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

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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

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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

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Tea, Coffee and a Choice

  |   FCM, Outreach   |   No comment

“She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare 
with her” – Proverbs 3:15

My heart is where my passion is. I have a passion for helping others gaining freedom, a passion for women finding their true identity, a passion for women to know they are worthy of love and belonging. Real love and belonging, not just being used for a someone else’s pleasure.

Here in Mongolia, us counseling students have been given the chance to work with a ministry called Streams in the Desert, which rescues women who have been sex trafficked. On Monday, two of us were given the chance to go out on to the streets with some of the Streams staff. Though I knew it would be hard, I still desperately wanted to go. I had some time in the morning to intercede for the women I would be meeting that night on the streets and spent some quiet time with God, asking Him to show me the women and pimps through his eyes, not mine. I suddenly became physically weak with an intense feeling of fear. I thought it was probably just nerves about the evening, seeing as it was dangerous. Suddenly I started sobbing. I couldn’t control it, the tears and shortness of breath just kept coming. I was confused because I didn’t feel like these tears were for me, but if they weren’t for me, who were they for?

The evening came and we set off to the streets of Ulaan Baatar with tea and coffee. It wasn’t anything like I had imagined. We were in a very rich part of the city and most of the prostitutes were older than I expected.The women we saw would stand on show with their pimps close beside them.We saw men approach the pimps, pull them aside to negotiate, then walk away with the prostitute. It was hard to witness, especially seeing some women return to their pimps with tears in their eyes.

My heart broke for these women, and it hit me that my weeping from that morning had been for them. I wept because they don’t let themselves weep, they block their tears and pain. They are so lost and trapped in this lifestyle and couldn’t even see the door wide open they can escape to. Every part of me just wanted to tell these women they are so beautiful and loved; that they are worth so much more than this, but the spiritual warfare was intense and the place felt so dark and evil.

Even though it is sometimes dangerous and the pimps are watching, it is the women’s choice to leave and come with us or to stay. Our intentions were to just love them and show there is a way out and that we are willing to help them. But they have to choose it and make that first step: escape. Some women do choose to leave, but most are too stuck in the lies they are told that they stay with their pimps.

I pray that these women find their worth in their true identity and not through money and lies. I pray for boldness and courage to find freedom, and to want it. I pray for hope.

image1 (3)Mandy Griffin – FCM Student, July, 2015

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Knowing the God Who Satisfies

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image4I was given the chance to share my testimony with students at the Mongolia International University in Ulaanbataar. Stepping up to the podium I set my notes down and looked up to see 100 faces staring back at me. I introduced myself and began to share what little part of my life I could cram into 10 minutes. I started by sharing about an encounter I had with God in Belize. I shared how I looked into the mirror in my very small casita bathroom and realized that I didn’t even know who Reagan Holmes was. If I liked the way someone else did their hair, I would get my hair done that same way; if I liked someone’s shoes, I would go out and buy the same shoes. God began revealing that I had lost my identity and had become a mixture of everyone else’s identities. In attempt to find my true identity, I began by writing truths about myself, and soon realized that I couldn’t think of a single truth. It was after this that God started slowly restoring my identity. I shared with the students that I learned that if I wanted to love and know myself, I first needed to know the One who created me and how much He loves me. I started to read my bible in hopes of learning what God said about me as opposed to what this world said about me. I learned that if you don’t know what God says about you or don’t believe it, then it’s easy to lose your identity.

image3I wanted to share the truths that God has revealed so clearly to me with all the students: No amount of name brands you own and no amount of makeup you wear can cover up or hide who you have been created to be. None of these things can satisfy our craving to be desired or loved, only God can satisfy us completely.

After the service ended, we had the chance to meet in small groups and get to know the students. Me and another team member quickly met a girl named Bubara, a sweet and charismatic student at the university. She was eager to tell us that the “girl from Texas” had touched her heart. I couldn’t help but smile, because I knew that though Satan had tried to make me feel insecure and inadequate, my words had made an impact in this girl’s life.

image1 (2)Not long after that, I saw another girl out of the corner of my eye walking up to us. The young girl grabbed my arm and walked me outside of the auditorium, the first words out of her mouth, “how can I know more about YWAM?” She went on to say that she knew that God had sent me there for her, and that during my testimony she kept feeling God pulling on her heart. She said that she knew just what I meant when I talked about not knowing who I was when I looked at myself in the mirror. As we prayed together, my eyes kept filling up with tears.

This much I know is true: Satan likes to make us feel inadequate, he likes to shut us up so that we won’t step into what God has been called us to do. But it’s our job to realize that God wants us to succeed and has a calling for each of us; He just wants us to step up so that we can claim our victory That’s what ministry is all about– God and His people. It’s about fearlessly sharing what He’s done in our lives so that we can create everlasting relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Meeting those girls was so encouraging, and I’m so blessed to have had opportunity to meet these sweet sisters of mine.

image2 (2)Reagan Holmes – DTS Student, July, 2015

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