Outreach

Tour Update: Ministry in San Francisco!

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11909714_10207662085535391_399093281_nAccording to the people here, the San Francisco area is a place brimming with wealth, but void of spirituality. However, in the past week our team has seen God moving in amazing ways here and we are so grateful to be a part of it!

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We’ve been working a lot with a ministry called Streetlife that serves to reach the homeless and less fortunate. The people who come for a hot meal are also given worship, a message, prayer, and just a community of people who care about them and their stories. Demon possession and mental illness is prevalent, but it makes the work their all the more glorifying to God who is victorious over all those things. We have been able to pray over many people there and show them what relationship with God looks like.

11880280_10207662039854249_1621906152_nWe also got the chance to volunteer with a campus ministry known as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. God stretched us as a team to step out of our comfort zone and in doing so we were able to have great conversations, relate to college students like ourselves, and encourage them to do a DTS! When we’re not helping out with these ministries we’ve been spending time hanging out and encouraging people we’ve met in this area.

From new Christians to YWAM alumni – God is showing us that he wants to speak through us to everyone we meet. We have a packed weekend ahead of us as we wrap up our time in San Francisco. Please keep us in your prayers as we move in to LA and seek a place to stay as well as ministry opportunities!

Amanda Harris – Staff11924668_10207662039654244_1173400512_n

Tour Update: San Francisco!

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11881009_10207599331926590_1643001685_nAnother Day, another city! We have arrived in San Francisco, California! The past little while leading up to this has been packed full of awesome opportunities for us to really step out and show Jesus’ love for others. Our host family in Salem has a long-time friend named Jay who had been in a bad car wreck a few years ago that we were able to meet, talk to and pray for. We also had the opportunity to meet a girl named April, hear her story about how she ended up homeless with her fiancé with a baby on the way. We bought her some food, and sat with her for a while listening to her, as well as prayed for her and encouraged her. It was also fun getting to hang out with our host family more, enjoy some s’mores and bigfoot stories around a campfire, amazing home cooked meals, and getting to know them more.

11830882_10207567800178316_417189563_nWe said goodbye to Salem on August 8th, and headed down to Redding, California to spend a few days at Bethel Church. We were able to stay with a new friend of Martin’s named Brandon who he met in Germany about a month before the tour started. Martin drove him to the airport in Germany after a big event called Awakening put on by Bethel, so he returned the favour and let us stay with him for two days as we checked out Bethel. We went to a morning service as well as a baptismal evening service on Sunday. It was so awesome to be able to see it, and be in a place witnessing the Holy Spirit at work through the lives of those who were getting baptised. We were able to hear two amazing speakers, one being Bill Johnston the main pastor at Bethel as well as Christine Caine, a well-known Australian speaker and founder of an organization called a21 ministries that was started in Greece to try and stop human-trafficking all around the world. We had an amazing time being able to recharge, listen to some awesome worship and sermons as well as hangout with Brandon and talk to others that we met during our time there.

11872758_10207599332646608_370822197_nFrom there we headed down to San Francisco where we are now staying. We met up with our contact Hannah who found two amazing host families for us to stay with. We’ve been settling in nicely as we were able to hang out with The Wolff’s, the family Donovan and Martin are staying with yesterday. We went to San Gregorio Beach with Natalie and her three little sons Henry, Calvin and Joseph where we spent the whole day making rafts, playing on a driftwood teeter totter, splashing around in the ocean and having a blast and giving Mom the much needed break from the boys she deserves.
God has really been uniting us as a team as we’ve been digging deeper into his word in our daily Bible study and worship time. He’s also been expanding our views of what ministry looks like as we continue on into each day of this tour. We are excited for our coming week in San Francisco but are still looking for a place to stay in LA. We would appreciate you joining us in prayers as we determine what our next step is and where God wants to use us the most. Stay tuned to find out where we end up!

 

Megan Warnica – Staff11868823_10207599334286649_4428147_n

The Final Week at Lambumbu

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11872016_1484656488513360_8353976004045938428_oThe people of Malekula are amazing, caring, hospitable, hilarious, and fun loving. There are endless positive attributes I would apply to them. On the outside, to me at least, they seem angry or mad about something, but as soon as you strike up a conversation or even say hello, out comes the biggest, most sincere smiles I’ve ever seen.

This week the community started to feel a bit different. I can’t put my finger on whether it was the spiritual atmosphere, feeling completely at home, or just the crisp morning air with faint island music coming from nearby after having a great nights sleep.

Extremely busy week! So many things to do with so little time.

We had another opportunity to teach in the school, so we jumped right on it. The children treat us like teachers inside of class but as soon as we step outside, it’s like we’re their new best buddies, trying to get us to join them in their Volleyball and Soccer games during breaks (which, by the way, they kick our butts at). Many of us are greeted by the screaming of our names from half way across the village and frantic waves from our kids. Something about that is just extremely heart warming.

We also continued on the community work. The girls mostly focused on the unusually difficult custom painting of the new classroom that is about to be finished, while the guys mixed concrete and shoveled dirt for hours on end to begin the foundation of the new community kitchen that is being constructed.

Adam and I had the opportunity to go work with some of the copra harvesters for an afternoon. Driving through the 42 blocks of the plantation collecting bags as we pass them. The majority of the men of Lambumbu, along with a few of the neighboring villages, make their money by harvesting cocoa and/or copra and the plantation buys the bags of collected fruit by the kilogram.

11878992_1484656478513361_4683513133134681465_oOne of our more memorable events was “Freedom Night” where we preformed the freedom skit. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s about Jesus never leaving us in the midst of worldly temptation and sin that we so predictably fall into, and he’s always right behind us when we decide to turn back to him. God was definitely there. I could just feel it when we were preforming in front of nearly the whole village. Afterwards, Taryn gave a small message explaining the skit and we asked if anyone would like prayer, to accept Christ, or just to talk, to come see us. At first it was a little disappointing since people were quite reluctant to come to us, but after a few minutes we had probably 30-40 people come to us asking us to pray with them. Many stating that they have fallen away from God and want to get back on track. Simply amazing.

The following night we spent preparing for an everyday American meal. Spaghetti with meat sauce. More so Italian I guess but nevertheless, something new for them to try. None of them had ever had it before so it was nice to bring something new for them to try, since they eat the same foods every week. We presented our honored guests with Lays (flower necklaces) to thank them for their hospitality and for serving us so much. We also washed their feet as Jesus did and received a very good response. They had never experienced that and told us that we were the first missionaries to do something as Jesus did and they were touched.

Our last day in Lambumbu we went to a neighboring village to speak at their church, and had another service back in our village followed by the community throwing a sort of farewell celebration. SO MUCH FOOD! Most of the mamas spent nearly all day preparing for the feast. The community presented us with Lays and many gifts and speeches thanking us for our time there. It blows my mind that we came there to serve and it almost seems like we were the ones being served for our entire stay. There were many tears shed that night as the speeches went on and actually leaving started to hit us. Many of us went to have some family time for one last time, so bittersweet.

11882347_1484656491846693_5832355642694909555_oOn our day of departure, we had a nice relaxing morning and left at about 11. As expected, our final goodbyes were heart-breaking and the truck we were leaving on took us on one last victory lap around the village. About 10 of our family brothers and sisters tagged along and waited at the airport until we flew off (which was nothing more than 4 concrete walls without a roof). We had some spare time so we spent it having a blast with our Nivan family at the closest beach soaking up the sun one last time. The picture of us all having fun at the beach will be engrained in my head forever.

As an overall experience, I can undoubtedly say this is the most amazing experience I’ve had in my entire life. The ways God spoke to me has never been more clear, and my faith never been made so much stronger as it was in Lambumbu. We are 8 amazingly blessed individuals to be able to take part in such a unique opportunity so far away from home.

-TJ Baxter – DTS Student, April, 2015

Tour Update: Heading South!

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11850838_10207567802018362_961236323_nAlthough we were definitely ready for air conditioning and a real shower, our last few days at Creationfest were a blast and it was hard to say goodbye. We spent most of our afternoons with friends at the local park playing spikeball, ultimate Frisbee, and cooling off in the river. It was a great time of fellowship where we were able to build authentic relationship and pour into the lives of the people God brought to us during our time in Washington.

11830882_10207567800178316_417189563_nOne way that our team really saw God moving this past week was through prayer. Through our neighbor Cindy, we were given the opportunity to pray for a band called “Disciple”. Their drummer had to put a brace on his wrist because he was experiencing so much pain shortly before they were supposed to go on stage. We prayed over his wrist and over the band’s ministry and later received a message that during their set his pain vanished and he was able to play pain-free. It was amazing to see God use us as a team to bless a band that in return was able to impact their fans with their story and further the ministry of Creationfest as a whole.

11854067_10207567800218317_945917996_nOn Sunday we packed up our camping site, and set off for Salem, Oregon where we are residing now.   We been having such a great time with our host family, the Knospes’.  One thing that God has definitely blessed our team with along this trip so far is amazing host families.  Although making pancakes and soup over a camping stove is fun for a while, it’s also nice being able to have a home cooked meal and enjoy the company and conversations that go along with it.

So far in Salem we’ve had the opportunity to speak at a youth group at Sonrise Church in Forrest Grove. Amanda and Martin shared their testimonies, and God definitely
moved through them to impact the kids and even youth leaders.
We were all able to share with them what YWAM DP is all about a lot of them showed interest in doing a DTS. It was a smaller youth group with about 11 kids, so we were able to have awesome conversations with a lot of them after, create an environment for them to share their stories, and encourage them in their walks with Christ. It was encouraging and got us even more excited for opportunities to share in the future!

11846261_10207537579582820_43496900_nAmidst all the fun, God has been challenging us and teaching us as He always does. During DTS God really taught us the value of each individual person but on this tour we’ve been learning more about what it looks like to live that out.  Every single person we meet is fighting a battle, and every person weren’t deserves to experience God’s love through us. The size of a youth group doesn’t matter and the age of the person doesn’t matter: wherever there is a person there is opportunity. God is all about the little things and being a part of those little things is such a big thing!

11846342_10207537575062707_36480931_nWe are also learning that
productive outreach always begins with your own personal relationship to God. If we’re not keeping each other accountable and growing together than our outreach is hindered. Our times of team devos and worship have become the most important part of our day.  Whether it be sitting outside in the park enjoying worship together, or studying the Bible cozied up on the couch, we are excited for God to reveal more of himself to us as we seek him here in Salem and as we head into California next week.

11793320_10206084490205032_1387852494_nAmanda Harris – Staff

How Do You Eat Soup When You Don’t Have Any Bowls?

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11798491_10206084490805047_2028144549_nHow do you eat soup when you don’t have any bowls? And how do you tell a woman who is bearing old wounds and revealing her brokenness to you that Jesus loves her unconditionally? These are just a few of the questions we’ve been tackling this week. We were finally all united as a team last Saturday in Seattle, where we were shown incredible hospitality and probably fed a little too much.

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From there we set out to Creation, a music festival, in Kennewick Washington. We quickly discovered we were incredibly unprepared and amateur campers; but despite our shortcomings in the world of avid glampers (glamorous campers) we’ve already been able to host so many amazing people in our humble campsite and enjoy food, games, worship, and good conversation.

11787377_10207498754852226_1967199665_n (1)Our neighbor, Cindy, has quickly become a part of our “crew” as we’ve been able to share our stories with her and have been blessed by her willingness to be vulnerable and trust us with her story. Our relationship with Cindy has taught us as a team that a simple act of love, done in Christ, goes a long way. We also had our world rocked this week when we happened to meet a young girl who will be attending YWAM DP in October! In talking to her about our experiences with DTS we’ve been able to spark interest within her group of friends as well. God is pretty cool.

11798347_10206084504605392_691525148_nWe have prayed for God to bring people into our path and He has been faithful as He always is. We are learning boldness and praying for more of it everyday! We are learning that living a life focused on relationship means living a life of outreach, and everyday we are striving to reach more, grow more, and love more. We are so excited to see what else God has in store for a Creation, and how he is going to use us as we move on to Salem, Oregon.

 

11793320_10206084490205032_1387852494_nAmanda Harris – Tour Staff/Alumni