Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Now I Know

Nearly half of my DTS is complete and much to my surprise, I'm currently on Christmas break. Never thought we would have a break, but since it's Christmas time, I guess it makes sense. The Herrnhut base has kicked out all the students during this break, leaving us to fend for ourselves in the big land of Europe. Have no fear. After living the YWAM life for three months, we're covered. We've learned to be flexible, to do things spontaneously, and to trust in the Lord every single day. Thus far, my Mobile DTS experience has taught me a tremendous amount of why I always desired spontaneity. Doing things out of the ordinary is FUN! Let me share a little bit about my DTS lecture phase.

We started in Herrnhut, Germany at the YWAM base that our school sort of originated from. But really, we all had the similar feeling from the beginning that it wasn't our home. While we were at the Herrnhut base, we could walk about a mile into town and see people. However, all the people we would see usually tended to be other YWAMers. YWAM has completely invaded and overruled the population of the local Herrnhutters. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a few YWAM students have taken pictures of the locals. It's a sight to see someone in Herrnhut that isn't coming from the castle. Really. One thing that comes along with this nice little picture of familiar faces is just that: Familiarity. When I am surrounded with familiarity (and you may identify with me on this), I tend to create a new comfort zone. And that is what I had done for the first month of my DTS. Then God had us Mobile DTSers all pack our bags and head out to bring life into our Mobile DTS. And we headed to Hamburg, Germany.

Our mobile part of the DTS couldn't have started out any better. For the first two weeks of our mobile part, we lived in a church. The main sanctuary was the boys room/lecture room, the smaller sanctuary was the girls room, the cafeteria was our dining hall, and that was basically it. Because of safety reasons, we rarely had time alone. We were stuck in the church nearly 24/7 during our stay at Hamburg. Staying that close in living conditions to people really stretched a majority of our school.  Those that found it difficult would find closets to hide in and have their own quiet time. The best was seeing those people slowly open the door to see if anyone would notice that they were coming out of this "hidden and secret refuge" that they had discovered. I am very thankful for God giving me life experiences to get use to this sort of lifestyle. I personally loved living in the church in Hamburg. It reminded me of home and just constantly being surrounded with friends. Think about it: Voetberg's house. God definitely blessed me with the Vs. (Voetbergs, you guys have taught me a lot including how to function with chaos all around me. Love you all! Everyone in my DTS needs to experience the Voetbergs home!:) We'll try to arrange that...) Not everything of Hamburg was so grand. First of all, due to water resources, my first shower (along with everyone else) was day 6. During outreach, who knows...

And just about the time that I started to get comfortable in this new place, we headed off to Amsterdam. We experienced heavenly food, free of charge laundry, mattresses to sleep on, and a shower whenever we wanted. However, I personally never felt comfortable in Amsterdam, possibly because of the heaviness of the spiritual darkness. We stayed at the YWAM base which is located near the Red Light District. I think the Netherlands are beautiful, but it is also very tiring when you see the high level of tolerance within this country. Don't agree? Go to Amsterdam and try talking to the people about the coffeeshops that sell marijuana or the prostitutes that believe there is no other way of making money. Some things shouldn't be tolerated. Although I never felt at home during our one week stay in Amsterdam I began to feel comfortable. I wrote a little something in my journal about what I was only beginning to understand. Here it is:

November 16, 2010
Hebrew 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." We constantly are being taken out of our previous comfort zones. The first was our lifestyles before DTS, then Herrnhut, Hamburg, and soon Amsterdam will be within our comfort zone. God is taking us to all these places in such a short time to reveal where our dependence is. He is giving us an amazing opportunity to trust and hope in Him. In Him, we find all that we need, regardless of what we have or where we are. Learn to be dependent on your relationship with Jesus and you will learn to walk with Jesus. Grab hold of He who remains the same admist all the different cities, different schedules, different meals, different sleeping arrangements, different lectures, and all else that seems to never remain the same. God is a definite constant. Abide in Him and He will abide in you. Jesus our Lord has equipped us in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Learn to hear His voice, know His heart, and walk with Him.

I'll try to speed this up and will skip the details. After Amsterdam, we spent two weeks in Brussels, Belgium. During our stay there, we stayed with host families that blessed us beyond belief. Again, we entered into a new comfort zone, then left to YWAM France. It was our last two weeks of lecture where God completely changed our plans to go to Paris and He sent us to a smaller town than Herrnhut: Le Gault, France. No locals. Mareike and I walked to the grocery store. Best walk EVER. It took us two hours just to get there*. Hope that gives you an idea of where we were living. We all refer to it as Somewhere in France. Indeed, it was Somewhere in France but apparently no one else knows about it. Good times in France. God blessed us with rest and a wonderful time to end our lecture phase.

*Don't worry, we got a ride back with God's help. He gave us another testimony about trusting in Him. He always provides. Ask me later. I got to have some stories to share when I get back or then it would just be boring. ;)

Back to this blog now...

For the past few days, I have been experiencing quite a different life style than the previous three months. First off, I've gone from being amongst nearly fifty people that I've become friends with to now being around only three of the fifty. Daily lecture schedules are the past and now we have Christmas break to choose when we wake up, when we eat, and when we have quiet time. But once again, there is still One who remains. Yes, I'm sad to not be home celebrating with my family and friends, but it's more than okay. Had I not realized His consistency in my life, I would be an emotional wreck. From the past three months of being on the move and never having much to take hold on, I have grabbed tighter and tighter to He who remains. He is all that I need and He will celebrate with me whatever, whenever. I'm loving the uproot of the materlistic life and enjoying the different circumstances that God allows me to draw closer and closer to Him.

I'm buried in His heart. I can't describe it. God is my all and I am His.

Merry Christmas to all! I pray that you will grow more and more in your personal relationship with God because as you may know, walking in life with Him is the most fulfilling of all.

Keep praying...He never stops listening and I will never cease to need prayer.Love you guys!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

What in the world?! I did NOT expect to be so overwhelmed with ideas of what I could do with my life. UGh! I guess it's nice to say I have ideas rather than saying that I have no clue what to do after my DTS. But I would much rather prefer to have no ideas rather than a bunch of ideas. Why? Because then it would be a lot easier to just focus on my DTS now rather than trying to put the ideas to the side.

And putting them aside is what I'm trying very hard to do at the moment. My poor brain. Despite all the intellectual work it has done for me, I don't think I've ever had as many ideas rolling around in my head at the same time before in my life! If I could draw you a picture of my face right now, the top of my head would look like a volcano about to erupt. Unfortunately for me, the eruption can't take place until April 2, once my DTS is over. How many more days? I haven't started to count.

Yep. My brain is on OVERLOAD! And now we are getting on the bus to go to a YWAM base in France for the two weeks left of lecture phase.

Pray for me. I'm excited and trust in God to bring clarity about which idea to start working towards when I get DONE with my DTS. And I just can't WAIT to share my thoughts...but I have to. I'm learning A LOT about the wonderful word and lifestyle of PATIENCE.

These kinda things must happen after one receives Revelations 2:26. Check it out! CRAZY!!!!!!