After a full day of fun and learning about God, the Kings kids group is sitting by the fire listening to their fearless leader Edwin Piedra sharing a devotional before digging into the marshmellows in the fireplace.
I am reminded of the importance of the scripture: “Teach a child in the way it should be and when he/she is old they will not depart from the way.”
Seems like any other day, but on this cold afternoon the Word of God is shared with this new generation and we believe that a new generation of missionaries will arise.
I wonder why I decided to buy a plane ticket that leaves at 1am??
Must be because the deal was amazing and I figured I can handle the lack of sleep…but can my 9 year old, who is with me?
She has been fast asleep since we left at 1am this morning and has continued while waiting on the next flight.
It is not even that far away from Costa Rica to Mazatlan, Mexico, but when you fly at those hours in the night everything gets broken up and you loose that precious sleep that the majority of us really needs!
I just walked into the beauty & health store “the Body Shop” at the Mexico City airport and got offered a cream for puffy eyes and against black circles….
I GUESD LOOKED THAT BAD??
Ok no more night flights from now on…
But then again I like to think that the Gospel message is worth those late nights, or early mornings, right?
When Holy Spitit calls us to get up and pray in the middle of the night, can you obey, knowing you might have somebody make a comment the next day on how exhausted you look?
Is it worth staying up late into the night, take a flight to another country to be able to participate in raising up and equipping the next generation of leaders who will go out with the message of hope?
My answer is yes!!
The disciples of Jesus had a hard time staying awake when Jesus asked them to keep watch, that one important night.
Sometimes we struggle with staying awake when Jesus asks us to pray, intercede, travel….
But keep in mind that what you do is spiritual warfare! It is worth so much more than you think..
So bring on the comments on my sleepy face and bags under my eyes, I am about to participate in seeing a new wave of missionaries released, who cares about sleep!!! (Well maybe I do a little bit 😉)
In 1996 I embarked on this adventure with God and it was this photo in the middle of a brochure that drew me into applying for this missionary training course.
Jeff Pratt, the director of the course write so well what J was experiencing in my heart.
“Waiting to be invaded by a fresh, relevant wave of the life that is Christ.”
I was captivated, awestruck by these words written on this page, but even more so, the image that is reflected.
Jesus hanging on the cross. While He was hanging there He had the multitudes in mind. And within that multitude was ME. He thought of ME. He thought of YOU.
I could not help but acknowledge a deep confirmation in my spirit that this was the place I had to be.
It was in the middle of the United States of America, Lindale, Texas. It was a place I had never heard of or ever had been.
As a foreign 19 year old from the Netherlands I set foot on a journey that would change my life forever. I would never be the same, the love of Christ, the life of Christ became my passion, my all and it has not changed after 23 years.
Upon arrival that day in late September 1996 I made a decision that He was going to have it all.
On September 28th, 1996 I wrote God a letter:
I want to let you know why I am taking this course. I really believe you brought me here with a special reason. To be a missionary was not something I had thought of before until a year ago. I believe it was you that put this into my heart and mind.
I desperately want to know you more, know more about you and know what it is you want me to do with my life.
What I hope is that you will touch me so intensely and speak to me so deeply that it makes my relationship with you more meaningful and that I will know and feel you on my side every day……”
A small excerpt from my ‘letter to God’ and how prophetic it was without me understanding that. The prayer was answered. Jesus has become to me more important than any other thing. I have had to fight the darts of the enemy on several occasions in these 23 years, but I have overcome because He in me the hope of glory.
In the world we live in today, 23 years later people are literally laying down their lives almost daily as we watch the news. I pray our hearts of those of us who are in the west truly are embracing the surrendered life to Jesus in a way that He is worthy to be persecuted for.
I pray for the persecuted church, those who are being killed for their faith, churches being attacked almost weekly because of their faith. Lord have mercy, Lord stretch out your hand over their lives, Lord show us the way forward in this generation. You are worthy, You are worth it.
I have given my life in another nation for the past 23 years, there has been absolute hard times, struggles, learning to hold on to the truth of who Jesus is, but He is all worthy.
Today, hold on to the truth of who Jesus is. He is no longer on the cross, He is alive, but when He was there, he thought of YOU.
Have you ever found yourself in an unexpected, unwanted situation and watched your mind and emotions spiral into a pit of ceaseless churning negativity?
Have you ever prayed long and hard for something, only to witness that prayer go unanswered and as a result then began to question God’s goodness or God’s love for you?
Have you ever gone through tough times and found yourself wondering where is God in all of this?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you are in good company. The experience of unwelcome twists and turns, unanswered prayers and difficult seasons are part of life, even for the most committed followers of Christ.
Maybe you prayed for your loved one’s healing and here you sit weeping at the funeral. Maybe you sought the Lord for guidance about the new job or…
We all know we have DNA. Just recently I was helping my eldest daughter do an experiment for school in which she was supposed to extract and show her DNA. It was quite fascinating I must say as I had never done this in my high school.
I took a photo of our DNA, which of course could barely be seen with our human eyes, by simple seeing the strand floating in water with a little food coloring. To have an up close look we would need to get a microscope to observe what it is made of.
Well, YWAM has a DNA as well. The way God made us as a mission, the things He spoke to us that are key for our growth, how we grow and the things He has shaped us with.
Sometimes like our human DNA we can’t fully perceive or appreciate this DNA unless we take it under the loop, put it under the microscope so to say.
So this coming week in YWAM Mazatlan, Mexico there will be an event called DNA Infusion led by the founders of YWAM Loren & Darlene Cunningham, with David Hamilton, vice-president of strategic innovation with the University of the Nations as well as several other Global Leaders of the mission who will impart this DNA.
Giacomo and I myself get to form a small part of this gathering. We will be leaving this week and fly to Mazatlan and will seek to only inspire new leaders, but also infuse them with the YWAM DNA.
Why is this important? If we don’t understand why we were called into existence, who we are and what God has given to us, we will not secure the future of our existence and God wants us to continue into the future, to multiply, to expand His kingdom, to reach out to all who have not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We all want to know who we are, what has been placed within us, why we exist, what runs through our veins that God has put there to use for the expansion of His kingdom.
This coming two weeks in Mazatlan we will do just that, discovering together the DNA God has given Youth with a Mission with a new generation of leaders!!
Since 1999 God has spoken to Giacomo and I to have a University of the Nations Training facility here in the capital of Costa Rica. After 15 years the Lord released to us our very own 30 acre piece of land to develop this Campus.
As Youth With A Mission in San Jose Costa Rica we have a heart to see this generation not only reach with the Gospel message, embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but also trained and equipped to passionately obey the call on their lives to go and make disciples through whatever means the Lord is calling them to do this according to Matthew 28.
This is the entrance to our new land, you are more than welcome to come visit, bring a team, minister with us, reach out to the communities in Costa Rica, send youth to come and get trained.
Email us for more info to firstname.lastname@example.org or get a hold of of any of us personally.
But you can also find us online through our website YWAM San Jose!!
Did you know that Homes of Hope started out of San Diego baja in 1990 and has since spread out to many different countries around the globe.
These last few days they have had their International Gathering in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They gather to ask the Lord for direction, His leadership over the ministry and ongoing growth to see more families blessed with a adequate home and find a better future because of it.
Not only are homes being built in Mexico and Central America but also in Africa (Uganda) and more coming. Homes of Hope does not only exist to build a home, but to bring Hope to a community. We believe the Lord wants us to reach those within the community and often it starts by providing them with proper shelter, but doesn’t stop there. Thank you for your ongoing support and coming to be part of that here in Costa Rica or around the world.