Mwen te gen chans patisipe nan yon gwo match kote te gen (Baltimore VS Tempête) ki tap jwe nan Vil Saint-Marc (Parc levelt), anpil moun te fè deplasman pou vin swiv; Timoun tankou granmoun, yo tap amize yo nan sa ke yo renmen. Anpil lapli te vin ap tonbe nan dezyèm mitan match la. Mwen te sezi paske moun yo te rete la, yo t’ap motive jwè yo, yo t’ap chofe, ou te mèt nan yon distans ki trè lwen ak tèren an ou tap tande moun yo kap chofe e ou patap pa anvi vini tou. Yo pat pè anyen paske yo te la pou yon bagay ke yo renmen anpil…
Se konsa mwen ta renmen wè pèp sa devwe pou BonDye, pou yap chofe paske yo renmen BonDye e pou lòt moun ki deyò a tande pou yo gen anvi vini goute, pou yo kwè ke BonDye se li ki chanpyon nou nan nenpòt sa nap fè. Mwen ta renmen wè se BonDye nou kite kap klrere tèren lavi nou menm jan nou fè gwo limyè sa yo ki sou tèren an konfyans poun ka konnen kote nou prale fè gòl oubyen kote nap met pye nou lè nap mache…
There’s this man named Thales who works in maintenance on our campus 8-5 every week day. He rakes leaves and such and takes them to the burn pile, same thing every time. He is also a pastor on the weekends.
Now I don’t know about you, but for me this work seems to be oh so tiresome and unfulfilling, however I have never once seen 60-70 year old Pastor Thales (he actually doesn’t even know how old he is) without a smile on his face. He is always so merry and delighted to say hi if you greet him in passing. He also has a really long stick made out of a piece of rebar and a tree branch for which to pluck coconuts with.
I haven’t ever really had a back and forth conversation with this man, but in just the way he carries himself with his wheelbarrow clutched tightly in his old, sturdy hands, I know He has such a special relationship with the Lord.
For me Thales is someone I aspire to be like. I wish to unlock the intimacy and contentment he has found with his life. I’m learning more and more that all of this excess we have in the states can be more of an inhibitor in finding true joy, than the accelerant that we think it to be.
“If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." - Matthew 19:21
Nan tan pase mwen te toujou gen pwoblem ansanm avek enkyetid mwen, m te konn toujou ap enkyetem pou sa mwen bezwen e jodi a mwen vle patage yon ti temwanaj avek ou
Mwen sonje le mwen t’ap grandi, mwen te toujou ap enkyete’m pou Bagay mwen bezwen ,pou rad map mete, mwen pat janm rekonesan ak sa’m genyen, mwen te toujou vle konparem ak lot moun, mwen te konn toujou ap fe foli pou sa mwen pa genyen, kek fwa si mwen pa gen yon bel rad mwen patap al legliz pou sa, pou mwen menm, m te toujou panse rad map met sou mwen te pi enpotan ke vi mwen.
Pandan mwen vini nan staff , epi youn nan leader yo dim : ‘‘Mica eske ou ka ale jete fatra yo avek mwen anba Gwomon?’’ (se yon plas moun jete fatra) Epi mwen te di li wi, le nou rive, mwen we te gen anpil moun ki tap kouri janbe lari a vini epi’m te etone, m pat ka konpran sa, le nou raze machinn nan, moun yo te vole monte machinn nan ak tout fatra yo ladan’l, epi m di : ‘‘tale sa kap pase konsa! ’’
Se apre leader mwen an tap dim rezon kife yo te vole antre nan machinn nan ak tou fatra yo landan’l se paske yap cheche bagay kibon nan fatra yo,epi ou ka we fason moun yo ap goumen pou sa yo jwen nan fatra epi pou ta we fason yo te kontan malgre fatra yo te santi . konsa touswit dlo tap koule nan zyem sa vinn fem songe sam tap bay tet mwen pwoblem pou li a pat vreman enpotan ke sa ,mwen te gen tout sam bezwen
men mwen te twouve sa pat ase pou mwen e mwen pat kontante m ak sa m te genyen men gade moun yo, le yo te jwen yon bagay nan fatra yo renmen yo te kontan ou ka we lajwa nan ke yo. Pou mwen m pat bay tet mwen opotinite pou te souri epi kontantem ak sam genyen sa vinn fem santi, mwen te rich mwen pat janm konpran sa epi sak te pi touchem se le ke fatra yo te vreman santi men sa pat anpeche yo te cheche sa yo te bezwen. Menm moman m te vinn konpran ke Bondye te vlem we sa, li te vle m fe eksperyan ak sa nan moman
Yon fraz ki te moute nan pansem nan menm moman ki se
“ fatray w se trezo pou yon lot moun’
Sam gen pou diw, toujou rekonesan ak saw genyen paske chak Bagay gen yon tan jis ret tann tan sa Mesi
“But seek first the kingdom
of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be
added to you.”
Recently I have been reading about David in 1 & 2 Samuel. There is a key theme from these two books that has really been jumping out at me. That is, how often David stopped before acting and inquired of the Lord. Here are some of the verses that we can see David seek out God.
Now, I do not in any way bring this up to brag, but rather to act as a reminder that it is okay to pray all the time and about all the things (I am also learning and reminding myself this as I write), even if people think it is not needed, pray all the time! Yes, I myself so deeply want to be that person that prays about every little thing! Many people have commented on this and some have been really bothered or annoyed by my yearning to pray over things that to them, seem silly. Sadly in the past, I have let their opinions stop my praying about everything for a season, which was 100% not okay, sorry God!! However throughout the past years this has been something that God has really taught me and is continuing to emphasize in my life. Now even, all the more, I can see the importance of inquiring of the Lord first in all things.
As we can see from the scriptures above David was such a good example of running to the Lord for his wisdom. Through his consistent and genuine pursuit of God’s will, God in turn provided answers. I love what happened in 1 Samuel 23 1-5, where David inquired of the Lord on whether or not to attack the Philistines and, The Lord told him to go and fight. However, when David told his men, they were afraid and questioned this decision. So what did David do? He went again and sought out God’s opinion, to which the Lord again answered and told him what he said before, to go and attack the Philistines. Now, this is a total guess, but I bet, if David had decided not to make the inquiries of the Lord that he did, he would have gone with a more logical answer, which probably would have been the opposite of a leap of faith in staying down and choosing not to fight. However, David heeded the call. He put The Kingdom first, asked God what to do, got a crazy answer and crazy results. I don't know where I got this from, it was one of those things you see and screenshot because it's pretty great. But, I want to share it anyhow
Praise God for David's heart to seek the Lord first because we get to witness in verse 5 the benefit of inquiring of God and obeying what He says.
“And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.” 1 Samuel 23:5
I recently asked God for something that may seem too small for some and to others is an integral part of life, but the other week I may have prayed for cheese. Yes, you heard me right, cheese! And boom God provided. Why? Because God cares about the minuscule things as well and that cheese was needed for something bigger.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10
So, chase after God in everything and through everything! Yes, you have logic and should use it, but you also have The God almighty, He who wants you to seek the kingdom first in everything. Do not be worried about people who become annoyed about your wanting to pray about all the things. I think that God prefers that you lift it all up.
I wholeheartedly believe missions trips are awesome. I got saved on a missions trip 13 years ago so it would be hard for me to argue to the contrary. Over the past seven years as a missionary I've been blessed to have worked with many teams and have experienced both not wanting a team to leave as well as really wishing the team would leave already! There is no silver bullet when it comes to planning and executing a missions trip, but I've identified three things below that will help any church do missions better.
1. Come to Serve
Please, please, please come to serve. Most everywhere you go in the world will have a local body of believers and you should be coming to work with them, not in spite of them. The easiest way to do this is to plan your trip with a church or mission on the ground. They may have a program or event happening that coincides with your visit, or maybe you can plan one together with them taking all of your God-given talents into account.
Working with a local ministry or church helps them even though it’s a lot of work to host a team. When 5, 10, or even 20 servant-hearted people come to minister alongside you, it's hard not to be encouraged! The energy and enthusiasm a team brings is infectious. (So are infectious diseases, so please don't take them with you when you travel!)
Working with a local ministry can also help you immensely on the ground. If you are going to do practical or construction work, they will know deserving families in the area, local workers in need of a job, and the best places to buy local. For more traditional ministry trips, local ministries will know good translators, have connections with the local pastor network, and maybe even have the space necessary to host a seminar or small group. (Bilingual seminary students benefit from a summer job that gives them ministry experience!)
Even without all the benefits, coming with the mindset of serving is just more like Jesus. Even He didn't come into this world to be served, but to serve and give His life for others. A missions trip will better serve both you and those you are ministering to when you come with the right attitude. You cannot be someone's savior, only Jesus can be that. Don't take His job.
2. Be flexible
Things happen. Things also seem to happen more when a group of people is traveling in a foreign country. Delays, missed bags, not understanding the language, and in some cases, not being able to freely travel make a missions trip stressful and ripe for things to go wrong. This is where being flexible will serve you well.
When you are a foreign visitor, there are many things you may not understand about the local culture. Even among countries that speak the same language, there are so many differences in how things operate. Generally speaking, we don't have to think too hard about living in our current environment. We can anticipate when traffic will be at its peak, what things are cause for concern, and in most cases how to react appropriately. All of that knowledge is useless where the environment is different, so be flexible. Open to change.
I met one team leader that required every team member wear a rubber band around their wrist like a bracelet. Every time the plan changed or didn't go as planned, he'd remind them to pull on that rubber band.
3. Have a missions strategy
This is the tip that makes me the most excited. I love talk of strategy and big initiatives and the like. So first let me define what I mean by a missions strategy. A missions strategy is simply a plan to be intentional with your global activities. It doesn't matter if you are an individual or a congregation. Pray and find like-minded individuals that are serving abroad to partner with. Don't throw money at them, partner with them. Pray for them, call them, build relationship with them the same way you would with your small group leader or pastor.
It's magical because as you develop relationship, long-term discipleship success follows. Your team leaders start to become more familiar with the local culture, you see the people you minister to start to grow, you become more trusted, and you are better able to connect your church to the great commission.
One of my favorite teams is one that comes down 2-3 times a year usually. Always to do work with the same people. They are committed to the long-term success of those people. As the church has become more experienced working with locals they have been able to focus in more on exactly the best way to disciple locally as well as disciple their team members. That's huge! They can connect the pastor's Sunday morning preaching to their practical work on the ground and in the lives of the locals. Could you ask for a better result?
The key is having a missions strategy and sticking to it.
So how do you develop a strategy?
A. Be prayerful and intentional about what focus you have.
If you have a passion for at-risk teens and young adults, then a mission providing clean drinking water may not be the best fit. Like I said before, we are each a part of a whole body and you should be looking for a ministry that aligns with God's calling on your life. It is much more natural if you do globally what you already do locally and that helps connect the dots of vision and practical work.
B. Do some research
Some churches have developed strategies in working with a particular people group while others focus on a ministry type. Either way, do some web searches or asking around for different ministries that work with your calling. Do you already have an existing connection somewhere? That might be a good place to start. After you find a few, spend some time in prayer and in talking with them to help determine where God might be leading you to work.
C. Stay focused
You can't do it all and I would go so far as to say that you shouldn't do it all. When you try to do all things all the time you are at best ineffective and at worst burned out and suffering from a savior-complex. Stay focused on what God has specifically called you to do. It might seem like God needs some extra help, but trust me when I say that there is no way we can ever understand all of the vast amounts of things that God is doing in this world. Let the foot be a foot and you stick with being the eye.
With over 1,200 campuses in over 180 countries, you can bet that YWAM is a great place to have new experiences. Whether you are staff, DTS student, or part of a missions team, you are sure to travel, experience missions, make friends, learn about different cultures, and ultimately, gain a more meaningful relationship with God. One thing many may not realize is that you can add “pursuit of higher education” to this list!
The University of Nations (UofN) is YWAM’s own University. Established in 1978 as the Pacific & Asia Christian University, the UofN was established to “Train students in ministering the love of Christ and teaching others according to the command of Christ to make disciples of all nations, in all spheres of society.” (1) As the name suggests, the Kona, Hawaii based school was originally intended to serve certain areas, but soon outgrew the Asian-Pacific area, prompting the name of the university to change in 1989.
When God’s grace is working in our everyday lives, we can expect to experience his goodness. When the Holy Spirit is working in and through us, we are in a position subject to God’s sovereignty. A place where we are ready for God to work mightily.
I am on a path where I just feel, so deeply in my heart, to tell God “God I love you, not for stuff you’ve been giving me or doing for me but because you love me.” Because of God’s powerful love, that I have seen and felt. I can testify that even when I don’t see it or feel it, I know God is still working. Working in our lives, in our houses, our families, our relationships.
Yes, we all know how the entire world is in a shocking state right now with COVID. But guess what? If you allow God, he will use any situation to teach us. To grow our faith, our ability to help others, to love like he does, and to remind us of why we are here.
Now I want to ask you one question:
If Jesus came today and was standing right in front of you, would you be ready?
I want to encourage you to continue to work for God. Continue to pursue him in spirit and truth. Don’t let satan put lies in your life, like you won’t be anything or you’re not good enough. Remember God’s grace is enough for you! Let God be your guidance, let him be your provider. God sees you and wants to spend time with you. So make time to be with God. God is good and he has a huge plan for you. If you continue to work in his will, he will show you the way. Keep seeking the Lord and remember, his grace is enough for you!
What does it mean to be yourself? I feel that oftentimes we try to define how much of ourselves we are being at any given moment. Phrases like “I’m so not me today!” and “I just don’t feel comfortable in my skin right now.” are strewn about like fallen leaves.
I too feel these sentiments in my life and in my walk. In this space in time where I prepare to embark to Haiti once more, I can’t help but look around and see that many of my friends have returned to college, but me? I am all alone, or that’s what I feel like sometimes. In this aloneness can come a sense of uncomfortableness and that resonant “who am I?” Now that my comrades are gone I don’t feel like myself. So it seems I’ve been defining myself by who I hang around and spend all my time with. And let me tell you if you do this, you will never have a solid Identity.
Whether you are surrounded by God loving friends or completely alone, if you base your identity on your circumstances and the people around you, you are as turbulent as the wind. You’ve built your house on sand castles and this is what I’ve been doing. The kind of identity we all have immediate access to is not one comprised of worldly things and momentary surroundings, it is a sense of self anchored so much in glorifying God that the way we see ourselves is automatically a cute little footnote. Where we are so obsessed and engulfed in the story that God is writing and has written that our self worth doesn’t matter.
Moses seemed to think he couldn’t be used but God had a different plan. One where Moses’s worth did not matter and it was all about forgetting himself and getting lost in the gravity and grace of God and his goodness. It’s hard to care how much you feel like yourself when you’re standing in the middle of raging waters threatening to collapse on you yet knowing that your Good God won’t let that happen. So right now I’m urging you and I’m urging myself to be so swept up in the marvelous privilege that is worshipping The One True King, that we could care less how we look and feel.
Let’s read our Bibles, and love those around us and care for those with less, not to feel more like ourselves, or to feel good inside, but to praise the One who made all of this possible. In doing so we will be wise men and women building our house upon the what? The Rock.
A little over a year ago after my mom passed away, God highlighted Romans 8:28 out to me. It says:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Since then, I have repeatedly gotten to see God work through every situation life has thrown my way. There have been many ups and downs, twists and turns, this past season. Many unexpected, some really hard and challenging, as well as wonderful and exciting things. Nevertheless, throughout each and every one of them God has shown to be faithful. He has allowed me to see just how powerfully he can take any situation and make it into something beautifully and good. Sometimes when I see God do things like this I just cannot help but stand completely wordless and in awe of our great God. I mean how crazy is it that when I am sitting in the midst of something, God is always working it out for my good. Even if I am complaining about it to God in prayer, he never gives up on me. He rather so graciously encourages me and fights for me bringing good out of every situation. He is always with us, going behind and before. As we go through the refining fire, God is there working. As we weather the waves of the storm, God is there working. As we reach joyous mountain top views, God is there working.
I just do not even know how to put my words of amazement of God on paper. How is it that I have been chosen to be part of God’s family. I am such a broken person, yet God still chooses to love and work in every situation in my life, as long as I let him. I cannot even begin to comprehend the love the Father has for myself and every person on this earth. It is so extravagant that it can mend anything into a beautiful whole, no matter how broken. I am nobody special, so I want to encourage you too. If you don’t know the love the Lord has for you, I am telling you God is waiting for you to allow him to pour it out on you in abundance. And start the refining and mending process in your life.
Now that was the longest intro of my life, but I think necessary for the next part of this writing. Like I mentioned earlier, the scripture of Romans 8:28 is a promise I have recently gotten to see God fulfill repeatedly. I feel that during this crazy time in the world that it has been especially true, in a rapid fire way. Some of you may know that I had planned to be moved over to Haiti this past May. Though, COVID came and tossed things up a bit. However, GOD IS STILL MOVING!! For me, God took the situation that COVID brought, and used it to open some pretty crazy doors. Here is a story of one of them.
I just recently returned home from an English Teachers certification program called TESOL. This was a 5 week program held at YWAM Discovery Bay in Port Townsend. How God opened this door is a crazy story that I will save for another time. Though, I will tell you this was no easy school, to be honest at the difficulty I will let you know it was actually five, three credit, university courses held in a five week period. It was so challenging. But, God provided everything I needed all the way from the financial cost (which in itself is a crazy story), to the new friends that God knew I would need. I will be honest, I did not know what God was walking me into with this school. I thought I was just going to learn some English Teaching things that I could use in Haiti. I did not realize that I was walking into, well, as my friend would call it “a refining fire”. I not only got to learn all those english things, but I got to have God work in my heart in a lot of ways. As well as see God give me keys to the next doors to open. You may be wondering, “if this school was so hard then why are you speaking so much of the good God can bring from situations?” To that I will answer that not all situations feel good and the time your in them. But if you stick through it walking hand in hand with Jesus you will have a crazy amazing mountain top view at the end. Which is what I am seeing now as I am reflecting back at the work of God’s hands. And again, I am left wordless and in awe at the greatness of the love of our Savior.
Lord thank you for crazy adventures with you! Thank you for holding the keys to the opening of new doors. Thank you for the promise of Romans 8:28 and that you work all things out for the good of those who love you. Lord thank you even though I am so broken and so undeserving you keep walking with me and making my heart to become more like yours. Jesus I love you and am so ever grateful to be part of your family. Amen.