YWAM End Letter

Hi,
I wrote this letter to my supporters. I’ve copied and pasted it here as well. Thanks for reading.

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 For the past six months I was involved in a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Thank you so very much for your support through prayer and/or finances. The first three months were called the “lecture phase” and took place in Perth, Australia.  The last three months were called “outreach” and involved going to China, Iceland and the Kimberley (N.W. Australia) to do ministry.  I had three main hopes for DTS, which were:

·         That my faith would have more certainty and my relationship with God would be stronger,

·         That I would form strong friendships with other YWAMer’s and with people I would meet on the outreaches and

·         That as a YWAM team, we would make a large impact in others’ lives through our ministry.

God is faithful.  All three of these desires were overwhelmingly answered by God!

 Lecture phase was a time of incredible spiritual growth.  Activities included 6:00am exercises, daily quiet times, morning lectures, night lectures, afternoon work duties, small group meetings, student/leader 1-on-1’s, 24/7 prayer, intense worship, evangelism , church services and of course BBQ’s on the beach; it was definitely a packed schedule!  A few of my favourite things were: learning how to hear and hearing the voice of God, understanding the character/heart of God, repentance and forgiveness application time (all 18 hours of it..), seeing firsthand the importance of prayer, losing a fear of man, gaining a fear of God, giving Jesus complete Lordship of my life, and seeing God’s faithfulness and love for us.

 For the outreach phase, my team of ten people went to China (Shenzhen and Nanjing), Iceland and the Kimberley.  The three locations and also the style of ministry were very diverse.  In China we did one-on-one evangelism, spiritual warfare, and encouragement of a permanent missionary team there.  We did this by approaching strangers on the street, playing basketball, English corners, bible studies, being involved with local churches, public worship/prayer/Bible reading, giving away home-made doughnuts, doing magic shows, and writing encouragement cards.  In Iceland we did a lot of cafe ministry where we would simply talk to people or use art to communicate God’s love.  In Iceland we also did free prayer ministry on the street, marathon 24-7 prayer times, public worship, zumba classes, and organized youth nights.  We were also involved in setting up and running a Bethel Church conference.  Finally, my team went to an area in N.W. Australia called the Kimberley. We split our time between two aboriginal communities and did mostly children’s ministry which included: playing games, doing skits, kids’ movie nights, and teaching values. We also led church services by teaching, giving testimonies and dramas; afterwards we would have altar calls and pray for people.  Outreach was very challenging, but also very rewarding.  God taught me the importance of putting my whole trust and hope in him. I witnessed a lot of changes in myself, in my team members and in the people we ministered to.

 For me personally, the best thing of all was the incredible level of intimacy that I gained with God.  I had no idea that God could be so real!  Here is a short testimony that I wrote for the YWAM Perth webpage:

“DTS was the best thing I’ve ever done.  It changed my life.  It changed my life because it changed my relationship with God.  My relationship with God before DTS was, well, almost non-existent.  God to me was like an acquaintance; someone I’d say “hi” to if I bumped into Him on the street, but nothing more.  DTS changed that “acquaintance” into an intimate, close, personal, REAL, relationship. I listen to God and He listens to me. Spending time with God is now the most fulfilling, rewarding, and important part of my day. He teaches me, he challenges me, he encourages me, he gives me dreams, and he fills me with hope!  Being close to God has changed my life for the better.  God wants to change your life.  Pursue God.  Chase after Him.  If you think God is calling you to do a DTS then do it! It may just be the best decision you’ve ever made. “

Thank you once again for your support.  It meant a lot to me to know that I had people back home interceding on my behalf and supporting my financial needs; your support made a big difference.  My future plans at this point include doing whatever God leads me to do … which will likely be either joining the work force as an engineer, or doing a School of Biblical Studies with YWAM.

Iceland.

For the past three weeks me and my outreach team have been in Iceland. Iceland has been good. It was a very big transition to go from China to Iceland; two very different countries.

Our time in Iceland has been good. We’ve been in the capital city of Reykjavik. We stayed at a hostel for the entire time and spent most of our time in this cafe that YWAM is connected with. A lot of youth come to the cafe so there is a lot of ministry opportunities from it. We helped with youth nights here and events through the cafe.

We also did something we called, “free prayer” where we’d hold up “free prayer” signs in the streets and then ask if people wanted prayer for anything.  It was really interesting. We got a lot of revelation on how God must feel when humanity rejects him as people walked by rejecting us.  But, we also got a lot of really good responses. Some people testified after the prayer that they felt immediately better and more at peace. One lady started crying as the Holy Spirit put words in our mouths to pray over her.  It was really good.

Others on my team did a lot of art ministry. They would create a drawing or some other art piece and then they would give it away to someone on the street.

We also helped set up for a conference. We are now attending/helping with the conference.  Kris Vallotton from Bethel church in California is here speaking at a conference. It is an extremely charismatic church; which is very different for me, but I am finding it very enjoyable. Kris is a very good speaker, so I am looking forward to the next few sessions (we are halfway though the conference).

On Tuesday (May 24) we leave for Amsterdam where we have a 1 day layover before we fly to Hong Kong and then on to Perth, Australia.  We’ll be in Perth for about a day and a half before we take a 2-3 day drive up to the North West corner of Australia called the Kimberleys.  There we will be working with aboriginal peoples for about 3 weeks.  Finally, after that we drive back to Perth for a week of debrief and then I come back to Saskatoon! Life is exciting; God is good.

Thanks for reading.

China.

Hello everyone.

For the past month me and my outreach team were in China. We are now in Iceland and will be here till the end of May. China was really great.  I really loved the country, the people, the friends made, the culture, the food, the churches, the streets, the noises, the smells, the buildings, the trains … everything; it was great. We spent half our time in a city called Shenzhen (very close to Hong Kong) and the other half in Nanjing (1 or 2 hours from Shanghai).

Our ministry was somewhat limited because spreading religious beliefs in China is technically illegal, but luckily Shenzhen and Nanjing are both fairly open cities.  Our main ministry was simply going and talking with people on the street or on university campuses and challenging their beliefs by sharing our faith with them.  It was really good.  I had some really good conversations with people.  My family has had many different E.S.L. students (mostly Chinese) living with us for about the past 8 years and this background helped me relate better to the people I talked with.  I found it really easy to relate to and talk with people.

The other ministries we did included: public readings of the Bible, public worship times, intercession/prayer times, attending/teaching at Bible studies, and encouraging a permanent team of missionaries there.

The whole experience was great.  We are now in Iceland.  I”ll write more as more happens.

Thanks for the support! Thanks for caring! Thanks for reading!

Update

Hey Everyone,
Sorry I haven’t written much lately – things have been busy around here.  Here’s a quick update of what’s been going on lately:

Weekly Class Topics

We have a different topic each week. Each week has a different guest speaker and he lectures on that topic from Monday – Thursday and then Friday we have an application time. I’ve been learning so much from the lectures; I’ve learned a lot more than I originally thought I would. Every week I can see that God is telling me something. It’s been great.

  • This week: “Missions”
  • Last week: “Father Heart of God”
  • 2 Weeks Ago: “Authority and Submission”
  • 3 Weeks Ago: “Lordship”

Outreach

On April 2nd, my outreach team leaves for China. We will be taking a 20 hour train ride from Hong Kong up to Nanjing. We will be there for about 10 days and then we will come back to a city near Hong Kong called Shenzhen. We will be in Shenzhen for about 14 days before traveling to Iceland. On the way to Iceland our flights worked out so we will be stopping in Amsterdam for 1 day.  We will be in Iceland for about 4 weeks.  After Iceland, we will fly back to Perth, Australia and from Perth we will take a 2 day bus/van trip up to an area in North West Australia called the Kimberleys.  I’ve very excited for outreach.  It’s going to be amazing.  I don’t expect to have as much contact while I am on outreach, especially during the China and Kimberley phases.

There are a few things you can pray for related to my outreach:

  • Finances for my team members.
    I have all my money for outreach, but some of the other people in my team do not yet have all their finances. If you wanted to donate money to anyone else on my team, contact me and I’ll let you know how you can.
  • Safety.
    Pray for safe travel.  Pray for safe food (i.e. no food poisoning or other food problems).  Pray for good health. Pray for safety with other governments, police and people (in parts of China it is illegal to spread any form of religion).
  • God to move.
    Pray that God “shows up”.  I prayed that God would show up in my lecture phase of this school – and he definitely has. I’m praying right now that God would do amazing things through my team.  I think He will.

Birthday

It was my birthday on the 16th.  It was really great.  My class surprised me and gave me a card which everyone had wrote some encouragement in. It was awesome.  One of my best friends here is a really good artist and he did a drawing on the front.  I’ll probably upload a picture of it later.

“Jungle Fever” Dance Party

I guess every year the school does an official dance party. This year the theme was, “jungle fever”.  I was a giraffe.  I danced my face off. It was “heaps of fun.  It was legendary.  Here’s a couple pic:

And one more…

Street Busking

I’ve gone busking (street entertainment) a couple times now.  I just have a small table and I go do magic tricks.  It’s been challenging, but good.  I’ve wanted to go more, but I haven’t had that much time.  Here’s a pic my friend took.

Also, I did magic at a talent show and a fundraiser.  Here’s a couple pics from the talent show.  It was a lot of fun.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

Camping Trip

Two week ago my discipleship training school went on a camping trip.  It was a lot of fun.  We slept under the stars.  We ate good food.  We did a lot of swimming in the nearby river.  Canoeing, swimming through hollowed logs and small rock caves was a lot of fun.  We did lots of great stuff.  It was an awesome weekend.  Here is a video of the trip that one of my talented classmates made.   

China/Iceland/Aussie High Schools

After my three months of training in Perth I will be going out on a team with other students from my school to do outreach.  A few weeks ago we were given the five options for where the teams are going.  Over the course of a week I deliberated which option I should go on.  We were not to talk to anyone else in our school about which option we were choosing.  So the whole week I spent simply praying about it and deliberating the options.  There were a number of reasons why I felt that the China/Iceland/Aussie High schools was the right option for me.

  • I felt God was telling me to go on one of the Asia teams.
  • I felt God was telling me to go on one of the High School outreach teams.
  • A few weeks before, someone had given me the scripture Isaiah 49.  I felt that from Isaiah 49:1, which says, “Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations…” I was to go to an island nation.  The only outreach option country that was an island was Iceland.
  • I was talking with someone else that did a previous outreach in China and he said he had opportunities to talk with Chinese people that wanted to learn/practice English.  I’ve had a lot of experience talking with ESL people and I’ve been told from ESL people that I’m easy to understand and that I’m patient with them.
  • I felt that knowledge of Chinese culture would be useful in the future because there are many Chinese people in Canada and Engineering fields.
  • I was about to watch the show, “How I Met Your Mother” and I felt God was saying he would speak to me through the show.  Anyways, I know it sounds kind of ridiculous but China was mentioned twice in the show I watched.
  • I phoned my family about the options and the China/Iceland/Aussie High Schools option had stuck out to my brother Jeff.

Overall, the China/Iceland option wasn’t really my first choice of countries to go to, but I definitely feel that it is the team that God wants me on.  I think some really amazing things will happen.  I’m excited.

Thanks for reading!

Street Evangelism

Last Thursday we went as a school and did street evangelism. It was very interesting. About 60 of us went to downtown Perth and in a shopping/walking area we sang worship songs and gave testimonies. We started by all singing and worshiping for a while, then we would pause and one at a time some of us would jump up on a bench and shout out some sort of short testimony to anyone that was walking by.

Some people gave us annoyed looks, but we also got good reception from others. As we felt prompted, we went and talked to people that were watching us.

I was nervous to do it, but I jumped up and gave a quick 1 minute testimony that I had prepared. It was pretty cool; it felt good.

Thanks for reading!