Before I unravel everything that has been going on these past two weeks, I would like you to informally “meet” this year’s Fall 2015 YWAM Taipei DTS class! A total of 14 students and the rest are staff. The students come from United States, Canada, Taiwan, and Norway.
A mini picture tour of our girl’s dorm that currently have approximately 20 girls on the 7th floor of an apartment complex in Danshui, Taiwan. The DTS students share dorm space with 3 other YWAM affiliated programs such as the School of Missions, School of Biblical Studies, and another Anime/Cartoon Ministry.
I originally anticipated being in classes and training until 5 or 6 pm Monday through Friday, but to my surprise, we are busy from 8 am to 10 pm most nights. This doesn’t include having time to do homework and projects. The program is nothing like a mini vacation. It is a very rigorous training program and I’m usually passed out by 10 or 11 at the latest. We have worship, intercession, quiet times, lecture, outreach prep, evangelism nights, ministry nights, cleaning duties, and more. It is quite a schedule!
Picture of our 1st week lecturer, Michael. He spoke on the nature and character of God.
Now that I’ve introduced the students, living arrangement, and schedule. I want to share what God has been showing me these past two weeks. Not enough words can explain everything I have experienced within 2 weeks of this program and we have 5 more months to go! My heart is heavy with His passion and heart for the nations like never before. As we learned about God’s nature and character, the first week, God really showed me where I had totally dropped the ball on getting to know Him. My focus has always been his love, mercy, and grace but I had forgotten to fear Him. I took advantage of His mercy. I had been praying for healing for 7 years and at one point, I was becoming impatient with the fact that He was not fully healing me. I started to tell Him he had to do it and quickly but totally forgotten that He is the all-knowing, all-powerful God. He knows the past and future of every event in life, yet in my limited understanding, I was demanding Him to do something instead of humbling myself to His timing. I learned that fear, justice, and love go hand in hand. Jesus said “Those that love me, obey my commands.” I had become a spoiled little kid getting upset for not getting what I wanted in MY timing. I repented and chose to understand the other side of His nature and character and humbling to Him. So much revelation the first week!
We started to read Loren Cunningham’s book “Is that really you, God?”
Loren shared his testimonies on consistently hearing God’s voice for direction in his life. He shared how YWAM was birthed and his vision for sending young people to different parts of the world. One night, after reading some of the stories, I closed my book and lied in bed to go to sleep. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I laid awake for hours thinking about what I just read and the call to bring His gospel to the nations. My heart burned with passion to go. I was overwhelmed with hunger and desire to preach His love to all nations. I lied there in the dark and told God (silently), I will go! More than anything in the world, I want to go! This is a sacrifice that is worth it! Really, something just came over me.
God has been revealing a few things to me:
- What fearing God looks like
- What obedience and laying down my life looks like
- The importance of repenting of my sins
Laying down my life. I have always wanted to do grow in my relationship with God and get a glimpse into missions, but when we get to the scary part where the Bible asks if we will literally lay down our lives for the gospel, I shiver. The amount of suffering that believers experience for the gospel is quite intimidating. I have said to God, “I want people to know your love, but please, I don’t know if I want this suffering thing.” Like Paul in the Bible who was put in jail, shipwrecked, flogged, ridiculed, and more for the sake of the gospel, I was not ready for it. These past two weeks, God has slowly been tearing away my fears and showing me that I can lay down my life more. I now am more able to wrap my head around it especially after reading about all the disciples in the new testament suffering for Christ and the sobering details in Revelations. Why would they go through such great lengths for something unreal? The gospel, Jesus, Heaven, and Hell is as real as it gets.
Repenting sins. 2nd week we learned about Evangelism, or atleast that is what we all thought. The speaker, Clare, is known in Taiwan as a mighty evangelist. In one year, while she was hospitalized, she brought over 500 people in the hospital to Christ! She would often tell herself that she will not go home until 10 people accept Jesus that day. We were so ready to learn how to evangelize with this mighty woman! To our surprise, the first three days she emphasized the importance of repenting of our sins to each other and to God. Wednesday, we did an exercise where girls and guys were split up into different rooms. In a circle with 10-15 girls, we each had to sit in a hot seat and repent of our sins. SO intimidating! My heart was beating out of my chest. I was not in agreement with this kind of repentant style but I humbled myself to the way she wanted to lead. Everyone was surprisingly honest and many tears were shed as we confessed to God and each other of our sins. That night, my roommate did not feel at ease because she did not share one specific sin. She shared it with me that night and I had previously dealt with the same sin and had told no one about it. We both got on our knees and asked God to forgive us and to cleanse us because all we want is to be more like him and not be separated from him because of our sins.
HERE COMES THE TESTIMONY! After repenting of a sin that I have never told a single soul, my brain healed tremendously that night! The next day, as we were in groups reading the New Testament, this verse came up from James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Both me and my roommate had our jaws dropped to the ground. There it is! God confirmed the healing with a verse in the Bible the next day. I learned through this personal experience that sin can resurface as a physical ailment. If we bring our sins to light and confess them, this could possibly heal any physical ailments. This isn’t the only reason for an ailment but we have to seek God for guidance. I am more careful to obey His commands now so that I don’t fall into sin because unrepented sin can take a deep, deep root in our lives that get larger if we don’t repent.
Ministry and Evangelism. Next week, we will be starting our ministries. We minister two nights a week. I will be ministering at a handicap ministry and The Rock Cafe which is the YWAM cafe where we serve free coffee and tea. They teach english, guitar lessons, dance lessons, etc and any way to have people join the cafe so that we can share the gospel with them. There has been so much good fruit from this ministry. I have already met a hand full of people that have come to Christ at this cafe and are now totally head over heels for God. Their lives have changed dramatically and have found so much joy and freedom in their lives. I am excited to be a part of this ministry!
3 min video introducing The Rock Cafe https://vimeo.com/138720580
These past two weeks have been a whirlwind. As I’m sitting here and writing this email, I am still in awe of what has happened in only 2 weeks time. God is alive and He is so cool. There is no better way to live than in close partnership with Him. It is a thrilling adventure as we listen to what God wants us to do, and we obey. Life will never be the same.
With much blessing & love,