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The End of Our Journey

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Seven weeks ago this group of 13 unique individuals set out on a journey with our minds set on Peru. Every one of us anticipating to witness God working in some spectacular ways. As we ventured from the jungles of the Amazon to the snow covered peaks of the Andes and finally the desert beaches of the Pacific, we all came to realize how awesome our God is. His creation is captivating and I’m not referring only to the jungle, mountains, and ocean. The people we met every day and the fellowship we had truly revealed the beauty of our Creator. We spent quite a bit of time and effort providing practical help to people who needed it, but what we craved was interaction with the local people. Our opportunities to interact and learn from the Peruvian people were filled with God’s spirit moving in real ways. It was so cool to be able to relate and learn together and we found often that we are not so different than these people. We’re all on this journey of seeking Christ, and we can come together under that one beautiful purpose.

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In  everything we did whether it was pulling weeds, drying our socks over campfires, milking cows, telling kids a bible story, giving our testimonies, hearing other’s testimonies, staying late to pray with someone, painting walls, shoveling dirt, eating guinea pigs, hiking mountains, or whatever it was, God was teaching us something in every moment. Sometimes the lessons were hard, sometimes they wanted you to dance with joy but we all learned to have the posture of a learner recognizing that all wisdom is from God and there’s more than one way to reveal that to us.

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 And so it has come for this time to come to a close. As we stood together in the Miami airport and we began to pray, a feeling of thankfulness fell on our group. Thanks Jesus for showing us your beauty, the touched lives, the stories, the callings, and the passion. God thank you for Peru.

 

Joshua Duft-September 2013 Peru Outreach Leader

 

 

God Mops

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1524597_10151944646642982_1861746119_nThis outreach is nothing I would have expected. My expectations were a lot of hands on work and building relationship with children, but God had other plans for us. Over this outreach we have done a lot of prayer walks, visiting the dump, listening to old folks talk, becoming a child’s playground, cleaning, talking to people at the park, and a lot more prayer. May I add that all these were done with a huge language barrier for most of us? You can only say, “I like blue” and “I am from Canada” so many times before the conversation is dead. It has been amazing to see the ways God has used me in situations I didn’t think I was that strong in. For example I thought I was an awesome kid person and God would use me as a light in some children’s lives. But the people I feel like I have touched most was a man we prayed for on a prayer walk and an old couple at the old folks home we went to, I didn’t see that coming!

DSC_0792One of the jokes going around our group is how much we have had to mop on this outreach. We mop the house we are staying at twice a day, as well as being asked to help clean another house for a couple days and the amount of times that we were asked to mop and re-mop that house was incredible. It has been a neat metaphor I have come to though, how God is just like mopping. Think about it. Why do we mop? To make the floor clean again, to rid it of all the dirt and grime that had come from the day, and what is something HUGE that God does for us? He cleans us of our sin, all the dirt and grime we have brought into our lives. But just like mopping, where you will have to mop again at some point, God will forgive you as many times as it takes, He will clean your soul every time you forget to take your shoes off and track mud into your life.

Outreach is not something you can predict; you will never know how the twists and turns will go. The best you can do is take one step at a time, stay in the moment, and live it out for God.

Shanaya Swabey – September 2013 Leadership DTS Guatemala Outreach Student

Ministry with Living Tree Academy

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Last Saturday, we had the amazing opportunity to help out at an up and coming Christian school here on the island, Living Tree Academy. Living Tree Academy will be a place for the young children in San Pedro to go to school while learning more about God. The school is still in its beginning stages of being built and have yet to start building any of the actual buildings that will be classrooms, but they have been actively working on preparing the ground in order to start the build.

1010410_737396039612476_1385720203_nWhen we arrived at the school we were greeted by Shannon and Anthony who are overseeing this amazing project. They graciously took us to the work site on golf carts so we would not have to walk through the knee deep mud pit! Upon arriving at the work site, we had the pleasure of being introduced to what Living Tree Academy’s purpose and vision is as well as hearing what we would be working on for the duration of our time there. We were assigned the task of planting coconut trees around the grounds. To start, we all picked a job to do, jobs like: block carrier, builder, sand transporter, tree planter, etc. We were all taught how to do our job and started right away with the work. My job was to build the planters out of blocks that the coconut trees would be planted in. I quickly became extremely thankful to those that were carrying the blocks over to me as the blocks were quite heavy. In total we built nine planters and planted nine trees but not without getting wet (from the sudden downpour of rain) and muddy (the ground was quite wet and in some areas it was hard not to sink in up to your ankles!)

1782180_737394672945946_554275381_nAll in all, we had a great time working together as a team, getting dirty and serving as the hands and feet of God. We were so blessed to be able to help out Living Tree Academy and serve God through them! I am looking forward to having more ministry opportunities while still here in Belize during lecture phase, but also looking forward to ways we can serve God while on outreach!
Emma Allen – January 2014 Leadership DTS

Adventure in the Andes-Cusco

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What an adventure Peru has been and there was no better way to end our ministry time than in Cusco.

46133_10201396114079796_871910348_nThe trip to Cusco was a long ten hour bus ride, however it was filled with beautiful landscapes and mountains that made the ten hours fly by. During the trip we climbed to a height of around 15,500 feet and had the opportunity to step off the bus to view the snow covered Andes Mountains. After our bus ride we stepped out into the oxygen deprived cool night air of Cusco to be met by David Strong. David and his wife opened up their home for us during the two weeks we have spent in Cusco. In fact they did more than opened it up, they gave us the keys and left the country! It has been such a blessing to have a home (with hot water, and washing machine) during these two weeks. So a huge thank you to them and praise how our Father orchestrated our opportunity to be here.

1653834_817192518298069_820901568_nAfter a week in Puerto Maldonado we shifted back into our manual labor groove, spending much of the week helping prepare a home for many of the Quechua believers to come and stay at while studying the Word. The Quechua people make up a large number of the population of Peru and live mostly in small villages around the mountains. Many of these villages have never heard the gospel and even the name of Jesus. As they discover truth and this amazing love our Father has they have an excitement that grows and would put many of us to shame. We heard stories of young Quechua men walking two days just to learn how to properly lead a simple Sunday school class taught in an afternoon, only to quickly return to their village and share with others what they have learned. These people are very poor though and do not have the money to travel to Cusco much less afford to stay there even for a few days, our efforts helped give these young believers a place to lay their tired heads after a long day in the world, and a room to study in while looking at the beautiful mountains the God they are learning about created. On our last day at the home the Pastor we were working with us gave us quite the gift for helping him, a plate full of Guinea Pig, the rare treat here in Cusco

After all trying the salty meat we were able to sit down with the pastor and his family. The short Peruvian man, who for the past hours had been slaving away with us pouring concrete, came walking out in his best shirt and pants holding his worn Bible close. Even through a translator we could feel his heart and gratitude as he thanked us for the work we had done, but even more than that he challenged us. As a true brother in Christ he challenged us to continue on this journey, to continue to say yes daily, and to love and serve in a way this world is not use to. It was a better gift for our hard labor than even the Guinea Pig.

1620359_10152209059688656_2117050292_nSince this conversation it has been on our team’s heart to understand what this Christian community is, or what we like to call a community of grace. To create a place where emotions are welcome, hurting hearts can be voiced, wisdom can be shared, and we can walk along side each other wherever we are in this crazy journey. Despite falling short a few times, getting a little aggravated with each other, and having a few bad attitudes we continue to choose to be this community. To do the difficult thing being vulnerable and keeping short accounts. Ministry is so important but even more than this “doing” it’s important that we don’t forget to just “be”, To BE true Christ Followers. As a result of being we have had the opportunity and the privilege to do many things to help others, only because we first chose to say yes! A decision that while sometimes hard, we will never regret!

With His love,

Will Richardson- September 2013 Leadership DTS Peru Outreach

We’re Back!

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UntitledWe’re back… in Singapore that is, our last stop on this faith journey before we disperse into the next stage of each of our lives. As we were sitting on the plane from Malaysia to Singapore we each felt such excitement and anticipation in our hearts about returning. While it is true that we had an amazing, once in a lifetime couple of weeks in other parts of Asia, something was whispering to our spirits that Singapore was where we were called for the last month of our outreach. We landed and it felt like we were returning home. The minute we stepped out of the airport God started blessing us again and taking care of us in ways we never imagined, especially through our new Singaporean friends Mercy and Daniel. We were able to spend a couple of days with them and also had the chance to speak at their church and build a few more relationships.

Untitled1It has been a week since we started seeking God’s hear and will for the nation of Singapore. God has highlighted the 7 spheres of society here in Singapore as points of intercession. These include: family, religion, government/science, media communication, education, and celebration. As students, we are stepping out in our leadership abilities and hosting a day specifically on each sphere. So far it has been awesome to see how God works differently through each individual and to see each step out in the different strengths and talents they possess. One of our days was spent visiting learning about Buddhism, the lies behind it, visiting those temples and interceding on behalf of those temples. One thing we have learned, especially from our temple visits is that God only wants us to pray what He specifically asks of us. He did not call any of us, at least in this season to personally challenge the darkness there in our own strength. He did call us to bring His presence into each temple and pray His name, and worship Him. It all goes back to what God has been speaking from day one; it is not about the doing it is about the being!

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Yesterday was an amazing day for our team, one of my favorites! This week we were able to get connected with YWAM Singapore and yesterday we spent the day interceding for them. We spent time individually with the Lord and asked Him to lay a verse on each of our hearts that we could proclaim over YWAM Singapore. Once we received a verse we embarked on a 4-hour jungle hike. This included prayer walking, proclaiming scripture and walking in the presence of God. We had times of calmness, times of joy and times of heavier prayer. It was amazing! God continually speaks to us when we are in the glory of His beautiful creation. I am posting the verses we received below. If you are reading this and desire to come along side our prayers and decrees we would love if you would speak out these scriptures and intercede on behalf of this nation and the YWAM base. Prayer works!

  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Philippians 4:11
  • Hebrews 11:39
  • Nahum 1:7
  • Isaiah 52:
  • Psalm 20:5
  • Hebrews 11:1

Colleen House-September 2013 Leadership DTS Singapore Outreach Student