Full weekend and full week

After days of much rain we had two beautiful sunny days over the weekend. Though we did not really get to sit outside and enjoy the sun directly we got to have a beautiful time as a YWAM San Jose legal board for two days.

Some of you might say how is a legalboard meeting a beautiful time? Well when you spend it with people who all love the Lord and want to see His kingdom come on earth it is a beautiful thing to discuss the things He is doing in the ministry.

We walked the new land together, prayed and strategized on how we can see this developed.

Full days of meeting, planning, praying and thanking God for His goodness in our lives and ministry and embracing this new and challenging season ahead of us.

How wonderful to have a beautiful place to meet with a view of the new land!

Full Week ahead

It is week 3 of the Discipleship Training School that I am giving leadership to with a great team around me. This week we se learning about the work and person of Holy Spirit with a wonderful friend from YWAM Orlando but who served around 14 years in Eastern Europe.

What a total blessing to have Cindy Hunt with us and hearing her strories as we ask God for revelation about what He wants is to see. We read the Word, learned about Jesus being 100% human and yet fully God and how Jesus always did what the Father showed him. There is lots of learning going on and we as leaders are included in that learning!

I love the DTS and sitting in the classes everyday (besides my role as campus director) has given me a whole new passion again for the DTS! Twenty two lives who came to be trained and equipped, to grow in their walk with the Lord, their understanding of who He is and to get ready to make Him known!!!

Let it rain……

The last time I have been this cold was when our son was born in December 2004. Wind was howling around the house, rain was hitting the windows and we would not come out of the house very much. Luca was a newborn and we would all huddle in the bed together to keep warm, including our two year old.

The last days I have been walking around with double sweaters and rain coat, scarf and trying to keep my feet warm with my sloggers (garden shoes against the rain). I mean 15 degrees Celsius at 1200 meters altitude is simply ‘cold’ for me. People call me crazy (I know) but I like to be warm. But I love the mountains more than the beach. I can’t do heat for a long time, so I prefer being a bit chilly, but I do realize I might have to hit the thrift store one of these days to find myself a thicker sweater….

But you know that this kind of weather makes me think about Spiritual rain. Yep, sorry can’t help but seeking for the Spiritual lesson with this down pour of water over us.

The last two weeks have been simply a downpour of Jesus truth over not just my life, but the lives of the students also. We have been confronted with the truth, we have been shown who God is in His Character and His Nature. How is He loving, compassionate, full of mercy, yet also exercises justice. So many things to discover about who God is, yet so full of love towards His children to get to know Him, not just stuff to know about Him. But it is in the knowing more things about Him that His Spirit draws us to know more OF Him.

Some people have so many questions about God but never ask Him to answer them. Why is that we have questions about “God” and we seek in every direction to find answer, but not asking God Himself?

It is like somebody wanting to get to know me and they only talk to my husband, my kids, my friends, my parents or other people that know me, but they never end up talking to me. Funny how that gives them a judgement about who I am, if they never actually took the time to get to know me by talking to me.

Has that ever happened to you, that people think they know you, but they have actually never really taken the time to really get to know you? Annoying right?

Well then why do we do this with God? Why do we make assumptions about who God is or why He does stuff without really getting to know Him, taking the time to talk to Him and spending time with Him to get answers?

I am not saying that the questions you have about God are easy, they probably are not, they are probably deep and very raw and real. That is ok, God wants our questions to be real, deep and raw. But whatever you do, give God the honest opportunity to respond in His way.

I love God, why? Because He has shown Himself to me over the past many years, spoken to me personally, shown me his forgiveness, His love, His care, His leadership in my life, His protection, His provision and so much more. But really I love God not only for that, I love Him because the more I get to KNOW Him, the more I admire Him, the more I am in awe of Him, the more I see how merciful He is, how patient and so much more.

Loving God is not about what He does for me that makes me love Him, but simply knowing Him…His Character, His ways, His Nature…..Wow…but really getting to know Him, not what I think I know about Him, or only what people tell me about Him, but personally seeking Him…that is what I love.

Having a God that is personal, who speaks to His children, who lets Himself be found, who allows me to make mistakes, but picks me up and teaches me the right way to walk so I can avoid another mistake.

So when I have seen the rain, felt the rain and see the clouds hanging over the city in the early morning as I drive my kids to school, I say Lord give us more of Your rain. Your Word, Your presence, Your truth. Shower us with all that You have for us until we are drenched in your truth, until our heart and soul are dripping and overflowing with it.

I was reminded this morning of this famous scripture that many of us know so well:

“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45)

Let my heart be full of Your rain (your truth) so that my heart will overflow, my mouth will overflow with words that reflect this truth. So much to learn, but Lord I ask that You would bring on the Spiritual Rain in my life!!!

“Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

 

Prayer changes things

For past two weeks we have experienced all kinds of interesting events, especially on a personal level with Giacomo falling fracturing a few ribs, recovering from a collapsed lung and all the while making sure things move forward within the areas of our responsibilities.

But….

Prayer changes things. The family of God around the world came together to pray, to lift us up and we have experienced His grace, His encouragement, His strength, His Spirit at work in us. It was obvious God was there.

There are times when we do not always ‘feel’ that He is at work, but because we know who He is, we understand some of His ways (not all cause He is so majestic and there is much to learn), because of that we know He IS working all things for good for those who love him.

Recently I am reminded of the fact that our faith in God is not based on how we feel about God, it is about knowing and believing that He is who He says He is. To not waver in our faith in taht truth!

I was reading today the first chapter of Corinthians in which Paul reminds us to not boast in our wisdom or knowledge (neither boasting about how we feel I would add)…but if we do boast, let’s boast about this: that we know and understand Jesus, the power of God for wisdom!!

You see prayer changes things because of who we pray to, in whose name we pray and knowing and understanding the One we pray to.

It changes us, when we establish again our dependency on Him, our surrender to His Lordship and then we ask Him to lead our words to be in agreement with who He is.

So thank you to those who stand in prayer with us. Our school on their second day of class, sat together and prayed (see photo)…

There is power in prayer and prayer in the name of Jesus!!

Amen….

Good soil for proper growth

Week 2 has begun after a full first week of understanding our heritage as a YWAM tribe and learning about, what we in YWAM call the ‘Belief tree’.

How do we make decisions and what do we build our lives on as believers. We should build our lives on nothing less than Jesus Christ. He is the Truth!

Want to know the truth that sets you free? Get to know Jesus….

The foundations of your life, the way you make decisions all come from that which you plant seeds in – soil!

Remember Matthew 13, the parable of the sower? Remember what happened to the seed that did not fall in fertile soil?

We need fertile soil to have good fruit!

We need truth to produce like kind fruit! The truth is a person – simple! Jesus is the truth, the way and the life!

So after looking at the soil of our lives, the roots which represent our beliefs, the trunk which represent our values, the branches which represent our decisions and the fruit which represents our actions…..

Now in WEEK 2…we go back to the soil once again and make sure that what we have in that soil is actually truth.

So we are taking about God’s character and Nature! Who is God? How does He act? Why does He act that way? Who are we?

So many questions so much to process!! So good!!

All that and more….laying a good foundation is crucial for proper growth!

Twenty years today

I remember this day as if it was yesterday! I flew to Costa Rica 5 weeks before the wedding. With my wedding dress as my hand luggage I stepped foot into an adventure I would have never guessed would take me to where we have been over the past 20 years!

The morning of our wedding the day started early. The sun comes up early here in Costa Rica (every day)…

Many people were in the house running around with preparations. Even the baker making the wedding cake was at the house finishing this beautiful cake that in the end we ended up bringing home again as we never cut it at the reception (hahaha)!!

We did cut the cake with a few us who came back home, before we headed on our honeymoon!

A week later we were on our way to Holland to prepare for the second wedding in Holland! Some of the advantages of marrying cross-culturally is getting to have two weddings in two different counties! We had around 150 people at both weddings!

Flying back to Holland again with my wedding dress was a joy as I got to wear it twice (making sure the money spent on it was well spent)!

At the alter here in Costa Rica I more or less understood what was being said but praise the Lord it was being translated to English. I really tried to say “I do” in Spanish but I was to embarrassed to make a mistake….

Nevertheless we are 20 years later and now I know how to say “I do” in my new language!!

It has been quite the journey, with all kinds of challenges but here we are, ready for the next 20 years!

Many of you have walked this journey with us and we are so grateful for your friendship and being part of our lives!

Though we are from two totally different backgrounds, countries and cultures, God puts people together for His purposes and that is what He did with us! It has been a journey of learning and growing in many ways and we still are in that process…

Our love has grown, has been challenged, has been tested and we are coming out a bit stronger every time…!

Here is to the next 20 years…will you walk alongside of us in this journey, in prayer, in friendship and partners in the ministry!

His Faithfulness shines bright

How can I begin to express my gratitude with the Lord for this past week. He has been so faithful to uphold us when things around us seem to come against us.

As some of you were aware, Giacomo made a fall and fractured a rib. Returning to the hospital two days later due to difficulty breathing we were told he now has 2 more fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. He was admitted for 2 days to drain his lung from the excess liquid built up and to get it sealed and have air put back into the lung.

It was good for him to spend two days there. Giacomo came back on Wednesday with another check up visit this past Friday and the doctor is very pleased all is heading well!!! Praise the Lord.

In this same week we started our September DTS which I am giving leadership to with an amazing team of staff!! Twenty two amazing young people, all hungry to learn more about God.

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Two of our students are from Nicaragua and shared how hard the situation in Nicaragua is but also testified of when they got to pray over the police force and how God used them to speak blessing over their lives. They are here learning more about God, more about how He created them so they can go back to Nicaragua full of the truth of Jesus.

This week we shared about YWAM History, Values and the Belief Tree and wise decision making! What an amazing week full of revelation for both students and staff. The DTS is such an amazing time in which the Lord gives fresh revelation about His heart for us, His love for us and where students hear His voice for the first time! God shone with His faithfulness over our first week of class, over the students.

I just love seeing students get personal revelation about how much God cares about them and how much He wants to show them more of who He is.

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We also officially started with our Special Interest Tracks during this DTS. Students will be learning about Soccer and Sports and how we can use this for missions!!

DTS Sept Soccer Track

Another group is learning photography and how to use that for the expansion of God’s Kingdom, another group is learning more about worship and another team will learn about Digital Sound.

We are so excited about all that God is doing, we are seeing Him move in our midst and no matter what comes our way, we continue to trust in His faithfulness and goodness. As a family we have seen some hardship this week, but we will not let this take us out of what we are walking in.

Although we are experiencing some challenges and needs as a family specially for our children as we need to register them for the 2019 school year next week. We need to see some financial miracles, but trust the Lord will continue to provide every need as He has done so faithfully over the past 22 years.

Thank you for your prayers for YWAM San Jose, for the current DTS that is receiving classes and is about to enter into their second week of class, learning about the Character and Nature of God with two amazing speakers from YWAM in Guatemala City.

Pray for our current DTS that is on outreach and will soon be leaving to Uganda for the next part where they will be building a home and will be ministering the message of the Gospel to different tribes.

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All for the glory of His Name and for the expansion of His Kingdom!!!!

22 lives ready to get to know God more…

Here they are, our new DTS September 2018 Students, all 22 of them!! A new quarter has begun. With a wonderful dinner and worship unto the Lord we started with another DTS group, ready to embark on the adventure of knowing God and making Him known!

As we move forward with the vision the Lord has given to YWAM San Jose to make disciples of Jesus we see God hand picks those He brings to us. Not just the students but also those who get to walk alongside of them during the next 5 months.

Together with an awesome staff team, I (Marjolein) have the amazing privilege to lead this September DTS. Walking alongside these 22 young people into getting to know God more and together making Him known will require your prayers and intercession, will you join us?

All this does not go without a battle. We are not only starting another quarter but we are also very busy fundraising for the development of the new land that we have now been on for the past 2 months. Giacomo has been keeping busy with this and it is obvious the enemy does not like this.

This past Friday Giacomo had a small accident and fell, causing him to fracture one of his ribs and now been on bed rest!! None of this was anticipated and we ask that you would pray for his recovery as we move into this new season of training, fundraising, property development and building more Homes of Hope. A busy three months ahead.

Thank you for walking this with us in prayer and financial support. Our family need is great at this time and we are trusting the Lord for His provision for some big needs.