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Week One in St Lucia

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Hey its Katherine giving you an update on our first week here. So before we even left the country we were blessed in the Belize City airport. While sitting in the airport we sat near a couple who were eager to hear where we were going and the things we were going to do. After talking to us, they decided blessed us each with $20 U.S for dinner that night in the Dallas airport because of how excited we were for American food.

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We arrived at the Vieux Fort, St Lucia airport about 1 pm the next day.  As we were going through the immigration line and were called to the stand the lady had a name tag on her shirt and instead of a name there was a verse written on it and it read Ephesians 3:17.  We were so surprised to see this because Ephesians 3 has been the passage that we have used as a theme for our outreach. It was such a reassurance to our team that God has gone before us is anointing this trip and has joined with us to spread His love to the people in this country.

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The week started slow, some of the girls weren’t feeling well for a while Thursday we had a Bible study at the house where people from the community are welcome to come. It was fun to get to know some of the ladies in the neighborhood and hear their life stories.

One day I went down to the river behind the house and sat on a big rock praying in the quiet when a man came down the hill to cross the river.  He greeted me, saw that I had my Bible beside me and asked me what I was doing. I asked him if he was a Christian and his words were “I guess so” he said hesitantly and then asked me if id read something from Bible. So I did and we had great conversation of about Gods love for us.

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Easter Sunday we got the opportunity to speak at a local church. We were greeted and welcomed by each person that came that morning. While in church we shared our testimonies, put on a skit and most of us got to share something, all in all it was a great experience and the a lot of the church members were touched by what we had to share with them. Then in the evening we went to a different church where Rachael daughter of the couple we are staying with had a Easter play that they had been working for a long time. It was a long day and we were ready for bed.

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These are just a few of the many opportunities and experiences we have had during our time here so far. God has been working through us in all kinds of ways, from a simple conversation with someone, to stepping out of our comfort zones and speaking in front of a local Church. I can’t wait to see what else God has planned for the next 6 weeks to come! Keep watching as we continue to update you weekly with stories and the work we are doing her in this beautiful country.

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Katherine Peters, DTS – January, 2015

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Come In April

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Our April DTS is fast approaching and as our YWAM DP staff, and community have been praying we have sensed that the Lord is orchestrating something exciting for this DTS. As we have prayed and listened, we as a base have a great expectancy for the awesome things God WILL do in this school!
As our YWAM DP community has prayed for this upcoming school, a few past students wanted to share their experience in the hopes of encouraging others to embrace the adventure.

“My DTS experience was by far the most impactful event of my faith journey. I learned more about the Lord, others, and myself than I ever anticipated learning in a five-month period. I continue to be transformed by Him and daily see the fruits of the foundation that was built during that time — I’m ridiculously thankful for the knowledge, growth, experiences and relationships that came from doing a DTS with YWAM DP!” 

-Katie Bell (September 2013)

“My DTS experience was less of a walk of faith, and more of a beginning to a journey of faith. God began the long process of planting good things in me, and pulling out my weeds. I there began to understand God’s overwhelming love for me, and how much I need him in my day to day life.”

-James Foster (September 2014)

“I did my DTS last April and that is when Jesus completely captivated me and ruined me for the ordinary! My DTS was much more than just an experience, it was an amazing foundation for the rest of my life in relationship with Jesus. It helped me understand more about my purpose on this earth and what it means to live out Jesus’s greatest commandment of loving Him with your everything and loving others. I am so grateful for stepping out in huge faith and choosing to do my DTS last April, I will never be the same.”

-Stef Rosu (April 2014)

For those of you considering a DTS we want to encourage you to go ahead and take the first step by contacting us. Regardless of whether or not you have everything all sorted out, or are even sure about attending, let us give you the tools and information to help you decide. Adventure rarely comes without a bit of risk, so we challenge you to step out, and invite us to be apart of the awesome things God has in store for you!

And for those that have completed a DTS already, you can testify that the experience is one of a kind, and life changing almost seems to fall short in the description of it. As we pray in this April school we invite you to pray along side of us, as well as engage in our community by sharing our posts and photos on Instagram and Facebook with #comeinapril

Will Richardson – DP Staff

 

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A letter to supports.

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This is a letter written to an alumni’s support team after her DTS was complete.

Dear friends, family, and everyone who supported me through my 5 month journey with YWAM,

I cannot even begin to describe how grateful I am for all of y’all. From the prayers to financial support, to encouragements when I needed them, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your obedience to God which enabled me to grow as a daughter in Christ like never before. These last 5 months changed me, because you all supported me through it. Without the financial support, prayers, and encouragement, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it. I would not have been able to learn about God’s loving father heart towards me, that changed everything. I would not have been able to have been poured into and gain freedom with Christ from all past bondage that held me back from walking confidently in Him. I would not have been able to scuba dive and bask in our God’s beautiful creation. I would not have been able to build relationships with some of the best people i have ever met. I would not have been able to go and serve children, orphans, missionaries, and others, in Bolivia. I would not have been able to eat cow heart, or see the tallest altitude lake in the world (Lake Titicaca). I would not have been able to lead worship for a church full of village people who traveled hours and hours, just to hear more about God. I would not have been able to learn what it looks like to truly serve, and rely on God for all comfort and joy. I would not have been able to feel more of God’s love, by how each and every one of you have loved me through this experience. I am forever grateful, and overwhelmed by how your generosity, has changed my life forever. How God changed my life forever. Thank you for all of your love, kindness, and friendship. I am blessed to know all of you,and blessed by God through your prayers, giving, and encouragement. Thank you!!!!!

Here’s a video I made of my experiences in Bolivia. Please watch it to see how your love, generosity, and prayers, enabled me to serve there.

Bolivia outreach video

Shea Salisbury – 2014 DTS Alumni

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FINDING THE PATH

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“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few”  –Matthew 7:13-14

10891858_10205732359611962_8045026448632121539_nI love how the word “find” is used in the second part of this verse in contrast to the word “enter”. The path of pursuing Christ is something that we all must find but we can’t do it without His help.

Over the past five months I have learned a lot more about what it looks like to be a follower of Christ. I have learned what it looks like to walk with God along the hard narrow path. Before I joined Youth with a Mission (YWAM), I had a very different idea of what the path was supposed to look like. I thought that God was just waiting for me to spend enough time with Him so that He could download His plan and I could see exactly what I was supposed to do for the rest of my life.

I am so thankful that I was wrong.

Let me put it this way. Have you ever received directions to someone’s house all at once? “Drive four blocks down this road then take a right. Then go seven blocks until you pass the green house with the brown roof and turn left…” I don’t know about you but when people give me all the directions at once I get overwhelmed. I end up saying something like “just let me know when I am getting close to the next turn, then tell me what to do.” Why do you think that GPS or Siri (for all us iPhone people out there) tells us the directions one step at a time? They know that if they gave it to us all at once it would be too much so they give us just enough information to make the next turn then they give us new information so that we don’t get overwhelmed.13060_10206170061554237_2915423060406082681_n

When we want to assemble a bookshelf or drive to a location or learn to draw we expect there to be step by step instructions. If the instructions go to fast we say “Wait, how did they do that? How do I get to that part? Why is the person who wrote these such an idiot?” because we expect them to go slow and to not show us everything at once. Why would we expect God to do anything different? If an Ikea employee in charge of assembly instructions loves us enough to not give us too much at once so we don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed, then why would we expect the God of the universe, who loves us unfathomably more than that employee ever could, give us more than we can handle?

I have heard a lot of people say that they are trying to find God’s plan for their life which is awesome and something we should all do but they are going about it the entirely wrong way. They expect the whole picture, or at least to see twenty years from now all at once but don’t realize what they are asking for. God wants us to walk WITH Him, he doesn’t want us to meet him at twenty years from now.

10446647_902422239809168_1753206571061415444_nA lot of people say, and I completely agree, that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Don’t you think God knows this? God doesn’t call us to a destination, He calls us to a path. If the purpose of life was to reach the end then don’t you think there would be something a little more glamorous waiting for us than old age and poor health? I believe that God wants to go on a journey with us. He calls us to walk on a path because that is where life happens. That is where the adventure is.

1965075_10205795014018283_3614310884445875201_nIt takes a lot of faith to walk out this adventure, to take life step by step. But it also takes a lot of faith to live life anyway. Every time you use any kind of directions you are putting your faith into the person that made the directions to get you to that location or to get that bookshelf built in a better way than you could have done it on your own. Yes it takes faith to walk with God but if we give Him the directions and let Him guide us step by step He can give us so much more life than we could have ever lived by trying to do it on our own.

Joshua Lake – 2014 DTS Alumni

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Home is wherever He is!

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Well, we all went to the main land for an awesome day of adventure! We woke up at 5 am and after a long and fun day of zip lining, cave tubing, and seeing the Mayan ruins, we had a 2 hour car ride back plus an hour and half boat ride back to the YWAM base…so we got home at 8 pm. 10854396_10203593644024940_1963647624303798347_oWe were wet and cold from the cave tubing and swimming in the water. It was stormy outside, so the boat was so rocky and water was spraying in…we were all tired from a long day and a lot of traveling. We started to sing silly songs like Kumbia and other silly songs, but than we started to sing praise and worship songs the whole way home; an hour and a half of praise to God. I personally forgot how cold I was, I forgot the bumpy boat and the water spraying in. I also forgot about the awesome day we just had. It was so awesome to hear the whole team come together despite feeling sea sick and tired, we got to sing to God. 10960251_10203593597743783_4215106994522248162_oIt brought me back to the true heart of worship. Not the sound, not the music, not the voices, or how good the guitarist is and how the worship leader did. It was simply an out of tune, whole heartily praise to our King and our Father. We sang songs like: You Raise Me Up, Come thou Fount, Shout to The Lord, and many many more. We also sang “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” but then we started to substitute in things like “He’s got YWAM students in his hands,” “He’s got our outreach trips in his hands,” “He’s got YWAM staff in his hands,” “He’s got Sam and Carlos in his hands.” (They were the captains of the boat, we got to know them really well over the last few months). Sometimes you got to declare to God what belongs to Him and let Him know I put my fears and my life in your hands!!

For me this taught me a valid lesson of HOME. I realized home isn’t my bed here at YWAM, home isn’t my parents house back in New York. Home isn’t with my family, home isn’t Christmas time around the tree, home isn’t in my room. Home is wherever He is. Home is being in the presence of the Lord. The more I realize that, the more I worship Him because I can feel at home no matter where I am; whether in the most uncomfortable place or the most cozy place, I can be at home. And I truly haven’t felt more at home in the last year than singing praises on that boat for an hour, simply being in my home: in the presence of God.

I love my home.

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-Psalm 23-

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie dow in the green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Kristine Pask – January 2015 DTS