“Hello, my friend! How are you!” a young Sudanese man walked confidently up to our outreach leader, Chris, and offered him a handshake. A group of 7 of our team members had been left behind at the refugee camp, known as the Jungle, to do a prayer walk before our ride came to pick us up. We didn’t feel we should go into the camp, but instead, felt the Holy Spirit prompting us to stop at a street corner, just outside the camp’s entrance. I had noticed several refugee men coming and hanging out alongside the road outside the Jungle. Many of them would sit, head down, and I wondered what they were thinking. I felt God leading us to this spot to pray peace and God’s presence to anyone who came to sit on the cement block that was at the corner. (more…)
First things first, I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing outreach. It’s only been one week and every team member has exemplified vulnerability, love, and responsibility. Unity is absolutely necessary on outreach, and it is evident that everyone is making a strong effort to achieve it because it is already very present. We are prayer warriors for each other, we have each other’s back, and we are constantly building relationship with each other.
So our trip began like any other…oh wait, no it didn’t. Turns out our lovely Jessyca didn’t actually have a booked plane ticket to Paris with the rest of the team. After much prayer, talk with the airline workers, and an appreciated flight time delay, a ticket was booked and we could be on our way. Hurdle #1 complete. (more…)
I figured coming to YWAM DP to do my secondary level school, FCM (Foundations of Counseling Ministry), that I knew how to live in community, and I knew how to go after God. But what I didn’t expect from this base was that they live and encourage each other to live in vulnerability. I have never lived completely in vulnerability. Especially in a community.
This week in the FCM we have been spending time learning about relationships, we spent a lot of time doing personality research as we learn how to have self-relationship and how to love who we are. I am fascinated by the idea that God created each and everyone of us uniquely and in a very specifically individual way, yet we still seem to fall into certain similar categories in order to help us live out our lives in relationship with each other.
Never in my life did I think I could counsel someone. I always thought that I was the one that needed counseling. I wanted someone to hear me complain, hear my problems, someone to tell me I’m not crazy for feeling this way. Though I have never received official counseling before, after my DTS I realized that a lot of that was me being counseled. Then God told me to do the Foundations in Counseling Ministry (FCM). At first I said to myself: “Nobody wants me to counsel them, I would suck at it”, but I went anyway. In the FCM, I learned different tools of how to counsel people and the different areas where someone might need counseling.
Now here I am in Mongolia, having finished the FCM lecture phase and looking for counseling opportunities. If Mongolia is in dire need of anything, it’s counseling.
There are three major strongholds of Mongolia: alcohol, anger, and abuse. For the first three weeks in which we stayed in Ulaanbaatar, it became obvious that despite the need for healing in the culture, there were few counseling opportunities. Now counseling doesn’t necessarily mean a sit-down appointment where someone tells me all their problems. But every ministry we went to, I was trying to connect with someone, learn about their family and see if I can speak truth into their lives. But whenever I tried, they would turn the conversation on me and ask what movies or music I liked and my attempt at counseling would fall flat.
After a few weeks in the city, we left to go to the countryside. We arrived in Bayanhongor, and the third day we were here, a lady named Boldmaa told us that she had a lot of people on her mind that would need counseling. I couldn’t believe it! I immediately volunteered, wanting to practice what I learned in the FCM. The next day we met with a woman that I would be counseling, with Boldmaa acting as our translator. I begged the Holy Spirit to give me the words to speak truth to this woman. I can’t say what went on in this counseling session due to privacy, but let’s just say there was an issue involving the Mongolian culture. Let me put it this way: Say it is a sin to eat meat for this woman. In their country it is an abomination to eat meat* and my goal is to break through that. But if she realizes that it’s not a sin and she eats meat, the people around her will gossip and look down on her.
I felt stuck. How could I speak truth to this woman when her whole life she had been taught differently? At the end of the day, I felt plugged up. I needed to process but I didn’t know how. I would be counseling her again the next day, and felt at a complete loss for what to say to her. All I could do was ask for prayer from my team. The next day I spent the day soaking in prayer. My team prayed for me again. The counseling session went amazing. I could see it in her eyes that she had realized she had been looking at situations the wrong way. She told me that she wanted me to counsel her and her daughter as well. I couldn’t believe it! I had just counseled someone for the first time! I just spoke truth into her life!
What’s that verse again? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13
*eating it is not an abomination to eat meat in Mongolia