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 food...plus 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