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Proyecto America Ministry

  |   DTS, Outreach   |   No comment

image1 (10)Over the weekend we were on the road again, this time to the town of Durazno (which is Spanish for “peach”)! Our team and a couple of the guys we met in Montevideo bussed up to take part in Proyecto America Durazno 2015 from October 30th to November 2nd. We arrived on the 31st, however, due to a bus drivers’ strike that left a lot of people coming in on Saturday instead of Friday.

The project took place in Durazno this year in order to aid people who were affected by major flooding and a tornado in the area. Throughout the weekend there were construction projects going on to build small houses for people and basic furniture like beds and shelves. The Saturday also had many people setting up services for the people including a medical aid trailer, clothing donations, haircuts, and games for the kids. The Sunday some people packed up and moved the show to a different town an hour away to help those affected there. The Monday saw everyone who hadn’t yet gone home head to the neighbourhood of one of the construction sites to do street evangelism and explain a bit about Proyecto America.

image2 (7)It was an exciting weekend for all of us. We got to help build the walls of a house, build some bed frames, and work with kids and adults in need. I even convinced the guy in charge of constructing beds to let me use the skill saw! I never actually thought I would use what I learned in Industrial Arts in real life, but I guess I was mistaken. As well as the work we were doing, we also got to see our friends from the Rivera YWAM base again! It was happy reuniting with them one more time before leaving Uruguay.

image4 (4)It was a rewarding time spent working in Durazno. Despite the frigid nighttime temperatures in the gymnasium we were camped out in with around 200 other people, we had a great time meeting and talking with the other people there – there were even some Americans from Florida who spoke fluent English and Spanish, and some Germans from one of the German colonies here in Uruguay (SHNITZEL!). It was nice to have some tangible evidence of our work – the building and beds we helped make. It was also interesting and different to be doing a different kind of “traditional missionary” work. We’ve mostly been doing relational ministry and evangelism rather than hands-on labour, so it was a bit of a change. We’re also yet to hold any babies in our ministry, except one little girl named Pilar who screamed as soon as she was handed to me and Charis.

If you would like to know more about Proyecto America, please visit proyectoamerica.org. Once again, thank you everyone who is supporting us. We’ll soon be back in Belize and our respective countries to tell you all about everything!

Kimberly Gorgichuk – DTS Student, July, 2015image3 (3)

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Son, not Servant

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment

12204653_1205421722817936_656618954_nI’ve been learning so much about what God thinks about me, about humility, and about sonship. In his book, “The Secret Romance,” John Eldredge tells us how God pursues us because he wants relationship with us and just wants us! God’s love for you is deeper and wider than the very limits of our universe.

I’ve learned the difference between being humble and having inferior pride. Humility is having an accurate assessment of yourself; inferior pride is thinking lowly of your self or not worthy.

I also have been learning about the difference between sonship and servanthood. Sonship is relationship based, it is ownership, and sons are family oriented. Servants are requirement based, they have no ownership and are issue oriented.

Being relationship based means doing things out love for the Father and love for others while requirement based means doing things out of obligation or because you are required to do it.

12212519_1205421699484605_852195753_nOwnership is acknowledging your actions, taking ownership in the kingdom of heaven and ownership as sons. Being family oriented means caring more about the person and their value as a son or daughter of the King, while being issue oriented means caring more about the behavior of the person instead of actually caring about the person.

Are you living in sonship or servanthood? Are you walking out humility or pride? I dare you to ask God how much he loves you, then silence yourself and Satan, and just listen to God.

Seth Kasper – DTS Student, October, 2015

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I Can Do All Things

  |   FCM, Outreach   |   No comment

image2 (6)Never in my life did I think I could counsel someone. I always thought that I was the one that needed counseling. I wanted someone to hear me complain, hear my problems, someone to tell me I’m not crazy for feeling this way. Though I have never received official counseling before, after my DTS I realized that a lot of that was me being counseled. Then God told me to do the Foundations in Counseling Ministry (FCM). At first I said to myself: “Nobody wants me to counsel them, I would suck at it”, but I went anyway. In the FCM, I learned different tools of how to counsel people and the different areas where someone might need counseling.

Now here I am in Mongolia, having finished the FCM lecture phase and looking for counseling opportunities. If Mongolia is in dire need of anything, it’s counseling.

image3 (2)There are three major strongholds of Mongolia: alcohol, anger, and abuse. For the first three weeks in which we stayed in Ulaanbaatar, it became obvious that despite the need for healing in the culture, there were few counseling opportunities. Now counseling doesn’t necessarily mean a sit-down appointment where someone tells me all their problems. But every ministry we went to, I was trying to connect with someone, learn about their family and see if I can speak truth into their lives. But whenever I tried, they would turn the conversation on me and ask what movies or music I liked and my attempt at counseling would fall flat.

image4 (1)After a few weeks in the city, we left to go to the countryside. We arrived in Bayanhongor, and the third day we were here, a lady named Boldmaa told us that she had a lot of people on her mind that would need counseling. I couldn’t believe it! I immediately volunteered, wanting to practice what I learned in the FCM. The next day we met with a woman that I would be counseling, with Boldmaa acting as our translator. I begged the Holy Spirit to give me the words to speak truth to this woman. I can’t say what went on in this counseling session due to privacy, but let’s just say there was an issue involving the Mongolian culture. Let me put it this way: Say it is a sin to eat meat for this woman. In their country it is an abomination to eat meat* and my goal is to break through that. But if she realizes that it’s not a sin and she eats meat, the people around her will gossip and look down on her.

I felt stuck. How could I speak truth to this woman when her whole life she had been taught differently? At the end of the day, I felt plugged up. I needed to process but I didn’t know how. I would be counseling her again the next day, and felt at a complete loss for what to say to her. All I could do was ask for prayer from my team. The next day I spent the day soaking in prayer. My team prayed for me again. The counseling session went amazing. I could see it in her eyes that she had realized she had been looking at situations the wrong way. She told me that she wanted me to counsel her and her daughter as well. I couldn’t believe it! I had just counseled someone for the first time! I just spoke truth into her life!

What’s that verse again? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13

*eating it is not an abomination to eat meat in Mongolia

Sami Johnson – FCM Student, July, 2015image1 (7)

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Taste And See That The Lord Is Good

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 image (1)Since we have been in Montevideo, some things have been evident here. Love, and hospitality – especially in the church we are staying at. People have bought us chocolate, an amazing family made us alfajores, (sugar cookie sandwiches with dulce de leche in the middle) and a wonderful lady named Sandra made us pizza! Ham and pineapple, and a typical Uruguayan style pizza which is egg, bacon onion, cheese and chicken. Delicious! Plus we got treated to chivitos (sandwiches with a thin slice of grilled meat with mozzarella, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, olives, fried onions and peppers, bacon, fried eggs and ham), which we got to have on a fun night with the young adults and youth at the church. Food has been a major blessing to us on outreach. The Bible does say in Psalm 34:8 “taste and see that the LORD is good.” Jesus wants us to be well fed. It’s something I’d never have expected from Outreach though!
image (3)This week we’ve also started doing our candy ministry, which I am loving. It’s something so simple as handing out a little piece of candy to people on the street, but the smiles we are getting from it makes it so much more fun! Uruguayan culture is very self-focused, and depression is really common here. Yet the gratitude that people show towards receiving something is so special. On a side note to that – it’s generated a great example of my awesome Spanish skills. We made a sign that said “Un regalo para ti. ¡Que tenga un been día!” which translates to “A gift for you. Have a nice day!” The word que is pronounced “kay”, but I kept pronouncing it “key”. Even when corrected, I didn’t register that I was saying it wrong. I’m learning.
image (2)Psalm 34:8 continues, “Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” God has blessed us with friendships that I did not anticipate from the church we are staying at. We have created loving bonds with the young people and their families. I am blown away by the love and excitement they have for God. We have been especially blessed by 3 amazing friends, Bruno, Cristian, and Santiago, who have hearts for worship and are super musically talented – and speak English! They have helped us out a lot by interpreting for us. Over all they have been so much fun to be with. We have had a lot of jam sessions and randomly breaking out in signing.
For us as a team, it has been so important for us to go to God. To let Him guide us as we put our trust in him. God has always been there for us and has provided for us more than we could have imagined. “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” -Miriam Adeney.  So far I have left part of my heart in Rivera, and now part of it is here in Montevideo. It makes me so excited to find out what other places God has planned to put my heart.
Jamie Ukrainetz – DTS Student, July, 2015image
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Here Comes the Son

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment
IMG_5881Have you ever stopped to think about why we love watching the sun rise so much? It’s something that happens every single day, but there’s something about it that makes people get off Snapchat and actually take the time to appreciate its beauty. Why is that? Well, I have a semblance of an idea. I am currently in one of the best places on earth for watching the sunrise, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see it almost daily. It never ceases to take my breath away. I think the reason we are so captivated by the sunrise though is because we can actually see the sun pushing away the darkness of the night. We are literally able to watch the transition of things hidden by darkness becoming clearer. The sunrise ushers in a safer, brighter, and more beautiful reality than the night.
 I’ve been on this little island of Ambergris Caye for almost a month now, and the Lord has been teaching me so much; whether in regards to community, leadership, or simply applying my faith, it seems each day brings a new revelation. However the most challenging concept for me to grasp so far, and something I will continue to chew on, is what it means to be vulnerable. I’ve realized especially in the past few days how much of my heart I’ve kept in the night, refusing to allow it to be touched by the light.
IMG_5882I need a spiritual sunrise. And that is only going to come through exposing my hidden corners to the light of my spiritual sun: Christ. Until I let him permeate every area of my life, I will never be brought into the fullness of that bright, clear reality of freedom that he wants for me. Instead I will continue to stub my toes on things in the dark. And just like when the night comes, it does not mean the sun has ceased to exist – likewise if I choose to keep things in the dark, Christ is not absent from my life, I am simply absent from his light.
The beautiful factor is that, while our earthly sun will rise and set despite any effort to stop it, Christ will never force his light on our lives. He gives us the free will to keep hiding under our heart-blankets, begging for a spiritual “five more minutes!” even though he knows his light will lead us into our brightest day – full of purpose, freedom, and relationship.
For me though, even though I realize vulnerability is more beneficial than remaining closed off, it is still a process I struggle with. John 1:5 says: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Christ is the light, and the darkness is anything in opposition to Him. I think that’s why vulnerability is so difficult – because our darkness cannot overcome the light of Christ. We lose, every time. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like losing. But whatever petty things we may lose are nothing compared to what we will gain by exposing ourselves to Christ. That’s the whole beauty of it – the sunrise of Christ’s light in our lives will not burn or scald or damage us. Instead it beckons us into a reality of truth, grace, acceptance, and freedom.
IMG_5880Psalm 139 is familiar to mostly all of us I assume, but I love it because it is the story of David finally coming to a place of vulnerability with God. Verse 12 says: “…even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” How cool is that? God already has claimed our darkness as light. We just have to say yes to Christ and allow his light to rise in our lives. And when we finally choose the light, we can sit and watch it rise, slowly flooding all our shadows with his marvelous truth and love.

I can’t say what else the Lord is going to teach me through my time at YWAMDP, but I’m excited to keep getting rid of my dark places. Christ’s light is far more desirable than any blackness I cling to.

John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”
Emily Coll – DTS Student, October, 2015IMG_5878