Gettin’ along and fearing the Lord.

Our team of surf students just finished their 10th week of lectures!  And for some, it was a pinnacle moment of their DTS.  We had a speaker named Donna Macgowen, from the Denver base, travel out here to speak and teach on ‘Fear of the Lord’.  And a fearful week it was!

Most of the students were skeptical of a female speaker, but by the end of the week, she had left a huge impression on them.  She made them come out of their comfort zone, and gave them new ways to express themselves before God.  Her perspective on fearing the Lord was exactly what some needed to hear.  I watched as several of them let go of so many burdens, grudges, or insecurities.  Tears flowed, anger was dealt with, and they slowly grew closer and closer together as a team.  Come Wednesday night, I had to sit everyone down for a “family meeting”, which was not well received.  Apparently some of the students had been holding in some complaints against us staff, or the school in general.  So we talked.  And talked.  And talked.  Argued.  Compromised.  Made peace, and from that moment on, all the attitudes in the house changed!  It was a victory in the waiting!  

We ended the week by going up to the highest rocks behind our house for a breathtaking view and a debrief time.  I loved seeing the refreshment in the students faces, they met God in new ways because of lectures, and they met each other in new ways too. 
March 21, 2009 - 3:34 pm

Sarah :) - great blog! i’ll add it to my google reader so i can keep w/your ministry! i’m so excited for you, kirsten..congrats on your upcoming wedding 🙂

you both are in my prayers!
sarah 😉

Jehova Jirah

It means ‘God the Provider’.  And now more than ever before Brandon & I are learning what it means to trust that God will provide.  We both have trips to Nicaragua, the wedding, the honeymoon, our new apartment, and a new vehicle that we are trusting God to provide the necessary money for.  In total we need $10,900 by April.  Whew!  That number alone sends me into a near fainting spell, waving goodbye to my wedding, and leaving me sucking my thumb… I am such a worry-wart!  But then Brandon reminds me that God ALWAYS provides what we need.  So, we’ve asked, we’ve prayed, we’ve sent out support letters, we’ve prayed some more, we’ve rebuked our doubts, and we are trusting in Jehova Jirah.  And you know what?!? Already we have been blessed with some support!  So thank you!  Praise our Lord, we are so thankful!

Living this kind of lifestyle is not so romantic as it may appear.  Trust me, its not an easy thing to live by faith, especially when it comes to finances.  But I see this as one more opportunity to see God move, to be blessed by others giving, and to testify that I have a good, loving, and providing Lord!

January Newsletter

Already the school has started!!!  Brandon & I are so excited for the DTS to be commencing… its our favorite time, when students travel from all over the world, to come to our base, and begin to be discipled.   This newsletter marks our first one that we wrote together… we decided to combine them… (basically to save trees!).  I believe if you click on them, you can read each page…

December Newsletter

~For those of you who didn’t get my first newsletter… I typed up the main story here…

Car woes, 4 Weeks of orientation, & a new life.

5 days of driving, 1 packed car, & 2 tired people later, I arrived to my new home in California.  We had driven clear across the country, & my car felt it.  My gear shifter for my transmission had come detached under the hood, leaving me void of the ability to shift.  Popping it back into place about a dozen of times, Brandon & I finally had to take it to a mechanic.  Dave was his name, & Dave just happened to be a friend of a friend of YWAM, so he, with several pieces of scrap metal, bolts, and such, created a temporary ‘band-aid’ for my car, & didn’t charge me a penny!  So, as I continually am learning, God does provide!  Even for my little ol’ car!

YWAM life for me began with 2 weeks of staff orientation, consisting of prayer tours (4 of them), long lessons about values, guidelines, and all that sort, as well as delegations of jobs.  For our base to run effectively we have committees that take care of various jobs from accounting to special events.  I am initially a part of hospitality & applicant relations.  Should be fun!

Then after, I had 2 more weeks of DTS staff orientation, where only the new staff that are working as DTS leaders trained how to run the schools, lead students, facilitate lecture phase & outreach phase, & simply prepare for the upcoming school.  Our base will simultaneously be running 2 different schools, an arts & justice school, & a surf school.  I, along with 5 others, am staffing the surf school.  We are super excited to begin in January!  I can’t wait to meet the students!

Getting into a weekly routine.

I have learned that in missions, routines rarely exist, & God loves to keep us on our toes.  Weekly office hours, worship, intercessory prayer, evangelism, in-reach dinner, & base family dinner are about the only routine activities we have here.  But even those can change in unusual ways, or bring me out of my comfort zone.  Our office alone can provide a random encounter with a visitor.  Last week we had a man come by, having met & talked to a staff months ago, he was driving by, & figured he’d stop to see what we’re all about.  The little moments like that are great because we get to really show someone what YWAM Pismo is all about.
In our recent intercessory prayer times, we’ve prayed on the behalf of our upcoming students, persecuted Christians, complacency in the church, & our focus countries of Nicaragua, Rwanda, & China.  The recent elections caused an uproar in California over the issue of same sex marriages, & we saw many Christians being persecuted as they tried to defend the biblical view of marriage.  Many YWAMers & Christians in India are also suffering mass-persecution, & we have been focused heavily on praying for them.

Our Thursday evangelism is always filled with unique encounters with people, & when we went door to door one day, God used our hands to touch lives.  We offered to wash windows & clean yards.  This opened up 4 or 5 opportunities for us to share the gospel & pray with families.  One woman invited me into her home, & we held hands with her and her family as we prayed over them.  We were even able to give a bible to a man who was deeply grieving the loss of his mother, encouraging him to read & seek comfort in God. 

He Proposed!

Brandon flew out to Florida to help me drive out to California to move on staff with YWAM, but he had planned more for the trip… in the old fashioned way, he asked my momma’s permission to marry me, without me even knowing, the two of them conspired in secret!  Sneaky!  My momma lovingly & openly approved of him, but I was unaware that they had talked about more serious matters (she even gave him her old ring from my dad!).

In following his plan, Brandon drove me up to the Grand Canyon while we stopped in Arizona for several days.  He & I walked around for a while, taking in the amazing & never-ending vistas.  Then we climbed down into the canyon & sat on a rock overlooking the ledge.  We talked, took pictures, & watched the sun set over the canyon.  When we stood up to leave, he dropped onto one knee, surprising me by pulling out a ring & asking me to marry him!  In the whirlwind of the moment, I answered with ‘uh huh’!!!  It was a beautiful moment, especially when I realized what ring he was putting on my finger… yes, there were soooo many tears!

We will be getting married June 20, 2009 in California, & could not be more excited!  Brandon & I hope that the next 7 months fly by!
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