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Reflections

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hobie3As we were concluding one life chapter, we decided to take a trip to Belize for some time of reflection, play, and rest. Having heard that there was good scuba diving in Ambergris Caye, a quick search resulted in us contacting YWAM Destination Paradise for a place to stay. We looked forward to being a part of a Christian community while relaxing and enjoying God’s creation.

It was such a blessing to stay with YWAM. We were immediately welcomed into their community when we arrived. Actually, before we even got to the base, we were already welcomed by those in town who knew YWAM. People eagerly directed us to the base as they heard where we were heading. Clearly, YWAM has had an impact through their presence in Ambergris Caye.

hobieWe heard students’ life stories and celebrated their new revelations of who God is. We worshiped with the community and enjoyed meals under the palapa (thatched roof). We participated in adventures of jumping off the dock and being pirates on the Hobie cats (small sail boats). We enjoyed the quiet evenings of conversation and star gazing.

When we arrived midweek, the students in DTS were finishing up a section on hearing God’s voice. The following week they began discussing how they can become more of who God has called them to be. As we were contemplating what our next steps in life should be, their lessons led to conversations we needed to have as a couple. We were fortunate to sit in on a teaching about the barriers to our walk with Jesus which we continue to contemplate and wrestle with now.

hobie4Though we were on base for less than a week, as we waited for the water taxi to start our journey home, we knew we would miss our new friends at YWAM. It’s exciting to know that there are young people being prepared to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. We’re thankful we had time to be still and know He is God while enjoying the beautiful breeze on the Caribbean waters at YWAM DP.

Gloria and Sam- April 2013 Guests

 

A Place to Be

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What comes to mind when you think of hammocks? A silly chair that hangs between something that has a history of making people fall out of it is what I used to think it was. Here at DP we take our hammocks up a notch.

 

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Hammocks are a place where students or guests can go relax by the ocean. It’s a place where good quality time with God can be spent. A place where one can adventure off into a book while the wind blows over him or her. Lots of hammocks have come and gone around here, each one bringing a new sense of excitement.

 

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Time feels like it stands still when sitting in our hammocks. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” The best thing about our hammocks here is that they provide a place for us to be still and and know that He is God and He has everything under control.

 

 

Whether it is for worship, quiet times, relaxation, or hanging out, someone is always soaking up some hammock time around here!

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Life is a Choice

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IMG_1509 Life is a choice.

God, You are all that we need.  You rescue us from ourselves, from death to life.

When we choose to allow the light that we have been freely given to shine through us darkness must flee. The power and authority that we carry as a child of the King is unmatchable. Though the “battle” may feel hard and long at times, we choose to praise Him because ultimately through our God we have the victory.

Partnered with Him we are victorious.

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During outreach we have been learning more and more that every day we wake up and have another day to live, we are so undeserving of all that God gives us. When we are disobedient to what God is asking of us in that day, or in a tiny moment, we still ask God to bless us, to be a part of our day when we wish Him to be.

The craziest part is, He does it.

We mean that much to Him. He loves us that much.

In so many ways He allows us to call the shots in our own lives, but when it boils down to it, the only choice we really have is life or death. All that is in between is the journey.

He patiently waits for us to turn to Him, wholeheartedly. He rejoices in the moments when we look to Him, not only when things are bad but also when things are good, especially when things are good.

His greatest desire is to be worshiped and glorified in all that we do, but there is no force. We are in no way coerced into it, but loved so unconditionally and blessed so undeservedly that for us as a team in this time it sparks the question “how can we do anything less than give Him our lives?”

I guess that is why we do what we do. We live the reality of some crazy stories, spend months in weird places doing even weirder things ultimately to give God the glory.

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The calling on our lives, for this time, is to take His word to the nations. YWAM is the doorway that allows us to walk unbeaten paths (sometimes literally) and take the word of God to people who have never heard of Him, but more commonly to those who have heard but don’t full know and have no passion, here in the Solomon Islands.

When these people realize we left all that we have back home and have chosen to come to their country and live in less than desirable conditions simply to share with them our passion and love for God, that is all that it takes to ignite curiosity within them to truly know this God.

Some days the things expected of us as leaders are the hardest things I think we have ever had to do, but within the stretching moments, we are reminded why we are here.

To glorify God in all that we do, to give nothing less than our lives in pursuit of Him.

-January 2013 Leadership DTSSolomon Islands outreach

New Awareness

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tessa blog1God is continuing to do amazing things here at YWAM DP. I feel like our time during this DTS has been a continuous journey of Him leading, challenging, healing, convicting, comforting, teaching, loving, and uniting us in a way that we have never experienced before.

We have been blessed with great teachings focused on Spiritual Warfare and the Holy Spirit over the last two weeks. It has been an eye opener for me realizing just how REAL the spiritual realm is and how much authority and power we have been given as children of God. Manuel Ramminger, our speaker on Spiritual Warfare, said, “Without man, God will not. But without God, man cannot!” The fact that God has chosen to work through us because he wants to is something I had not ever stopped to think about before. Although He has the power to do all things, His nature of being relational and loving means He will not force us into anything. We have to be willing and ask Him to move or He ‘will not’. On the other side, we cannot do things in our own strength without God and His authority. Our authority comes from Him….

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Learning about the Holy Spirit has been both fun and enlightening. For most of our class, we have had a tendency to focus more on God the Father or Jesus the Son who sacrificed His life for us on the cross. We often forget the Holy Spirit and the fact that the Spirit is a real person of God the Trinity. I have come to realize just how essential and special the role the Holy Spirit plays in both the creation of man and our ability to live in relation with Him. God has been showing me how like water the Holy Spirit is fluid, gentle, and moving; like fire She is powerful, full of energy, light and beauty. Like the wind the Holy Spirit has an element of mystery. We cannot see it, but we can feel its caress. It has a playful nature and loves to dance with the clouds and intertwine itself through our hair. It can be both gentle and strong.

When we plant ourselves in the Holy Spirit and live with integrity, we allow room for the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in our lives. He gives us the ability to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Out of the Spirit, we can facilitate the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, discerning of spirits, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, tongues, and interpretation. Through the Holy Spirit, we can forever dwell in God’s presence, and know Him personally. How amazing is this! I know for me this is something that I am eternally grateful for and I am really looking forward to seeing what other new revelations God has for me!

Tessa Manase- April 2013 Leadership DTS

Foundations in Counseling Ministry

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God is continually stretching and growing us. We have really been going through a time of growth here at DP. In April, we introduced our first secondary school the BSN (Bible School for the Nations) and our second of four DTS (Discipleship Training School) this year. In July, YWAM DP will be holding three schools, a new DTS, the current BSN that has been happening since April and our very first FCM. Meaning this year God has stretched us to hold six different schools!! Our newest addition is the Foundations in Counseling Ministry (FCM). We are thrilled to have Jenny Espe come and lead us out in this fun new part of DP. It is going to be an exciting time this summer as we have alumni returning, current staff, and new friends paving the way by participating in our very first FCM course! Here is a brief outline written by Jenny telling a little about herself  and the new things the FCM will bring for us here at DP!

My name is Jenny Espe and I am so excited to pioneer a brand new school for YWAM DP, the Foundations in Counseling Ministry (FCM)! This school has been in the works for years and we finally get to launch it in July- just a few short months away! Our desire is to make this school a real training ground for people in ministry or going into ministry. We have seen how many people who go into full time missions or ministry burn out quickly and don’t have the tools needed to deal with the people and issues that arise. Our dream is to make this FCM school a place for refreshing, rejuvenation and great learning. We have seasoned and incredible speakers coming from around the world to impart their wisdom and insights! Our speakers will be covering topics such as Family Systems, Sexuality, Identity in Christ, Life Coaching and more! We will learn through lectures, discussions, small groups, and lots of practice!

I am honored to help run and lead this FCM! This school has been on my heart for many years and God has given me great vision and hope for this school. I know that our students, staff, and speakers will be greatly blessed by the things God will teach us! My dream is to send out healthy, humble, and capable people who are able to minister to those around the world who so desperately need Jesus! I am coming to Belize with my awesome husband and super fun toddler! We are excited to share life and ministry with you all at Destination Paradise!

This link will take you to our FCM page where you can learn more about what topics will be covered: active listening, family systems, identity in Christ, understanding God’s grace, plus many more. Find out how you can become a part of this upcoming July school! http://ywamdp.org/schools/secondary-schools/fcm/

jenny blogJenny Espe- July 2013 FCM Leader