Joyska's Journal: August 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Well, after day 2 at Blessings, I can say that I am getting the hang of it all. It's been a long time since I had to dress up to go to work, but other than that it is good. I am really missing Hope City and the crew, but outside of that, it's been a good transition. I'm continueing to trust that God has it all in hand.
As I was downtown this morning, I had a different view than I would have 2 years ago. I saw at least 5 people who were obviously homeless, carrying everything they own in various bags, wearing two or three jackets when the weather doesn't even call for one. A number of them were along Portage Ave with their hats out asking for spare change. I stopped and talked to a few. I have nothing to give them right now, but I was able to acknowlege them as people, smile at them and bless them, and that seems to make a difference. One lady smiled back and said "thanks for talking to me".
It's a new view for me. I've always seen the "sniffers", the ones who are broken in spirit and in body... they are hard to miss, but somehow I have missed those who are living on the street. Don't get me wrong, there are many sniffers living on the street, but these ones are different somehow.
I saw one woman today as I was waiting for the bus, who had 4 or 5 bags slung over her shoulders going all sorts of ways. She had her hoodie up over her head and was wearing two other jackets over the hoodie. She wore two different shoes and shuffled along Graham Mall, not looking at any of the people who were trying as hard as they could to get out of her way. She was on the other side of the street, and as I watched, she seemed so lost and broken. I prayed for her from where I stood and asked God to encourage her heart today. But I didn't go over to her. I should have.
It's such a hard balance. I have grown to love the poor. I have grown to want to see deliverance come to them. Winnipeg has a different feel to me this time around, and I need to work... make money and be "responsible" and my initial response is to pray...AND I am asking the Lord how it all fits together.
I want to start a prayer meeting specifically for the poor in Winnipeg. We need to pray first and foremost. Out of that, I am asking the Lord for strategies and ideas, opportunity is already there, but I want to do what the Father is doing in this city.
The Lord knows what is coming. I'm just along for the ride.
Joyska at 8:54 PM

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back in Winnipeg

I've been back in Winnipeg for 26 hours. I arrived safely yesterday around 2:00 am. Camillia, Cheryl, and Debby helped drive me back. We did well time wise and aside from handing the border guy Camillia's passport instead of mine... it was a smooth sailing, uneventful trip.
The cars were so loaded down however that I was concerned we might pop a tire or something, but nothing of the sort happened.We laughed alot, talked alot, sang songs, played cat and mouse on the highway (we passed Cheryl and Deb, they passed us and we passed them, then they passed us...) at one point we lost Cheryl and Deb, but they caught up to us about an hour later :) HONEST we weren't SPEEDING!!!
Relax... its Kilometers... not miles
The Sunset was beautiful!

We got in around 2:00, unloaded all the boxes and vacuum sealed bags, and tried to sleep. Today I was up by 10:30, (11:00?) and tried to organize my new living space. A LOT of stuff will continue in boxes, until I can find an apartment of my own again.

This afternoon I went to Sanctuary House of Prayer ( and LOVED it. The passion and commitment of 20 people running after the same thing for 6 hours straight is awesome. I am so blessed to have something so like IHOP here in Winnipeg. God knows me SO well!

I start work on Wednesday... I'll keep you posted!

In the meantime if you want to see more of my pics from the trip... head over to facebook... They are all on there!
Joyska at 1:46 AM

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some downtown pics

Debby and Allison and I went on a picture taking adventure today...
Look... They have the same hair! hahahaha You can't see it, but this is the International Harvesters Building... Looks familiar doesn't it? (Those of you from WCV should recognize it!)
This is the "underbelly" of the highway in the heart of the West Bottoms... I LOVE this area!
Liberty... YES LORD

Once we found the place that over looked the city that Allison was determined to find... I got some great city pics... This one is off a bridge where Debby fearlessly threw on her hazards so I could get the shot...
Had to catch the American flag. The reflection in the building is what I was after, but it didn't turn out.
We saw these little guys outside a Hispanic corner store... so fun
This is a mural that was very far away from where we were... but it's Luis and Clark...and a fun shot.

Joyska at 9:20 PM

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

an empty apartment

(My new computer desk... a box! haha!

HELLO... Hello Hello hello (echo)

Yep... that is what an almost empty two bedroom apartment sounds like.

Today, after an AMAZING lunch with an old Hope City friend named Ron, Lisa and Ray came over and helped me take my couch, chairs, kitchen table and other assorted items to the thrift store. They then returned and took the additional items that were earmarked for them and left my living room considerably less crowded! (THANK YOU Lisa and Ray...)

Then Allison, Stuart, Brad and Kevin came to take the desk, one of the beds, all of my book cases, a large mirror, and who knows what else, over to Allison's... the new owner of many of the above mentioned items. (THANK YOU Allison, Stuart, Brad and Kevin!) It's been quite a night. Then Debby and I went over to Allison's with Brad to put the desk and the Futon together and eat... hang out... whatever. It was really good. We talked all about the inner city in Winnipeg, about Hope City... about life histories... and I realized it was the first time in a LONG time that I was in a room with ONLY 30 somethings! The four of us are all between 34 and 38!

One more sleep and the rest of the moving crew gets here... 3 or 4 more sleeps and I am back in the peg. I realized today that as hard as it is to move, as hurtful as it is to say good bye, I know that every step I take is in the hand of God. Every moment is orchestrated, and I can walk through it kicking and screaming, or I can say yes... roll with it and come through it a lot happier. It's not always my first response, but I do get there. :)
Today as I gave away everything that I have "gathered" over the past two years, I realized that God has even what couch I will sit on in his plan... My possessions have been reduced to 18 boxes, and yet I know I am one of the richest people on the earth because my Father is the owner and creator of all things, and I just happen to be his favourite! haha.
Joyska at 10:28 PM

Monday, August 20, 2007

this is it?

Well, this is it... what used to be a thriving 2 bedroom apartment... is now reduced to a corner of boxes. Everything else is either given away or in storage... and some of these boxes are also heading to storage. Wow.

Five sleeps and a 14 hour ish drive, and I am back in Canada... My brain is starting to actually believe that this is happening!

Deb arrived yesterday, and Camillia and Cheryl arrive on Thursday... so I will end my time here as I started... a FULL house :)

Joyska at 12:36 PM

Monday, August 13, 2007


Well, it's still hot. The news said it will feel like 115 degrees F today. 115!!!! WHAT IS THAT?!
I am leaving (not because of the heat) in 13 days. That is officially less than 2 weeks. I've had TONS of visitors in the last little while too. First Joel and Camillia came for a weekend, followed by my friends from Minnesota, Linda, Sara, and Natalee. Then on Thursday, Twila and Donna joined an already full house! They all left Sunday morning and I am enjoying a quieter couple of days.

My friend Deb is coming from Winnipeg on the 19th and will stay and help me move back. Camillia, Cheryl and Lanney will follow on Thursday, to bring Lanney here and to help take me home! Did you follow all that? haha
SO that is the plan. I'm excited, sad, nervous, and ready to go. Once the decision is made, it's hard to be in two places. I love it here. I am sad to leave, and I am enjoying everything I can while I'm here, but it's hard not to switch mindsets and start thinking about Winnipeg.

But... the following pics illustrate how the heart is very much the same! And for that... I am thankful!
Worship at Hope City

Worship at Sanctuary

Friends in Winnipeg

Friends in Kansas City

And this verse? For everyone!! :)
Joyska at 8:56 AM

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

how hot is too hot?

1.When the news posts 109 degrees F. (with the humidex)
2.When I can't breathe after walking for 10 minutes (I usually don't loose my breath til 45 minutes! haha)
3.When the warnings are saying "stay inside between 1:00 and 4:00"
4.When they say it will be this way until next Thursday!!
5.When I drink a 1.5 liter ice tea in the span of 1/2 an hour!
6.When the air conditioning doesn't turn off
7.When the patio at Higher Grounds is deserted
8.When they run out of bottled water in Higher Grounds

9.When you get chills walking outside because your body doesn't know how to react
10.When walking to the prayer room feels like crossing the Sahara desert
11.When the idea of minus 40 degrees in Winnipeg winter sounds inviting.

Joyska at 3:11 PM

Saturday, August 04, 2007

August 4th... a day to live on in infamy!

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I am 36. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? I am now officially closer to 40. In math you round up after 5 right? yikes.

It has been exactly 2 and 1/2 years since I left Winnipeg. And I return in 20 days. It's been a good run here in KC. I've learned more than I even know, and did more than I will ever remember! (that sounded a bit like Bilbo Baggins didn't it? hahaha)

Turning 36 has given me a moment to ponder my life. I think I did this last year as well. In fact I think I said some of the same things: I'm not married, I have no children, I don't and have nor have I ever owned a car, my earthly possessions are few, but I have lived a very adventurous life!

I have had the privilege of teaching hundreds of children along the way, little and big. I have spoken in 59 reserves throughout Northern Canada, I dove into the Artic Ocean at 4 degrees celcius in the middle of August. I have had many friends that are now all over the world. I have a college degree. I have made food and fed MANY MANY homeless and poor. I have had seasons of financial provision and seasons of financial... shall we say... drought... but have always had enough... now that sounds like Paul!

I have flown in big planes overseas, and 5 seaters over rivers and lakes. I have driven on frozen rivers, and walked on a few as well. I have survived - 56 degree windchills and 104 degree picnics! One birthday I even went to an outdoor wedding on the hottest day of the year! (Happy anniversary Sherwood and Jocelyn... I won't ever forget!)

I have lived away from home for 20 years! I have lived in (I still can't believe this...) 29 different houses or apartments in my 36 years (about to move into #30). I have had many friends along the way that I keep in touch with, and many that regretably I don't. I've won a couple awards along the way for art and writing, and have written more stories and poems and allegories than I can count!

I have read through the scriptures 10 times... 7 of those times in the last 4 years. That is my favourite accomplishment. I have worked in a church whose heart is for the poor. I have worked in a place whose heart is prayer, and I'm finding the balance in my own life. It all comes together.

I have made many fashion mistakes. I have had many hair colour mishaps, (my favourite being "plum"). I have gained and lost and regained more pounds than I want to talk about!

But there truly has been one constant. God's hand. I don't always recognize it, and I often fight against it, but His hand guides me every step of the way... waiting for me at times, but always willing to push in the direction I am to go. I am humbled by that realization, and even more honoured that He loves me enough to do it! So any accomplishments before mentioned... let the GLORY be His, because He knows better than all, that I wouldn't have made it this far with out Him!

SOOO... Happy Birthday to me... and as I head back to Winnipeg, here is to the next leg of the adventure!
Joyska at 8:31 AM