A look back at the journey traveled

When your boat runs ashore, you are presented with two decisions.

Stay in your boat with what you know, or take a step out and begin to experience the unknown.

-Unknown

I enjoyed going home to Houston for a visit to connect with my family, friends, church and supporters. Here is a video I shared in my church when I was home.

A special shout out to all the lovely people that were willing to be on this video and share their hearts for so many to see. Thanks for loving me and loving Jesus! You guys are a huge blessings!

Enjoy.

 

Understanding “I already”

How many of us still live by the phrase ‘If only..’ When God has said ‘I already’…..?

Whatever our fear, whatever our doubt, whatever that thing is that is stopping you from following his voice, He is saying “I already..” To me that means so many things. That means trust me, listen to me, don’t be afraid, love me, and let me love you! He went before us and will never forsake us.  Deuteronomy 31:8 

After a year of working and serving with YWAM DP, I felt God asking me to stay another year. For a long time I struggled with the idea that God would continue to provide for me in my time here. Gods “I already…” became “if only God would..”

This fear, doubt and struggle came back up to the surface again recently when I heard news that my main financial supporter no longer is able to help with my financial needs per month. You can imagine the emotions that went through my mind.

I took a leap of faith, to follow in obedience what I felt God asking of me, to stay in Belize another year, continuing to grow and serve in this YWAM community.

I recently heard a song that impacted me greatly. Some of the lyrics say:

“Let the King of my heart be the fire inside my veins…You’re never gunna let me down, you’re never gunna let, never gunna let me down! Cuz You are GOOD! GOOD!”

You know when you come across one of those songs that just speaks so perfectly to your heart at the exact moment that you need to hear it? I feel like God brought this song into my life recently to remind me that He says “I already” and to trust that He is good no matter what happens.

My heart smiled so big when I found out that one of my nephews that is only a little over a year old raises his hands in the air when this song comes on. He can’t even fully speak and he knows that God is good and he is praising Him!

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I would love for you guys to join me in prayer as I seek God in this next season of life, prayer is the most important part of life here and the provision that I see from God in my finances comes from a deep well of prayer. One of the reasons I fell in love with this place is the fact that we cover everything in prayer.

Currently I am in need of $600 per month, approximately, this includes all food and housing as well as that which is needed for my monthly immigration visa, insurance, transportation and basic essentials that I need.

I have set up a Facebook page  which is a new way for me to connect with my supporters through pictures, quotes, thoughts and feelings as well as information about how life is here in Belize and an open forum so share prayer requests and create a sense of family and community with those of you that partner with me in every aspect of life through my time in Missions.

I would love to hear from you, know how you’re doing, how I can be praying and hear praises of what God is doing in your lives. Please contact me anytime.

Email: stef@destinationparadise.org

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/stefupdates

About me on the YWAM website : http://ywamdp.org/product/stef-rosu/

 

Silver Lining

Hello beautiful humans!!

Just wanted to give you a quick update on some technical difficulties that have been happening here.

Some of you may have read my update on Facebook a little while ago about my computer and phone breaking down and not working anymore. Well, we still don’t really know 100% what happened (possibly from all the brown outs and back outs happening), but there were quite a few computers that stopped working. As you know my job here as the registrar is really difficult to do with out a computer, thankfully I was able to borrow a computer (that’s how I’m typing this now) and someone graciously let me borrow one of their old phones as well. 🙂 However, I need my computer back, especially in this season with me being a student as well and having a huge research paper due soon.

So, all this to say our amazing base director decided to get to the bottom of this and bless us by taking all 8 laptops with him to the states to get them all looked at. We are all SO very grateful, especially because living in a 3rd world country doesn’t quite give us the freedom to run to the closest mall with an Apple Store located nicely in the middle of it.

The good news is that my computer is savable! My phone wasn’t, but I’m getting a really sweet deal for a replacement phone. The not so fun news is that the computer fixes cost $300 and the replacement phone is $269, which is a grand total of $569. Which in the end is SUCH a blessing, because the cost of the computer fixes along should have been somewhere around $700-800, but the wonderful Apple Genius gave us a deal! So, thank God it’s not more. 🙂 It is just a huge expense when you’re not ready or expecting it.

So could I just ask you guys that you partner with me in prayer? I know God will provide and that that number doesn’t scare Him even when it looks big to us.  I saw this great quote the other day that said:

Don’t let one conversation, one person, one text, one phone call, one bad situation, or one hard day take away from the one thing that matters most: Who you are in Jesus and ALL that is possible through Him.

I will still choose to see the silver lining in the midst of rain and storms  

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Thanks for your prayers and support!

-Stef

This time next week!!

It is crazy to think that by this time next week I will officially be a student again!! 🙂 For those of you that do not know, I am going to being taking a second level school with YWAM called the Foundations of Counseling Ministries (FCM). I am extremely excited for this school and have been waiting for it since I first heard about it during my DTS last year! During my DTS I realized I have a huge heart for counseling and being a part of people’s restoration, healing and freedom. I want to learn more about what it looks like to understand how people’s belief system effects their emotions and actions and how to be a better disciple of Christ by loving and discipling others well.

Along with being a full time student in the FCM, I will also still be on Staff and doing my role as Registrar for YWAM Destination Paradise. I am a bit nervous for this next season and know that I will have a very full plate, but I know that with God’s strength I will be able to rock these next 3 months. God has called me to this place and to this school and I am confident that His timing is perfect & very thankful for such an amazing opportunity to learn all that He is going to teach me in this sweet time.

This season is very important to me and I am committed to blogging pretty often during this time and just sharing all that I am learning and all that God is doing. I would love for you guys to partner with me in prayer during this season in a extra special way.

Please pray for:

Strength to be able to push through on the hard days

Balance to do both my roles as Registrar and a student well

Wisdom and Discernment 

A Teachable Heart

The renewing of my mind with new truths

Unspeakable Joy that is contagious to those around me

Peace that passes and overcomes all stress

Patience with myself and with others

Vulnerability & Authenticity  

Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading

I would absolutely love to be contacted with your thoughts, prayers, and encouragements. You can either FB message, comment on the blog posts, or email me at stef@destinationparadise.org

Thank you for all of your love and support that you guys have already shown me, it means more than you guys will ever know and I pray that God blesses you immensely.

I want to leave you with a song that I’m currently listening to: My Revival by Lauren Daigle

I will run and not grow weary
I will walk, I will not faint
I will soar on wings like eagles
Find my rest in Your everlasting name

My first guests!

Hi guys!! I’m so sorry that it’s been so long that I’ve written a post! 😦 I promise that writing more blogs is something that is a goal of mine and that I’m committing to do more often.

So a few weeks ago I had 3 of my very close girl friends come to Belize to visit me! 🙂  They were my very first visitors since living here. Although I was super excited for them to come I didn’t expect it to effect me as much as it did. It really was so impactful and powerful for them to visit me and for them to get to see a little piece of my life here. It’s like when you have something so precious and dear to you and you want to show other people, you can talk about or show pictures of it all you want, but somethings just have to be experienced.

I read this quote the other day and it really resonated with me:The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley

Each of us are on our own journey’s with God, and I love that no matter where you are, when you have great friends to love and support you it makes life so much more rich and beautiful!

I am so thankful for these amazing girls and the love, support and encouragement they bring into my life! Not only did they get to come and experience a piece of my life here in Belize and what I’m doing with YWAM, but they got to bless me and a few staff with spending a day at this gorgeous resort that they were staying at. For a day, we got to get spoiled and got to have a mini vacation. It was much needed.. to rest, relax, and just have some pure child-like fun in the sun!

Here is a fun little montage I made with all the pictures and videos I took while there where here

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The First.

First.


When I think of that word so many thoughts come to mind; a beginning, a start, a blank page, no experience, a sense of freshness, maybe some fear, the unknown, a willingness to learn.

Today is the first day of the first month of 2015 and I wanted to share all the amazing things that God has taught me and even share some of the real and hard things that happened in my first season as a staff member at YWAM DP.

There is so much to say and I figured that a picture says a thousand words, using a few pictures to describe these past few months is appropriate. 🙂


So this season started out with me having the opportunity to spend 12 hours listening to 26 new amazing students give their testimony and be apart of their first steps to freedom! God showed me again that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what your past is, no matter the mistake, the shame, fear or sin, He is there with open arms ready to heal, bring life and so much freedom!

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Had so many powerful times of worship that were overflowing with His presence!

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I got to see students walk in their new names and identity in Christ! It was so amazing to see the physical changes that happened in a student when they received freedom! They’re faces shined brighter, they stood taller, they’re whole demeanor changed and you can physically see such sweet beauty and freedom!

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One of my favorite things that happened in this season was seeing people give their life to Christ and choosing to get baptized. I saw for the first time that a baptism is the first and most beautiful wedding of your life. It was beautiful to see the declaration and public commitment that they made to choose to be in relationship with Jesus forever.

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There were also days that weren’t so easy. Days full of tearful goodbyes. Being here, things get deep fast, relationships that you’ve had for 1,2,3 or even 10 months have a strong bond and I learned that change and goodbyes are a very hard part of living in community.

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Finding out that my roommate and sweet friend that is on her way to co-lead an outreach to Ethiopia is now in the ICU, broke my heart. I have days where my faith is low and I feel weak; and even in those days I see Him, His love for us, His grace, I see His hand working in everything. Seeing how we go from sitting around a dinner table laughing and talking to transitioning into let’s pray right now for Jaymie because we just got a call that she’s in the hospital. Seeing the unity and fact that I live in a community of people that are willing to stop everything they are doing to pray and intercess for one another, blows my mind.

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Days where when I needed a hug, God brought amazing friends to hold on to. Friendships that will be lifelong and go into eternity.

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God did some amazing things with the guys group (aka Ferda) They learned to love, serve and treat women in a Godly way. To see these men step up and grow in who God created men to be in a world of broken men that are influenced daily to de-value women, was refreshing and powerful!

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God spoke and speaks to me so much through His amazing creation and nature. I got to see some of the most beautiful sunsets, sunny bright days, waters that were the most amazing shades of blues and turquoise. I love the way God paints the sky! These things are somethings I will never take for granted living here.

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These faces! God has shown me His face in all of these people. He’s taught me a little more every day about who He is and His character through His people.

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It’s really hard to fully describe everything that has happened in my life in these past months with out writing a book. It has been such a beautiful season, though not perfect and difficult at times, I have been continuing to learn, grow and serve in such a cool way with so many amazing people around me. I can’t believe how quickly these months have gone by and I realized that our lives here change every 3 months with a new school and new group of people that want to Know God and Make Him Known. So I am excited for the next season and ready to see what He has in store!

I feel like this verse has been a verse that has really been a theme of this season for me:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 

-Romans 12:9-13

Where am I and what am I doing?

That is the question that many of you are wondering, even the ones that know might still be wondering “what is she really doing and what is YWAM? Why is she on a beach? Is she on vacation? Is she getting paid to be there?”

I started this blog because I want to keep my friends and family updated with what I’m doing and what is happening in my life.  I’m not a “blogger” and sometimes I say things really backwards or funny, and I talk a lot (my family can attest)  so I am warning you now.. These blogs may not always sound cool or eloquent but I want to share my heart and my journey with you, so read at your own risk. 🙂
So, many of you know but if not here goes…

In April I decided to make a life changing decision to do a DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) – I know tons of acronyms!- My DTS was absolutely amazing! I received healing, freedom and SO much joy and my relationship with Jesus became REAL and solid! During it I felt God tell me there was more He wanted for me and it was not time to go back home for good yet. I had plans to go home and get back to “normal life” but His plans are so much better and I decided to continue to pray about it and see what happens.

I felt that God kept telling me to trust Him, that was a huge theme during this whole process. I felt like at my age I had already given up so much to come and spend 5 months away from distractions to get closer to God, so in my mind there was SO much to lose if I choose to come back to Staff here. I would not be close to my family (which most of you know how close we are), I wouldn’t have a regular money making job (I’ve worked since I was 17), I would leave everything & everyone I knew, etc… Needless to say this was a hard decision, but again God kept telling me to trust Him and He would provide and make things work out. Many prayers later and tons of confirmation I knew I needed to come back to YWAM Destination Paradise and join Staff and then do a secondary school called Foundations In Counseling Ministries which starts in July 2015. As a staff member I am the school registrar that takes all incoming emails, inquiries and student applications, interviews, and accept students into schools. This role is so much more than that though, I get to be the “front door greeter” I get to encourage these awesome students, pray for them, help them take the first step of faith to trust and believe that God can and will do amazing things during this time if they allow it and step out.

I could go on for pages and pages explaining these past few months but let’s be honest most people don’t want to read that much and you’re probably already tired of reading, so I’m going to try to wrap it up in a few more sentences. So to answer the questions everyone is probably asking; Yes, I do live on a beautiful beach in Belize, and No I’m not getting paid to be here. It may be hard for people to understand the fact that I am living as a “missionary” while I’m in this gorgeous place, but don’t let the location fool you, we still are a community of people seeking after Jesus and helping to bring young adults to an amazing place of freedom and healing. We work hard, pray hard, cry tons, love much, serve, and learning right along side of this awesome community!

So, yes my blog is called Trusting and Belizing 🙂 It might be cheesy but I don’t care. This is a season that God is asking me to truly Trust and Believe in what He is doing and what His awesome plans are for my life while getting to experience His beautiful creation on this awesome island of San Pedro, Belize.

 

Love you all and thanks for reading!!

-Stef

Here is a short video that gives you some more info on what YWAM is