From the Field: Internship in Action

  |   Interns   |   No comment

YWAM Destination Paradise offers a 16-week internship phase following the lecture and outreach phases.  The purpose of the Internship Phase is to continue to put to use the principles and themes encountered during the lecture and outreach phases in settings that will allow the students to grow and develop even further.  DP is equipped with a full-time staff member who prayerfully and selectively matches students with various organizations for internship, based upon the students’ individual giftings and passions.  Stephani Young, a DTS student from the April 2010 school, is interning with Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Denver Colorado.  Read on for a glimpse into her life during internship!

“I’ve now been volunteering full time at Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Denver, CO for just over a month! I must say that each day I spend serving here makes me think of how impossible it will eventually be to leave. Our Father knows his children and he’s most surely placed me smack in the middle of a ministry that’s made for me. My hearts desire is to see this ministry flourish for God’s glory!

In the past month I have been loaded up with new skills, opportunities, and responsibilities in the Alternatives office. I work with a team of 15 incredible women, countless counselor volunteers, and 1 cool guy. We are located in the main office of Alternatives in downtown Denver. We see so many beautiful clients and serve them with the highest quality of service; everything we offer our clients is completely free and confidential! Because of this high standard I have been immersed in training to prepare me in serving here. I have completed over 40 hours of training on topics including Post Abortion, Whole Person Health, Equipped to Serve Counseling, Observing/Role Playing and our 24 Help-line. Upcoming training will cover STD/STI Training, Evangelism in the Counsel Room, Counseling Ethics, and Adoption Counseling. I am also enrolled in A Promising Future Trainer- Training, which is the education side of Alternatives. APF is an extension of Alternatives and teaches courses on Healthy Lifestyle, Success Development, Achieving Goals and Dreams, and Making Positive Decisions. This teaching is often geared toward teens and young adults in classroom settings. So as you can see my brain is taking on sponge-like characteristics and I still have much more to learn. My direction has been to delve into this ministry by learning as much as possible. In the midst of much training I’m also available to staff as support… I am included in staff meetings & events, I assist our Director of Volunteers by training our new office volunteers (I’ve trained 5 so far), I have helped represent Alternatives at community events: Project Homeless Connect, I have also supported other staff in various projects, tasks and meetings. Every morning in the Alternatives office staff begin at 8:30am with prayer. We see clients from 10am to 4pm and the entire staff alternately participates in meet and greets, presentations, and display tables around the community. In looking ahead at my future with Alternatives in 2011 my hope is to branch out as a Post Abortion Group Counselor in the early New Year! The commitment is a 15-week program where group members meet outside of the office one evening a week to embark on a journey towards healing.

I am so blessed to be here. The Lord has been so faithful to me and I have done my best to be obedient and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit…I hope you hear my heart and passion for what Alternatives is doing in this area and my hope to continue serving!”

Sailing DTS Students Partner with Belize City Church for Week of Ministry

  |   Lecture Phase, News, Outreach   |   No comment

During the lecture phase, Destination Paradise DTS students have the opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the community for a week to bless, serve, and share the love of Jesus Christ. This week of ministry is wonderful preparation for students as it gives them a taste of the types of activities and ministry opportunities they will have during the outreach phase of their DTS.

This year’s September Sailing DTS students spent their ministry week in Belize City where they served and supported the the Port Loyola Calvary Chapel. Below is an excerpt from the blog of Meredith Strandberg, one of the sailing students, as she discusses their week:

“We stood in the parking lot of the marina, waiting for Joel to pick us up, wondering aloud what the week would entail, who we would meet, what work we would be doing. Only a few minutes had elapsed when an old Mitsubishi van pulled into the lot and Joel, a man in his early thirties, instructed us to get in. We looked round at each other, wondering how the sixteen of us were going to fit. Somehow, we all piled in and arrived shortly at a little church nestled in a impoverished, rather dirty looking neighborhood, clearly one of the nicer establishments around. Across the gravel road from the church lay a large open field of green grass littered with trash, a basketball court with rusted goals and faded painted pavement, and deserted cement stands to accompany it. Young Belizean children played in the field, their laughter filling the air; they were the only visible glimpse of hope we had seen for many miles.

We walked in the church and all sat down in chairs, forming a circle, and awaited Joel’s instruction. He started off with a brief introduction about himself and his family and then proceeded to tell us more about Belize City itself and south side, the neighborhood where we would be working for the week. The city was home to a population over 70,000 people. It doesn’t sound that large, but in regards to its physical size, it is extremely overpopulated. A city this size in the states would have a population, at its very maximum, of about 15,000 people. It is poisoned by crime- theft, vandalism, murder, rape, but most evident and devastating of all, gang violence. Boys were joining gangs at frighteningly early ages, some ten and twelve years old. They were, in turn, enveloped in drugs, dropping out of school, turning violent. Bullet holes pierced surfaces at every turn, even in the windows of the chapel, reminders of drive-by shootings and merciless killings. The longer Joel spoke, the sadder we grew. Yet, with this sadness in my heart, came inspiration, motive, drive, and love. This was a place that needed us, where we had the chance to make a difference, where with only our outward actions we could demonstrate the love of God.

The week went by in a blink of an eye, much to our dismay. We spent Monday and Tuesday evangelizing throughout the neighborhood…evangelizing is certainly not my preference or strength, but we met some really great people and even got to pray for a man named Godfrey Sosa who worked for the U.S. government for over twenty years. Mr. Sosa had given his son, Godfrey Jr., one of his kidneys several months back when his life depended on a transplant, and though Mr. Sosa had healed quite quickly, his son remained very sick. He and his wife invited us into their home and allowed us to pray for Godfrey Jr. It was slightly awkward at first, I’ll admit, but seeing the light it brought to their faces, the realization that there were people who cared, people who did not even know them, made it well worth it. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday consisted of work at the chapel itself…An outer wall of the Sunday school room had rotted and needed to be torn down and replaced. The whole building needed painting, as well as the white picket fence that surrounded the property. We completed various other tasks such as cleaning the windows and entire chapel, organizing the supplies closet, picking up trash in the field where the children played, and I even got the chance to do some gardening, pruning the palm trees and small bushes that grew in front of the church. What was so encouraging was that many of the youth came every single day and worked alongside of us, evangelizing and painting and mopping, whatever we did, they did too. I had the chance to build some really great friendships with some of them…We had the chance to attend a worship service Wednesday night and listen to a great sermon. On Friday night, there was a barbeque and we played volleyball in the front yard of the Sunday school rooms as well as listened to another sermon, this time given by Joel. It was so inspiring. Sadly, the week had to come to an end and we exchanged email addresses, etc. with our new friends and went back to the marina, tired and very eager to enjoy the weekend off.”

Meredith, Katelyn, Lois and Heather painting during their ministry week.

Stay Connected!

  |   Alumni   |   No comment

If you have been a part of YWAM Destination Paradise as a staff member, student, speaker, donor, friend, or prayer warrior, we want to stay connected with you!  We always love staying in touch and hearing about where God is taking you in your life and how we can be praying for you.  There are also wonderful opportunities available to come back and staff a school, lead an outreach, or just come and visit!  So no matter what your role with DP was, stay in touch!  You are a vital part of our growing family.

If you didn’t receive a copy of our Fall Newsletter, check it out here!  YWAM DP Alumni Newsletter-Fall 2010 (Compressed PDF)

Great Ministry in Cayos Cochinos

  |   Lecture Phase, Outreach   |   No comment

The YWAM DP Sailing DTS just returned to Roatan after an amazing week of ministry in a remote island group off the coast of Honduras called the Cayos Cochinos. These beautiful islands are home to two villages of Garifuna people. These fascinating people have retained a significant portion of their cultural heritage from West Africa where they lived generations ago before becoming slaves throughout Central America. Our team assisted friend, Dr. Renee, from the mainland who did medical clinics and health care teaching and also taught english, played lots of football (soccer), and organized a church service. What a great week!

India and Nicaragua

  |   Outreach   |   No comment

YWAM DP has just sent outreach teams to India and Nicaragua from the January 2010 DTS! Louise Essam is leading a team of 10 to Mumbai, Pune, and Deli where they will work with Orphanages, church planters, street ministries and a host of other ministries and opportunities. Allysen George is leading a team of 5 to Managua, Nicaragua where they will share the love of Jesus in a variety of ways, especially with kids. Please pray for both outreach teams as they travel and get going on outreach!