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4 Things I Learned about God from my YWAM Travels

Apr 1, 2019 12:16:39 PM

4 Things I Learned about God from my YWAM Travels

When I signed up to do a YWAM Discipleship Training School, I was excited about the chance to spend nearly three months in another country. That’s what attracted me to the program to begin with. I had been on short-term mission trips and visited other countries before, but never for more than a few weeks. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but by the end of it, I was blown away by what I learned from my experiences. Stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing a new culture is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here's what I learned. 

1. Be willing to try new things

There have been times when I’ve visited another country, and the sight of a KitKat candy bar has seemed like the most comforting thing. Culture shock is real, but we shouldn’t let it hold us back from all the incredible experiences waiting for us. While I was in Cambodia on my YWAM outreach, a few times a week, I would get an afternoon snack from a little food stall that made a sort of fried dumpling. It was my favorite food. After two months of going there, I had become friends with the owners. Maybe it’s easy to consider stepping out of your comfort zone with something like food, but what about when serving and ministering to people? Without a doubt, I can say that when God has asked me to step out of my comfort zone, he has never once let me down.

2. Prayer is powerful.

I’m an action person. It’s easier for me to help tangibly than to just pray and hope for the best, but if I’m being honest with myself, that’s a pretty limited scope of prayer. While I was in Cambodia during my DTS outreach, I went on a "prayer walk" with my team. As we walked the streets of the city, I experienced something I had never felt before: the victory in Christ that we carry. It was like a wake-up call for me where I truly realized I held in me the cure that so many are in need of. Prayer has power both in our spiritual walk and in spiritual battles. Part of the reason that mission trips are such compelling experiences, is that prayer is emphasized and depended on. I’ve realized that prayer and intercession aren’t just individual disciplines that we practice alone, but active roles that we must take part in for the sake of the Kingdom moving forward.

3. Love will surprise you.

During my second week in Southeast Asia, my team and I were riding bicycles to a church service. It was about a twenty-minute ride to the church. When my shoe fell off during the ride, I fell behind my team and spent the rest of the ride pedaling as fast as I could to keep the rest of my team in sight. By the time I turned down the dirt road leading to the church I was breathing heavily and on the verge of an asthma attack. When my tire hit a rock, I flew over my handlebars and got a little scraped up. When I finally arrived at the church, I was covered in dirt, bleeding, and unable to breathe. I sat down and dug out my inhaler. As I focused on getting my breathing under control, I felt something on my back and shoulder. Two teenage girls were sitting next to me and patting the dirt off my shirt. Another girl had run to fetch a first aid kit. They began to clean up my scraped hands and legs. As much I wanted to minister to others during my trip, God kept reminding me that he also wants to minister to me as well. So often we go to other countries to help, to give, or to be “poured out,” but watch out because God’s kingdom works in a unique way. If we want our love to build bridges, we must be willing to be humbled for those bridges to find their bearings.

4. Jesus will show up.

When I was in Cambodia, I woke up most days expectant to see God at work. Even when I didn’t wake up expectant of him, he still surprised me. I spent two months teaching English conversation classes at a Christian learning center. The students were curious about Christianity, resulting in so many conversations about Jesus. As I prepared to leave at the end of the trip, I asked God if I was supposed to ask these students if they wanted to accept Jesus into their hearts. I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to do so.

On the last day, a massive monsoon rolled through the town. Only two of my students showed up. I refused to be disappointed. Throughout the entire conversation the rain beat down so hard on the roof that we could barely hear each other, but the presence of the Lord was there. Both students eagerly gave their lives to Jesus!

Often during our normal lives, most days feel pretty ordinary. I believe that mission work can teach us how to live in extraordinary ways, even in our ordinary moments. Whenever we surrender to Jesus’ will and walk out in faith, things that seemed impossible are put within our reach. I hold onto the lessons I’ve to learn in my time with YWAM, because I know that I still need them to fulfill the work of God in my life.  

Interested in Jesus, adventure, and growing in your faith?

Do a Discipleship Training School, YWAM’s flagship missionary training course. It's a great gap year option. It's also perfect for anyone looking to step out of the ordinary and grow in your faith.

How does it work?

First, you’ll spend 3 months getting to know God amongst a vibrant Christian community and the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Then you’ll embark on a life-changing 2-month overseas missions trip, focused on making God known. A new DTS starts every September, January, April, and June! Submit your info below to learn more. 

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