When I think of that word so many thoughts come to mind; a beginning, a start, a blank page, no experience, a sense of freshness, maybe some fear, the unknown, a willingness to learn.
Today is the first day of the first month of 2015 and I wanted to share all the amazing things that God has taught me and even share some of the real and hard things that happened in my first season as a staff member at YWAM DP.
There is so much to say and I figured that a picture says a thousand words, using a few pictures to describe these past few months is appropriate. 🙂
So this season started out with me having the opportunity to spend 12 hours listening to 26 new amazing students give their testimony and be apart of their first steps to freedom! God showed me again that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what your past is, no matter the mistake, the shame, fear or sin, He is there with open arms ready to heal, bring life and so much freedom!
Had so many powerful times of worship that were overflowing with His presence!
I got to see students walk in their new names and identity in Christ! It was so amazing to see the physical changes that happened in a student when they received freedom! They’re faces shined brighter, they stood taller, they’re whole demeanor changed and you can physically see such sweet beauty and freedom!
One of my favorite things that happened in this season was seeing people give their life to Christ and choosing to get baptized. I saw for the first time that a baptism is the first and most beautiful wedding of your life. It was beautiful to see the declaration and public commitment that they made to choose to be in relationship with Jesus forever.
There were also days that weren’t so easy. Days full of tearful goodbyes. Being here, things get deep fast, relationships that you’ve had for 1,2,3 or even 10 months have a strong bond and I learned that change and goodbyes are a very hard part of living in community.
Finding out that my roommate and sweet friend that is on her way to co-lead an outreach to Ethiopia is now in the ICU, broke my heart. I have days where my faith is low and I feel weak; and even in those days I see Him, His love for us, His grace, I see His hand working in everything. Seeing how we go from sitting around a dinner table laughing and talking to transitioning into let’s pray right now for Jaymie because we just got a call that she’s in the hospital. Seeing the unity and fact that I live in a community of people that are willing to stop everything they are doing to pray and intercess for one another, blows my mind.
Days where when I needed a hug, God brought amazing friends to hold on to. Friendships that will be lifelong and go into eternity.
God did some amazing things with the guys group (aka Ferda) They learned to love, serve and treat women in a Godly way. To see these men step up and grow in who God created men to be in a world of broken men that are influenced daily to de-value women, was refreshing and powerful!
God spoke and speaks to me so much through His amazing creation and nature. I got to see some of the most beautiful sunsets, sunny bright days, waters that were the most amazing shades of blues and turquoise. I love the way God paints the sky! These things are somethings I will never take for granted living here.
These faces! God has shown me His face in all of these people. He’s taught me a little more every day about who He is and His character through His people.
It’s really hard to fully describe everything that has happened in my life in these past months with out writing a book. It has been such a beautiful season, though not perfect and difficult at times, I have been continuing to learn, grow and serve in such a cool way with so many amazing people around me. I can’t believe how quickly these months have gone by and I realized that our lives here change every 3 months with a new school and new group of people that want to Know God and Make Him Known. So I am excited for the next season and ready to see what He has in store!
I feel like this verse has been a verse that has really been a theme of this season for me:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.