September 7th, 2009 - February 19th, 2010
Outreach is the moment that every D.T.S. student is waiting for! It is the culmination of everything that we learned in the first three months of lectures and training, the chance to put what we have learned, read, talked, and dreamt about into practice. My outreach team was a group of seven solid individuals that eventually became more like family to me than anything else. Together, we traveled through some of the poorest parts of Sudan and Uganda. Many times we would enter a city without any idea of where we would stay or what we would do there, but every single time God would show up in a radical way, and open doors that seemed impossible to open! During our time in Africa, we had the privilege of playing soccer with ex-child soldiers, preachng the Gospel message in churches across Southern Sudan, teaching hip-hop at a children's prison, sitting around a campfire and hearing the testimony of an ex-witchdoctor, singing worship songs at the SPLA military training headquarters, and seeing over 200 people accept Christ!
This is what we learned: nothing is accomplished by our own strength, intelligence, or giftings. But there is no limit to what God will accomplish through us if we simply listen to what He says and obey.
Check out the short slideshow that Hanna made of our missions trip to Africa:
June 2nd, 2010 - August 18th, 2010
How do you describe a place like Haiti?
I walk through the capital city of Port-au-Prince and see rubble where homes and business once stood, children everywhere begging for food, people living in makeshift tents outside the presidential palace, the palace itself left in it's ruined state by an absentee government. I blink away the sweat that threatens to drip from my eyelashes and keep a close eye out for the teenagers that our small team of staff is responsible to keep safe. I'm tired and I'm overwhelmed.
This is one side of Haiti.
The other side of Haiti is found in the eyes of the children that run up to you, laughing, and reach their hands out to be picked up and held close. It's found in the sacrifices of people like Mowi and his wife, who sold everything to start an orphanage for the children who lost their parents in the earthquake. It's found in a small YWAM base of nine people who trust God for the impossible dream of building a million homes for the victims who lost their houses in the earthquake. It's found in the answered prayers and miraculous healings sweeping over the Haitian people.
This is what hope looks like.
There is always hope. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans He has for you, plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Throw off every fear, every doubt, every dream, every habit that keeps God from working the miracles He has planned for your life!
September 23rd, 2010 - February 25th, 2011
Exactly one year later, I find myself staffing the same school that turned my entire world upsidedown: D.T.S. YWAM's Discipleship Training School is the hardest best thing you will ever do in life, and as staff our entire focus, our mantra, our purpose for existance, is to ruin our students for the ordinary.
Twenty seven beautiful people had absolutely no idea what they were getting into...
The first twelve weeks of our school was dedicated to an intensive schedule of lectures, assignments, local outreaches, new people, new ideas, early mornings and late nights. It is a beautiful beautiful thing to watch someone's mind literally be transformed as they desperately search for a God in more than theory. And like He Himself promised: if you search for God, you.will.find.Him.
For the final phase of a DTS, you have the opportunity to stop talking and start doing, to really walk the walk. You pack up your stuff and get on a plane that will deposit you somewhere on the other side of the world. Our plane finally stopped in Uganda, and we spent the next ten weeks backpacking from the poverty stricken villages of Northern Uganda to the red light district of Mombasa, Kenya. It was long, hard, hot, and full of craziness. But lives where changed--both ours and theirs--and over 200 people accepted Christ as their Lord.