Alumni

Life In HD

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A couple weeks ago I had the very awesome opportunity to teaching foundations week for this January school. I had never taught before and it was something I felt prepared for and unprepared for all in one. I have never really had a problem with public speaking before but four hours a day, five days in a row is a lot of time to fill. I have gained a whole new respect for speakers who come to teach every quarter. But that’s not really what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about life.

Faith. Life. Adventure.

It’s one of the many mottos we choose to live out here at YWAM DP. Since I’ve been on staff I’ve had many opportunities to reflect on these three things. But teaching on foundations brought me into a brand new place of learning what “Life.” really means. Throughout the week I taught on things like truth, the bible, God (who is He / what is He like), the value of man, sin and salvation. It was a full week to say the least. But through this week I saw the students listen to what I had to say and listen to what I felt like the Father was telling me. They responded, they prayed, they encouraged.

Each school carries a different attitude toward the DTS process. Some carry an attitude of determination, some an attitude questioning, some an attitude family. Of course, every school carries little bits of all of these. But this school…they carry encouragement. They were constantly encouraging each other, their staff, and even me while I taught. It truly was a blessing to teach them.

They encourage life. They encourage boldness and honesty. They encourage fun when needed and seriousness when needed. They constantly encourage each other to do what they need to do to get freedom, to get more of God.

My bible defines life as this: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body; period from birth to death; a way or manner of living; spiritual existence transcending death; salvation.

A way or manner of living. I think this school has decided the way they want their lives to be. Full. Alive. Awakened. These guys have decided they are tired of going through the motions, living in black and white. They have woken up. They are choosing color. They are choosing a life lived in HD! Being around 27 students who are living in HD is ridiculously inspiring. They fight for it every single day, but they are determined to make HD a life long attitude. Through them God has (re)taught me to continue to seek after what update He has in store for me next.

I’ve lived in Belize for quite sometime now and have gotten accustomed to the white sand and the blue ocean. I’m used to the palm trees and the parakeets. I walk around without shoes on and wear shorts almost everyday. Now, I realized that for most people…I live in paradise. Because, well I do! But to me, right now, it’s just home. This is just how life is. We get a lot of sun and sometimes it’s blinding. I walk out my door mid morning and the sun reflects off my white porch and the white sand and the bright white clouds, and just for second I can’t see anything. If I’m not in a rush to get somewhere I will give my poor eyes a second to adjust to the blazing sun until I can confidently walk down the steps to wherever I’m heading. I walk into my everyday, my (ir)regular life. Every so often after my eyes adjust to the sun, God stops me. He asks me to wait and look at this place He lets me call home. In those rare seconds I’m reminded that God has given me a life that I can live fully alive.

During my DTS was when I started living fully alive, after being on staff, leading outreaches, small groups, working around the base, being a student in the FCM (Foundations for Counselling Ministry) I have continued my adventure in living fully alive, I have chosen to live in HD. One day when I leave this place, I will continue to walk in that choice, because now that I’ve felt what its like to be fully alive, I couldn’t go back to standard living!

Thanks,

Taylor

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Hope

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If you google stories of hope, you may be surprised what comes up. Rather than just hearing about success you find resources; resources for people in need of hope. You find stories of people conquering eating disorders, depression, addiction and cancer.

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Next Steps, Bigger Journey

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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

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¨Every Experience of beauty points to eternity¨

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It was a very special time in my life.
I was nineteen, and ready for a new adventure with Jesus exploring a new side of the world. Neither experiencing foreign countries nor the belief in Jesus was anything new to me, my parents met each other through YWAM ministries.
Within five years the four of us siblings where born, me being the first. My parents then left Norway and went out doing missions in Turkey for 5 years. They were young, free, and full of passion for Jesus. We had so much adventure and many stories to tell.

One month before I flew over the Ocean from Norway to the Caribbean to do my DTS with YWAM,
my parents marriage broke apart, it was heartbreaking and devastating as you can imagine, nobody could believe it.
In the mess of the heartbreak, I understood that I had to leave everything behind for a moment and enter a time in Paradise and romance with Jesus. It did not make much sense to me at the time; why did I choose living on a boat in the Caribbean when it had nothing to do with what I was really passionate about? Like art and fashion, little did I know I was about to find out. I had always been the shy girl, and so I dove in headfirst to a leadership DTS on sailboats.

The theme of the week was ¨Destiny by design¨. We were asked to spend 30 min drawing down what we felt was our calling for our life. Since I am more visual and visionary then verbal, I liked this challenge a lot. It reminded me of when I was four years old and my mom gave me a blank notebook and wrote on the cover: ¨Jesus and me¨ and told me to draw or write down what I heard from Jesus, and the many dreams I had – That eventually happened in real life. This is how I learned from young age to trust God´s voice.

I found an empty spot on the boat overlooking the bright colored sea and magic sky.
On a piece of paper I started drawing a woman wearing a dress and a crown. With a text saying: ¨Dressing Prostitutes into Princesses ¨. Inspired by the scripture in the Bible: Ezekiel 16:4-14.
It feels really cheesy writing this now, but to the core; It is what my calling and vision is about.
I had discovered the seed planted in me.
Hello Fashion industry!

SN.AD.2 You may not know, but the Fashion industry has a Kingdom of its own. The Fashion kingdom has its own culture, with many languages, with Kings and Queens. No School will teach you the languages; you live and learn though experience. You may be fortunate enough though like me, to meet people along your journey that will teach and mentor you.

It has been seven years now. The seed has become a small tree.
Last November 2015 I launched my High – end brand SarahNeuhard, and showcased my first collection called ´Scandal of Grace´ at Beverly Hilton in Hollywood, CA.
The collection was about Femininity and women’s true identity as children of God, and inspired by Paris – the heart of the Fashion Kingdom.

This journey was not an easy or fast one. It all started back when I left the boat in Paradise and flew over to New York to intern for a ministry called Models for Christ. An international network of Christian fashion Professionals: coming together, serving and being a light in the Fashion Industry. I experienced the Fashion industry for the first time from the inside. It was an eye opening time.
Later I moved on to modeling in Norway and Milan for a short while, I soon decided it was not for me.
I wanted to move into what was pulling on my heart so strongly. Fashion design.

I moved to Copenhagen and studied fashion there; the capital of Scandinavian design. It is a city where entrepreneurs and artist sprout forth. It was intense and rough on me personally. Growth Pains are no fun. Despite the long hours and lonely days, I blossomed. I soon became known for designing Haute Couture. ´You should move to Paris! All your designs are couture´ – teachers told me.
They saw something I did not yet see, but soon to discover.

AD.sn3I later worked for couture Houses in London and Copenhagen. I loved it! I was finding my home.
I then spent one year creating a project called ¨OCEAN ¨.
It started when I was walking on the sea short one day, and I found myself being all captivated by creation and God as a creator, and Designer. ¨ What you create God is just so amazing, How do you do it ?! How do you think when you shape, invent and color? Are there some principles I can learn from you? ¨ I wondered. ¨Study what I have created and I will show you! Trust me. ¨ He answered me. I felt excitement and joy fill my whole body. Seconds later I started seeing visions, creations … I got my little sister to help me pick up as many blue shells as possible. ¨What are you going to do with all these blue-shells?¨ She asked confused. ¨I am going to create some dresses¨, I said.

God led me to create what I though would not be possible. Remembering what He said : ¨Trust me, one step at a time and Ill show you¨. He did, It was a miracle, and turned out better then I could imagine. He taught me essential principles I use today when I create. The amazing thing is that it does not stop; He Keeps teaching me.

I had a team of only top fashion professionals working with me for free on the production of the photos and the photo shoot. It was shot on a stunning Ocean side in Sweden early spring. It should have been freezing that day, but amazingly the sun hit in such a way that kept us warm.
That day was ¨out of this world¨.

Finally the journey lead me to Paris. It was a time to experience fashion at its core.
To Learn the Language, my Parisians network grew rapidly; I meet so many amazing people in fashion; believers and non-believers. Gathering Christians in Fashion and leading MFC Paris.
Time went by too fast, almost a year later and my season there came to an end; But it is not my final season in Paris.

I produced my first collection ¨Scandal of Grace¨, and shot the photos in one of Paris’ oldest buildings.
It was a mind-blowing experience to see my vision come alive. That is the beauty about creating and telling a story through fashion and cloths. Without words I speak to hearts, and my message may reach far deeper and personally, because everyone will feel a little different about what they experience.

I love the quote ¨Every experience of beauty points to eternity¨.
Say if you are a women and you try one of my dresses; I do not need to tell you that you are Beautiful, feminine, strong and have royal Identity – You will feel beautiful and valued. That is Powerful, even life changing.

Today I am living in a small town in Norway. I moved back to reconnect with my Norwegian roots and to focus my attention of creating the next collection and all the start up work on my brand.
I am exited and curious to see where my path will go from here.
Again He whispers ¨Trust, and I will show you ¨.

We are all called to change the world for the good, to bring Heaven on to earth. To speak and share the truth, reaching hearts and bringing back to life the glory we are created for.
We have royal Identity, lets remind each other to wear our crown and not settle for less.

Check out my website, and please let me know what the story tells you: www.sarahneuhard.com

 

Veronica Sarah Neuhard

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Tour Update: Officially Finished!

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12029109_10207907002658166_1504703233_nThe tour is officially over! Even though we had a lot of time to relax and have fun staying with Donavon’s family, our last week in Vancouver was not lacking ministry. Our first weekend back we hosted an evening designed to provide information about DP to anyone who wanted to know more. We were able to have great fellowship with all different people; some already considering a DTS and others who are not yet Christians.

The next night we hosted a YWAM DP reunion and of course we had a blast catching up and sharing our favourite DTS stories. After the weekend we got to follow up with some of the friendships we had developed and share laughs and good conversation over sushi and pumpkin pie. We even got to watch Donavon play hockey and cheer him on as he scored a goal right on the buzzer!

12025279_10207907007618290_2100436212_nAmidst bonfires, hockey games, and BBQ’s we were able to show people our age what life with Jesus looks like and God opened doors for us to share our stories. We’ve been so encouraged this week reflecting on the success of the past two months – the bond that we’ve formed as a team, the friendships we’ve built along the coast, and most importantly the ways we’ve seen God move. This morning we were able to Skype with a friend we made in San Francisco and as she prayed for us she asked God to help us make this tour more than just an experience.

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As we go our separate ways and step into a new chapter of our lives we’re remembering that everything God does in our life is a foundation for the next thing he has in store, and even though the tour is over we will always carry the lessons, relationships, and experiences it gave us.

Amanda Harris – Staff11997008_10207759620613707_1568460027_n