Sunday, 26 October 2008

A Message from YWAM Herrnhut's Base Director

This is a note that YWAM Herrnhut's base director, Jan Schlegel, wrote. I thought it might interesting to see how his perspectives on things also.

"Warm greetings from YWAM Herrnhut!

Two weeks ago, the adventure of our Discipleship Training School started in Herrnhut its that time again! The weeks before it started were filled with trembling, excitement and challenges. Applications for the school came in often, and while that made us excited, it also challenged us. The school we have running now is currently with 87 students YWAMs biggest DTS taking place in Europe, and its so exciting to be a part of watching young people search for a deeper and more real relationship to Jesus as well as ask for their calling.

With all these students, we first had to answer the question of accommodation for everyone as well as have space enough for the teachings! From our past experience, we knew we would have challenges, only this time, the situation was even more extreme. We knew we could not fit this many people into our just renovated, but much too small, lecture hall/dining room. Therefore, we now have a heated tent with solid walls standing in our castle garden.

One week before the beginning of out DTS, we still didnt have accommodation for about 20 of our students. We were feverishly seeking for apartments were daily praying that God might open doors for us. Then we finally found a house at the other end of the village that had been vacant for some time, and one week after the school started, 25 students and staff could move in. We gave every application serious consideration, and by the time the school started, every space in the Water Castle and in our rented apartments was filled. Even the lecture/dining room temporarily served as accommodation! Its tight right now, but somehow, it works well. Of course there arent just logistic challenges: long lines during the breaks and in front of the toilets, too few showers and thats not even mentioning our kitchen, which is used the most in this kind of situation. Its been an exciting start of the school and we seem to be doing well with it!

During the first week, students and staff got to know one another. Its important for the students to gain a good understanding of where we are, who and what Youth With A Mission is, how we work, what our values, vision and culture are and what our goals are.

Right after our introduction, the teaching started. The topic was how God speaks to us and how we can hear His voice. The teaching led into a time of prayer where staff and students prayed for healing for one another. Some came with physical ailments; others wanted prayer for healing in their hearts and minds. The other staff and students gathered around the group of about 20 people and the first ones started to pray. Gods presence was strongly felt. One student had a fractured ankle and came to the prayer time with crutches. After the time was over, they left the time without them!

Others were healed from depression, problems with their back and other various diseases. God revealed His power, and the acting of the Spirit was obvious. Nothing of what happened was planed or expected by us - it just happened on the second day of our school! God is acting in this school, and He does it through His presence and power more than we were able to imagine. Of course, many questions had to be answered by our staff after this remarkable time of prayer, since out students are coming from many different church backgrounds and cultures.

Please pray for this school season. We are very dependent on Him and His acting and intervention. Many of the students gave up everything to come to us and participate in the DTS. They want opportunities and long to find out what are the good things God has prepared for them. They want to know their calling and walk in it, and they are ready to leave everything behind that is separating them from Jesus and His plans."

Many blessings....

Lindsey <><

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Ordinary Things

The last week and a half of lecture phase I have been learning how to hear God's voice, and that sometimes he chooses to speak through ordinary things and in many ways. Today while doing my work duty (which is to sweep and mop the cellar stairs, and clean the lecture hall) God spoke to me through dirty mop water. I was part way through mopping the stairs when I noticed the water was getting really gross, so I decided to add a little more cleaning solution to it. As I did, God revealed to me through this dirty mop water something about our spiritual lives. When we noticed that our lives are getting kinda mucked up and dirty, we start to pour good things into our life. We may read the Bible more, pray more, sing in worship more, or memorize scripture, but until we allow God to take the bucket (our lives, us) and dump out the dirty water (sin, temptation, distractions, etc.) we will only be adding to our lives and not fully be cleansed. One thing I have been learning is that there is a difference between being changed, and being transformed. Adding the cleaning solution to the water changed it, but the water was still nasty. Adding more of God to our lives changes us, but until we allow Him to "take out the trash", we are still filthy. When we allow God's redeeming love to touch us, and accept the forgiveness and grace that God is giving, then we will be transformed! God doesn't just want us to change and be different, He wants to make us new!

Also, an update on my back: I went to the hospital yesterday and got x-rayed. I found out that nothing was broken, I just have deep bruising in my ribs! So praise the LORD for His protection! I seriously could have been in critical condition! Thanks to all of you who have been lifting me up in prayer!

Learning and growing,

Linds <><

Sunday, 12 October 2008

The Fall

Ok, so many of you know that I'm a pretty adventurous girl, and I like to have fun! Well, sometimes those things combined get me hurt - remember Ultimate Frisbee + torn ACL three years ago....

Well, Friday night I thought it would be fun to take some of my friends here to a giant A-frame swing in the woods here. So, we went for a walk and found the swing. We were swinging pretty high, and trying to be careful not to hurt ourselves. I even was pretty scared that the guy with us, Brady, would be the one to get hurt. We were also discussing how this swing would not be legal in the USA because people would get hurt and then would file a lawsuit. So, yes, we were aware of the potential danger of swinging on this swing. We were trying some things to try to make it more fun, like lifting our feet off it and swinging from the bars (you stand on this swing). So, I don't actually remember what happened... but apparently I grabbed onto the top bar and lifted my feet, but then my hands slipped and I hit the swing, then the swing hit me, and then I hit the ground. Like I said, I don't remember even reaching up to grab the top bar. I just remember becoming conscious on the ground and feeling my whole body tingling. It felt more like electrical current was surging through my body. Christen was next to me telling me it was okay, while Brady was holding the swing back, because apparently I landed underneath it. (I'm still not really sure how this all happened).
Anyway, I was able to get up and walk back to the castle (about a 10 minute walk). My depth-perception was off for a little bit, but it cleared up in a short time. I took all yesterday to rest and try to recoup. My friend, leader, and 1-on-1, Stephanie, stayed with me all night and woke me up every two hours to make sure I didn't stay sleeping for too long.
Today I am much better. My back has gained a lot more mobility and strength, but will still probably be sore for a few days. My head is fine though, besides the cut I got.
So, thanks to those who have prayed for me. Continue to pray for complete healing in my back, as I may have broken a rib. But no worries... it's okay.

Here are some pictures.... the swing picture is actually from my time here in April. But, we were going about that high when I fell.
the cut on my head (two days later)

Friday, 10 October 2008

One night a bunch of us wanted to worship through dance, so we had a worship dance party! It was so much fun!!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Acts of Modern Day Apostles

Notice: the things in this blog have to do with the works and power of the Holy Spirit. This is just my quick explanation of things as the LORD worked in my life in the last week, and may be confusing or misinterpreted, so I ask that you read with discretion and know that some things may to be further clarified. I am sorry if anything is unclear, vague, or misinforming, hopefully you will be able to read with an open mind and heart, and leave judgment aside. thanks! :)

The last few weeks I have been reading through the book of Acts, and I have felt over and over again that God is calling me to do great things like the apostles. I have prayed to be known as Stephen is know in the book of Acts, whenever he is mentioned a phrase follows His name describing him as a man full of the Holy Spirit, a man full of faith and power, etc. God kept telling me that He is about big things and wants me to continue to dream big, and go after big things. Many of the staff and students here too have been impressed by the Holy Spirit that God has anointed this DTS to do BIG things! That the things that God did in Acts, He wants to do today, in our lives.
On Monday we heard from our leaders that there are several students that are not here who are supposed to be here. One of my friends here, Taylor, organized a meeting to fast for lunch where we would gather together and pray for those who are not here. Even though this is the biggest DTS in Europe ever, and though we have had to trust God for housing for all of us, we know that God has called more people here and we are besieging Heaven on their behalf.
We joined together again on Tuesday night to pray on their behalf, that the will of God would be done in each of their lives, and if they are supposed to be here that God would work powerfully in getting them here. It has been an amazing time of prayer in both German and English. God is moving in our hearts and has given us visions and hopes for these students that are not here. We received confirmations among us over them. God gave me a vision over one girl, and confirmed the same vision to another girl who was German. It happened multiple times with many of us. I had one vision for one of the guys that is coming, but felt like it wasn't complete, and another girl said she had a vision that finished the vision I had been given. We prayed for 3 and a half hours, and called the students after we prayed for each one. They were all so touched, and we are hoping that they each get here soon. There is supposed to be a guy from India arriving yesterday, but we heard there were some flight difficulties, so we're hoping things work out soon!

Tuesday morning was also a powerful time, and I received healing! Praise the LORD. We had finished our first lecture time of the day and Lucy, one of the DTS leaders, asked that anyone who was sick wold come and receive prayer. I didn't think I should go up because many times I have asked for prayers of healing for my chest deformity and heart pain. After a few moments the Holy Spirit said I should go up and ask for prayer, so I did. I was crying and praying in the Spirit as I went forward. The Holy Spirit had overcome me. Soon I was lying on the floor, eyes closed, crying, and still praying in the Spirit (in a hushed voice); I couldn't stop. DTS staff gathered around me and prayed over me. I don't really remember the order of how things happened, but the following hour and a half was life-changing. One of the other DTS leaders, Jen, prayed confirmation over me saying, "It's okay. You're safe. You don't have to wear masks anymore. God wants you to come to Him like a child. He wants you to be free to be a child again." This was such a confirmation to what He has been teaching me the last month! It's awesome! I kept crying out to God to heal my bones and heart, and then Jon, the 3rd DTS leader, started praying over those of us that were up front, and casting things out of us. At that moment all the pain I have had in the last 11 years came at once, and my chest hurt SO bad! I felt that there was a spirit of oppression inside of me that I did not know about. I could feel that it did not want to come out, as Jon was casting things out. Then he began praying about our identity in Christ, and when he said that we are child of Jesus. When he said the name of Jesus, I felt the spirit leave me and I stopped crying and praying in the spirit (up until that point I hadn't been able to stop). My eyes still remained close, and I was unable to open them. Even though I was already on the floor I felt like my body dropped. Rest came over me. I knew the Holy Spirit wasn't done with me yet so I just remained lying there. A girl went forward to share a vision that she had received and began describing Jesus, standing before each of us holding a cup. As this was being translated, God began to speak to me, and said that in the cup was the Holy Spirit, and he said, "Taste, and see that the LORD is good!" Later on, Josiah (DTS staff), was playing guitar and began singing "taste and see that the LORD is good". It was a beautiful confirmation of what God is asking of me. Someone had also come and given me a piece of paper with a verse on it, so I went to read it. It was Psalms 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of my salvation..." I wasn't exactly sure what it was supposed to mean for me, so I asked God to reveal it to me in His time. That afternoon I checked my email and decided to randomly check a friend's blog. I hadn't read it for weeks, and she actually hadn't even posted since the end of August. The latest post was titled "Mmmm Good" and had a picture of some sort of espresso. I thought, "interesting. what's this about" and began to read. She began to share about the goodness of the LORD and said, "Taste and see that the LORD is good". Apparently God is wanting me to not only know of His goodness but to taste of it also. :)

This last week has been an incredible time of fellowship with my Jesus. He has shown himself to me in new ways, and I am learning what it really means to love God with not only your heart and soul, but also with your mind! I am so excited for what He has for me and the other students here in the next 6 months!

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Start of Something New

But first, an update from the weekend. Friday afternoon a group of about 10 of us from the base (mostly photo DTS students) left for Dresden to visit an Islamic Mosque. Our leader (who is also one of the school leaders), Jon, went there before and was invited back by the Muslim he had met before. I wasn't too interested at first in going, but once I went to the information meeting, I really felt like I should go. I was really excited to be going for an informal meeting to share our beliefs with the Muslims. Once getting to Dresden, we walked around the block that the Mosque was on, and prayed for God to go before us in this meeting. We went in and met with the men that were there; they were very hospitable, but we found out that it was more because of their obligation, than their desire. God began to work in my heart as we were there. The more we talked and shared our beliefs, the more the Muslim men said that they agreed with us, and that we believed the same things. It was really frustrating because they are SO deceived! They blatantly lied to us also about some of their believes. My heart broke for them! One of the men brought is small daughter there, Jasmin, who was about 6 years old. My heart broke for her. I saw no hope for her future - growing up Muslim. She was brought into a world of deception, lies, fear, and no love. I wanted so badly to scoop her up and show love to her. She laughed some, but I knew it was only shallow happiness of this world, and not the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. We also got to experience one of their 5 required prayer times, in which they recite part of the Q'uran (Koran). This broke my heart; they prayed to Allah (God), but the relationship was not there. There was no personhood to this being that they recited empty words to, no personalization to their prayers.
After we enjoyed a meal with them, listened to them read from the Q'uran, and discussing more of the "similarities" between our religions, they had to pray again, so we decided it would be a good time to leave. We had been there for about 4 hours. After we left, we walked down the street and then gathered around for a prayer of closer. God had really broken my heart for these people and as the others prayed that the Muslims eyes would be opened to the truth, tears began to stream down my cheeks. I could stop thinking about how hopeless Jasmin's future is apart from God, and how the men that we met were so religious and decieved that it seemed hopeless that they would ever see the truth either. I just stood there, holding hands with one of the girls that I have become close to, and cried. I was later reminded of a word that had been prayed over me about 3 months ago, of me going to many nations and declaring the love and truth of Lord. The woman that prayed over me also said that she saw me in Arab clothing, preaching and teaching and telling world leaders about the love of God. I believe that God is calling me to a Muslim country for outreach, but we have not yet found out where the outreach locations are yet.

On a lighter note... after getting our stuff settled for the night at the Salvation Army that we stayed at for the night, we decided to go and walk around the city for a few hours. Some people went out for some food, other just walked around and took pictures; Bethany (my good friend, and a base leader), Melody (the girl whom I mentioned previously), and I decided to just walk around, chat, and see if we could find a cafe. After wandering around we decided we should head back towards the main street, and on the way we found a nice cafe where we had gelato and tea. When we finished, it was time to meet up with the rest of the group at a designated place. I was certain that my mental tracking was accurate. After getting sligtly turned around, and actually only taking one wrong turn, I decided to stop and verballing go over the way we had gone, and how to get back to where we needed to be. Thankfully, my mental notes proved to be accurate, and we made it back to the group only 20 minutes late. We then had to take the tram back to the Salvation Army, which included one tranfer. We got off the first tram, and then Jon realized that we needed to be at a different station on the a differnt street that branched off from the one we were one. He looked, and saw that the tram we needed to be one was coming....and then turned down the other street. We started walking towards where it was stopped, but Jon did not think that we could make it in time. I thought otherwise. I measured the distance and guessed that it was less than 100m away... I had run that in track and was confident I would get there in time to hold the tram. So... I took off. I sprinted to the tram and reached it just as the doors where closing to take off. Thankfully I have long arms, and reached out to hit the button on the outside of the doors that makes them open. Yes, I had made it in time to hold the tram for the others. When they saw that I had made it, the started running too. Praise the Lord. We all made it on! I was out of breath, but the run was good, and thankfully I had been wearing my crocs, and not my other pair of shoes that would not have been good to sprint in. :)

Well, I actually have to go now... there's an orientation meeting that I need to attend, but I will update again soon and tell you all about the arrival of new students, moving, and the start of DTS.
Following His Lead,
Lindsey <><