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Tour Update: Reno, Chico, Joshua Fest

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11998433_10207799648854388_1616913749_nI never would’ve thought I’d be wearing two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, a hoodie, a vest, and a beanie (or toque if you’re Canadian) in California! We’ve certainly discovered over the past week that not all of California is made up of sunny coast!

12000079_10207799649534405_1499367107_nDespite the freezing temperatures of the night we had an amazing last week in California. We actually started the week in Reno, Nevada where we were able to share our stories with a young adult group. An unexpected stop on our tour turned out to be an incredible blessing from God as we connected really well with some of the people there. We were able to pray with a girl who has been thinking about doing a DTS for years now. A few days later, she came to visit us at Joshua Fest and told us the awesome news that after talking and praying with us she knew she was going to do a DTS in Belize!! We’re so stoked and know that God brought us to Rachel to speak into her life.

12000041_10207799649854413_1532398361_nThe rest of our four day stay at Joshua Fest was filled with great music, prayer, and fellowship with other YWAMers. We were able to be a part of a prayer tent that was being run by The YWAM base in Chico, CA. They truly blessed us. At the prayer tent we were able to fellowship with them as well as prayer for people at the festival. I even got a shoutout from a band I got to pray for!

11999904_10207799647374351_1279634647_nNow we have officially left the Golden state and after a quick pit stop in Oregon we are back in the great area of Seattle! We are wanting to finish strong and press even more into God so that we can stay united as a team. We are praying that we’ll meet as many people as we can in these next couple weeks so come hangout with us if you’re in the Seattle area!

11997008_10207759620613707_1568460027_nAmanda Harris – Staff

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Counseling, Horses, and a Calling

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10614123_10203239886452749_6906134846106134560_nHey everyone! Camille here, FCM student at our lovely YWAM DP. Wow, what a beautiful season of growth it has been. God never ceases to amaze me in how he speaks, teaches and stretches me, each day.

We are gonna quickly jump back a few steps… to pre-FCM. I received a Facebook message, suggesting I prayerfully consider coming to do the Foundations in Counseling ministries (for July of 2014). “HA! ya right!” I said aloud. “I ain’t meant to sit on a couch all day”. Alas, God had something else in mind and, long story short, guess where I am a year and a half later?

The Lord showed me and continues to reveal, that being a counselor isn’t just a title and it doesn’t even need to be your career, it’s a lifestyle. I’m learning more and more how God has created me- with compassion for the hurting and a desire to reach the broken. As Christ-followers, people ARE our mission: to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to be the light of the world, to be hope, and to make disciples of all nations.

His Word says it so perfectly:

Isaiah 61:1-2 (NLT) “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come…”

This is who I am. I have been created to partner with Christ in this mission.

IMG_1769SO, what is my “mission field”? you may ask. I believe it will involve lots of hooves, halters and manure (yep). The Lord has given me a crazy passion for horses and I have so much joy when working with these incredible creatures! I first discovered “Equine Therapy” on a road trip, three years ago and was immediately captivated. I read about the miraculous healing (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.) that was taking place in children and young adults simply through interactions with horses. “Wow.” I thought, “God, I want to be part of what you’re doing in this.” How awesome that He is able to take my compassion for the broken and bring it together, in harmony with my love for horses! To come along-side the addicted, the traumatized, fearful, autistic, paraplegic, depressed and lonely and to FULLY love them with the Father’s love.

FCM is equipping me for the adventure ahead. I’m honored and blessed to be here, learning how to counsel the lost and point them toward hope and freedom. I’m discovering more of who God is and am diving deeper in love with my Maker. I don’t know what the future holds-but I trust that He will prepare me for the journey ahead. Here I am Lord, send me.

“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing… I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” Jeremiah 33:6

Camille Knospe – FCM Student, July, 2015IMG_0205 (1)

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Tour Update: Yosemite!

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11948118_10207759620493704_984593374_nThis past week God has given us some time to rest and recharge as we prepare for a busy last couple of weeks on the road! We spent a few days in Yosemite soaking up God’s glorious creation and enjoying the company of old (and new) friends.

 

 

11950836_10207759669054918_88176156_nWe reconnected with the most beautiful Shea, who is currently staffing at YWAM Yosemite. The Yosemite base is new and is preparing for their second ever DTS starting this week! We enjoyed helping them prepare for the new students. Donavon and Martin helped out with a woodworking project and Megan and I assisted with the more artsy projects.

We departed from Yosemite and made a last minute pit stop in Reno, Nevada where we were warmly welcomed by previous staff members Trevor and Whitney! We are enjoying their company now, and looking forward to meeting and speaking to the youth from their church tonight!

11944958_10207759620653708_1085166010_nSince we’ve been on the road for more than five weeks now, we’re starting to wear out more easily. As a team God’s really been teaching us about intentionality at what it looks like to keep our team centered around Him. If we continue to keep our focus on Jesus we know we can finish strong!

We’re off to spend our last few days in California volunteering at Joshua Fest. It’s sad to say goodbye to California but we know God has more amazing stuff in store for us up north!

Amanda Harris – Staff

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California and Heading North

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imageAs we sat around our campfire on the beach, roasting veggies, cooking hotdogs, and sharing many laughs I was given a new perspective on community. Nine strangers, all of us different ages, nationalities, and backgrounds, bonded over the love of Christ and formed a small family on a quaint beach in Santa Cruz, California this past Saturday. We shared our hearts, our stories, and our dreams. We attempted to surf and laughed a lot when we failed. It was the perfect ending to our time in San Francisco.

Last week God brought so many people into our path and really made our presence known in the San Francisco area!

While Megan and I were helping out with a ministry that rescues girls from sex trafficking, we really connected with a fellow volunteer named Lorraine who was just baptized and as we shared our story with her she became more and more ecstatic over the idea of doing a DTS. Through a local church known as PCC we were able to attend a young adults group where we met so many cool people our age. They welcomed us with more enthusiasm than we ever could’ve imagined and were anxious to learn more about our experiences with YWAM DP. We spent the next day at the beach with some people from the PCC crew and Megan and I shared a meaningful time over lunch with some of the girls the next day before we headed out.

A few days before we headed to LA we were also able to volunteer with Francis Chan’s ministry, Project Bayview. We delivered food to people living in a less fortunate area of San Francisco and were able to share about YWAM DP with a lot of the people plugged into ministry there.

After a breathe taking trip down the Pacific Coast Highway we arrived in LA and have had a great time visiting with Tj, a graduate of the April school who just returned from Vanuatu. We have loved hearing about his outreach and supporting him in his transition back to life in the states.

image (2)As a team we were refreshed by our time in San Francisco and poured into by many awesome individuals. God has blessed us in more ways than we ever could’ve imagined and now we are trusting him to provide just as faithfully for our last month. After a fall through in plans we were able to get a campsite at Yosemite last minute and are headed there Sunday. We would be so grateful if you would join us in praying that God brings people into our path while we’re camping that we can connect with and minister to! As a team have been reminded this week that we can never forget to bring it back to the basics – to worship, pray, and study the Bible together daily so that we are all being the best vessels of Jesus’ love and representations of YWAM DP as we possibly can be! We are more than excited to see how God will move as we turn around and start our ascent backup north!

Amanda Harris – Staff11793320_10206084490205032_1387852494_n

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The Beauty In Falling

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“God finds us in the holes we dig for ourselves. Where we see failures; He sees foundations.”
-Bob Goff

4874788_origI wish we had hiking trails in Belize, its one of the things I miss most about being home in Alabama. Waking up early in the morning to hit the trail, planning your trek out on the map, orienteering with a compass, all to spend the whole day working to get to that perfect campsite.

When I think back to hikes I have made I really struggle to remember a whole lot about the locations I stayed in, or the campsites, the things I remember most are what happened on the trail.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to spend a week on the trail in New Mexico. I can remember my excitement growing as we drove for days from Birmingham, Alabama to Albuquerque, New Mexico. About an hour and a half south of Albuquerque we unloaded our packs from the suburban and hit the trail, carrying everything we would need for our trek, knowing we would go days before having a chance to replenish food or supplies.

886408_origAs with any hike there are always unexpected challenges. Early on in our trek, a fellow hiker almost stepped on a diamondback rattlesnake, realizing the danger moments before stepping on the snake. A few days later injuries and fatigue began to kick in as the miles of hiking per day began to take a toll on us. I can remember running low on water and having to strategically spend an afternoon finding clean water, or having to bandage up a friend after he sliced his leg open.

The funny part about all those memories is during the hike they seemed overwhelming, like they would be too great to overcome, they were not much fun and frankly I just wanted them to be over with, yet they are what I remember best. Those are the memories that made the hike unique and special. They added color and adventure to the trip.

Often in Christianity we forget that some of the most beautiful parts of the race we run are the times we fall and get back up. The beautiful thing about knowing Jesus is that not only do I have freedom to live an abundant life with Him, but I have the freedom of knowing that my shortfalls are not to be shameful or weighty, but instead are what brings color, and uniqueness to my life.

7767327_origTruly accepting and believing that God has an everlasting, and unconditional love for us is not just a one time magical moment. Its an adventure everyday for us to discover the new ways God is pursuing us and loving us. I am challenged to do more than just live a “christian” life, or discipline myself to talk spiritually. I am challenged to wake up everyday and ask God what He wants to do with me, how He wants to love me, and be willing to be loved well by God. As I daily discover more and more of Fathers extravagant love for me, and all those I encounter, it makes getting up after a fall much easier. As we understand and respond to the amazing love, we experience the freedom to find beauty in our struggles and shortfalls and we get the opportunity to let a little more color into our lives.

Will Richardson – Staff10432504_10205099434979267_5474266472758005872_n

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