Week 8 - Holy Spirit
I say it all the time, but the weeks really do seem to be going by faster and faster. This past week Nick Gough spoke on the Holy Spirit and it was a really great week!
Nick is prophetically gifted and I was both excited and nervous for what might happen this week. The first day Nick prophesied over all of the students and it was a completely new experience for me to hear prophesy, especially when it involved me! It was actually not scary at all, it was awesome =)
On Friday, our last day with Nick we had a ‘fire tunnel’ anointing for all of the students – it was such a cool experience! Our staff lined up in a ‘tunnel’ formation and each student went through the line and the staff would pray over us and anoint various areas of our bodies with oil. It was really encouraging for me to hear leaders pray over me and to pray into giftings that they’ve seen in me.
This week I found out that I have been accepted into the BSN (nursing) program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC for the fall semester. I would really appreciate prayer over this, as it has been something I have been contemplating for a few years now and I just haven’t felt 100% sure about it. At this point I have decided to enter into the program, but it is my prayer that I would feel peace about it and confidence to jump in and not let my fears hold me back. But I have to say, the possibilities of how I could use nursing in missions gets me excited… ;)
We have been so busy here preparing for outreach. There are endless drama and dance practices, teachings to prepare, things to buy, team meetings -on top of our already busy schedule! These last 2 weeks of lecture phase are going to be kind of crazy, but I am praying that I can really press in and focus on lecture and what God wants to speak to me.
Can you believe I leave for AFRICA in two weeks?!?! I can’t..it still doesn’t seem real to me!
Thanks for reading!
Week 7 - Life of Jesus & Discipleship
This week our topic was “Life of Jesus & Discipleship” and our speaker was Chet Ingram from Saskatoon. I didn’t quite know what to expect for this week and the topic didn’t really stand out to me, but this has been one of the best weeks for me!
One of the big themes of the teaching this week was surrender; surrendering our rights to fears, controls and worldly pleasures. Chet described them as boat anchors- holding us back from the abundant life that God has for each one of us. I knew right away what those ‘boat anchors’ in my life have been, and it was convicting to realize how those things in our lives can keep us from walking in obedience to God because often times we don’t want to give things up or do the things that are uncomfortable for us.
I feel like surrender is a theme that has come up a lot during our DTS and it seems that every time it is mentioned, no one ever goes into what surrender looks like. It definitely would be different for each individual, but I have dealt with anxiety and fear in my life and it’s been a struggle to know how to give my burdens to God. So I had asked Chet if we could get together and talk because I had a lot of questions and I really wanted to know what it would look like for me to practically walk out surrendering those things. He answered some questions that I’ve had for a long time, and he has had some similar experiences, so he had really great advice and was very encouraging. This week has been awesome because it has brought up a lot of questions that I haven’t necessarily thought of before, and it has begun a lot of thought that has been needed.
The teaching this week about acknowledging what we need to leave behind fit in well with our school theme which is taken from Phillipians 3:7-14
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
On the last day of lecture, Chet led us in worship and we all took turns speaking out the things that we are surrendering to God, the things that we don’t want holding us back anymore - it was really powerful.
The Winter DTS also arrived back here from their various outreaches, so the base was pretty packed this week! It was cool to have them here though because one of the teams had been exactly where we are going in Uganda, so talking to them and getting to ask all of our questions was really nice! On our Thursday night community meeting, each team shared testimonies and pictures/videos of their outreaches and it definitely got everyone in my school excited for outreach! It’s hard to believe that we leave in roughly 3 weeks!
WEEK 6 - Mini Outreach!
Sunday morning (June 6th) all of the students and staff in our DTS piled into 2 passenger vans and drove 3.5 hours to Spokane, Washington for our week of mini outreach. Our leader Lori was teaching during the week on ‘personal design and team dynamics,’ so we would have lecture in the mornings and then after lunch was when we went out to our various ministries.
During our week in Spokane we worked with Union Gospel Mission a few times. The first time our team led their “Celebrate Recovery” service - there was worship, testimonies and then afterwards we would sit with people and talk and pray with them. We did the same for their mens meeting on Thursday night. I realized how much I love listening to people, hearing their stories and being able to encourage them and pray with them! On Friday we were a part of UGM’s weekly outreach downtown where they serve a big meal; I served food in the kitchen, and others went out into the streets to hand out food and talk with people.
One of my leaders has a friend that is starting a new church in Spokane called Sozo Church, so on Tuesday we went there to help out with various odd jobs that needed to be done. The building is a converted barn and there was a lot to do! It was cool to hear the story of how the church was planted and to be a part of helping with that. We also got to do a service project for a ministry called Cup of Cool Water which is a day shelter for homeless youth.
Probably my favorite thing that we got to do in Spokane was street evangelism. It is funny to me because I never thought I would enjoy that or be comfortable doing it, haha. Twice we got to go to this beautiful spot called Riverfront Park, the weather was gorgeous and it’s a huge park, so there were lots of people! We went out in groups of 2 or 3 and just spent time in prayer, asking God if there was someone we should speak to. We would always share as a group afterwards about who we spoke with and it was amazing to see how God brought people together perfectly. For example, one of my good friends Hanna is from Switzerland and God led her to talk to an older lady and as they were talking it came out that the lady spoke Swiss and Swedish -the two languages Hanna speaks! So, it’s possible that God had something to do with that =P haha! It was a really faith-building experience for me, it showed me how much God can use us when we make ourselves available! There are so many people out there that are hungry and hurting and my eyes were really opened to the importance of sharing my faith and being obedient to what God asks of me.
Overall it was an awesome week! Through our topic of the week ‘personal design’ we all learned so much about ourselves -personality types, communication styles and love languages. We also did a lot of exercises and planning within our outreach teams, so we really got to understand each team member better and to discuss possible conflicts that can arise from our different ways of thinking and feeling, etc. It was really informative and I know both of our teams going out are much closer and stronger because of the time spent discussing those things.
I absolutely loved Spokane and we had so much fun at the church we stayed at for the week. We had the whole downstairs of the church to ourselves and had our meals in the kitchen upstairs. I wish I had taken a photo of the girls room -15 girls in one room was pretty interesting, haha!
Thanks for reading!
Week 5 - Relationships
Well, another week has come and gone and I am realizing how fast the time is flying by! This week was “Relationship” week, and Mariska Buzzard who is the director of the base alongside her husband was our speaker. I enjoyed her teaching so much, she had so much life experience as a wife and a mother to share with us. She was also our first female speaker, so it was refreshing to have her, she was very personable and relatable. I feel so blessed to be able to be here and to hear these amazing teachings. I am learning so much- things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
This week was our appointment at the clinic to go over health risks in Uganda and to get our Yellow Fever vaccination, malaria pills and any other recommended updating. I ended up needing 3 vaccines (in addition to the 3 that I had back home) which was way too much money for my liking. But I suppose it is better to be safe than sorry..
On Thursday, there was a base-wide fast for International Day of Prayer and the whole base went out into various areas of the valley. I went with a couple other girls and we went to Target, Ross and TJ Maxx, asking God what was on His heart for the people there. To explain the encounters we had with people would be too much to write here, but it was obvious that God had gone before us and set up these appointments with people. At first I felt uncomfortable and wasn’t sure how to approach strangers, but everyone I talked to and prayed for was very warm and had specific prayer requests. One thing I was not expecting was how encouraged I felt; one lady we met was a Christian and we knelt together praying in the middle of Target! Afterwards, we met together as a base and the excitement in the room was so tangible, it was so cool to hear people share stories of encounters they had had! It was a really faith-building experience for me; it made me realize God’s desire to use us and the amazing things that can happen when we make ourselves available.
On Fridays we have our last lecture of the week in the morning and then spend the rest of the day in our various tracks (art, dance, music or adventure). I am in the art track and this week we were learning about photography. We got to spend the afternoon exploring the outdoors with DSLR cameras- the weather was gorgeous, so we went to the lake and to an orchard that had cherry blossom trees. It felt really nice to just be able to explore and experiment with the camera settings, it was a fun day! I will try to post some pictures from that day soon!
Tomorrow (Sunday) we leave for mini-outreach in Spokane, WA. We will be in Spokane for the week doing various outreaches in the community and being involved with the church we’ll be staying at. It is a bit of a tease to be travelling closer to home without being able to see family, but I am excited- I think it will be a great week of bonding for our group (apparently we’re all sleeping in one big room..this will be interesting!).
I will post about mini-outreach when we get back next week..thanks for reading (feel free to comment..I like to read them =)
Week 4 - The Character of God
It is strange to think that I have been here in Montana for a month! In some ways things still seem new, but mostly it feels like I have been here for much longer than one month! It has been a great month and I still can’t believe how much my life has changed since being here, it is such an awesome environment to be in!
This past week our topic was “The Character of God” and our speaker was Peter Ilian, who is the North American director of YWAM. He taught mainly through telling stories from his fathers life, and his own life, which I enjoyed. It was kind of a difficult week for me, as the cold that I had decided to return and I hadn’t slept a full night all week. Feeling so tired made sitting through lectures difficult and it was a bit of a struggle to feel connected with this weeks teachings.
One thing I have noticed about being here in Montana is the stars! On Monday night I walked with a group of girls down to the dock – we brought blankets and flashlights and laid on the dock singing worship songs and star gazing. It was such a special experience, we even saw shooting stars! Later that night after I had gone to bed, several people saw the northern lights really clearly, which apparently isn’t very common here. I made sure that someone will wake me up if they ever see them again, haha.
This week in our DTS was “Angel/Mortal” week, which was so much fun! Names of all of the staff and students are put into a bucket and then we each draw a name. The idea is that the name you get is your mortal, and you are their angel for the week that will bless them every day with something that you know they like, or something to encourage them, etc. The fun part is that it is one big secret; you are supposed to be as ‘sneaky’ as you can to make sure that your mortal doesn’t find out who the angel behind their gifts is. It was funny to see people sneaking around and thinking of really creative and thoughtful ways to bless their mortal. It was so nice to receive something special each day, and it was rewarding to see my mortal discover his gifts every day. On Friday we had the big reveal of who had who, and if your mortal still didn’t know who you were by the end of the week, then you got a prize -it definitely added a fun twist to our week! I succeeded in remaining anonymous and I also correctly guessed who my angel was, so I got two prizes =)
Tomorrow is the start of a new week and a new topic (relationships), and I am praying for health and good rest, so that I can feel re-energized and ready to hear all that God wants to say to me this week. Prayers for those things would definitely be appreciated.
Week 3 - Grace & Holiness
This week seems to have flown by! It has been a great week learning about Grace and Holiness. Our speaker for the week, Chris Lautsbaugh, teaches biblical studies at the YWAM base in Cape Town, South Africa and I have so enjoyed his teaching this week! During our first lecture on Monday, I knew this was going to be a week of new revelations for me.
We began this week pretending to be Christians living in the time of the Old Testament that had to live under the law, which meant abiding by the Sacrificial System. The Sacrificial System was an impossible standard set by God that meant every sin committed required an animal sacrifice. Then in the middle of the week, as we were all understanding what it would have felt like to constantly live under the weight of sin, Chris began to teach on grace. I loved the way he first had us really understand the cost of sin in order to fully see why God’s grace is so amazing. It is absolutely undeserved, and yet we fully measure up to God’s standard of perfection.
I have taken so many notes this week, not wanting to miss a thing! It has been a great week -my favorite so far. I bought our speaker Chris Lautsbaugh’s book “Death of the Modern Superhero,” it is basically about what we learned this week. I think I will probably take it with me on outreach to read. I’ve never known the author of a book, or had a book signed just for me, so that was kind of exciting, haha.
Small group has continued to be really encouraging for me. We have been taking turns sharing our testimonies with each other, and it really feels great to open up to people about your life, your struggles, and how God has been working in your life. It felt like a release of sorts – I have been quite an inward person for most of my life, and recently I have been discovering how much better it feels to speak things out and have discussions.
This week my DTS leader Lori invited a few of us over to her house and she made us a nice Asian-style dinner and we had icecream sundays for dessert. It felt good to have a ‘home cooked’ meal, and even just hanging out in an actual house was nice, haha! Then afterwards our school had a big game night (which we do frequently!) we ate popcorn and played the hugest game ever of Apples to Apples!
There is a small group of us that have been going to church together and last week we tried a church that made me really appreciate my home church, but today we went to a church that we all really enjoyed, so it felt nice to have found our church here!
Well, that is all for now- thank you to everyone who is praying for me! Feel free to comment below =)
Week 2 - Hearing God & Intercession
Hello friends and family!
I’m sorry that it has been a while since I’ve updated here. There always seems to be a lot going on, and the longer I wait to write a new post, the more there is to say and it’s hard to know where to start! However, I will try my best to catch everyone up to speed =)
On Easter Sunday, there were many different church service options, but a bunch of us decided that we would get up before the sun (literally) and make our way down to Flathead lake for the sunrise service. I’ll admit that I wasn’t completely excited about having to wake up early, but knowing that I probably won’t ever be in Montana for Easter again, I wanted to experience this. We all gathered together around a fire by the lake and there was a short message. Then we began to worship and as we were singing Death In Its Grave by John Mark McMillan, the sun burst up over the mountains and sparkled across the lake! It was a chilly morning, so to see the sun rise up and to feel its warmth on my face was a special experience that I won’t soon forget.
This past week we had Mike Phillips teaching on hearing God and intercession. Each week we have a new speaker and a new topic. I was excited about this week because hearing the voice of God has always been something I’ve struggled with and wondered about, and I hadn’t had much experience with intercession. Mike was such an awesome teacher, he told some of the most amazing God-stories and always followed up our lectures with guided exercises so that we could put into practice what we were learning.
We also found out our outreach destinations this week – our options were Taiwan and Uganda! I thought it was going to be a pretty easy decision for me, but when we got time to pray about where God was calling us, I found myself having a harder time than I anticipated. However when I prayed, it became clear that God had put Uganda on my heart (it’s kind of a cool story that you can ask me about sometime). The teams were initially quite uneven, so after some switching people around we found out the official teams on Monday. It was quite a difficult day for me, I hadn’t slept well at all the previous night and I woke up with a head cold that day. I have bonded really closely with several girls in my DTS, and I found out that none of them were on team Uganda with me. I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep/sickness or what, but it was a very difficult, emotional day and the thought of going to Uganda didn’t excite me at all. However, it’s amazing what a good nights sleep and some perspective can do! I woke up the next morning feeling peace, and resting in the knowledge that God has a purpose for me in Uganda, whether I’m with my closest friends or not. I am excited for how God is going to use our team and for the people we’re going to encounter. It is hard to believe that in a matter of weeks I will be in AFRICA!!
As part of our school, we are also in small groups, which has been a new experience for me. I love my small group so much! We meet twice a week together and share what we’re learning and how we’re feeling and it has been really enjoyable so far. My small group leader is lovely and hospitable, she lights candles and makes us french press coffee, so I look forward to our twice a week meetings, haha! My small group leader, Erika, is also my one-on-one, so we meet together to talk once a week which is nice as there is a lot of information to process each week.
I keep saying this to everyone, but I really am so surprised how much I love living in community. I have bonded so easily with everyone, and having roommates for the first time has (thankfully) been such a great experience! I already know that when I go back home, it’s going to feel strange to have my own room. I have been here for two weeks and I can’t even believe the close friendships I have made. I feel like I’ve known some of these girls for years, we laugh together, cry together, pray for each other, etc. I am so thankful for this amazing community.
Our speaker this week flew in from South Africa and started our new topic for the week “Grace & Holiness.” Based on our first lecture today, I am so excited for what we’re going to learn this week!
Lastly, I just want to thank everyone who has supported me and who is reading this post. It has been amazing to see God’s provision, and I am so thankful for such loving family and friends!
I Have Arrived!
I just wanted to write an update to let everyone know that I have officially arrived in Montana! I flew out of Seattle on Saturday afternoon, got picked up in Kalispell and arrived on base around 4:30pm -just enough time to see my room and have a mini-tour before dinner at 5 o’clock. Our doors are decorated with our name tags and there were cute little care packages waiting on our dressers with snacks and other goodies. There was also a personalized card to welcome and encourage each of us. I have 2 roommates; Allyson from Iowa and Juyoung from South Korea. Juyoung hasn’t arrived yet, but Allyson and I have already bonded so much! I love our cute little room..it is comfortable and cozy. Dorm life is certainly a whole new world for me, and it will take some more getting used to, but I am enjoying it more than I expected I would. It is fun to have such an open environment, wandering in and out of rooms and enjoying each others company. There are people from all over the world on base! In our DTS most of the students are from the U.S and Canada, but there are also students from Australia, Switzerland and South Korea. Today has been a very relaxed day filled with games of Uno and President, walking into town and down to see the lake (which is so beautiful!)
Classes begin tomorrow and I think everyone is excited to settle into a routine. A normal day begins with breakfast, followed by worship and lecture and then lunch. After lunch is interest tracks or small groups and work duties. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have night lectures, but every other night we have free time after dinner. I am going to shower tonight and try to get to bed early, as I hardly slept at all last night (but not before a bunch of us have a good ol’ game of Spoons!).
The verse written for me inside my welcome card was Revelation 21:4-5 “behold, I am making all things new.” I pray that this experience will be exactly that, a time to be made new by His love and to look forward to all that He has in store for me!
One week from today, I will be arriving in Montana to begin the adventure that is Discipleship Training School/DTS. It is crazy how quickly things in life can change. Today brought two very big changes - moving out of my apartment that I loved and saying goodbye to my job and my coworkers of nearly four years. I never expected to feel emotional at the closing of this chapter and even though I have no doubt that the next chapter will be so much greater, it is still difficult to say goodbye. Having said that, it is a bit of a relief that the move and work are over and I will have this week to get some things done! I still need to buy a sleeping bag for outreach, get vaccinations, figure out health insurance, cancel my cell phone.. just to name a few. Oh, and of course do all of my packing! But despite it all, I am feeling good.
This past week has been great, I have felt overwhelmed and so encouraged by the support I have received in prayer and finances. God is so good! I also had an awesome encounter at work the other day. An older man came into the store where I worked, said that he had never been there before and just came in to check it out. As he was leaving, he stopped by my checkout to say goodbye, and then he began to strike up conversation. He asked me how long I had worked there, to which I responded “Almost four years, but my last day here is on Saturday” and he asked what I was moving on to do, so I explained that I was going to be attending bible school in Montana. It turns out he knew all about YWAM, and used to be the pastor of a local church in our town. We got talking about where I grew up going to church and he was familiar with it and began telling me about this preacher that came to town in the 70’s and was part of this great revival, and what do you know, the preacher that he was talking about is my great uncle Vern Roste! We talked more and laughed about what a small world it is. He told me that he will pray for me that this year will be a great time of growth and the best year yet. At the end of our conversation he said with a smile “just keep your eyes on Jesus.” Yes. I know that it was not by accident that this man just happened to come into my store for the first time. It’s pretty cool that God can give encouragement when you need it in the form of a friendly stranger =)
Anyways, that is all for now. One more week!
After what seemed like endless amounts of rain, today was beautiful, really beautiful.