Dear Ministry Team Family,
Thank you so much for your prayers and support for us over these past 5 months, you have been such a crucial part in the life of our family as we stepped into the call to partner in the work God’s doing overseas!
We are writing this update somewhere over the Pacific on our way back to Florida having just completed our DTS with YWAM Kona. There is so much that has happened over the past month and a half and we are really eager to share that with you.
We have had many of you ask what a DTS is with YWAM or what an Outreach looks like… and we know that we will get those same questions asked many more times while we are back in Florida. We welcome those questions and hope that we can appropriately illustrate what encompasses a DTS. One very important principle we learned and want to remember is that a DTS, as with "the Christian life is an invitation to discover that God is really, really good, over and over again!"
In this newsletter we will focus on what the past 8 weeks of Outreach has looked like and if you are interested in learning more about the rest of what our DTS (lecture phase) looked like, please see the earlier blog posts leading up to and during our time in Kona in the fall of 2018. (Or, if you are in Florida we would love to share those details with you in person!)
In mid-December we boarded a plane bound for Baja, Mexico to serve on the YWAM central Baja base for the following 8 weeks. Did you know Mexico was cold? Neither did we! However, it was a welcome change to the heat in the Pacific and a treat to sip on a hot cup of coffee while wearing a sweater.
Our team of 5 families was the first ever YWAM DTS
team to serve on that base and it was a privilege to pioneer that endeavor.
As with any situation where you take 5 individual families from different nations and have them live and serve in constant proximity with one another in a foreign context… there are bound to be some moments of friction. However, this provides an excellent opportunity for the Lord to strengthen our love and grace for one another while showing that he can still use broken and messed up people like us.
Sebastian summed it up the best during his week of having chicken pox towards the end of our time in Mexico when he said… “this country is hard”. It was hard, but it was also joyful, beautiful, engaging, stretching, fun, compassionate, life giving and life altering. We can look back on our time in the Baja with affection and see how the Lord orchestrated relationships, ministry opportunities and deepened our faith and joy in Him!
So what did we do while we were there?
Well, we ate a lot of tacos and sprinkled a little ministry time in there as well. Just kidding… we did eat a lot of tacos but there was much more than a sprinkle of ministry.
We will give you a basic rundown of what a typical week looked like for us:
Each day we would gather as a team for worship and prayer. We would take those mornings to intercede for each other, the community of Vicente Guerrero (where we were living and serving) as well as for our other DTS families that were ministering in the Philippines and Uganda. From there we would head off into the community as a team…sometimes to the same location and sometimes splitting up.
Mondays -Triki Community evangelism and prayer
Tuesdays - Dorothy’s House (A recovery home for women and their children who have been imprisoned or in abusive relationships.) As a team, we served in many different capacities here; work projects, discipleship classes, childrens’ ministry, etc.
Wednesdays - Triki Community evangelism and prayer
Thursdays - Dorothy’s House
Fridays - Surf Ministry/ Womens prayer meeting and food distribution/evangelism at the town trash dump (there were many people who resided in the dump)
Sunday - Visit an area church and serve by running the worship, sharing testimonies, preaching and prayer with the congregation
It’s hard to put words to all that the Lord accomplished and did, not just in the community where we served, but in our own hearts as well. We wish we could pluck you out of your day to day to experience it first hand. Your prayers through that season were appreciated and felt!
Our last week of Outreach was spent on the YWAM base in Chico, California. We spent the week working with survivors of the California “Campfire” wildfire. It was a surreal experience driving through the city of Paradise that had been completely decimated by the fire. There are so many people who have been displaced and are now living in RVs, cars or on the street. Our time was spent praying with them, sitting and listening to their stories as well as providing practical help in the form of clothing, food and other necessary items for daily life.
At the end of that week we said goodbye to our wonderful leaders, Patrick and Courtney Danielsen (along with their 3 amazing kiddos) ; they will be living in Mexico longterm and did not return to Kona with us for the final week of debrief.
Debrief in Kona
This was a special week to connect with the other families in our DTS who have been scattered around the globe. It was a time to decompress, hear stories of victories and even what looked or felt like failures. It was a week to encourage and pray for one another, reintegrate into “normal” life after 2 months in a foreign context and a time to celebrate what the future holds for these dear families. We will miss them, but we are excited to see how our paths will cross in the years ahead.
As promised we will reveal where the Lord is calling us next.....................................drum roll please...................................................................................................................Biarritz, France!
Where is that? We'll let you Google it.
Years ago the Lord connected us with one of the leaders at the YWAM Biarritz base because of work they were doing within the refugee population and our desire to bring a team to do the same. That connection and a prompting from the Lord led us to explore the opportunity of serving with this YWAM community longterm.
There are still many details to be ironed out which we hope to share with you in the next month or so. (What exactly will we be doing as staff on the YWAM Biarritz base? What will daily life/ministry life look like? etc.) We can tell you that we will be there for at least the next two years and we would welcome visitors. We would also welcome your prayers for us and the boys as we transition into this new longterm reality. Not only will it be a big undertaking physically and financially, but also emotionally as we learn to live in a culture and speak a language that is not native to our own.
Check out the YWAM Biarritz community here: www.ywambiarritz.com
We will be back in Florida from Feb 17th - May 1st. We have a pretty open schedule at this point and would be thrilled to hang out with as many of our Florida friends and family as possible.
Feb 23rd - Caleb will be at The Send in Orlando. Everyone should go…its free and will be awesome. Check it out here: www.thesend.org
March 17th - We will have a missionary Window at Oasis Church in Bradenton to share more about what we have done and what we will be doing.
April 25th - Caleb will be officiating a wedding for our dear friend Andre Willard .
May 1st (ish)- Move to France
We love you guys and appreciate your prayers, support and partnership in ministry!
- Caleb, Mimi, Banyan, Sebastian and Sailor
Oh and P.S. - During our lecture phase last fall, one of our teachers spoke about a really neat principal that struck a chord with many of the students in our class. One of the students is a filmmaker and put this video together to illustrate that principal…. it’s cool, give it a look!