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Tour Update: Heading South!

  |   Alumni, News, Outreach   |   No comment

11850838_10207567802018362_961236323_nAlthough we were definitely ready for air conditioning and a real shower, our last few days at Creationfest were a blast and it was hard to say goodbye. We spent most of our afternoons with friends at the local park playing spikeball, ultimate Frisbee, and cooling off in the river. It was a great time of fellowship where we were able to build authentic relationship and pour into the lives of the people God brought to us during our time in Washington.

11830882_10207567800178316_417189563_nOne way that our team really saw God moving this past week was through prayer. Through our neighbor Cindy, we were given the opportunity to pray for a band called “Disciple”. Their drummer had to put a brace on his wrist because he was experiencing so much pain shortly before they were supposed to go on stage. We prayed over his wrist and over the band’s ministry and later received a message that during their set his pain vanished and he was able to play pain-free. It was amazing to see God use us as a team to bless a band that in return was able to impact their fans with their story and further the ministry of Creationfest as a whole.

11854067_10207567800218317_945917996_nOn Sunday we packed up our camping site, and set off for Salem, Oregon where we are residing now.   We been having such a great time with our host family, the Knospes’.  One thing that God has definitely blessed our team with along this trip so far is amazing host families.  Although making pancakes and soup over a camping stove is fun for a while, it’s also nice being able to have a home cooked meal and enjoy the company and conversations that go along with it.

So far in Salem we’ve had the opportunity to speak at a youth group at Sonrise Church in Forrest Grove. Amanda and Martin shared their testimonies, and God definitely
moved through them to impact the kids and even youth leaders.
We were all able to share with them what YWAM DP is all about a lot of them showed interest in doing a DTS. It was a smaller youth group with about 11 kids, so we were able to have awesome conversations with a lot of them after, create an environment for them to share their stories, and encourage them in their walks with Christ. It was encouraging and got us even more excited for opportunities to share in the future!

11846261_10207537579582820_43496900_nAmidst all the fun, God has been challenging us and teaching us as He always does. During DTS God really taught us the value of each individual person but on this tour we’ve been learning more about what it looks like to live that out.  Every single person we meet is fighting a battle, and every person weren’t deserves to experience God’s love through us. The size of a youth group doesn’t matter and the age of the person doesn’t matter: wherever there is a person there is opportunity. God is all about the little things and being a part of those little things is such a big thing!

11846342_10207537575062707_36480931_nWe are also learning that
productive outreach always begins with your own personal relationship to God. If we’re not keeping each other accountable and growing together than our outreach is hindered. Our times of team devos and worship have become the most important part of our day.  Whether it be sitting outside in the park enjoying worship together, or studying the Bible cozied up on the couch, we are excited for God to reveal more of himself to us as we seek him here in Salem and as we head into California next week.

11793320_10206084490205032_1387852494_nAmanda Harris – Staff

Casitas and the Wind

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment
image1When I was asked to write a blog post for the base, I was excited for a couple of reasons. Not only was I eager to prove myself as a decently okay writer, but also as a good Christian. As great as that would be, though, I don’t think I could write an honest post and give off the impression that I already have everything figured out. I am a little hesitant writing this post, but have decided to lay it all before you guys. Though I want to sound put together and wise, don’t let me fool you: I have a lot to figure out.
Coming to YWAM, I’ve realized just how much I don’t have figured out, which wasn’t in my original plan. I came wanted to clean myself up a bit before heading back to what I considered “real life”. But I’ve been constantly reminded of just how little I know– about God, about myself, about faith. Little by little, though, I am starting to learn more about God and the kind of relationship He wants to have with me.

From day one on base, I have been acutely aware of the wind. When I imagined what life in paradise would be like, I failed to remember that with the beautiful ocean comes wind and all its glory. It’s forceful, persistent, unforgiving for those of us with long hair, and nearly inescapable. On the other hand, the wind is also a source of refreshment– graciously showering us with breaths of cool air, making the sun and humidity a little more bearable.

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 It’s week three, and I am just learning that in order to form a relationship with God, I have to get out of my own head. How did I realize this, you ask? Let the metaphors explain. If the wind is a reflection of God, let my casita be my brain. Inside our cozy little casita is the only place that I have found that you can escape the persistent winds, which can be both a blessing and a curse. After a long day of battling the wind, our wind-less casita is a nice resting place to let your hair down without worrying about it flying all over the place. However, give it about two minutes and you will begin profusely sweating and wishing for a burst of cool air. I found myself out of sleep a lot this past week, which left me with a lot of time wishing for just a little wind. However, I couldn’t bring myself to just step out of my casita, even if that meant sweating through my pants the entire night.
 With sleep clearly not an option, I had a lot of time to think in the heat of my casita. It seems so obvious now, but I had an epiphany that changed my goal for this DTS: in order to pursue a relationship with God, I have to get out of my own head and let Him in. By stepping outside of my own thoughts and doubts, I can be refreshed and washed clean by God’s refreshing breeze.
I say this not to be poetic or try to impress you with my ridiculous extended metaphors, but to share what God has been nudging me about this week. I am coming to see God’s reflection in the wind; when the wind decided to steal my papers and thrust them into the sea, I am reminded that God has much bigger plans than I have. When the wind leaves my hair in an impossible tangled mess, I am reminded that sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. When the wind brings an unexpected but much needed coolness, I am graciously reminded of God’s forgiveness.
Though I wish I could say I have it all figured out, I am humbled and relieved to say that I have a lot of figuring out to do. My hope for this season at YWAM is that I will learn to have the courage to face the wind head-on, allowing it to break and make me into who God intended me to be.
ClaireBlogPhotoClaire Andersen – DTS Student, July, 2015

How Do You Eat Soup When You Don’t Have Any Bowls?

  |   Alumni, News, Outreach   |   No comment

11798491_10206084490805047_2028144549_nHow do you eat soup when you don’t have any bowls? And how do you tell a woman who is bearing old wounds and revealing her brokenness to you that Jesus loves her unconditionally? These are just a few of the questions we’ve been tackling this week. We were finally all united as a team last Saturday in Seattle, where we were shown incredible hospitality and probably fed a little too much.

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From there we set out to Creation, a music festival, in Kennewick Washington. We quickly discovered we were incredibly unprepared and amateur campers; but despite our shortcomings in the world of avid glampers (glamorous campers) we’ve already been able to host so many amazing people in our humble campsite and enjoy food, games, worship, and good conversation.

11787377_10207498754852226_1967199665_n (1)Our neighbor, Cindy, has quickly become a part of our “crew” as we’ve been able to share our stories with her and have been blessed by her willingness to be vulnerable and trust us with her story. Our relationship with Cindy has taught us as a team that a simple act of love, done in Christ, goes a long way. We also had our world rocked this week when we happened to meet a young girl who will be attending YWAM DP in October! In talking to her about our experiences with DTS we’ve been able to spark interest within her group of friends as well. God is pretty cool.

11798347_10206084504605392_691525148_nWe have prayed for God to bring people into our path and He has been faithful as He always is. We are learning boldness and praying for more of it everyday! We are learning that living a life focused on relationship means living a life of outreach, and everyday we are striving to reach more, grow more, and love more. We are so excited to see what else God has in store for a Creation, and how he is going to use us as we move on to Salem, Oregon.

 

11793320_10206084490205032_1387852494_nAmanda Harris – Tour Staff/Alumni

Vanuatu Outreach: Week 4!

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This week started with a 21+ hour boat ride from the island of Efate to the island of Malekula, then to hop on a truck that drove us an hour into the jungle to reach our destination…the beautiful village of Lambumbu, Malekula– home of the cocoa plantation!
Greeting us was 100+ Nivan (the native people of Vanuatu) villagers eager to meet the first group of Christian missionaries to ever set foot in their village. SO COOL. With this, came the most hospitable host families I’ve ever seen, eager to invite each of us into their homes. Each one of our team members got adopted into a different family, where we will spend the next two weeks living, eating, and sleeping in their weaved, palm branch homes!
Their way of living here is absolutely beautiful– the heart of the culture, the smile on their faces, and the way they serve is a humbling experience for each of us.
This past week there has been many cultural celebrations– starting with “Children’s Day”, two days after we arrived. A day to celebrate family, give gifts to children, eat food, sing, play sports, eat more food, and perform skits. Being adopted into a Bislama family has given each of us an opportunity to seek out relationship and invest personally into each family, making our presence here in the village, a great one.
My Bislama mama is also mama to our contact Jonathan, who works for the Peace Core, who isn’t currently here. Because of this, she has a pretty good understanding of how to communicate in English, making things a bit easier. She is a mother to 4 pretty Nivan girls, Jonathan, and now me! This past week she has taught me how to weave baskets out of branches, which gives me a good insight into how much hard labor and love goes into creating such a beautiful piece, which they then take to sell in the local market in town.
As a church community, they are eager to have us lead while we are here– teaching them new worship songs, giving testimonies, leading bible studies, and preaching on Sunday’s! This past week, one of our students, Cole, got the chance to give a sermon on the destructiveness of shame, and how to deal with it, followed by a bible study led by Brandt.
Being in the village has given us an opportunity to fully invest relationally with the locals of Vanuatu, being able to bring light into the everyday, and has given us a community of people to not only serve, but to humble ourselves enough to be served by such hospitable people.
Tankyu Tumas!
Jaci Duft – Staff, Outreach Leader

Vanuatu Outreach: Week 3!

  |   DTS, Outreach   |   No comment

11770208_1475859866059689_1216728857_oBlistering Barnacles…what a week we’ve had! Celebrations all around this week as we have successfully finished the first house for the DTS students. This has given the boys on our team an opportunity to spend the weekend in a proper bed before we head on to our next excursion.  The cement mixer has been working overtime; thanks to a cracking sun filled week, the lorry was able to deliver “five” cubic meters of sand used in mixing render for the speaker’s room. After three applications to the wire meshed walls, it’s now ready to be painted.

We have also been able, through our contacts, to help SIL (bible translation) with some much needed decorating after their rebuilding project. The main homes survived with minor damage to there roof…but sadly having to replace the ceilings in three of the rooms; giving them a nice fresh coating of white paint, along with the outside porch timbers, helping to make it look much loved and homely.

We had chance to celebrate TJ’s birthday as a team, and finished off the week by enjoying the local Friday night Fire Show put on by a local Vanuatu Group. Absolutely AMAZING!!!

11750974_1475856492726693_2034209062_o (1)This Sunday has seen an incredible opportunity for a slightly different type of ministry. After the opportunity of hitching a ride aboard a private catamaran to our next destination not coming to fruition, we ended up putting our scuba and snorkeling skills, gained from Belize, to good use! We had the task of preparing and cleaning the hull for them to set sail with some much needed water filters to one of the other islands close by. This was due to the cyclone damaging their water storage tanks, making safe drinking a problem.

Our next move here in Vanuatu starts with a ferry to Malakula this Tuesday. Jaci and Josh have made contact with Jonathan, who is involved with the peace core, working with a village on a coco plantation. This should give us opportunity to continue building relationally, sharing God’s love, as well as helping out practically with other projects too.

 

Adam Spooner – DTS Student, April, 2015

 

11751558_1475856989393310_680892176_oHello! Welcome to Talks With Taryn & Emily! Coming on outreach, we were very excited. To meet the locals, minister in churches, do physical labor, be a team, and just serve Christ in general. Being at the V2 life base has been a lot different than what we had expected outreach to be like. The many hours of physical labor have worn us out and many times we have lost our focus. Trying to juggle having a relationship with God and working the majority of the day has been a big challenge.  It’s hard to find time for God when, after working all day, all you want is sleep. And honestly, quite a few times we have chosen sleep. Being here reminds us of the phrase “Being a Christian is simple, but not easy,” and that has been the last two weeks. Fortunately, we serve a big God, and He has shown himself true.  Growing our faith and trust in Him, these past weeks have motivated us to push into a more intimate relationship with God. While the work has been hard, we wouldn’t change a thing. Looking forward to the different challenges we will face in these next few weeks!

Emily Saathof & Taryn Dupuis – DTS Students, April, 2015