The Cabin of Grace

Being a mom is a full time job, quarantine or staying at home does not change any of that.

We are a family of 5. That makes me a mom of 3 and this mom loves every one of them. I am a woman who leads a ministry with her husband (full time) and is passionate about that, and whose wonderful husband truly is a very sacrificial person and loves serving others. I am a foreigner in the nation I live in, though they have accepted me as one of their own citizens for a few years now. I’ve learned to speak the language, have learned to love this culture, and have “almost” accepted all of the things I can’t change in all these years of living overseas.

I am a foreign national, a world citizen, a woman who was born and grew up in a European nation, served as a missionary in East Africa as a single woman, found love in North America, married the Costa Rican I found there and embraced his nation as my own. My travels have taken me through Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, South America and Australia all for the sake of the person, the Truth I love and want to share with the world – Jesus.

When I first became a mom I also lived in a foreign land, the beautiful nation of Nicaragua. Though my husband is from Costa Rica and knew the culture, I was still learning to adjust to my new life in Central America.

With a little baby on the way, we packed our bags and 6 plastic boxes and waited patiently for Tica Bus (Busline in CA) to take us to our new home. New adventures were around the corner, a new home, a new ministry to be part of, a new family to embrace. So many memories of those first years.

God was with me every step of the way in becoming a mom, provided for every single detail, despite the fact that I never had any of my kids in my homeland (The Netherlands). All three were born in Central America and I have never regretted it. God provided, He gave peace about the decision every time.

Now our oldest is almost 18. I still can’t believe it has been almost 18 years since we lived in Nicaragua and walked into that brand new little hospital in Diriamba. I must have been the only patient that night as I was well taken care of and our little one was the enjoyment of the nurses with her bright blue eyes and puffy thick blond hair.

 

2004 when she was almost 2

Being a mom than was easy, I wasn’t leading a ministry, I only had one little one to take care of, we lived in a small 2 bedroom house and thus easy to keep clean.

Now 18 years in, 3 kids later (ages 17, 15, 10) and leading a full time ministry, being a mom is very different.

Moms are always busy, and it is not because they always want to be, life just happens and there are things to get done.

During this mandatory “stay home” rule from the government I thought; Finally I will get some time to do certain things, but I have yet to find the time to do them.

The first few days I had to come off this mayor energetic sprint in which we had to make sure all things for the ministry were taken care of before I could ‘stay home.’ Once that was done and I finally had my first full day at home, I never sat still for more than 20 minutes.

Woke up, showered, drank coffee, got kids settled with school work, put in a load of laundry, swept the floor, took clothes out of the washer to put them in the dryer, gave my kids a snack, mopped the floor, sat down for a moment only to realize that it was now almost lunch time. So I did that, ate lunch, did the dishes, cleaned up, took the laundry out of the dryer, folded the laundry, cleaned up my desk in my room (which had been a months long project on my list), drank coffee, spend the rest of the afternoon squeezing about 300 lemons, put them in ziplock bags so we can freeze the juice and have vitamin C juice for weeks (maybe)!! Then it was time for dinner again so did that, washed up, and finally around 7:30-8:00pm sat down on my bed ready to ‘rest’.

If you are a mom, you can relate, right? Today is day 5 and I realized moms in quarantine are still moms, still do all that needs to get done, don’t really get to ‘slow down’ or just sit and do nothing as some might think quarantine is.

Life is different, for sure, having kids at home all day is different for me, they are very responsible with their school work, which helps as they are also a little ‘older’. I am so blessed, it gives me the time to get the ‘other’ stuff done, but now I just want to rest.

I write all this to say; it is time to rest! How about you, if you are a mom, are you finding your rest?

If you are like me with so many things going on all the time, how do you find this rest? What can we do to find our new normal but also find deep moments of resting our heart and soul in the Lord.

Friends, this is a new season, none of us were ready for this, none of us were expecting this, but here we are. Here I am and find myself having to re-think how I do things, among the many things I normally do.

Last year the Lord allowed me to build this little Cabin. I call it my Cabin of Grace. When I go there I am entering into this special place with God. It is where I meet with Him, where I talk to Him about the deeper things. Where I receive grace to go through the things I walk through.

The Cabin of Grace

This momma needs some time in her Cabin of Grace this week. There is a gift that rarely gets given and that is the gift of time. Especially as a mom, this is a precios gift that when it is given, you tend to fill it with what needs to get done.

This season we are in right now can be filled with working from home, and trust me I can fill it with many important and good things, but this week I am going to take this gift that so rarely comes, to enter into the rest I believe the Lord wants to give me, but I am quite sure He wants to give it not just to moms, but to all His people.

So when you get a moment this week, I invite you to receive this gift of time and rest…

Rest in the arms of your heavenly Father…

More later on this subject of rest as I enjoy my scheduled visit to the Cabin of Grace this week and the weeks to come….

 

Take a quick tour

Friends, after my last blog post I wanted to take you on a quick tour of our new location on the east side of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

Want more info on how you can come do a Discipleship Training School – email dts@ywamsj.org

Want to come with your youth group, high school or high school – email teams@ywamsj.org

Or simply want more info about who we are – email info@ywamsj.org

Getting close to 200

As 2018 is quickly coming to a close, so is this year Homes of Hope build!!

This last weekend has been another weekend of building more than 1 home in two days!

Several years ago we build 7 Homes in one weekend, last year we build 8 Homes in one weekend and this weekend we built 6 Homes in one weekend.

Over 200 volunteers, full time ywam missionaries and our DTS students were part of building these 6 families a home that provides adequate shelter and gives much need hope for a better future.

Coming together from all different nationalities, backgrounds and denominations for one single purpose…to bless, serve and Love our neighbor.

Children ages 7 and up, all working on giving other families a gift this end of 2018!

As a YWAM ministry, Homes of Hope in Costa Rica is getting close to the 200 Mark by the end of 2018!

Our next Homes will be build right at the end of December.

The situation in this community has changed over the past 8 years since we started building Homes of Hope here. There is still so much to be done but change is happening. Poverty is not only a physical thing, it is deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people.

Kind of like when the people of Israel left Egypt. It took a while before Egypt left their hearts and minds even though they had already left long before.

Change does not happen overnight but it is possible, so we continue one home at a time, one family at a time.

Thank you for standing with us in making this possible!

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….

What is a DTS?

In Youth With a Mission the Lord called us to train our missionaries. In 1968 the very first training school was offered in Lausanne, Switzerland. Why you might ask? Because the Lord directed our founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham to do so and we have learned over the 58 years of YWAM that when the Lord speaks we radically obey. Not only did God speak to us to train our missionaries, but He also spoke to have a University and so in 1978 the University of the Nations was called into existence. (Click on the links for more info).

Ok, great, training, but what is DTS?

What started out as the School of Evangelism of almost one year was later shortened to a more concise discipleship training school, thus DTS, of 20-24 weeks long. The first 12 weeks would be spend in the classroom, receiving solid biblical teaching from teachers from around the world on a variety of topics that would help the student to grow in their personal relationship with God, their understanding of God’s character, nature and ways as well as how to walk in their identity as a follower of Jesus.

21731091_10159265924350585_7005493386614146741_n

Speakers from around the world teaching you about the ways of God

It is then followed by a 8-12 weeks field assignment, all part of the DTS course. The first phase which we often call “Lecture phase”, can’t exist without the proper field assignment, which we also call “Outreach phase”. The two phases go together and must be completed before calling yourself a true “ywam-er”.

The Discipleship Training School is an intense time of learning both during lecture time as well as in the live-learn environment. All students live together on our YWAM Campus, share meals with the full time missionaries serving with YWAM and will have several corporate times of worship, intercession and family nights during their time with us. It is all part of the process of learning, growing in our relationship with the Lord, while also growing in our relationship with God’s people and with God’s world as we go on the field assignment together after our lecture phase is completed.

2018-05-19 13.20.38

Living and learning together with people from around the world

After the Field Assignment is completed we then return to the YWAM Campus where we initiated our journey and will have another few days of ‘debrief’ or ‘evaluation’ before we have a ‘graduation’ night in which we commission our students into the next thing the Lord has called them to do to expand His kingdom.

Some students stay on as full time missionaries with either their host location, where they completed their DTS or another YWAM Campus around the globe. You are now officially part of the YWAM Family and are able to join any YWAM location that the Lord would call you to.

16143147_10158059014995585_9134850276984684021_n

Fun is part of the DTS, learning new languages and getting to know new cultures

Others hear the call from the Lord to return to their home town, either for education purposes or to enter into a sphere of society and bring the kingdom of God in the area of their degree.

No matter what your goal is for doing a DTS with YWAM, it can serve many different purpose, but keep in mind that this course is designed to challenge and grow you in your relationship with the Lord, with others and with God’s world. It is meant to inspire and cultivate that relationship towards growth resulting a Christ like character, which is based on a solid Biblical foundation, the Holy Spirit and a personal application of Biblical truth. It seeks to equip you in further service and respond to the heart cry of God to make Him known among the nations.

What does it require?

Not much really! Do you have a desire to grow in your relationship with God and your understanding of God. Are you willing to take 6 months of your life to invest in this, go deeper, grow in a Biblical Worldview, being inspired on how to make God known in new and creative ways? Have you finished high school and are not sure where to go in life or simply want to lay more foundation in your faith before heading out into the world, then this is something you might want to consider.

21743013_10159265924520585_4564547236560221278_n

Celebrating the nations every day while your are in DTS

Does it cost me something?

Yes, it will cost you something, besides time you will need to cover the tuition of the course, which is different based on the YWAM location where you take the course. You will cover food, housing, travel (field assignment) and operational costs of the course. If you live far away from the location you choose, you will have to cover your airfare there and back.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely! God is raising up a new generation that walks with Him, talks with Him and is led by His Holy Spirit and is willing to radically obey what He calls them to do. Doing DTS can be the first step in the process of becoming a full time missionary either with YWAM or another organization. Putting aside 6 months of our lives to go deeper with God, know His ways, obey His ways, love His people and go out and spread the good news of the Gospel is more than worth it, don’t you think?

17264242_10158304314630585_5086393175083215085_n

Where can I sign up?

Every trimester (January, April, July, September), YWAM San José starts a brand new DTS with new students!! You can sign up by visiting our website www.ywamsj.org or by visiting us on the YWAM SJ Facebook or you can write us by filling out the form below or write an email to dts@ywamsj.org.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR – APPLY TODAY!!

A new wave of missionaries

Can you see it? Can you perceive it? There is a new wave, a new generation of missionaries about to come forth that will sweep across the nations.

Here in Costa Rica we are seeing it, believing for it and perceiving it.

Giacomo was able to share with close to 40 young people about what it means to have a Biblical Worldview. Several in the crowd have either done a Discipleship Training School with YWAM or are about to join YWAM all over the world. These are young people from Costa Rica!!!

Several others are young professionals serving in different spheres of society, bringing the kingdom of God into every are of life as we saw in many nations around the world when the Bible got into the hands of the people.

When people receive the Word of God in their language, started believing what it said and gave their lives to Jesus, whole communities, cities and nations started being transformed as Biblical truth was applied in life, in business, in science, in education and more.

It is that time again when a new generation of missionaries will arise to take their communities, cities and Nations back for the Kingdom of God.

It is time for a new wave of Bible believing, Bible practicing followers of Jesus Christ, led by His Spirit to sweep across the Nations with the Truth of the Gospel, the Love of God in every sphere of society.

They are rising up, here in Costa Rica and around the world…

What a privilege to be part of equipping, training and releasing them.

Will you join us to pray for them, support them and sending them?