love Tag

From the Field: Mayreau Outreach

  |   DTS, Outreach   |   No comment

IMG_1361  This past week in Mayreau the team and I were blessed enough to have an amazing group of 8 students ranging from 10-17 years old, from St Vincent come down to Mayreau for a jam packed 5 days of fun, games, and Jesus lovin! Six of us had the opportunity to be small group leaders (yours truly being 1 of them) and speak into these kids lives. Every second of camp was scheduled with team building games, worship, teaching by fellow leaders, service projects to help others in the community, water games, crafts, cleaning schedules, and more! From the perspective of a small group leader, this has been one of the most rewarding and challenging things I’ve faced on outreach yet. Roughly 14 1/2 hours a day for 5 days straight we laid ourselves down to build these students up. Making ourselves available and stretching to our limits. The conversations we had with these amazing students will continuously ring in my heart for some time to come. Watching, in such a short span of time, these students grow and learn in the knowledge of our king has been one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed/been apart of.

 
IMG_1170Service projects included; beach garbage clean up, Cleaning up near and around the dump, and blessing an elderly man here in town by cleaning up his home and providing food for him. The students were definitely pushed by the service projects, but I honestly think they found a lot of joy in getting to help others.

 

 
IMG_1195Getting to be a small group leader for the 2 girls Sarah and I had, was one of the greatest honors I’ve had yet. I personally was so stretched and pushed throughout this week. I truly realized the meaning behind the saying “if you want to be a good leader, be a better servant”. I feel as if this week has impacted me, as it did for them. Watching them grow, as I too grew. Knowing that the best way I could lead them, is by giving everything we did, my 100%. And that proved to be so fruitful. I loved watching my fellow teammates leading as well. Seeing them step into these shoes we had been equipped for was an amazing honor. And I can not wait to see and hear of the ways they will continue to lead others in their lives. This week was truly amazing, and I can not wait to tell all about it when we get back to Belize.

Kate Huling

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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Accepting Freedom

  |   DTS, Lecture Phase   |   No comment

For a reason I cannot explain, I decided it would be a good idea to go for a run under the sweltering afternoon sun yesterday (Saturday). The first mile was a painless cruise, and I smiled and waved at each passerby. Shortly after that first mile I began to feel the intense heat on my face, but shrugged it off and kept on rolling. Eventually I decided to turn around and felt an instant wave of regret. The wind was to my back and the sun was directly on my face. I felt like I was running through a wildfire, and I’m sure I looked about that way too! I stopped for a second to wipe the sweat from my eyes, and then pushed on as hard as I could until I reached home (funny how I now refer to YWAM DP as home). But I didn’t stop running once I made it back onto the path that leads to my casita; I kept going and going until the very edge of our dock and ran straight into the ocean. There was a half a second of air, and then my body immersed into what felt like a cool satin blanket. I stayed under as long as I could as the crisp water tickled my toes and revived my fingers. The ocean felt so invigorating I almost opened my mouth to take a big gulp, but quickly decided against that plan. I eventually came back up to the surface to breathe, as that’s usually necessary (I’m not a mermaid yet but I’m working on it), but the surface just wasn’t as exciting. I went under again and again as I was only alive when I was consumed by this big blue puddle of joy.

As I was reflecting on this joyous moment yesterday, I came across a word that would describe the experience well… freedom. Simple yet profound, like all my favorite things in this world. On my run I was trapped under the hot sun and by the beads of salty sweat running down into my eyes.  But when I took that leap of faith into the water I was free.

I think that little situation of mine is a nice analogy for our relationship with the Lord.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

This past week was ironically called freedom week, and it was taught by the founder of YWAM DP Lynn Toney. Lynn is a passionate woman whose light shines so brightly it blinds those around her in God’s love. During freedom week we talked about being free in Christ, and the amazing life we can live when we are free in Christ. Of course true freedom requires a leap of faith, as I had to take a small jump and experience a second of free fall before I hit the water. But once we do take that leap of faith we are all consumed and covered in his love. I learned that in many different forms this past week. I learned a lot about myself and how the inconsistent and twisted ways that I see myself are affecting the ways that I see God.  I had to approach situations from my past in oder to experience freedom. I had to run a long, hot, sweaty path that I didn’t particularly enjoy in order to experience freedom, but boy was it worth it. Christ accepts us wherever we are, carrying ugly loads and scars, but he doesn’t want us to stay there. I gave him my heart years ago, but as I get closer and closer to him he is asking for more than my heart. He wants my life, my thoughts, my decisions, and most importantly he wants the weights that I am not strong enough to carry. And when I finally surrendered those weights to him He set me free. 

“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23: 2-3

If I could give myself a personal “theme” for this season in my life here in Belize I would call it “dare to hope” because the Lord has been beckoning me to hope in the plans and purposes he has for my life (especially because I currently don’t have a clue what’s next for me). Well, in that, the Lord has asked me to accept the blessings that he wants to freely give me. For most of my life I have been carrying the load that I have to earn and work for love, because if I don’t deserve it I won’t receive it. If I made a mistake I lost love, and had to work extra hard in order to deserve any. Well this twisted way of thinking influenced the way that I saw God. I thought that in oder to receive love from the Lord I had to work for him. I had to serve until my eyes bled, and then he would show me his love for me. If I sinned, then I would lose his love and would have to work extra hard and put myself down because that’s what I deserve. Well, in an interesting series of events this week, the Lord revealed to me that weight, and how unnecessary it is for me to carry. One day in class Lynn asked us to write a letter to ourselves from God and to wait and pray until He speaks to us. Immediately I began thinking to myself what God will probably say to me. He’ll tell me the things I need to do better and the things I need to do less of. He’ll tell me where I was wrong and why, and how I need to try harder to do better next time. But when I sat down to hear from Him, I waited a moment in silence and heard “I love you. That’s it.” And that was it. That’s all I heard. I got no other word from the Lord. And then it hit me. I try and earn the love of the Lord. Who am I to say that I can earn the love of the creator of this universe. If I’m going to get it, it’s going to be a gift, and that’s the beauty of it. But that is so hard for me to accept, because I have lived opposite of that for my entire life. **pause for quick dance party outside at the palapa** Anyway, since I have gotten to DP I have been overwhelmed by an increasing and overflowing joy. And at many times I have felt guilty for feeling so much joy. No Lord, shouldn’t I be suffering? Shouldn’t I be struggling? Why are you blessing me? I couldn’t understand why the Lord would want to bless me without any effort of my own. All I did was jump on a plane, and now the Lord keeps giving and giving. He has given me amazing new friends, a wonderful casita full of girls whom I love with my whole being, delicious food at every meal, and THE OCEAN. I do not deserve any of this, but the Lord gave it to me anyway. It blows my mind, and before this week, I was afraid of it. Despite what others have shown me in life, there is nothing I can do to earn or lose the love of the Lord. He has given me his whole heart because he loves me, and that’s it. A basic concept of freedom in Christ is accepting his FREE love; and it is that basic concept that was keeping me from freedom in Him. I was chaining myself to myself because I’m not perfect. I was constantly telling myself that I wasn’t good enough to earn love. I am scared of failing, of falling short, of expecting to feel his love but not being able to. But living in the freedom of Christ requires faith that His love will carry us through this life into the eternal. It requires hope. It comes in a full circle. The Lord revealed to me a weight I was still carrying, asked me to announce in front of my class that I have to forgive myself for trying to earn his love, and He asked me simply to dare to hope that I could sit in my room for the rest of my life and he would still bless me because He just loves me that much. When I obeyed Him and let go I was immersed so surely in his love, just like I was in the water after my run, and today I have felt his love with a new and overwhelming depth.

I encourage you, as Lynn encouraged me, to ask the Lord what unnecessary weights you are carrying, and give them over to Him in order to experience the freedom of Christ. It is a wonderfully beautiful thing.

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Madison

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I am Here for You

  |   DTS, FCM, Outreach   |   No comment

“Hello, my friend! How are you!” a young Sudanese man walked confidently up to our outreach leader, Chris, and offered him a handshake. A group of 7 of our team members had been left behind at the refugee camp, known as the Jungle, to do a prayer walk before our ride came to pick us up. We didn’t feel we should go into the camp, but instead, felt the Holy Spirit prompting us to stop at a street corner, just outside the camp’s entrance. I had noticed several refugee men coming and hanging out alongside the road outside the Jungle. Many of them would sit, head down, and I wondered what they were thinking. I felt God leading us to this spot to pray peace and God’s presence to anyone who came to sit on the cement block that was at the corner. (more…)

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Next Steps, Bigger Journey

  |   Alumni   |   No comment

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2165.During the few final weeks of my DTS I really felt like God was calling me back to Belize to attending a second level school with YWAM DP called the FCM (Foundations in Counselling Ministry.) “The FCM is a 3 month course (with an optional 3 month outreach) that introduces students to a Biblical framework for Christian counseling, equipping them with skills to provide counseling in a hurt and broken world.” – ywamdp.org

As soon as I got home I applied right away, had an interview with the beautiful Ally (our school leader) and little did I know that within 10 minutes of our conversation she was going to tell me I was accepted back to Belize to do the FCM this July, and I had to be there on my birthday. Best birthday present ever, right? It all worked out so smoothly and happened so fast it seems like God was already at work preparing me for my next journey. And, then things went down hill from there. I started to look for work to start saving up money. I applied to almost every place that was hiring, and didn’t get one single call back, which become extremely discouraging. I was a nanny on the side, but not enough to pay for the entire FCM. A couple months went by and I gave up trying to find a job. On top of that, I had a lot going on at home and with my family, that I become easily distracted and started to believe these lies the enemy was throwing my way, things like “I wasn’t ready to do the FCM” or “I have to much stuff to going on here to pack up and leave again” and found myself in the mindset that it was all true, that I wasn’t suppose to go back to Belize. But deep down inside me I had this fire burning passion for people who were hurting, who were tied down by their ball and chain, a passion for freedom, that when I thought about YWAM, everything they stand for and what they are doing on the shores of Belize and in the nations, I got that gut feeling that you really can’t explain, but you know it’s right.

12144735_10205031648899615_5088090321521532601_nAgain, I started to really pray and seek out not only God’s heart behind doing the FCM but my own, and this was when God completely shut the doors to the lies the enemy was feeding me and re-lit that fire burning passion in me. So just like that I told the enemy that he had absolutely no place in this decision that I was making, so here I am.. getting ready in embark on an even bigger journey.. that starts in just a few days.

Alexandra Lemay

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