Joyska's Journal: October 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

For the Glory of God

Well... I am sitting typing in the coffee shop known as "Higher Grounds" at IHOP. Why there? you ask... well

Yesterday, while my guests Joshua and Diana were sleeping, a young man broke into my apartment through my bedroom window. We believe he was checking out what he could take, opened their door, saw them sleeping, and took what he could carry.

He carried away my laptop and my new digital camera.

I was coming home from taking a bunch of our friends to the "One Night With the King" movie and immediately saw that my computer was not on the desk. I thought maybe Joshua and Diana had borrowed it and had it in the prayer room... but then I realized they were home and sleeping. I looked for my camera... which was beside the computer and that too was gone. I called the police.

What followed was the housing director and maintainence man in my house, then two police officers, then a detective... followed by questions, finger printing, and finger print dust all over my desk and my window (where the guy got in). I was laughing through most of it really feeling like "it's just stuff" and "nobody got hurt". It wasn't until last night and this morning that it really hit me.

It's a wierd feeling knowing someone you don't know was in your house. It's even wierder thinking they took something that doesn't belong to them and it was mine. But really it wasn't mine. It was God's to begin with. "The Lord gives and takes away" I know that... and I found myself praying for the young man to be caught. That was all the first few hours.

Then I went to EGS last night and told one of the leadership about it. I found out that there have been over 30 break ins at the apartments in the last 32 days. That is ONE A DAY at least!
Suddenly I wasn't feeling so safe. I know the Lord is in control... I know that it is all going to be fine, but I was saddened and bordering on nervous.

Then I get home and discover that one of our homeless crowd has been arrested. From what I understood (we are still trying to varify the issue) it was because they were caught breaking into an abandoned building trying to find a warm place to stay. The injustice of it was driving my crazy... one breaking in to steal and one breaking in to survive... and the second one gets arrested while the first is still free, most likely to do it again.

But here is the thing. (thanks Brian for this). God sees. God knows what is going on. My reaction needs to be one that brings Glory to the Father. HE is in control. He rewards, He punishes... all in His time. My response NEEDS to be... all for the Glory of God and to trust him in my heart and by the words of my mouth (as Joshua reminded me this morning). I have a choice...I choose to pray for this young man that Salvation would find him. I pray that the Lord brings His brand of Justice... and that in it all His name be Glorified.

Pray for us here. The break-ins are a growing issue of course, and we are longing for God to break in in his own way... ha ha... I've been praying a lot lately for Break in! Maybe I should be careful what I pray for!

Ha ha

Be blessed all... and let God be Glorified!
Joyska at 10:50 AM

Thursday, October 26, 2006

long time no type

Ha ha. It has been a week since my last entry...
"let me explain... no there is too much... let me sum up" (yes... a "the princess bride" quote)
It has indeed been a busy week. Last Thursday we were in the park having our picnic with the folks. We made LOTS of chili and added cheese and fritos. It was a great lunch and Frog, Michelle, and others jumped in to help. It was a good day.

In the midst of all the Hope City stuff, Joyska's host home has been hoppin! (no pun intended... IHOP... hoppin... whatever). A woman named Linda from Minnesota spent the last couple weekends and a few extra days as a guest and a "roomie", while a couple (Joshua and Diana) have been here since the 18th and are here until the 30th. It is fun having people around and such amazing people at that.

Sunday, Mike Bickle gave an awesome word on Ephesians 1:16-19 about knowing the hope of our calling, knowing that He loves us and are HIS inheritance, as well as knowing the power we possess as a result of these things. It was excellent and confirmed for me that what we are doing at Hope City is calling out all of these things in us, as well as those we have come to serve.

Monday was back to the city, this time taking Linda with me (You stay with me, you join me! Well... at least you are invited) It was our last time in the Bellerive as we are officially out on our own. It was another Chili and hot dog night as the weather is getting colder and hot things are better to serve! We had a lot of people and many of them stayed for the prayer time at the end. Even Ron stayed! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday was our second week at our new place to pray. Pastor Ray seems to like having us there and we sense some really good things happening. It's such a great mix of people. Homeless, church folk, IHOPers... and ages ranging from one young daughter right up to those in their 60's. It's true community building.

I read once that community means that you can go to sleep at night knowing that everyone in your circle is warm and well fed. We aren't there yet, but that is why we say "community building!" And by the way, please keep praying that God would grant us with a Building to have that community!

Today, again we headed downtown. It was raining so we headed out armed with lunch bags to hand out to those who normally come. We ran around the city looking for people, praying, and hearing Marsha's answers to character flaws! We asked the Lord to release dreams and visions on the people and He is doing it! Marsha, Frog, AND Michelle all had profound dreams. One was even a man handing a blank check (cheque) to Marsha for Hope City that she could fill in with anything she wanted! We want it all PAPA... for YOUR glory!

Anyway, the adventure continues. Please pray for health for all of these ones... The power of God on our hands to heal would be good too! :)

be blessed!

(oh, and by the way... I received a digital camera in the mail yesterday! THANK YOU CYNTHIA!!! So soon MY pictures will grace this blog! WOO HOO!)
Joyska at 6:41 PM

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I spent most of the day yesterday with Lisa, Frog and Michelle. We took them up to a clinic to get the meds that they need. The system can be cruel. Michelle needs insulin for her diabities, among other things, and had just enough for the day... and maybe a shot in the morning. Because of various hoops and hurdles it will be a 5 hour process. We didn't have the 5 hours. So they are going back today. To wait. And to hopefully emerge with enough meds to keep them going. They are both sick and need a place to rest their weary bodies.

Then last night, the phone rings. My caller ID says Pay Phone. This is the conversation:

Hi, it's me Frog
What's up?
Well, the owner came through the building, we are being kicked out.

The conversation continued with a request for somewhere to store their stuff til they could find another place that 11 people could crash. 11 people. 11 humans, wandering the street looking for a place to lay their head. 11 people I know and love. This stuff moves my heart like none other. It went down to 32 degrees F last night... (zero degrees C), I know the plan was to stay one more night and leave before the workers got their in the morning, so I know they were at least out of the wind, (and wrapped in their sleeping bags :) ). But I just keep asking God to break in, to show us what our response needs to be. They don't want at this point to come out of the area, it's home to them, and I couldn't take them all in anyway. Eventhough I really want to.

And then there is Suzanne and Ray. We ran into Suzanne yesterday... freezing, wandering alone because of a fight between her and Ray. She was on her way to sleep under the bushes in the park... carrying only a blanket. The night before they had been woken up and forced to move at 1:00, at 4:00, and at 7:00. She said the sleeping bag had kept her warm, but they hid it so no one would steal it. Suzanne is 53 years old, sick, and exhausted. But she too, for various reasons, is not ready to take the steps needed to get off the street. Her addictions are too strong, her brokenness is so deep. And as the tears fall down her face, she says "I love you guys, see you tomorrow".

This is a hard place. We know the Lord spoke clearly, to wait on the buildings, to keep doing what we are doing... to keep moving. I trust Him. I trust that He will break in at the perfect moment with the perfect plan. I trust Him with the lives of Suzanne, Ray, Frog, Michelle, Adam, Puck, Will, Stephanie, Chrissy, Michael, Angie, Craig, Kevin, and a whole host of others. I do. I trust HIM. My heart is just broken for the ugliness of addiction, sickness, and pain.

But, there is joy in Frog's voice as he says that they are sticking together and that God will take care of them. He's not discouraged, bummed out, but not discouraged. They have their "mobile soup kitchen" and are ready to go with that and they know they are more fortunate then most. They have each other and they have faith. They know that the Lord is moving in and through them. And that is awesome to watch.
Joyska at 7:46 AM

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Today was an incredible day.

Lisa and Ronna came over a little early, we loaded up the sleeping bags, met up with Jane, Zeke, Manny, Tish, Michelle and Frog, grabbed the shuttle (which Lisa so expertly drove), stopped at a couple places to pick our people up, and headed to a new place to pray.

Ray (yes... another RAY-- which means King or kingly by the way) Mabian has a church just down the street from the buildings we were praying for, and he has allowed us to move our prayer meetings on Tuesday to his place.

We walked in and three or four were waiting for us, 11 of us walked in, 3 more joined us and I counted 19. We have been asking the Lord for 20 people before we added another prayer meeting and for almost 2 years, we have had 19 or less. Then in walked 2 more. And shortly after that, one more. I counted again, as did the rest of us who knew the significance of numbers, and yep... 22.

God is continueing to speak to us. There is great excitement as Michelle and Frog have vision to start a "mobile" soup kitchen with their new camping gear... getting HOT food to those who won't come out to the shelters, those who are isolated and alone. And God confirmed it for them, as one of the new people to our prayer meeting gave them money to help them... which they turned around and gave back to Hope City for us to buy the food that they will need to get this going! Amazing.

We handed out the sleeping bags to two of the intended recipients who were thrilled and grateful, and then 9 of us headed to the Bronx for Pizza! It was so fun to sit with 2 homeless couples, eating together, laughing, and looking at wedding pictures! Suzanne and Ray (see Rays all over the place) were with us and loved the prayer meeting and riding around on our crazy bus...

There was so much that happened today. Marsha gave testimony on how God has changed her life and how thankful she was that He had brought us to her to give her hope. Michelle and Frog (who by the way are both quite sick with Pneumonia type colds) were flying with excitement, Ray S. (our captian of sound and all things technical) is out there trying to find us a place to meet and feed, and Pastor Ray was moving in the prophetic words of knowledge by the end.

One more significant thing. Pat Bickle, Lisa's brother, who has been a quadrapalegic (sp?) for 33 years is in the hospital and is not doing well. His blood pressure has dropped as low as 60/30 and has jumped up as high as 250. During the prayer meeting we felt the need to pray for Pat and did so. There was a picture of all of us in the room holding him up, and Lisa shared a dream that the church at large was being impressed apon to pray for Pat's healing and to CALL out to the Lord. His healing holds significance and relevance to us all... Please join in praying for his healing... complete healing!

When it was time to drop everyone off, no one wanted to go. We made a quick stop to say hello to Ron and give him a piece of pizza, and then took Frog and Michelle to where they are "squatting" equipped with sleeping bags, camping gear, food, and much love. That was heart breaking to me. Then we dropped off Suzanne and Ray, near where they are staying (outside) with their sleeping bags, again... feeling like I wanted to do so much more for them, and then proceeded to take Marsha home. On the way there, Marsha said it was the saddest part of the day for her... having to go home by herself. I get that.

The four of us (lisa, jane, ronna, and myself) proceeded back to IHOP, exhausted but exilerated at all that God had done and is doing. None of us wanted to leave either.

God of glory, break in. Let us see your kingdom established in the core of Kansas City. Break in and bring revival to the meek ones of the earth! Help us be your hands and feet and to always see you in their eyes.
Joyska at 11:28 PM

Monday, October 16, 2006

a preview

A Fairy tale wedding :) It was awesome! Many things to say, but it's been a short amount of sleep! I'll post more soon! :)

Joyska at 8:13 AM

Friday, October 13, 2006

what your dollars have purchased

well, lets see... eleven zero degrees F (-18 degrees C) sleeping bags, 3 flashlights, and one amazing backpack filled with a coffee pot (perculator) cups, plates, bowls, a pot and a frying pan (the Backpack is part of the wedding present for Frog and Michelle so they can better care for their "family" of 9!) We also got burners, some "personal" items, and some food. The wedding is this Sunday and I am SO thrilled to be a part of it!

We could not have gone on this shopping spree without your help! THANK YOU! We so appreciate it, and I guarantee our friends will as well. This is such a relief to me... you have no idea. Even last night it was 31 degrees F, -2 C, and my heart was broken and afraid for their safety. These sleeping bags aren't going to solve the homeless problem in Kansas City, but it will make a HUGE difference for 11 of those that we know and love! We will get more for there are many more we know and love! If you would like to be a part of getting more of these sleeping bags (roughly 40 -50.00 USD each) or socks, gloves, long-johns etc, let me know, and I will tell you the easiest way to send help.

Joyska at 7:12 PM

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bratwurst, Mac and Cheese and a wedding to come

On Monday we brought bratwurst and Mac and Cheese to feed the crowd. To do that... It required Christina and I to boil then grill 72 of those wierd looking sausages. They tasted great but... really... look at them... yeck!

Christina did the mac and cheese (15 boxes of shells and cheese) and there was much laughter as it was being made.

I've asked Christina to give her perspective of our Monday night meal, so I will move on to Tuesday.

Frog and Michelle came to our prayer meeting. They are getting married on Sunday night! We have the honour of hosting the reception and today michelle got a wedding dress! It's so fun.

The prayer meeting yesterday, though, was well... great.

Frog and Michelle came this time and it was so good to have them there. At one point they began to share more of their stories. Both of them have experienced a radical conversion story in which they were released from drugs and alcohol immediately. Frog was led to the Lord by a homeless man when he was looking for a hit. Michelle met Frog and he led her back to the Lord and she too is growing in relationship both with God and with Frog (hence the wedding this weekend). I'll write it out more extensively when I have their permission to do so. My heart is moved by them and their commitment to each other, the poor, and God.

They are mama and papa to many of the homeless. It's a growing community of people that look out for one another, pray for each other and do the "circuit" of places to get food. It's such a different reality than anything I could imagine. They are "squatting" in an abandoned building as the temps have dipped quite low again. (44 degrees at 5:15 pm and a freeze warning for tonight). They aren't asking for much, just enough to give them dignity. We are honoured to learn from them what it means to be homeless in Kansas City and what is really needed.

We did not get the buildings we were looking at. It's a long story, but it is right. We were initially disappointed, but it was so clear that the Lord said "not yet" so we continue to look for direction and where to go next. We as Hope City are officially homeless as of October 28 ourselves, but we have a new place to pray, so we will continue to feed on Mondays and Thursdays in the park. It will be colder than being in a building, but hey... we are hearty people! :) and if they can live in it, we can serve in it.

Please continue to pray. We are trusting the Lord to break in. He is up to something and we know that the Lord will fulfill His promises.

In other news the Canadian invasion occured again today. Christina and her brothers are still here, and now 5 more have come! Shane and Kristi, Harv, Joel, and Jacquie have all shown up... very fun... but also a tad overwhelming! ha ha!

Stay tuned for pics! :)
Joyska at 12:53 PM

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Florida --all done!

Pics of sand, sun, and "the lighthouse"

the view from our room

Well, my lofty goal of daily updates on my trip ended on day three. Partially because each day was filled with the ocean and the pool, trips to St. Augustine, the pier, the lighthouse, Disney for the bro's family, shopping, more shopping, more swimming, more sitting on the balcony, more eating... you know.... vacation stuff.

It was certainly a good week, and I am back in Kansas City, already been to a service and head back to the prayer room tomorrow. As always, it's good to be home again... (my american home...)


Enjoy the turkey and be oh so thankful for all God gives us!

(I'm attempting another Canadian Thanksgiving in America... the day after... should be fun)

the ocean on a clear clear day

my nephew William and his dad (Marcel... my brother) I love this shot.
Joyska at 10:22 PM

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Florida -- Day Two

Seriously? Only day 2? Wow...

I'll let the pics tell the story... (my brother bought a digital... LOTS of pics... we will see how many blogger will let me post...

Mom and Dad... caught at a silly moment

The whole crew... Minus Janet who is taking the picture :)

Marcel and Janet

My 12 year old (!) niece who is just BEAUTIFUL!

Jenna and William with Jessie (Jenna's friend) buried standing up! They dug a hole dropped her in, and covered her up... We call this pic "Look what washed up on shore!"

We are all having a good time. The waves on the cean are pretty strong and giving us all a good work out. Jenna and Jessie haven't left the water since we got here! They are serious fish!

I guess that is all for now... I hear it's 94 degrees back in Kansas City... yikes. I think I like it here better :)

More pics tomorrow I'm sure!

Back to the water for me!

Joyska at 1:38 PM

Monday, October 02, 2006

Florida -- Day One! :)

It's beautiful

I am looking out on the ocean, palm trees, big waves, kids in the water, hardly a cloud in the sky and already my skin is darker than I have had in years. I arrived in Jacksonville yesterday, was met by my mom and dad, brother and sister in law, a niece a nephew and my nieces best friend.

We drove a bit and stopped for a bite to eat. As we were sitting there we realized some funny similarities...

These are the girls:
Joyska (me)
Jenny (mom)
Janet (sis in law)
Jenna (my niece)
Jessie (Jenna's friend)

say that ten times fast! Joyska, Jenny, Janet, Jenna, Jessie. AND 4 of the 5 are Schmids! It's wierd to be around so many people with the same last name! And then of course there are the boys...

Emile (dad)
Marcel Emile (brother)
William Emile (nephew)

Not only do THEY share the same name, we all look a lot alike. I'll post pics when we get some. In fact when people see us all together... there is no question we ARE family. I look a lot like my dad and my brother, as well as my niece... fun.

We are in a couple of great ocean view rooms very close to Daytona Beach. Mom and I sat on the patio while we listened to the waves and wind. There is nothing like that.

I'm enjoying the weather, the ocean, the wind and the waves. I took a walk on the beach last night, and will go again soon. I can't believe how peaceful it is here... There are hardly any other people on the beach, and we had the pool to ourselves most of the time we were there (the waves tire you out if you are out there too long in the ocean). It's a balmy 85 degrees and looks like that is the forcast for the week! woo hoo!

If you are looking for me next week, look for the black girl with red curly hair, cause if I get as much sun this week as I got today... yep... changing races for a while! haha. Either that or look for the girl who resembles a lobster and can hardly walk! One of the two. :)

I hope you are enjoying your days wherever you are. I know I'm enjoing mine!

See ya... the ocean is calling my name again!
Joyska at 11:32 AM