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A New Day

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“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

The only sound is that of the waves gently touching the shore. The faint scent of the sea surrounds me, so much like the aroma of home that is so dear to my heart.

IMG_0797The sun is just starting to turn the dark blue clouds a soft orange. I look out at the silver ocean, serene as it begins a new day. Over my shoulder I look at the place I’ve called home for the past three months. I take in the palm trees as they dance gently in the morning breeze.

The white sands are just beginning to take on the glow of the new day. My big brother Jess quietly rakes the seagrass off the shore. Once again I turn my head as I look out over the sea, like an old friend, the sun is once again taking its place in the sky.

The horizon takes on its familiar light, and a new day is begun.

Sitting here on the dock, I can’t help but let my mind wander back just a few weeks, to the very first time I set foot on the Belizean sands. Just a few weeks ago, I arrived here broken, insecure, and hurting. There was barely even a faint glimmer of light in my life.

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I think back to how trying those first few days and weeks were.

Why couldn’t God just fix all my issues and take me immediately to a better place? Why couldn’t I feel Him working in me? But even as I was so confused and frustrated, the heavy clouds in my heart began to take on a new, brilliant hue as light began to touch them.

As time went on, I realized that healing and growth isn’t a quick and painless process. I realized that I had to revisit the hard places in my life, but in those moments of deepest hurt, God put light in my life. The holes in my spirit were filled with a blinding glow that still mesmerizes me.

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Now the sun has taken its place in the sky. Its rays pierce surrounding clouds. I can’t help but softly smile as I look back on these life changing months.

I don’t smile because I’ve successfully repaired everything in my life and now I’m good to go.

In this moment joy takes hold of me because I’ve allowed the marvellous light that is the love of Christ to touch the most broken and bruised corners of my heart. I will never finish growing, as the sun rises and sets, so I will have both joyful and dark times throughout my life.

IMG_0841 2 But I know that in my soul, this marvellous light is here to stay. It will abide in my heart through my most joyous and painful moments.

 

It’s going to be a beautiful day.

 

 

Claire Stewart – Leadership DTS January 2013

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Getting It

  |   DTS   |   No comment

The wonderful Lynn “tin tin” Toney, as I like to call her, was teaching on the topic “GETTING IT”

The IT was Freedom.

Lynn is wonderful facilitating the Holy Spirit. She was on her A game this week, the freedom she wanted us to get was that from our past hurts and events that really weighed us down and disconnected us from God.

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Through the course of the week we did different activities that involved us genuinely sharing life together. For many, myself included, this was understandably terrifying and difficult, but so worth it.

I never would have been honest in years past about this stuff to other people but when God showed up and began a work in my heart, I almost cried.

Feelings have not ever been a strong point in my life. The freedom that came after the weeks teaching and actively doing what God was asking of me, I was truly peaceful.

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It is amazing when I truly let God to begin to heal me in the major areas of my life that have affected me.

It opened up the door for me to start realising all the other things that I needed to be getting free from.

This is an on going process that I continue to work at and learn more about it every day but the freedom that comes everyday is less and less of me and more and more of Him. Walking in new understanding and making the choice to follow God with my whole heart.

 

I am so thankful for Lynn, and her teaching, she is truly a woman after the Fathers heart.

MaskWritting2 My prayer has become that of a plea to the Lord. God, Let us learn, grow and worship you Jesus, for the blessing that freedom is to our hearts. Keep us in your loving and caring arms. Hold our families in the safety of your Love. Thank you Lord for Lynn and the way she loves and lives for you! Amen.

 

 

Jess Roberson – Leadership DTS January 2013

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A Heart to Worship

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One of my favorite aspects of my time here in Belize during DTS so far is that there is a huge emphasis on worship. There are so many musicians, painters, dancers, and others who have such a heart to worship God and are able to express their praise to God through a number of different artistic mediums. I have noticed that everyone here has such a passion to search after God, and it makes my heart happy.

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One of our earlier speakers, Jim Ramos, spent his first day teaching us about worship, he was saying in a literal translation of the original imagery of what it meant to truly worship, Jim described that in essence, how a dog wants to lick crumbs off its master’s hand is the same attitude in which we should be in when entering into worship, desperate for anything that God can give us.

It’s not about what we can give God, because there’s nothing we can give Him to make Him more complete, but I am learning that more and more that worship should be our pursuit of His presence and His touch in our lives. The great thing is that, since we have such a loving God, He honors our pursuit and pours His love out on us. God is quite awesome!

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As a group, we spend time every weekday worshiping God through music, prayer, or other methods. Being here in this atmosphere has been a wonderful experience for me of freedom in worship. For example, though I would not usually consider myself a visual artist, well never really if I am being honest, but earlier this week I found myself sitting down with paints and brushes settling myself in Gods presence and putting an image down on paper that He had placed on my mind. Others here have found new ways to express themselves to God as well, and it’s very beautiful to see everybody connected in our pursuit for God.

 

Nick Classen – Leadership DTS January 2013

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At A Glance

  |   Alumni, Lecture Phase, Outreach   |   No comment

Brittney is a student from the September 2012 Leadership DTS, while she was with us as a student her life was radically transformed. When I asked her if she ever thought she would be where she is now the first day she got off the boat, her response was “absolutely not!”

Brittney along with the other members of her team spend their outreach in a number of different locations within Venezuela. However, while here in Belize, during lecture phase, Brittney felt that God was calling her back to join with us as a staff member, after much prayer and seeking God for provision, we are excited to say she’ll be joining us here in March to continue along her journey with God and see Him move in some even more awesome ways.

A great way that Brittney was able to show her supporters, at a glance, a small amount of what DTS looked like for her is shown below.

“A video is worth a million words.

I have been eagerly waiting to show you all this video that I made as soon as I got home. The timing had to be perfect though, and I’m excited to say that I feel now the timing is right and I hope you all enjoy.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=065mBJhfUhg[/tube]

A lot of the photo credits go to my fellow DP family members. They are better photographers than me! Thanks you guys, Love Brittney”

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Embracing Leadership

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The staff here encounter a number of students that come to DTS here with Destination Paradise that don’t know that it is a Leadership focused DTS, despite the frequent mentioning of the word ‘Leadership’ throughout the website.

I was one of those people.

I’m not the shiest person in the world, but I definitely do not have a need or great desire to be in the spotlight, hence why leading isn’t something I have a strong attraction to. Thats why I am learning my “overlooking” of the Leadership aspect was probably a God thing.

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Leadership isn’t about telling people what to do. It’s about courageously getting out of your comfort zone because you are so eager to help everyone reach their common goal.That’s how I ended up co-leading the first student led prayer and worship night for the January 2013 DTS.

When Ally, our school leader, asked for two students to volunteer to lead an intercessory prayer, I felt “that eagerness”.

Everyone, including myself, was so worried about outreach and I wanted to help fix that. Thanks to my “BFF” Jesus, the night was super awesome!

All the students, including myself, were eager to have more nights like these. Uninterrupted time to encounter our creator, to pour ourselves out in worship and prayer.

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With the success of that first night in mind, and I still can’t believe I did this, but with the new found understanding that Leadership is stepping out of our comfort zones, I requested a time slot for another worship night the following week. I asked another student to help me with setting up a solely student led worship team. We were all really excited to have the opportunity to spend time pouring out our hearts to our Father again and it ended being another amazing God filled night.

All the glory goes to Him 100%.

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However, it’s still a little hard to believe that God used me, just a regular person, another YWAM DP DTS student, to bring honour and joy to his kingdom through a small act of leading, which in fact had a huge impact on us as students. But I can say that I am learning to step into Leadership roles more and more throughout my time here on DTS.

Sally Maeng – Leadership DTS January 2013

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