Sunday, February 28, 2010

So Many Truths


I haven't written yet about any of the speakers we've had during this DTS, so I thought I would do that here. It's been amazing. But, there has been so much content to process, that it's hard to think about it all the time. Everything we've been taught is SO good. And I have taken tons of notes. So, I just need to find time to look back on my notes, so I can try and process everything. And I know that in my future I'll be looking back on these notes often.

The first week, the pastor of the church where the YWAM base is, Roger, spoke to us about grace, and what it means to walk the christian life. He had some really neat points that I had never thought about before. He was an interesting speaker, and very friendly.

The second week, we had a guy named Graeme come. He was born in Australia, but has lived in India for 20 years, where he is married to an Indian woman and has 3 kids. So he dresses like an Indian man, and is short and tan, with white hair and big blue eyes. And has a thick Australian accent. The whole week he talked about his experiences as a missionary, and also about the Indian culture and such. He was very interesting, and very kind. He cooked us Indian food almost every night for dinner! And we ate it Indian style! On the floor, barefoot, and with our hands. :) It was awesome. He made rice, chicken curry, bean curry, fish curry (which I tried and it wasn't bad!), chick peas, potatoes, indian cake, nan, and chai tea. Yum!! I love Indian food so much. :)

The third week we traveled 6 hours south to Miami. Here we stayed at a church and a guy named Bob Felder came and talked to us about evangelism. He is the leader of a campus ministry group called, "Waves". For 3 days, we went to 2 different college campuses of Miami Dade, the largest college in America. They have 9 different campuses across Miami. We visited 2, and just walked around, sharing the 'bridge illustration' with college students, and just talking and praying with them. It was really neat. And God definitely did some really cool things while I talked with students. I talked with a few athiests, as well as a Muslim girl. This was a great week for the DTS students who hadn't done something like this before. We also spent a day at the beach, which was great!

The fourth week we had a guy named Ezra talk to us. He works at the YWAM in Orlando. He was a very laid back guy, and just hilarious. He was so real, and very encouraging. He talked about the father heart of God, and at the end of the week, we all had a time of forgiving people from our past. It was very powerful, and just a great experience. Ezra has such an amazing testimony, and he always told cool stories, and loved to talk about his family. A lot of the points he made, he used his family as an example, which I thought was awesome. Everyone loved him.

The fifth week, a guy named Art Collins came. He works with YWAM's all over. And he spoke to us about how to study the Bible. It was AWESOME! He taught us different things about how to read the Bible. He talked about different tools that we can use to better read and study it. And he taught us how to do an inductive Bible study, and we did one on the book of Jonah. It was very interesting. He was a REALLY funny guy. He was older, but had so much energy. He told jokes, and was so outgoing, and just a neat guy. And he bought us food everyday! Junk food as a matter of fact. Oreos, pizza, donuts, and Wendy's frostys. And he took us all out in groups of 3 or 4 for lunch everyday. We ate at this really cool, old fashioned diner that plays oldies music. :) Loved it.

The sixth week, we had a guy named Sean Yost here. He is the youth pastor at a church, and founder of "Youth Quake", which is a large youth event that happens one Friday a month. It happens at different churches around the Jacksonville area. We went to the last one, and the theme was "True love waits". It was really cool. It's basically worship, videos, funny skits, and then a short speaker at the end. So he talked to us about relationships, both with God and with the opposite sex. And it was all sooo good. I agreed with everything he taught, and wanted to just stand up and shout "Amen!". I think it was really good for the other girls to hear it. Relationships are so important, obviously, and I think it was great for everyone here. On the last day, his wife Barb came, and she spoke for a while. And they talked a lot about their relationship with each other, and their kids. Sean told some pretty AWESOME stories too. It was an amazing week.

Last week, we had a guy named Dan Baumann come. He's been with YWAM since he was 19, and his entire family is as well. He has written 2 books, and he is in high demand at a lot of DTS's, and it's hard to get him for a week, but he spent all week with us. He was so cool. He's from California, and so laid back! And he is just a really genuine guy. Loves Jesus with everything he is, and is so passionate. He basically just told us stories all week, and they blew me away! Stories about how he took insane risks and God came through. Just, so encouraging. Honestly, I have never heard such amazing stories from a person in my entire life! They were all so powerful, and left me with my jaw wide open. He shared so much of his heart with us, and some things that he had never shared with anyone else. He is such a real guy, and has such a powerful testimony. And he taught such SIMPLE truths. Truths that I need to remind myself of constantly. Truths that I wish everyone knew. What he spoke was just so encouraging to me. The way he worded things just made me happy. They made me want to just cling to Jesus right then and there. His books are "A Beautiful Way" and "Imprisoned in Iran". I recommend "Imprisoned in Iran". I haven't read it yet, but I'm going to buy it. He was imprisoned in Iran for 9 weeks, and he told us all about his experience, and it is insane. Anyway, I found this podcast from a conference online. Listen to him speak if you have time. It's about an hour and a half. But everything he says he told us on the first day. He told us his grossest story about India, where we are going. :) It was pretty funny. Here is the link to the podcast:

So, it's been awesome. We've also performed a drama called "King of Hearts" (you can youtube it if you want to see it) in front of 2 youth groups, and it was neat. We'll be performing them in India a lot, so we're just getting some practice right now. This week, we'll be volunteering and doing some ministry around the city. We're going to a homeless shelter tomorrow. We don't have a speaker this week, so we get a little break from information overload. :) It should be a good week. And soon, we'll be heading to Daytona Beach to do a Spring Break ministry! Which is going to be awesome. It's also been great to get to know some of our neighbors. We've talked with one guy in particular quite a lot, and we had dinner with him one night. He is very curious about religion, and asks good questions. It will be interesting to see what God does.

I'm also really looking forward to coming home on Saturday, April 3rd through Tuesday, April 6th. A short break, just a few days, but I'll be glad to see everyone before I head off to India! We'll probably leave for India around April 9th. I've got a little over half of my outreach money raised, and I plan on having a jewelery party at my house when I'm back to help raise money. More details to come!

Well, I hope to write some more again soon! Thanks for reading! Hope everyone is doing well, and have a great week! Stay warm! It's pretty warm and sunny here. :) I've missed TONS of snow up north, huh?


p.s. I plan on sending a 'prayer request' email out soon as well. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Better Late Than Never...

Hey everyone!

So, I've finally got this blog set up, which is quite an accomplishment. :) And today, is the 1 month mark of being here! I sent out an email update a while ago, talking about my first week in Jacksonville, Florida. I hope you all enjoyed it. But now, I'd like to keep everyone updated on here. I still may send emails out though. I plan on posting some prayer requests up here soon. And I also plan on writing about what has been happening the past 3 weeks. I can't believe I've already been here 4 weeks! This is the beginning of the 5th week of my DTS in YWAM. It's been amazing so far. I will write more soon! Hopefully by this weekend! I just wanted to send a little note out first to let you know. Thanks for all your prayers and support! It's pretty late, and I'm pretty tired. More to come later!