Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Sad Week of Graduation

On November 7th, we said "goodbye" to our very first San Diego DTS ever. It was a lovely graduation ceremony at a local resturant, eighty people attending. As usual, it was hard to bid farewell to a group of people you have spent 5 intense months ministering with, discipling, crying with, laughing with, etc. But, as we say in YWAM "It isn't good-bye, it's 'See you later.'" A few of our eleven graduates are praying about returning to full time staff with us. It is always exciting to have students join as staff, but even more exciting knowing that no matter where the Lord takes them, they will be forever changed from their five months of just pressing into God through DTS. I truly believe I learned more from this DTS than any of my other DTS'. They were a group of 12 completely different people/personalitys, I believe, like Jesus' disciples, but they all strived to come together for a common goal- to know God and to make Him known. Each one of them will be forever in my heart, and hopefully, I will see them again. God Bless you, San Diego DTS! You have forever changed my life and I learned so much from each of you. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Talking To Male Sex Tourists

It is never a dull night ministering in the red light districts in Bangkok. Each night we bathe in prayer and worship before entering into the streets. We go in groups of three, with surveys asking questions such as: "How often do you come to this area?" or "Where are you from?" We also carry follow-up packs with us that have information about STD's in Thailand, a story about a bar girl, a story about a sex tourist who both came to know our Lord Jesus Christ. We have collected valuable statistics from taking these surveys from the Westerners down there, but we mostly use them as a toll to engage in further conversation with the men.

My first night taking surveys was amazing. We were standing on a sidewalk close to a bar, engaging a few men in conversation, but never for too long before they went on with their night. Twenty minutes into our night, a man came out of the bar and approached us, asking to take our survey. He was a very friendly chap, and after he was finished with our survey, he remained talking to us for quite some time. James is his name, from the United States. Oddly enough to me, he used to be very involved in the church, leading youth mission trips, leading a small group. But, he has been disillusioned by the church, believing most a hypocrites, unloving and judgmental. But, the amazing part is, James is totally open to hearing our stories and asked for all our testimonies, and asked tons of questions. God is so amazing because we have seen him several times over the past few weeks and he always come and talks to us. Two of our guy students were even able to grab dinner with him one night, had fun, and answered some of James' questions. We are continuing to pray for James that he would find his way back to the arms of the Lord, and see His true character, and forgive the Christians that have portrayed God in a bad light.

A part from James, God has given us many good conversations, however, as I am sure you can imagine, some not so pleasant ones. But, no matter how the night goes, we believe that because of Christ, we are a light to all we encounter even if they just pass us by. God will never quit pursuing His lost sheep, and if we can be even a small part of bringing them back to the Shepherd, we will do what it takes. We still have a few nights left working with the MST Project, so keep checking back for more. If you are interested in more information regarding the MST Project, check out

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Praying Over the Red Light Districts

To be honest with you, we thought when we arrived in Bangkok that we would be ministering more to the women in prostitution than the people that buy these women. But, lo and behold, we are and have been working with a ministry for the past 3 weeks that deals with the "consumer" strictly. Each night, we meet at 6:30 for an extended time of prayer and worship because this kind of ministry is pretty intense. For almost the entire first week we were working with MST project, the Lord led us to do prayer walks to each of the three main red light districts in Bangkok- Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy & Patpong. We felt God leading us to anoint (discreetly, mind you) the entrances of the go-go bars, clubs, and love hotels with oil and pray as we walked. God even led us to stand in the middle of these red light district plazas with oil on our hands and pray over the streets. The passerbyers must have thought we were crazy- several of us crouched in the street praying while the rest of us surrounded them praying and singing as well. We got a lot of weird looks and several comments of "What are they doing?" But I even overheard a man say "Hey, I think they are praying."

There was one point where we were in Soi Cowboy, having anointed our feet with oil to walk the streets, about seven of us stood in a line side by side and marched forward while praying like an advancing army pushing back the darkness. It was then that I felt the Spirit of the Lord so strongly upon me and the rest of our team. It was as if I could feel the powers of darkness creeping back, frightened by the light we gave off.

The MST Project, only having been going for about a year now, had never praying walked with anointing oil before, but the founder, Chris Lenty, really felt to do this with our team. We all felt as a whole that bonds were beginning to be broken in Jesus name through our prayer walks. God is good, yeah?

Fast Facts:

Bangkok red-light districts

10% Agnostic

25% Christian

21% Atheist

26% Expats

74% Tourists

54% European

30-49 - Avg. age

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outreach in Tak, Thailand

Out in the boonies in Tak, Thailand, there are huge bugs, tarantulas, lots of fresh fruit, green land everywhere, vast mountains, banana trees, palm trees, lots of rain, but nestled about 40 miles from Tak, is a relatively small Lisu tribe community. These are the precious people group our team of ten students, two leaders, and one translator have been ministering to the past two weeks. We have been staying with the family of the local Christian pastor in this lovely community. Nine of us girls share a small, but cozy room where we all lay side by side on the floor catching some much needed Zzzz’s each night.

Our days are mostly spent teaching English at a poorer school up the road a bit from the pastor’s home. It has been a fun and interesting experience teaching English. We all divided into teams of four persons to teach various grades. My team had all the young kids, which was fun for me. We had the 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. Sometimes keeping their attention was difficult, but we mixed it up a bit by teaching them silly, but useful songs like “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”. Many of our students are kids from the orphanage, which we are also working with. It is great to be able to make good relationships with the kids, and all of these kids have stolen our hearts. If we could, we would each take home two or three of them. J

Yesterday, we spent our morning hanging out with these beautiful Thai orphans. We walked, and skipped, and ran with them down the road to a little store and bought them all ice cream, then preceded in some fun and competitive games of ‘Duck, duck, goose,’ and ‘Simon says.’ The kids loved it, but it was a hot days, so I think we wore them out. When we got back to the orphanage, many of the kids collapsed at the dining table. It was a great day for us all, and we will have a similar day with them once again before we leave Tak.

It is definitely the simple life here. People just enjoying each other’s company, playing games of soccer and badminton, working in their gardens, and cooking delicious Thai food for their families. I have very much enjoyed our time here, however, I have come to realize I do enjoy the crazy, city life much more, but it has been great to be out in God’s beautiful creation with beautiful Thai people. We have been able to see and experience many breath-taking things such as: hiking up waterfalls, fishing in beautiful lakes, catching crazy bugs, seeing big, beautiful butterflies, holding the hands of many of many Thai children, praying for individuals and seeing our prayers answered. God has been so good to us in this trip, and it’s not over yet!!!! We have one week left here in Tak, before returning to Bangkok. Check back for my next update!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mexico City Outreach

We spent the past two weeks in Pechuca and Mexico City working alongside the YWAM Pechuca base. We had another team in Jakarta, Indonesia, while my team of 5 were back and forth between Pechuca and Mexico City. Pechuca YWAM's DTS was in the last week of their lecture phase when we arrived, so they joined us in our second week of outreach in Mexico City. It was great to have 6 new, fresh faces to add to our group dynamic. Their team consisted mostly of Lations, so that was a much needed dynamic.
Our first week, mainly, we spent in Pechuca. The Pechuca base being a relatively new base, we spent most of our morning helping them paint the outside of their base, primar the inside of their classroom building, clean, paint doors, etc. In the afternoons, we did a lot of evangelism through our dramas in parks, and also talking to people. One night, we went and handed out hot tea to people in a park, and just conversed with them. It is amazing how open and friendly the Mexican people are. I love Mexico!
Our second week, we spent in Mexico City, staying at the house of former YWAMers, our needs were most definately cared for. Sarah and Urs were a wonderful and very hospitable family, by whom we were so blessed! Our ministry consisted mostly minisering with the street kids and the prostituted men and women in Mexico City. YWAM Pechuca has built many good relationships with the street kids in several areas throughout the city. We brought them lunch, did some dramas for them about freedom in Christ, and just hung out with them, and talked and played. Almost all these street kids are addicted to sniffing paint thinner, which makes them so high that they wont get cold or hungry. I remembered several of them from my last trip a few months ago in Mexico City.
We also did ministry with the prostituted men and women in Mexico City. We split into 3 groups and went down a few very busy streets lined with these men and women, and handed out roses that we gave as a gift from God becasue He loved them and thought them as worthy. Most all of them would take the flower, but few would enter into actual conversation with us. With most all of them, however, we could tell an instant lift in their spirits. Some cried and let us pray for them, some glowed when we handed them the rose, and others looked fearful, and told us they couldn't talk to us. It was a beautiful and meaningful time, just being a messenger of giving a flower from our Father God to His child that is so lost. YWAM Pechuca has the heart and the vision to keep building upon the ministry to the prostitued and street kids there, and they are still continuing to send teams bak into these areas to minister to these people.
Once again, I so loved my time in Mexico City, however short it was. YWAM San Diego/Baja is kind of helping pioneer the Pechuca base with helping them bits financially, donating supplies, sending teams, etc. It was neat to just be leading a team to encourage and come alongside the missinaries in Pechuca and support what they are already doing, and be a part of it. God has given me such a heart for Mexico City, and I am so blessed that He brought me back there to lead a team. Hopefully, it will happen again! :-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Week of Freedom

It's been awhile since I have blogged. Life can get away with me sometimes. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. We had a speaker come last week names Kenny Peavy. He is the director of the YWAM School of Worship in LA. God has gifted him greatly in the prophetic, and through him God set the stage for our students and DTS staff both to move past old wounds, throw down lies that Satan has made them believe for years, and forgive people that have wounded them. It was an intense week, but so good and so needed. Myself, through a series of events, God brought light to old wounds I had not dealt with, and how much I was operating and reacting out of these old wounds. Late one night I was so grieved by some news I received, I went to our garage,to seek God for wisdom and guidance, and I just ended up crying and crying. And I felt God speak so clearly to me that blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. And I felt and heard Him so much in that moment. His comfort, His words of life, and I was just able to cry over things I had never allowed myself to mourn over, and just feel the comfort and love from my Heavenly Father. It was so incredible! God did so much in our week with Kenny, and I could go on and on. But ultimately, it just really made me see how much our God is a restorer of broken things, and a comforter. I love my Daddy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Week In Mexico

Week 8-Dean Serman-Spiritual Warefare
We spent this week in Ensenada, Mexico, which was fabulous!!!! I think it was good for all of us to be in a bigger place where there is more breathing room and new faces. August 2nd and 3rd, we spent building a home for a family in Ensenada. This family was such a lovely family, and many of our students were able to form relationships with them. They were wonderful, and joyful, and so grateful for the home that was built for them. Their family made us delicios empenadas and tamales on one afternoon of the build. We were very blessed. They have one daughter who was 15 years old and she said after hanging out with us and working alongside us for two days that she wanted to be a missionary like us, and she wanted to be doing what we were doing some day, which was so awesome and encouraging to all of us. It is so cool to see how you can make such an impact in such a short amount of time!
We had Dean Sherman as our speaker this week, which was great! He spoke on the topic of spiritual warfare, which sounds really scary and intimidating, but Dean breaks things down so easily and concisely, that it is so easy to grasp and apply. He starts out by breaking things down into Kingdom dynamics and World dynamics, which looks like this:
Kingdom World
love selfishness
serving controlling
submission rebellion
humility pride
generosity greed
justice injustice (bias, prejudice, favoritism)
integrity corruption
Biblical truth the way that seems right to man

Dean just explained how God built HIs Kingdom to be and how sin and Satan brought destruction to that Kingdom. He explained how God is not a controller and that is why He lets us sin. How God does not send people to hell, He is just loving enough to let them go there if they so choose. He is a gentleman and He will fight and fight for our affections and our heart, but we have free will to choose to love Him, or not. It was just awesome to understand God more, and what His desire God's kingdom is built on righteousness and justice.
Another point that Dean really tries to convey is who we are in Christ and the powere we have in His name. Because Jesus Christ lives in us once we have accepted, we have His power in us, and have power against evil and darkness. We have power against Satan and demonic powers in Jesus' name. God gives us weapons to fight against darkness throught the Word od God, and through Jesus' name. Spiritual Warfare is: recognizing the strategies of the enemy, refusing to cooperate with him, resisting aggressively in the name of Jesus.
Dean gave a lot of time for questions and answers, and out students ate that up. It was awesome to see the hunger to want to understand spiritual warfare, and understand the power we have in Jesus name. My prayer for us staff and the students is for all of us to really recognize the power we have within us through Christ, to not be afraif because we have powerful in Jesus name, and step out in that power to push back Satan and his demon powers, to fight for justice, and stand against the schemes of the devil.
On a more personal note, it was just great to be in Mexico for awhile, hang out with my good friends there, and just be right in front of the beach. All of our students really loved being there because the Ensenada base is open and full of people. Sometimes it's just nice to have variety and be around other faces. We all walked away feeling pretty refreshed, I think, and also walked away with their eyes being more opened to other ways of the world, and what other people live with or without.