Monday, August 1, 2011

Outreach Information!

I know I haven't been good about keeping up to date on this blog, but I will try and have a detailed update on here soon!  In the past week I found out where I am going for outreach and a little more of what we will actually be doing.

I found out that for stateside I am going to Louisiana--I don't know much more than that for stateside--and the overseas outreach is Peru!  I am very excited for both of these.  In Peru we will experience quite a few cultures within nation itself.  We will fly into Lima--capital of Peru--and stay for a few days before flying to the Amazon.  We are flying into Iquitos which is a large jungle city (400,000 people) that is only accessible by plane or boat.  We will be spending the next 2 weeks or so in the Amazon jungle living with different villages in the Amazon.  There is no running water, and the electricity, if they have it, comes from a generator.  Part of the focus of our mission is medical clinics.  We are going down with a group of medical professionals and will be setting up clinics in the villages.  I obviously won't be doing any medical procedures, but we will be assisting, praying with the people, and evangelizing in the villages.  We will literally be living with the people.  We will stay in the villages overnight, possibly sleep in hammocks under mosquito nets, shower by bucket, and our food is what they catch that day.  Finally we will be going to a mountain city called Cusco.  This is a large city seated 11,200 ft. above sea-level.  The community is very poor and will be quite a different culture from the amazon.

I just found out today three roles that I will have when we are ministering to the people.  First is our drama in which  I am playing the role of satan in a drama called the clincher.  Here is the link if you are interested in watching:  I also found out today I will be a clown and in a hip-hop dance...don't ask me how I landed a role in any of these!  I hope this has given you a little insight as to what I will be doing during outreach!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Christian Shell Vs. The Jesus Core

God has already shown me quite a bit about myself through my first few weeks of DTS.  One of the biggest things I realized is that, due to my pride, I was afraid to confess some sin in my life and instead wanted to hold onto the Christian Shell I had created over the course of my life.  I wanted Jesus to come into the mold I had created, but God cannot be formed...he is forever and always the same.  Jesus is not something that can be molded to fit our lives, but on the contrary our lives MUST be molded to fit around His solid, unchanging core.  I found there were two options for my life.  The first is that I could keep my shell but have no part of Jesus filling me on the inside.  The second option was that I could have my shell shattered and begin to be pieced back together around the Solid Core of Jesus Christ instead of Jesse Dawson--who is declared dead, therefore the inside of my shell was death as well.  A scripture that comes to mind is Matthew 21:44 which says, "Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed".  The reason that the person who falls on the stone is broken to pieces, is because he is a fragile shell.  Everyone is hollow without God; anything that is frail and hollow and falls on a solid object will definitely be shattered.  The piece may be shattered and never look like the original shell, but now it is something that can remade as the Artist--or God--wishes.  The new creation will not look like the old shell at all.

It is also important that we do not forget the second half of the verse!  We can keep our shell--and that does not have to be Christian shell--but in the end those who are just a shell will be crushed by the Righteous Judge.  Including some people who appear to be Christians or even think they are.
    22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
    24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:22-27

This was how I have felt for quite sometime, but thankfully I can say that is no longer the case!  I am so thankful that the Lord has waited patiently and pursued me until I could not go on any longer living as a shell.  I am not satisfied with that emptiness, I am now satisfied in being a new creation in Christ.  Praise God!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

God, Prayer, Work, and Friends

The title basically covers my experience so far at YWAM.  I have already been exposed to different aspects of God, starting to understand the importance of prayer, fulfilling work duties, and meeting new friends!  Upon arriving last sunday I began to meet the most random assortment of people i've ever been around in my life--and I get to spend the next three months learning from each of their different backgrounds!  The first guys I met were from Florida, Illinois, and Colorado.  I have gone on to meet fellow students from Oregon, Georgia, Texas, California, Louisiana, Norway, South Korea, and China.  I was introduced to a new level of southern--or Cajun--through a man named C.J. who literally wrestles alligators for a living!  I am living with 6 other guys, which has been a fun experience so far...ask me again in one month to see if I think the same thing :).  The base is beautiful.  It is a ranch of 360+ acres ranging from open fields, to wooded areas(with wild hogs), and even has four lakes used for swimming and fishing.  The weather has been HOT, and will only continue to get worse I am told.  It has been an average of 97 during the day, and the next 5 days are going to be about the same.

 Every weekday we have breakfast at 7, followed by quiet time at 8, and class at 9.  At 12 we have lunch and then it's back to class at 1:30.  Next is work duty which goes from 3:30 until 5:00.  Finally we have dinner at 5:15 and are done for the night--at least with our set schedule.  My work duty is grounds crew which I am actually very happy about.  We get to work outside, which, even though it's hot, I find is much more enjoyable than cleaning or serving I get to work on my tan :).

Class has been pretty good so far.  The first day was on "servanthood", followed by "how to have a quiet time", and most recently the teaching was on "intercession".  Class can get pretty intense at times, because the speakers are not afraid to challenge us or put us on the spot.  Most mornings our main teacher will randomly ask people in the class "what God said to them in quiet time."  This forces me to reflect during my quiet time and consciously determine what God is teaching me that specific day.  In class I have also been exposed to things that I am not used to, or have not experienced in my life eg. visions, interpreting dreams, and intercession just to name a few.  I really enjoy the days when we are challenged to practice what we have just learned.

Prayer is a HUGE part in the lives of staff here, and they begin to instill that mindset in us right from the beginning.  We have a base prayer every Monday from 8-9; this is a time of group prayer for specific ministries on this base, and for ministries we support.  Every morning from 7:30-8:00 the guys dorm have an optional group prayer led by our dorm dad--who is extremely passionate for the Lord!  Also, we are placed into intercession groups that will meet at least once a week for an hour in order to pray for the nations!  I have also begun to realize the importance of prayer in my own life/devotions.  I am learning what it means to listen for God as opposed to just talking at God and expecting to get direction in my life.

Weekends here are pretty laid back, and refreshing.  On Saturday I was able to play soccer, read a book for class, play volleyball, and go to a coffee shop for live music with some fellow students on base here.  I got talked in to doing an interpretive dance with C.J.(the Cajun man), and unfortunately there are about three of four recordings to document the dance--one of which was uploaded to youtube.  I have just touched the tip of the iceberg of what my week has been like, but I hope it gives you a better idea of what my time down here will look like :)

Grace and Peace

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


By the grace of God and the support of you all, I have officially reached my first goal of $3,495!  This will cover the three month lecture phase in Tyler, Texas.  I am so excited (and definitely a little nervous) for this trip, but it really would not be possible without the support of those who have given. I know that is cliche, but it is so true!  If you were not able to give, but would like to, there is still a need.  In early September I will be doing the "outreach" portion of the trip, which is another $1500-$3000.  I have some money that I will be putting toward this, but If you want to give, I can still use the support!  As I said earlier, this is not due until early September, so don't feel like you have to give anytime soon.  If you would like to wait until I know the actual cost of my trip--hopefully within the next month--feel free to do that.  You can send a check to my home address--8841 Ridge Crest Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901--and my mom will be able to collect and bring the checks/cash to the NewDay offices.  Just a reminder, the checks are to be made out to NewDay Covenant Church.

I am very ready to know what I will be doing in Texas and where I will be going afterward.  It has been about 5 months since I applied, so it is hard to believe that the day is finally upon me!  I appreciate all the prayer and encouragement I have received heading into this trip, and I know that will not stop while I am gone.  It has really helped put my mind at ease when I become anxious about the trip or begin to think that i'm actually missing a semester of school.  I hope I can keep you all updated on my trip about once a week!  So until next week, grace and peace to you all!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Servant's Heart

    1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:1-4
       I have been thinking about this a lot recently.  What does it mean to have a servant's heart?  What first comes to mind is the passage above from the book of Matthew.  I have looked at this passage many times and always come to the conclusion that when I give I should not be doing it to get praise from men because ultimately that would be my reward--which is unfortunate to think I could be storing up eternal gifts in heaven yet i will settle for mortal praise!  However, I always looked at it as being praised from outsiders, but what about looking for praise from the person I am serving?

       I recently realized that if I give a person food and expect him to be grateful, or open my house to someone and expect them to be grateful, then I do not have a true servants heart!  When I give a homeless man food, and in return I get no thanks, or worse yet, receive a disgusted response at my food selection for him, I must not be bitter.  If I am bitter, then I was looking for his praise and acceptance, and thus my service is selfish and futile.  Instead, I should act lovingly towards him, and want to serve him just the same as if he was the most grateful person on the earth.

       My actions do not reflect the amount of gratitude and thanks I should be giving Jesus for what he did in coming and dying on a cross for my sin.  Why then do I expect this other imperfect human to be grateful for my imperfect act of service?  Often I think too highly of myself...this is one of those cases...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's that smell?

I remember when I first moved to Rochester, and we moved into the a cozy apartment which had a backyard that also served soccer complex.  By the apartment was a path that led from my house down to a park about a mile or two away.  About halfway to the park there was a mink farm.  I don't know if you've ever experienced the smell, but the first time I passed by I couldn't decide if I should breath through my nose and suffer through the awful smell, or through my lungs which, at the time, I thought could be harmed by foul odors( for clarification I was 11 ).  Over the years I have never forgotten that feeling of nausea that swept through my body as the first bits of odor touched my innocent nose, but oddly now when I drive by I don't even notice a hint of bad odor.

Desensitization is great gift from God at times--like the example above--and calls for us to praise him for his great design.  However, In the spiritual realm this idea where our senses are numbed over time is dangerous!  The longer I allow sin to dwell in my heart, the less it tends to bother me, and eventually I don't even believe or care that I am in sin because I am so numb to the effect it has on me!  It is only by the grace of God that I can realize how much I smell and that I need a savior to put to death that sin in my life.  

 I believe this is one reason God has given us His Word, and brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are incapable of realizing on our own the odors of our life and character, so he graciously gives us His Word and brothers and sisters in Christ.  The Word is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb. 4:12), and brothers and sisters who know us intimately can point out areas of our lives that "stink," which we were unaware of before.Publish Post

What are some smells in our lives that we grow too accustomed to?

I know this has nothing to do with YWAM or preparation for my trip, but it is something on my heart that I wanted to put into words:).  Also, pardon my poor writing abilities...I am working on it, so just bear with me as I grow in that area!