Seasons of Change

Well, to say it has been awhile would be an understatement… I have found myself in Sydney, Australia as of 5 months this week. It has been a whirlwind of emotions having moved literally to the other side of the world from my family, closest friends, a new relationship and all that was familiar to me. I stepped out in adventure, following what I thought would be my stomping ground for years to come. What I didn’t realize was that in moving 15,000 KM away from home, God would begin to start speaking to my heart in a greater depth for the place I call home.

In this season, I have been blown away by God’s provision: lining up an amazing roommate, Emily, who I had only had a few interactions with prior to coming. Setting us up with an adorable couple from Scotland to be our flat mates who have turned into family. Lining up the finances to be here. Lining up a family to nanny for that is an 8-minute walk from home. He has done more than I could have imagined.

I love that God loves adventure. He loves hearing our hearts desires and running alongside us, encouraging us, pushing us, and drawing us closer to Him. I love seeking His heart and His Kingdom. Each season has looked different in how it plays out. Some seasons it is easy to chase after Him and some seasons it’s a daunting ‘task.’ Some seasons are full of joy and laughter and some seasons are filled with tears and frustration – BUT – the outcome is always the same – to draw closer to Him and into a deeper knowledge and closeness to Him.

This season has been challenging and full of tears. A season where I don’t understand its purpose or His plans in all of it and coming to the realization that it is okay that I don’t fully grasp it.

I have been holding off on this post as I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the words to fully articulate my heart. Unsure of what to share or how to elaborately explain.

These past few months have made me question a lot, question who I am as my identity has been shaken to the core. I don’t have all the answers to my why’s and I don’t think I’ll find them anytime soon.

But, what I do know is that it is time to close this season in Sydney, Australia with a graceful bow.

To embrace what this season has been and what will come from it – because I know that even in me returning home, He will still use this season to instill more of Him IN me.

This song has been my hearts cry the past few weeks:

Pull me in closer, close to Your heart

May I be a pure reflection of all You are

Love that is patient, love that is kind

And love that keeps no offences or wrongs in my mind

Make me like Jesus

I know this season hasn’t worked out as I had hoped, envisioned or prayed for, yet, He is using it to make me more like Him. To draw me in closer to Him. And in the end, if bringing me 15,000 KM for me to walk away looking a bit more like Him, then to me, that is enough.

He is more than enough for me.

I will be making my way home in the new year and reestablishing and rooting myself in Hamilton.

I will be closing my time with Iris Ministries Canada ‘officially,’ but Iris will always be family. If you are interested in helping financially towards my flight home and getting reestablished they will receive donations up until January 20th, 2018 [www.irismin.ca/krista-noack]

I am not too sure what the new year will entail, but I am thankful for a God who knows and is already aligning my next steps. I am trusting that He’s got this. I am beyond thankful to each and everyone one of you who have walked this journey with me. Who prayed with and for me. Those who have listened to my hearts cry and encouraged me to continue moving forward. To those who invested into me financially which in doing so allowed me to be in here. I am believing that the seeds planted in this season will produce good fruit. I am believing that even in the frustrations of this season, there is purpose. I am believing that as I return home, what has been started here in Sydney will continue to grow.

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It’s Go Time

After TWO years of ‘patiently’ waiting… my flight is booked to SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA!

Yahhhhflippppinwhoooooo!

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June 6th I am taking flight! I will spend 9 days immersed with church family in Arroyo Grande, California and officially be prayed out & sent out by Everyday Church (where I attended Iris Leaders School in 2014/2015). Mark & Cheryl Perry, lead pastors, will be our church covering for the church plant/base in Sydney!

On June 15th, I’ll take the 15-hour flight over the ocean landing in Sydney June 17th.

On June 24th, we will host an Iris Alumni gathering for those who are connected with Iris in the Sydney area to share our heart and vision!

I want to say a huge thank-you to each of you who have been praying for me and this journey and to those who have sown and invested financially so far! It is greatly appreciated and thank-you seems to little compared to the seeds you have sown. I am blown away by the love and support from people from literally all different seasons of my life – It is so neat to see how God is aligning it all!

I’ve been meaning to write somewhat of a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ post to share more about what we are doing. I know many of you know the ins and outs if we have had any conversation in the last two years, but I know many of you I haven’t seen in a long time [or maybe never met] and may be curious as to what I’m up to!

What will you be doing?

I will be helping to establish an Iris church [Everyday Church Sydney] and Iris base in Sydney, Australia. This past week they officially became registered as an incorporated association in New South Wales!

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You can read more about Iris Global/Everyday Church:

http://www.irisglobal.org/about or www.everydaysydney.com

Who are you going with?

I have partnered with Danielle & Aaron Carter. I met them while we were all in Iris Leaders School in California. They recently spent a year and a half AFTER our 9 months in California interning and being mentored by the lead pastors of Everyday Central Coast. They moved back to Australia at the end of 2016 to get settled in their new place and get their two beautiful kids settled in school. They have a heart for their country and especially the people of Sydney.

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When are you going?

After 2 years of waiting, it is finally GO time! I just booked my flight for June 6, 2017!!

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How long will you be gone?

As of right now, I will have a 1-year work/travel visa. From there, we will see where God is leading me.

Is this a paid position? Do you need financial support?

This is not a paid position. I am volunteering my time to go & help establish the church & missions base. I will be looking for a part time job when I land to help offset the cost of living.  I have applied to a handful already, but difficult as I am not physically there yet! It is amazing to have friends & family partnering with me and investing into this. Sydney is a very expensive city to live in, just renting a room is roughly $1200 a month! Every little bit helps!

If I invest, what will the money be used for?

All financial support raised will help towards flights ($2000RT), medical insurance ($1000), visa to enter Australia ($450), monthly housing & living expenses. As mentioned above, I will be finding a part time job to offset the expenses but my sole purpose for going to Australia is to be part of the ministry. The support that is brought it will allow me to put more energy into the church plant!

How can I invest & sow into this?

Iris Ministries Canada – I am officially a missionary through them and they are a great avenue for you to donate through. You can check out my profile at www.irismin.ca/krista-noack There are many options as to how you can go about investing; one-time, monthly, electronically, by CHQ, or by credit card!

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How can I keep in touch with what you are doing?

Email me! I’d love to hear what is going on in your life & how I can pray for you – krista@everydaychurch.com

Follow my blog! Hit the FOLLOW button to receive an email when I have posted a new blog.

Join my mailing list! – Shoot me an email/FB message with the best email address.

What can I pray for?

The next 7 weeks are going to be full! I would love for you to join me in specific prayers for myself, but not only me, but my family and especially for those I will encounter in my travels and once landed in Sydney!

  1. I am in the process of getting my work/travel visa – please pray that it comes through quickly & of course, that it is approved. [IT’s APPROVED!]
  2. I am selling my car – that I would have a buyer in the price range I am asking for and that the deal/ownership transitions over smoothly. [SOLD!!!]
  3. Provision – finances, housing in Sydney and a job! [DONE, DONE, & DONE]
  4. Transition as a whole – for myself, my momma (my dad thinks He will be ok), and that everything will continue to align as the date quickly approaches

I think that covers about everything in a tiny nut shell. There is so much more, but would love to connect personally to share! Feel free to leave a comment or email me directly krista@everydaychurch.com . I would absolutely love to hear from you.

As always, I am so thankful for your continued love, prayers & support on this adventure God has me on!

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Meant for good

For those of you who may not know, on April 2, 2008, my high school sweet heart, Jesse, was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle. Today it has been NINE years! Yup, nine. [Article]

It would have been really easy to spend the day thinking of the hurt, pain and loss, I’ve spent a lot of the past 9 years doing so, but each year it has gotten easier to get through the days. It doesn’t hurt as much, I don’t think about it as often, yet – if you asked me about it, my eyes would probably still tear up, even after all this time.

Today I want to reflect on all the ‘good’ that has come out of such a tragedy.

The word ‘good’ and ‘tragedy’ don’t often go in the same sentence, but I believe that out of this tragedy that turned my life (and many others) upside down, good has come from it!

I often reflect on the verse:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. [Genesis 50:20]

This verse can be taken in many different contexts. For me, I know God has taken what the enemy meant to hurt me and He has turned it for good, for His glory. There are many lives that have been saved through sharing our story.

Shortly after Jesse died I had reached out to Mothers Against Drunk Driving for a school project. I had shared my story with them and they immediately wanted to support me and invited me to join them in a weekend of sharing with others who had been impacted by a drunk driver. I met many survivors and victims of impaired driving – many who played a key role in processing my loss.

I didn’t want to be silent about what happened and wanted to find the ‘good’ out of this tragic loss. There was more that needed to be done outside of going through the motions of grief.

It started shortly after the funeral, the family planned a bike rally in his memory to help raise money to go towards signage throughout the city that would encourage people to call 911 if they suspect an impaired driver – It was a team collaboration in getting permits, designing and picking out prime spots for them to be placed. There are 20 signs throughout the city – large ones can be seen on Hwy 6 towards Caledonia & coming into Hamilton near the crash site, in Ancaster before coming onto the link and in Stoney Creek coming on & off the link onto Mud Street.

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[CBC News]

[The Spectator]

I started to share our story in schools with MADD. As you can imagine, it was difficult, but the more I shared our story, the more courage I had. I wanted to inspire youth to be the change – to be bold and take the keys from their friend or parent who had been drinking and to encourage them to speak up. Sometimes the people we expect to protect us are the ones who put us in difficult and even tragic situations. I’ve shared my story in high schools in both Barrie and Hamilton to 1000’s of students.

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[Simcoe News]

Sharing for 5 minutes at the end of a MADD multimedia presentation soon turned into me sharing our story IN the multimedia presentation that was shared in high schools across Canada. Over a million students have heard our story.

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As I started to turn back to God and allowed Him into my grief – my platform changed and I was invited to share with 700 Club Canada. The clip is still shared now, even years later.

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[Watch Clip]

Our story is being shared in many different capacities still to this day. Just recently, MADD has used footage from the multimedia in their current commercial – maybe you’ve seen our faces or heard my voice – It’s neat to see how after 9 years later, our story is still being shared. I know God is continuing to use our story to impact people’s lives!

[PSA 1] [PSA 2]

Does my heart still hurt? Sometimes.

Does this change the circumstances? Nope!

BUT, it has changed my perspective.

God is a GOOD Father whose heart is to see us healed and restored.

I want to encourage you, right where you are: no matter the circumstances, no matter the season you are in, no matter the loss you may be facing – God is walking with you. His heart is to see you walking in freedom and wholeness, rising above your situation, eyes focused in on Him. It sure would have been very “easy” to allow my grief and loss take over [and at times it did], but I pushed through, I fought through the pain in order to bring a light into the darkness, to bring hope. I allowed God to bring good out of tragedy, what the enemy meant for evil.

All the Glory is given to Him, for without Him, I’d be lost.

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Forward Motion

On New Year’s Eve: I packed my car, filled my tank, grabbed a coffee, set my GPS, United Pursuit’s new B-sides on and headed out on a 9-hour trek by myself to visit my brother in Illinois. I had made it out the door in good timing and got cozy for the long trip ahead.

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It had snowed the night before but the roads weren’t that bad. Just as I got settled in and cruising… 3 lovely salt trucks. From 118 KM to 40 KM an hour – I was only at Woodstock, 45 minutes into my drive… that is a long stretch of highway to get stuck behind salt trucks!

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I laughed… Seriously God!

I had just started to cry out to him about Australia and the timeline and not feeling that sense of peace about moving forward and then BAM salt trucks.

I felt the impression that he had something to teach me in this moment – through the salt trucks!

What is the purpose of salt trucks? [For my California family where the sun is always shinning] If you have been stuck behind one, you know – they can be a pain in the butt when you have somewhere to be – there aren’t any opportunities to by pass them – and it really isn’t SAFE to do so.

Salt Trucks are out on the roads for our SAFETY.

As per the MTO website: Spreading of salt begins within 30 minutes after the start of a winter storm, helping to melt snow and ice, preventing it from sticking to the highway. It also makes plowing more effective.

Sand is used to provide traction on slippery surfaces, especially when it is too cold for salt to be effective.

Maintenance crews continually monitor weather and highway conditions. They patrol the highways and use advanced systems for predicting and monitoring weather and highway conditions so they can prepare the right equipment and materials before a storm, adjust their activities as conditions change.

What I find to be the neat part is that the maintenance crews are CONTINUALLY monitoring weather and highway conditions. They are predicting and monitoring the conditions to help them PREPARE for what is needed. HA! Just like God ‘monitors’ the path we are on. He is PREPARING us for the journey ahead. The salt truck has a purpose – to help provide support and TRACTION on the slippery surfaces to avoid collisions!

Also, the salt makes plowing MORE EFFECTIVE! The delay we sense when the trucks are scattering the salt actually makes the work later on more EFFECTIVE! I believe this is the same with Australia – the delays are aligning everything so that when it is time to ‘plow’ through – it will be done effectively!

I know God has been in all the planning, delays and preparation for Australia. Through the salt trucks I believe He was showing me that even though my eyes have been on the destination – He sees the bigger pictures – He has been monitoring all the factors that I may not see – just as the maintenance crew does.

I am thankful that He is in the details that I may not see!

Not long after my salt truck encounter, I felt that it was time to start taking some bigger steps towards my move – It was a good time to move ahead with the paperwork to become an official missionary with Iris Ministries and to start organizing my belongings and selling off what I no longer needed – building my ‘ark’ so to speak.

SO! What exactly will I be doing?!

I am going to Sydney, Australia to be part of a church & mission base planting team with Iris Global (www.irisglobal.org) and Everyday Church (www.everydaychurch.com). This has been in the works for almost 2 years and I am excited that God is starting to move things forward!

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As of last week, I am now an official “Iris Missionary” and backed by Iris Ministries Canada: www.irismin.ca/krista-noack

Who is Iris/Everyday?

“God has called together an amazing, growing tribe of people who are deeply committed to loving Jesus and to increasing His kingdom on earth in our generation. They call this tribe “Everyday,” because at the end of the day, it’s really about lifestyles of love. We believe the world is changed as we walk in God’s love and then give it away – to our cities, to our nation, and to the nations of the earth. 

Our PURPOSE: FAMILY: to model kingdom family & reproduce it throughout the earth.

Our MISSION: TRANSFORMATION: it is personal, regional, & global transformation through God’s manifest Presence.

Our VISION: INCLUSIVITY: To see the rich and the poor, serving one another in the community, as family.

Our VALUES: LOVE: a love that is expressed upward, inward, and outward.

Our GOAL: DISCIPLES – to reproduce lovers of Jesus who are Biblical, supernatural, relational & missional.”

What does this all look like practically?

It looks like living in community and doing life with each other. Our community of like-hearted people is aiming to look like: a multi-site church, a local and international base and a multi-faceted regional training centre. It looks like connecting with already established organizations in Sydney and partnering with them whether it be for feeding programs, assisting those in need, volunteering in different capacities and building long lasting relationships. It looks like hosting short terms missions teams locally and sending out internationally. It is multifaceted and I am excited to see how God develops it all. In the long term – I picture purchasing an old brothel in King’s Cross and turning it into a “Safe Haven” – a coffee shop, a place to rest, a safe place – a place to connect with people in a different atmosphere than a church building.

I am beyond excited about the journey, opportunity and experiences that lie ahead. BUT – This adventure needs a team of people! I need you! This cannot be done on my own – it takes a TEAM of people in a few different capacities!

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Would you consider joining my team in one or more of the following ways:

Prayer Team 

Prayer is crucial. Heidi Baker, founder of Iris Ministries writes, “If your dreams are from God, they will always need intercession. Praying people, like midwives, help birth the miraculous promises in your life. They will make the obstacles before you more bearable.” Join my prayer team and commit to praying for myself, the team and the community regularly.

  • Preparing my heart: For everything God has in store
  • Financial Provision: As I step out in faith, I am believing that God will provide a monthly financial team to invest in my/our work
  • Transition: Quickly adjusting to change
  • Pray for Sydney and the community we will be impacting & loving on

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Financial Support Team

As you can imagine, a journey like this requires finances to help cover living expenses, travel and ministry expenses. This is not a paid position. I believe that this is a great opportunity for people to partner with the greater cause, the bigger vision!

Consider joining my month financial support team and commit to sponsoring me $25, $50, $150 or whatever amount God puts on your heart. There are a variety of ways to support financially – please read the options and choose which is best for you!

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CANADIAN FRIENDS & FAMILY – [tax receipt]

Iris Ministries Canada (IMC) is a registered Canadian Charity

You can support financially by:

  • By cheque payable to Iris Ministries Canada: 10-1425 Abbeywood Drive, Oakville, ON L6M 3R3. Please attach a post it note saying “Krista Noack” and leave the memo line blank
  • Pre-Authorized Payments: A program for direct withdrawal of funds from Cdn. Bank accounts is available for those who desire to support IMC on a monthly basis.
  • Credit Card: IMC is able to receive donations by credit card, on a one time or regular monthly withdrawal basis. This service is provided by Canadahelps.org which is a secure site for receiving credit card donations. Please go to www.irismin.ca/krista-noack

AMERICAN FRIENDS & FAMILY [no tax receipt]

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Stay posted and up to date with what is going on in Sydney! I PROMISE to update more regularly!

So, there you have it! A brief insight of what is to come for my adventures in Australia. I’m hoping as time goes on I will continue to post more to keep you updated and informed. Please, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me!

Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers !!

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Forever Imprinted

It has been a devastating week with the news that an incredible man, Cole and two others, were in a plane crash and a week later have yet to be recovered. Since hearing the shocking news, I have not been able to keep the tears from streaming down my face. I have sat reading through Facebook and Instagram, waiting, hoping and praying for a “WE FOUND THEM” post. I have been in battle praying for a different outcome. I have been praying that he would be safe and this post would take on a different direction. I have been praying for the impossible. I’ve been praying for a miracle.

I still have hope.

I’ve been at a loss for words, yet here I am with a need to write.

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[Benjamin Cole Brown]

Cole is close to many people’s hearts that I know and love. This past week I have felt this overwhelming grief and emotion as if I’m feeling each and every persons heart ache. I’ve never experienced this and find it hard to explain. I don’t know why, maybe because I have experienced tragedy first hand and at times it can feel like yesterday. I remember the phone call I received 8 years ago telling me that my boyfriend was killed by a drunk driver. I can feel the rush of emotions. The shock. The devastation. 8 years later and it can feel like it was yesterday. I remember my world crashing all around me. I remember the moment I found out Alex was killed while riding her bike 2 years ago. The brokenness in knowing a world changer was taken at such a young age, someone who had a huge impact on my life. What is crazy is that I encouraged Alex to go with World Vision on a Live Different trip where she built a house alongside Cole.

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[Photo by Devin]

These are moments where I can physically feel my heart fall to pieces. I picture Cole’s loved ones receiving phone calls and the hundreds of people who have read it on Facebook or heard on the news about the crash. I see heartache and worlds falling apart. I feel deeply for each person who is forever impacted and changed with such a tragic loss.

MY HEART ACHES.

Cole and I were not close per say, but he has played a vital role in 3 defining moments in my life when I traveled to Dominican and twice to Haiti with him.

Cole was my dad’s friend and I was Noack’s kid.

He was the first man my dad entrusted my life to…

I was inspired by a presentation at my high school and wanted to go to the Dominican to do a school build. In 2007, my dad told Cole my life was in his hands and that I better come back in one piece. Basically, Cole was the reason my father allowed me to jump on a plane and head into the unknown of a developing country.

This was my first experience with Live Different and a trip that opened my eyes and unearthed a deep passion for developing countries. This trip sparked and ignited a desire to see change and not just dream it, but to act on it.

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[Picture by Kristen]

In 2010, 4 months after the earthquake in Haiti, my dad again entrusted my life to Cole and I ventured with a team to Port au Prince to help with the aftermath. This was the first Live Different trip to Haiti, one of Cole’s many dreams. It was amazing to see how much he had already accomplished in helping and we were quick to jump in and help where we could. If I close my eyes I can see him smiling and snapping photos while water balloons crash all around him at one of the tent villages for children. I see him hanging out the truck to buy us some sugarcane. I sense his calm yet panicked voice as the sun is setting and we are still ways away from the hotel.

I returned to Haiti in 2011 with Cole leading. I remember it was my first time flying solo and would be having to navigate the airport in search of Cole without any means of contacting him. Walking out into the hot sun with many people asking to help with my bags, Cole merged from the crowd, grabbed my bag and navigated me safely and swiftly to the bus without saying a word.

I believe it was this trip that I was ridiculously sick.. It was the middle of the night and I was having hot/cold flashes and was pretty rough condition (got back to Canada to realize I had strep and an ear infection)…I knocked on Cole’s door at 3AM and he answered it half asleep and after sharing how I was feeling, handed me a bottle of medication and his almost empty gatorade and said in the morning we would sort it out. I didn’t take the medication, just chugged back the gatorade and went to sleep. The next morning I look over and saw that the bottle he had given me was nasal spray! We had a good chuckle over it.

The one thing that I loved was being apart of was the initial stages of seeing his vision for a school in Haiti be birthed and over the last few years grow.

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[Pictures by Cole]

There are many moments that have come to mind over the past week.

I am beyond thankful for Cole and his role in this part of my life.

I am thankful for the memories he captured through the lens of his camera.

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[Pictures by Cole]

I’m sure as you read this, if you have been on a trip or have known Cole in any capacity, you have stories similar to mine. Each trip, Cole played a vital role in leading the team. It was through his eyes that I saw both the Dominican and Haiti. He was protective and ensured that at all times we were safe whether we at the side of the highway because the bus broke down and a crowd was starting to form around us or venturing through the busiest Haitian market.

He was soft spoken, yet you could hear his heart from a mile away.

Compassionate

Caring

Loving

Sensitive

Tenderhearted

Inspiring

Driven

Visionary

Leader

[Benjamin Cole Brown]

It was an incredible honour to be apart of his vision for the Dominican and Haiti and over the years I have loved watching the vision grow and be fulfilled. Both places hold such a huge place in my heart.

I’m finding it difficult to articulate my thoughts, writing in the past tense yet still believing for the miraculous.

I know that I will hold these memories a little closer now. I will look back on these life experiences with a smile but with an ache in my heart knowing he is no longer with us.

My heart continues to cry out in agony over this tragic loss to Cole’s family, friends and all the communities he has impacted in the Dominican and Haiti. I continue to cry out for that God sized miracle and exceeding of expectations of the reality in front of us. My heart aches reading each persons post on how Cole played a part in their journey and how there is a gaping hole in many hearts. In 36 short years he has managed to leave an incredible legacy and will continue to impact many many lives although he may no longer be with us physically.

What an incredible legacy he has left.

The impact can’t even begin to be calculated.

Lives have forever been changed.

My life has forever been changed.

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Benjamin Cole Brown – You will forever be imprinted on my heart.