Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Well, another spectacular week of teachings comes to a close with the topic of ‘How to Study the Bible’. We learned of three ways to study the Bible: inductive, deductive and inspirational. We also learned four ways to study the Bible within the inductive method: observation, interpretation, application and proclamation.
Our first day of class took us to downtown San Jose where our teacher, Douglas Johnston (originally from the US but now living in San Jose, Costa Rica), had us break into small groups and study various passages from different books of the Bible, answering several questions in accompaniment to the readings. This exercise brought about a whole new level of learning and meaning to the Bible for me as well as a greater passion for reading the Word of God!! I didn’t think that I could fall more in love with God’s word, but I did after last week!! My love for the word just keeps growing and I have an increased burning to know more about God and dive deeper into the meaning behind what I am reading! It was an excellent week and having our speaker, who was so incredibly passionate about his teachings, brought about a fire within our team!
It’s hard to believe that we are in week 8 of our lecture phase and moving closer to our time of outreach! Two of the Extreme DTS teams returned three days ago from their outreach phases and it was wonderful to see their faces and hear their hearts. Especially from one person in particular, Luis. I had been praying hard for him while he was away, that God would work in him in ways that would be evident, just by looking at him. When I had the opportunity to talk to him, before a word was spoken, I knew that many of my prayers had been answered for him. Further confirmation of those answers came when we began talking. Praise God! Luis has grown in ways that fills me with joy and pride. I am blessed to know him as my brother in Christ!!! I have so much love for him and wear a refreshed spirit in seeing and hearing the ways that God touched him during his outreach. I look forward to talking with him further before he heads back to his home in Liberia on Friday.
For those of you who don’t know who I am referring to, and to those of you who do know who I am referring to, here is a recent picture of myself with Luis. He’s developing such a beautiful heart for God and for God’s direction in his life! Amen!!
Aside from all of this, the base was without internet for three days over the weekend which shook this place to its very foundation. LOL I laugh because it’s amazing to me that so many people would become so passionate about a piece of technology that is so imperfect! I welcomed the ‘disconnect’, as it were, for I saw it as an opportunity to direct my time into more fruitful directions like praying more or reading the Bible more. I guess I’m just at that stage in my life where I could be with or without the internet.
Anyway, now that we are getting closer to our outreach phase of the DTS, I thought I would break down some timelines for all of you to show you what the remainder of my time here will look like.
- Currently in week 8 with 3 weeks left. The 12th week will be our NIKO camp and then outreach will follow.
- One of the factors of staying long term in the country of Costa Rica is the need to renew our passports/visas every 90 days (this amount of time varies depending upon the country in which you reside). We will be leaving September 9 to travel to Nicaragua to complete this process and will remain out of the country for a couple days in order to solidify the renewal. We, as a team, will be travelling via one of the YWAM vans and will return in the afternoon of September 11.
NIKO Survival Camp:
- This is an intense and breaking 4 days that will take us to a place called Cartago. We have been told that it is jungle like and very challenging in every conceivable way as well as colder in temperature. This will be an opportunity to get the physical exercise that my body has been lacking since coming to YWAM, on a very extreme level. We will be leaving on September 19 for NIKO and we will return on September 23. We will have only a couple days to recover, do laundry and re-pack for Outreach.
- This will be two months of ministry outreach spanning the country of Costa Rica with my classmates. We’ll be travelling in the YWAM vans while seeing the many topographical wonders and beauties of this spectacular country!! While we still haven’t found out the particulars of where we’ll be travelling and for how long, nor have we been told what kinds of ministries we’ll be participating in at each of these locations, we’re just trusting God for all of the details! :D We will be leaving on outreach on September 26 and returning shortly before our graduation day which is November 18. Another thing that I am uncertain about is if or when we’ll be returning to the YWAM base over this period of time. My guess is that because we are remaining in the country, that we will have the chance to come back to home base once in a while to get refreshed, do laundry and deflate. Hee hee
- As mentioned above, our graduation date of the DTS program will be on November 18. This will, indeed, be an incredible day of celebrating various victories achieved during our time of outreach and for, successfully, completing the purpose in which God had brought us all together in the first place. It will be a great time of reflection and debriefing before we all go our separate ways in following God’s direction for each of our lives.
As I continue to seek God and dive deeper into His word each day, He has been faithful in revealing new sides of Himself to me. My quiet time with Him each morning has extended to two hours and I could certainly remain there longer. He speaks to my heart, fills me up and prepares me for the demands of the day ahead. He grants me words to speak and when to speak them, when to be quiet and when to pray. He calls me with His still small voice and I run after Him just to be in His presence.
The past week and a half found me in the middle of a spiritual battle that involved the entire base. It was a spiritual attack from the enemy that had emotions heightened and irritation magnified. My spirit had become so unsettled as a result of it and after speaking to another person, it was affirmed that, indeed, the base was under attack. The enemy was trying to force each school apart by causing dissension among us. For the DTS this dissension came in the form of issues arising between the staff and the students. We knew, as a team, that we needed to do something about this and immediately. That we had to deal with the issues, resolve them and come up with a positive solution before we entered into our time of NIKO, where there would be no separation among us for four days.
I saw NIKO as a critical point that would either make us or break us as a team so finding a positive resolution was key. A time was arranged to meet with the leaders utilizing three class members, myself included, as delegates, representing the concerns of the other students. After a time of opening prayer, we spoke in love and compassion to our leaders and had very fruitful discussions. During that time, I could feel the enemy flee in fear from the battle he had just lost. In fact, I could hear the enemy tremble. It was an incredible victory and we obtained even more victory when the leadership went further to explain the why’s behind the issues of concern we had raised.
Our unity was restored and celebration broke out among us! We rejoiced in prayer and entered into a unity pact that spoke of communication and transparency all in the name of our love for God and for each other! It was truly a GOD moment and we all felt lighter once we left from that meeting. Praise God for His goodness all the time!! I believe that we were under spiritual attack, initially, because great change is coming within our team and depending on the outcome of our meeting with the leadership that would determine whether the change in our group would be good or bad. So we needed to make things work, we knew that as a team and so did the leadership. The enemy’s been defeated! Woo hoo!
Aside from that, God continues to work in me and through me and I keep asking Him to do what He wants to do next in and through me. To speak to my heart, to lead me and guide me and to show me my future if He so wishes. He keeps revealing things to me about Himself that capture me, draw me in closer to Him and dumbfound me in incredible ways! He shows me snapshots of His intentions for me of which I am still trying to sort out and make sense of. But no matter what, I trust God and keep following Him through each moment of each day and know, full well, He will reveal all in His timing, not mine. Reminders of His ways not being my ways or His thoughts not being my thoughts echo in my mind and just keep my heart in tune with His.
I just want more of you, God. Show me whatever it is you want me to know, learn or understand about you. I had entered into a time of prayer before lunch today praying exactly that to God and a couple minutes after I had prayed He gave me Isaiah 62. I meditated on it and believe that it encompasses both how God sees me and what God sees in me as to the power He has given me to be used for His purposes. So it will be interesting and exciting to see when this chapter of Scripture will come to life! :D