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What is a Discipleship Training School with YWAM?
We have faith. With God, the impossible is possible. We got this. We got this... and then the storm hits and we are back at it again with all the feels, our fears and our scrambling for control.
In reality, there is a fine line between faith and doubt and I’ve faltered between the two more than I care to admit.
When we fix our eyes on Jesus- We can conquer anything. But when our eyes are diverted, we sink. It is a pretty simple formula. One minute confidently walking on water, the next- a terror filled, spiral out of control. It’s funny how life is like that.
When will we learn to remember?
When will we learn, that we were never the ones in control?
We will, when we learn to look again.
Peter confidently cried out to Jesus to call him out on the water. At this point, the storm and the depth of the sea were inconsequential, they were nothing compared to the glory of looking Jesus in the face. He was on a faith high, ready to face anything, until the wind and the waves, began to beckon, picking up speed and dragging his attention away from the gaze of Jesus and onto the danger. He immediately begins to sink.
Did you catch that? When we focus on the circumstances, we sink. When we look at the storm instead of Jesus, we sink. When we look anywhere but Jesus, you guessed it- we sink.
It only takes a split second, but it has dire consequences.
Praise Jesus, we aren’t doomed to our sinking. Praise Jesus, we aren’t doomed to our circumstances or our sadness or even our unraveling. For even though we are a fickle people and we look away- we can look again. The minute we do, that storm doesn’t seem so intense any more. It’s about focus. It's about perspective. It's about our gaze.
Where are you looking to- your circumstances, or your Savior?
Art has such a powerful way of breaking through its’ medium of communication to speak to the heart + the soul in meaningful ways. Being an artist is not some frivolous distraction from the so called spiritual things- such as being a pastor or a missionary in the traditional sense. It is a calling. God anoints us to create, not only for his glory but for the simple sake of beauty. There’s no secular vs. sacred here, it is God breathing life and creativity into our voice and our art. Art is in essence deeply spiritual, yet we tend to compartmentalize. We separate what we feel as “serving God” on one side and on the other we cling tightly to our passions, our dreams, our desires not wanting to give up control. When God so deeply wants to co-create with us in those things as well, to anoint us to be a voice of truth and beauty in this world.
Have you ever noticed: the very first person who is mentioned as being filled with the spirit of God in scripture was Bezalel, an artist! Not only was he filled with the Spirit of God, the word says God fills him with “ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship.” Woah. As an artist myself, this blows me away. God not only wants to partner with me in my creativity, He wants to anoint me with skill, with craftsmanship. More than ever this makes me open up to God, and allow Him to play deeper role in my creative process. To give Him the space to breath life, breath creativity, and to give anointing to what I am crafting so that it leaves a deeper impact.
My prayer for you, for me is that God would anoint us, take us deeper and fill us with His spirit as artists. That we would be God honoring in not only what we create, but in our character, in how we make people feel, and in the beauty that we craft.
Take courage my friend, for you are anointed for art.
YOUR GIFT AS AN ARTIST IS NOT SEPARATE FROM YOUR CALLING;
THEY CAN BE ONE IN THE SAME!
“What now?” is all I could think. I had just finished my DTS and I had so much passion to see nations changed and communities transformed. I felt like a kid with a sugar high, and no idea where to put all this energy. After my DTS I had so many more questions about missions then I have ever had in my life. I had a passion for working in the local girls’ ministry, for working with youth and empowering them to follow their dreams. I wanted to start something but what? How? Where? When? The questions just kept overwhelming me. How do I get involved? How do I find the right connections? How long do I stay in a location? How do I bring a lasting change? What kind of change is really needed? The list could go on and on. At the time someone told me about the Community Development School happening at YWAM San Diego/Baja. The school was starting in three weeks and all I had in my account was $0. I started to pray: “Ok God… if I’m meant to do this, you’re gonna come through... right?” I could feel the grin of God as He spoke over me, “I come through every time, don't I?”
And He did, like always.
When I arrived to the Community Development School, I came in with zero expectations other than the obvious- I was going to learn how to develop communities. I had no idea the layers that come with that. Throughout the school they shared this same quote over and over until it was the first thing I would think of when I woke up, “Transformation starts with you.” You cannot begin to transform that community you are passionate about, let alone the people around you, until you start with yourself. Everything you learn in the CDS, is applicable to you and your personal growth. How can you teach something that you don’t believe in, or explain something that you don't even understand for yourself?
To the core, what we are passionate about as missionaries is to share God’s intentions and love to everyone we meet. During this school, I was able to clearly understand God’s intentions for me. No matter what I do, His plan for me never changes, His love for me never changes. The way I saw myself and my world view began to shift. This was the start of what I’d like to call the cocoon season. My DTS I felt like I was a caterpillar, feeding on hearing God, and who He is to me. The CDS became a season of deep transformation in the cocoon. Through growing pains and pushing past my comfortable way of thinking, I was now able to see who I am to God.
When I was able to understand this, I was finally able to see God’s intentions for every sphere of society. I better understood the roles of family, church, and government. In this political climate, I wanted to make sure that I am standing on a firm foundation of Biblical truth, and to understand God’s heart for government and what role it truly has in my life. Learning from business people, who took their business to help transform widows lives, or slums in India that have been transformed through business ideas, made me so excited to use my gifts and passions! It was life changing to hear about how God wants to use our creativity to bring transformation. The inspirations for future ministries became endless.
During the school I found myself not being able to stop talking about how amazing the school was. Even now, I encourage anyone who is wanting to continue a ministry lifestyle to do the CDS. The perspective of God’s intentions is crucial to understand when working in any type of community. Whether it’s a tribe in the Amazon jungle, an inner-city block in the US, a refugee camp in Europe, or a youth group in your hometown. Transformation and development are possible. In order to achieve the goal you have set out to transforms lives, you must first transform yourself.
Are you ready?
WANT MORE INFORMATION ON THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL? CLICK HERE
WORDS BY KESSIE MICHELL.
KESSIE IS NOW STAFF WITH YWAM SAN DIEGO/BAJA IN THE AREA OF WORSHIP AND HOSPITALITY.
"The enemy will often try to snatch up our seasons of waiting, injecting the poison of doubt into our deepest insecurities. So we rush, we strive, we flail around trying to make things happen. We hurry up & wait. Yet, being in a hurry doesn’t bring the fulfillment of God’s promises any faster, it just brings heartache."
"All of my life I had allowed other people to dictate who God was and what Christianity meant and I knew as a full time missionary, that I needed to equip myself with the word. Using the inductive study method, was a way for me to forget any preconceived ideas that I had about Christianity, allowing me to form my own perspective and beliefs."
"The school brings insight and exciting revelation about who God is and why we desire relationship with him. By studying the word in depth, you gain freedom and intimacy with God like never before."
During different seasons as a missionary I find myself back on the edge of the cliff.
It is scary to step out into the unknown: to get out of your comfort zone and start a journey with a room full of strangers, trusting God for the provision to make it all happen.