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