Outreach

Faith In Motion

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God has sent our team on an amazing faith journey into the unknown realm of His presence. From day one, we knew that God was calling us into something different, something deeper and something that would test and grow each of our faith in a different way. It has only been a few weeks since outreach started, but we have already seen huge shifts in the way we view ourselves and view the will of God. As our journey started on a boat in Belize we all already felt a huge sense of anticipation as to what God was going to do. Not long into our travels we had our first test of faith as one of our team members was not allowed to board the plane to Singapore due to some troubles with her passport. As we left two members of our team behind in Los Angeles, we knew that even during times of trial and times where the enemy would try to separate us as a team that God’s will would ultimately prevail. So, two people short, we boarded the plane to Singapore knowing that God’s timing for things is often different than our own.

Our first week in Singapore was amazing; God blessed our socks off! We were able to get in contact with some amazing people and spend a lot of time interceding on behalf of Singapore; whether it was prayer walking, asking God for divine appointments, worshipping, or spending time in Chinese and Buddhist temples, we were bringing light into the darkness with the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. One of the main lessons we learned, as a team, was the power of living in the present moment and in doing so being in tune to what the Holy Spirit has for us, ready to obey in an instant. We have witnessed the power of being. Just our presence in a place can change things in the spiritual realm. One example of this was when one of our contacts told us that us just being with them (while being with Christ) blessed them more than we would ever know.

76827_10200422168791737_2016312133_n In contrast, the first week of outreach for the two who stayed in LA was also a time of faith building and blessing. In the words of Bethany, “Our time in LA was a time for us to build our trust in God and it was also preparation for Singapore. We were experiencing some of the same strongholds in LA as the rest of the team was in Singapore so God was bringing things to our attention even though we were halfway around the world. The first week of outreach was a week where I had to learn how to be still which was preparation for the rest of my time in South East Asia. When I made the decision to trust God and follow His plan even when it didn’t make sense to me God took care of me and even blessed me far beyond what I imagined.”

seaa We felt such peace and joy once our team was united again 5 days later. We know that there is such power in unity, which is why the enemy had tried to break our unity in the first place. We have taken such comfort and had peace knowing that God has control in every situation. As I sit here writing this I am in Kuching Malaysia. Yes, God has sent us on an outreach within an outreach. We will be here for 2 weeks, minus the five days we will be spending in Indonesia, serving at a YWAM base there. We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be present in 3 different communities, in 3 different cultures. Each day is another day of faith for us, another day of allowing God to lead, another day of learning how to just be. After all, it is not about the doing, it is about living each minute in the presence of God, finding Him where he is to be found. Looking around at the different members of the team I can already see the ways that God has changed them, brought them closer into knowing their true identity. This life we are called to live is a beautiful life of community, healing and faith. As we continue here in Malaysia and head into Indonesia this week pray for those we will come into contact with, pray for unity, a deeper freedom in us and those around us and pray for our obedience to change nations. Down below is an acronym that sums up our outreach so far, our beautiful faith journey. Blessings!

Freedom in Presence
Adventure
Intercession
Trust
Healing

-September 2013 DTS Singapore Outreach team

Spreading Love Throughout Sri Lanka

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A busy past 5 days is what I’m going to talk about. I hope I can remember it all. It started with a late night bus travel, and this was no private bus even though we had reserved seats. Our escort was Pastor Lester, a man with great English and a great sense of humor. 1422505_10151796934178897_719864676_nOur destination was Batticaloa, which was on the west coast about a 7-hour drive away, and we hardly got any sleep. This area is mostly Tamil, so often things needed to be translated from Tamil to Sinhala, and then Sinhala to English. Our mission here was to begin construction on a church. We would be working with around 8 pastors and people from the village. They offered our team one of their homes to stay in and according to Pastor Lester we were spoiled (but we knew that, since we weren’t sleeping in sand). So after a quick rest we began.
It was probably close to 38 degrees and we had to dig holes in the incredibly hot sand, with a couple shovels, a hoe and some coconuts. This took a few hours, and we were all drenched in sweat by the end. The showers there were an experience. Basically it was a semi-enclosed area, about neck high, encircled around a well, and you would pull water up and dump it on you. The locals really wanted to assist, so they’d run over and draw water for you, and you couldn’t really say no because of translation and culture issues. That night we went around and visited some homes of the church members. We would pray for them, often there was tea, and just visit until we had to move onto the next house. The people here blessed us so much! There was one home that gave us some chocolates that they had saved money for, to give to their mother for her birthday, but instead they wanted to share them with us. The people in Sri Lanka are so loving, and if I only learn one thing from this trip, I hope it’s how to love and give like they do.
The next day involved filling in the holes with cement, and the simplest way to do this was to make a 12-person train, passing buckets back and forth. When we ran out of mixed cement we would carry buckets of sand, rock and water to make more. Sometimes we 1383277_10152353567774126_943195565_neven carried large rocks from one pile to a spot closer. Patrick was insane with the sizes of rocks he would carry; Pastor Lester called him Solomon. This took the better part of the day, with many water breaks. Again after we had a quick wash we went to visit more families. The area we were in was a heavily Hindu area, so persecution was present there. We left that night to stay at a church that was closer to where we would catch the bus taking us to Chilaw, our second location.
This time we went in the day so we were able to see some amazing sights! At one point we passed a group of about 20 monkeys on the side of the road. After a day of rest in Chilaw, we were faced with a 4-hour youth ministry at a church about 45 minutes away at a church in a Hindu neighborhood. Amazingly the ministry went really well, even though we didn’t have our usual supplies, and didn’t really prepare for it. We played games, told a story, skits, testimonies, heard some of their testimonies, it was all really good.
781_557900434280023_1705681759_nLater that day we went to a different church to visit some of the members, and we were invited to go boating on the ocean using their fishing boats. Now I’m not sure why I decided not to go, but I’m glad I did. I ended up staying back and writing my journal a bit, collecting my thoughts. One man stayed back with me, and though he didn’t know very much English we still got to talk. At one point he asked if I wanted to go to the beach so we did, and chatted a bit more. He told me he had a son that was two years old. He’s a fisherman and asked me to pray for his family his wife and him are arguing a lot. He brought me to his home, a small shack by the ocean, showed me his fish and his boat then brought me to his mother in law’s house to show me his kid. At one point when we were walking he asked me if I wanted to keep going or go back to the church, I explained 993455_10151796935338897_452753209_n-1to him that I needed to get back with the rest of the group and it turned into a total confusing conversation where I don’t think either of us knew what we were saying anymore. We returned back to the first house and he invited my family and I back to Sri Lanka. Back at the house everyone was there, wondering where I had disappeared to.
The next and final day we had three church services lined up for us, so that meant three sermons, three testimonies, a couple skits, a few songs and a whole lot of prayer. The largest church had about 60 people and Tyler did his very first sermon… not bad for a man new to Christ this year! Between the second and the last we had a break, where some of us napped and the rest of us braved the ocean with its 6ft waves!
Finally, after a long but rewarding 5 days, we took a van ride back to Pastor Conrad’s house in Colombo. We’re all glad to be back and are curious what awaits us in the final 18 days!

Sri Lanka Outreach Team- July 2013 DTS

So Much Work, So Little Time

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In America, there is a problem. So many of us follow a day-by-day routine. Wake up, go to work/school, go home, and sleep. How messed up is that? This was my day by day, just 4looking more and more like the world around me. Then something amazing, irreversible, climate happened in my life, God saved me. My heart of stone was replaced with a heart of flesh. I was raised from the dead, took my first breath of air and truly started living.
As a new believer, I didn’t realize how important it was for me to tell other people about what had happened to me. How Jesus came into my life and saved me from my unrighteousness. Now, though still a young believer, I realize how important it is for me to spread the love of God to everyone. Reflect the image of God, look like Jesus.
This is why I am in Guatemala right now. When I read the great commission in Matthew 28, I don’t see “go and make disciples if you feel like it”. Or “go and make disciples only if it’s not awkward.” No. “Go therefore and make photodisciples of all nations” is what Jesus says. It is not an opinion, it is a command. That’s why I am here, trying to be obedient as best I can to what the Word of God tells me to do.
After saying all of that, I guess it would be proper to discuss what kind of ministries my team and I are doing here. The past two weeks we have been in Guatemala City, which has been great! We were blessed to be apart of so many ministries that the YWAM base already had going. Ministries like feeding the homeless, visiting orphanages, participating in Bible studies and evangelism at the town square. Not to mention preaching in more than 10 churches. We saw God work in all of these ministries.
Although I loved all the ministries, there was one that spoke to me the most, feeding and evangelizing to the homeless. Recently I discovered how high the homeless population is 2in Atlanta (where I live) and I believe God wants me to do something about it. It was hard evangelizing to the homeless people In Guatemala City, but after I could not stop thinking about how easy it would be to do it back home.
God has taught me so many things while being here in Guatemala. Which brings me to why I titled this Blog “so much work, so little time”. The more I read my Bible, the more I come to the conclusion on how important it is for us to share the Good news with people. The Bible talks countless amount of times about how short our lives are, “for what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” 3(James 4:14) or “teach as how short our life is” (psalm 90:12) or even the whole chapter 11 of Ecclesiastes. Here, God has been teaching me that my time is limited and there is a lot of work to be done. Ultimately God has been telling me, “Don’t waste your life”.

Michael Becker- July 2013 DTS Student

God’s Calling in Sri Lanka

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travel

Travel

Planes, trains, automobiles and boats. That was our mode of transportation in our 3.5 days of travel. From Belize to Mexico, from Mexico to the States, from the States to Turkey and finally to Sri Lanka. What a trip, an adventure for sure. Amazingly it was one of the smoothest travel experiences I’ve been on. No real waits at security or customs (I think the longest was 15min) in fact in Sri Lanka we literally just walked through security because nobody was around including guards. Throughout our trip we had a ton of time to kill, most of it we spent sleeping in odd areas or playing random card games. Matt probably got the most sleep out of all of us, every time we looked at him he was passed out in some strange angle. We all arrived safely to the YWAM base in Sri Lanka, and it’s incredible here. Even though it’s not that far off from the road, it seems secluded and there is a sense of peace that we’ve all been able to enjoy in the mornings. Well.. except for the Catholic church next door which seems to think that ringing their bells at 5:30am every morning is a good idea. A few of us are plotting ways to cut the ropes. And so after a couple days rest, a bit of shopping and a train ride that everyone will remember (There is always more room for another person on the train) we moved onto..

Ministry

1393190_10152300829529126_186458281_nI could go on and on about how amazing this week has been so far for ministry. But I’m just going to quickly summarize some of the things we’ve done. We began by meeting with our first contact, who brought us to an area on the beach where there are a few homes (huts) and a circle of chairs waiting for us. The beach was incredible! It makes me miss home, seeing the crashing waves (though they are about 4 times larger than what I’m used to). Where we were sitting was actually a spot where they are planting a new church. They told us that it should be built in the next couple of months, and they wanted us to pray for the land. They also told us that, us just being there was an answer to a vision that they had, which to me is super cool. The next day we were brought to a few different homes, where we would go in, introduce ourselves and talk for a bit. At every house just about that, we visited. they would give us coffee and cookies, and to not be rude you take some, but you know it’s bad when you have to develop a way to decline cookies (I mean seriously, I don’t really want to gain weight on Outreach). After coffee, or the time of visiting, we would pray together (Korean style if that means something to you) for the family and what their needs were. Then we’d move onto the next house. We did this for a few homes, and at the final home we had a bit of fellowship time, some worship, I did a small sermon on Revelation 3:20, had dinner and prayed for the family there. That was the day, incredible for sure!
The next form of Ministry that we did was youth ministry on Saturday. This was held on the beach near the church plant. We were told to expect 25-30 kids, maybe a bit less, and somebody thought it would be a good idea to pray for more. And God answered. We had matt kids 1probably close to 90 kids that day, and they were all excited to be there. So we played Soccer, made Balloon Animals, Face Painting, Skits and just hung out with the kids for awhile. Eventually we moved on to the Youth event, where we had another Skit, some worship and Matt did his testimony, which was great it’s super impactful and hits me every time. After we were invited to the spot by the church again where we did some fellowship, some worship, a funny game where you act out what’s on a slip of paper (I got blind man ironically), and later prayed for a large group of people in the huts. That day was so perfect, it’s so hard to even try and explain it. You’d really just have to be there.
Finally Sunday, it was an early morning for all of us (ignoring the fact that the Catholic church rings its bells at 5:30am everyday) because we were off to church. So we were out of the house by 7am and on the bus a few minutes later. The typical 3 bus rides and we found ourselves outside of a church (though you’d probably never know it from passing by). We were asked to do a skit and Patrick also told his testimony. Afterwards, the Pastor (who is super cool and a good connection) had us go through the congregation praying for those who wanted it which was everyone. Now for me, that would be something I’m normally incredibly uncomfortable with. But amazingly it just felt right. At one point there was a man standing in front who I already prayed for, and someone asked me “hey did you pray for that guy?” “Yes” I replied. A couple minutes later Cassidy came up to me and asked “hey did you already pray for that guy?” “Oh yeah I did earlier” I replied.. then the man came up to me and asked if he could talk to me, pulling me to the side of the room . He confessed that he’s been struggling with his faith and he needed help, and so we stood there and I really prayed for him. Looking back at it, people say when something comes from God, often it’s repeated again and again. Even though I already prayed for him, two people asked me if I did, and then he himself asked me to pray for him. It’s just cool to see God work, even if I’m still working on hearing him myself.

Liam Ditty- July 2013 DTS Student

Live Unbound

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 055“When you’re focused beyond all reason, deep into something you care about. When your doubt is swallowed by passion and time disappears. When you feel unimpeded, unstoppable and truly alive. You are unbound.” -Live Unbound
The first 3 months of the April 2013 DTS lecture phase was filled with unmeasurable amounts of healing, view changing, bondage breaking, and falling in love with the character and nature of God. With that, came a lot of growth of who we are in Christ and what we stand for in this world. Which caused each of us to carry a passion to go out and share that with others; to help share the truth in the lives of those who haven’t yet received it or accepted it.
The next two months of outreach that followed, consisted of our team of 12, the people of Nicaragua, and God. Each and every one of us was hand picked by the Creator to be there and do whatever He lead
us to do. By doing so, impact was created not only in the lives of our team, but in every life we came into contact with. Whether it was through devotionals, intercession, building houses, kids ministry, skits, dances, or sharing testimonies, movement was created.

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We were blessed to live in the house of Pastor Pedro, and work along side his church (Iglesia Comunidad Cristiana) in ministry while we were there in León, Nicaragua. For two months we created some of the most memorable relationships with the people there, inside and outside of the church. It’s so awesome to be a part of what God wants to do in His Kingdom. Just like one of our speakers said, “Without God, man cannot…but without man, God will not.” To personally come to that position in life when all my heart wants to do is chase after the heart of the Father, and follow His will, is the most peaceful and perfect place I could be.
Jaci Bryant-April 2013 Leadership DTS