Translator’s Note

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IMG_5873So the other day I walked into a glass door and messed up my nose. It didn’t bleed – Hallelujah – but there was a pretty solid ding in my thing for a few days after.

Jamie and Summer almost peed their pants in the street from laughing.

So anyway… Outreach is going really well. The food here in Uruguay is pretty amazing. Here I was, thinking my sweet tooth wouldn’t be satisfied, and instead we made homemade alfajore cookies – sugar cookies sandwiched together with dulce de leche caramel sauce! The weather has been chilly, but nothing us hardened Canadians can’t handle (I write, wrapped in a sweater, a t-shirt, two tank tops, and two pairs of leggings). We made awesome friends at the YWAM base in Rivera we were staying at, and we get to be reunited later on our trip in the town of Durazno! We’re staying at a church in Montevideo now. The family taking care of us have been so crazy nice, everyone has been, really. They’re so hospitable here. We’ve made friends with some young people from the church as well who speak very good English – they’ve been a huge blessing, especially since now we’re not totally stranded on an island of English.

IMG_5826There have been some harder parts. It rained for a week in Rivera and cancelled some of our plans, I missed my sister’s birthday for the first time, and communication has often been a challenge. I mean, we’re using me as a translator a lot of the time. I frequently mix up the words for “hour”, “month” and “year”. The other girls are learning fast – their favourite lesson has been on the difference between two easily mistaken phrases, “tengo hambre” (I’m hungry) and “tengo hombre” (I have man). Then there was the whole unfortunate, but absolutely typical, walking-into-a-door-breaking-my-face thing (and yes, it did leave a face print, and yes, everyone in the store stared as I staggered away clutching my face as Summer and Jamie sympathetically cackled).

IMG_5852But I say this all with a smile. Because every incident, every wrong turn, every time we think everything’s going off the deep end, God shows up and turns it into something great. The rain cancelling some plans opened us up to go to a hospital to pray for some patients, and do a really fun presentation at a school. My sister is going to get a rad birthday present from Uruguay when I get home. The language barrier makes everyone come out of their shells a bit more as we mime what we’re trying to communicate. Walking face-first into that door – well, that hasn’t got a bright side yet, except that it made Summer and Jamie’s week.

We have a choice whenever we talk about an event whether we’ll look onto it with happiness or bitterness. I’ve come to know this really well, since I wind up doing a lot of talking. I can focus on the sucky parts, or I can highlight the bright sides. I know I want to be known as a person who focuses on the silver linings. I want everything I say, no matter what language, to glorify God and brighten people’s days.

So thank you, everyone, for your prayers and support. We’ve been getting to do some really cool ministry here, and we’ve been seeing God move in some really rad ways. Please pray that the Montevideans will learn to speak slower, and pray that we’ll all learn to speak faster.

IMG_6470The Translator, Kimberly Gorgichuk – DTS Student, July, 2015

Greater Things

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image1 (4)This week I was given a choice: try and do outreach through my own strength or surrender to God. It’s interesting how often I choose not to surrender even though I know God should be in control. I like to be in control; I like to control how my day goes, I like to control my future plans in life, I like to control my finances, I like to control other people (or attempt to). I even like to control how and when I speak to God.

But God ripped all of those apart this week. In a soft and gentle whisper, I was encouraged to surrender EVERYTHING to my Heavenly Father. Again. And again. And again. See, it’s a daily thing I find myself having to do. Waking up and saying the hard but oh-so powerful words: “God I give you this day”. Cool thing is that Jesus makes us an incredible promise in the book of John. He says that when we surrender, we can do the works He did throughout scripture, and EVEN GREATER THINGS. John 14:12 says “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do”. Wow, what an incredible promise, right? He hands us incredible power and authority to do his work here on earth.

image2 (4)On Wednesday I had the opportunity to partner with a homeless ministry. I was a little nervous, especially since the homeless have a bad reputation of being rude drunks here in Ulaanbaatar. But God quickly broke my stereotype and showed me how these are my brothers and sisters and how I need to love them as such. It was freezing outside, and there was a fresh coat of snow on the ground. We started off the morning going to a dry river bed (where most of them hang out) and handing out hot soup and bread. Corrie, the women who started this ministry, told us that on average they have three to four meals a week– two of which come from this ministry. Most of them can’t afford any food at all, and go through the winter without any nutrition. They were so thankful for even a tiny bowl of soup. About half an hour after we started, a lady on crutches wobbled her way over to get soup from us. The moment I saw her, I felt a nudge from God to go pray for her broken leg. After about ten minutes of arguing with God, I chose to surrender and do what he called me to do. I asked the woman if I could pray for her leg through hand gestures. She agreed even though she couldn’t understand the words I was praying. I actually like praying with language barrier because I don’t worry about how I will sound or finding the right words to say, I just start talking with God.

image1 (6)I laid my hands on her ankle and started speaking with the Spirit. I wasn’t wearing any gloves so my hands were freezing, but as I continued to pray, my hands starting to heat up. As I glanced at the woman’s face during my prayer, I noticed tears flowing from her precious eyes. My heart began to pound as I came to the reality that physical healing was taking place. After about fifteen minutes of prayer, I hugged her and finished handing out soup. Because of the language barrier I couldn’t ask her if she felt any better, but she left with a smile, holding her crutches rather than using them. I don’t know how much healing came to her leg exactly, but I do know this: when God is in control, hearts are changed. I know God cares about this woman’s broken ankle. I know that our God heals. I know that a smile is understood in all languages. I know that something was stirring in both our hearts.

It was an unbelievable experience to see her carrying her crutches in victory. To see her limping away with a smile was enough of a healing for me. I believe that that woman was healed with all of my heart. If you choose to surrender each and every day to Him, you will never regret it and will never look back. Restoration, revival, and redemption is near for those who choose to surrender their life to God.

image3 (1)Grace Fey – DTS Student, July, 2015

Living Life & Trusting God

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IMG_5198It’s crazy to think that we have only been here two weeks now, and it already feels like we’ve been here so much longer. The community and relationships that we’ve been building these past couple of weeks have been amazing, and for me its really awesome because it’s something that I’ve never truly been able to experience. There is something so special about living life with a bunch of people who just have heart after God, and have a desire to become vulnerable and really lead a life that honors God. Its been pretty cool already seeing God move and work in these peoples heart in just the short time that we’ve been here.

IMG_4957This week in lectures, our topic is “Life Calling: Discipling Nations” where we have been working through our gifts and our talents, and learning that they aren’t only meant to be used within the church, but within the 7 spheres of the bible. Which consists of government, religion, family, education, celebration, business, media and communications. Although for me in the beginning this topic was a little confusing I found it super cool that if we really study the bible, we are able to find ways that it reflects or can relate to one of the 7 spheres. Now as awesome as that has been, that isn’t what I wanna talk about.

IMG_5243This week we found out where we will be going on outreach. We were given 15 minutes to pray and talk with God about where he wanted us to go. The very first thought in my head was that there was no way I was going to be able to pick a location in that 15 minutes and be 100% sure that was where God was calling me. One of the main reasons I came to YWAM DP was to be stretched out of my comfort zone and to really learn to trust God with everything that I had and this was definitely a situation where I had to do that. Choosing the most expensive outreach location for me meant, the more money, the more trust I would need to put in God, and trust that this is his plan and that He would provide financially. There is something so cool about giving God your everything, and trusting that he is going to provide because in a time where I would usually be panicking and freaking out I have complete peace and trust that it will all work out. God is so good and I’ve been learning so much about who He is and who I am, and I cannot wait to see how God will have completely transformed my heart when this time is over. I guess you could say I never want this to end.

12046575_10205062439142428_5140382359503774637_nAlexandra Lemay – DTS Student, October, 2015

Week One!

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IMG_0059“You can only be loved to the extent that you’re known.” were the words that began this past week, our first at YWAM DP. A sandcastle building competition, drama night, and testimony sharing helped prayerfully matched small groups, academic groups, cooking groups, work groups, casita mates, and the community get to know each other. We’re intent on knowing each other so we may love each other better, in an attempt to echo God’s agape.

On Saturday, our neighbours at White Sands were generous to take the base snorkelling at Mexico Rocks, where we swam among nurse sharks, rays, and green turtles. Other memorable moments include heated beach volleyball games, walks in the blazing sun to San Pedro for D and E’s frozen custard treats as well as Kyle and Micah being our first successful spearfishers.

IMG_0067During Wednesday worship we were individually moved to jump over a rope, physically symbolising our commitment to give God 100%, to be all here, to invite our creator to move from the questions in our heads to the depths of our hearts. Thanks for diving into the healing journey, the passionate adventure with us!

P.S. We welcome prayers for the mosquitoes to vanish so we may all sleep under the stars on the dock in peace 🙂

imageMichelle Chan – DTS Student, October, 2015

Uruguay Outreach Blog: Week One!

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IMG_5884It’s been an amazing first week in Rivera, Uruguay! It’s definitely a whole lot colder than Belize, and half of us are from Canada, land of igloos and never ending snow so you would think we would be used to cold weather! Nope, we still freeze at night. But thankfully it’s spring time, so it will only get warmer. Another plus is we definitely won’t starve here, we eat everything that comes our way and you just can’t get enough of it. We also really enjoy the famous latin american, Dulce De Leche. Which is the equivalent of the American Nutella, but only ten times better. They are very generous with giving us enough food to eat, and as a thank-you we gave them a bottle of hot sauce, Belizian heat.

IMG_5873It doesn’t even feel like we’ve been here for a week, it feels like we’ve been here for months! We’ve gotten so close with everybody and their just like family, we feel like we’ve known them for years! Although english isn’t their first language and they speak very little english, and we very little Spanish; it hasn’t put a barrier to the laughs, the games or the unity. I think the teams favourite memories are from just hanging out with our friends laughing and having a good time after meals and long days of ministries, work duties, devo’s and services. We’ve had a lot of amazing ministry opportunities to reach out to the communities and be able to share our stories and passions. We’ve done soccer camps in the villages for the kids and put on arts and crafts activities, and we’ve shared devotionals and put on church services. The church that we went to for the first week was such a cool experience for all of us, since it was all in Spanish, we didn’t understand really anything; other than hallelujah, Jesus and amen. But what we did understand was the passion they had for Jesus, and how they expressed that in how they loved to throwing their hands in the air and shouting as loud as they could and dancing around! We may be two very different cultures but at the same time were so unified and together, we share this passion for Jesus, and it doesn’t matter what language we speak or where were from.

IMG_5826However, outreach isn’t all just rainbows, outreach can also be very stressful! Travelling for 3 days, no beds, no comfort, and no meals; it gets pretty tiring! It creates a sort of “edge” to people that isn’t normally there. But the really cool thing about it is how we’ve grown from it. How something that at the time may seem like the end of the world and we use bad judgement and say things that only cause more disunity; and how it can be used to make the team stronger. That we can slip up here and there and act like a total mole, we just learn from our mistakes. We come together, pray together and walk together, and just be even more unified from it. We came together in harder times and reminded ourselves and each other that outreach isn’t always going to be easy, but that God is full of grace. Grace for our short temper at times, for when were Hangry, for when we don’t want to be around each other, for when were missing home; and for when we forget what were here for. We as a team have been able to walk through hard days and make our other days stronger. Five sticks are stronger than one stick, and their each as equally as important as the other. We’ve been able to see so clearly our strengths and weaknesses individually and use it to become stronger as a team, and learn and grow from it.

Week one of outreach has been amazing so far and were each being moved and touched in different ways. And we’ve loved sharing how God is moving, how he’s opening our eyes more and more. Week one, day one, and we’ve already made lifetime memories.
God is so Good.

Summer White Eagle – DTS Student, July, 2015