Reaching the unreached

Many think of Costa Rica as vacation destination and truly that is a big part of what this nation has to offer.

Beautiful fora and fauna in every way.

But there is another beauty that we see every day and that is its people.

It is our joy and calling every day to reach people who live in this nation to not only know Jesus, but to receive Jesus as their personal savior and to become disciples of Jesus, those who walk with Him, learn from Him, lean on Him and follow in His footsteps.

Some of our staff and DTS students are teaching out this weekend through a medical outreach in a little village about 6 hours from the capital in Turrialba. The population is mostly indigenous and does not even speak a lot of Spanish.

They will be assisting a medical team to provide dental and medical care for free. They will cut hair, play withthe children, hand out bibles, pray for people and share the love of Jesus with those who need it.

That is what you can pray for this weekend. Pray for an amazing weekend, encounters and much fun!!

Are you a disciple?

Being a christian is somebody who believes in Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day and made it possible for you and me again to live in relationship with our heavenly Father.

The question today is: Are you also a disciple?

A disciple is somebody who has left what they were doing to follow a teacher/leader and become a student of how this person lives their lives, the principles they live their lives by and their end goal is to become just like the one they follow.

IMG_5271 2

Receiving teaching from Pastor Willy from Guatemala (and some fun moments too)

Last week in our Discipleship Training School our students (and staff of course) were challenged to consider the difference. Are you a believer only? Or have your given up all things, dropped everything you were doing to follow Jesus, to learn from Him, learn His ways, to walk in His ways, to become more like Him in all that you say and do?

Do you see the difference?

One is believing, the other is believing AND acting. Not only were were challenged to ponder this question, we were also challenged to consider the practical things a disciple does, how a disciples lives, the things that marks a disciple.

It is easy to say you believe in something, but it is a totally different thing to act on what you believe.

I believe that praying is important, but do I actually pray? I believe in the Word of God. I believe that what it says is truth and that is can transform my life, then why do I still worry about tomorrow when that same Bible (the Truth) tells me not to worry about anything and in everything with prayer and thanksgiving make my petition knows to Him. (Phil. 4:6)

IMG_5259

Investing in the lives of these girls is what a DTS is all about – making disciples

Jesus did not say to the disciples: “Come believe in me.” He said: “Come and follow Me.” I think the following, the walking with Jesus, hearing the stories, seeing Him with other people, understanding His heart and compassion stepping out to become learners of the Rabbi, was the beginning of a life changing experience that gave them the ability to have faith to believe.

Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance of things we do not see. I think the disciples had faith when they left all things behind to follow Jesus. Faith to be confident in what they were hoping for (learn more from the Master), assurance of things they were not yet able to see (His Lordship and kingdom). Their faith was challenged, their faith was tested, their hopes were shattered  as they couldn’t fully comprehend why Jesus would talk about death and at the same time talk about Him being king.

Being a disciple is not void of the testing of our faith, the shattering of hope at times when we lack understanding. But a true disciple does not give up the first time things get touch. A disciple sticks to the person he/she chose to follow. It was not a weak choice, a moment of excitement to drop everything, to leave all things behind to follow this man called Jesus.

What about you? Are you a believer and a follower? Has your faith been tested? Has the following been difficult at times, has your life as a disciple seen moments of hopes shattered, yet you know whom you have chosen to follow is trustworthy and so you keep going. You know that He is worth all you have, all your time, all your energy, right?

In the midst of being challenged last week and consider our place as a ‘disciple’ the Lord blessed us with amazing times of worship, encouragement through words of life spoken out over our lives and ending the week with not only with a birthday party (it was mine) but also with an amazing celebratory worship time in which we exalted the Name of Jesus over our lives and proclaimed His truth.

I was reminded last week of a simple fact: the Discipleship Training School is exactly what the name says: A course in which we learn to become disciples of Jesus, moving from simply believing to dropping all we do, leaving behind our boats and listen to the invitation to “Follow Me”.

That does not mean that it is an easy time. It is meant to be challenging, meant to challenge you in what you understand, allow you to ask the hard questions, not necessarily to the staff (although that happens too), but ask Holy Spirit to reveal to what is true. That is His role after all. John 16:13 says that the Spirit came to lead us into all the truth and that the truth would set us free.

Being a disciple does not mean you get all the answers at once. Life throws us curveballs, gives us many questions, but I know somebody that wants to give you understanding, that longs to revela His heart to you. His name is Jesus and through Holy Spirit He longs to show you new things.

We have entered week 8 and we are speaking about the topic of “Spiritual Warfare”. It will be another week in which we will be disciples (learners) about the battle that we are in. But as Ephesians tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Well if that is the case we better find out who we are dealing with and whose side we are on so we can do battle the right way.

 

 

God’s Father heart….

What would you do if God showed up at your door step tomorrow? This was a question that started of our week 6 as Jack Kody came to share about the heart of our heavenly Father. What would you do?

We all took a time to think and respond. Many diverse answers, many questions, many thoughts…..so honest, so real, so without reserve.

What would you do?

Many of us would have many questions, maybe why He came?, why this or that?, what He thinks about us….and so much more…maybe you don’t even want to answer the door..

God’s heart is a deep well that can’t be understood in one sitting alone. God’s heart is not something to be written down on one piece of paper and just passed around. God’s heart is to be discovered, searched, found…

When you love somebody you don’t want them to be superficial do you? You want them to show you their heart, what they feel about you and you want them to share this with you over and over and over again.

As Jack shared this past week: “Who gets tired of hearing somebody tell them they love you?” My children never get tired of hearing me say I love them.

As with Jack I too have never heard my kids ask me to stop telling them I love them. Now they might not always grasp the fullness of it, but they never tell me to stop telling them. You see that is what this is about – LOVE!! The Father’s love.

When things are said to us that are negative and destructive, we wish we could put a pillow over our heads and drown out the noise, we wish we could yell to that person and make them stop. But with LOVE, never!!

We long for love, long to be accepted, to be cared for, don’t we?!

Yet love is so misunderstood.

Love is not a feeling, yet love can be felt very deeply!
Love is not a mere picture of a heart, yet can be expressed in many different ways when sincere.

Love is a choice – we love because He loved us first!

We love our children first and then teach them to love. We show them (or not) what love means, what it does. They don’t love first, we do and then love them into loving for themselves.

God is the same, He loved us first, He created us, showed us His love so that we could also love! But we made a mess of it, we thought we knew how on our own and we still do sometimes, and we don’t always do such a good job with it, do we?

The Bible says, He is love. If we say and do all these amazing things but do have LOVE, we are like a clanging cymbal. Well you know what that sounds like, right? Noisy..simply noisy..

So let’s look at love itself, let’s go deeper in the heart of the One who is love and let’s discover in an ongoing journey who and what love is, receive that Love into our own hearts and then be very generous in giving it away!!!

The journey is worth it, the heart of the Father is a deep well full of affection for His children, journey there, it is worth your time, tears and energy!

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!

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.

IMG_4828

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.

IMG_4833

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.

IMG_4821

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.