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Mission Minded

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I began attending YWAM Destination Paradise in January 2011 and it rocked my world!  Being involved in YWAM and participating in a DTS was one of the best things I’ve ever decided to do.  I learned “life” things there that just aren’t taught at any other school.  After an Outreach Phase in Turkey, instead of doing the Internship Phase, I decided to go home and work for the summer and figure out what I was doing for school.  My original plan was to attend a University in Wisconsin where I live, but God had other plans.

This past year I’ve been attending Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri.  How I ended up here, I’m not really sure, so it had to be a God thing.  I’m currently on a worship band, called Frontline, through my school, and get to travel around the states and lead worship at churches, youth retreats, and gatherings of all sorts and kinds.

Along with leading worship, which is one of my greatest passions, I’m getting to study missions!  The heart of God in missions is beautiful.  And like we are learning in class right now, God was the first missionary.  When man turned away from God, He reached out and sought us.  The world is big, and the number of people that still do not know Jesus is big. But God is BIG!  And He is bigger and biggest and big enough!

God has commanded us (not suggested) that we GO!  Matthew 28:19-20 “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  And He is with us!  If we keep reading He says this, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  God is with us and He is big enough.  He is big enough for my life, my plans, and this world!  If only we surrender ourselves to His will and allow Him to move through us.  He has blessed so that we may bless others.  Like my professor, Chris DeWelt says, “God has given us a present and we unwrap it to find another present wrapped inside to give to someone else.”  He doesn’t bless us with the intention of us hoarding the blessing. No, He blesses us so that we may bless others!  And tell of His glorious name unto the ends of the earth!  We have found the greatest treasure on earth, and that my dear friend is Jesus Christ, and it is our privilege and honor to share this treasure with the world.

And that’s truly what I want my life to be about.  Right now, it is through my ministry on Frontline and through my school work!  May it be for His glory and one day serve an even greater purpose in making His name known.

Tessa Thompson – YWAM DP Alumni, January 2011 DTS

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Goodbye to Bali

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Hey, my name is Liv. I’m from Oxford, England and a student from the January 2012 DTS. So, I’ve been in Indonesia with my team for 4 weeks now, and this last week was our last before we head off to Borneo for the remainder of our outreach. This meant that it was to be a week full of goodbyes and finishing up our time with all the ministries we have been involved with for the last month.

Goodbye Bali Life…On our last visit to Bali Life Orphanage, we again played scrabble and football with the children allowing the staff there to have a rest for a few hours. Our times at Bali Life have been inspiring. It has given me a hope for the future of Balinese orphanages to see this one so well organized and such care given. There was always a strong family feel to this orphanage and it was obvious just how much love and atttention the staff had invested into these children.

Goodbye Java Slum…Our last visit to Java slum was one we won’t easily forget. We once again sang songs, taught English and played games with the kids, while others of us chatted to the parents and helped them to make the crafts for their income. But when it came time to leave, they just wanted to know when we would be back to visit. They said we would be welcomed back any day and showed their appreciation with gifts of jewelry and crafts. It was obvious that they felt blessed by our visit as we, too, felt they were a blessing to us. Their contentment with how little they had was inspiring to see and there was a close community feel to this place. We will be praying that the YWAMers are able to continue this good work and see the fruits.

Goodbye Prison ministry…It was truly life changing, building relationships within the prison here and having the opportunity to share life stories. Our times here put our lives into perspective, simply just knowing that once the hour was up we could leave those four walls and within reason do what we wanted. Camille shared with me how she connected with a lady called Anne. It was encouraging for her to hear Anne’s story of how she loved Jesus and was full of joy despite being in prison. It was also evident to see the joy we brought there as visitors. The YWAM Bali staff informed us that out of the 900 prisoners only about 50 would receive visitors. So us simply being there, answering their questions and listening to their stories, made them feel so special.

We are confident that we have planted seeds in these ministries even though we haven’t seen bushels of fruit harvested. We feel that our work here has blessed the ministries and the staff at YWAM Bali. While we have enjoyed serving here, our time in Bali has not been easy. There is an obvious spiritual heaviness present here which we have felt so tangibly in the atmosphere and within our spirits. It is unlike anything we have experienced as a team and it has been affecting us all in a number of different ways. It has caused sickness, confusion, fears to rise up and cloud our thinking and the results have affected the team as a whole.  I have personally struggled the most with insecurities, fears and apathy. In our team meetings we have had to constantly remind ourselves of what Paul addresses in Ephesians 6: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” As we head to Borneo, we have re-grouped and decided to put on the full armor of God reminding ourselves that the theme for our DTS has been “Warrior” and we have been called to walk the narrow path victoriously, knowing that we are sons and daughters of the great King.

To finish the week, we were blessed to have a time of worship at Mount Batur in Kintamani. We were in such awe of the beauty and majesty that it portrayed and we were reminded of just how incredible our God is. Psalm 121 reminded us, too, that no matter where we are in the world or what we are struggling with our help comes from the Creator of all the earth and we have all we need to walk this path triumphantly because we have Him walking beside us. I am looking forward to seeing how we will be stretched in Borneo.

Liv Tyler – January 2012 Leadership DTS

 

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Mountains of Fun

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Hey! I’m Maike from Germany. I started my DTS in January 2012, and now I’m in Indonesia with my outreach team. In the last week we went to different slums and sang songs, played games, performed skits and taught some of the children English. We also held a soccer ministry and went to an orphanage, a High School and some kindergarten classes. The teachers there were so thankful that they cooked for us!

My most favorite adventure till now started last week. We drove to a village in the mountains where we stayed for four days. The pastor of the church we stayed in welcomed us with lunch. After a little orientation, we went to a local Christian orphanage. There were about 35 children between two and nineteen years old. We played with them, taught them English worship songs, did two skits and one of us gave a testimony. It was an awesome evening and everyone had a lot of fun.

The next day we drove higher into the mountains to help a farmer in his banana field. On the way we got stuck because it was too steep. So we all had to get out of the van and push it up the hill! When we arrived the people there greeted us with such joy. They opened coconuts for us and let us climb up a thin bamboo ladder to a rooftop so that we could enjoy the beautiful view over the whole island. After working hard on the banana farm, seeing snakes and scorpions, we went deeper into the jungle to visit some people and to pray for them. On the way we had to get out of the car again a few times and push the car up the mountain. We prayed for a Hindu woman, whose right side of the body doesn’t work anymore and told her about Jesus and what he has done for us. Then we went on and prayed for a man who lost one leg and can’t hear anymore. We didn’t see any healing right away, but we could feel a change in the atmosphere and even see a fresh lightness come upon the lady’s face.

In the evening we went to another orphanage and played games, sang songs and made balloon animals and things. The next day, we went on a prayer walk in another village where the people there had never heard about Jesus. Later the pastor we stayed with took us to the youth group where he preached and James gave his testimony.

It was so much fun there! Just to praise God even if we don’t know the language in which we were singing… I don’t think that in any other faith people have so much fun to worship and praise their God!!

Maike Rose – January 2012 Leadership DTS

Getting Oriented!

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Greetings from Belize!

This place is incredible; gorgeous, tropical, warm…and windy!

This week has been entirely orientation…and has been a tad overwhelming, but so good. Getting to know the team and staff has been a lot of fun. We are similar in so many ways, and yet, unique and completely different as well. There are 10 students; seven girls, and three boys. We have a couple girls from Seattle, and the West Coast, a Kiwi, and Floridian. The boys are from the East Coast and England! So far, each person has been really cool, and get this – we all LOVE to exercise! So in the mornings we have been going for runs down the beach, and it is so much fun.

We also really love Jesus, or at least want to get to know Him more…so as a team; we’ve been doing that too. A few nights ago we shared stories of how God has worked in our lives. It was an incredible, powerful, and emotional night. Another night, we asked God to reveal idols in our lives, and prayed for Him to remove them. That was difficult. Most of my “idols” I really want to cling too – missions, exercise, family…but in order to be fully satisfied with Christ, I realize I have to let them go, and TRUST God, when He says He has it all under control. I know we are just getting started here, but already I’m being stretched and challenged.

On Saturday, we had our first introduction to the sail boats and our scuba gear, as well as our chores. My work duty was to clean the Library, and two casitas (The little cabins we
stay in). I may be in paradise…but I’m not completely on vacation! As soon as we finished cleaning the houses, I learned how to cut a coconut with a machete! That was exciting, but the greatest adventure was the boa constrictor eating an iguana! I’m hoping it’s not the big one I just met, and named Thomas, but it may be, because he was about the same size. Our base is teeming with animals. We have two dogs, Hermy – the giant blue crab I almost step on everyday as I walk to and from my casita, and George, our resident lizard living in our ceiling. There are also crocodiles in the swamp behind us, but I haven’t seen them yet. I am looking forward to that! Hopefully in the morning, I’m going spear fishing – I can’t wait for that and to eat the fish we catch!

As we continue our time here, I pray that we all can keep up with the studies and chores, as well as really get to know our fellow students…and above all – to draw closer to God.  I also pray for us to remain teachable and have a humble spirit…and to really trust God in every aspect of our lives. And finally, I pray that I can relax, and just have fun and stop worrying about the future.  God is in control and He will guide and protect me!!

Ann Hefflinger – April 2012 Leadership DTS

A New Chapter

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Early Sunday morning, on April 1, we began our journey. Leaving our temporary, three-month home and family behind in Belize, but individually prepared for our calling to Bali or Mexico.  All 16 of us traveled by water taxi and vans to Playa, Mexico where we then dropped off the five who would be blessing Mexico for the next two months.

Two days later, we made it to Bali.  Upon walking outside, we were greeted first with a layer of sticky residue from the humidity and then by our contact, Sayangi, a bubbly 21 year-old Indonesian woman who loves God.  We tossed all of our packs in the back of a truck and set out. For the first time the majority of us experienced riding on the left side of the road.

Cultural shock soon set in upon seeing Bali in broad daylight.  Temples in front of every home and offerings and incense burning for their gods.  Smoke was smoldering in the air, yet the sky still clear.  There were gorgeous beaches having soft sand and the perfect swimming waves; wooden fishing boats all lined up along the horizon.  God has opened my eyes to His intricate beauties here in Bali, though there is a spiritual heaviness of Hinduism at practice here.  There are many gods that the people of Bali worship, but I can proudly and firmly say that our God is above all other gods and is the only God.

Good Friday was a day of recovery.  The majority of the team made their way to the mall to buy “cultural friendly” attire.  On Saturday morning our team split into three groups and walked around town claiming it for God.  Having a time of devoted prayer to claim
God’s land back to Him was much needed.  Easter Sunday we attended service at Global Church, which was located in a resort’s conference room.  We enjoyed celebrating in the community that He is risen!

We are all finally over jet lag, ready to do God’s will in Bali.  We will be working with a Muslim slum and a Christian slum, orphanages, girls at risk, prisons, plantations and whatever else floats God’s boat.  In the words of Rene “it’s outreach, you got to be flexible.”  This is our time to shine a light on Bali, as long as we are willing to meet God, He will meet us in our weaknesses and use us in mighty ways.

To quote Sayangi, the woman who met us at the airport, “I am happy all the time,
because if you have Jesus in you how can you be sad?” We serve an amazing God!

Katlyn  May – January 2012 Leadership DTS

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