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Y W A M D P | Blog
 

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Foundations

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

903216_10152340839706203_1410631026365352286_o (1)We had the honor of hosting guest speaker, Jim Ramos, last week. He committed to this third week of lectures with a combination of raw personality and intense teachings that shook the class wide awake every morning!

The classes with Jim were light but revealing. Each of us had the opportunity to wake up to our spiritual gifts, personality type, and how our God wants to use us and everything we have to further his eternal Kingdom. We even crafted a mission statement for our lives! Some of the teachings were on all of the ways that God chooses to speak to us, as well as the many ways he can make himself known. God is personal, and he is present! We only need to be still, acknowledge this and let his Spirit draw us to His truths. 10001323_10152310032046071_7661163612462268532_n

One of the more important lessons I learned this week was on personal values and priorities. Our weekly schedules and even daily body rhythms dictate our priorities in life. This at first came across as shallow and a bit mundane, but I quickly realized the kind of future for someone who, for example, spends most of their week watching TV, surfing the net, and buying a two four every weekend. What kind of life is being dictated by those values? We can agree that giving in to sin is no way to live, but staying stagnant in life is just as unproductive. God wants something so much greater for our lives. He makes it out choice of whether or not we decide to grow with Christ in this relationship!

10173704_10152329260511071_177566971831889131_n (1) - CopyOverall, it was a great week! Jim made an effort to spend some one-on-one time with every individual student here. I ended up going kayaking and snorkeling with this guy – enjoying deep conversation while simply taking in God’s natural beauty. I trust in the foundation we’re building up here at YWAM DP, and I can’t even wait for what’s next!

Mitchell Leschied – April 2014 Leadership DTS student

Changing Hearts

  |   Outreach   |   No comment

erSomething I’ve always been aware of, is that God changes our hearts.

It’s very easy to have a moment where everything is perfect, you feel this joy inside of you. You feel loved. And then the moment passes. And you are back to asking God why you’re not happy. You’re starting to complain, because He’s not helping you. He’s not making you feel happy anymore. It’s always easy to blame it on God when things get hard.

So I had to ask myself, “How could I be a light and a tool for Him on this outreach, helping Him change hearts, when my own heart needs to be changed over and over again?” As we were doing ministry and meeting people, I heard God say to me, “Why are you not happy? What is it really that makes you feel this way?” I couldn’t really find an answer. I mean, we all have seasons where we are happy or sad. But is that God? Does God make you feel sad? The answer is so clear: NO! I’m making myself feel this way. Why can’t I just enjoy each moment that He gives me? I need a change of my own attitude, and a way of living. I need to be thankful and to love all the blessings in my life, because I can’t even count how many they are.gh

My life IS a blessing. But how do you make yourself feel happy? Paul knew it. He had a secret. He went through trials, he got tortured and sent to prison, but he also saw things happening and people choosing God. He said that in all those things there were temptations. But he had a secret to satisfy him in any situation: to live with Christ, to have a deep personal relationship with him. That is where he found strength to carry him through anything: “I can do all things through Christ, because He gives me strength”, Philippians 4:13. As I meet hard things in my life, I can still be the light and the change I want to see around me. Because my God is bigger than anything in this world, and He loves me more than I can ever imagine! So live with love, and be thankful, because you have a lot to be thankful for. “We love, because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19.

Cecilie Kristoffersen – January 2014 Leadership DTS Morocco Outreach

I Breathe, Therefore I Pray

  |   Outreach   |   No comment

The funny thing about leadership and life is that you’re never done learning. There are always scenarios and moments that stretch you and cause you to move past what you think you know and teach you something new.

Every time I find myself in a position of leadership I am very aware of this fact. They are the times in life I know that in the future I will look back fondly on, but usually not enjoy the most while I am walking through it. At least that has been my experience up until this trip to Morocco.bn

I am learning about patience and humility more than ever before, its constantly stretching but wonderfully rewarding.

Leading a group of 12 students, 10 girls 2 guys has a variety of challenges in and of itself, but if we add in the dynamic of being a female leader in a country where woman have little to no value, thats a whole new twist.

Those are my moments of mustering up all the patience and humility that I can.jj

Not being able to walk into a cafe and order my own drink or ask for assistance, but needing to have a guy step into that role, makes me think back to the days of old, how women were daughters then wives then mothers and that was the be all and end all of their existence.

In this challenging culture, I’m fighting it with the strength God gives me every day, what I have been living by is the simple statement “I breathe therefore I pray.”

I ask God to help me love the Moroccans even when it’s hard. To love them and view them as He does. To see their value in His Kingdom despite the culture they know or their misunderstandings of mine.

With the oppressive religion of Islam everywhere I turn, everywhere my eyes land, I also see the infiltration of dedicated apathy and misery. I think back on Easter morning, and the excitement I had to wake up at 6am to walk down to the beach to spend time in worship and prayer, celebrating the risen King.

As we walk out the front door of our hotel we see the religious men walking like living dead out the main doors of the mosque, no joy, no excitement, no celebration on their faces just the residue of fulfilled duty.moo

As we see the sky turn a mix of orange and red over the mountain housing the Kasbah that is inscribed God. Country. King. We sing of how Jesus is risen and we rest in the assurance of the gift of Grace afforded us by His sacrifice. My heart is pleading that my Father would see His lost children of Morocco come to know this same gift of Grace, and learn how to live a life of freedom in knowing that they are the Beloved of the King of the Universe. I pray that they would be delivered from the chains and bondage of Islam and released into the joy and peace living in the presence of the living God.

“I breathe therefore I pray”

I am dedicated to bringing the light and love of God into this nation clouded with darkness. I am fully invested to living life fully alive, loving my team well and loving the people around me well so that Christ can shine through me and spark a curiosity that leads to the freedom of my lost brothers and sisters.

My favorite moment so far was about a week ago after we had a time of worship, prayer and sharing devotionals on the beach, a game of soccer erupted and we were joined by Amina, a young girl dressed in a full Habib. We girls joined forces and the boys had no choice but to be impressed!

Those are my most treasured moments of just living life and being “normal” people, but entering fully into the culture and opening up a space of acceptance and freedom to allow Amina to join our game on the beach.mo

I ask that you would join us in prayer for unity, strength and even more love for each other as we finish out the last few weeks of our time here in Morocco.

Zoe Hewlett – January 2014 Morocco Outreach Leader

Diving In

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

Wow! My time here at Destination Paradise has flown by and has already changed me for the best! When I look at what I’ve learned in this short amount of time, I can’t believe how much my perspective on both life and on God has changed. My first week at YWAM DP was definitely scary, but also extremely exciting! I immediately felt at home when I was greeted with smiles and excitement on the dock the day that we arrived. It got me excited and ready to learn and make new friendships!1544489_10152369605504787_5578764901919477406_n

As exhausting as the first week was, it was amazing! After I was able to get over the jet lag and adjustment, we dove into the learning phase. I came here to absorb as much information as I could, and I still am! The foundations of week one of lectures were extremely eye opening and amazing. Laying the foundations of our faith and a broad scope of who we are in God’s eyes was such an important lesson for me. Knowing and learning about the Bible is our strongest weapon in today’s world. I love the fact that in week one I was able to take so much from each day. I came into DTS with an open mind and heart, and I don’t regret a thing!1609805_10152365679029787_9137495646063873226_n

The people you meet here become your family, and the memories I’ve already made are incredible. Knowing that when you sleep at night the beach is only 15 feet from your door, being able to go kayaking out to the reef, or for a swim in the ocean, or being able to go sailing with your friends is amazing. There are so many opportunities to be active and explore as well as learn and absorb God’s word. As I listen to the waves hitting the dock, and as the birds chirp, there is no better place to be than here. I can only thank God for being here right now and I can’t wait to know more of who God is. He is such a mystery, and being able to know how he works is a mystery worth knowing.

Michaela Bragge – April 2014 Leadership DTS

Our Time in Suriname

  |   Outreach   |   No comment

bjgAfter leaving the YWAM base in Guyana, we made our way into the country of Suriname. We were soon greeted by our host and guide, Otis, who is one of the coolest people I have met on this outreach so far. We travelled 12 hours to get there and almost immediately after eating our first meal, our leader, Becky, tells us that instead of staying in Suriname for two days like what was originally planned, we were staying a full week. We were excited about this new opportunity!bn

Our week in Suriname was mostly down time and rest after a busy week in Guyana. We had the opportunity to do some kids ministry and evangelism, but our rest time was great because Otis, who is from Jamaica, told us everything we needed to know about Suriname as a country. Although I didn’t get to connect with any certain kids in particular, I loved spending time with them all. However, my favorite time was spent hanging out with the team and walking around town.bjh

Even though we were only there for one week, Otis made us feel like we had been there forever. The main language of Suriname is Dutch and it wasn’t even a problem because Otis was always on the ball. My time in Suriname wasn’t all smiles, but God had His way and I’m glad I got to be there for it. God has raised us up for such a time as this. Don’t waste it.

Kyle Carter-January 2014 Leadership DTS French Guiana Outreach