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Continuously Learning

  |   Outreach   |   No comment

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From the amazon jungle to the concrete jungle, we are all super excited about being back in civilization. Puerto Maldonado is a unique city and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to get some yummy snacks, ride motor bikes and tuktuks, exploring all the new things, places and the culture.

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We’re staying at a local church and finally have walls all around us again. Of course we have our beloved mosquito nets with us and now we even get to sleep on mattresses, what a luxury! We’ve been doing ministry together with the local church: inviting people on the streets to “cell” groups and leading them, giving some messages and sharing testimonies with adults and youth, doing skits, spending time with kids, praying etc. We never know what exactly to expect, how many people or what age group, but we’ve learned to be flexible and trust God to work something out pretty spontaneously. We are having a lot of fun and it’s exciting to finally work with people and share our heart messages with them.
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Another thing we have learned and are still learning is to be led by the Holy Spirit. It was encouraging to see what an impact that can have in the lives of others. I can definitely say that everyone on this team stepped up this week.

We’ve been realizing just how hard it is sometimes to communicate with the language barrier, but we are slowly getting better: we are now able to have little conversations or at least make known what we want. However we have found ways to communicate the gospel and our stories through our translators and with just the few words we do know.

We’ve had a great time so far and soon our journey points us upwards to the big mountains of the Andes where we’ll be for the next couple weeks. So excited to see what God has for us there!

Andrea Walchli- September 2013 Peru Outreach

From Malaysia to Indonesia

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We have had the amazing opportunity to travel to three different countries while on our outreach to Singapore, and our last two weeks have been filled to the brim with blessings! God has been teaching us humility in being loved so well, receiving so many gifts and blessings from others. We were always greeted with food at every doorstep and were always surrounded by so many kind-hearted people who desperately love the Lord, that we always felt like we were being blessed in one way or another.

singUpon arrival to Malaysia, we met up with a pioneer base in Kuching and developed a great relationship with the leader Michael, who became our “man of peace”. Coming along side of Michael has been a huge blessing in itself, and we also got to be in relationship with his friends who are the youth of the local church. While in Malaysia, we had a few opportunities to be in intercession for the city through prayer walking. During our prayer walks we discovered some strongholds that are present there and were able to pray against them, which was a really powerful opportunity and provided a lot of growth for many of us. We experienced everything from Muslim and Buddhist temples, to dark idols hanging in doorways. This was both a time of revelation and awareness for us to pray on behalf of the city and really have our eyes opened to the severity of the lost and broken in spirit.

Our trip to Indonesia was completely filled with blessings, eye opening experiences, and great relationships built with some really beautiful people. On our 3rd country we decided to pack even lighter, further letting go of what we have in order to be humbled. We had the opportunity to be involved in everything from helping work in rice fields, to being in relationship with an orphanage, to helping teach English & proclaim what God has been teaching us in a school, to speaking in a local church. Though we were involved with many different activities, we evidently saw God actively working in each aspect of ministry we were involved in.

sing1While in Indonesia, we had the unique opportunity of living at YWAM Borneo, which has several high school students living there as well. We were able to be in relationship with them during our time there and really enjoyed just doing life with them and getting to know their hearts and be inspired by their stories. Being able to touch the lives of the children and volunteers from the orphanage was also such a blessing for us. We were in great relationship with a volunteer for the orphanage named Shita, and because she was willing to be so vulnerable with us, we were able to really get to know their hearts and were better able to pray over their lives and see God’s heart for each one of them. We are very excited about the growth in each of their lives, both seen and even more that we will never get to see.

UntitledWe are encouraged in learning that we will never really know the full impact of our work in outreach. We have seen and learned so much thus far on outreach, and have been so blessed to be able to experience the great journey that we have had so far. We are so excited for all that’s to come and all the lessons He has in store for us along the way!

Jennifer Litsey-September 2013 Singpore Outreach

 

Leading From the Inside Out

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

1653589_10153701951815134_1149106990_nLeadership. It’s one of those topics that everyone talks about and has opinions on and think that it only pertains to the elite few, the business man, the politician, and the pastor, but in actuality everyone is a leader in some way. Wether you’re the president, or a CEO, or a pastor or just a regular guy or gal, we will all be a leader at some point. The question is what kind of leader will you be? It really depends on what kind of person you are because you lead from the inside out. That’s what Jim Ramos, our speaker last week, taught us.

1509286_400184530127526_1309756348_nLeading from the inside out requires us to know: how God has uniquely gifted us (both spiritually and naturally), what our passions are, our personality, and our life experiences. Once we have a solid foundation of who God has made us to be, we can find our values, once we have our values when can begin to systematically move towards our lives being in alignment with our values. Now, we are in a position to begin to develop habits or daily rhythms, we then naturally, over time, start completing our goals. That’s the super basic overview of what he taught. Now I get to share what I learned during his lectures.

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For me, the biggest thing I got out of that week is my own personal mission statement. During our last lecture Jim asked us to write out our own life mission statement. This is mine, “While on this earth I want always be loving and enjoying God fully, walking with Him humbly, preaching His Gospel boldly, serving my family (spiritual or otherwise) faithfully, leading graciously, leaving a Godly and steadfast legacy, and dying gladly.” Simple, personal, and very profound for my life. It’s just really cool seeing what my life’s goals are at this point in this season. Maybe later in life they’ll change. If they do so be it, but as of right now, that’s what I want my life to look like. I would encourage everyone to come up with their own “Life Mission Statement”. It’s incredibly empowering.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Kyle Mitchell- January 2014 Leadership DTS

God’s Aquarium

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

1521519_10153681895625134_1173903483_nSo for the first time in my life I got to breathe underwater! It was an incredible experience, and I hadn’t even left the pool yet!
I have gone snorkeling and swam in the ocean before, but none of that comes close to the experience when you finally have the chance to go scuba diving. It was the first time any of us had really attempted anything remotely resembling scuba diving; I was excited, but at the same time, yes, I had my fears. Thankfully, after the first underwater session in the local pool, all my worries melted away–I was ready for the real thing!
1493174_394238170722162_545526976_nArmed with our pool-based scuba instruction, we prepared our gear and set out on the boat for this new adventure. Crashing over tremendous waves, we arrived at the dive site. After our final checks, we made our way into “the deep” below….well, only if you consider 60 feet to be “deep”. As I descended, after every couple of feet, I paused to “pop” my ears in order to equalize the pressure. This short break allowed me to absorb everything around me. Complete serenity. For the first time in my life, it dawned on me, I was immersed in God’s Aquarium. Admiring schools of glistening fish stream by us, while graceful sting rays explore the reef and hungry turtles enjoy a delicious seaweed snack, expectations had become reality.
All too soon, reality kicks in, reminding me that my air supply is unfortunately almost consumed; too soon it was time to call it a day. I would continue the adventure next on my next dive.
ADolphinAnother day, another dive! Life is good! It is one thing to see aqua life on television, but it is completely something else, to see it in real life. You witness God’s astounding underwater creation firsthand, with a host of surprises along the way. Even if you didn’t see anything remarkable while diving, the fact that you are 60 feet below the surface without having to choke or gasp for air is crazy in itself!
Little did the group know, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The bottom line is, any time you have an opportunity to go diving, you are always in for a surprise. Every dive has something different to offer, even if it’s just an appreciation of the serenity, the silent world. This time I was simply breathing, while underwater, enjoying a peaceful environment. Moreover, all you hear underwater is the sound of air rushing in and out of the regulator and occasionally clicking noise. Clicking? Did you say clicking? Yes! A dolphin appeared with his friend. The two of them swam cheerfully around us on this particular dive. Although very rare, it just doesn’t seem possible, does it? Diving never ceases to amaze me. So if you are looking for the best kind of thrilling, yet relaxing adventure, I invite you to come to dive deep into God’s Aquarium!
DiveStudentsKeep Calm and Dive on!

Kristian Matis-January 2014 Leadership DTS

Paradise

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

1535026_789298231083777_388899402_nGod put us together here for a reason, even the staff says that we are different. Have you ever walked into a room that was just powerful.? The atmosphere, thick with the Holy Spirit…maybe it’s the humidity. But that’s besides the point. You can just feel God; I can see Him in the eyes of every person around me.

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The moon seems to take on a new identity every night. Sometimes it’s so bright all of the other stars fade into the background of the night sky. Other nights though, the moon is such a deep yellow that the stars twinkle like they are only miles away. Something that God and I have been battling with lately is sleep. I can’t sleep. That’s not really different from home but now I can’t sleep through the night when I do finally fall asleep. It’s not too fun. I was talking with my small group leader and she really challenged me to spend that time with God. I was up anyways, so why not? So every night this past week I wake up about three times and every time I pray for someone new and the a couple minutes later I fall asleep. This is going to be a season to lean on God and use Him for strength. God really knows what He is doing, He knows just how to get me in a place where I can’t go any further without Him.

1601381_10153738290765311_776430910_n We are starting to feel like a family. We have so much fun together and play big campus wide games and do improv and just do life. It really is starting to feel like home. Some days it’s almost surreal how well we work together, it’s like we’ve been doing this for years but we’ve only been together for 18 days.

We’ve gone into town a couple of times now, and finally we went in on Friday night. It breaks my heart. Right as we got off the boat, floods of people were coming in and out of the bars right on shore. We could smell the alcohol coming off of them; you can almost see the darkness that has overtaken the city. We went to go get some frozen custard from this place called DandE’s, which had absolutely lime and strawberry sorbet, then we walked around to kill time until the next coastal boat left. We made it up and down all three streets of our little town and every street had its own heart break. The further away from the coast we went, the worse it got. We ate tacos at a little restaurant and prayed for the strip club next door. We saw three little girls trying to work up the courage to knock on the door of the club and we couldn’t contain ourselves anymore.

We live in a paradise tainted by sin and shame.

We all know we have some work to do while we are here, prayers appreciated.

Taylor Fagan-January 2014 Leadership DTS