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Y W A M D P | Blog
 

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All About Love

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Hi! My name is Emelie, I’m 19 years old and come from Sweden. During this first 6 weeks on DTS some recurring themes have been forgiveness, the character of God and His love for us. As a group of 34 students we have gotten to know each other and been drawn closely together. Through lectures God has challenged me to let him break old patterns and hard stuff in my life, in exchange he has given me more freedom and light in my life. When I heard that this week was going to be Ministry Week, I felt like it was a natural part of giving out what we have been taught and sharing some of our passion for God.

Being a missionary is so much more than just doing things, it’s all about loving people! This was something I learned a couple of weeks ago when we had a session about ministry. The best way to be a disciple is to focus on learning and listening in order to get to know the culture and build relationships. My prayer during this week was “Break my heart for what breaks Yours”, something I think God has been working on within me.

Ministry Week consisted of being in town, speaking with people, and praying for some of them. We also spent time at the high school teaching and doing exercises on the topic of unity.  We spent time with teens in different churches and arranged a soccer tournament for kids. What touched my heart the most was a prayer walk we did in San Mateo, a really poor area on the island. To see the people living in houses

surrounded by garbage and water, with planks as bridges between buildings – it makes me wonder where Jesus was in all the poverty. But for Jesus there is no hopelessness! He is there as much as anywhere else. To pray blessings and light over the people’s lives felt like an honor, especially when we had the opportunity to do it for a 3 month old baby boy. We have a great God and our prayers make a difference!

Emelie Bohlin – September DTS Leadership 2012

Diving In

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Probably one of the most incredible experiences I have had thus far in Belize was my time of scuba diving in the deep, beautiful ocean here. Walking into this DTS, I knew that it was an optional activity during our free time. I took one look at that suggestion and said NO WAY am I doing that. Too risky, too scary, not for me…. and then I got here. The third day of orientation they brought it up and asked how many people needed forms. Lord help me, but some small part in me made me put my hand in the air.

Later I walked to the dock with our instructor and quickly informed him how I was terrified of doing it, probably wasn’t going to do it, but there was the tiniest chance that I would.  Eventually I took a breath and looked at him. Rene smiled at me and put his hands on my shoulders, in his Dutch accent he said “Amy…come diving with us.” Don’t ask me how he did it, but he convinced me that I should give it a try.

So there we are dive 1 and Rene convinced me to go.  I was hesitant- scratch that- I WAS SCARED OUT OF MY MIND!  A matter of minutes later, we were 10 feet below the water’s surface and I touched the ocean floor for the first time.  Rene smiled at me and I found myself starting to panic. I signaled almost immediately that I wanted to go up, rapidly pointing my finger towards the surface. He signaled back “are you sure?” both his eyes locked on mine. I had a choice. This was taking a risk. I had to choose if I was going to trust the air tank latched to my back, trust the hand holding tightly to mine, and quite simply, risk the ocean. I breathed deeply into my regulator, watching the bubbles float up to the surface that I desperately wanted to swim back to. I was still terrified, but I had to admit that there was something brand new and exciting about this place. I made the okay sign, choosing to stay down. That entire time, Rene guided me over coral reefs and dozens of fish.

This isn’t just a story about diving, that day is a picture of YWAM for me. I have risked it all by coming here. I have come here with my bare necessities and as I have slowly been sinking down, allowing myself to go deeper in this program and with God, I have found it all a bit overwhelming and sometimes, downright terrifying. There have been many days where I looked at God and pointed my finger towards home, my comfort zone, the place where there is no risk and no taking of chances and each time He has asked me “are you sure?” Each time, I breathe deeply, I take a look around at this new place he has me in and eventually signal back, “okay, God. I’ll stay.” He has taken both my hands and is leading me into new territories and new depths of my heart. I just keep breathing deeply, holding tightly. He doesn’t let go.

Since that first dive, I have done 3 more dives. By the second one I was off swimming by myself, keeping my eyes on our instructor, but also enjoying the beauty around me. Each time we go a little bit deeper. First 10 feet, then 25, then 40, and the last one was 60. Words cannot describe the beauty that awaited me the deeper I let myself go. I was so high up yet so far below. I smiled and spread both my arms wide, feeling as though I was flying! I was weightless, fearless, and absolutely free.

The deeper I go, the more weightless I get. I’m risking it all, feeling the pressure of it all, but I’m shredding my fear. There is so much beauty just below the surface. I’m going down, and truth be told, I’m starting to even feel free.

Amy Fowler-September 2012 Leadership DTS

Blessings to Belize

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Hi! I’m Paige and I am one of the students in the April 2012 school. We’ve been in San Pedro for a little over a month now, and have been blessed recently with two outreach teams from other YWAM bases coming to Destination Paradise. Around two weeks ago, YWAM Pachuca, Mexico came to minister to the children and people here. They are an amazing team of ten and have been such a blessing here in San Pedro. A week ago, another team from Switzerland also came to do their debriefing (processing their completed outreach).  They had been in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, doing ministry as part of their outreach prior to coming over to Ambergris Caye.

The Pachuca team has been doing evangelistic dramas in the park, helping out in classrooms and tutoring children in the afternoons. They also have been doing intersession for San Pedro and San Mateo, and been visiting local homes cleaning and developing personal relationships with the people. Almost every day they rode their bikes into town (4.5 miles each way). It has been such a great time getting to know them and I even got to practice my Spanish with them!! For the most part it was mostly Spanglish, but I have bonded so much with them and will miss them when they leave.

When the Swiss team came, I was super excited to hear about the ministry work they did in Belmopan. They were there for 3 weeks and then came to stay for 5 days at the base. During those 3 weeks, they did much work with the local churches and did painting, passing out flyers for a new church, and doing prayer walks around town praying for the people and the city. They went to the University and shared their testimonies, helped out in schools and painted doors and their base. It has been such a great time getting to know them and hearing some of their stories and it has helped get me excited for the ways we will serve in Europe on our outreach.

It is really amazing how so many people, from all over the world, can come together to one place and just after a short time of knowing someone, you feel like family because we share the same Father and desire….to love others!!  We were so blessed by these teams and their willingness to share with us and with others throughout Belize.

Paige Furukawa – April 2012 Leadership DTS

Boldness in Borneo

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Selemat siang! [Good day!]

Hey! Camille here, to give a re-cap on the happenings of this past week in Indonesia!

The crew said our goodbyes and we made our transition from Bali to the lovely island of Borneo, officially called Kalimantan.

We drove a bumpy road, before arriving at our new home.  We stepped onto a beautifully landscaped base, with red stone, white tile, lush gardens, and yes… air conditioned bedrooms! God is so good! There’s even a pet monkey on base (but I personally prefer the dogs… the monkey is temperamental). The staff here are so generous and hospitable.  I pray we bless them as much as they are blessing us.

After settling in, we re-packed smaller bags and headed to a village for a few days.  Several steep, muddy hills later, we miraculously arrived at our destination. It was a typical farmhouse, surrounded by multiple rice fields and other neighboring homes (no electricity or indoor plumbing).  We were greeted by a porch full of Indonesian kiddos (I counted about thirty of them), all with smiles and jumping in an enthusiastic manor. God’s kids are so stinkin’ cute!

That night, we got our beds ready to go with all the floral-patterned mosquito nets
hanging above our sleeping bags. We also had our first serving of chicken and rice; we would have many more to come over the next several days. Following dinner, we traveled with Andre, our YWAM friend and interpreter to a nearby house. There, we joined in an evening of worship, prayer and fellowship with some villagers. How cool that our God can meet His children-all so different, from all over the world, multiple languages and in the middle of a jungle in Borneo…the scene was awesome!

The next day, the team had the wonderful opportunity to help out in the local
school.  The kids were dressed in their well-worn uniforms and big smiles.  That
morning was filled with loads of laughter. We played games, sang songs and played soccer and volleyball.  It was a privilege to love on them.

While we were still adjusting to the “squatty potty”, constant rooster sounds, and new beds (AKA hard wood floors), God met us on this new day…and it turned out to be my favorite of the four days.  The team and some others went up a nearby mountain to harvest chili peppers.  The trail weaved around and through all varieties of nature: rubber trees, bamboo, long grass and random flowers all the way up.  I find God the best in the midst of His creation; there’s something about being His most precious creation and yet being surrounded by endless, breath-taking creation at the same time. It really hit us when we finally reached the top. Words cannot begin to explain the spectacular view we witnessed.  All I know is God felt bigger than ever at that moment and still so close and intimate.  With this backdrop, we all wanted to serve our amazing God so… with the team rockin’ the rice-worker hats and harvest baskets we began the work at hand.  What a joy to soak in God’s presence, in His amazing wonders and be serving His people at the same time…an amazing experience!

Our bath time wasn’t exactly a walk in the park…for the girls especially.  We had to remain covered completely from the collarbone down WHILE washing in a foot deep stream! It turned out to be quite fun and we felt just as refreshed as any other shower. Though you typically don’t have a large crowd of giggling children watching you bathe at home!

The remainder of the day was spent traveling house-to-house, visiting and praying with people within the village.  This is what it usually looked like: you’re invited in, say introductions, then you sit on the floor in their front room (no furniture really exists in these houses).  You’re then served hot coffee (sweet, sweeeet coffee) or tea, and food of some sort.  We get to know the people, their life, their family, and their faith in Christ.  To finish, we pray in whatever way they need: health, protection, or just blessings over the household.  How awesome that the Lord can use us even as we go house to house. We saw how He was using us to bring encouragement and life to these homes, in His mighty name.

Sunday, the team prepared to help lead Sunday school for the kids.  A reenactment of Noah’s ark took place (“animals” everywhere!). Following were songs, words of encouragement and balloons (crowns were made for each child, reminding them that they are each princes and princesses of the King).  The parents and older members of the village joined after Sunday school finished up.  A lively worship session was lead by two guitar players, a drummer and singer (the language barrier didn’t keep us from joining right in).  I led one song for the congregation on my guitar…what a transformation from months ago, when I couldn’t even play a song in front of my family.  I felt a peace and a confidence like never before, and there’s no better feeling than leading God’s children in worshipping Him.  One of us shared testimony and another the sermon. We closed with the “Everything” skit, and began our goodbyes but first we had, yes…more rice and chicken! It was sad to say farewell after connecting on such a special level with these people.  They were all so genuine and passionate for life, despite their living conditions. What an inspiration!  For some of us, we felt this probably won’t be the last time we see them on this side of heaven.  God is faithful, God is good. We are looking forward to what the next days hold as well!!

Peace out, Ka-Mille (translates in Indo: “sister Mille”)

Camille Knopse – January 2012 Leadership DTS

Village to Village

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Hi!  My name is Becca and I am on the Mexico outreach team. We have been traveling to villages in Mexico serving throughout our journey and have been blessed by so many people we have met along the way. Just recently, we came to a small, but vibrant, village named Akumal. I personally, loved it in there! The people really made it for me. My favorite, of the nightly church services we participated in, was when we held one child’s birthday party. The whole church service was basically about children, then we had a piñata, food, cake, and dancing. I had so much fun, and made memories that will last a lifetime for sure!

We left Akumal and stopped overnight in Playa Del Carmen where we started our Mexico outreach. We had a fun day off and celebrated yet another birthday, that of our translator Monse. The next day we went on our way to Merida! It was about a 5 hour bus ride, which to me was a very enjoyable time to relax in the air conditioning!

It only took a few minutes for us to fall in love with Merida! It is in the Yucatan Peninsula, so the temperature is hotter with plenty of humidity, but that is about the only drawback. Calvary Chapel of Merida blessed us so much by letting us stay in a house to ourselves with a kitchen, beds, and bathrooms with toilet seats!!! The church is big and very modern. The people are warm and friendly, with huge and amazing hearts. They have a school attached to the church, so we have done a lot of skits for them.  We also have had time to talk and hang out with many of the students and staff. Each day, they have been feeding us an incredible breakfast and lunch too!!!

We also went to a small village called San Felipe for a couple of days. It is a few hours away, and the church there is a branch of the Calvary Chapel in Merida. On our way there, we stopped for about 4 hours in a small village called San Juan. While we were there we visited some families and got to pray with them, as well as pass out a ton of milk and bread to the people. The people there were extremely poor, living in shacks made out of trees and scrap wood. After we finished ministry in San Juan, we arrived in San Felipe. We got to perform skits, help with children, lead worship, and preach.

The next day we went fishing. When we got to the dock, there was a young guy walking by with a backpack who apparently looked just like someone Chris Norman (our co-leader on outreach) knew. He looked so familiar that Chris went up to him and asked what his name was. It wasn’t the right guy, but it ended up being a guy named Bret who was from Oregon and is traveling around Mexico working at different farms. He had quite a few hours to kill before he was supposed to meet up with the owner of the farm, so we invited him to go fishing with us. It was so much fun, and totally a God thing! He was a really cool guy who was a Christian and ended up not being able to find his contact that day, so instead of having to sleep outside in the park or something, he was able to sleep inside the church with us…like I said, totally a God thing! It was amazing!

Our time here has been full of laughter, friendship, worship and a whole bunch of sweating…but we couldn’t have asked for anything better! God has been so good to us during this whole outreach time, but He has been especially showering us with His love and blessings here in Merida! We have been letting God lead us this whole trip and we are happy to say that He is keeping us here a little bit longer than we planned!

Becca Childs – January 2012 Leadership DTS