Tag Archives: YWAM

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

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Back at the Crossroads – The Arrival

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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

Heading out – to serve at the Crossroads

The time has come, we are in the final stages of packing and preparing the condo for our friend Curtis to use while we are away.

BTW If you want to know when we post updates to this site, scroll down until you see “Follow by email” on the right hand side, just above the photos, enter your email address in the space provided and press Follow. I think you will get an email confirming that you want to follow which will contain a link you will need to click. Then every time we post you will get an email to let you  know. Of course, a message will go out to Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers, Tumbler, etc. as well.

Ministry Card 2015We have been passing out many of these Prayer Cards to our friends, we are already grateful for all your prayer support. If you like you can print one from this image or we could send you one via snail mail, if so leave us a comment or send an email. At this time we will be appreciating prayers for peace and travel mercies as we get all the last bits and pieces together. Then as we move into staff training we will be looking for God to equip us as we prepare for the students to arrive. We are still praying that God will provide more staff as we are still quite short compared to last year.

We are now officially YWAM Missionaries, with an account at YWAM Project Funding Office. As I have shared before in this blog Youth With A Mission has more than 20,000 full-time staff worldwide and no payroll. Quite incredible, really. I did read in one of Loren Cunningham’s books that in the early days of YWAM Loren was persuaded that he needed a paid assistant, the experiment was short-lived and since then YWAM has not issued a paycheque to anyone. All missionaries and staff are responsible for funding their own needs, our needs are mostly for ministry supplies. You can check out the Donate tab above to learn more.

Our next post will report from staff training at YWAM. Thank you all for following and sharing in our pilgrimage.

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