it in our own lives. Transformation and redemption from all the drama of life! YAY GOD!

Anyway, there is still lots of drama on the street and we are waiting to hear if the bomb threat is real, or how it works out... I'll keep you posted!
Joyska at 4:09 PM

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I've been reading a lot of John G. Lake lately. It's inspiring to me. John Lake had a healing ministry in Spokane Washington in the early 1900's. within 5 years the mayor declared Spokane to be the "healthiest city" because over 100,000 people had gotten healed. These are all documented, real healings.

Reading the stories and his understanding of the healing power of God, has got me thinking. His take is that God IN us, through His Spirit HAS to manifest when we walk in faith and understanding of who we are as God's purpose... ah so much to be said there... I am just amazed at how little I settle for...

More on that when it is clarified in my heart and head. I just wanted to update my blog and let everyone know I am alive and well. I am in the prayer room a lot these days too, and God is doing something in my heart. I'm not exactly sure what it is yet, but it is exciting.

Hope City is going GREAT. We are all just excited about the relationships and the changes in our friends! :) Yesterday's prayer time was awesome. We just felt like God showed up and reassured us that we were on the right track. Sometimes it is hard to wait for the breakthrough, but as someone told me on the phone last week, we are planting, and it is KINGDOM PRINCIPLES that are being planted. I'm cool with that!

One quick story. Monday night we were downtown and feeding the people. We always stay for a while after and pray with whoever wants to stay. Up until recently it's always been Hope City staff who have prayed. This time, 3 of the folks who had come to eat STOOD UP and prayed... prayers sweet and honest. There are many things that I love about Hope City... but seeing people stand up in their faith and be part of the team has got to be one of my favourites!

More adventures tomorrow I am sure!
Joyska at 9:54 AM

Thursday, August 17, 2006

what they need

I have blogged alot recently about Hope City and our adventures downtown. Today was another adventure. We headed out this afternoon armed with 40 lunch bags and cold waters to hand out to the homeless around the inner city. This is a highlight in my week for sure and one thing that makes me really appreciate what I have.

Today we had an odd request... 5 times. The request is not unusaual, as much as the timing. We have two teams that go out now, (growing weekly in our numbers) one went east, one went west. I was on the east team, but in talking with the other team we discovered what is on the mind of many of the homeless... where are they going to go for the winter.

The timing was odd, because the temperature today was 100 degrees. But the question is on all their minds. Even our Ron, who otherwise doesn't want help, said he's getting too old to survive another winter. Winters here are not Winnipeg winters...but any winter in any place is too cold.

There are few things that bring me to tears, but hearing this today has brought tears to my eyes a few times. We've come to know and love so many of these guys and women. PLEASE PRAY WITH US! We are asking God to move miraculously and to give us housing for the homeless and addicted. NO ONE should freeze to death.

I've spent numerous hours in the prayer room as of late... 25 in the last 4 days actually, reading John G. Lake, the Bible and praying through my prayer list. I feel like I personally am on the verge of "something", but I am praying that it is more about Hope City and the homeless then it is about me... Please pray that God would fill us with wisdom and discernment as we seek to hear His voice and do what He asks us to.
Joyska at 5:34 PM

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

there is a fine line...!

I had the amazing privilege of having our dear friend Marsha come and hang out at my house last night. If you get my newsletters, you have read the story of Marsha and how God has freed her from an addiction to alcohol... instantly. She has been with us 2-3 times a week ever since. (She lives in the Bellerive apts, where we feed and pray).

Anyway, she was having a down day, and in Lisa's gift of delegation, she ended up spending the night at my house. Of course, the main draw was to hang out at the house of Prayer. Now keep in mind, Marsha lives in the core area of the city. She has never been to IHOP, and has only heard us talk about it. Until recently she thought we were talking about the International House of Pancakes and couldn't figure out why people there had so much extra food to give away!

We were walking out of the main area at IHOP and were heading to my apartment. Marsha was reading some of the brochures and LOUDLY asked "WHO THE HECK IS THIS MIKE BICKLE GUY?" We were walking past the coffee shop at that point and there were more than a few smiles around us... mine included! How refreshingly fun!

Later (around 8:30) I brought her over to the prayer room. There were A LOT of people there (it was misty's set and required for Summer Teen Interns, FSM students, and One Thing interns). The place was hopping (no pun intended). There were numerous "pacers" and "rockers" as well as lots of people jumping up and down, dancing, and of course praying.

Marsha's initial response?

This place reminds me of a pysch ward! She used to be a nurse in the pychiatric wards and said that the pacing and rocking was a sign of agitation and aggression. It gave her a new perspective when you add God! She loved it. At one point, on seeing a young man pacing AND praying out loud, she leaned over and said... That one has schyzophrenic tendancies... and those ones... standing still for two hours... they are catatonic. HA HAHAHAHAHAHA. She was kidding, but it was funny to see it through the eyes of one who had never experienced anything like the prayer room before.

She thouroughly enjoyed being there and about 3 hours later, (around midnight), the cleaning team appeared with the vacuums. Again for those of you who have been here, you have seen these back pack vacs. They look a little like Jet packs... Marsha leaned over and with a twinkle in her eye says, "O great... now we have the Jetsons"

I love it! We came back to my apartment around 1:30 or so, and we chatted about life, about her history, and about why we pray. We brought her back to the city this afternoon as we went back for our prayer meeting in her building. I am so blessed to be living this way!

Thank you Jesus!
Joyska at 8:32 PM

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Whose team are we on?

There were many great things spoken at this conference... at least what I got to hear. y plan was to attend all of the sessions... it didn't quite work out that way.

The Lord has gripped my heart the last few days with something of a "higher" vision. I've been walking and working in such a way that i expect God to break in, but I am surprised when he does. For example, God has, every month, since I stopped getting a work scholarship, paid my rent and my bills. I've talked about this before, but I continually am awed. This past month... it was due Aug 4, at 5:00. Well, i was short, and didn't know where it was going to come from. But, by 4:55 that day, the money was in my hand. All of it. So I expect God to break through, but I am sure surprised when he does!

Mike spoke on Friday about "Contending for the Fullness of God's Power".

He talked about the need for having a higher vision for the breakthrough of His power. It was about recognizing that all of us are on the same team...working to see the Lord break into our city. That struck a cord with me. There is always a longing in me to see God break into the core. I get frustrated at times when I hear and see the stories of the poor... of the orphans... you know the drill.

We are on the same team. We are on God's team. So as people like me, or those at WCV, or those in the middle of New York and the drug addiction ministries, etc. are out "doing" to bring the breakthrough, how is it that those praying aren't doing the same thing. WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM.

I feel like that was a break through in my own thinking these days. I did a post on "the tension" a little while ago, and it has "dogged" me a little. I carry both so strongly in my heart (and hopefully in my heart) prayer and mercy... "stay put and go"... all that stuff, and it has been difficult at times to walk the line of that. And yet even with that last post of not veering too far on either side of doing and contending... it didn't sit quite right. We are all called to both... in varying degrees.

I get such life from taking bag lunches into the inner city. I love it, I love the light that comes into people's eyes simply because you see them and you treat them as a child of God, not a throwaway of society.

But I also love what happened last night. I went to the prayer room around 1:00 am, thinking i'll pray for a couple hours and go home. The next thing I know it's 5:00 am and I am on my face crying out for the breakthrough in the streets. I came home this morning at 7:30, on fire and excited to see what God is going to do.

Some of those people may never come down to 35th and Gillam. But they were right there with me, agreeing in prayer for the salvation and revival of the inner city. And as I came home, I saw again... we truly are on the same team, and working for the same purpose... that God would breakthrough... and it is a result of those prayers that we can do anything at all in the city.

So the tension is eased by realizing that we are all on the same team.
Joyska at 7:05 PM

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My view from here

well... living in my own apartment by myself is great.
I must say though, when you are sick, your room and your living room hold no excitement.

I have been sick for the last two days... and other than getting the mail, have not left my apartment. I am SOOO thankful for air conditioning and fans as the weather yesterday was back in the 100's (40 ish for Canadians) and I stayed on the couch watching movies and tv today.

There is little worse than being bored and sick. There is nothing of value on tv, and my eyes and head hurt too much to read. So, Ever After, Luther, A Few Good Men, and Finding Forester were my entertainment today. I can tell you however that there are 26 individual slats on the blinds for my sliding glass window and it takes 14 steps to get from the couch to the bathroom. (i know you were wondering)Needless to say, I'm glad I am starting to feel better because another day like today would drive me into a deep depression or some other dark mood.

I missed going downtown today... but it sounds like they all had fun handing out sandwiches to the homeless... I think missing that depressed me most.

Ah well... we will go again on Monday and Tuesday... and hey, Thursday too! It's all good.

This weekend is the prophetic conference, so i will be spending most of my weekend at FSM for the meetings. Have a great weekend!
Joyska at 5:39 PM

Monday, August 07, 2006

Excitement is relative

I've been trying to figure out what to blog about for the last couple of days. There is always lots of things going on, but i talk about them all the time. My greatest dilemma in the blog world is always how to share my life without boring those who are reading. Then i realized, it doesn't matter! My life is exciting to me, so if you happen to get bored reading about it... well... it doesn't change my own excitement! ha ha... so sensitive I am!

So the latest excitement? I rearranged my living room, my bedroom and what is now known as the "spare room". My room mates moved out August 1st and since then I have busied myself making my apartment "MINE". I moved my desk into my living room so my computer had a safe home (it's taken quite a beating on the floor), moved my tv and couch and chairs to a new part of the room, and have found my "inspiration" for paint colours (colors... for my american friends) that I hope to paint on the walls (as opposed to paint on the carpet... hopefully).

Outside of my new (yet old) digs, I've been LOVING the time spent downtown. We have begun a new adventure of feeding the homeless (truly homeless) in a park where we know they are living in the bushes. This past week, we spent 2 hours just feeding and hanging out with some very cool people who were thrilled that we were there.

After that we went armed with brown bag lunches, complete with pb and j, fruit cups, little debby snacks, and crunchie cheetos (so healthy i know) and walked through areas that we know the homeless are hanging out. We handed them out, talked briefly and were amazed at how many HUNGRY people are out there. I walked away from that day, knowing that I was doing what I was menat to do! It was a good day!

So yah... that is my exciting life!
Joyska at 2:20 PM

Friday, August 04, 2006

wow another birthday!

Hmmm... no one seems to feel the need to comment on the more serious blogs... interesting :)

well... today is my 35th birthday. (wow sounds a bit lit bilbo baggins doesn't it?)
It's odd being 35. There was a day when 35 sounded so old... a day when 35 was so adult. Wait, I think that day was yesterday! ha ha!

I remember the days of being one of the youngest in the I am (at least at IHOP where the medium age is 25) one of the older ones. I remember being the one who was "so mature" for her age... they don't say that anymore! :)

I am happy to be 35. (I think). It's a harder birthday then I thought it would be. I love where I am in my life for the most part and I am learning more everyday about who God made me to be and the journey He has me on.

But to say to people, "I'm 35" seems wrong. Have I reached the age where it is impolite to ask me how old I am? I don't think so... besides no one ever believes me when I tell them that anyway.

I have so much to be thankful for today. I have awesome friends, family, and people that I pray alongside of. I live in a place that is devoted to Jesus, to prayer, and to people, I have a roof over my head that continually gets paid for miraculously, and most importantly, I know I am where I am supposed to be and am doing and being who I really am (now I really sound like Bilbo Baggins!)

35 is alot closer to 40... and hopefully the best year to come.
Joyska at 8:09 AM

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the tension

I had an opportunity yesterday to speak to the Evangelism fellowship here at IHOP. I was asked to come and speak on the poor and to encourage these ones to turn their evangelistic eye to the broken and addicted in the core of Kansas City.

I went in with full intention of doing so, but from a totally different angle. I talked about the tension that we need to walk out daily... the tight rope so to speak.

Isaiah 58 talks about a true fast... to lose the bonds of wickedness (NKJV), to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free... TO SPEND yourself on behalf of the hungry (NIV). It's a valid call on all of us. It's necessary to NOT turn a blind eye to the things going on around us and to stand in the place of justice. I believe that we are as well called to "remember the poor". And it is a joy and pleasure for me to find myself there often.


There are many scriptures that talk about giving ourselves wholeheartedly to the word, to prayer, to study, to pursueing His heart. Years ago, after burning out on my own strength trying to SPEND myself on behalf of the hungry, the Lord arrested my heart with Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still."

It's a delicate balance. One step toward ONLY being still, and I lose the mandate to GO, one step too far GOING, with out being still, and I am doing it in my own strength. The two are in constant tension for me... hopefully holding me on the right path.

After an amazing God encounter two years ago, I heard the words "stay put and go". I've given many different possible meanings to that... stay connected to Winnipeg, but go to Kansas City... to name one of many interpretations, but I believe that this is the balance... STAY PUT in His presence, and GO in His promises... STAY PUT in a place of intercession, as Jesus lives always in intercession for us, and GO and make disciples...

We talk about Anna alot here at IHOP. She gave herself to prayer and to calling out to the Lord, but she also proclaimed Jesus to all who would listen... Anna walked the tight rope... as did Jesus himself, often finding a solitary place to pray and being moved with compassion for the multitudes.

The tension is this... the two CANNOT be seperated, and the tight rope walk is difficult, but necessary, and it is only in the grace and mercy of God that any of us can walk it out. We are all broken people, none of will ever get it right a hundred percent of the time, but I believe that the mandate to STAY PUT and to GO are not only valid, but essential to growing in the Lord.
Joyska at 9:52 PM

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

from everyone... to noone... the house is empty now

Joyska at 9:06 PM