Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Crossroads DTS experience for a single mom- Carol's story

by Carol M.

My YWAM journey started one year ago. Actually the seeds had been planted about 2 years prior to that without my knowing. 

But at that time, I had a new baby and a toddler so YWAM seemed to be a boat that I had missed. In August of 2011 my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal form of brain cancer. During the last several months of his life, I grew more and more dependent on God and He showed me He was with me in so many ways. For one, the Bible verse on my phone each morning was directly related to that days struggle or triumph. I remember so many times asking God to miraculously cure him, let him watch our boys grow up, to restore our marriage and set us on a hill. I also told God that if that wasn’t His plan, I would be a missionary.

I knew I loved God and that He was good and was with me, loved me and had a good plan for me and all of that, but I also knew that there was more and that I wanted more….I just didn’t know what that was.

 Loren Cunningham's book on the story of YWAM
I reread Loren Cunningham’s “Is That Really You God?” at this time. It didn’t seem impossible like it did the first time I had read it, and for the first time I saw that YWAM offered a program for families. I also read a book about the Father heart of God. A new kind of hunger started to develop deep inside of me. I knew I loved God and that He was good and He was with me and He loved me and had a good plan for me and all of that but I also knew that there was more and that I wanted more….I just didn’t know what that was.

A journey through winter

So, back to January of 2013, it had been three months since my husband and my kid’s dad died from the brain cancer. It was the dead of winter in Wisconsin. I was lonely, afraid, confused and grieving and God reminded me of my promise to Him to be a missionary. I went on the YWAM website to search for bases that offered the family program. I read a few site pages and spoke on the phone with a few base leaders over the next couple of months and then decided on the Chico, CA base largely because it had a school on site for my now 5 and 7 year old boys. Over the next few months I did all the paperwork, which at times seemed daunting. Finally I applied and soon was accepted. WOW. I was about to embark, with my 2 boys, on the most amazing journey into the heart of God. I had no idea how wonderful, and soul searching, heart breaking, and healing the next 5 months would be!

A four day drive to CA started us off. We saw mountains and vast desert and the salt plains of Utah and in it all we saw God’s majesty- His creation for His pleasure and ours. School started for all of us September 3, 2013. Charles, my 5 year old lost his first tooth at breakfast that morning. Fun memories already in the making. Within a week Henry (7) and Charles, were asking if we could stay and live here. They made good friends quickly and loved school. Meanwhile, I was beginning my journey in discovering the Father Heart of God, and for the first time, understanding the character of God and seeing His broken heart because of His people’s sin and disobedience, and hearing the lies of Satan that had entangled me for so long, being exposed and debunked. YES! I was right. There was something I was missing. There was something more to Jesus and I was on the path of finding more. But still, something was missing. What was it? Frustration. So much emotion. Head spinning. Heart breaking. Can’t breathe. What’s wrong with me?

The Jesus, The God, The Holy Spirit of my head knowledge was finally in my heart.

Receiving a new revelation

Just when I thought I might explode…..HOLY SPIRIT---revealed. I was washed in the most amazing, incredible peace that surpasses understanding. I experienced being drunk in the Spirit. I experienced, Holy Spirit falling heavy on a place- on me. I was wrapped in Jesus’ arms. It was so tangible, so real. I cried in His arms and He comforted me and spoke so gently to me, “Come home to Me My bride, My love, My beautiful daughter, let Me heal you, let Me love you, let Me comfort you, let Me be everything you need”. 

Now He was revealed to me….the real Jesus. I experienced Him. The Jesus, The God, The Holy Spirit of my head knowledge was finally in my heart. Thank You Jesus! His Word promises that He will reveal Himself to those who seek Him. Another promise that He kept.

Each day I fall more and more in love with Him and His Word and I crave His word and I crave experiencing Holy Spirit the way I used to crave drugs.

I love sharing with others that He loves them and sees them and cares about them and that He died so that they can have life and have it in abundance. It’s like I discovered a secret (which isn’t a secret—that’s a lie of the enemy) and I’m just bursting to blurt it out (like when Henry has a secret and he is just busting at the seams to share it!).

Living out the new revelation

Friday night evangelism was the perfect time to share this great news. I was so scared to go the first time. I surely identified spiritual warfare. The enemy was afraid of me because he knew God would use me to share His love. Hurray! It was amazing!!

Outreach in Brazil was much the same… sharing God’s word with His children who so much needed to hear that He sees them, and He loves them and He wants to help them through the hard stuff and rejoice with them in the good times. Brazil was a huge gift from God to me and my boys. He gave us the opportunity to see a part of His beautiful, great big world! Charles got to lose his second tooth while there and Henry got to celebrate his 8th birthday with a Brazilian dance party and we all got to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ in beautiful, incredible, Pitangui, Brazil. We had a game day party, and great food cooked by our leaders Dayna and Brittaney and then we went for a swim and enjoyed 90 degree weather while knowing that our home in Wisconsin was enduring the coldest winter in 40 years. We enjoyed fresh off the tree mangoes and bananas too. God. In the details. In the “small stuff”. God. Everyday. All day. In all things. All ways. Always.

Thank you God for loving us so much that You sent Your One and Only Son to live and die for us. Thank You Jesus for willingly enduring a horrendous beating and torturous death so that we may have abundant life here on earth and then eternal life with You when this journey here on earth is complete.

I continue to be in prayer about our next steps and I know that they will be taken with Jesus as my Husband, the lover of my soul and Father God, Daddy to me and my children and that we will be filled Holy Spirit every step of our journey during our visit here on earth.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Skate Night in Hamilton City, CA

by Carol M.
photo by Adam Mansfield
It was a great way to end the first month of 2014. We, as Youth With A Mission, rented the North Valley Hockey Rink in Hamilton City and invited the town for a free family night of skating, hot dogs, fun and fellowship. We didn’t head out there with any sort of agenda. We just wanted to show the families of Hamilton City the love of Jesus.
The owner remarked that the crowd was double what he has ever seen there on a Friday. So many families with kids from 1 – 99 showed up, waited patiently in line to state their shoe size and don a pair of retro quad skates or inline hockey style skates. The sound of laughter quickly filled the air as the crowd in the rink grew.
D.J. Daniel was the man on the mic telling the crowd in English and Spanish it was time to limbo. That’s always a source of good entertainment as people see how low they can go.
photo by Dai Sup Han

The grill just outside the garage door filled the atmosphere with a mini bonfire as Carlos and Dan roasted hundreds of hot dogs for hungry skaters. God had a divine appointment arranged for Carlos on Friday night. He met a man who had recently been released from prison and wanted very much to reunite and heal his hurting family. Carlos prayed with him and encouraged him and lovingly told him that he needs Jesus to make this endeavor work. He told him that alone he will strive and work hard, but it will be a difficult road that must be walked with The Savior in order to be successful. The man asked Carlos to recommend some churches. Sunday morning, the man and his family walked the through the doors of New Beginnings Fellowship. What the enemy intends for evil, God can and will use for His good. Please keep in your prayers this man and others who are sincerely trying to turn their lives around, that they will humble themselves and allow Jesus to direct their steps.
photo by Adam Mansfield

I myself was taking a break from skating and enjoying watching my young boys go around and around with huge smiles of satisfaction on their faces when I noticed a young lady of about 13. She colorfully shared the details of big kids picking on little kids and how she was trying to stop it and it turned into a mess. I asked if I could pray with her. At first she said no but soon changed her mind, and said, ok. The countenance of this young lady quickly changed. She softened and even smiled and said thanks. This gal and her friend soon were saying hi to me every time they skated past and stopped to meet my kids and say what a good time they had.
photo by Dai Sup Han

Shawn and Ginger and Robin handed out skates most of the night and blessed all the recipients with their sincere smiles and heart felt joy. Many members of YWAM joined in the skating fun and brought a lot of joy and proof that Christians know how to have good, clean fun.

As we continue to pray for Hamilton City, let’s also keep asking God for more creative ways to participate in and bring Jesus into the community.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Catching the next wave & moving into the future of missions

By Regan Penning

As YWAMers, we have heard a lot about waves over the years. There is of course, the original vision of the waves of young people covering every continent. This was the vision that birthed Youth With a Mission in the first place. The were the young people, going into every place, bringing the gospel to the streets. 
There are the waves that came from every nation, washing over every nation, that represented the idea that missions is not only for westerners. The Bible that the young woman in an African tribe is reading says the same thing as my Bible. It says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19 NASB) It is a great commission for all Christians, not just western Christians. 
Last night, when Loren shared with us over a choppy Skype connection, we watched this video of a guy in Portugal surfing the biggest wave ever. In order to get up on top of the wave, he had to be taken up on a jet ski. 
Loren likened this to the next wave of missions that is coming. It is a huge wave, and like none we have ever seen or experienced before. It is coming whether or not we are ready for it, and the jet ski that will take us to the top, to ride this wave, is unshakeable faith. Faith that will see the mountains move. Faith that will see the impossible become reality. Faith that will see those nations which were once hostile to the gospel, become nations that will send the gospel into the rest of the world. Into the hard places. Into the fields that are ripe for harvest. 
“As you look around right now," asks Jesus, "wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time! (John 4:34, 35 MSG)
It is time for our eyes to be opened to what is right in front of us. One of our YWAM leaders said yesterday, "We must have eyes to see, and ears to hear, but also minds to understand what these things we see and hear actually mean."

We are being challenged in our faith, people. It's time to ask ourselves, do we really believe what we say we believe? 
It is time to take a step back and remember one of the basic tenets of our mission, that at the foundation of everything else, is hearing God's voice, and obeying what He says. 
A song we have sung ad nauseum since we came, says, 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

People, listen! God has never, NEVER been unfaithful. So why do we so often shrink back when it doesn't seem to be happening the way we thought it would?
Psalm 16:8 says, "Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

It is time for faith. It is time for opening our eyes. It is time for the harvest. 
Let's go!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting the Stones out: preparing ourselves for fruitful ministry- YWAM Leaders Gathering in Tijuana

Michelle speaks to the YWAM leaders of North America. 

By Regan Penning
Last night, we were challenged from the get-go, even though we were exhausted from the 13 hour drive. Sean Lambert talked about checking those things that are keeping us from living like the old school YWAMers: living by faith, prayer, and obedience to God. Is it pride? Is it comfort? Is it apathy?
Sean talked about how these things were like stones, that made it impossible to plow the field of our ministry, to produce a fruitful harvest. 
Darlene reminded us again of the failure of the first ship, and what that meant to our mission: being publicly humiliated and reprimanded for putting a vessel of bringing the message ahead of the message itself. 
So the question then, is, what is my (our) ship? What is the vessel we are using to bring the message? And 1) ARE we actually bringing the msg through that vessel? 2) Has the vessel, acquiring the vessel, maintaining the vessel, become more important than the message itself?
I sat this morning on the patio of the Tijuana del Mar campus, with the wind whipping my hair into my face, seeking God to show me personally what these stones are in my life, in my ministry. Am I focusing more on WHAT I'm doing than why?
I encourage you, too to do the same. Jesus challenged us, nay, appointed us, to go and bear fruit, and to bear fruit that lasts, and that does not spoil. What are you holding onto that is keeping you from being fruitful in your life & ministry? I challenge you to spend some time with God,  and seek Him about this. May The Lord guide us all, and bless and multiply all that we do. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Breaking Ground on the Aquaponics site

by Craig Anderson
On January 5, Peter Konrad brought his tractor with add-ons to level out our Aquaponics site. Basically he drove the tractor all day while I picked up rocks. :) The site looks significantly better and we can hopefully start building soon.

Near the beginning of the day after a text message from Dan and Robin reminded me to take pictures...

Truck, trailer, golf cart, water cooler. All you really need.

Sight level. Didn't just want to eyeball it. 
Weeds are gone.
Kubota, gotta love ya, even if you are orange...
YWAM Chico Aquaponics area

The low point. 17 inches below the high point. Not so much any more! 
Re-graded the road
It's also re-graded when you go uphill

Gettin' the equipment out of the way so we can finish leveling off the site.
Almost done, we thought...

Closer to done.
Pretty much done, except for another hour or two of fine tuning.

 We are excited to see the progress of our aquaponics project. For more information, or to find out how you can get involved, email us here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Night of Missions: Urban Focus & Praying for our Outreach Teams

by Michelle Findley

Tuesday night, Jeremy Schuff (from YWAM Sacramento), shared his thoughts on Urban Missions. It was a special Night of Missions and we welcomed people from local churches to join us.

Two things Jeremy said stuck with me. He said that the needs in a city are not as evident as one might see in a third-world country. One has to look at things that are not so obvious. For instance, the YWAM base in San Francisco is surrounded by children, yet, you don't see the kids because they are kept indoors, with the area being so dangerous. Once they found out how many kids there were they began a kids' ministry. We have to pray and ask God what the needs are in our city that we don't obviously see and He will reveal it to us. So, it's different in an urban area.
Jeremy and his staff also disciple three or four people in Sacramento and encourage those three or four to disciple one person themselves.
These are tips that enable me to reach out to people in my own community here in Chico and I am sure can be applied to wherever you are.
The other thing Jeremy said was that you can't love the "call" or the "ministry", you've got to love PEOPLE. I am really burdened at times with things I have to do and taking time to relate with someone is the priority, too. I want to share testimonies here on the page of encounters with strangers that brought God into their lives in a known or unknown way. I want to hear your stories, too, if you'd be so inclined to share. 

To start off the meeting we had dinner together followed by coffee and apple pie. Then, Jake shared a special testimony with everyone. Someone donated $12,000 to cover the remaining costs for those needing funds for outreach! Wow!! Go GOD!

We had a time of worship led by Brittaney (DTS staff), Jamie (from Indiana), Stian (from Norway), Tai and her two teenage boys (Phoenix), Savanna (USA) and David (Korea). They led a song in several languages and it was really great. (I heard all this from Jake because I was doing dinner clean-up.) If I left anyone out, let me know! 

The team going to Guatemala shared testimonies. There are 16 of them, including children. Two families are Canadian, one newly married couple is from Norway, others are from Indiana, Oroville, CA, and that's all I can think of right now. 

The team headed to Brazil also shared testimonies. One in particular, I want to share with you in another post. It was given by Michael Sweazy. More to share soon!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Word for YWAMers from Loren Cunningham

The following is a letter from YWAM's founder Loren Cunningham, addressed especially to our staff throughout the world. 

Loren Cunningham, founder of
Youth With a Mission
Dear Staff,

We are moving into greater anointing and authority than we’ve ever seen before. However, we’ve already seen attempts to limit our freedom to minister. These will continue, especially in seasons of persecution. God has already given us the pattern to continue to move as freely as possible in carrying out His work. That’s why we need to remain true to our calling.

Some want to define us as a “non-government organization” (NGO) or a “non-profit organization” (NPO).  It may be easier when speaking to government officials or bankers to use those terms. But these should not define us. For one thing, both terms begin with “non.” That’s not who we are. But we, as YWAMers, are a spiritual movement of followers of Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible.

Who and What is YWAM?

1. We are the waves...

·      According to the vision God showed me in June of 1956,

·      Obeying and completing the Great Commission of Jesus.

2. YWAM is called to be constantly...

·      Covenantal

·      Apostolic

·      Viral

·      Global

3. As followers of Jesus Christ, in an all-volunteerfaith-missionary movement, YWAM includes...

·      People of every nationalitytribeethnicity (people groups),

and language groups,

·      All generations, but with youth as the majority.

4. Therefore, as long as YWAM has these elements and is...

·      Led and anointed by the Holy Spirit;

·      Continuing to be God-fearing, remaining close to Jesus as Lord;

·      Praising and worshiping Him;

·      Advancing in the “alls” and “everys” of the Great Commission implicit in the covenantal vision of the “waves” which calls us to always innovate and co-create with God in fresh ways for the accomplishment of His purposes;

·      Doing all as a scriptural-based movement, fulfilling all of His commands, with priestly intercession, and the five-fold ministry gifts operating among us;

·      While building His kingdom, planting good seed that grows into mature followers of Jesus, andspiritually alive, lasting institutions, that are linked to the YWAM movement spiritually, relationallyand with the same vision and values of YWAM, but are not related legally, as each entity must “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s but to God the things that are God’s.”  These include institutionssuch as schools for childrenYWAM basesUofN campuseschurches, families, healthcare clinics, ships, and more that serve to transform both individuals and societies in every one of the 4k Omega Zones of geography and in all the social & demographic spheres and groups throughservant leadership.

As long as we remain faithful to these and to God’s Word, YWAM has a brightfruitful, and growing future with God.

YWAM is and continues to be a global family of diverse ministries that are united in Jesus Christ with the same covenant, vision and values, as we are bonded together to Him and to one another,worshiping and learning together.

Jesus is Winning! We also win if we stay close to Jesus, and do, be and teach the above. 

“Of the increase of His government and of peace, there will be no end... The zeal of The Lord of Hosts will do this” Isaiah 9:7 (ESV).

Loren Cunningham (September/October, 2013)

P.S. You probably noticed that many nouns, verbs and adjectives above are in BOLD.   I want to challenge you to make a serious study of the Scripture regarding these concepts, either through the exact words or through implication. We need these foundational understandings from the Bible for all of YWAM in the days ahead. Discover them; live them; then teach them and YWAM will live!

*We ask that you do not alter the wording or content of the above text