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Just Be

  |   Outreach, Uncategorized   |   No comment

DSCN1855Throughout my outreach, God has been teaching me that He can use me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. One theme He’s shown me again and again in these past two months is “just being there.”

Prior to my YWAM experience I had been on several short-term mission trips, on each of those we did hands-on labor for what felt like sun-up till sun-down everyday. I was able to serve God by physically doing things for people.

When my team reached our destination, the Solomon Islands, many of us were surprised that a part of their culture is to let their guests be served. Hospitality is a HUGE part of the people of the Solomon Islands. This meant they would prefer to serve us rather than allow us to serve them.

IMG_1409This was especially evident in the Western Province where we spent weeks three through six of outreach. From the time we stepped off the boat, we were all blown away by how eager people were to serve us. This persisted as we moved around from place to place, island to island. Cooking us meals, to sweeping our floors, singing and entertaining us as we eat the food they served, eager to show us the best hospitality, which often meant that they were strongly against us doing things for ourselves and especially for them. With time, we had to simply accept that this is a part of their culture.

As we realized this, our eyes were opened to how God was truly working through us by us “just being there.” The people we spent time with were so moved and touched by the fact that we had come all the way across the world to spend time with them. They were touched that we wanted to experience their culture, to do life with them, to eat their food, to learn their music and dances, and to exchange our culture with them.

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As the only white people in the area word spread; it was like the whole town knew why we were there and what we stand for which blessed us with so many more opportunities to speak at different churches and youth groups, to share our hearts and share our passion for God.

God was able to move through our team by us “just being there.”

I am so privileged to have been a part of God moving in this way! God is so powerful and so good, we have loved discovering new ways that He can work in and through us but also in other people for our benefit.

One thing that is often said here in the Solomon Islands in church services is: “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.”

It is so simple, yet so full of truth, it has been amazing to see it in action throughout our time in the Solomon Islands.

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January 2013 Solomon Islands outreach team

Reaching Outside Ourselves

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

Jaci blog

God’s presence has been everywhere on the island, along within the hearts of many of our students. We have been broken only to be made stronger through Christ. We have been learning to let go of our own needs and desires, and trusting to replace them with the will of our Father. His loving character has been shown to us more and more here at YWAM DP, as we ventured through ministry week and prepared our hearts for our upcoming outreach. Life does not become a journey until we are willing to take the first step.

jaci blog2As many of our hearts are being repaired and strengthened, Brittney, our ministry coordinator, prepared and led us through ministry week. We were able to witness to many of the broken and hurting hearts of this community. Along with that, we also saw all the innocence and joy that is pouring out of all the children of the island, no matter what family background they come from. We were able to bless the community throughout the week with manual labor such as cleaning the church, washing windows and picking up trash in the town. We also performed a lot of children’s ministry, and got a chance to pour out our love with the youth by spending time playing, dancing, face painting, and singing in the schools and in the local park. God uses us to work in His kingdom; He likes to partner with us to work in other’s lives.

“Without man, God will not. Without God, man cannot.” -Manuel Ramminger (week 6 speaker)

God really is powerful, He really is strong, and He really is real to people. As our DTS team collects our support and funds from people back home or even from fellow classmates and base leaders/staff, we turn to God to pray for the insight of giving and being able to accept the truth that GOD WILL PROVIDE. Nothing is more powerful than seeing God work in miraculous ways. There is no explanation except… it is God. He has called each of us here for different reasons to come together in unity to do His work. By having faith and putting it in God’s hands, we choose to give it all up to Him and trust in Him.

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Jaci Bryant-April 2013 Leadership DTS

Sweet Freedom

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

The culture, food, and life here in Belize are wonderful experiences. I have met quite a few of the people who live in and around San Pedro and love to be with them.  In my DTS experience, I feel challenged to really pay attention to each speaker and trust the staff and put the learning I am gaining into to practice every day. As we prepare for outreach, I know that being unified is one of the most important things we can choose to do. We have a great team  and our strategy is to be open and honest with each other. I am confident that we will take what we have been learning during lecture phase and use it in Nicaragua to remain a unified team serving Christ wholeheartedly.

Whether we are in lectures, exercising, hanging out, playing games, and quiet times there is always something to be doing here on base and the fun is just beginning. Recently we have seen a lot of wildlife around. We found a boa constrictor, and we have lots if iguanas. God has made some pretty nifty animals, each uniquely different. It reminds me of us and how He made humans so uniquely different yet made in His image. Many times, I forget to ponder His efforts, love, and desire for us to grow in our gifts and to be ourselves.

blog5This week Lynn Toney, our base director, spoke on getting rid of our “ball and chain.” Often times things in our past can cause us to carry unneeded baggage around weighing us down, thus she used to the illustration of a ball and chain. We were given the chance to look for patterns, good and bad, that have made us who we are today. All of it has been worth it, though hard at some points, the freedom gained is better than words can describe! I am looking forward to the rest of lecture phase then to get the chance to head to Nicaragua for outreach.

-Joyce Friesen 2013 April Leadership DTS

Family Casitas Now Open

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Remodel8New and exciting things are happening here at YWAM DP. This year we are running four Disciple Training Schools and two secondary level schools, Bible School for the Nations and Foundations in Counseling Ministry. God has been opening up some exciting new doors for us to grow our ministry here on the island of Ambergris Caye. On base, we live in casitas, which are a small houses. It is essentially a one bedroom one bath home. Student casitas house four people with two sets of bunk beds, and staff casitas house three people with three twin beds. We also have guest rooms that either have two double beds, a full bed, or a king size bed.

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Up until recently, these accommodations have been great. However, as we have been following God’s guidance in expanding and growing the ministry, our focus has been expanded too. We have always enjoyed having families visit and stay with us, but it was hard for them to stay in one casita comfortably. In addition, our secondary schools have brought in two amazing staff members who have families that will be joining them here on base. All of these new additions posed the question, how can we accommodate more families? After a lot of prayer and consideration, we decided to add a room onto the back of two of our beachfront casitas. We are very excited about our new family casitas. They have two bedrooms and one bathroom. The back bedroom has four bunk beds, storage, and a closable door to the main room that has a king size bed and a closet area.

Living on the island is sometimes challenging.  Lumber and supplies for this job had to be brought in from the mainland, which was very expensive. We are so blessed to have these two new casitas and we are trusting God because He always provides when we obey Him.

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We would like to invite you to bring your family and come check out what God is doing here in San Pedro!

 

Team Work

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Our January 2013 Costa Rica outreach team has been sharing God’s love in amazing ways. Here are just a few tidbits written from different members of the team.

                                                                           Ministry Work on Base

SAMSUNG CSCHere on base there is a lot of different work to do, we try to help out wherever we can. There are daily work duties which we can do for the base, like caring for the animals (horses, goats, dogs and chickens) cleaning the living areas, bathrooms, and the kitchen after meals. Then there are work projects like fixing the driveway with concrete, weeding their massive garden, making the soccer field larger by whacking away bushes with machetes, and building a new staircase. We have been helping out with whatever we can… even butchering chickens. Outreach is not all about big evangelistic things; it is also a lot about being faithful in the little things. God has called us to love him and love people and if that looks like pulling weeds out of a garden for hours well we will put a 110% into that!

Being Blessed to Bless Others

I have always had a hard time putting myself out there and stepping out of my comfort zone. Our Leaders gave us a challenge; we were to split up into four pairs and find someone to bless with 5000 colones or $10.00 American. My partner and I prayed about whom to give it to. At first, we did not get a clear answer, so we began to walk. We saw this woman sweeping and stopped to talk to her. Since my partner did not speak any Spanish, I ended up translating for him. We prayed for her and then continued walking. The next person we ran into was a woman named Lydia. She hung out and talked with us for an hour and a half. God then told both my partner and I to give her the $10.00 it was not much but we knew she could use it. She felt so blessed that she invited us to come back to visit her! We then prayed for her and hugged. After having lunch at the park, we had an extra sandwich left over and did not feel the need to eat it. My partner and I walked over to some men sitting on benches and made conversation with them until it began to rain and we sought refuge under the awning of a huge Catholic church along with five homeless men. They were drunk and cheerful and joked and hung out for a while. Then I remembered I had an extra sandwich so I gave it to four of the men. They joyfully split it with smiles on their face. I did not think that the day would just be an adventure with food. The cool thing about it was there was no agenda at all. God can use whatever you are willing to give. By giving to them, we were blessed.

                                                                                     Tearing Down Walls

SAMSUNG CSCWhile we have been in Costa Rica, we have been attending a small local church who have been very hospitable to us. In return, we have helped them with some work in the church. One thing we did was help them tear down a large cement wall inside their building. At DP we spent three months breaking down walls in our lives that were keeping us from intimacy with God, while on outreach we broke down literal walls and in turn it brought us closer to the people of the church. Since then, we have had them over to the place we have been staying for fellowship and a fire as well as playing soccer with them on Sundays. This week we were all invited to go over for dinner at a family’s house from the church. It may seem like you have big walls in your life, but we have learned nothing is too big for Jesus. He will equip you with the right tools and strength to push through.

Brave Men

Every Monday we have had the extreme privilege of being able to go to a drug rehab center and spend time with the residents. Getting to know these courageous men and hearing just a little bit about their stories has been such an awesome and humbling opportunity. Seeing how God is moving in their lives and working to replace their chains of addiction with freedom has touched us all and helped to strengthen our own faith. God is so good and it has been such an inspiration so far to have just a little part in these brave men’s lives. We all look forward to getting to know them further and seeing them all completely restored and made new through Christ.

-January 2013 Leadership DTS Costa Rica Outreach Team