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Y W A M D P | Blog
 

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Overrunning with Blessings!

  |   Lecture Phase, Uncategorized   |   No comment

Hi, my name is Joanie and I have the blessing to be a part of the DP family!  Since I got here, God has been continually bringing me out of my comfort zone and He really is transforming me more and more every day, as I’m taking steps of faith.

Last week, we did some ministry in San Pedro and it was amazing!  From teaching the kids in a school to cleaning houses and praying for people, I learned a lot about putting into action the love that God has poured in my heart!  “Loving on people” means so much more to me now, as I have experienced something completely new!  I thought that I was going out to bless, but I have been so surprised by how the people I met, all throughout the week, have blessed me and impacted me in a very special and unique way!  I got so much more than I thought I would actually receive from giving!

I got to connect with a woman who is living in one of the poorest area of Belize, called San Mateo, with her kids and family.  My team and I spent a couple of hours at her house, just cleaning the outside of the property and talking with her.  I was honored just to be able to sit and spend time to get to know this woman of hope,  joy and faith.  Even though she didn’t have enough food to feed her family and a clean place to lay her head, she has the most important thing: a joy simply coming out of her and radiating!

The more time I spend in the Belizean culture, the more I think that I LOVE IT!!  The Belizeans are so welcoming and rich in love!  It’s hard to believe that we are almost finished with our time in Belize but we are more than excited to be leaving on Outreach in just a few weeks!  Our team is going to go to South Africa and Guatemala.  For those who want to support us in prayer, it would be really appreciated since we want this time to be completely about God and memorable!  Both teams are going to post updates from their respective location, so that you can be a part of this adventure!  We look forward to sharing more of what God is giving us the chance to be part of!

Setting Sail

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

One of the amazing privileges we have here at Destination Paradise is exploring on our little sailboats (Hobie Cats).  Flying across the water with the wind in my hair and the soft spray of saltwater hitting against me has become one of my favorite things to do.  The beauty and simplicity of sailing seems to birth untainted freedom as I utilize the power of the wind to propel me forward.

Sandwiched between blue skies and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, it’s hard to ignore the beauty God has created.  The perspective change from what you see on land compared to the experience when you are surrounded by water is breath-taking.  But to fully know this you must first push away from the stifling stability that land has to offer and allow the wind and waves to influence your journey.

What God intends for my sailing endeavors, He desires in my life.  He calls me to push away from everything that is certain and be guided by His power on a course that is currently unknown to me.  My faith grows through every little adventure I go on with Him while setting aside my fears and doubts to fully embrace whatever He has planned.  I can’t wait to see where He leads me in this next season.  My future is in His hands.

By~ Charis Gleason

Finding Value in Leadership

  |   Lecture Phase, Uncategorized   |   No comment

Hello, my name is Joshua Martin. I am a student in the September 2011 DTS at YWAM Destination Paradise.  I have learned so much during the past few weeks of lecture.  One of the things that I’ve been learning a lot about here is leadership.  Since this is a leadership DTS, we have a leadership class once a week where we go over a book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, which talks about what it takes to become a good leader.

A leader has to be a good listener, not just someone who takes control in every situation, but someone who listens to what everyone else has to say.  To be able to lead effectively I have to be able to listen to the people on my team and act on what they say.  You increase your value as a leader by increasing the value in the people around you.

One of the stories that I learned while reading this leadership book is the story of the founder of Costco.  He invests his time and energy in each one of his employees.  He makes it a point to pay all of Costco employees better than average wages, which gives the employees incentive to work harder.  Because of the commitment to increase the value of his employees, his company has continued to successfully grow.  This story has had a large impact on my view of leadership.  Because I never thought that you could increase your leadership potential by adding to the value of others.  This part of leadership is something that I feel that I can really apply to my own life.   When I am trying to share my faith, for example, I need to first learn about the people I am sharing with and what they are interested in or affected by.  I can’t just rush into the situation and try to share God’s love with them while completely ignoring them as a person.  While I am building a relationship with them and showing them that I care, God’s love is revealed.  Good leadership is something that I can use in my Christian walk as well as at my job and in all other areas of life.  I have been learning so much here at YWAM DP and I hope to continue to grow in my relationship with God and my leadership abilities.  Please pray for me to continue to step out into Godly leadership in a way that brings Him glory.

What About Bob?!

  |   Lecture Phase   |   No comment

As I sat with Bob over dinner he began to pour out his life story on the table. Once Bob joined us at DP everyone heard a broad overview of his story but it was not until our dinner conversation when I had the privilege of hearing every small detail that built Bobs intense story. Honestly, I had never heard of a life story like Bobs in my life. It is heart breaking yet very exciting and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Yes, I’m talking biting nails and everything. Bob’s “former life” brought him to a life of brokenness, guilt, shame and feelings of unworthiness but soon after arriving at DP he had a new found life of, hope and freedom.

Bob starts by backtracking a few years ago when he was dating a girl for a while. This relationship had its ups and downs, and then ended for the worst, they broke up, this left Bob absolutely devastated. After the breakup Bob started filling the hole that was dug out in his heart with earthly desires. He started living a life wrapped in lies towards his friends and family. Bob mastered the art of building a wall of deceit; therefore no one could read his true emotions. On the outside Bob portrayed to people that life was great and he loved every moment of it, on the inside he was broken and collapsing into the lies. Bob started drinking, using drugs and struggling with a huge porn addiction. After months and months of living like this, these earthy desires stretched to new limits and eventually caused problems with the police. Bob was finally fed up with his life and decided to start a new one in the United States, though when Bob left, he literally just up and left everything. Bob did not say goodbye or tell anyone where he was going or what he planned to do.

In the U.S. Bob did not have a specific schedule to live by besides starting life over. He ended up traveling to loads of different states, loving life and enjoying every minute of it. After about three months Bob found himself in Hilton Head, North Carolina staying in a hotel when he started believing lies again and then falling back into the sin he was trying hard to escape from. It wasn’t until soon after this that he decided to take his own life. Bob figured if he could not even live a clean life without falling back into drinking, drugs and porn, then what would be the purpose of living.

Bob began planning ideas for taking his own life in Mexico after hitch-hiking his way there. His first attempt in Caye Caulker, Belize was a failure and Bob became very confused as to why his plan did not follow through. He ended up finding his way to San Pedro, Belize where he racked his brain for more ideas to take his life. After a few days of gathering the goods to successfully take his life, Bob starts his journey by walking north along the beach. During this walk Bob eventually passed our YWAM DP base and Copper, our base dog, and two other dogs that then accompanied Bob during his walk. They all ended up walking about fifteen miles together until Bob found the perfect spot to try his next attempt. It was a deserted wooded area and Bob was sure this time his plan would work. The next thing Bob remembered was coming to consciousness by running along the beach with Copper and the two other dogs right by his side. Bob soon found his way to the YWAM DP base and crashed on the library couch. He doesn’t remember a thing other than finding a place to rest his head and Copper. Francisco, our base maintenance guy, found Bob and quickly ran to get Lynn and Rene, who are base staff. While this was happening all of the students were enjoying our Saturday night movie and were completely clueless to what was going on. It was not until two days after Bob arrived on base that we were all introduced. He shared his story and we accepted him into our lives because he would be staying with us for a while.

Quickly he connected with all of us as students and would answer any questions we had about his life and what happened to him. He ended up staying at the base for about three weeks and even after the first week Bob truly felt like family. By the end of the first week Bob found his identity in God and decided to live his life for Christ. We were all ecstatic for him and could not wait to see Bob grow stronger in the Lord. While he was here, Bob read at least two books everyday, he also read from the Bible then asked many questions about what he learned. It was amazing and inspiring to watch Bob grow spiritually right before our eyes. I know I could truly see a difference; his eyes were calm and comforting, his body language was more inviting, his appearance was joyful and energetic and his personality was more optimistic about everything. Bob came to us as broken glass shattered on the ground but left us with a newfound life and wholeness. He is now back in Holland reborn into the Kingdom of God equipped to share his story with friends and family who are concerned about him. Bob is for REAL a walking miracle and I am in complete awe of his story and it has been an honor to be a part of it! Bob chose this verse in which he now lives by: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Bob now understands that God has placed him here on earth for a purpose and he will now live out the life God has called him too.

Written by: Dani Luyo, September 2011 DTS

Three Cheers for the UK and Fish and Chips!

  |   Outreach   |   No comment

Thank you all for following our adventures in the UK via this blog. What a range of experiences we had! Some were harder than others of course, with a particularly evident spiritual climate in Edinburgh to contend with but that was balanced out by meeting some incredible people and making good friendships all over the country, as you have already heard.

On the 9th September we began to wrap up our time in Sheffield where we had spent an unexpected but rewarding 3 weeks; having all sorts of opportunities to share and serve including door- knocking for a new church, flyering for a Christian Schools initiative, painting a re-constructed classroom in a Christian School  following flood damage and clearing land for the rearing of pigs as part of the ‘Promised Land’ project (growing food for those in need).

We had the good fortune of making friends with a girl who owned a cottage on the south coast of England and were invited to stay there to try and rest a little before the team split up, enjoying a true English seaside experiences including gloom, rain and cold. We did eat fish and chips, though (fried fish and french fries)!!! (and in our defense a post-hurricane was bombarding the west of the country at the time!)

This team had the good fortune to stay together through both Lecture Phase and Outreach (not all teams do) so saying goodbye after half a year of living closely together wasn’t too easy.
Some of the team decided to make the most of being in this part of the world and spent a few days in Europe but everyone had something exciting to look forward to- more travel, internships and Secondary Schools  and for myself the prospect of returning home to embark on new adventures in education.

I know that we were all able to close our time together in the UK knowing God had shown us each a lot about Himself, ourselves and each other; we all came away wiser and stronger. It has been a wonderful experience, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to serve in my own country and was so grateful for how God used this time to help me transition home and soften some of the culture shock that can occur. He is good, isn’t He?!

Thanks for faithfully reading, praying and supporting us along the way.

Louise Essam

(UK team leader)