Last week was our first week of class here, and for the most part I wouldn't really consider it to be a class. The speaker was a local pastor who has been involved with YWAM for sometime now, and the topic he was speaking on was hearing the voice of God. Below is an exert from my journal entry about one of the days of the week.
I woke up at 4:00 a.m to Laura at my beside asking me to come pray for her. I must say, she startled me a great deal, and when I got up I wasn’t quiet sure what was going on. As it turns out, about half the base were infected with the same virus as I had our second day here, possibly H1N1? Thankfully it is only a one day virus, but it is a very bad one. Laura said that it was the worst that she has ever felt! She was up all night throwing up until she came and got me. As I found out in the morning this was the story of a few others on base, and then quiet a few more had diarrhea. Throughout the day more and more people began to feel sick and had to go sleep. It was not a good feeling missing part of our group during our daily activities. I found out also that the virus was not only on base, but many other places in the area. Our guest speaker was so sick that he was not able to come, nursing homes had to be shut down, and there was prayer request after prayer request from local churches for members who were sick. It not a good day for anyone when it came to health.
Another very odd thing was that when I was up with Laura, that when I looked outside the sky was blood red. I thought that it was just me, but then as other woke up we began to realize how strange it was. When we went outside we found out that everything was covered in dust. We had a huge dust storm over night! All the locals said they had never seen anything like it before. As the sun came up the sky turned from red to orange, and eventually turned clear again. With the combination of the sickness and the sky we were convinced the world was about to end!
God really answered prayer for Laura and I. When she woke me up I spend the next few hours praying for her and reading Scripture out loud. From that point on her chills went away, she was able to dink some liquid, and she finally got some sleep! Praise God! She looked so miserable; I wonder if that is how I looked when I was sick? Laura slept most of the day, but she was able to get up and around for a little while which was great to see. I think she will be back to normal by tomorrow, that seems to be the pattern with everyone that has gotten sick.
Yesterday, Laura and I decided we need to put our faith into action and go do evangelism on the street after a good conversation with our guest speaker Berry. God had been putting on my heart for awhile the desire to go and do out reach, but I had been resisting. At lunch I decided to ask Berry some questions about being filled with the Spirit, which he most certainly is, and after a short conversation he brought up the fact that he needs to be doing evangelism in order to continue to be filled with the Spirit. When he said that God convicted me and I realized I’m the same exact way. At Judson I would have a spiritual conversation, get more fired up, have another conversation, get more fired up, so on and so forth. But, I have only had a few good Spiritual conversations in the past few months. I was drying my self out spiritually. Berry actually challenged us to do evangelism in Wollongong, and once he said “there are so many people here that need Jesus” I knew I had to do something that day.
So, Laura and I recruited Josh and Nick to come with us, who had never done any type of evangelism before, but seemed very excited. Before we set out, we sat down and asked God to show us where to go and who to talk to. And he did! God had put on Laura’s heart a field and groups of three; on Josh’s the surf shop, on Nick’s kids, and on mine, surfers, kids, skate park, and an old man with a hat walking a dog. Because two of us had something to do with surf we set of toward the surf shop. But, before we got there we saw a group of teenagers in the field playing footie (rugbee). As we approached them, I said to Laura “so what do you think,” to which she replied, “I’m not really feeling drawn to them.” However, right when we said that, the boys split into two groups of three. We agreed this definitely was not a coincidence, so we went and talked to them. We had some good conversation and found out about their faith. There were no decisions to follow Christ, but later in the day when we returned home they gave us a friendly wave. I think they really saw God’s love in us at least.
Our next stop was at the skate park, where I felt God wanted us to split into groups of two. Nick and Laura went to the skate park, Josh and I kept on heading to the skate shop. In the next 45 minutes, we met a total of six other people and had 3 spiritual conversations. When we met back up all of us were fired up! It is so fun to do the Lord’s work, and it is so spiritually energizing.
The whole time, however, I was looking for the old man with the hat. All of the other things God has showed us we had found, but not the old man. But, this morning, when Josh and Kevin were outside looking at the sky, around 6 a.m. they saw and old man, walking a dog, and he had a hat on! When the described him it was exactly the picture that God had put into my head! They went and introduced themselves, and he said they should talk again in the future.
All of this is very new to me, I really don’t know quiet what to think of it. It is obviously from God, but my question is, is all of this new, or have I simply not been listening to God in the past? I’m beginning to think it is the later, but I’m still uncertain. Maybe it is a mixture of both?
In our afternoon session we continued to hear the stories of the rest of the DTS students, and I was blown away by some of the stories of the other students. I can’t believe the pain that some of them have had to go through. It doesn’t seem quiet fair that I have been spared from so much. I have never had to under go a real tragedy in my life, and while I was in deep sin when I was younger, God delivered me from it and set me on solid ground. While it might not seem fair, I praise and thank God continually for blessing me with a loving and supportive family. Really, many of the problems and pains that other students have gone through have come from family problems. Focus On The Family really makes sense to me now. If all families would truly be God honoring, if parents would only stay together, if fathers would truly love their daughters, if siblings would truly serve each other, the world would be a much different place.
I was amazed at how recent the ordeals were that the other students have gone through. I think I had a false perception that everyone would be coming in “having it all together.” But really this is not that case at all, and I’m glad it’s not. There are kids here who lived in unrepentant sin in the summer, and have only been able to break free being away from home in an Christian environment.
I really did expect that I would come here to a group of other young people who were on fire for their faith, who want to go into missions, and who wanted to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Instead, most people here have no idea what they are doing with their lives. Many are using the DTS as an escape from college or just as a time to figure out what to do next. I don’t even think there are any other students here who know they want to do missions for sure, though there are a few exploring the idea.
All I know is that each and every person here is supposed to be here. Each and every person has a unique and miraculous story of how they came to be here, and it is obvious that God wants them here. It really doesn’t matter that they are younger than I thought, that they aren’t as mature as I thought, or most of them aren’t going into full time missions. What does matter is that God is going to change their lives here.