SEPTEMBER 2020

Hello again!

September was a month of transition wrapping up my work in the Missions Engagement Department at the base and stepping into a new role staffing the Fall Discipleship Training School (DTS)! 

Schedule wise, September was an “unconventional” month and flew by faster than any other month here so far. It was filled with a new sense of hope for the rest of 2020. And some much needed rest, fun, and family time.


CAMPUS MINISTRY

On September 29, YWAM Orlando started our “Fall Quarter.” The base operates on a quarterly schedule with schools and each quarter is when staff may get placed in a new role. I wrapped up my work in the Missions Engagement Department early in the month; which was bittersweet. I love the heart behind this department and, while the work was not always the most fun or engaging during the time I was working in it, I am excited for what is to come through that department this fall!

Through phone calls to youth groups and pastors that we made over the summer, we were able to schedule 5 events for youth groups for this fall.  At these events some of our staff will go and share about missions opportunities and YWAM with young people!


For this next quarter I transitioned into staffing the Fall DTS – the “All Cities” Discipleship Training School. We have 39 students enrolled and it is truly an honor to walk alongside them with 7 other staff members.

The couple leading this school felt that the focus of this specific DTS is to reach cities in our state (Orlando and Miami), country (New York City), and the nations (Brazil) through sharing the gospel with the lost and calling people into missions. While all outreach plans are still being held open handed (thanks, covid), the hope is to send half the school to NYC and the other half to Miami for 10 days in December and then go as an entire school to Brazil in January and February!

I have so much excitement for what God is going to do in this school not only for our students who were so brave in obeying the call to missions in the midst of the wild year it’s been, but also for my personal life in working with this school.

It has been exactly 6 years since my DTS in Kona, and I have a lot of emotions thinking about how much the Lord has done in my life since that time. I honestly feel like a different person! Six years ago I was a timid, sometimes insecure, yet hopeful and hungry to grow, 19 year-old who had no idea the adventure that was to come when surrendering your life completely to Jesus. Six years ago was my first time in New York City, and the first time God captured my heart for a place like never before.

Ever since my first outreach in New York during my DTS God has gripped my heart for cities, and specifically that city. I cannot believe that I have been able to go on ministry trips there (and fashion week ministry at that!) 6 times since my DTS.  When I was there this past February God spoke to me through the book of Jonah.

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Ninevah and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Ninevah. Now Ninevah was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.” (3:13)

When I read this sitting in a coffee shop in Manhattan, a small voice whispered in my head, “What if the entire city of New York could be reached in 3 days? What if there was a flood of missionaries in the city over the course of three days that culminated in a big gathering where the gospel is preached?”

This felt like an audacious thought to me, but I knew it was not something I could have made up and I made a point to write “NYC, 2/7/20” in my Bible next to the passage.  Other than praying for the city throughout the rest of the year, the thought of sending a YWAM team to New York wasn’t something that crossed my mind.

Fast forward to the summer months, when I expressed to leadership here my desire to staff the Fall DTS. I had no idea that NYC was going to be one of the places we would go to do outreach. 

It was not until a staff meeting in late summer where the DTS leaders shared about the school and how some of their vision for this DTS came from the story of Jonah reaching the city of Ninevah. And then followed that with the dream to send some of the school to New York City. Praise God for clear confirmations!

In addition to the portion of our NYC outreach, there are many other reasons I am anticipating God to do incredible things in this school.  The last few months have been some really tough ones for me, and honestly, I feel pretty battered and weak in ways. But this is what makes me so expectant for God to do incredible things. I have been growing in the revelation that God’s power really is perfected in our weaknesses. His grace really is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) The weakness that I am recognizing in myself is the greatest opportunity to tap into God’s power, to let Him and Him alone be sufficient for me, and to be the greatest leader through me.

From being in this place emotionally and spiritually is where I believe God has been equipping me to lead these students well.  Feeling beat up and weak is not me saying, “Poor me,” but rather it’s recognizing God really has equipped me to lead – and I must continue to rely on His equipping alone. I look forward to and anticipate growing in leadership and intimacy with God like never before.


OTHER NEWS

As I mentioned at the beginning of this update, September had some really sweet, fun family moments! Every year YWAM Orlando staff have 4 days dedicated to training followed by 4 days of “staff retreat” at Panama City Beach. During this week I got to grow my relationship with leadership and other staff members.  Let me remind you that, since joining staff, I have spent many months operating under social distancing regulations. I am so grateful to work under and alongside such incredible Godly leaders. I really value this community that feels like a family!

Another amazing family moment I got to take part in this month was my sister’s wedding! It was so special to be her maid of honor and spend some time in Tennessee celebrating her and my new brother-in-law.

I truly felt the kindness of God through these fun and refreshing times at the end of a hard few months!

The last quick update I’ll share is that the apartment that I had applied for with a few other girls fell through. While the process has been a bit frustrating and a lot of work and money put into the application, we are trusting that it is all in God’s hands. We prayed a lot throughout the entire process, did all we could from our end, and now just have to trust that God is closing the door for a reason; even though we don’t see it at the moment! I have peace over my current living situation (in a campus dorm with three other girls) and know that I am going to be busy with the DTS and outreach. So seeking off-campus housing will be put on the back burner for now.


HOW YOU CAN PARTNER  
PRAY – Energy and wisdom when leading and discipling students.
– Favor with our outreaches, that we will all be healthy and able to go to the locations that we are planning for.
– Rest (and knowing how to rest well in this season) 🙂  
GIVE – YWAM Staff account (CLICK HERE)
– PayPal: clbaker04@gmail.com
– Venmo: CassL-Baker

Thank you, as always, for being my family and support. Hope this next month is full of good things for you and your family! Would love to hear how you’re doing and how I can be praying for you.

Blessings, Cassie

August 2020

Hello again!

Hope this finds you doing well as we officially enter into the fall months

CAMPUS MINISTRY

My role in the Missions Engagement department this past month has been a lot of phone calls to pastors and youth leaders setting up events for this fall. The goal in doing events at churches is to get face to face with young people and call them to missions.

While making phone calls has not been the most exciting work, the vision for calling more young people into the mission field drives me.  When I first considered joining YWAM, it was hearing from others in missions with YWAM that was instrumental in my decision.

We are in an opportune time in our nation to be active with our faith as followers of Jesus.  I believe so much in the next generation and believe that they have incredible potential to shift culture if they are empowered to do so.

Within the last month we have scheduled 5 events with youth groups for this fall. A team from YWAM will go to the youth gathering, share a message and testimonies, and call students to live missionally where they are or with YWAM.

LOCAL MINISTRY

My friend and fellow staff member Bailey and I have continued our Friday morning downtown ministry.  We drive around a specific area of the city and pray. This past month we brought popsicles to share with the people there.

We have seen some really hard things, haven’t witnessed much breakthrough, and feel really small – just two girls with popsicles and prayer. But this has become one of my favorite times of the week. We have to keep striking the ground. We don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers and principalities. And every prayer offered, popsicle shared and scripture read aloud is an arrow shot into the spiritual atmosphere.

OTHER NEWS

I am excited to share that I am planning on moving into an apartment at the beginning of next month with two good friends who are also on staff with YWAM Orlando!

I am so grateful to have lived at the YWAM campus for my first months here, but moving off the campus has been a desire of mine for a while now.  I believe there will be great ministry opportunities living in the greater community of Orlando and having neighbors outside of our YWAM family. Another bonus of having an apartment is that I will have a space where I can host people. I envision inviting students over for small group, welcoming people that I meet outside of our YWAM community, and providing a restful place for other YWAM staff.

I say I am “planning on” moving because we are still in the process of getting approved for the apartment. It is a low-income housing complex so there is a lot of paperwork that we’ve had to submit in order to get approved. Our income is within the guidelines to qualify for low-income housing and this place is the most affordable and possible option that is located reasonably near our YWAM base!

The three of us girls that will make up the household really believe this is a place God wants us to be and are praying that the doors will be completely opened for this to happen!

HOW YOU CAN PARTNER

PRAY

  • Favor with the apartment and that we would be completely approved.
  • Continued motivation and zeal to finish out my last few weeks in the missions engagement department well.
  • Incoming fall students (currently there are 57 students signed up for the fall Discipleship Training School! Pray that nothing hinders them from getting here!)

GIVE

Thank you, as always, for being my family and support. Would love to hear how you’re doing and how I can be praying for you! 

Blessings, Cassie

July 2020

July has been a weird month. (But, honestly feel like I could say that about every month since March!)

Last month our YWAM base had started to gather together again for worship (socially distanced in an outdoor space), share meals together in small table groups, and return to somewhat “normal.”

However, because of the rise of coronavirus cases in Florida, we went back to stricter guidelines on the YWAM base this past month. 

July has been another round of navigating disappointment and grief, slowing down and adjusting.  Through it all, the question persists, “How do we prepare for what’s next?” If there’s one thing 2020 has taught all of us, it’s that sometimes we really can’t prepare for what’s next!

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Since having no choice but to ‘slow down,’ one sweet lesson I’ve taken away from this season is not taking the beauty around me for granted. The lake pictured above has been my favorite spot to catch the sunset and spend time talking to God.

CAMPUS MINISTRY

Part of the disappointment and adjustment that I’ve been processing this last month is a change in my work at the base.  My team was planning to host Launch Event in August, an event for young adults here at YWAM Orlando. That event has now been postponed until spring of 2021.

I have so much peace that God has great purposes for the Launch Event and there will be even greater fruit to come next year. Even though we are not able to host the event in person, we are still planning on doing a webinar with the students who had registered.

My work in the Missions Engagement department has transitioned from planning for the event and writing devotionals to now preparing for the fall. For the next few months I’ll be calling churches and schools to set up events for YWAM Orlando to go and present mission opportunities to students. In the past I have seen the Lord do amazing things in public schools and high school youth groups and those experiences have been fuel to the fire to make these phone calls and set up events! Though it has been a transition in the focus of my work, it has been incredible to see God continue to weave my past experiences into my current ministry work. He writes such a greater story than we could ever imagine!

 

LOCAL MINISTRY

Another way I have experienced God’s kindness in the midst of this changing season is having some more time in my schedule to pursue ministry opportunities that have been on my heart for a while.

More and more God has been speaking to me about what it looks like to love our neighbors. Jesus was intentional about not just hanging around people he was comfortable with.  He ate meals with the tax collectors and prostitutes, with the Pharisees and religious leaders, as well as with family and friends.

Since downtown evangelism with students has been postponed at our base right now because of the virus, I have felt a tension and longing to be around people who are different than me, people who don’t know Jesus, and people who maybe just need a friend.

I have been processing a healthy conviction that if I am a missionary, I should regularly be among people who don’t know Jesus.  (To clarify: I don’t want to sound cynical about living and working on the YWAM base.  It is a huge blessing and a great community to thrive and grow in. I believe it is God’s purpose for me to live here right now!)

That being said, with less work to do in Missions Engagement, I have been able to schedule time to go downtown Orlando with another staff member for local ministry. Once a week we have been doing a “prayer drive” around one of the notoriously rougher parts of Orlando, then hitting up a coffee shop and reading scripture at a popular park in the heart of the city, handing out granola bars and praying for people as God leads.

It feels like a really small and simple “yes” to the Lord right now, and I wrestle with the question “is this really making a difference?” But I am taking Jesus at his word in Matthew 13:31-32:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Creating time in my week to be present with my neighbors in some of the hardest places in the city, to pray, to read out the Word of God, to give out a granola bar – these are the tiny mustard seeds that God has placed in my hands. I want to be faithful in planting these seeds and trusting that He is the God that does more than we could ask or imagine. Believing that these small seeds will produce life and fruit.

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My friend Bailey and I in the heat of downtown Orlando, on our way to the park to read scripture!

 

HOW YOU CAN PARTNER

Pray:

  • Favor with churches and schools as we plan missions engagement events with students this fall.
  • Creative strategy for local ministry and insight into how God wants to specifically touch people in Orlando.
  • Salvations in Orlando!
  • Wisdom with upcoming decisions in my personal life.

Give:

THANK YOU, as always, for being my family and support. Would love to hear how you’re doing and how I can be praying for you! 

Blessings, Cassie

June Update

Hope this finds you doing well and enjoying the summertime!

CAMPUS MINISTRY

Last time I shared about an event I have been planning with my department. A lot of work has happened over the last month and it’s been so rewarding to see the registration officially open and students begin to register for the event!

August 10-14th we are hosting Launch Event at the YWAM base here in Orlando! Launch Event is a 5-day activation experience to call young adults into a missional lifestyle.

Find out more info about it here: https://info.ywamorlando.com/launch

The event will consist of teaching on reaching communities and campuses with the Gospel, training on leading Bible groups, and “Passion Sessions” where students will be able to combine their faith with unique passions and giftings.

As promotion for the Launch Event, we released a “Guide to Effective Evangelism” e-book that I co-wrote with another staff member. Click the picture below to access the full ebook!

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It has been an unexpected blessing to be able to write as a part of my work. I have always liked writing and felt that the Lord had further purpose for my writing, and last month two writing projects were dropped in my lap!

The second writing project that I have been working on is creating a devotional book for the Launch Event. In many ways, I do not feel equipped or qualified to be a “writer” of these guides and manuals. However, being challenged in my writing has led me to be more dependent on the Lord in this work and, I believe, continued to refine my writing skills. (The devotional book is not yet completed in the editing process, but I will share this too when it is finished!)

 

DOWNTOWN MINISTRY

Another one of my roles on staff is serving as an “outreach host” for local ministry. Each week staff and students engage in local ministry.  Many of our local ministry partnerships have been put on hold because of coronavirus restrictions, but as Florida has been reopening we are slowly able to resume local ministry.

I, along with two other staff members, are the outreach hosts for downtown evangelism on Friday nights.  Every Friday a rotating group of students and staff go to downtown Orlando to evangelize in the busiest areas of the city.

Since being on staff I have only been able to attend one of these Friday nights, but it was an incredible night. This particular Friday night there were over 30 YWAM students and staff that went downtown and God was faithful to move in Orlando!

In one night this group of students/staff reported: 

– 54 people prayed for

– 2 healings

– 4 practical needs met

– 6 salvations!

I was blown away and so encouraged at the end of the night to hear all that the Spirit of God did! There is no doubt that people are so hungry for truth and hope in the midst of these wild times. We believe that the harvest for people coming to know Jesus is ripe here in Orlando, and we are signing up to be harvesters that will go into the field!

Unfortunately, due to the increasing cases of coronavirus in Florida, there have been some new restrictions put in place and local ministry is going back on pause for the time being.

Yet, despite the inability to actually go downtown, we will continue to war in prayer over the city.  Every Monday night some friends and I have been spending an hour in prayer for these evangelism times for the city of Orlando.

God has been teaching me the importance of doing everything from a place of prayer first. I don’t want to move or act before seeking the Lord in prayer. The only way our actions have any real power is through the Spirit of God, and prayer is the gateway to welcoming and knowing the Holy Spirit. Despite what feels like setback after setback in these crazy times of continued social distancing, I continue to believe in faith that God is working something greater than we can imagine.  Now more than ever we need to be a praying Church calling on the name of the Almighty God!

 

OTHER NEWS

This past weekend I flew home to Michigan for a quick trip to celebrate my sister, Kayleigh’s, engagement with family and friends!  It was such a blessing to be able to make the trip and I am so grateful for the kindness of God to give me sweet gifts like this weekend.

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HOW YOU CAN PARTNER

Through the summer my work on the YWAM base will continue to be filled with planning for the Launch Event and local outreach in Orlando.

Partner with me in praying for:

  • Young adults and college students to attend the Launch Event.
  • Wisdom in leading and facilitating the event.
  • Continued growth in inviting God into every aspect of my work.
  • Revival in the city of Orlando and our nation.
  • Protection and health over the YWAM campus and community.

 

Partner with me financially:

YWAM staff account: (CLICK HERE)

PayPal: clbaker04@gmail.com

Venmo: CassL-Baker

 

Thank you more than I can say – for supporting, loving me well, and encouraging me! Having peace that I am where God wants me to be is confirmed through all of your support and prayers over me.

❤ Cassie

Orlando bound – it’s a new season

Hello and happy Monday!

I want to keep you updated on the exciting changes happening in my life this week!

The past few months I have been living in Grand Rapids, preparing to move back to Orlando to join staff with Youth With a Mission.  Despite the monotony of the quarantined days of April, this time absolutely flew by.

A “stay at home” order for the two and half months being back in Michigan was unlike anything I could have anticipated.  In all honesty, I had some bad attitude moments toward the whole situation.  Complaint, bitterness, self-pity all crept in at times. Yuck. Thank God for his grace, steadfastness, and forgiveness.

In the midst of getting over myself and my narrow view on the corona virus situation, there have also been so many sweet, tender moments in the presence of Jesus.  Through grief, confusion, and slowness, God has been more near to me the last two and half months than I could have anticipated.

Giving God glory for the things He has done over this time of quarantine!! Just to name a few…

  • provided for all my financial need to join staff with YWAM as a full-time missionary
  • strengthened friendships
  • increased my heart for prayer and intercession
  • time with family
  • needed physical rest and healing

In addition, I believe I am only beginning to see the ways that God has matured and refined me in such a short period of time.

I feel so ready, (at least as ready as I can be!), to step into the next season God has called me to.

Next Monday will officially begin my time on staff with YWAM Orlando.  Through the spring and summer I will be working in the Missions Engagement Department at the base.  This will include contacting churches and youth pastors to inform them about opportunities for youth that YWAM Orlando offers, planning events, and coming alongside the vision for this department to grow.  (This is still a fairly new department for YWAM Orlando so there is an exciting aspect of pioneering and working alongside incredible leaders).  I am truly honored and humbled that to be a part of what God is doing at YWAM Orlando, and the bigger picture of taking the gospel to all nations.

As the state of Florida is beginning to re-open, YWAM is able to move forward with running schools starting May 18.  Though things will look different than before, I am excited to see how God strengthens the community with students that I believe have been hand-picked by Him for such a time as this.

In preparation for a big move and life change this week, I would love prayer for the transition.

  • peace and clarity of mind in a new role
  • comfort in leaving deep friendships here in Michigan
  • release of my expectations and an openness to what the Spirit wants to do
  • safe travels! (road-tripping down on Wednesday J )

THANK YOU for always praying, supporting, loving, and cheering for me.  I do not mean it lightly when I say that my friends and family are a gift from God.

Thank you for showing me the kindness of the Father and doing your part to see His Kingdom come.

In this with you and for you.

Much love, Cassie

staying steadfast in sadness

It’s ok to feel sad. God gave us emotions; it’s human, its normal. I believe our ability to feel reflects the heart of God. Jesus wept over loss, over confusion, over the heartache he had to face as a man. God is the most compassionate being and you can’t have compassion without feeling.

But sadness…it’s an emotion that is a result of living in a sinful world. Not something God ever intended us to feel.

It can be consuming. Sometimes sadness feels like you’re being swallowed up by a heavy wet blanket and you kind of want to just stay there underneath the weight of it because it’s hard to remember what it felt like without the weight. It’s hard to remember the freedom and movement you felt before the brokenness that caused that heavy, wet blanket to settle on you.

But, over time, if you shine Light and warmth on that wet blanket it starts to dry out. It starts to get lighter, and a little crusty, and you start to peel back the edges and feel the warmth of the Light.

From previous times having to fight the settling of sadness, I find it best to start with getting that heavy wet blanket off my face. It’s suffocating and dark and cold. Look right into the Light. It’s blinding, but oh sooo beautiful, and when you look fully into the Light it blasts away every inch of that heavy wet blanket and you experience a warmth and freedom unlike anything else before.

Then let the Light hit you right in the heart. Where that heavy sadness has settled onto your chest making it hard to breath and move forward. Let the Light shine on that heaviness on your heart and dry out every drop of that wet blanket until it just blows off of you, like a stray piece of trash blowing in a warm breeze at a sunny picnic.

Open up your heart to the Light. It’s not like the heavy and cold blanket you are guarding yourself against. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s life giving and reveals the most precious parts of your heart that you didn’t even know existed! It’s like having a superpower tapping into the creation that you are called to be and waking you up to that reality.

I wish I could stop heavy wet sadness blankets from ever settling onto people. But, I can’t. Shocking…I know.

The reality is, we’ll probably have these blankets laid on us many times over in our lives. Some will be heavier and colder and darker than others.

But, the reality also is that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5).

The wet blanket of sadness (that will come), will not kill you. It will not suffocate you. You will come out from underneath it.

The Light drives out the darkness. And the Light is ever shining on you. The Light is a man that gave up his life to obliterate every heavy, dark, suffocating effect of sin.

He loves you. And His love is perfect. He is for you.

lessons from the prison

Lessons from the prison (or in our case, quarantine).

I don’t want to over dramatize what we are going through in our nation right now.  My personal situation – quarantined in a home with more than enough food (and toilet paper phew), internet, a cell phone, etc. etc. – pales extremely in comparison to prison and the hardships that many people are facing around the world today.

I am fortunate and blessed.  Daily learning to change my perspective to gratitude and humility.

That said, one thing I am so grateful for in this season is the extended time I have had to spend in God’s presence. I sure don’t like the difficult moments, but I love how God speaks in the midst of them.  It’s amazing what we’ll hear when we actually slow down and listen to Holy Spirit.  He loves to talk to us.

The last week or so, Holy Spirit reminded me of the story of Joseph, specifically when he was unjustly put in prison.

If you don’t know Joseph’s story, read it in Genesis 37-47.  It’s honestly incredible. Hollywood couldn’t come up with something that wild, and it actually happened!

In Genesis 39, Joseph was, at this point in his life, in charge of the household of Pharaoh’s captain of the guard.  He “prospered” and “the Lord gave him success in everything he did” (Gen. 39:2-3).  But, this quickly changes when he is falsely accused of raping the captain of the guard’s wife and he is immediately thrown in prison.

I can only imagine the frustration, confusion, and helplessness Joseph must have felt.

Joseph didn’t know how long he was going to be in prison. And the story doesn’t explicitly say how long he was there (it’s speculated that it was 10-11 years!)

But the story does give some insight into what God was doing in this “prison season.”

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there” (39:20-22).

Even in prison, God was with him.

What can we take away from Joseph’s imprisonment in light of our current situation?

  1. Joseph had favor, and responsibilities/leadership over other prisoners.

Who/what are we responsible for in our own lives right now?

First of all, ourselves.  How are we taking initiative in our relationship with God? What is our perspective and attitude?

Secondly, our neighbors and family members. There’s a lot we can’t do right now, but we can be praying for them, reaching out to them, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. (Galatians 5:22-23).

Also, as followers of Jesus, we have the burden of the nations. We can pray for a global redemption and revival as this crisis is impacting the world. (Psalm 2:8, Matthew 28:18-19, Revelation 7:9).

  1. Another lesson God’s been speaking to me through this story is patience.

 Joseph didn’t know how long he was going to be in prison. This could have caused deep hopelessness and anxiety.

When he interpreted the dream of the cupbearer and the baker, he most likely thought he was going to be freed after the cupbearer was restored to his position. But the cupbearer forgot Joseph and his time in prison continued.  (Gen. 40). Gosh I sure don’t like to hear this part of the story. I wonder what Joseph felt in that time.  Disappointment? Abandonment?

I came across this quote I had written in my notes a while back, and it speaks about patience in a much more timely and eloquent way than I can,

“The singular mark of patience is not endurance or fortitude but hope.  To be impatient…is to live without hope. Patience is grounded in the Resurrection. It is life oriented toward a future that is God’s doing, and its sign is longing, not so much to be released from the ills of the present, but in anticipation of the good to come.” – Robert Wilken.

If you are like me, your patience has been tested in this season.  (And oh boy, we are only into day two of full quarantine…)

But there is so much hope. Praise God that the story is not finished.  The Resurrection and the story of the entire Bible continually reveal that God always redeems.  Death, despair, and imprisonment is never the end of the story for God’s children.

Let’s live in “anticipation of the good to come.”

  1. Lastly, something the Lord highlighted to me about Joseph’s time in prison is his humility.

 Sometime after interpreting the cupbearers dream by the power of God, Joseph was called upon to interpret a dream that Pharaoh had.

Despite remaining in prison all those years, Joseph acted in humility, acknowledging that he could not interpret the dream by his own power, but only with the help of the Lord:

“’I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Genesis 40:16.

In our present situation, a microscopic germ is crippling the whole world. What an opportune time to bring a humility reality check to mankind. My prayer is that (starting with myself!) we would humble ourselves before God and recognize that there is nothing we can do without Him. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

At the end of Joseph’s imprisonment story, God’s power was what set Joseph free.

This is the happy part of the story we all like to hear. Pharaoh dresses Joseph in nice robes and a gold chain and parades him around the nation. How sweet that freedom must have felt to Joseph.  And not simply freedom, but abundance and honor. (Gen. 41:44-46).

The story goes on to be one of forgiveness, redemption, and restoration.

From a human perspective, no one could have predicted this end of the story.

But from the perspective of the sovereign God of the universe…who sees and loves his children, who is not in a rush, and who is the greatest story teller of all time…the prison moment was essential to the bigger picture.

We may not know why we are in this current “prison” season or how long this will last. But God knows, and that has to be enough for us. I believe that this is a season of preparation for a greater redemption story than we could have imagined.  And that this season of “prison” is going to usher in one of the greatest revivals this world has seen.

Let us not grow passive with ourselves, family, friends, and neighbors.  Let us remain patient, and full of faith.  And let us pray in humility, crying out to our loving and all-powerful Father who knows the end of the story.

personal COVID-19 response

Resurrection only comes after death…

The Lord spoke this so clearly to me this morning as I was spending time with Him and asking questions in the midst of confusion and disappointment with what is happening in our world right now.

Resurrection only comes after death.

Though our world is going through a period of death – sickness, loss, fear (all things the enemy will use to steal, kill, and destroy) – I have so much faith that God is going to bring a great revival out of this.  What the enemy has intended for evil, God will work for good.

With Easter being three weeks from this Sunday what amazing timing to see church doors reopened.  People’s hearts will be so ripe to receive the message of resurrection – the simple gospel.

I am believing that this Easter there will be more salvations in America on one day than ever before! Eyes will be opened to the life offered in Jesus Christ, and the reality that we do not live for our time on this earth.

Yet, we are still in the season of death. We are not over this yet. But, until Jesus comes back we will never be over “this.”  The coronavirus will come to pass, but sin and brokenness and schemes of evil will be here until the day Jesus comes back.

BUT the good news – He is still victorious. In fact, He tells us to take heart because he has overcome these things (John 16:33). However, in the meantime, that doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge the mess or don’t feel the pain.

So, what do we do in the midst of the mess?

I have been asking God “what can I do?”  I want to help! I want to see transformation come out of this!

The first step and response I know to do right now is pray.  God is sovereign.  He isn’t shaken by this.  He is in control.  As his children we must trust that our good Father sees everything that is going on, and we can ask him in faith to cease sickness, to shift fear to faith, and turn sorrow to joy!  He is a good Father and answers our cry to Him.

The second thing I know to do at the moment is to speak hope – the hope we have in Jesus. If you are reading this and you do not know Jesus as your savior, please please reach out.  The greatest thing we could ever do in a time like this is point people to true healing, true security, true life.  Jesus is that and so much more.  He is everything.

Lastly, if you have needs

  • tangible (food, supplies, etc.)/financial need
  • childcare
  • OR want prayer

PLEASE reach out to me!!

Keep praising God in this time of death.  Keep believing that He is good and in control.  And keep praying until the resurrection and revival come.

Resurrection is coming.

Love you fam. ❤

Miami to New York to Orlando – February Testimonies!

Testimony time!

Wanted to share a few highlights and testimonies from this past month! It’s been my favorite one in 2020 so far. 😉

This month I went from doing ministry at the Super Bowl in Miami, to fashion week in New York City, back to Orlando to wrap up my last week of outreach in my School of Ministry Development.  February has absolutely flown by, but it has been so much fun and so life-giving for me.

Miami:

As a part of outreach, my team went to Miami the weekend of the Super Bowl to evangelize and raise awareness for human-trafficking. The day before the game there was a big party at the beach.  It was a heavy environment of people seeking belonging through their status, image, and temporary pleasures. The chaos and emptiness of the party was a stark contrast to the natural beauty and vastness of the ocean right behind it.  I took a moment away from where the party was happening to walk to the water’s edge and breath in the presence of God. In that moment, God reminded me that we get to literally carry His presence into the dark and chaotic environments in the world.  We are called to be on mission, to be carriers of the Holy Spirit, wherever we are.  Anywhere we go in this world (whether it’s our own neighborhoods or the other side of the world) there is darkness, there is emptiness, there are people seeking the love of God.

This isn’t a testimony of one wild encounter or transformation, but a testimony to the lifestyle we are called to constantly live.  A lifestyle where the wild encounters and transformations come as a result.  God gave me deeper revelation on our call as followers of Jesus to plant and scatter seeds of his love everywhere we go. As our team walked around the outside of where the party was happening – praying over the environment, sharing the gospel, and handing out cards to connect people to the local church – I know there were many seeds scattered. Through simple obedience, whether we plant, water, or harvest the seed, we can trust that God is the one who makes it grow.  Coming out of this moment in Miami, I have even more faith for America.  More faith that as we live a life constantly on mission and scattering the seeds in our grocery stores, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, etc., we will see the faithfulness of God to bring about growth for the harvest.

The night before the game our team went to South Beach to pass out booklets that raise awareness of the human-trafficking that happens at large events like the Super Bowl. As we were walking around I noticed a young woman with an older man, and without going into too much detail, it didn’t look like the best or safest situation for her. I really wanted to talk to the woman but didn’t feel right approaching her while she was with the man.  Later in the evening I, along with a few friends, stopped into a coffee shop and moments later the young woman and the man came inside. The man headed to the bathroom as she sat at a table by herself and I knew this was a divine moment to go and have a conversation with her. It was a simple conversation where I got to share with her what we were doing and tell her that God really wanted her to know that her life has so much value.  When I asked if I could pray for her she said yes and asked if I would pray specifically that she would know her life has value.  As soon as I wrapped up praying for her the man came over to the table and I knew it was my time to go. I couldn’t shake the moment I had with this young woman who may have never had anyone look her in the eyes and tell her how valuable she is.  I left this moment (and entire weekend in Miami) in awe of God’s pursuit of every single person and how He uses our seemingly small and simple obedience for moments like these.

 

New York:

The theme of simple obedience and the absolute joy of experiencing God through speaking into the lives of women continued to amaze me at fashion week in New York City!  I joined a team of 13 women with Models for Christ for outreach at fashion week.  As a team we volunteered at a total of 22 shows throughout the week.  The thought that 22 New York runway fashion shows have women backstage interceding over the industry and carrying the presence of God into these places is crazy to me! Every season I walk away with a greater awe of His love for every sphere of society and the ground that is being taken for the Kingdom in the fashion industry.

This season was especially redemptive for me as it was exactly 5 years from the time I first did fashion week outreach as a part of the Discipleship Training School with YWAM Kona.  That was a tough season in my life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  To be back in New York, doing the same outreach with YWAM, and coming SO far in my health on many levels is a testimony to God’s kindness and goodness. One of the main things He showed me on this outreach is that the best kind of growth happens over time.  Growth in my personal life and growth in the believers in the fashion industry.

We live in a culture where we love instant.  We desire instant growth and instant change.  But, instant can be short lived and artificial.  The breakthrough I experienced on a personal level over the last five years, and the breakthrough I got to witness in the fashion industry and the outreach with Models for Christ, demonstrates the power of persistent prayer and God’s perfect timing and constant faithfulness.  I am encouraged to keep dreaming, keep pressing in to His love, keep pressing in to more growth for the next five years, ten years, and the rest of my life!

Feeling very grateful for moments like this where we can look back and see that all along God was consistent and developing something so beautiful.

 

Orlando:

This week is the final week of my School of Ministry Development in Orlando!  Over the weekend all of the outreach teams have come back to campus and we will spend the week debriefing as an entire school and celebrating all that God did.

I am so grateful that I stayed local for outreach.  Through our times evangelizing on college campuses, serving the YWAM base, and weekly visits to nursing homes, I have continued to learn in this season that true love is often inconvenient and un-glamourous.  Truly loving others means fighting for them, but also sitting with people where they are. Truly loving means laughing with one another and at times crying with one another. Truly loving means being okay with remaining unseen by others and making sure that others know that they are seen.

Throughout this outreach on campus, I have gained more revelation on Paul’s description of God’s love in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I am more in love with Jesus than ever before, and that makes this entire season worth every second.

Regarding what’s next…I will be sending out another update soon!  Stay tuned as I am really excited to share with you guys what it is!

Happy New Year! outreach 2020 begins

Happy new year!  Hard to believe it’s 2020! Every year I find myself saying, “Can’t believe it’s (fill in the year) this past year flew by!”  With each passing year, I find myself realizing more and more how much I’ve grown, yet also how much I need to grow to look more like Jesus.  God is SO good, patient, and faithful in transforming me year by year, day by day, moment by moment.

Thanks to your prayers, encouragement, and financial support, I am ending this year having officially completed the lecture phase of the School of Ministry Development (SOMD) at YWAM Orlando! To tell the truth, I was hesitant about being a student again this fall after graduating from college earlier in the year.  Finishing my degree after six years was one of the best feelings thus far in my adult life and I was not quite ready to become a student again. However, looking back on the past 12 weeks, I can say with full confidence that the SOMD was absolutely God’s calling.  It has been an impactful and formative season.

With another season of classroom learning over, it feels like there’s a thousand things I could write about the last three months.  I have grown in confidence in my leadership skills and have a better understanding of how I naturally operate and where I can grow in working in teams.  The Lord has sharpened my vision on what I am passionate about and dreams he has uniquely placed in me.  Moreover, my love for Jesus and the bigger picture that He has for all of humanity has grown.

The next portion of the SOMD is outreach! In my latest update I had shared that I will be staying at YWAM Orlando for the seven-week outreach phase.  The campus outreach team is made up of five SOMD students and we will be doing a variety of ministry over the next few months.

Each week will look different, but some of the consistent things we will be doing are…

  • Working in the mission’s engagement department at the YWAM base.
  • Leading local outreach teams with the winter Discipleship Training School (DTS) students.
  • Evangelism on various college campus’ in the area.
  • Weekly Bible study at a nursing home in the community.

In addition to this, our team will be in Miami for four days during the Super Bowl to partner with an anti-human trafficking organization.  Miami is one of the biggest cities in America for human trafficking and the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events for this.  It is such a privilege to partner with God at this event and I am expectant for a move of the Spirit at the Super Bowl this year!

Finally, I am so excited to share that in February I will be participating in another Fashion Week Outreach (FWO) in New York! I am particularly excited about serving with Models for Christ this upcoming Fashion Week because it will be my first time volunteering in back-to-back seasons.  My last FWO was in September and I got to connect on a personal level with some of the models and other dressers at the shows.  I am praying that I will be able to meet with these women again this season and continue to sow into them and build relationships. New York City can be a very hard and lonely place, so it is such a joy and privilege to be a friend to these women who don’t necessarily have anyone intentionally pouring into them and praying for them.

Another reason I continue to go back to Fashion Week season after season is the struggle of women not knowing their identity.  Women who find their value in appearance, competition, and performance burdens my heart. I have lived that struggle and found freedom in Jesus and Jesus alone.  It’s too good not to share!

Throughout my experience with various ministries I have found that I feel called to speak life and truth into the women who are not reached by typical church “women’s ministry.” While I loveee women’s gatherings at churches, women’s small groups, the cutesy blogs, books, and studies, I have found that there are so many women who don’t even have a grid for these things. My heart is to bring the Church to these women.  Fashion Week Outreach is one way that I get to participate in this and I count it such an incredible privilege. It is so true that God uses us in the ways that we feel least equipped and least qualified.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I am not a natural fit for the world of high fashion.  But every season, I fall in love with this ministry over and over again.  And even more than the ministry, I fall in love with Jesus over and over again. This is why I keep going back. All glory and thanks to God for the opportunity to do so!

To cover the expenses of this upcoming Fashion Week Outreach, I am raising another $800.  If you feel led to give towards this trip you can do so through my PayPal, CashApp: $CassieLBaker or Venmo: CassL-Baker.

I am also always in need of support through prayer!  If you would like to partner in this way some specifics are:

  • Open doors to share the gospel on college campuses in Orlando.
  • Gospel opportunities and salvations at the Super Bowl.
  • Continued relationship building at Fashion week and opportunities to share Jesus with the designers, models, and volunteers.

Thank you for always being there for me.  I appreciate it more than you know.  If you have any questions about this outreach or just want to say hi, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Happy New Year and may God bless you in 2020!

<3, Cassie