May 2015

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Hello friends and family!
We have reached the half way point of our out-reach. Time has flown by, but we have experienced so many amazing things. We arrived at our second location in Santiago a few weeks ago and we will be here until the 10th of June. So far we have had great results in the ministry we are a part of here, and have seen God move in many amazing ways. As a family we recently have felt the weight of the responsibility of leading the team and finding time as a family. We have been able to reevaluate what we need as a family to continue in a healthy way for the next 6 weeks and finish strong! With the help of our co-leader we have found ways to spend quality time together as a family We are so thankful for the support our team offers! Please be paying for us in this process of serving God, leading the team, and taking care of each other and our family. 

City Day

Every week we send the students out into the city in 4 groups. They take a packed lunch and they return in the evenings. We encourage them to pray and ask God what's on His heart. The reports when they return in the evenings are amazing! A man with hip problems saw his leg grow out 3 inches! One team was asked to stand infront of a funeral and sing worship! One group held hands with a circle of local firemen and police men and prayed blessing over them and their families! The stories go on and on. We are so encouraged to see the students hearing Gods voice and obeying what He says even if its out of their comfort zone. 

Mountain Ministry

Some of the most precious moments have been visiting homes in the mountains. We have been hiking to small villages in the mountains offering prayer, sharing the Gospel, and serving in practical ways with the families there. Our groups were able to help a family retrieve water from a hole after hiking rough terrain. We were able to pray for many people and share words from God for specific people we met. The Dominican people are so hospitable, and they welcome us in when they see us. God is opening many doors for us to deliver His message! 

Mothers Day!

I had the joy of celebrating my first mothers day here in the Dominican! It was such a special day with the sweet girl. I am so honored to be her mom, and I learn so much from here. Cora is 11 months old now! Where has the time gone!? A few weeks ago she started walking! All of our students where just as excited as we were to watch her walk across the room to Josh and I, and we all cheered and celebrated with her. It was a very special time. Only one more month until she is one year old...this is unreal. I hope all you moms out there had a beautiful day as well! 

 

Blessing, 

Josh, Lexi, and Cora
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April 2015

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Hola friends and family!

We left Amsterdam April 9th with our 9 students and arrived safely in the Dominican Republic many hours later! We were welcomed with the hot, humid, Dominican air and friendly strangers. Cora was a champ the whole way here and has adjusted pretty well to the new climate. Thank you Jesus! Josh’s dad, Kent Norell just happened to be visiting the Dominican and was able to pick up our team from the airport. It was such a blessing to see family! He brought some goodies for Cora and also gave our team a cultural orientation. It was such a blessing from God to spend a few days with him!

Our team is adjusting well so far with the the change in time zone and other cultural differences. Most of our students are European or American so coming to a Spanish speaking island is a culture shock. They are now faced with the challenges of not having air conditioning, hot water, functioning toilets and clean water. They are adapting really well and daily praising and thanking God for the opportunity to be here.  

Go on and scream it from the mountains, Go on and tell it to the masses, that He is God! 

One of the most precious things in the world is witnessing the salvation of a new Jesus follower. We had been walking through mountain side villages praying for people and worshiping when we noticed two girls who had followed us. They came to us with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes asking for Jesus. It was a beautiful moment as they prayed for their salvation and then became filled with the Holy Spirit. We are praying for more encounters like this!

Raising Leaders!

 
Our team has the awesome opportunity to teach English courses, share the Gospel, and facilitate fun games for the local kids! Our students run a 2 hour program with the children and then the kids stay and have dinner with us. There are around 50 kids ages 7-15. The vision began from the staff at the YWAM Villa Mella base and they hope to raise up strong believers who will learn the skill of translating Spanish to English, and that they would become missionaries in their communities or internationally. We are excited to be part of this long term investment! 

How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ... Ephesians 3:18 

Continue to pray for us as we continue with out reach for the next 9 weeks! We face many daily challenges from heat, bugs, and lack of clean and sometimes running water. This has been a new challenge for us with Cora and we are still getting in the groove of things here. Cora is a mover and is constantly wanting to put everything in her mouth! Please be praying for good health, safety, and most of all for the Gospel to be shared. We know that God has amazing plans for our team here and we want to bring Gods kingdom everywhere we go. Thank you for being on this journey with us and for being so supportive of our mission. We love you all! 

Love, 
The Norells 

March 2015

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England Adventure!

We spent the past two weeks in Harpenden England.

Neither of us have ever been to the UK and we were so excited! We set out from Amsterdam at 7:00pm with all the students and arrived 15 hours later. It was quite the experience traveling overnight by train, bus, ferry, and subway, with a  9 month old, but we survived!
Our time in Harpenden was great! We had the privilege of having wonderful, creative speakers teach about identity, Father heart of God, and the Holy Spirit. During the lectures the students used clay, paint, and other forms of art to create outward expressions of the revelations they were receiving. The photo above is one of the clay pieces a student created, so beautiful! They also received pottery and creative movement classes from skilled artists! It was so cool to see them being creative in a way that truly glorified God.
During the lecture on Father heart of God many of our students gained a deep revelation of who God is. For many, their earthly fathers and mothers have given them a poor image of their heavenly Father. We were able to walk them through spiritual healing and help them change their view of who they believed God was. This is so important to us because it tackles the question if God is truly good and if he loves us. He does! No matter what we have experience from our earthly Fathers, our heavenly Father is all loving and merciful. 

 

A Happy Birthday and 9 Month Milestone! 

While in England on March 7th Josh turned 26 and Cora turned 9 months old! Josh is a incredible Father to our little Rose, and my oh my how much they look alike! Cora is growing so fast and we think she is getting used to all this moving and traveling around. The students love her and have spent sweet times taking her on walks and playing with her. We are truly blessed to be in this YWAM family! Happy 26th birthday Josh, and 9 months Cora Rose! 

We Have An Amazing Adventure Ahead!

Josh and I have agreed to lead the outreach phase of the ARTS DTS to the Dominican Republic! We took a lot of time to think and pray about this decision, and we feel very strongly that this is the right step for us. We will be leading along with one other staff member, Ruth, a team of 10 students to different locations in the Dominican Republic and will be doing a variety of ministry. Outreach begins April 4th and we will return to Amsterdam around the middle of June. We are beyond excited for this adventure and we can't wait to see all that the Lord does during this time. Please keep us in your prayers as we communicate with different contacts in the DR and as we prepare emotional, spiritually and as a family for this next step. 

Have You Seen Our Website!?

We are super excited to have our new website up and running! Josh worked so hard on this site and we are really passionate about it. More than anything we hope its a place we can connect with you and share all thats Gods doing in different seasons of our lives. Make sure you go check it out and subscribe! http://www.lexiandjosh.com

 Love, 

Josh, Lexi, and Cora
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January 2015

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DTS Has Begun! 

Our first couple weeks in Amsterdam were spent planning, and last minute preperations for the ARTS DTS that we are staffing. We spent many hours finishing the remodeling for the student housing which is on the apartment floor below ours. Up until the early hours of the morning before the students arrived we were working! The housing looks beautiful and the students love it! The students arrived on the 15th and we had a really fun welcome weekend of meeting the staff, a city tour, worship, prayer, and fellowship.
We have 10 students all between the ages of 19-28. They represent 9 nations and all have unique artistic giftings! The ARTS DTS is special because besides the regular DTS framework the students participate in art workshops, a creative day during the week, and we share a lot about how art can be a tool in ministry.
This has been a intense first week for she students. Our speaker taught on hearing the voice of God and challenging each student to practice the discipline of hearing Gods voice through how God uniquely speaks to them individually. They have also spent time in the YWAM Prayer House which is located in the Red Light Distric of Amsterdam, and have experienced Gods presence in amazing ways! We can't wait to see what God does in the weeks to come!

Red Light District Ministry

YWAM Amsterdam has two buildings located in the heart of the Red Light District, the Tabernacle Prayer House, and the Lighthouse. The Tabrinacle is a 24 hour prayer house that we use weekly with our DTS students, and the Lighthouse is a safe house for women who are escaping or leaving prostitution.
Josh and I currently live 2 blocks from the Red Light District and I (Lexi) have joined ministry opprotunities to the women in the windows. This week I went with a group of four other YWAM'ers on a guided tour of the Red Light District. Our goal was to see what the locals and tourists non-christian perspective was on the prostitution happening.
On this tour our eyes were open to truly dark and heartbreaking things happening in that area of the city and the lies that people believed about the women. We took an audio recorder and camera to document our experience and we will be releasing an article soon about our research and experience. This article will be about the high percentage of human trafficking taking place and the reality of what prostituaion is doing to the women physically and emotionally. Our prayer is that we can raise awareness about this issue. During this project we have faced a lot of spiritual warfare. Keep us in your prayers!

10X100 Campaign

We are passionate about discipling young people and reaching the lost. To make this possible we need to reach a certain financial budget each month. That is why from January 11th to February 11th we are running our 10X100 CAMPAIGN! We are praying and believing for 100 people to join our support team by giving 10 dollars a month. We would like to ask you to pray and see if this is something the Lord wants you to be a part of. We would love to have you join our team and be a part of God's work in Europe! Please click the "DONATE" button below to join!   
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God Bless You - Josh, Lexi, & Cora Norell