Team Work

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Our January 2013 Costa Rica outreach team has been sharing God’s love in amazing ways. Here are just a few tidbits written from different members of the team.

                                                                           Ministry Work on Base

SAMSUNG CSCHere on base there is a lot of different work to do, we try to help out wherever we can. There are daily work duties which we can do for the base, like caring for the animals (horses, goats, dogs and chickens) cleaning the living areas, bathrooms, and the kitchen after meals. Then there are work projects like fixing the driveway with concrete, weeding their massive garden, making the soccer field larger by whacking away bushes with machetes, and building a new staircase. We have been helping out with whatever we can… even butchering chickens. Outreach is not all about big evangelistic things; it is also a lot about being faithful in the little things. God has called us to love him and love people and if that looks like pulling weeds out of a garden for hours well we will put a 110% into that!

Being Blessed to Bless Others

I have always had a hard time putting myself out there and stepping out of my comfort zone. Our Leaders gave us a challenge; we were to split up into four pairs and find someone to bless with 5000 colones or $10.00 American. My partner and I prayed about whom to give it to. At first, we did not get a clear answer, so we began to walk. We saw this woman sweeping and stopped to talk to her. Since my partner did not speak any Spanish, I ended up translating for him. We prayed for her and then continued walking. The next person we ran into was a woman named Lydia. She hung out and talked with us for an hour and a half. God then told both my partner and I to give her the $10.00 it was not much but we knew she could use it. She felt so blessed that she invited us to come back to visit her! We then prayed for her and hugged. After having lunch at the park, we had an extra sandwich left over and did not feel the need to eat it. My partner and I walked over to some men sitting on benches and made conversation with them until it began to rain and we sought refuge under the awning of a huge Catholic church along with five homeless men. They were drunk and cheerful and joked and hung out for a while. Then I remembered I had an extra sandwich so I gave it to four of the men. They joyfully split it with smiles on their face. I did not think that the day would just be an adventure with food. The cool thing about it was there was no agenda at all. God can use whatever you are willing to give. By giving to them, we were blessed.

                                                                                     Tearing Down Walls

SAMSUNG CSCWhile we have been in Costa Rica, we have been attending a small local church who have been very hospitable to us. In return, we have helped them with some work in the church. One thing we did was help them tear down a large cement wall inside their building. At DP we spent three months breaking down walls in our lives that were keeping us from intimacy with God, while on outreach we broke down literal walls and in turn it brought us closer to the people of the church. Since then, we have had them over to the place we have been staying for fellowship and a fire as well as playing soccer with them on Sundays. This week we were all invited to go over for dinner at a family’s house from the church. It may seem like you have big walls in your life, but we have learned nothing is too big for Jesus. He will equip you with the right tools and strength to push through.

Brave Men

Every Monday we have had the extreme privilege of being able to go to a drug rehab center and spend time with the residents. Getting to know these courageous men and hearing just a little bit about their stories has been such an awesome and humbling opportunity. Seeing how God is moving in their lives and working to replace their chains of addiction with freedom has touched us all and helped to strengthen our own faith. God is so good and it has been such an inspiration so far to have just a little part in these brave men’s lives. We all look forward to getting to know them further and seeing them all completely restored and made new through Christ.

-January 2013 Leadership DTS Costa Rica Outreach Team

YWAM’s Got Talent!

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I always get this tingly, somewhat anxious sensation in my body when I feel and know God is going to use me to move in somebody else’s heart.  For weeks, we had prepared  to perform what we called YWAM’s Got Talent in Central Park.  Our vision for this show was that God would be glorified through the talents and passion he has instilled in us.  In our prayers the previous week, a student named Erika prayed that we would impact kids and that the whole park would be filled with them.  God heard and answered her prayer; the moment we arrived in the park, multitudes of children were running around and playing with us, never ceasing to want more love and attention.

Once the show was under way, Peer used an assortment of tricks to effortlessly bombard a hacky sack with his feet, while Jeanette painted a picture of God’s love through her passionate dancing.  With each leap and bound, a degree of freedom was released over the crowd, freedom from fear, anxiety, and people pleasing.  This freedom is really a freedom from pleasing people, or better defined as finding full acceptance from God.  Other students sang their hearts out and we even had N’SYNC come back from retirement to do a routine.  

 The Motions was one of three dramas which showed a dramatic and scary picture of how we as Christians can so easily fall into hyper-spiritual and religious patterning of following rules and mantras.  Here at Destination Paradise, freedom is an extremely important topic, so one of our biggest desires from this night was that people would experience freedom from religion, pain, depression, and selfishness.   Micah, Devinne, and Ashli were able to tie these skits into the stories of their own lives, declaring the transformation and freedom they have received through the power of Jesus.  Because of their testimonies, many people heard God’s love in a way they hadn’t previously comprehended.

Remember the tingles?  After the show was over, conversations and prayers sprang up all over the place, God’s love alive in all of them.  Smiles and screams of joy filled the children in Central Park.  It might seem silly that something like this would give me the chills, but in reality, there is nothing silly about it; this is what we live to see happen.  God’s love is contagious and unstoppable; we have the choice to either spread it or watch someone else spread it.   What a blessing it is to be able to join with God in his mission here on earth, which is to reunite himself to his lost and broken children.  San Pedro is a place where many people flock to year round because of its picturesque sunsets, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear water.  Most of them are here to simply escape from their stress-filled jobs and lives.  We hope, just hope, that maybe some of these people will go home with more than just a few pictures of the reef and a nice tan.    Maybe some of them felt the love of God at our little concert in Central Park.

Noah Applegate- YWAM DP Alumni & Current Staff , August 2009 DTS

Forgiveness and Freedom

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It’s crazy to think I’ve been here in beautiful Belize for over two months now. God has been doing some amazing things in my life and in the lives of others. We are free and have become like new people; the walls are crumbling, the heartache is over, and the healing has begun. It’s crazy to watch a person change so dramatically in just a few short weeks. There is a new light and a new joy in the heart of everyone around me. I feel so incredibly blessed to be where I am now and to be unified in our new identities in Christ. We’ve also been in the process of discovering this crazy, radical love that Jesus has for all of us and these HUGE plans that He has for me and my fellow students. I feel so blessed to be around people who are so supportive and loving. It’s almost like living in a bubble here on the base, this unique experience and location creates a safe haven for developing and growing in our faith, and I feel so privileged to be here.

One of our Base Leaders, Lynn Toney, led a lecture on forgiveness and the power it has in healing broken relationships. For the past 6 years, my relationship with my grandmother has been severely broken through a series of events beginning with our move from California to Montana in 2006. After trying for many months to create a healthy relationship with her, my family decided that it would be best to stop all communication with her entirely. I have been trying to reconnect with her for a while now, but didn’t really know how to start to grow a new relationship with her or what that would even look like. Through the advice of the staff here and some prayer sessions I was able to forgive her and to ask for her forgiveness for holding bitterness and resentment against her. We are still working on putting up healthy boundaries with her, but I really feel like through this first step of reaching out, I can begin to have a relationship with my grandmother again. I feel free! Free of all of the hurt, anger, and bitterness that I have held on to for the past few years, and it feels so amazing.

Only a couple more weeks in beautiful Belize until we head out for outreach and the time has flown by! I am so excited to see what the rest of lecture phase has in store, and I can’t wait to grow even more in my personal relationship with Him! Outreach will be so crazy exciting and I’m so excited to build relationships with the people of Nicaragua and Panama!

Devinne Shultz-September 2012 Leadership DTS

All About Love

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Hi! My name is Emelie, I’m 19 years old and come from Sweden. During this first 6 weeks on DTS some recurring themes have been forgiveness, the character of God and His love for us. As a group of 34 students we have gotten to know each other and been drawn closely together. Through lectures God has challenged me to let him break old patterns and hard stuff in my life, in exchange he has given me more freedom and light in my life. When I heard that this week was going to be Ministry Week, I felt like it was a natural part of giving out what we have been taught and sharing some of our passion for God.

Being a missionary is so much more than just doing things, it’s all about loving people! This was something I learned a couple of weeks ago when we had a session about ministry. The best way to be a disciple is to focus on learning and listening in order to get to know the culture and build relationships. My prayer during this week was “Break my heart for what breaks Yours”, something I think God has been working on within me.

Ministry Week consisted of being in town, speaking with people, and praying for some of them. We also spent time at the high school teaching and doing exercises on the topic of unity.  We spent time with teens in different churches and arranged a soccer tournament for kids. What touched my heart the most was a prayer walk we did in San Mateo, a really poor area on the island. To see the people living in houses

surrounded by garbage and water, with planks as bridges between buildings – it makes me wonder where Jesus was in all the poverty. But for Jesus there is no hopelessness! He is there as much as anywhere else. To pray blessings and light over the people’s lives felt like an honor, especially when we had the opportunity to do it for a 3 month old baby boy. We have a great God and our prayers make a difference!

Emelie Bohlin – September DTS Leadership 2012

Diving In

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Probably one of the most incredible experiences I have had thus far in Belize was my time of scuba diving in the deep, beautiful ocean here. Walking into this DTS, I knew that it was an optional activity during our free time. I took one look at that suggestion and said NO WAY am I doing that. Too risky, too scary, not for me…. and then I got here. The third day of orientation they brought it up and asked how many people needed forms. Lord help me, but some small part in me made me put my hand in the air.

Later I walked to the dock with our instructor and quickly informed him how I was terrified of doing it, probably wasn’t going to do it, but there was the tiniest chance that I would.  Eventually I took a breath and looked at him. Rene smiled at me and put his hands on my shoulders, in his Dutch accent he said “Amy…come diving with us.” Don’t ask me how he did it, but he convinced me that I should give it a try.

So there we are dive 1 and Rene convinced me to go.  I was hesitant- scratch that- I WAS SCARED OUT OF MY MIND!  A matter of minutes later, we were 10 feet below the water’s surface and I touched the ocean floor for the first time.  Rene smiled at me and I found myself starting to panic. I signaled almost immediately that I wanted to go up, rapidly pointing my finger towards the surface. He signaled back “are you sure?” both his eyes locked on mine. I had a choice. This was taking a risk. I had to choose if I was going to trust the air tank latched to my back, trust the hand holding tightly to mine, and quite simply, risk the ocean. I breathed deeply into my regulator, watching the bubbles float up to the surface that I desperately wanted to swim back to. I was still terrified, but I had to admit that there was something brand new and exciting about this place. I made the okay sign, choosing to stay down. That entire time, Rene guided me over coral reefs and dozens of fish.

This isn’t just a story about diving, that day is a picture of YWAM for me. I have risked it all by coming here. I have come here with my bare necessities and as I have slowly been sinking down, allowing myself to go deeper in this program and with God, I have found it all a bit overwhelming and sometimes, downright terrifying. There have been many days where I looked at God and pointed my finger towards home, my comfort zone, the place where there is no risk and no taking of chances and each time He has asked me “are you sure?” Each time, I breathe deeply, I take a look around at this new place he has me in and eventually signal back, “okay, God. I’ll stay.” He has taken both my hands and is leading me into new territories and new depths of my heart. I just keep breathing deeply, holding tightly. He doesn’t let go.

Since that first dive, I have done 3 more dives. By the second one I was off swimming by myself, keeping my eyes on our instructor, but also enjoying the beauty around me. Each time we go a little bit deeper. First 10 feet, then 25, then 40, and the last one was 60. Words cannot describe the beauty that awaited me the deeper I let myself go. I was so high up yet so far below. I smiled and spread both my arms wide, feeling as though I was flying! I was weightless, fearless, and absolutely free.

The deeper I go, the more weightless I get. I’m risking it all, feeling the pressure of it all, but I’m shredding my fear. There is so much beauty just below the surface. I’m going down, and truth be told, I’m starting to even feel free.

Amy Fowler-September 2012 Leadership DTS