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Hearing Him speak

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This weekend I officially got certified in scuba diving! Craziest thing of my life! We started on Saturday by practising in the pool that we have here. We practised skills, and really just how to breath underwater! Just being in the pool freaked me out and honestly I thought of quitting because I was scared of panicking and being underwater and not being to come up to the surface…. But I stuck it out! And I’m so thankful that I did because we actually went into the ocean and practised! Our last dive we got down to 60 feet and it was one of the most relaxing and coolest things I have ever done! At one point we were swimming with 3 nurse sharks. I loved it! I just want to be out there all the time now! img_3498

As much as I’ve been doing a lot of cool adventurous things and seen a ton of amazing sunrises as I do my workday every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning which means I get up at 5:30 a.m. and clear the shore of seagrass from the night before, I absolutely love it and because I get up so early I get to see all the amazing sunrises over the ocean! I have been spending a lot of time in class learning about God and growing in my relationship with Him!

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Last week our speaker Jill Bills spoke about intercession and hearing Gods voice. Intercession basically means praying on behalf of others. We spent time learning different ways to do that, as well as learning how to hear Gods voice. Before going into it I thought I had never heard God’s voice before, my idea of it was that it was going to be this booming loud mans voice that I heard and I would know that it was for sure Him.. But I have learnt that’s not how it goes!

Jill taught us that God can speak to you in many different ways and it can even be disguised as your own voice. So that little voice you hear in your head could be God… Just saying! Journaling has always been big for me, and sometimes God will use that to speak to us. I don’t exactly know how I can describe it to make it make sense but really when I was trying to hear God through journaling I would just write and I wouldn’t even know what I was writing, I believe it was God speaking to me, it was super cool!

Megan Warnica – September 2014 DTS

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Love Like Jesus

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This week we had the opportunity to visit an infirmary in the town of Mandeville. This is a place where many people with mental and physical disabilities are housed.

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The majority of patients there suffer from Alzheimer’s and are not capable of taking care of themselves.  We had the blessing of working along side the nurses to serve in many different ways, for example, a number of the team did the laundry for the people there, others did manual labor and yard work.

In addition, the rest of the team had the opportunity to comb the women’s hair and clip all the patients toenails and fingernails.  I personally, had the chance to clip the patient’s nails. This was such a humbling experience for me. I know it was only through the strength of Jesus I could do this, and I began to see these people through the eyes of Jesus.

I remember the verse where Jesus says, ¨Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me¨. Jesus came to love ¨the least of these¨. He never turned down an opportunity to serve those in need and love on those who were forgotten. During this time of ministry I got to learn and experience that Jesus sees all people and created all people with value.

10726450_10152744946042618_85448734_nIt was such an honor to go around clipping people’s nails and seeing the joy in their eyes and the smile on their faces. A lot of the time when Jesus gives us the opportunity to serve, it doesn’t always look glamorous or spectacular. But sometimes it means just loving the ¨least of these¨, and to God that is spectacular.

– Jordana

Jamaica DTS Outreach July 2014

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Because He Loved Us First

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This last week we spent in Kingston and stayed in Ms Pam`s house, who is an off campus YWAMer.

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Like at Stone’s Hope, God also called us to do kid’s ministry in Kingston and already prepared the circumstances for us. We worked together with Mike and his wife Alice, who emigrated from the USA to Jamaica to start their Ministry among children in the poorest areas of Kingston. They sing songs, share Bible stories, play games and just love on the children who are very bedraggled. Afterwards they get snacks and drinks for free.

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We joined them and did Skits based on different stories in the Bible; The story of Jonah, the Good Samaritan, David and Goliath and Sampson. A big highlight for the children and us as well was the face painting!

Some areas we were able to go to are areas which white people never go to, in fact even some Jamaican locals will stay away from these areas. It was hard for us to see the poverty and the circumstances they live in.

We trust that God continues to work on their hearts and can change their future through people like Mike and Alice. We really enjoyed this Ministry to love on the children, give them attention and appreciation.

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Another Ministry we were able to be a part of was street evangelism partnering with Pam and her church community. It was stretching for a lot of us and way out of our comfort zone. We had problems with talking to strangers on the street, standing at bus stops and handing out papers with information about Heaven and Hell. It was a lesson for us to be humble and respect the ways of Jamaican Christians and not impose our own views or beliefs.

We enjoyed visiting the community Pam grew up in and serving the people there, we talked with them, built relationships and most important of all prayed with them. One moment that really stood out to us was when we prayed with an old woman with a unique story. She had died of cancer 1 week ago in the hospital but God brought her back to life because He wanted her to get to know Him!

We also visited a nursing home where we had the ability to build relationships with the residences through worshiping, dancing and talking with them. We enjoyed it and had a lot of fun.

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Throughout the entire outreach God has been confirming over and over again that He wants us to build relationships and simply love on the Jamaicans. We experience everyday how fulfilling and fruitful it is to love others when God fills us first with His love.

-JoJo and Sina

Jamaica DTS Outreach 2014

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Cultural Differences

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Being in Jamaica is a lot of fun so far! Many things you might have thought about Jamaica are probably true. From what I thought, they are very much the stereotypical example and their culture is somewhat how I pictured it.

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One thing I was expecting to come into contact with was their view on the importance of time. As a country considered being hot cultured, they are rarely on time. The other day, the Jamaican staff on the campus we live on invited us to a Jamaican party. They wanted to share about their culture and show us how they do things. They told us it would start at 3:30 and we were there on time, but the party was not ready to start. We helped blow up some balloons and they tried to finish decorating at the same time as they were setting up the computers and trying to get the projector to work. The actual party did not start until closer to 4. Even though they were late, they were not at all in a hurry! They were dancing and enjoying what they were doing. Huge difference to where I am from!

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Another thing that is a common hot culture vs. cold culture difference is information and how this is being communicated. We had very limited information about anything before coming here and even since being here we have trouble getting direct information. This is a typical difference, but it is also one that is very frustrating. It is challenging us in having to prepare things that might not come through and not having prepared anything, but being put on the spot to do something. It is stretching, but stretching means growing and that is outreach!

 

One thing I have got to see and am growing to love about this culture is their ability to live in the moment. There is hardly any worry for tomorrow, next week or even later the same day. I have been helping out in the kitchen making dinner and the first day I was helping out, I came in as the first one, waited a little for the others to show up and realized when they came that no one knew what we were cooking. No one had given any of us any instruction on what to make or what food to prepare. The staff helping out had to just throw some hot dogs out of the freezer and some vegetables from the fridge. In 45 minutes we were able to make a great meal, but it is not how I am used to.

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One of my all-time favorite differences, where I believe I can learn the most, is how they are themselves inside and out and are not afraid to show it. They are so full of life and are not afraid to be loud, speak their mind or be weird in public they are just themselves. I find that every time I see a group of native Jamaicans, there is always someone laughing and lots of joyful noise!

 

I am falling more and more in love with this Island as the days go by and I cannot wait to experience more of their culture and hopefully learn to chat some Patios. 

Lata, mon!

Hilde Abrahamsen – Jamaica DTS Outreach 2014

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Hearing God Speak

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Hearing the voice of God; I was not excited about this week because honestly, I was afraid of disappointment with God.  The week before we’d written letters to God and asked for Him to write back, that letter was so precious to me, it was my only connection with God to that point and I thought that was going to be the only one.

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On the Wednesday we had a team building.  We were placed into partners I was paired with Ben. The staff blindfolded half of us, Ben was blindfolded so I led him to the volleyball court which was full of obstacles such as chairs, coconuts, tables, lawn chairs and palm tree leaves.

There was a line about 10 feet away from the volleyball court, the partners of the blindfolded people (which included me) had to stay behind this line as I gave Ben directions to navigate his way around the obstacles from one end of the court to the other.

As soon as the game started there was a lot of yelling with everyone trying to direct his or her partner to the finish, we succeed. Then it was my turn.

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I was blindfolded and led to the other side of volleyball court. Then the yelling began again. It felt like chaos.  I tried listening for Ben’s voice, but I couldn’t hear him.  Everyone was shouting so loud, I heard a high-pitched “SAMI! SAMI!” the voice did not belong to Ben.  Without hearing direction I decided to take a step forward then a couple until I heard Jordana shouting at me.

That’s weird.  Jordana wasn’t my partner.  I listened more for Ben’s voice however when I located his voice it sounded like he wasn’t talking to me.  I tuned back in to Jordana’s voice.  And I followed her instructions.

While this was going on some of the staff were talking to me also giving instruction;  “Stop, there’s an obstacle there.  Now take two steps to the left.”

Occasionally I listened to them and that was usually the times I got sent back to the beginning, as I knocked into one of the obstacles.  I was asked: “Do you want to quit?”

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I shook my head, absolutely not.  The third time through the staff are still talking to me telling me directions as well as Jordana yelling from the side.  I started to tune them out, eventually made it through to the finish.

At the end the staff brought us back together and asked about our frustration and difficulties, many of us agreed that we were thrown off by staff telling us the wrong directions, which sounded true, sounded similar and were often correct.  Some of the directions that Jordana gave me were the same that Zoe, our school leader, told me. This was a big lesson for us; we have to tune into God’s voice.  We have to learn to recognise His voice and know that it’s Him talking. The enemy will tell us lies, but he will often twist it with truth.

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I think this has been my favorite team building so far.  It made hearing the voice of God a lot clearer.  I imagined God trying to speak above all the voices I hear.

Throughout the weeks to follow I have some cool stories of hearing God, one that comes to mind happened during a time of encouragement as a school.

Normally I sit there and wait for people to me first so I waited. Nobody came. I felt God telling me to go encourage people.  He gave me the number 7.  I walked around and encouraged 7 people.  Sometimes I would stop and sit in my chair and see if anyone would come to me but nobody did.  After the 7th encouragement I sat down and then the people wouldn’t stop coming; 7 people in a row came and encouraged me, one of them stood out to me.  God told me that he was infatuated with me and that he couldn’t stop looking at me.

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That was hard to grasp. I have a hard time with the truth, the good and the bad.  When something is true about me and it’s good I have a hard time accepting it.  And then when it’s bad, I don’t want to admit it.

I am not done yet, God has more for me, we are heading into Week 11 and the adventure always continues…

Sami Johnson – July 2014 DTS student