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Y W A M D P | Blog


Chocolate Dipped

  |   Outreach, Staff   |   No comment

Everything tastes better dipped in chocolate. Even if you are not a chocolate fan (which is crazy!) I think you still have to agree that everything dipped in chocolate looks more appealing… Delicious!

If you are reading this blog looking for some good dessert recipes, I’m going to start by telling you that you might be a little disappointed. Although I am a big fan of baking and making delicious things, this blog is much less about yummy food and delicious desserts, and much more about what God has been teaching me through “dipping things in chocolate.”

I recently returned to my home in Belize from a two-month long outreach in Zambia, Africa. While there, I learned many things and God showed up in many ways to me. But actually the number one thing I took from outreach I would say is, the power of prayer.

prayer 1

PC: Ian Christmann

Philippians 4:6-7 says:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

This is almost a perfect description of how our outreach went, and it was all thanks to prayer. Before leaving for Zambia, the other leader (Ally) and I took lots of time to pray about literally everything we could pray about. At first I didn’t fully recognize why we were praying for some of the things; I mean obviously I knew prayer was good, but I don’t think I fully recognized the power of our prayers. But Ally would always say, “Joshy, let’s just sit down and ‘chocolate dip’ this whole situation and outreach in prayer.” Every time, immediately after praying I would feel so much peace about whatever we had just prayed for and knew somehow it was all going to work out great.

Turns out that all of our prayers made a huge difference during our time in Zambia as God blessed us everywhere we went and everything went so smoothly. We walked in God’s peace everywhere we went, and the few “problems” we ran into, we prayed over and they all worked out great! Now for those of you who have led outreaches or missions trips before, leading a team of 12+ people is not always easy, and by the end the thing you want most is just some space to chill out, relax, and not have to deal with anything. But that is not how this trip went. By the end both of us still had so much peace and actually felt ready for anything. I don’t really know how to describe it, but basically what God taught me through Ally and this outreach is that “dipping” everything in prayer makes a HUGE difference.

DSC03131So I am learning this day by day and it isn’t one of those things that just happens, it takes practice. But I am learning to approach every situation with prayer, whether it is starting my quiet times, dealing with finances, seeking wisdom in relationships, or even just praying safety over a car ride or thanking God for the little things. I am finding it makes a big difference in my life.

I love this quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says,

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

I find this quote to be so true. So often I have no idea how to approach a certain circumstance and I feel like I want to just ask God for answers, but I am constantly reminded that God wants to be a part of the process. I have to take a second to humble myself and recognize that I can’t do it on my own, and that even when I don’t have the word’s to pray, as long as my heart is in it, God will figure out the rest.

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” -Max Lucado


IMG_7891Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout life. It’s kind of like going from having training wheels to riding a bike with just two wheels. I am no expert and am just beginning to learn to balance and steer with the “big boy” tires on, but everyday I bring God into the little things I notice a difference, because walking in God’s peace is about the most amazing thing anyone could do.

I encourage you, if you often find yourself stressed out or worried and looking for answers, to bring God into the process. Practice bringing the wisest guy around into every situation, trust Him, hand over your worries and fears to Him, and let Him deal with them!

Josh Mason


Next Steps, Bigger Journey

  |   Alumni   |   No comment

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2165.During the few final weeks of my DTS I really felt like God was calling me back to Belize to attending a second level school with YWAM DP called the FCM (Foundations in Counselling Ministry.) “The FCM is a 3 month course (with an optional 3 month outreach) that introduces students to a Biblical framework for Christian counseling, equipping them with skills to provide counseling in a hurt and broken world.” – ywamdp.org

As soon as I got home I applied right away, had an interview with the beautiful Ally (our school leader) and little did I know that within 10 minutes of our conversation she was going to tell me I was accepted back to Belize to do the FCM this July, and I had to be there on my birthday. Best birthday present ever, right? It all worked out so smoothly and happened so fast it seems like God was already at work preparing me for my next journey. And, then things went down hill from there. I started to look for work to start saving up money. I applied to almost every place that was hiring, and didn’t get one single call back, which become extremely discouraging. I was a nanny on the side, but not enough to pay for the entire FCM. A couple months went by and I gave up trying to find a job. On top of that, I had a lot going on at home and with my family, that I become easily distracted and started to believe these lies the enemy was throwing my way, things like “I wasn’t ready to do the FCM” or “I have to much stuff to going on here to pack up and leave again” and found myself in the mindset that it was all true, that I wasn’t suppose to go back to Belize. But deep down inside me I had this fire burning passion for people who were hurting, who were tied down by their ball and chain, a passion for freedom, that when I thought about YWAM, everything they stand for and what they are doing on the shores of Belize and in the nations, I got that gut feeling that you really can’t explain, but you know it’s right.

12144735_10205031648899615_5088090321521532601_nAgain, I started to really pray and seek out not only God’s heart behind doing the FCM but my own, and this was when God completely shut the doors to the lies the enemy was feeding me and re-lit that fire burning passion in me. So just like that I told the enemy that he had absolutely no place in this decision that I was making, so here I am.. getting ready in embark on an even bigger journey.. that starts in just a few days.

Alexandra Lemay


Fresh Perspectives

  |   Outreach, Staff   |   No comment

A number of months ago I found out that I would be assisting my good friend Josh Lake in leading an outreach team from our January 2016 DTS and I could not have been more excited! I was ready for this, I had just finished my first school as DTS Staff and was about to start my second, the time was right and I was getting an opportunity to step into greater leadership and responsibility. I thought back to my DTS outreach to Papua New Guinea and how much fun we had there swimming in the river, preaching sermons every night and getting to know the locals without a care in the world. Of course I knew leading would be different but I had no idea just how different it would be. 

CUBA1March 26th 2016 We left base and headed out on our way to Cuba! Before we even left the island of Ambergris Caye our credit card gets swallowed by an ATM as we tried to withdraw money for the first time for our travels. BOOM. The weight of leadership immediately hits our shoulders as Josh and I scramble to figure out a solution in the next five minutes before our boat leaves for Belize city. No immediate solution so we just push on, trusting God has a plan to take care of us. 

The next afternoon we make it to Havana, Cuba and meet our contacts. Were staying at a Church and the family is great, were able to sit down and make a plan of attack for our next couple weeks, this allows Josh and I to grab a breath of air and get some answers before plunging back into the sea of unanswered questions that we were swimming in upon our arrival in Cuba. Questions like Where are we going next? How are we going to access the team money? What will we do for ministry? What are we going to eat? How will we get around? Will the government kick us out of Cuba if were found staying at a church? Can we legally preach? and the list goes on and on. 

CUBA2This is just a taste of what it’s like to lead an outreach team and let me tell you it is far different than the happy go lucky, worry free experience I had as a student. As a student It wasn’t my responsibility to feed myself and my 12 team members let alone get them all over Cuba and organize ministry times. But when we step into a situation we can not control, God is able to step in and save the day if we ask Him to. Lucky for us we did and he answered. By His grace alone we were able to not only survive but thrive in Cuba during our outreach. We traveled to 7 different locations, preached over 10 different sermons, conducted leadership training seminars for local pastors, and build lasting relationships with the Cuban church. God took care of us and lead our team trough an unforgettable experience full of personal growth, shared struggles, and finally, full reliance on Him. 

Donavon Ash


Transcending Cultural Barriers

  |   DTS, Outreach, Reportback   |   No comment

DTS is almost finished; only 4 days until I am back home in Canada.

First off, thank you to everyone who supported our outreach team and myself over the past few months with prayer. There were multiple situations during DTS when major complications were reached and then avoided by the grace of God alone. These past 5 months have not simply been and isolated experience for me, but are a piece of my life which I hope to build off of. DTS has been life changing, as I have found freedom, confidence, truth, knowledge, and a passion to grow in relationship with God.

Truth has been one of the central themes in my life during DTS. Freedom comes from knowing and believing truth. I have overcome lies I believed about myself, the world, and God; lies like I don’t have a voice, I cannot speak in front of people, and that God does not speak to me. There is also great importance in memorizing truth in the bible, for by what other way can you believe than the promises of God? By having a strong knowledge of truth in the bible, memorizing, studying, and meditating on it, the lies and evil in the world cannot take hold and hinder you. By living in truth and constantly being filled with it, I have watched it transform the lives of people in DTS and the surrounding community outside of YWAM. Next to our base is a dive shop, and YWAM has been friends with two of the men working there for a few years. As time went by both gave their lives to Christ, and during our school one of the men was baptized.

IMG_0412 (800x600)Outreach was full of new concepts and changed my perspective on God and how He moves. Going to Zambia, sleeping bags and headphones were lost only to be returned by strangers, flights were almost missed, and half our team had not received their visas to get into Zambia. Our outreach leader and I were included in the half without visas, but we went forward praying to be let into the country.At the immigration desk in the Zambian airport, people with the same problem were denied entry and put on return flights. We were let through. Again we had visa issues when having to renew them after one month. Due to fluctuating policies, our team should have been ordered to leave. Instead we were given a conditional extension. There have been man
y other times where our team could have run into significant problems with ATM’s, attempted theft, and vehicle issues. In many situations not only was the problem averted, but also used for the benefit of our team. From this I have learned to live with open hands, giving every situation to God whether positive or negative, and allowing Him to work through everything.

20160420_095215 (800x450)God transcends cultural barriers and works in amazing ways which are unique to each culture. It was amazing to see how different, yet beautiful church is in Zambia. Worship is often without instruments, and even young children know a multitude of songs, which astounded me. Our team was welcomed with open arms, and the people were just as eager to learn from us as we were from them. During an outdoor ministry event, our team was given the opportunity to speak and perform a story from the bible. After the event finished we were swarmed by children, who often wanted hugs or prayer.
It was incredible to be able to love and pray for so many kids despite the language barrier at times. Being in Zambia also opened my eyes to the true material wealth of North America. The families in Zambia were stewards with the money they had, however much it may be. Most people in Zambia eat the same food three meals a day, while our team had a rotation of dinners. By our standard, our food was simple. By their standard it was extravagant. I can now comprehend
the richness I have been born into. Yes, relationship with God is far more valuable than money, but the belief that people with less money are closer to God is not always true. Prosperity gospel was often preached in Zambia, and rather being gripped by apathy like North American culture, they struggled with animism (worshiping creation over the creator). Every culture has its own problems, and the only lasting and transforming solution is relationship with the Creator.20160429_135645 (800x450)

I will forever hold this time spent with YWAM as precious. It has been amazing to live and learn with my DTS family whom I love dearly. My plans for the future are still uncertain. So far I have been accepted to work at Camp Caroline as a ropes leader. I have faith in God’s plan for my life, and I will continue to pray and trust in it. There are far more stories I could tell, both funny and serious. This however, is the end.

-Sydney Gabbey

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Relinquishing the Box

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment

I came to my DTS with questions concerning my identity. Why do I live? Why did God create humans? What is his desire for me? During my first week the lessons were, “Foundation in God”. Out of selfishness I thought, I have a good and deep foundation in God. God showed me the opposite. His character is wider, deeper and higher than I imagined. This was at the beginning of my journey with God. At the end of my first week God told me; “For relationship I created you. For relationship I created the world. Out of His overflowing love for us, He creates us. Without you and me His love would be incomplete.” This was overwhelming for me and at certain points, challenging to fully understand. I began realizing that I can not compromise in my walk with God. Am I all in? I have had to give up my old thoughts and concepts of God, by not putting him into a box, any longer.

Did I struggle? Is doing a DTS sunshine, and make for a happy, easy life?

20160425_233238619_iOSIn my first weeks I was definitely struggling to continue, but I made a decision in Germany to do a DTS. I learned to ask God daily for strength, to change my mind and to accept that I am in Belize for a purpose. Today I can look back and see that I am in the best place, and He desired me to be here.

During the fourth week of lectures our speaker preached about the “Father Heart of God”. I had an undersized opinion of love, acceptance and self worth. Therefore, I was super excited about the week and God’s plans for me.

Bricks were holding me back from God. Lies, unbelief, brokenness and selfishness were bricks that separated me from God’s passion and intimacy. Hurts and wounds cracked me from the inside. I was walking alone and was not willing to give up my control. God desired to be with me and to renew me. Each day God spoke through the speaker: “I have passion for you. You are worthy.” I asked for forgiveness and he received me with welcoming arms because His character is that of mercy and grace. His love is enough for me – even if I fail. Through Him I am secure, I am worthy and I get value that no one can take from me.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-20 um 00.02.00Our DTS team consists of 12 lovely students. People from different nations, backgrounds and habits. For many years I had lived together with friends and international roommates. But this community is different, this community cares, sees and lives with an extreme love for each other. God has showed me how to deal with conflicts and to seek after people. Seeing the students through His eyes, and with His value. It doesn’t matter how small the issue is, whether a different opinion or attitude exists, everything is noticeable in our community. God pushed me to make decisions – to step out of my comfort zone and to be vulnerable. Making a choice to live for God, for others and to keep out selfishness. I am learning that this is only possible through prayer and spending time with people. It takes time, effort and patience, but I am thankful to be part of this amazing team.

Gesa Woschetzky