Monday, October 15, 2012

End of another semester

In my last blog, I announced that I am pregnant, so I wanted to give a quick update to let you know that I am 10 weeks pregnant! That means the baby will be born sometime early May, I think. Since ultrasounds are so hard to understand, I helped out with an outline of what the baby sort of looks like.

Last week we had the send off of the DTS students for their 2 month outreach. The 3 month practical training went very well. We were very pleased with the group of young people the Lord sent us. They are a very young group, most of them all in their early 20s, so they were very energetic and enthusiastic. It was fun to have been able to participate a lot more with this group than last semester.

One of the projects I have been wanting to do for a long time is to start a mural ministry. This semester I shared the idea and a team of 6 students loved the idea as well. We made arrangments with the local public school ( a school with over 800 students) and in 4 days were able to complete the mural with an anti-drug message: ``The power is in your hands, say NO to drugs!`` 
Check out a little bit of the process:

After the mural was finished we planned an ``anti-drug walk`` through town. The whole school got involved and on the day there were over 300 kids walking and helping the DTS students carry `say no to drug` signs and slogans. It was a great success. Unfortunatly I don´t have any pictures to show you right now because I was not feeling good that day and was not able to go on the walk, but praise God for the impact that YWAM had and is having in the community.

Besides the weekend outreaches the students took part in, they also had a very big involvement with our drug rehab center (PROAME). It was a big effort on everyone´s part because it took 3 buses and 2 hours each way to get there each time! But the impact these young men and women had on the men in recovery was worth it and many students said their time at PROAME was the best time of their DTS so far! Praise God!  This is one of our initiatives as leaders of the base to involve the DTS more and more in mercy focused outreaches as well as evangelism.

At the base they were also involved with our children at risk project (Terceiro Espaço). Some of them assisted me in my weekly art classes, which was great.

 One of the weekend outreaches was at our church two weeks ago. Mario is the missions coordinator at our church (he also disciples the leaders of the small groups that work with the youth) so we planned a missions service. Mario also preached and challenged our church to be more involved with missions. Our church is just now ``waking up`´ to the need for missions and it was good for them to see our work and what we do with training young people.

 Now for a bit of family update: Jonas has been training in a new soccer school this past semester. He plays golley and has been doing increadibly well. Next year he will be taking a training test which will be judged by professionals who are looking for new soccer players to train to become professionals. If he passes he will have everything paid by sponsors and will live in a another state and have uniform, food and everything he needs paid for. It is his dream to go professional, so we are doing all we can to support him...

 His new team...
Since he has been doing so well, Mario surprised him and gave him a ticket to see a professional game that took place her in Goiania a few weeks ago. He was grinning from ear to ear the whole time!
Last saturday Mario had the privaledge of baptizing 3 young guys from our drug rehabilitation center. Pr. Abraham (in purple) baptized two others, one was a DTS student he had been discipling 
who had never taken that step before. It was very exciting!

I had to hold Lucas the whole time and at one point had to take him away from the scene because he did not understand why I wouldn´t let him baptize with his dad! When all the baptism were done I finally freed him from my grip and he almost jumped in clothes and all! Lucas is quite a water boy!! 

 This is why God says we need to be like children! They are never afraid to plunge into their Father´s arms!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Transcultural Missions Course...Completed!

This was a week full of activity and good news. Before I tell you about the wonderful Missions course we just completed here on the YWAM base, let me share some wonderful news:
I am pregnant!!! 
It came as a surprise but was not unexpected, and definatly most welcome! We praise God for the beautiful life He is already knitting so perfectly inside me! 

So now that the word is out, let me tell you about this week. On Tuesday morning we embarked on one more of our trancultural missions courses called ``Kairos`` 
 It is a 50 hour intensive missions course that we do in our DTS. We were not able to do it last semester, so many of the students from our last DTS who have stayed with us as staff did the course this year (most of them are now doing a second level discipleship school) and some visitors from outside who wanted to take the course, including my mom, also participated. We had a very large, enthusiastic group!

Five staff, including myself took on the challenge of being facilitars of the course, which included leading small group discussions, correcting the chapter assignments, presenting the chapters and a daily devotional to the class. Above is a picture of our team of facilitators.
 Each chapter included a presentation of unreached people groups and a time of prayer...

 Here is me presenting one of the devotionals...

 We also had group activities which helped the students understand better the challenges of missions among unreached people groups (the main emphasis is the 10/40 window which is the area of the world with the most unreached people groups)

 After the presentations the students has a couple hours to read each chapter and fill out a homework sheet before coming together do to small group discusions and then do one more chapter. The course is 8 chapters and we have to complete it in 4 you can imagine how tirying it gets...but it is so worth it!

 One of the things the students learn is the importance of preaching the gospel without the cultural baggage. To exemplify that we do a ``contextualized worship service``, showing how you can plant a new church in another culture, without making it a ``western church``, but it should remain an indigenous (true to its own culture) church.
 As you can see, in this service we exemplified how a church planted in a muslim culture could look like...

 After the service everyone had the chance to try an international meal, eaten in the way Africans or Indians would eat it.
 This meal was prepared by our brother Seth Klu, from Gana, Africa.

 Both my parents had the privaledge of savoriong this wonderful meal with us (fish and a white corn meal called ``papa``)
 Here is a group doing worship...each of the groups took turns doing worship on different days.
 On the last day of the course each student wrote a letter to God and drew a picture representing the changes they would make in their lives to be involved directly in the Great Commision, either by Going, Training Others to go, or by Supporting Finantially. We had some amazing testimonies of how God spoke to each individual.

Each group had a time to share their letter and drawing in the small groups and be prayed over. I had an amazing team of young people, each so different form one another, but each with an amazing heart to reach the lost!

 Here are some of the other groups:

 I have to aknowlege my wonderful husband this week who became Lucas´ full time baby-sitter all week so that I could be free to facilitate the course. Once in a while he would peek into the room and do something funny...

 Finally, the course was completed and the diplomas were given out...Everyone completed the course succesfully!

 I have to highlight this young man Elidio. He is currently doing DTS and just finished the Kairos course, but an amazing fact is that he does not know how to read (he is complely illiterate). It was a great challenge to work with him because I had to sit with him after every chaper to give an overview and help him finish his homework. Despite this huge barrier, he pushed himself very hard and has shown tremendous growth (he is also a fruit from our drug rehab center).

 We praise God for yet one more victory and for the fruit which will come!
To him be all the glory and honor and the praise of all the nations!