Tag Archives: Crossroads DTS

Back at the Crossroads – Preparing for students

Crossroads Bookmark SingleIt is now Arrival Day! Thursday October 1st, our students will be here soon.

Bob n Carolyn

Bob & Carolyn Hopkins

Our second training week was spent with Bob and Carolyn, our school leaders, getting some Crossroads specific training and preparing for the students arrival. It is wonderful to be working alongside this couple. They have been leading Crossroads DTSs for 28 years, and they still have loads of joy and passion, energy and wisdom to share. We are truly blessed to be serving under their guidance and counsel and are thanking God for them daily.

We are meeting in a different classroom from the one we had last year, it wont be quite as tight. Our 34 adults will fit comfortably, even with their 19 children on occasion, though we will miss the beautiful ocean view. I’m not sure  how we will know it is Wednesday without being able to see the cruise ship. We spent some time at the end of last week cleaning the classroom: dusting, sweeping, mopping, and cleaning widows. Setting up and learning the audio video system; the name badges and room door tags are printed. The school, our students and staff have been prayed over each time we meet.

In the KitchenWe are completing Transition week: the week between quarters where staff get to do the jobs normally done by mission-builders and students on work duty. We spent most of Saturday helping in the kitchen, we worked two shifts in the dish-pit. That is Eric, one of our new friends, at the sink. We had a lot of fun, and met many more IMG_0340people, somehow working together is a great way to get to know one another. Then Monday was Campus Beautification Day. All staff are volunteered, at least strongly encouraged to volunteer, to prepare the campus for Arrival Day on Thursday. This summer had only a couple of mission builders to look after the grounds, so there were many, many weeds to be pulled, plants to be trimmed, dead foliage to be hauled and grass to be cut. All the common areas in and around the buildings, patios, laundry rooms, and hallways had to be swept, dusted and cleaned.

On Tuesday I had to take a Driving Test — I passed. 4e5cf7d4ccb9c59b6620a9c71944d51eSo now I can drive University of the Nations vehicles, 15 passenger vans mostly, some minivans and maybe a car or truck, once in a while. This will be helpful for picking up guest speakers from the airport and getting snack supplies from Costco, and transporting students to Walmart to get some supplies the first Saturday. We spent a few hours in corporate prayer meeting for the upcoming quarter. We began with worship, then Darlene Cunningham shared an encouraging message, which was followed by small group prayer, one on one prayer, Korean-style prayer and prayer led from the front – lots of prayer!! We need it.

Wednesday was spent cleaning rooms for the students, really each room could have used more time but we gave it all we’ve got.

DSC_0565Like the last time we were here most of our exercise is working and walking. We are averaging 25 – 30 kms per week on foot which includes ascending the campus’ many stairs at least twice a day. We have had less rain this week as well, so maybe the torrential downpours are over.

The US Canadian exchange rate is harsh. Each dollar we spend here is now costing us around CAD 1.40, along with some un-budgeted charges for staff activity cards and meals, everything is costing much more than last year. Still  very good value, we are so blessed!

I am thinking that I should start up the “Wildlife this Week” section again…

These guys were about 100mm (4″) long.

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Until next time, be blessed and be a blessing, A&G

PS You can leave a reply by clicking on the “Leave a Reply” link at the top of this post, we enjoy  your comments, thank you.


Back at the Crossroads – Staff Training

transformationI saw this cartoon during the week and LOL!

All too often I have I sat in meetings where this sentiment never actually made it out into the open but greatly influenced outcomes. Of course, we don’t need to go to church or be a Christian to understand that “a journey of transformation without requiring any real changes” is not possible. Neither is it Biblical.

We have a heard a lot about metanoia this week as we trained to be DTS staff. Metanoia is the Greek word for repent, be transformed of the mind, change the way you think. Merriam-Webster says it is “a transformative change of heart; especially :  a spiritual conversion.” The word is used 22 times in the New Testament. Jesus speaks of this kind of change several times, my favourite is in Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” In Romans 12:2 Paul says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” While metanoia is a transformative change, Paul speaks of transformation using the greek word metamorphoo, from which we get metamorphism, the process through which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. When we accept Christ we should look different.  Paul says “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” just as the caterpillar is recreated as a butterfly, transformed people should be very noticeably changed.

The DTS is a Discipleship Training School. A disciple is a follower of a teacher or mentor, in Christian terms it usually refers to a follower of Jesus. We can assume that disciples follow teachers because they are learners and want to learn more. Much of being staff at a DTS is about friendship, it is about sharing the journey. We will be walking alongside others who are heading to the same place; helping them along the way; lifting them up and encouraging them, acting as a guide along the path. A DTS is all about transformation, caterpillars becoming butterflies. We are privileged, and humbled, to be companions on this journey. (To our Cursillo friends, you may remember I have described DTS as a Cursillo weekend on steroids.)

So this week we learned a lot. We heard about the history of the University of the Nations (click to watch a 15 minute video), and the DTS curriculum; we reviewed the Belief Tree, which we learned about during Family Week last year. We learned about Cultivating an Atmosphere of Worship and Intercession; Small Groups; One to Ones; Leadership Skills; Learning Styles; Outreach Finance training; International Awareness and Cross Culture; Spiritual Authority of Leaders and Staff; Classroom Management and Speaker Introductions; How to deal with students from difficult backgrounds; and Outreach topics. All of this was bracketed with amazing worship and prayer, times of hearing God’s voice and sharing with others.

Crossroads Bookmark Single

Next week we train with Bob and Carolyn, our school leaders, on the specifics for the Crossroads School. We are still praying for more staff to join us, it is going to be a busy time for us, empowered by Holy Spirit!

On Thursday night at the weekly Community Worship the summer quarter teams were commissioned for their outreach phase by Loren Cunningham and other leaders and sent out to the nations. A new school, Apostello School of Frontier Missions sent out their first outreach teams to northern India, Turkey, and Nepal. Unlike a DTS, that goes out for 8-12 weeks, these teams are committed to a minimum 2 year outreach. There was great joy and heaven was celebrating with us.

It is so encouraging to see so many people already fired up for God getting their fires stoked! Ready to go out and make a difference in the world. Again we are impacted by the passion, hunger and wisdom all around us. Last week, the kitchen manager led one of the devotions, he spoke with great passion and quoted scripture all from his heart and that is so common here.

Be blessed and be a blessing, A&G



Back at the Crossroads – The Arrival


Okotoks, AB

Leaving Okotoks felt much harder this year. When we came to Crossroads Discipleship Training School at YWAM Kona as students, last year, it was an adventure that was about our own pilgrimage. It was a time of exploring our life/lives and choosing a direction from the crossroads we found ourselves at, we were seeking a ministry direction where we could both travel together. The theme verse for the Crossroads school is taken from Jeremiah 6:16

Crossroads Bookmark Single

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Selling the house and buying a condo apartment, shedding clutter, moving, taking early retirement from a secure and meaningful job and setting off into the unknown (all within 12 months) should have been very stressful and yet there had been an inexplicable peace about the steps we were taking.We really didn’t experience a lot of difficulty. Saying farewell to family and friends after reconnecting through the summer was harder.

In many ways we are heading into the unknown again. Yes, we know the YWAM base, we know what the excellent teachings are, we know people here, we know the prayer room is air-conditioned yet as staff our responsibilities have changed, this is not about our journey, although we will see growth and transformation ourselves, it is now all about serving others.

This time we saw evil trying to overcome good, times when our peace was being stolen. We had spent a few weeks after returning from our DTS to allow the emotional attachments we had made in Kona and Hanoi to cool before considering the next steps. We knew that teaching english was to be an important part of “next” so we did get TESL certificates quickly. After the “cooling off” period we prayerfully considered the options before us. We felt led to return to Kona as staff, so here we are.

IMG_0264Our first Hawaiian sunset occurred while still 40 minutes out of Kona,IMG_3036 we saw it from the plane window and it was quite amazing, even the pilot commented and told passengers to look. We were above the clouds which helped, the two nights we have been on the ground we haven’t seen the sun go down due to rain clouds but it is brighter during the day. This morning we have clear blue skies to start the day and we heard that the trade winds are due to return which will help lower the humidity. That will be a relief!! The rain does cool things down a bit but we don’t want to see any more Flash Flood Warnings showing up on our phones.

Our room is very nice, we are feeling very blessed and praying in faith that we don’t have to move when the students arrive in a couple of weeks.IMG_0266 IMG_0274 Queen size bed, kitchenette and our own bathroom. As you can see there is no propane tank outside the window for those who recall our “room with a view” last year.

We begin our staff training on Monday. We have the schedule now; it looks full and some of it will be quite intense. We appreciate your prayers. I, Andy, have received 2 words from different places that seem to affirm each other. The first commanding me to “Step into it!” and the second equally direct “Don’t resist!”, pray that when the time comes to step into it without resistance that I will be bold and faithful. Thanks.

Ministry Card 2015

Until next time, be blessed and be a blessing, A&G