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Six Things Missionaries Wished You Knew

  |   Staff   |   No comment

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.
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God is Writing the Script

  |   DTS   |   No comment

Here at YWAM, things are anything but ordinary. While words like “routine” and “personal space” are not in our vocabulary, phrases such as “the power’s out, no showering today”, and (in the case that we DO have power) “the shower needs to be fixed…again” are readily heard around the base. As a perfectionist, it can be easy to perceive these situations to be total disasters to my beautifully organized and planned out day. What’s funny is that when I look back, some of my favourite moments have been the most imperfect, spontaneous situations, the ones where God is writing the story instead of me. He’s much less predictable. I’ve come to realize that God can script a life more adventurous than my dreams when I simply let him. When I let go. Here’s one of those moments…

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Transcending Cultural Barriers

  |   DTS, Outreach, Reportback   |   No comment

DTS is almost finished; only 4 days until I am back home in Canada.

First off, thank you to everyone who supported our outreach team and myself over the past few months with prayer. There were multiple situations during DTS when major complications were reached and then avoided by the grace of God alone. These past 5 months have not simply been and isolated experience for me, but are a piece of my life which I hope to build off of. DTS has been life changing, as I have found freedom, confidence, truth, knowledge, and a passion to grow in relationship with God.

Truth has been one of the central themes in my life during DTS. Freedom comes from knowing and believing truth. I have overcome lies I believed about myself, the world, and God; lies like I don’t have a voice, I cannot speak in front of people, and that God does not speak to me. There is also great importance in memorizing truth in the bible, for by what other way can you believe than the promises of God? By having a strong knowledge of truth in the bible, memorizing, studying, and meditating on it, the lies and evil in the world cannot take hold and hinder you. By living in truth and constantly being filled with it, I have watched it transform the lives of people in DTS and the surrounding community outside of YWAM. Next to our base is a dive shop, and YWAM has been friends with two of the men working there for a few years. As time went by both gave their lives to Christ, and during our school one of the men was baptized.

IMG_0412 (800x600)Outreach was full of new concepts and changed my perspective on God and how He moves. Going to Zambia, sleeping bags and headphones were lost only to be returned by strangers, flights were almost missed, and half our team had not received their visas to get into Zambia. Our outreach leader and I were included in the half without visas, but we went forward praying to be let into the country.At the immigration desk in the Zambian airport, people with the same problem were denied entry and put on return flights. We were let through. Again we had visa issues when having to renew them after one month. Due to fluctuating policies, our team should have been ordered to leave. Instead we were given a conditional extension. There have been man
y other times where our team could have run into significant problems with ATM’s, attempted theft, and vehicle issues. In many situations not only was the problem averted, but also used for the benefit of our team. From this I have learned to live with open hands, giving every situation to God whether positive or negative, and allowing Him to work through everything.

20160420_095215 (800x450)God transcends cultural barriers and works in amazing ways which are unique to each culture. It was amazing to see how different, yet beautiful church is in Zambia. Worship is often without instruments, and even young children know a multitude of songs, which astounded me. Our team was welcomed with open arms, and the people were just as eager to learn from us as we were from them. During an outdoor ministry event, our team was given the opportunity to speak and perform a story from the bible. After the event finished we were swarmed by children, who often wanted hugs or prayer.
It was incredible to be able to love and pray for so many kids despite the language barrier at times. Being in Zambia also opened my eyes to the true material wealth of North America. The families in Zambia were stewards with the money they had, however much it may be. Most people in Zambia eat the same food three meals a day, while our team had a rotation of dinners. By our standard, our food was simple. By their standard it was extravagant. I can now comprehend
the richness I have been born into. Yes, relationship with God is far more valuable than money, but the belief that people with less money are closer to God is not always true. Prosperity gospel was often preached in Zambia, and rather being gripped by apathy like North American culture, they struggled with animism (worshiping creation over the creator). Every culture has its own problems, and the only lasting and transforming solution is relationship with the Creator.20160429_135645 (800x450)

I will forever hold this time spent with YWAM as precious. It has been amazing to live and learn with my DTS family whom I love dearly. My plans for the future are still uncertain. So far I have been accepted to work at Camp Caroline as a ropes leader. I have faith in God’s plan for my life, and I will continue to pray and trust in it. There are far more stories I could tell, both funny and serious. This however, is the end.

-Sydney Gabbey

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Exiting the Sidelines

  |   Lecture Phase, Staff   |   No comment

“Forgive me for picking up what I’ve already laid down at your feet.”

77b19c95-0920-48d1-b4c3-75ef9fc753e2“I surrender”. Why does saying that seem so hard? Why does it seem like such a struggle to agree to let go of something, and totally hand it over to God? I mean, you would think that we would be able to trust the one who gave us this life in the first place; the one who had a plan for us from the beginning, the one who knows us better than we even know ourselves. You would think that we would be able to trust that He has His best intentions with everything He guides us to. After all, our dreams and desires came from Him anyway. When we look at it like this, and understand the truths we already know, we should be able to stand before Him open handed and feel at peace with where He is leading us, with the trials we are currently facing and the trials we know we are yet to face.

You might be reading this thinking about surrendering something yourself, you might be battling with something right now that you just can’t seem to let go of, or maybe you’re reading this and can’t relate to a word I am saying; maybe to you, surrendering is something you have already battled with and are now content with doing.

As for me, I personally have been challenged beyond what I had imagined since being here on staff and one of the biggest things that has challenged me is with surrendering; surrendering my selfish desires to God, my dreams, my plans, and my personal “needs” to Him; surrendering what I would like to happen, to what actually is. Surrendering to the now.

_A0A8164In battling with this I have learnt that in order to surrender, I need to agree to stop fighting, hiding and resisting, because I know that I will not win or succeed in doing so. In fact, I am only making the challenge even harder on myself by not just taking a deep breath, letting go and letting God. I’m learning that, as we are told in 2 Chronicles 20:15, “the battle is not ours, but God’s”. So then why do I/ we allow ourselves to believe it is? Why do we try to fight so hard?

I recently had a great conversation about God putting us through trials recently and that every challenge we face is actually just another step, to something greater, to growing higher and stronger in whatever life throws at us. I find that we stand on that step, in that trial and often think that this is the worst thing that could be happening, we look at the worst of every situation, every struggle, every burden. I find that very rarely, someone will go through pain and say, “Thank you God for this challenge. Thank you for this fight.” But in the long run, if we go through trials with faith that we can get through it, we will be strong to fight the next, and the next, and be able to run up the staircase of challenges. We just need to believe that it is not in our control.

Similarly, surrendering something to God is a challenge, it isn’t easy. And in this, I’m learning to not just linger around on the same step, ignoring the fact I need to surrender, but to hold on to the hope that God has promised me, the hope that he has a plan and a purpose for me and that he knows my heart’s desires and dreams.

And so I want to finish with this question, a quote from a book I have recently read, “it’s a war. Are you going to sit on the sidelines or get up and fight in this?”. Are you going to wait for the “right time” to surrender, for the “sign” to be given, or are you going to rise up, raise your arms, and lay it down? Because why stress about something that isn’t in your hands?

-Mandy Griffin

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All the details matter to God

  |   DTS, Reportback   |   No comment

IMG_0336Reportback has been great so far. Although I am ready to go back to my family, I realize that this week is very important. I have had time to relax and have quiet times with God. I have also had time to plan out what I am going to do next in life. The staff have planned out sessions for us that have been very helpful to make us aware of what it will be like when we get home and how to deal with that.

IMG_0438This has also been a time to meet new people and reunite with our school. It was so fun the first few days, sleeping on the dock, having pool parties, and getting ready for graduation with a nail painting party. It´s been great to be able to the April school and share some wisdom that we received during our DTS, also to hear the amazing things God is doing in their lives.

  • Tonya Martin

Tonya Martin, Alberta Canada, 06/29/1997, 18 yrs