Tag Archives: Crossroads DTS

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.




blessed and be a blessing, A&G



Week 16 (and 17.5) – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – Delinquent in Hanoi

We cannot believe how fast the weeks are passing by, we only have nine days left in Vietnam.

Our schedule has been full for the past few weeks, so I apologize for our delinquency in posting. Today looked like an opportunity for catching up on posts. Then last night we heard that there is a call to prayer today for YWAM Ships. A month ago they lost the 86 ton yacht Hawaii Aloha  and staff member, Aaron Bremner to a winter storm off the Big Island, today we will gather in prayer for this ministry.

DSC_1620DSC_1668DSC_1622Last weekend we headed out of Hanoi, to Sa Pa a community close by the northern border with China. Sa Pa is in the mountains and we had sleeping berths on a night train to get there, we came back to Hanoi by bus late on Sunday night. This was an interesting trip, we had a few hours of sunshine on Friday and almost saw the peaks of some mountains, but most of the time we were in the clouds, rain, fog, mist, it was the ‘hard-to-warm-up-chill-to-the-bone cold’, not the ‘dry cold’ of Alberta. The trip was filled with great joy though, as we were able to meet many H’Mong, a tribal people native to the area. The town of Sa Pa must hold the world record for most “the North Face” stores, I am sure I went in 27, they are interspersed with hotels, restaurants and massage places.

A little while ago we were asked if we would do it again, give up 5 months of our life to do a YWAM DTS. The short answer is “Yes, without a doubt, we would do it again.” We have done several short-term missions over the past 13 years, to Santiago, Chile, to Unitedville, Belize and in Tijuana, Mexico; these have varied from two weeks to five, each was centred around a construction project which we used in a variety of ways to build relationships. Some of the things we learned in short-term missions were helpful in preparing us for the outreach phase here in Viet Nam but the lecture phase at Kona was very different from any previous mission preparation activity. The teaching was intensive, very solidly Bible-based, challenging, provoking and practical; we would sit under that teaching again.

Our time in Vietnam has been quite different from all of our previous trips into the developing world which focused around a construction project as the tool to build relationships, have conversations and share cultural and worldview. While YWAM is not averse to practical assistance, often involving itself in mercy, relief and development aid around the world, it is not the focus of the Discipleship Training Schools outreach. Over the past few weeks in Vietnam it has been ourClass 1 participation in english language clubs and our involvement in classrooms that has brought about the relationships needed to be able to share life. One of our purposes in coming to YWAM was because we were at a crossroads in life and we were hoping to discover a ministry opportunityClass 2 where we could serve together. While we have both been stretched and pushed out of our comfort zones by the tasks that God has given us here, especially the university classes, we have seen many people who desire to learn more than just the English language. Discussions always seem
to go beyond the topic at hand around life management, coping skillsIMG_6262and cultural differences. Both of us have enjoyed sharing through english classes and clubs. We have registered for TESL/TESOL/TEFL certification course at the University of Calgary in March and are thinking that we can start an english club in Okotoks.

5 months seems like a long time to be away but we have found modern technology Skype and FaceTime has narrowed the gap, enabling us to see and chat with children and grandchildren as often we are able with a 14 hour time difference. We have done so, weekly from Kona and two weekly from Viet Nam.

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

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