Six Things Missionaries Wished You Knew

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I have been in the mission field full time now for four years. I can honestly say it has been some of the best and hardest times in my life. Like most full time volunteer missionaries I rely solely on the support of family, friends, and believers. It can be a very rewarding yet challenging thing to allow God the freedom to move and cling to Him during financial hard times. Unless you are a missionary yourself who has had to raise support and/or you’ve walked alongside missionaries in the field there may be things that you are unaware of when it comes to support raising. Here are my top six things I believe missionaries wish people knew about us when support raising.

5 Reasons to not do a DTS

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1.Don’t do a DTS if you desire to travel.

Though I assure you that travel comes as part of a DTS experience, you will find yourself disappointed if it is your sole reason for going. God sometimes has a way of sending his people to places that they weren’t necessarily looking to go. You may have a heart for Asia, but end up in South America, but God will still blow your socks off with amazing experiences, both big and small. You will meet “many strange birds as you go.” – Dr. Seuss and will find yourself staring with amazement at the places you find yourself.

2. Don’t do a DTS if working hard is for chumps…
Seagrass Duty Darren…because you will be a chump. Work duties are a part of regular life on DTS. Early mornings on sea grass, cleaning guest rooms on a Saturday, or preparing meals for everyone on base are regular duties that can be assigned to you. Lecture phase also provides learning experiences through academics, where you will be reading, sharing the gospel with your peers, or teaching a topical presentation. You have plenty of opportunities to use your muscles and mind, to help on base or in ministry. If you are up for the challenge that is.

3. Don’t do a DTS if you are going to change the world alone.

“I/You am/are going to change the world,” we all know someone who has said this about themselves or somebody else. Though there may be some small bit of truth in there somewhere, we soon begin to realize that God is changing the world and he is asking us to participate in it with him, as his Church. A DTS is a commitment to community. Living with people you have never met before and for five months. Giving up the normality of home and trading it for a group of crazy characters who all just did the same. If sharing a room, eating, sleeping, praying, worshiping, laughing, crying, and proximity pooping with some of the most amazing people you may ever meet doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I suggest looking elsewhere.

4. Don’t do a DTS if you are done learning.

DTS is a journey of discovery. For many, a journey of discovering the Word, sometimes for the first time. For just as many, it is a discovery of relationships, a time of restoration to past hurts, and discovering purpose for their future. You are likely to leave a DTS having discovered a lot about yourself and the one who created you. DTS is five months of peeling back the layers of ourselves and learning to walk into the possibilities God has in store.  It can be downright scary and not is for the faint of heart.

5. Don’t do a DTS if you’ve already had your “best moments”.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe people you meet, the places you go, the challenges you overcome at DTS are moments you will remember for a lifetime. It is an opportunity to encounter your true self, and walk into greater knowledge of your identity in Christ, while sharing those same experiences with others who are doing the same. You will never forget your school and the times you shared, whether you try to or not.

All this to say, that a DTS is an experience that changes lives! Some of my greatest moments of growth happened while doing my DTS. I was a very angry young man before my DTS, and my DTS was an opportunity for God to do some ‘heart surgery’ that was long overdue.

Chris Cave


Run the Race, Finish Strong.

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What’s included… We have some school highlights from the last few weeks; food for thought and the topic is Spiritual Warfare; an adventuring story of intriguing islands, crazy currents and swinging seats; a look at film documentary ‘it’s a girl’. It’s a stimulating one – I hope – so save time to read it all if you can :).

I’ve just finished up my last few weeks of lecture phase staffing the DTS and the students are heading off to their outreach locations; THE AMAZON, Peru (previously Brazil *check out the PRs) and SAMOA. It’s going to be a glorious time and I just pray for them as they head out and put all they’ve learnt in these 12 weeks into practice. One of my highlights from these last few weeks was baptisms. I had the privilege to baptise 3 of my small group girls; Cass, Sarah and Emily. What an extraordinary occasion, to have walked alongside them in this season, to have worked through so much, to have found His faithfulness and now to witness this magnificent decision! They chose God, chose to proclaim it and publicly dedicate their lives to Him – what incredible women they are. That day symbolised them dying to their past course of life and beginning a new one dedicated to the Lord and I’m so excited to see and hear of the vibrant adventures they’ll share. I’m so proud of them, I can’t even imagine how big and beaming God’s smile is.

Baptisms in the ocean...what a fitting was to end lecture phase, publicly proclaiming and dedicating lives  to Christ.

Baptisms in the ocean…what a fitting was to end lecture phase, publicly proclaiming and dedicating lives  to Christ.

To thank my small group girls and celebrate them we went into town on the golf cart to have Belizean fryjacks (fried dough with eggs/cheese/refriend beans/chicken if you’re not veggie) and ice cream from Parad(ice) Cream. It was a lot of fun and we laughed A LOT. It has been a wonderful season and we’ve been through ups and downs, revelations and realisation as to who God is for them and it’s just been an incredible blessing.

We had a fantastic speaker a few weeks ago, Manual, who was originally from Germany. He now lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his family, teaching and working along side the YWAM base and University there. His week was Social Justice, which I had been looking forward to. I was amazed by his conscientious knowledge of the Bible and it was such a joy listening to him teach on the subject solely from the Word – as it should be. In our evening meeting he spoke on Spiritual Warfare and focussed on where we’re most vulnerable in the ‘4 Battlefields’:

1. our mind and thoughts

2. our heart and emotions

3. our mouth

4. relationships

This are all areas which are targeted so its essential for us to protect ourselves, be ready to defend and fight where necessary. Looking at the armour of God (Gal. 6:10-18) to prepare our mind and hearts and learning to control our tongue (James 3:1-12) as it can be our rising and downfall.

Two of my roommates are finishing their commitments this month (even more goodbyes 🙁 too sad) so we decided to head to a neighbouring island, Caye Caulker, for a day trip. There were six of us that boated out there and wondered through the town till we arrived at what’s called ‘the split’. As legend has it, there was an earthquake that split the island and thus we arrived at a large channel of water between two masses of land. It was suggested to us, previous to our arrival, that we should swim across the channel to the other side where there was a tree we could climb and jump off. This was all good and well so we proceeded to track with the above suggestion. After speaking to a guy on a boat we were made aware of ‘a bit of a current’ – well as you might have guessed, it turned out to be a LOT of a current. I made it across but my compatriots hadn’t faired so well. They eventually made it and spent some time recovering. I proceeded to carry out the task at hand so adventured up the tree which was incredibly smooth and consequently tricky to climb. At the top of the tree there was a small plank of wood with two mere nails affixing it to the branch. I braved it and precariously stood on it before jumping about 12ft into the ocean. SO worth it!

Believe it or not, the swim back was even more enthralling for my buddies. They weren’t the most confident of swimmers so I ended up carrying one across on my back then going back for the other and bringing her back too. They thought they were “going to die!” which wasn’t great for my ego. But it’s safe to say I was feeling the current a conferrable amount by this point and was understandably exhausted. If you thought it couldn’t get any more fun, you’d be mistaken. We had lunch at a restaurant that had exclusively swings for seats, what a resourceful idea and a great way to entice tourists. A very adventurous day full of unforgettable memories.

Here's the beautiful Laney, reading and hammocking with me during her last few days in the charismatic Belizean sun.

Here’s the beautiful Laney, reading and hammocking with me during her last few days in the charismatic Belizean sun.

During one of our classes, the speaker shared the documentary film ‘it’s a girl’ with us. I was really impacted by it so I just wanted to give others the opportunity to hear about what’s going on in the world concerning “gendercide.

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members. The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls. Shot on location in India and China, It’s a Girl reveals the issue. It asks why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls and women. The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters’ lives, and of other mothers who would kill for a son. Global experts and grassroots activists put the stories in context and advocate different paths towards change, while collectively lamenting the lack of any truly effective action against this injustice.

Nanneke Boxall


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!





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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.