Category Archives: YWAM Kona – CDTS Sept 2014

Home in Okotoks, Beyond the Crossroads – Re-Entry

DSC_2206After watching one last Hawaiian sunset, we took an overnight flight fromDSC_2253 Honolulu to Vancouver, where we re-entered Canada after our five-month pilgrimage. One more flight to Calgary had us eagerly greeted by some of our children and grand-childrenDSC_2242, who had waited very patiently, as we came through the airport terminal. Our family was elated. We had been on 12 planes as part of this journey and the last two flights were both the bumpiest and had the poorest service. I found myself hoping and praying that this was not a harbinger of our time at home.

As we came through the airport gates we also re-entered the world we left more 5 months ago. Not exactly, there are changes here. Of course the biggest change for me is that I don’t have jump back into the car and struggle through morning traffic to get to work at the University of Calgary.

As we reconnect with family and friends we give thanks to God for the gift of modern technology that has bridged the miles and weeks. Some have followed along through this blog, through email, Facebook, LinkedIn & Tumbler posts, through Twitter feed and through Instagram, and Skype calls. Others have heard some of our journey, some barely noticed that we have been away. Interestingly, the most common question we have encountered is “What’s next?”

Yes, I started this post back in March 2015 when we first returned from our YWAM Crossroads Discipleship Training School. Where have the months gone…

Back at home, those first few mornings when looking in the mirror I wondered whether I had changed at all, it looked like the same Andy looking back at me, and unlike some we had journeyed with there had been no Damascus road moment for me. However, as I have responded to ministry opportunities since being back on home turf, like Cursillo, hospice visits, men’s ministry, preaching, etc, I am amazed at the changes in the way I think and respond. I am quite shocked at how much unbelief I had before CDTS and how much greater my faith is, how much bolder I am in sharing it and how much more aware I am of the spiritual world around me. When I had the opportunity to share our journey at our home church, I am so glad God had me wait two months before sharing.

TESL Cert Glenda ReadTESL Cert Andrew ReadGlenda and I were introduced to English as a Second Language teaching while in Hanoi and we realized that this was a ministry that we could both become involved with. We took an Oxford Seminars 100 hour TESL/TESOL/TEFL course, it was hosted at the University of Calgary with 60 hours of classroom teaching followed by 40 hours of on-line grammar class. We were now wondering whether we could apply this training and experience in Okotoks. Kelly Johnson, a chaplain at the University of Calgary, introduced me to Cooperative ESL Ministries in Calgary, next thing we a running a pilot ESL Conversation class out of our home church, Saint Peter’s Anglican in Okotoks. What a joy this has been! The pilot is due to finish this week but all the volunteers and students want to continue meeting. Giving thanks!

We had several offers to serve with YWAM – in Hawaii, in Vietnam and even some back at home, but we have discerned that God wants us to assist the next Crossroads DTS by staffing so we will return to the University of the Nations in September to take staff training classes followed by helping to disciple the “first-timers” through the lecture phase and then lead a team on outreach. We expect to return to Canada at the end of February 2016.

We have 3 weeks to get ready, to say farewell to friends and family, to get the apartment ready for Curtis to move in, etc, etc. Prayers are much appreciated during this time. Thank you all.

We will be posting more frequently as our pilgrimage takes us away from home again…

Be blessed and be a blessing, A&G

Week 20 – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – It is finished!

After all the goodbyes in Viet Nam last week, yesterday we had to say goodbye to all ourIMG_6519classmates, from our 5 month journey. We have debriefed and received a certificate to show that we are now officially YWAMers, our DTS has come to an end, it is finished! Or, perhaps, it has just started.

Some of our friends are staying on in Kona to take second-level courses or to join as staff. YWAM has over 20,000 permanent staff worldwide, in almost 1700 locations and no payroll. Most are returning to where they came from, some to pick up where they left off, others to find something else to do. We are taking a 3 day, 40th Anniversary vacation in Waikoloa as we wait for our next flight, which takes us home to snowy Alberta on Tuesday where we will reunite with our friends and family there. We look forward to catching up with all the exciting things that have happened while we have been away.

Summarizing our experience will be difficult, for many who have followed our blog regularly you already have an outline of our pilgrimage. But all that we shared about the time in the lecture phase, sitting under great biblical teaching and the time in Viet Nam on outreach is just a glimpse of all that happened to, for and through us.

This is the last posting on “At the Crossroads”, although I am sure there will be some mention in future reflections, as we journey “Beyond the Crossroads.” Our next posting will come once we get home. Thank you all for listening and taking part with us, we truly value your friendship and your desire to journey with us, this is not the end, it is a beginning.

Be blessed and be a blessing, A&G

Wk 17.5 -19 – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – Exit

Well, we are back in Kona!

Our last two weeks in Viet Nam were very busy. When we arrived in Ha Noi, just 9 weeks ago, we knew no-one, as we began to develop some contacts from the 3 telephone numbers we had this changed rapidly. We are now exiting this phase of our training and leaving Viet Nam behind. Now there are so many people to say “goodbye” to, all hoping that someday there will be a reunion, on this side of heaven. There was so much favour, God opened doors and many things happened that were beyond our wildest dreams. The country has very quickly become one of our favourite places away from home. For us, standing out from the many highlights was witnessing the joy and the power of the early church at work. Viet Nam is indelibly etched into who we are now.

DSC_1891DSC_1893When we came back from the trip to Sa Pa, we were winding up our english teaching and english clubs as we began preparing to leave.We had lots a special meals with good friends, one included crab! Actually,
there were many celebrations and parties arranged and attended. It was more difficult than usual to get around the city as traffic was building in anticipation of Tết holiday.IMG_6310 The sidewalks, or pavements, normally cluttered with motorcycles were now filled with crowds of peach blossom branches and orange trees leaving us no option but to walk on the street. The trees are the Vietnamese equivalent of our Christmas tree. We see them frequently being delivered to the buyer’s home by motorcycle. DSC_1838Tết is the Vietnamese Lunar new year which began on Feb 19th this year. The holiday lasts a full week in Viet Nam with many businesses closing up as people travel to their family home in the country. We were leaving on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14th, and there were many of our new friends asking us to stay longer, but University of the Nations and our “graduation certificates” were calling, as was our family back home.

Some of our English club friends got some extra English practice by acting as tour guides as they showed us some of Hanoi.DSC_1844They took us to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which includes a museum and the grounds of his home. The history of Viet Nam is very interesting. We also visited the Temple of Literature, a 1,000 year old university. Glenda visited B52 lake with some students from another English club, it is site where a B52 bomber crashed during the war with America.

IMG_6392Part of our team debrief took place on an overnight excursion to Ha Long Bay, literally: “descending dragon bay”) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a spectacular site, we cruised on a ship, visited a cave and Glenda went to a pearl farm, while I kayaked.

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blessed and be a blessing, A&G