I am excited to share with you that God is leading me on a New Adventure with Him...this time to Kona, Hawaii and then out into the nations. I spent an entire weekend seeking the Lord about this decision to even apply to YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I didn't even share it with many people because I wanted to hear from God alone and be confident that this is the way He was leading me. All weekend, God constantly said "go" and affirmed it in many ways. It was a Tuesday that I stepped out in faith and completed my application to YWAM Kona base, Fire & Fragrance DTS (Discipleship Training School) for the April Quarter. On Thursday I received a call from one of the leaders in YWAM and she asked me some questions and prayed for me. Literally not even five minutes later, I received a letter of acceptance in my email! I was amazed at how quickly this process went for me, and then God reminded me of something...I asked Him to make the process quick so that I could begin fundraising with a little over two months until departure and finances are due. God is SO faithful to hear us and answer our prayers.
I understand many will think I'm crazy, and that's ok. I'm crazy about God and I am so excited to be used by Him to let His faithfulness and provision shine through this. And, I trust Him. I've learned that trusting Him is so much better than worrying. Trust is restful. Worry causes anxiety. God provided the finances for me to go to Ghana when I had no job and no money. In fact, He provided more than I needed. And, that is also because I believed He would as I meditated on Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." The scripture God gave me for this new adventure is Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Many of you might be wondering, what is YWAM and how did I come about this decision? Good question! YWAM is a school that equips people to pursue their calling. The way it works is there is a Discipleship Training School (DTS) that has bases (schools) all around the world. The DTS is a 12-week lecture phase and mine will be located at the Kona, Hawaii base. It costs $3,995.00. There are specific DTS's within YWAM and the one I will be attending is called Fire & Fragrance. This DTS is designed to raise up students and release them into the nations of the earth to partner with and plant communities prioritizing worship and intercession and allowing it to flow into outreach fueled by the power of God. Something that caught my attention from this school is the following sentence: The presence of God is the source of all strategy and the power that releases effective outreach. God is searching for a generation that would give themselves whole heartedly to the place of intimate communion, zealous passion, and faith filled obedience. That's totally my heart!!! Fire & Fragrance teaches more specifically on the character and nature of God, hearing the voice of God, how to know and communicate God's Word effectively, Biblical world view, Intercession and spiritual warfare, Worship and prayer, Restoration of the heart and mind, Fellowship with the Holy Spirit, The Power of the Holy Spirit, Revival and reformation, and Missions and evangelism. Following the Lecture phase is Outreach. Within the first two weeks of school, I will find out where I will be doing my Outreach portion of YWAM. The Outreach is 9-weeks missions work, putting into practice what you have learned from the lecture phase. This costs an additional $5,000-$6,000 depending on which country I travel to.To my understanding, students are given a list of countries that their DTS will be going to and through prayer each student goes where God directs them to go.
So, how did my decision to go to YWAM come about?
First, I heard about YWAM a long time ago, before being so interested in missions work. It was always in the back of my mind and I thought about going someday. But, I didn't know when I could fit it into my life. There are so many places I want to go and things I want to do. Secondly, my sister bought me my first book on my Christmas present, a Kindle Fire, that is written by the Founders of YWAM. It's called "Is That Really You, God?" It got me thinking about YWAM more as I read about the story of how the organization came about. Thirdly, I have a friend who recently moved to Kona, HI to be on staff with YWAM as a leader. She has already done DTS once herself and been on staff once as well, so I knew something must be good if it's drawing her back. Talking with her about her journey since she left in January got me thinking about it even more. And so, I started looking into what YWAM is about and looking at the various DTS's they offer starting in April. The Fire & Fragrance one really stood out to me. It was then that I decided to take this idea to God. *During this time, I was doing the Daniel Fast (eating very limited foods- mostly fruits and veggies, nuts, no dairy, no meat, no bread-sorta like vegan, only drinking water and smoothies for liquids) I believe God honored my fast by speaking to me and bringing about this blessing without me even really knowing it was a desire on my heart. I even asked God specifically one night for a dream to make it extremely clear to me what to do and the dream was that I was in Hawaii sitting on a hill looking down on a beautiful sunset. Another part of the dream, someone I trust was speaking prophetically to me and telling me I need to go to Hawaii. She had no idea I was seeking God about this decision.
Since applying for YWAM and getting accepted, it has been quite a journey. I've gone through the ups and downs of life. I've recevied many blessings financially and I've had time periods where no money was coming in and I was discouraged. I had friends question whether or not this was God's will for me. And I experienced a ton of spiritual attack. Despite all of this, I can look back and see that every single piece is part of the process of preparing me to become a Missionary. The lack of funds tested my faith because it made me learn to trust God to provide because He is a good God and "Where He guides, He provides". I had to stand on His word and the Word of God even though there was no evidence that God was providing at this point. (But isn't that faith- living by faith and not by sight?) I knew that God confirmed my decision to go when one person gave a "seed offering" to me and invested immediately when I informed her of this new adventure I was taking with God. My Spirit knew God would provide but my flesh was weak and felt discouraged even to the point of questioning whether or not I heard correctly from God. After this testing period, I restored my trust in God and He began faithfully providing as He said He would. Two women that I didn't give letters to donated online! Checks were slowly coming in the mail and my mentors and their non-profit Christian organization began donating large amounts.
As of now, I have raised a total of $2,506.00!! Praise God. This means I still need $1,489.00 for the Lecture Phase, due in exactly one month, on April 5th. I can't wait to see how God will provide this money. Then I will still need the additional $5-6,000.00 for outreach. Talk about walking by faith! But, I know God is able and I trust Him and I can't wait to share the amazing testimony of how He provides. I find it interesting that each Missions Trip I have been on has increased the amount of time that I have been gone. First, 2 weeks. Second, 5 weeks. Third, 9 weeks (outreach) but 21 weeks total. I'm super excited for what God has in store for me and how He is going to use me in YWAM. Stay tuned for more blogs and updates as I continue pursuing Him, not him.
A special thanks to those of you who have supported me in all of this! I couldn't pursue my calling or go where God leads me without having your financial and prayer support! YOU mean so much to me! Seriously! I can't thank you enough.
For more information on Fire & Fragrance Kona DTS that I will be attending visit this link:
If you'd like to donate online to my trip to YWAM please visit the following site. Donations are tax-deductible! :)