Sunday, September 4, 2016

SONS AWAKE Newsletter || Five month update

SONS AWAKE
april-august 2016


Hello, my friends! Welcome to the first season of Sons Awake newsletter. Introductions may be in order. I am Luke Osicka and I married my wife Chelsea on Good Friday, of this year, in Milwaukee, WI. We wanted to recap the first five months of our recently married, and ever uniting, lifestyle of ministry for you. As a reminder, to myself even, I will say aloud to Chelsea, “I don’t know what I’m doing — we’ve never done this before. All I know is Jesus Christ has paid the price to put to death our hellish life and give us all we need to access the grace required to live as we’re made to.” We are forever growing.

“…Seek (inquire for, require, and request) the peace and welfare of the city to which I have caused you to be carried away captive; and pray to the Lord for it, for in the welfare of [the city in which you live] you will have welfare.” | JER 29:7 AMPC

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." | PSALM 37:3-4 NKJV

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SUMMARY
In the short amount of time we have been married we have already proved to live very nomadically and everywhere we go, I don’t care if it’s a gas station on the way between destinations, seeds of life have been sown.

APRIL saw us on the tail end of our honeymoon — a glory story of provision in itself — and beginning to record our first album together. Everyday-life together started in Milwaukee, where Chelsea had been living before we were married. Her lease was up shortly so instead of applying for jobs I often accompanied her to her nannying job. Naturally I began to pour into the kids’ lives and especially was able to disciple the young boy Chelsea cared for. We didn't have the funds for it but somehow managed to drive the six hours back and forth to Minneapolis to work on vocals for the album. Chelsea had never recorded before and seeing Holy Spirit coach her was wonderful to watch as a husband.

MAY was our last month in Milwaukee. As we prepared to move we continued to sow into the local church, hosting gatherings at our place where Holy Spirit certainly had His way. I picked up a temp job painting houses with a brother in the Lord. In this time Chelsea and I sold 95% of our furniture as well as much of our wardrobes and the home-making items Chelsea had long collected for her future as a wife. Selling these things was a faith-deposit in the life we already knew we would lead, not being anywhere too long, and wanting to be as mobile as possible while still having what Chelsea saw necessary to make home wherever we would go. We wanted to give living in New York City a go but two weeks before moving we were redirected to Minneapolis, MN with the heart to serve a dear friend in his business launch. 
JUNE we were hosted for two weeks by the friends who had originally introduced Chelsea to me before I began my DTS (discipleship training school) at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Northwoods in Weyerhaeuser, WI last fall. With no lead on a place to live in the Twin Cities and no feedback on sent-out job applications Chelsea’s Dad then offered us a rental unit of his to live in temporarily in Pepin, WI. We only spent a week there before transitioning again but in many regards it was like another honeymoon — although I say that we’re always on our honeymoon. Unrevealed to us, until weeks later, Baby Osicka joined our journey during this time. Our album “Never Far” was released digitally via BandCamp on the 23rd and was on Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes, etc. a few days later. Its best found in searching the net with the adding of our band name, “Mid Air Never Far.”

JULY we moved into a community house, our own bedroom and all the living spaces shared, in Dinkytown Minneapolis. I was hired by a former YWAMer to do construction work — mostly painting. Chelsea and I reconnected with my first home church, Sojourn Campus Church, where I had been discipled after my life was forever changed by Jesus in 2011. We also spent much time with the folks at KPA, the community house I had lived in back then. Following our album release party at 420 Cafe in Eau Claire, WI and our move to the Cities, Chels and I continued to play live shows, even getting to perform with my old band and dear friends of mine called Fox and Swallow.

AUGUST brought continued steps of faith. As I sought a change of job we took a day to reevaluate vision for our future. Our friend’s business was still a year out from launching and we were released from that, Chelsea was desiring to settle somewhere and make it home as we anticipated a baby joining us, and so our season in Minneapolis swiftly wrapped up. We had only seen it lasting until the end of the summer and couldn't explain why, but here we were in August and that’s what was happening. Packing our room’s worth of belongings into a storage unit Chelsea and I, and our Great Pyrenees, Barley James, headed to New York City. We stayed at YWAM bases along the way on our five day road trip and were greatly blessed by those times with the Body. We had incredible favor on us during our journey out and, while God held us during our total of five days in the City, no doors for the long term ever opened up. Therefore we made the return journey, praying all the way for wisdom, guidance, and provision. During the drive Chelsea asked me what I’d think of staffing at YWAM Northwoods for their upcoming school. That’s all I needed to hear. We’re in Eau Claire, WI through the end of the month with our sights set on serving in Weyerhaeuser, WI at YWAM for the next two years. We are awaiting confirmation from the leadership at the base that they want us on staff but we are also moving forward in faith and support raising while we wait. Either way this will be a fully missional and entrepreneurial season for us.
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NEEDS
Luke and I really love you guys. We know how much you care about us and that you're all as generous as the Church is made to be. We just wanted to present our needs before you for you to have the opportunity to bless and send and support us in our journey as you desire. Knowing Holy Spirit is behind us and goes before us is our steadiness but we can’t begin to say how valuable our interdependence on the Body is. You know us so you know that you can ask us anytime you have a need as well. Luke and I are still learning to do this but, certainly we give even out of our seeming lack. We, the Bride, are made for this. The Church started out, after Jesus returned to the Father, with no lack because anyone who had a need brought it to the other believers and they all provided from what they had — not just for one family,  all the people did this with each other. There are five categories of need we have in our life presently. These can be met creatively, financially, relationally, and prayerfully.

To view the needs please subscribe to the newsletter: bit.ly/tothepure

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TESTIMONIES
One day during July, Chelsea and I were walking with some friends after having pizza in Minneapolis. Barley James was getting mad traffic and I’m always looking for a hungry soul to confront in love about the Gospel. We met a friend, named Gu (pronounced “Koo”), a young Chinese college student who was walking down the sidewalk with his friends. They left shortly after I began to teach Gu about the Kingdom of Heaven. I asked him about him and where he was at with Jesus. He had never heard about Jesus — not once in three years and he’s been living in Minnesota. I tell you now, plainly and lovingly, my dear brothers and sisters, that the very opportunity you’re praying to God about is right in front of you. Heidi Baker said, “Revival has a face.” Gu and I conversed there for about five minutes. He said, “Tell me about the Jesus.” I said, “I can spend all night with you here or we can go have coffee in the morning.” He opted for that. I said I can only meet at 7 or 7:30 because I have to leave for work at 8:30. He said, “I don’t usually wake up early, but I will wake up at 6 to prepare.” Oh, the hunger of the hungry! “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for the will be filled.” (Mt. 5:6) We met the next day and I shared him the Gospel beginning from Adam, then Abraham. My friends, you need to share people the Gospel from the beginning. Jesus does not begin the Gospel, though He is absolutely the embodiment of the Gospel, He also fulfills Himself, but remember the words spoken from God to Abram (just pre-Abraham), “Look up at the sky and count the stars — if indeed you can count them. Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Gen. 15:5) This is the Great Commission before the fulfillment in Mark 16 and Matthew 28. Gu was absolutely excited to learn about the Gospel. When we finished meeting, I went to the bathroom there at the cafe I used to work at. I put on my work clothes and as I left the building, Gu was already reading Genesis, which was the assignment I gave him, to read the first five chapters of the Old and New Testament. He then went to church with me the following Sunday and the only word I felt like God had supernaturally given me for him was that he was gifted in leadership; Gu is studying business management. God is so good. That Sunday, a tremendously gifted and prosperous gentleman was preaching at my first home church and ministered to Gu after I brought him to meet Ken, the preacher. He and I have connected several times since then, and he has been reading the Word since we’ve met and has joined an international Christian fellowship at his university!

There are always stories in mine and Chelsea’s life of the homeless, oh and they are everywhere. “You will always have the homeless among you, but you will not always have me,” Jesus said. Chelsea and I met early in marriage with a homeless friend of hers, named Adalia, who is a Christian and truly knows the love of God. Really — “By their fruit you will know them.” (Mt. 7:16) And remember, whatever we’ve done to the least of these, we’ve done unto Jesus. It’s just a reality that the needy are deeply connected to Heaven, Christian or not. They at least know dependance, and oh, would we get there, Lord! Adalia is married and currently writing a book about her life and is talking to a publisher. Oh shine, God’s anointed. She, in her little, is doing what we would love to do with our much. But she, guaranteed, will be more blessed than most of us, just like the poor widow who gave more than the others (see Mk. 12:43). Praise God, though, we have fallen short before, we don’t have to today, nor tomorrow when it’s time comes. We would give Adalia money and food when we saw her and she was always so grateful. The homeless always receive a gift well. Always. Even the ones who were upset when I shared about Jesus (which are not profoundly common), would receive food and drink well. They know that ministry at least. Like Adalia in Milwaukee is my friend, Daniel in Minneapolis. I met up with him a few weeks ago after a show of ours while we were celebrating with my old Christian folk band mates. Daniel’s unmistakable and like a bear, is full of hair and is very big. He goes by, “Bear,” but I call him Daniel because that’s his name and it’s anointed and I digress. We took Daniel out to eat and I got him food. I hadn’t much, but fortunately he had already ate dinner so he had a big shake. I found out some beautiful and saddening, yet mostly encouraging news. He was saved during a wave of the Holy Spirit that was just under ten years ago in the same part of Minneapolis that I got saved. Hold on . . . Why didn’t anyone tell me!? See, I had heard some stories about this before — there was a Christian coffee shop that was saturated in prayer and the Gospel was preached there and people would get saved on the streets right in the center locale of the University of Minnesota! The thing is, I believe this, that while the move of God was so strong, including many people being prophesied over and filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I believe that this move of God was not guarded by the people like me, who at the time didn’t understand how to steward the beauty of that move. When I was saved four years ago, I was saved because of this move. So because I was saved from this move, I must guard dearly that God moved there the way He did. It’s part of my life DNA. I have to guard that. We have to guard those things as much as our salvation. Literally. For how else would we have been saved?

During a baptism day last Sunday through Harvestime Church (twenty-two were baptized in water), I walked by a group of people on a bench that I dearly wanted to talk to. Because I was going to be with my friends, that was enough of a reason for me not to stop. But then a man was shouting for money so I said, “Come on down to the baptisms.” He said, “Do you have money?” I walked right over and told him all about Jesus. It was so much Jesus that his head hurt and I’m not kidding — he told me it was too much as his eyebrows bent and head lowered in honest despair. George is his name and he was drunk. He was a ‘drunk Christian-thinking Native American, probably co-existish and not filled with the Spirit’ middle-aged man. He is no different than you and me. But I tell you this, he needed love very badly that day and some of my dearest brothers and sisters in the faith walked right past him. Now I did too, but God gave a grace there. Let us not miss the next one, the next face, God puts right in front of us. Hey, those are the easy ones. Those are the ones where you pray a prayer and God answers before your very eyes. One of my life quotes I heard is, “Don’t pray a prayer unless you’re willing to be the answer.” But remember, while that is a good word, “Don’t just hear the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (Js. 1:22) 

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CONNECT
For more on YWAM, visit YWAM.org and see “Vision” and “Values.”

Checks can be made payable to “Luke and Chelsea Osicka” and sent, for now, to 3310 Miller St - Eau Claire, WI 54701 Online, go to paypal.com and click “send”, then enter luke.osicka@gmail.com and the amount you desire to give.

We want to stay as connected as you’d like. Feel free to call, text, email, or connect with us on social media anytime, and subscribe to receive other Sons Awake newsletters via email in the near future.

Special thanks to Ryan Lucas at ryanlucasphoto.com for his amazing work. Large photo shown in this newsletter is credited to him.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Still //

Something beautiful about blogs is that they wait. Having a space that grows with you and is so open to the flow of creativity -- heavy or sparse. Like a lifelong friend who you dont see or even speak to for a year but then you catch each other for a few hours and pick up right where you left off, that's a lot like this space. July is an update in and of itself but here we are in August and I have new news. Sometimes I dont write simply because I dont know what is happening or where we are going or what we are doing, Im just taking one day at a time. This past month in Minneapolis has been that, certainly, but its also been a wonderfully still season and Ive been soaking in that. News always gets out eventually and it will be exciting but for now Im still savoring the final days of stillness before another wild adventure ensues. This is the life. 
Little life glimpses can always be followed on Instagram: @chelsea_pea


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Month Three // our journey

Our car full of things, staying in guest rooms, living on a prayer, quite literally except for the generosity of friends, family and the blessing of some work-for-hire jobs here and there. Forty days like that was not easy -- the only resource we had most of the time was gas in our car and with all the miles we tracked between Eau Claire, the Cities, and Pepin we ended up driving a lot of miles on empty and then Daddy God would give us enough to put some more gas in. Luke thinks this is not even half as crazy as the life we will lead in years to come, traveling or being on the road for months at a time, but it was plenty challenging for now. In the midst of it all we took moments to just be. Going swimming with Barley in the river in Eau Claire, a short film showing in Minneapolis with friends, a week long "second honeymoon" in Pepin (the first chance we had to stay in a space all our own in almost a month since leaving Milwaukee and where we were so broke we could only afford ramen and eggs for every meal from the dollar store but we splurged on a shared cup of coffee a few times), and an evening cookout at a friend's lake house. Luke worked as much as he could. I took the chance to rest as much I could. We learned so much grace for people who are on the road a lot. You cant hold a steady job like that but, boy, do you still want to work and meet your needs and bless others. Encouragement was so needed. We clung closer to each other through that, thankfully brief, season than I could have imagined. Finishing our album in that time was a great breakthrough and celebration. Showing it to friends and family was precious. 

Transition that seems perpetual is taxing. Not being able to take care of your own dog much is challenging. Being broke is really rough. We saw Daddy God be so faithful to us, even sweet, through the forty days of no-home and essentially no income. Luke handles it all much better than I do. Im so glad he leads us -- rejoicing always in the opportunities we're provided by circumstances to grow and to see God move. We arent where Id ever thought we would be, but faith in the midst of the journey is what counts the most. Saying no to depression or anxiety or anger and instead cultivating hope, because it doesnt disappoint. P.S. Love is free.



























Thursday, July 14, 2016

Month Two // our journey

In May we were wrapping up the short season of shared life we spent in Milwaukee. We worked together a lot -- at my job, getting Luke to work, at coffee shops, trekking back and forth to the Cities to record our album. We sold lots of our things so we could travel much lighter, packing up and moving out. Luke was blessed by how willing I was to part with the life Id spent years building to bless my future husband with. We went to weddings together -- first time Ive had a date to a wedding, and now I have one for life. We ate out, got coffee, walked our dog, ate ice cream, watched basketball, gave what we had to all the homeless people we saw. These are some sweet memories in the midst of the just-getting-started craziness that our life together was becoming.