Starting off with 8AM worship in the Ohana court (this big pavilion that couples as a basket ball court and basically whatever else you want it to be), today marked the first Monday of my DTS. Slowly I’m feeling my legs get used to the five-to-eight mile a day hikes over various hills and scorching hot pavement. Feet are blistered and calves are strengthening. Just the walk to the cafeteria is somewhat strenuous in the constant heat, let alone across campus. But I’m not complaining; somehow even the pain brings me joy, because it reminds me I am actually here.
For the beginning of our lectures we had the privilege to meet Susi Childers, the founder of our DTS, Voice for the Voiceless, and hear her testimonies from how God told her to start V4V. Her main point for the day was that Christ has His own dreams for us and our lives, and that change never comes without risk, which blew me away. For some reason I had never thought about the fact that Almighty God has His own hopes and aspirations, beyond simple visions, but deep emotional investments in what our lives turn out to be.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” ~John 15:16
Today was our second official day of classes, and once again, it was beautiful. Breakfast is always a bit of a toss up for me if I like it (I’m not a picky eater, but when it comes to breakfast foods, I am ridiculous), but this morning it was delicious! Cereal with eggs, sausage, pineapple, and Kona coffee! Following breakfast I usually try to go ahead and have some one-on-one time with the Lord, which more often than not works out perfectly. The verse He really used to speak to me on our date this morning was Psalm 96:6: “Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.” How amazing is it that we, as His children, get to walk boldly before Him and share in that honor and beauty? While I’ve been here at YWAM, that ever common concept of the Christian community of the veil being torn has sunk in on a whole new level, because everything surrounding me is utterly drenched and permeated in His holy presence.
Some of the concepts from class today that truly hit home were the facts that our cameras opening doors that would otherwise be shut. For instance, in a place like China we wouldn’t be allowed to outright preach the Gospel, but we could do an art exhibit that illustrates the Gospel through images, and that we have no authority in any of what we preach unless we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of it.
When it came time to close out our final lecture, Susi had us all pray Isaiah 6:8 as class, which was such a sacred and gorgeous moment. I know I’ll forget it. All of us standing there, over forty of us, as a class praising the Lord and offering ourselves as empty vessels to bring about His holy dream, whatever it may be. Forty humans with one calling, one hope, one purpose; at least for the next six months. The unity in this place is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Already this past week has been life-building, to say in the least. I don’t see how I’m going to be able to simply return to daily life back home after this, but I know the Lord will reveal what my next step after YWAM is to be, and I am so grateful for that.
And now I am off to the next adventure: dinner. I hope to be posting updates like these a few times a week, both to keep a diary of this season and also to stay connected with everyone. Until next time.
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ And then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'” ~Isaiah 6:8
Daily I’m realizing the extent to which I belong here. Each morning as I show up for class the Lord meets me such an undeniable and beautiful way. Whatever worries I wake up with, He cuts down within minutes of the first lecture, and then continues to rebuild and water my soul for the rest of the day after that. However, as the day goes on of course the battles continue. As today dealt with our identities as God’s beloved children, the combat for me was much more subtle, and thus more emotionally intense than usual. Choosing to believe who God says I am over the lies spoken over me as I grew up (and I must say, I will be eternally grateful for the family I have who fought the with me and for me the entire time. Most people I know have these scars from their family, and the fact that mine are from the outside is gift I will always be thankful for) has been a daily, often hourly, decision. More often than not I fail. And when I do, the Lord is so insanely faithful to speak to me, whether directly or through someone in my life, to dispel the lie. Nonetheless, today was still a doozy.
But it was worth it. It is always worth it.
Often staring those lies in the face requires more strength than I feel I have, but then there’s what our speaker Jo quoted this morning: “Sometimes all it takes is twenty seconds of insane courage (We Bought A Zoo).”
Sometimes accepting the fact that we are chosen by God requires just twenty seconds of insane courage.
Sometimes simply saying “Here I am, Lord, us me” requires just twenty seconds of insane courage, and then another twenty to actually follow where He leads.
And sometimes, when He leads you straight to the face of the lion-lie you’ve been believing, all it takes is twenty seconds of insane courage to denounce it forever, and then another twenty the next morning, and the next. But slowly it gets easier, and suddenly it’s natural.
And then, darling, you’re free.