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Y W A M D P | Blog


I´m still growing

  |   Lecture Phase, Mission Builders   |   No comment


“I’m just a seed

Not yet a tree

But I’m still growing”


In 2014, we decided to check out this volunteer program in Kona, Hawaii called YWAM; little did we know how much being a mission builder would change our lives! Jumping forward two years, we are again serving with YWAM, but this time at Destination Paradise, Belize.

Why serve again? We wanted to partner with the staff and be a helping hand for daily tasks so that they can invest more of their time in dreaming and planning for God’s Kingdom. Being here we get to be a part of the students’ lives and seeing their transformation as they become the men and women God intended them to be.


We are honored to serve in this community and witness God’s work and power firsthand. With the base here in Belize being considerably smaller than in Kona, we are a tight family together with the staff and students. The beautiful thing about this family is that it doesn’t matter who you are, there is freedom to grow here for everyone. Everybody challenges each other to grow and not stay as they came and we want to challenge YOU to step out of your comfort zone, change your “normal” and become a part of something bigger than yourself!


Julie and Marina


An Ode to Ecuador 

  |   DTS, Outreach   |   No comment
Thank you, God, for Quito.
For displaying Your glory through the mountains
For providing such a welcome home. For a fantastic New Years Eve
For introducing us to Jose Luis, our Man of Peace
And Quito’s oregano tea. The hills that leave us breathless walking up
The new believers. Your growing church. For our godchildren
For unifying the team.


Thank you, God, for Atecames.
For the beautiful ocean. The delicious seafood.
For the school that brought us so much joy and radiated Jesus
And leading us in Your direction. For the need to fight for our team.
Thank you, God, for Manta.
For the huge crashing waves and the natural flavored ice cream.
For inspiring children who want to share your love
For teaching us a million different ways to share the Gospel.
For always being there, even when we can’t see it
For challenging us to always want more of You
For teaching us patience.

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Thank you, God, for Pajan.
For the beautiful first look into the jungle.
For a welcoming community. Strangers turned family.
Sharing your love through skits, testimonies, songs.
For long hikes through the jungle to spread your love.
For a group of youths involved in Your church and so in love with You
For deep relationships even with a language barrier.
Thank you, God, for Puyo.
For it’s wonder. For the zoo and zip lining over cliffs and the jungle.
For excellent mora juice
For welcoming house parents who want to bless us
For a church community thriving, showing us it’s possible
For jungle ministry and baptisms
For spontaneous multi-language worship sessions.

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Thank you, God, for Quito.
For more (literally) breathtaking views. For a safe haven home.
For dump ministry and soup kitchens
For giving us boldness to speak
For long workdays and midnight homeless ministry
For the mountains and alpaca blankets.
For a bittersweet goodbye to our Ecuadorian family, Andrea and Jose.
Thank you, God, for Ecuador.
For it’s beauty- both land and people
For making it the perfect place to stretch us, to mold us, to grow us
For letting us show love
For it’s welcoming spirit, always asking us to return
For a phenomenal time.

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Thank you, God, for my team.
For the fantastic leaders who stretched us.
For Jose and Andrea, our joined team members. Not only translators, but family.
For our unity and love for each other
For a family I’ll never forget and never want to leave.
Thank you, God, for your faithfulness and undying love.
Maddy Ackermann

God has chosen you

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment

John 15,16: „You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.“


Choosing to do a DTS with YWAM definitely wasn’t one of the easiest decision I have taken in my life. Other friends I know already knew they would do a DTS a year in advance, but I was held back by something. On one side I was comfortable in my workplace, with my friends, with my money and I did not want to give it up for a DTS. On the other hand, I wanted a deeper relationship with God. I like to travel and wanted to experience Gods glory in a new way. I asked God about what to do next.

He answered me promptly. I remember I asked him at the end of July, and I got a clear reply by the beginning of August. After I told my family and my friends about my plans to do a DTS, God suddenly revealed Himself to me as a provider. He supplied all the finances I needed for my DTS. So I asked myself: what you are doing Denis? What is holding you back from doing a this school?

It is not that easy. Back home I worked for my fathers company. I had the position as a sales manager and was responsible for sales and businesses in new markets. Right after I had received the support from God for a DTS my dad offered me a new position in the company. The company was looking for a new product manager. During my 4 years of university and working experience I learned a lot about technical requirements, marketing, and retail of products. I assumed that this oppurtinity was perfect for me, and I should take it. If I would have accepted the new position I would not have been able to quit my job for a longer period of time, that would mean: NO DTS!


There was my obstacle again. I started praying over the situation and asked God for wisdom and guidance. I did not get a clearer reply than I received before when he provided everything for the DTS. Sadly my reasonable way of thinking was still holding me back. I asked myself questions like: Why should I spend all the money on a DTS? Why should I reject this great opportunity to get a job as a product manager? What about my future career? What will others think about me if I spend 5 months of my life to build a deeper relationship with God? What is more important, a good income, a safe job and a good car, or living 5 months with people you do not know somewhere in another country and probably sleeping in the dirt? I had reasonable answers for those questions in my mind, but they were all arguments against the DTS.

Nevertheless, I had a deep desire and passion to learn more about Jesus and serving him, even more than before, but I waited to make my decision. At the end of November, I finally decided to do a DTS in 2016. I looked up different bases around the world. YWAM Belize came to my mind, because a friend in the USA told me about it. After I searched the website of YWAM in Belize, I was surprised by the name of their website: YWAMDP.ORG. My initials are DP for Denis Pätz. God is funny. I decided immediately that this was the place where I wanted to go.


As a result, I wrote my application and received my acceptance from them. It was already the beginning of December 2015. After the last preparations and an awesome Christmas time with my family, I started traveling to Belize in the beginning of January, and after a long travel, and overnight stay at an airport, I arrived in San Pedro.

I remember that awesome feeling of excitement and thankfulness when I arrived at the YWAM campus and saw the other DTS students for the first time. Somehow God created an atmosphere in the first week where we felt like a family. Each of us were so open and desired to build a community that was outstanding. All of us came to YWAM DP with open hearts, ready to receive Gods gifts and fruits. A family that is chasing Jesus with all their heart and soul is a huge gift for every single person here. God completely rocked our lifes in the first few weeks.

For me it was so worth it, to leave my comfort zone. I am sure my journey with God is just starting. He is an awesome and great God, whose acts are unpredictable, but glorious.


If you read this blog and you are thinking about doing a DTS, let me encourage you that Jesus will guard you and provide for what you need, because He will never let his disciples down. Even if the DTS, or any other bible school, is unreasonable and unattractive in the worldy view, do it for yourself and not your friends, collegues, or classmates. It will change your life and you will grow like a tree next to a river.

God already chose you. Now choose Him.


Dennis Paetz

Denis Pätz, Saxony Germany,  04/07/1992, 23 yrs

Experiencing The Love Of God In Costa Rica

  |   Uncategorized   |   No comment

FamilyWhen I was asked to write this blog, about experiencing God’s love on this outreach, I just laughed. I would consider myself the least suitable to write about that topic. God’s love has been a challenge for me for as long as I can remember. I’ve been waiting, praying and crying, frustrated for an experience. You know, The One Experience that forever will convince you that you know, that you know, that you know in your heart that God loves you. (If you’ve never heard about this love, you probably have not done a DTS. You should! Apply today!)

What if God’s love was never meant to be a “Once In A Lifetime Experience”? What if it is an everlasting fact, a gift you can choose to receive? The idea of choosing was the most profound thing I learned in the lecture phase of my DTS. Faith, love, hope, worship… All the sweet Jesus things – it’s a choice! You choose to believe. You choose to love and be loved. You choose to see the future as bright. You choose to live a worshiping lifestyle. It’s a choice.

But this was not supposed to be a summary of lecture phase. How have I experienced God’s love on our outreach to Costa Rica? If it’s only about feelings, I’ll say barely at all. If it’s about facts, I can tell you stories for a week or two.

# The fact that we eventually could write the “WE’RE IN COSTA RICA!” post on facebook – is just because of God’s love. Our outreach leaders did an amazing job bringing us safely here, we just hit some road bumps (or muertos (=corpses) as they call it in Costa Rica) on our way. And a motorcycle.


# The fact that God loves me so much that He gave me the best outreach team (or, outreach FAMILY as it really is..!) and outreach leaders I could ever ask for. Being surrounded by their personalities, good (and bad) senses of humor, chirpin’ and encouraging, prayers, and all our good Jesus-talks… I’m so blessed! I know that they have my back. I know that, if necessary, they’ll pray for me until their legs cramp so bad they can’t stand for a few minutes after….

# All the small things: Realizing that it’s French toast for breakfast tomorrow. A good friend sending an awesome Queen-video to me on facebook, because she knows that I appreciate good music. Having six puppies here (I’m no dog fan, but they’re stinkin’ cute. And I might stop caring that I’m allergic). Seeing the dog lovers at the team cry because they love the puppies so much. Writing this blog, and learning a lot from it. And all of this happened within the last fifteen minutes. If I just shift my focus, I’ll see so much love! It says in the Bible that all good comes from God. (James 1,17) So – to be logical here… – french toast, puppies, good music… It’s all from God!

# All the love <3 The love the team has for me and the love we have for each other and the love we have for the people we meet…. It’s all God! We can only love because God loved us first.


# When we got to pick coffee beans as ministry! Ok, when I got over the shock and excitement it got a little boring. And we also didn’t realize that we’d be doing that for many, many days. Or that poisonous snakes were chilling in the coffee trees. But it felt like such a huge blessing! I love coffee! And I got to pick coffee beans! Wow! When the coffee beans were gone, I got to chop down trees with machetes. If you know me, you might see me have a lot of fun with that. You might also – without problems – pictures the dangers that come with giving me a machete… I never hit the same spot twice, and I nearly chopped off a leg, my left hand, and countless fingers. BUT because of God’s love I didn’t. And because God loves me and knows me, he let me have fun with that machete for days!

Love is a choice. You choose to love. You choose to receive love. You choose to see the love around you. And yes, sometimes that sweet feeling is a part of it. The convincing feeling. But most days it’s all about the convincing fact. I read in a book today, that the Swiss theologian Karl Barth was asked to sum up the essence of theology in one sentence. Let me quote his answer; “Jesus loves me, this I know! For the Bible tells me so!”

What if it is actually that simple…?


Ingeborg Dyrøy Lotsberg


A community of love

  |   DTS, Outreach   |   No comment

Here’s a week with Team Ecuador
Things we did, food we ate, and more
God’s moving a lot
Just like we thought
He’s the victor of spiritual war

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Tuesday began with a frown
The fast pace and high altitude bringing us down
We ate comfort grilled cheese
Fruit for vitamin C
Then encouraged each person to turn the mood ‘round

On Wednesday we shoveled some rocks
For the new church addition, we broke concrete wall blocks
We also served lunch
Compassion feeds kids a bunch
Then we topped it all off with Fantastic Mr. Fox

British Jack’s birthday was fun
More meal distribution, labour under the sun
Mad and Sofie, they baked
Double chocolate cake
Filled with dulche de leche! Yum.

We packed for our move the same night
Left big bags as collateral, for a change travelled light
Peaced from the hostel at dawn
Post scrambled eggs and a yawn
Journeying to Puyo jungle delight

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Upon arrival we drank mora juice, had chicken and rice
A dish that’s repeated a few times more than twice
Next came children’s ministry
With song and dance creating sweat-city
Working alongside local programs was refreshing, ’twas nice

A favorite of our team meals so far
Was dinner on Friday: taco salad bar
No morsel went to waste
Though we ate in haste
As the girls left the church with their homestays via car

The boys went for ice cream and crashed in the chapel quite late
So waking up for the 5 am prayer meeting was great
All prayed up a storm
With the atmosphere warm
Then we went on to Saint’s house, learned of missionary Nate

A somber tale of 5 men washing ashore
And wives left behind, hearts sunk to kitchen floor

It’s not just life or death, He is more

Onto the army base with wildlife sanctuary
We walked to cheetahs and pumas devouring meat
Toucans and macaws yelled
Old turtles were held
And only a handful of us were sprinkled by monkey pee


To an indigenous tribe we drove
Expected to just visit but no
Get on your feet!
Two hour children’s program, lead!
Then booked it to baptisms at the pastor’s home

Eat empanadas that make your lips smack
Exhausted from the day, hope to nap
Spontaneous worship session
Deep Bible lesson
Hangout with youth group, play hacky sack

Finish Sunday 18 hours later
With fries, burgers so still smiling at our Saviour
Chicas rise early
Swing on ropes from trees burly
Living on the edge with no fear of haters

Traverse onwards to Banos post church
Cross waterfall-ful valleys on zip lines, stomach lurch
Swan dive off of bridges
Check boxes of wishes
Successful fulfillment of adrenaline search

Today closes the week
Back in Quito with breakfast pastries
We spent hours planning
For ministry spanning
The remainder of this South America streak

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The highlight for me
Was being blessed to see
A community of love
Influenced from above
Demonstrated by immeasurable hospitality

Michelle Chan

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