Update from this week!
-Dia de Dar- Thursday we had a “Day of Giving” with all of the students on the base. It was touching to see the young missionaries and students come and give out of a pure and joyful heart. The entire week we were asked to pray about what God wanted us to give. It was wild to watch how God spoke to people.... telling one guy to give away his bookbag to a specific student; he did so obediently but not knowing why he was giving that away of all things. When he handed him the backpack, the other boy burst into tears and and explained to everyone that he had been praying for a backpack for 6 months (and this is a requirement of our outreach). My missionary training group is mostly made up of people from 18-28ish. These are kids who raised support for this 6 months of their lives of mission work; or they are people like me who are now depending on donations as a means of life as a missionary. I was so touched to see these people who had so little giving everything they had.... One person who still has not raised all of her support was given a guitar by a boy in our class who she hardly knew; he loved his guitar but gladly gave it away.
-Saturdays Skateboard Outreach-
The YWAM base has a huge call to reach the unaccepted youth here in Costa Rica. Costa Rican churches still see skateboarding as a really bad thing, that bad kids do, and these children are not accepted in the churches. One of the ministries here at the base is to reach these kids who are not being reached elsewhere... On Saturday, there was a HUGE event. A professional skateboarder came (he is number 5 in the world), the YWAM base provided skateboards and skate ramps, instructors to help teach new tricks, sounds systems.. and held a huge event at the park! HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of kids came to watch this AWESOME skateboard celebrity skate, and then later share God with them.
- The Nature & Character of God- This past week we learned about the character and nature of God... and how this relates to missions. My mind was rocked, misconceptions ripped out, and filled with truths from the bible. God continues to confirm my call to the Nations through various means. Through INTENSE days literally FILLED with bible classes, we learned about God’s character... how he DEEPLY desires to REASON with US, to answer our questions, to LISTEN TO US and then to HONOR or change his plans because of our input in the relationship... his WIDE range of INTENSE emotions but that are all based on LOVE (and how strongly what we do impacts him, how he is affected in this relationship). The things that grieve and burden his heart.... how badly it breaks his heart to see people hurting and suffering (physically, emotionally, spiritually) but how this is related to “free will” and our choice, that Jesus told us to pray for God’s will to be “done on Earth as in heaven” because what is being done now on Earth is obviously NOT his will, how God actually converses with people like a friend, and how our prayer can actually change God’s plans, how God called us to GO and heal the nations... “The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene.”-Isaiah 59:15 &16 ... and then we all know that God asks who will go for us and stand in the gap between these hurting people and God.
- God has been doing huge things in my heart. Wow. What an awesome, wild relationship! It is so great that God is not only preparing me for my life as a missionary, but also investing so much into making sure his and my relationship is SO STRONG. It’s a dual process that is truly beautiful. It is such an honor to be here serving and learning about our awesome God. I fall more in love with him each day as our relationship grows more and more personal. The more God reveals himself to me, the deeper I go with him. God has been revealing so much of his heart to me this week. The more I know his character and see his emotions/ my effect on his heart; the more I desire to serve him. But, it totally shifts the focus of this desire from obedience to relationship. Like with any relationship (when you are madly in love), you want to do things to make the other person smile, to “bless their heart”. You know what things will bless that person’s heart only after you know that persons heart. My goal is to make God’s heart smile.
Children Sex Brothels-
As I sit in class and listen to stories about God’s heart; I hear stories about the thousands of young girls (some as young as 5) sitting in sex brothels around the world. I listen to these stories of these little babies who have numbers hung around their neck, sitting in rows on benches. Men file into these places and choose a number. These children’s whose eyes look so empty and hopeless. One missionary went to one of these brothels... he had recently asked God to let him feel God’s heart. I can only imagine the anger and pain he felt looking at these innocent victims, small children, litle girls like his own. As he was standing in line at the brothel, God said to him “Look in all of their eyes.... it hurts you to see them, but I NEVER get to leave them. I have to stay here ALL of the time and SUFFER constantly for these girls. You get to go back home, but I have to stay.” The missionary looked around and saw one little girl who still had some glimpse of life in her eyes. He went to the man who was running the brothel and asked if he could buy the little girl. The manager told him it was $1.60. The missionary clarified, informing the man that he wanted to buy her to own her. The manager thought for a few minutes, then came back and told the man a price. The missionary called his church and asked if he could buy the little girl and bring her back to the States. The church’s response: “Buy the entire brothel and the one next door. Buy all of the little girls and the building as well.” The missionaries bought the 2 brothers, filled with hundreds of girls. The brothels were transformed into therapy centers. The girls stayed there, found Christ, have been healed emotionally and spiritually... and these girls are now ministering to other girls in prostitution. Wow.
The huge missionary man who had purchased the brothel then felt a huge voice from God saying, “now I want you to go and reach those men who were running those brothels”. The missionary thought for a week.... and then went and began ministering to these ‘men’ who were 15 years old. These men changed their lives, committed their lives to God, and had a change of heart.
Someone asked why God doesn’t just stop evil.... but if God had stopped this brothel, it wouldn’t have fixed the problem, the heart issue of evil. These men would have been stopped from this one intense of evil with a little slap on the hand, but would quickly do more evil. God doesn’t fix heart issues with a bandaid. It requires a heart change.
One of the things we have been focusing on is the huge problems in the world; how Christ must have wept over the 100,000 people who die everyday without having heard His name, how God knows the name of every 2.5 billion people who are waiting to hear the gospel, God is not deaf to the cries of 750 million who go to sleep starving of hunger, the 20 million children who will sleep on the pavements of central american cities tonight... God was grieved over the 40,000 children who died of hunger yesterday, the 900 million around the world who will sleep in shanties of cardboard or scrap tin tonight. WHY DOESN’T GOD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE NEEDS?!?!?!? I believe that he already has. He has given us enough to preach the gospel and meet physical needs as well.... the funds are already there-waiting to be multiplied and given out to feed a hungry world.
-“God has placed enough resources in the hand of Christians to fully evangelize the billions in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus. Christians annual incomes total approximately two-thirds of the earth’s resources.
-For the cost of caring for a pet dog or cat for a year, a child in a third world country could be given a christian education.
-There are 16 million refugees in the world, according to most sources. To feed every one of those refugees, it would only cost the 1.6 billion who call themselves Christians one penny a day.
**God has also been making it clear what my role is in his goal to make “his will be done here on earth as it is in heaven” and to go for us... to take God to the hurting world. That’s what they need.... a heart transformation from God alone. Only a heart transformation can stop evil...
A few funny/interesting things:
-We literally eat rice twice a day, every day... SO tired of rice! Tonight, our dinner consisted of rice and lettuce. The entire base claps when we see that there is meat for a meal!
-I am called the mom here amongst my fellow classmates. (A teacher did tell me that it was because I have a loving mother’s heart or service).
-Since there aren’t televisions and internet is VERY limited, when we are waiting in line for dinner we have to think of someway to entertain ourselves (there were almost 100 people to wait in line with at one point). So, we play “television” and act out different shows that people shout out... the germans here who can’t pronounce “v” call it “telewision”.
-There are 10 of us living in a room smaller than my bedroom at home... we live in bunkbeds.... which break frequently throughout the night... nothing like a good adrenaline rush
-One of the students that is in my school is a refugee from Samalia... his story is AWESOME!
-On Friday we had a “deep cleaning day” which involved us cleaning for 5 hours in the afternoon instead of having our usual class.
-For someone who is extremely active (me), I can actually sit in a classroom the entire day and the professors still like me at the end of the week. I do however have to jump and pounce around during break times!
-When everyone has their clothes hanging on the clothesline to dry, and the closeline somehow falls... it is so awkward picking up your undies from around the base!