One week and four days before we leave on outreach. I’m anxious, a little nervous and excited all rolled into one. We originally planned to leave on March 29, but because of various schedules with buses, planes, etc., we now will leave March 27.
We’ve spent the last two weeks preparing a Bible drama, which we’ll perform as a team, finishing our coloring book project and ironing out travel and ministry details. We are zonked but ready.
Tomorrow, our base is hosting leaders from YWAM’s frontier missions teams. Missionaries from across the globe will be on our front lawn, hopefully enjoying a relaxing evening. They work incredibly hard. We’ve spent the last couple days preparing the grounds and offices in order to give them a nice stay in Thailand. It will be great to talk with them and hear of their success stories, and even their failures, of sharing the Gospel with people who had never heard it before.
Our speaker today spent three years planting churches in Mongolia. He had some incredible stories to tell. You can read about them in his book: “There’s a Sheep in My Bathtub: Birth of a Mongolian Church Planting Movement.” We also have spent the week with Dave Hudson, who spent 10 years in China, and Rej Mack, who spent more than 20 years in Indonesia planting churches and telling the Good News.
I’d like to sum up DTS in one sentence for those who don’t particularly like to read but want to get quick updates about us. Sorry. No can do. One of our leaders said doing a DTS is equivalent of about three years of theology, Bible, and missions studies. I didn’t believe it when she said it, but I believe it now. Every day is jammed packed.
In week one, we learned about the Bible and how to study it more in depth. We have put that into practice every day – literally – since the first day of DTS. In week two, we discovered the father heart of God, or in other words, that God loves us like a father loves his children. During week three, we concentrated on hearing God’s voice. My life had already changed dramatically by the end of the first three weeks.
Week four was spent studying redemption and repentance. In week five, we learned how to pray for others, friends, loved ones, leaders, and even nations. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me in my prayer life. Then we practiced using our God-given authority over darkness in week six when we studied spiritual warfare. This week sounded very scary to me before we started. I mean, the term “spiritual warfare” doesn’t exactly bring up images of balloons and party favors, does it? When we started learning about the true meaning of spiritual warfare, however, it wasn’t scary at all. It simply means we have to pray and that Jesus gives each one of us the authority to pray for anyone and anything at any time about anything. Pretty simple, huh?
We studied the Holy Spirit in week seven. Did you know the Holy Spirit Googles? In week eight, we studied relationships – another life-changer. I probably needed this week more than any other. I did a lot of healing in week eight.
Faith and finance was the topic of week nine, and weeks 10, 11, and 12 will be spent studying missions and preparing for outreach.
OK, that’s the shortest version I can give. I know I will be soaking in and reviewing this information for months – probably years – to come. I’ve filled nearly two notebooks and a journal, and I’m on my fourth ink pen. I’ve found my calling. I know what God wants me to do with the gifts He’s given me, and I’ve had the experience of a lifetime – and we still have three months to go!
Thanks for all your prayers. We can feel them. We love you all.