Joyska's Journal: September 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Well, maybe not a jet plane, but a big plane... is that the same thing?

My parents are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and I am on my way to the airport in about 8 hours to meet up with them in Florida. We are spending a week (along with my brother, sister in law, niece and nephew) in Daytona Beach.

We've never travelled together as a family, at least not since we went camping on Lake Michigan or somewhere like that when I was like 13.

I've gone with my parents to Holland, but as a larger family, it's been a long time.

So, ironically, a heat wave is hitting Kansas City... great for my homeless friends for now!
It will be in the 90's (30's C) for at least half the week here. According to the weather for Daytona? 80's all week! (25ish C) So there you go! haha! It will be warmer here in OCTOBER than it will be in Florida... go figure.

Christina and her mom will be holding down the fort here (along with two of her bros), so that is a relief to me... someone to water my plants :) and take in my mail... yay!

So... here I go... sleepy sleepy, then wakey wakey, fly on the plane and wallah... with my family again. For the first time in.... well.... almost two years! Wow.

I'm taking my computer with me, so hopefully with the use of my dad's camera... I should have some FAMILY pics to post... I don't think I've ever done that! :)

Anyway... enjoy the weather where ever you are!

(singing to myself... I'm leaving on a jet plane... don't know when I'll be back again.............)
See ya!
Joyska at 10:14 PM

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"keep warm and well fed"

Tonight the temperature in Kansas City will drop down to 43 degrees Farenhiet (roughly 6 or 7 degrees Celcius). Not too bad, if you have a roof over your head and four walls to keep out the wind and the damp.

Too cold if you live in the bushes.

Let me tell you the sequence and the roller coaster of my day downtown.

I left my house in a t-shirt, walked outside, turned around and got one of my many fleece zip up jackets. On our way down to the city Ronna, Jane, and I prayed for some things that were on Ronna's heart and talked about all sorts of things, laughing, praying, and in general trying to solve the worlds problems (which we will let you know when we do!)

We drive down into the park... legal? who knows... we do it every week, no one has stopped us yet. There are about 6 -10 people WAITING for us! woo hoo! We get out of the van, and a bunch of them jump up and help us unload and set up chairs, the table etc. We have a great meal today (smoked brisket from the celebration last week!) and everyone is hungry. This is a bit of a new crowd for us. We met a few of them on our handing out sandwiches excursions, and now they come to us in the park. Suzanne and Ray, Michelle and Frog (yes... they call him Frog) and others. As we sit and eat with them on our blankets and lawn chairs, their stories begin to unfold.

Suzanne and Ray... on the street for 2 1/2 years, looking out for each other... sleeping during the day so they are alert (and therefore safer) during the day. Michelle, recently diagnosed with Pneumonia and even more recently diagnosed with Diabieties and taking three shots of insulin everyday while she lives on the street. Her man, Frog, had two mini strokes this week and one of them caused him to need CPR from Michelle while she waited for the ambulance to come. Frog told me that the reason for the strokes is past drug use and years ago, in a time of deep depression, he shot himself in the head... and lived.

They all however talked again of their fear of the winter. There seems to be a growing sense for these guys and gals that this winter is going to be colder than it's been in a while. Last night they "squatted" in an abandoned building because they were too cold to stay outside where they normally stay. They asked me for basic things... necessary things... essential things.

Frog needs new shoes, (his current ones are worn out completely) Suzanne needs warmer clothes and a sleeping bag, Michelle needs to get off the street as her kidneys and liver are suffering greatly from the Diabieties, they all want long johns and warm socks, and gloves... the list went on. I have received money from some of you for these very things and we are going shopping soon for them. (THANK YOU!)

They were all hungry. They go to the soup kitchens and churches and are fed, but even they say the meals are small, and lacking real nutrition. Michelle and Frog clean the bathrooms so they can take some food to go with them so Michelle always has something if she needs it. They are resourceful, intellegent, wounded, hurting, hungry, high spirited, human people. I prayed for both Frog and Michelle for healing and safety.

"keep warm and well fed" is not enough.

Adam was in a t-shirt and was shivering as he stood talking to us. I gave him my hoodie, cause frankly I have four more at home. Frog needed to go to the hospital to get the pills for his high blood pressure and his heart. I had a dollar on me... he'll take the bus.

I stood there listening to their needs and feeling a little overwhelmed and heart broken. We had filled their stomaches with GREAT food and lots of it until we had none left, and we had given them all we had to give them and told them to join us on Monday where we will do it all again... but I kept thinking... "keep warm and well fed" was all I was doing.

We dropped Zeke off at his apartment, but before we did, we prayed for his healing. He has such poor circulation, the skin is cracking and peeling right off his hands and feet. He was wearing gloves to keep them warm... it isn't even 50 degrees yet! (10 C).

Then as we were leaving the area, we stopped and got a burger for our friend Ron who sits on a wall all day pan handling. He's got a place now and is feeling human again (his words). When we drove up, I jumped out of the car because He wasn't there last Monday and I was kind of worried about him. He greeted me with a hug and a big smile. I asked him where he had been and he unfolded the story of the last week for him. He got his daughter to help him get his birth certificate and then his state ID. He has a job interview tomorrow at Home Depot. He was concerned that the last two years that he has lived on the street would be a problem, but he said he had 15 years experience as a maintainence man in an apartment and hoped that would qualify him for something.

I told him how thrilled I was (we are) that things were coming together for him. He said, "well, you guys gave me hope." And my heart soared and wept all at once.

We aren't just saying it... we ARE doing something about it... it may be a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread, but we give what little we have and count on the Lord to bless it, and multiply it.

Please continue to pray that God lead us to the next step in what we are doing... and that it would always be more than a "keep warm and well fed".
Joyska at 8:29 PM

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pray for Hope City... PLEASE!

Here are a couple of pics of the buildings that Hope City is looking at. Here is the catch... we don't want them if they are not from God. The longing of our heart and one of the goals of Hope City is to house men and women who are ready to make changes in their lives, to follow the LORD and to be part of a prayer movement in the innercity. These buildings would serve that purpose in a spectacular way.

But that is OUR plan. I am asking that you would pray with us that the LORD confirm HIS plan and direct our steps. This coming week is crucial and critical for us as a ministry, and quite frankly for all of us personally. If the LORD has is it in HIS heart that we purchase these facilities, everything for Hope City goes up ten notches and away we go! Please pray for the leading of God, and a confirmation in our hearts!

Exodus 33:15 "Then he (Moses) said to Him 'If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here".

This passage is so powerful and meaningful for us even now. We know that the LORD has led us to where we are, and the thought of moving forward without His leading is terrifying, and moving ahead in our own excitement alone is not acceptable. The LORD MUST go with us... and we in return LONG to see His glory manifest on the earth! (vs 18).
Joyska at 6:59 AM

Sunday, September 24, 2006

here's a few more!

Even the Canadians are taken in by his charms! Here is Christina and Drew hanging out with the boy! Did I mention how cute he is? I can say that without it sounding like bragging because he isn't mine and well... LOOK AT HIM!
Joyska at 10:23 AM

Saturday, September 23, 2006

BABY, where did you get those eyes?

This is baby Chase. He is 6 months old and the grandson of Lisa. I got to hang out with him last night as mama and nonni (grandma) and the rest of the fam were at a wedding rehearsal.

How lucky am I!? I love this kid! As you can see from his big eyes and wonderful chubby face, he is just too cute for words! He affectionately is known as "Chaser" and can make me smile and laugh quicker than any other person on the planet. (with the exception of Simeon and Esther of course!) What is it about those round chubby faces? ha ha

Doesn't he just make you want to squeeze him?
Joyska at 2:12 PM

Thursday, September 21, 2006

For various reasons I have given up diet coke for a time.
(I'll give you a second to come back from your fainting... okay, are you okay? Good)
The feeling is the same as when I felt the need to sell ALL of my movies (except for one-- thanks Cynthia-- i'll never sell that one!) What compels me to such drastic measures?

It's a longing to seek the Lord with my WHOLE HEART. Movies for me were such a distraction. There wasn't a day that I didn't watch something... or at the very least stare and count, alphabetize, or rearrange according to stars the 300 movies I had accumilated. Movies filled my time, it was what I spent my money on, and it was a goal to have all the Tom Hanks movies, and ALL the acedemy awards best pictures... that was the goal. Then I started looking at what was considered "best" and how many compromises I was making to see what the world saw as a "must see".

Do I think movies are bad? Absolutely not. I still love to sit and watch a good story... but I'm a little more discerning than I used to be... a lot more actually.

Back to the diet coke. If you know me at all... you know I drink more diet coke than anything else. Was it a distraction? No, but when I started a fast recently, I worked it so that I could still have my diet coke. But as the fast progressed, I was more and more aware of how Diet Coke is a coping mechanism for me. I'm tired... have a diet coke. I'm hungry... have a diet coke... i want something sweet... have a diet coke... that comment really made me mad... have a diet coke... i need to relax... have a diet coke... i need a break from the prayer room... go have a diet coke... etc. (to the end of the earth!) and my personal favourite... my stomach is completely empty... HAVE to have a diet coke (I truly love that feeling). And somehow as I looked at that, I realized I have to break the cycle. I have to find that place where God is the answer to everyone of those voids. It's a good lesson and way harder than I thought it would be. So today is day 15 without a diet coke.

Don't tell me miracles don't happen!
Joyska at 8:15 AM

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the canadian influence

so... i was sitting in the prayer room at 12:00 am on the first day of the 8th year of IHOP's existance. To my delight and surprise these were the first two songs sung:

First... none other than Yvonne Parks "Only One Love"
followed by David Ruis "Let the Winds Blow"

I smiled, laughed to myself and thought, wow... we Canadians have more of a place here than we know! ha ha
Joyska at 7:41 PM

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The last three days have been a level of party I have not experienced. I will do my best to describe it all:

Imagine, a LARGE parking area in front of IHOP completely void of cars (except of course the shuttles and golf carts whipping around picking up garbage bags) and filled with round tables surrounded by chairs, one large tent FILLED with four lines of food for all, 3 large blowup jumpy thingies for kids, and large screen tv's everywhere broadcasting the "concert of friends" going on in the prayer room, a line going around the building for FREE drinks (any kind) from Higher Grounds, face painting, and to the side of the building, another tent filled with chairs, and another large screen TV for the overflow!

That is the atmosphere and the buzz that has been going on here for two nights! Last night Mike spoke many words about the history and the stories that brought IHOP to where it is. It was inspiring. And tonight, Mike gave a word that rattles my heart and causes me again to say "YES! I AM IN!" Mike talked about the four standards of IHOP... INTERCESSION (night and day prayer), HOLINESS(the Sermon on the mount lifestyle), OFFERINGS (extravagant giving to the harvest and the poor), and PROPHETIC (prevailing faith-confidence in God's intervention).

He also spoke about not wanting to have a reputation that we are doing it, without actually DOING it, needing to perservere and be diligent, not to Re-up so to speak, but to covenant again with God to live this lifestyle THAT IS NOT EASY with integrity regardless of the reactions of those around me. Not everyone is called to it, but those who are need to really DO it, and not back down.

If these nights are recorded (which I think they were) they are well worth getting the cds... especially tonights. Mike said tonight too, that if the leaders aren't doing it, the people won't either. As a leader by nature, and often in my life, by position; I've seen that. What I'm not willing to do, I can't ask anyone else to do. And then I look at Mike and realize that I have a long way to go to walk in the integrity and steadfastness that he walks in.

But, as he said, and I've heard many times, everyday is filled with a new grace, not to sin, but to pursue holiness anew everyday. Thank you Jesus!

Joyska at 8:24 PM

Sunday, September 17, 2006

7 years of 24/7


As of September 19, IHOP has been going 24/7 for 7 years. Today was a celebration that was bigger than I expected. The service included a video featuring prophetic words from years ago (complete with Mike in 1980's clothing). The video was hilarious in parts, inspiring in others, and faith building all around. Mike spent the next hour trying to cram 23 years of history into an hour. It was really great and is exciting to see where God will take us from here.

After the service was a blowout party at a nearby park. There were seemingly thousands of people at the park (probably more like 1500 or so) all there to eat, play games, and watch Mike Bickle and the "old guys" play Dwayne Roberts and the FSM guys play a strange game of touch football. I left before the end of the game, but I must say it was fun to watch Mike be a quarterback on the field wearing a purple jersey with 777 across his back!

The celebration continues over the next two days and Marsha is coming to hang out with me for the festivities! Woo hoo!

I'll let you know how it all goes, but in case you missed it... IHOP has been going with worship and intercession for 7 years non stop day and night... a sign and a wonder!
Joyska at 8:19 PM

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Challenge for you... consider this:

I figure that I haved talked about Hope City often enough on this blog for you to know what we do. We were in the park again today feeding the homeless. We are building a presence there and a trust with the people who are coming on a regular basis, and they are starting to respond. One of the ladies today, didn't want to leave until she gave us all a hug... another lady went out and found her friends and brought them back (the highest form of trust in my opinion!)and yet another showed me her ratty flipflops and shared what it like living on the street. Ah... but I digress...

Here is the challenge. We are in need of some very specific items for these friends. Butch needs new pants, Suzanne and Ray need a new blanket because theirs smells of mildew from all the rain lately, and Ron and others need a place over their heads for the winter.


I want to buy as many sleeping bags (good ones, like the -40 degree weather type!) as we can. There are so many who are looking at the weather turning and saying... I don't know, I don't have warm enough stuff, I don't have a place... and many other concerns. I want to buy sweatshirts, hoodies, gloves, etc. But here is the problem... there is only so much money to go around.

I am not asking for ME, I am asking for THEM. Hope City's budget is small... and we have increased our feeding from one meal a week to three meals a week. Money is ALWAYS there when we need and I am sure it will continue to be, but I wanted to extend the invitation to you out there who are faithful to reading the blog and have gotten to know some of the names and faces. We are so quick to do this type of thing for Christmas and other "holidays", but these folks are getting cold now, and need our help.

So what am I asking for?

Sleeping Bags and money. Quite frankly.

If you ARE up to the challenge...

You will notice a donation option on the sidebar of my blog. Please feel free to donate cash through those means...or if you are Canadian and would like a tax reciept, send a cheque to Winnipeg Center Vineyard with a note indicating Kansas City Inner city project.

OR if you are from Winnipeg inparticular, you can send actually sleeping bags with anyone who might be heading this way(if they have room)! (check with the Gustaks, or with the Farrows, orb Harv or Joel).

OR if you are American and would like a tax reciept, please send a cheque directly to me made out to IHOP. If you need my address (rather than posting it so publicly) please email me at

Let me leave you with this thought. We met at least 5 new homeless people today and they all expressed needs like socks, shoes, blankets, food, coats, and friendship. The friendship part we can do and love doing... the rest well, we just need a little help and want others to be involved too.

Bless you guys! And thanks for "considering"!
Joyska at 4:37 PM

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

the canadians are coming... AGAIN.. Woo Hoo!

Turning my apartment into a host apartment was one of the smartest things I have done since I've moved here! HA HA

I had a new friend from Chicago stay last week, my old room mate Jessica is here this week, and on the 20th Christina and her bros are coming for 3 weeks! woo hoo!
(don't forget the Timmies coffee Christina... I'm all out!) They will have to hold down the fort for a week as I head to FLORIDA!!! for my parents 40th wedding anniversary! Then when I get back, there is a whole crowd of Canadians coming! YAY! (I am as excited as I sound -- Canadians are a piece of home... and these ones especially!)

It has been awesome to have the space, the beds and everything else needed to host people for a night or however long they need! God is so faithful, and it's bringing in some money, it's blessing those who come to stay, and more than anything, it allows me to live on my own! (I figure at age 35, it's about time!)

Anyway... so my apartment unofficial Bed and Breakfast is open! Want to come stay? Let me know, and I'm sure we can work something out! And if you are a Winnipeger and have anything you want to send me, get a hold of one of the Guztaks (spelling?) and work it out with them! (that was a seriously obvious hint by the way).

Be blessed!
Joyska at 12:20 PM

Saturday, September 09, 2006

day and night

If any of you missed Stuart's teaching on Saturday night, I am sorry! :)
He spoke on the Night watch, and the importance of NIGHT and day prayer.
It was great. Now I already have a pull and a draw to the night which is why I am up so late in the prayer room, but to hear it preached from the front was a deep encouragement to me. If you want the notes go to

I know my last post was a long one, but it was an amazing story to me about engaging the heart while in prayer. Tonight, I am again amazed. As Stuart was speaking, he said "seek the beauty of the Lord, day and night." I sat in awe as I realized that doesn't simply mean pray day and night... because quite honestly I don't know if that is even physically possible... at least not for me.

But here is the thing: I SEEK the beauty of the Lord in the night, as I'm worshiping, as I'm studying, as I'm reading, and as I am praying and meditating on His word. But I SEE the beauty of the Lord in the day as I'm in the city... over and over again, I see it in the faces, in the words, in the serving, in loving my new friends. THEY are the beauty of the Lord!

Ha ha! As I so often end these blogs... I LOVE IT!
Joyska at 8:35 PM

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A John G. Lake exerpt

" One of the prophets in writing used these beautiful words which I wish I could write in the memory of every soul 'There shall be saviors in Zion' (see Obadaih 1:21)hearts that are melted into Christ Jesus. Souls that took upon themselves an understaning of His spiritual life and the ministry of His power. Made one with the Lord, proved by God. One day, Jesus Christ is going to have a Church that will be one with Himself. Everyone of them will pulse with the living Spirit and victorious life of Jesus Christ, being identified in heart, in mind, and body with the Lord Jesus Christ.

(a story)

There was a family of seven brothers. The father was wealthy. He had come to Africa in the early days and took possession of a great tract of land. Evnetually the old man died and left two thousand pounds of gold besides a large property of vast extent. The youngest son was the black sheep of the family. They had been finely educated and developed for generations. The family could tolerate this balck sheep with no leniency whatever. First this disgrace and that disgrace until the family was overwhelmed with the disgrace of it all.

They appealed to their attorney and asked, "What can we do?" They decided to make a contract with him, giving him all his share if he would leave the country, never to return. This was done, and Lew Watson disappeared for years. One of our missionaries was going up into the country one day and met a man with sixty-four zebras. They told him of the power of Jesus and went down and talked with him about his weakness, and Lew Watson was born of God. He could only cry and pray for the family he had disgraced.

Finally, he appeared one day in my tabernacle. He related the circumstances of how he left home. He said, 'They sacrificed to pay all my money into my hands, and I am worse than the prodigal, but I have my Lored. Do you suppose they will receive me, brother?'

I said, 'Never unless God makes it possible.'

He said, 'How can I go to them unless God baptizes me in the Holy Ghost?'

...And so he knelt down, and I laid my hand upon him and in less than five minutes he was baptized in the Spirit and glory of God. He aroseand went to train. He arrived at the ome of his eldest brother. He walked into the beautiful house. His brother recoiled with the shock. Poor Lew! He tried to talk to him, and made the same mistake as many others of us do when we do not let God do the talking for us.

So Lew left the house and down the road a ways he crawled under some prickly pear trees where no person would ever think of following , and he lay there pouring out his heart in mighty sobs and he broke out in the Spirit of Jesus. 'When Zion travaileth she will bring forth children.' God, we haven't got to travailing enough yet!

Well, that day when he left the house and went down the road sobbing he came to where the great prickly pears are so thick you cannot see the light, he crawled away back in there and prayed. When your ears hear that cry of the Spirit they will know it... A young man, the son of Lew Watson's brother, came along the road and heard him praying and knew enough of the words so that he passed on to the house. He said, 'Father, I know that something has taken place.'

The father said, 'Boy you know Uncle Lew and the conditions under which we lived and the sacrifices the entire family made to get him to leave the country and here he is back on our hands again.'

The boy said, 'Father, this is not the Uncle Lew we knew. I never heard a prayer like that.'

So the father walked down the road with the son and listend. The tears began to flow down his cheeks, his heart began to sob, he got down on his hands and knees and finally got to Lew and took him in his arms and kissed his tears away. Then he sent and called in the sixty other relatives and everyone of them were converted. When that crowd gathered, pooor Lew thought that he would have to preach, and he made the flattest kind of a failure. Then he said, 'Let us pray.' Then God came as he prayed out his heart, and old Tom (one of his relatives) fell to the floor under the power of God. and it kept on until they were all saved. God just came.

Men are preaching philosophy. Men are preaching science and preaching this and that. But the heart of mankind is crying out for God. Brother, when your heart gets to the place where Jesus was, where you are just as ready to give yourself for the one as Jesus was to give Himself, why the flashes of heaven will go out of your heart and ignite the hearts of others."
Joyska at 9:59 AM

Saturday, September 02, 2006

the payoff

Sometimes people ask me what I get out of helping the poor. Is it because it makes me feel better? Is it because I feel called to it? Is it because "somebody has to do it?"

No. It's not necessarily any of those things.

This is a picture of Michael.

Michael lives on the street. He is one of the "actually" homeless, not the poor, who have a place to sleep and at least some things to call their own. He is sleeping under trees, finding some friends who will let him shower once a week and he carries everything he owns in a back pack.

Michael went with us on Thursday to hand out some sack lunches. We pulled into a parking lot and he jumped out of the van to hand a lunch bag and a water to a man that reminds me of South Side Johnny in Winnipeg (complete with pushing a grocery cart). Michael got back in the van and said to us...

"Man that felt good"

Lisa told us the other day that she doesn't see the poor or the homeless when we do what we do... she sees "team members". Zeke... gatekeeper... Ray... street team captain... Michael... team captian of whatever he wants to be team captain of...

Everybody has a spot. Everybody gets to play. Everybody has a purpose. And we can't do what we know God has called us to do, now or in the future, without them.

And it gives them and us dignity... GOOD WORD

So what do I get out of helping the poor?

You tell me. :)
Joyska at 10:18 PM