Reaching Out to England!

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After two boats, three busses, and two planes, we made it to Derby, England! Thank you so much for all of your prayers.  We are blessed to stay at the YWAM base in Derby, and have felt very welcomed here.  It has been awesome getting to work with another YWAM base and such an opportunity to get to know the staff.  The first night we were welcomed with a traditional English dish called Daal.

We have already had some incredible ministry opportunities the Lord has blessed us with.  Friday we went to the local skate park and hung out with some of the local youth.  They were mostly ages around twelve to fifteen, and it was awesome just being able to hang out with them and love on them.  It was also entertaining to watch the guys on our team try and learn how to skateboard.  Saturday the girls did relational evangelism in the Muslim community, while the guys did street evangelism in the Muslim community.   Ramadan started last night, so it is a great time to do ministry in those areas.  Sunday we went to a local church, and Teresa and I were blessed with the opportunity to share our testimonies.  The encouragement we received from the church was overwhelming and empowering.  We then went on a prayer walk to a poor area in Derby called Stockbrook where we will be working frequently this week.  We are so excited to spend time there this week.  Last night a few of us went to a park with a guitar and brownies, and the Lord opened up doors for awesome conversation.  It is incredible to see how the Lord can use free desert and worship music for His glory.

It is very evident why the Lord has called us to Derby.  It is disheartening to see the apathy apparent in these people’s eyes.  Please be praying for us as we continue to do work in the skate park, Stockbrook, and the Muslim communities.  We can’t wait to update you on how the Lord is going to work this week!

Winter YWAM DP DTS – Great Start!

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The January 2011 YWAM DP DTS school is off to a fantastic start with students from 4 nations converging on the YWAM DP base on the beach, 5 miles north of San Pedro Belize.  There is a lot of laughter and fun including sailing and diving and lots of sun but more importantly, some really deep, meaningful and wonderful teaching going on in the classrooms as well.  Jeff Pratt is with us this week sharing on the Father Heart of God and John Murphy will be here next week discussing Relationships.

Please be praying for the students as they will soon learn of the outreach location possibilities for this school.  Each student will be going to the Lord individually and seeking His direction on which choice to make; all in all, a great process of trust and hearing His voice.

Outreaches from our Fall school have now completed, one to the people of the Philippines and the other to Honduras. Both teams have wonderful stories to tell of God’s provision, His leading, and of His Spirit moving in amazing ways as people responded to Him.  Each of those students is now off to (or will be soon) the third phase of the YWAM DP program, Internship, at individually selected locations around the world.

Outreach Update: Philippines

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Two weeks ago, two teams from the September DTS embarked on outreaches to Honduras and the Philippines to put into practice all they’ve learned the past three months and to share the love of Jesus in radical ways!

The Philippines team has been serving in a number of ministries including schools and prisons, and the Honduras team is living and serving among villagers in a remote, mountainous region far from modern conveniences.  Read on for an update from team Philippines!  We will look forward to hearing more from team Honduras in the coming weeks!

Philippines Update-Weeks 1 and 2

“Land, Sea and Air: we believe God made it all, so decided to use it all while traveling to the Philippines. The week long journey began, with excitement, and God was faithful not to disappoint. Many of the people enjoyed the layovers in Mexico, JFK and Tokyo, and felt a special blessing when the Cebu Ferry opened up a karaoke lounge.

The journey wasn’t all about us though.  God also opened up opportunities for us to share our testimonies, pray for people and learn lessons about keeping our perspective on His grace.  One of the students was dealing with infected feet, and was reminded of Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will  be given to you as well.”  Every relationship has sacrifice, although focusing on Jesus makes ours much easier.

We immediately felt welcomed once we arrived at our destination, and were quick to make friends with our hosts.  Their generous hospitality made us feel at peace, so we could focus on the blessing we intend to share while here.  The next morning, the guys were able to attend the local church, and experience the wonders of Filipino worship.  The entire church rejoiced in dancing, and the guys experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in a living way.  Needless to say, we were excited to see how God would amaze us with His love this week.

On Monday we start with visiting the various ministries, including a school located in the middle of the city dump.  The children were so grateful to finally see visitors, that we felt blessed to be wanted so much.  As much as we gave to them, they gave to us.  It’s an honor to see how God blesses all of His children, so all His children can bless one another.

Another ministry involved a prayer walk through a city dump near the Church.  A team of the students prayed over a woman who was unable to walk, and then two of the ladies saw her get up and begin to walk.  The team could see their excitement from experiencing God in a powerful way, and it was a reminder that “immeasurably more than anything we can ask or imagine is the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us.” Eph 3:20

There were many other highlights,  including  a worship  service at  the woman’s prison, a city wide feeding ministry,  and the ability to share testimonies after playing basketball with locals.  People gave their lives to God, rejoiced in the fellowship of believers, and experienced the love of God in a tangible way.”

Philippines Outreach Update-Weeks 1 and 2

Sailing DTS Students Partner with Belize City Church for Week of Ministry

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During the lecture phase, Destination Paradise DTS students have the opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the community for a week to bless, serve, and share the love of Jesus Christ. This week of ministry is wonderful preparation for students as it gives them a taste of the types of activities and ministry opportunities they will have during the outreach phase of their DTS.

This year’s September Sailing DTS students spent their ministry week in Belize City where they served and supported the the Port Loyola Calvary Chapel. Below is an excerpt from the blog of Meredith Strandberg, one of the sailing students, as she discusses their week:

“We stood in the parking lot of the marina, waiting for Joel to pick us up, wondering aloud what the week would entail, who we would meet, what work we would be doing. Only a few minutes had elapsed when an old Mitsubishi van pulled into the lot and Joel, a man in his early thirties, instructed us to get in. We looked round at each other, wondering how the sixteen of us were going to fit. Somehow, we all piled in and arrived shortly at a little church nestled in a impoverished, rather dirty looking neighborhood, clearly one of the nicer establishments around. Across the gravel road from the church lay a large open field of green grass littered with trash, a basketball court with rusted goals and faded painted pavement, and deserted cement stands to accompany it. Young Belizean children played in the field, their laughter filling the air; they were the only visible glimpse of hope we had seen for many miles.

We walked in the church and all sat down in chairs, forming a circle, and awaited Joel’s instruction. He started off with a brief introduction about himself and his family and then proceeded to tell us more about Belize City itself and south side, the neighborhood where we would be working for the week. The city was home to a population over 70,000 people. It doesn’t sound that large, but in regards to its physical size, it is extremely overpopulated. A city this size in the states would have a population, at its very maximum, of about 15,000 people. It is poisoned by crime- theft, vandalism, murder, rape, but most evident and devastating of all, gang violence. Boys were joining gangs at frighteningly early ages, some ten and twelve years old. They were, in turn, enveloped in drugs, dropping out of school, turning violent. Bullet holes pierced surfaces at every turn, even in the windows of the chapel, reminders of drive-by shootings and merciless killings. The longer Joel spoke, the sadder we grew. Yet, with this sadness in my heart, came inspiration, motive, drive, and love. This was a place that needed us, where we had the chance to make a difference, where with only our outward actions we could demonstrate the love of God.

The week went by in a blink of an eye, much to our dismay. We spent Monday and Tuesday evangelizing throughout the neighborhood…evangelizing is certainly not my preference or strength, but we met some really great people and even got to pray for a man named Godfrey Sosa who worked for the U.S. government for over twenty years. Mr. Sosa had given his son, Godfrey Jr., one of his kidneys several months back when his life depended on a transplant, and though Mr. Sosa had healed quite quickly, his son remained very sick. He and his wife invited us into their home and allowed us to pray for Godfrey Jr. It was slightly awkward at first, I’ll admit, but seeing the light it brought to their faces, the realization that there were people who cared, people who did not even know them, made it well worth it. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday consisted of work at the chapel itself…An outer wall of the Sunday school room had rotted and needed to be torn down and replaced. The whole building needed painting, as well as the white picket fence that surrounded the property. We completed various other tasks such as cleaning the windows and entire chapel, organizing the supplies closet, picking up trash in the field where the children played, and I even got the chance to do some gardening, pruning the palm trees and small bushes that grew in front of the church. What was so encouraging was that many of the youth came every single day and worked alongside of us, evangelizing and painting and mopping, whatever we did, they did too. I had the chance to build some really great friendships with some of them…We had the chance to attend a worship service Wednesday night and listen to a great sermon. On Friday night, there was a barbeque and we played volleyball in the front yard of the Sunday school rooms as well as listened to another sermon, this time given by Joel. It was so inspiring. Sadly, the week had to come to an end and we exchanged email addresses, etc. with our new friends and went back to the marina, tired and very eager to enjoy the weekend off.”

Meredith, Katelyn, Lois and Heather painting during their ministry week.