Bethany Hess        Network 21 Missions
this is one of those times, i know i have to be transparent, but don't really want to be...but, i will.
the last week or so has been incredibly hard for us! 
lukus and i are still in amsterdam. 
it is now the 6th or june, and we were hoping to have left for asia by the 3rd of june.   
i am suppose to be hosting my friends  bachelorette party on the 10th.  and her wedding is on the 12th. 
i have been asking God, why are we still here?  why do we not have the money for our plane tickets yet?  do you not realize i am pregnant and i am having a hard time being strong in faith?  my hormones are all over the place! 
it has been a bit of a stand off between  God and i lately! 

on friday, we spent the day with some friends.  i shared some life experiences with my two girl friends.....talked  about our identity, and life before and after marriage.   at the end of our day together, one of my dear friends began to share how God had been using lukus and i in her life.   she spoke of our openness,and  the Godly characteristics she sees in our marriage and our friendships with others.   i was immediatly in awe of God!  you know, lukus and i see our arguments, our struggles to have a God-centered marriage.  but He has taken everything that is good in us, and brought it to be the thing that she saw!  in our weaknesses He is shown strong!!! 
the next morning we had breakfast with another dear friend.  we had a wonderful chat about what God is doing in her life as well as ours.  as we went on to tell her why we have not left for asia yet, she seemed surprised....she said she has not seen any wavering faith in us....that  our spirit still seemed to be standing on His truth!  once again, i was in awe of
God!  he had again thrown the waste into the shadows and only allowed the postitive to show through!   i went to the bathroon(well, i am pregnant), and was thinking....................................
if we had our money for our plane tickets, we would have been gone by now.  we would not have had this precious time with these friends .  and God used it to leave a mark on their  lives, as well as ours! 
i know i see a fraction of the picture, and God sees the entire thing....i know He is good, and i know He provides! 
so, do i know when we are leaving for asia?  yes. 
when the money comes in:)

please be praying for:
-us to be alert to what God wants to do with us while  we are in waiting.
-lukus and i to stand on truth and not let circumstances dictate our thoughts.
-for the money to come in soon.

love, love

thank you to everyone who prayed for my mom!  she was released from the hospital yesterday.  they cleared her heart...come to find out, it was her gall bladder.  she will be having it removed in a couple weeks, but nothing serious!  such a wonderful releaf.  it was so encouraging to talk to her while she was in the hospital!  she spoke with such faith and peace!  God is so good to cover every side of it, her health, but also her spirit! 
now lukus and i are preparing to go to asia...but we still do not have our tickets purchased.  we are still needing around $800 for the tickets and $100-$200 for living expenses while there.   we have prayed and prayed, and still feel like it is the thing to do right now.  so please agree with us in prayer!  thanks  you! thank you!
We recieved a phone call last night from my family.  My mother was having intense pain in her chest, shoulder and jaw, and finding it hard to breath.  My dad said she lost all her color and asked to go to the hospital.  They arrived there safely.  They did an EKG and it came back normal, and an enzyme test, and it was normal as well.  They kept her overnight and will continue to run some test.  When i spoke with her last night, she was feeling like herself and not suffering from any pain.  She believes God intervened and that is why the test came back normal!  Please be praying for my mom, and that the other tests will show no problems!  I know God can heal, so please be agreeing with me in this prayer.  Thank you!
 I will post any new happenings.
Well, after a 12 hour bus ride, we are back in Amsterdam!  We will be here for about a week before we head off to Asia! 
Our time in Harpenden, England was very good!  We were able to stay at the YWAM base and learn about what is taking place in London, Luton, and Harpenden, England.  The base was in a beautiful location, with woods in the back of the property for some nice daily walks.  It is amazing how much you hear God speaking when you remove yourself from all the noise of life! 
As most of you know, the Olympics will be taking place in London in 2012.  With this comes a huge opportunity for all types of ministries to be released and birthed. 
During the Olympics and World Cups, human trafficking reaches a high!  The last world cup, they estimated 40,000 -60,000  men and women were trafficked in to meet the sexual demand!  The clencher for me, the men and women remain there.  Somehow the demand does not go down after the tourist leave! 
The Harpenden base is now in the process of coordinating YWAM International's approach to this issue focusing in on the Olympics.  They are also bringing together other organizations that specialize in different areas of human trafficking. 
We were able to be a part of a few meetings with the team working on this, as well as pray with them.  What a rich time it was!!

In Luton, there is a spirituality and faith center on the university campus.  We went to the center and met many people of all different faiths and backgrounds.  Young people from all over the world, gathering together to build relationships and continue in their faith.  We visited the center a few times while in staying in England........we now have some new, wonderful friends on facebook! :)
And now, as i mentioned, we are back in Amsterdam before heading off to Asia.  We are not sure what day we will be leaving b/c we have not yet purchased our tickets.  Since the last blog, we have received $1,100.  Yay God and yay friends!!!
Because ticket prices are going up, we still need around $800+ to leave by June 3rd(which is our tentative departure date).  If you have any questions on what we will be doing there, we would love to share in a personal email.  For security reasons it is not wise of us to post the details here:)
Thanks for your understanding!

As for my next blog, i will be sharing about a process that God has been taking me through!  God is so good at timing!  He knows us all so well!  Anyways, this blog is now lengthy, so i will expound on this next time!  Until then, love you all, and appreciate your prayers more than i can say!!!!!!

The coffee shop my sister works for now offers a Roaster's Direct monthly program. For each person that signs up from this website, lukus and I get a percentage of the profit!
It is really fresh and good coffee, and you can get tea as well! Thanks Hubert!   If you have any questions, please email my mom at (she is our Roaster's Direct  representative).
  a guy friend of ours bought a new pair of pants. he was bragging about how good he would look in them the next morning...i saw him the next morning, but i saw no new pants! i said (amongst a large group), "what? i was expecting to see your new pants!". the brits at the table looked a bit suprised! i knew i had said something wrong, but what? one guy, tactfully informed me, in the uk, pants means underwear!!! whoops!!!
needless to say, we are now in the uk for a week and a half: )
after leaving amsterdam about a week ago, we started out by visiting some missionaries in berlin. the conversations we had with them were incredibly informative on what is going on in berlin, as well as the needs of berlin. we were able to be involved in one of their group worship times, as well as with a prayer house...we have been so blessed to meet such beautiful, dedicated people! berlin for me, was a city of many colors! there are all types of people, and a huge problem with human trafficking and prostitution! there is so much need all around us!
we are now in england for a week and a half, visiting a few different ministries. lastweek we went to a faith center on a university campus. there were students with a need for friends, and some with searching questions. is was really cool to be there. we still have about 2 weeks left of this networking portion of our trip. after this, we are planning to go to asia for a month to work with a few organizations there. as some of you know, i lived in asia for 2 years, teaching english with a friend. she is still living there, and is our main contact in asia. she recently got engaged! hooray! and they have decided to have the wedding while lukus and i are there. so the first bit of our time there will be helping with the wedding, and then the rest of the month will be working with other people there. i will blog more about that later...
we have our  visa, but we do not yet have our airline tickets. we are lacking the funds to buy them. we need to leave by june 3rd, so that means we needed to buy our tickets yesterday: )
i realized i have been praying for the money to come in, but had not let anyone know of the need! we are lacking around $1,600 to get us to a if any of you could help financially, it would be greatly appreciated. we will keep you updated on our happenings and what God is doing around the world!
thanks for your time and perseverance through this lengthy update: )

Here is the address money can be sent to:
ATTN: Culture Shock Trip/lukus & bethany hess
P.O. Box 793
Waxahachie, TX 75168
(Make checks payable to Network 21 Mission, Lukus & Bethany on the memo line)

The 'teachers in training' hard at work

Typical Amsterdam!

This is the YWAM building that we are staying in!

What we walk by every day! Beautiful, isn't it!

if you know me at all, you know i enjoy shopping, i like clothes, shoes, accessories...
please don't jugde by the way i dress! ha! ha! 
lately, when getting dressed in the morning, i just haven't been able to find anything to wear that made me feel, you know, pretty or whatever. 
so, i have been wanting to go shopping...i know, it is  a bit excessive...i have clothes, but i really wanted to go shopping!  well, right now, there is no money for that : ).
before continuing this story, i have to give a bit more info...
here at the base, they have something called the "care closet". it is a space where people can take their unwanted clothing and/or get "new" clothing.  kind of like a community thrift store of sorts. 
so i went down a few days ago and found quite a few things! 
the last 4 outfits i have worn, have consisted of at least 1 piece from the care closet. 
all outfits being ones that i really liked, and felt good in. 
this all might sound funny or silly, but when i was getting dressed this morning, i was excited to wear my new shirt and shoes...
the same excitement that goes along with wearing a new outfit for the first time!  i realized, God had provided me with 4 new outfits all for free!  silly things like wanting to go shopping, He took care of!
i thought it was pretty cool! 

as some of you know, lukus and i are staying at the YWAM base here in amsterdam.  while here, we have done a variety of things, the latest being, helping staff a TESOL school.  it is the same course i took before teaching english in 2003.  you may be wondering...did we know we would be doing this when in amsterdam?  no, we did not : )
my beloved TESOL instructors are here in amsterdam doing a TESOL course for 12 students.  the crazy thing is, they were scheduled to come in january, but Gene(the husband) had an emergency heart surgery, postponing thier arrival to mid-march.  we were scheduled to be here around may, but our itinerary changed, and we arrived here beginning of february.  to sum it up, we are here at the same time, and they needed staff for the course (which is 6 weeks long).  what does that consist of for us?  lukus is leading an intercession group thoughout the week, as well as taking care of legistics for the school...visas, book orders, students practicum, etc.   i am tutoring people when needed, helping with evaluation of student teaching, doing "hospitality" type stuff like making meals on the weekends, leading work duties and so on.  (lukus is also helping me in the kitchen...sweet husband!) it has been quite busy, but good.
a lot needed to happen for this course to take place, and it would have been impossible for the instructors to have done it we have been excited to be able to help fill that need!  there is another couple that have stepped up to has been such a blessing to work along side them!  one of my favorite things about this TESOL staff is that is consist of 3 married couples...the instructors who are in their 6o's, mariluz and dave, in their 4o's,  and us in our 20's!  it has been a blessing to  have other, more mature:), married couples around us! 
this blog is getting a bit long, so i guess i should cut it off. 
thanks for all of your prayer and support.  we could not do this without the continued love from all of you dear friends!!!