"To Know God and Make Him Known"
What is this season all about? I’ve asked myself this question a number of times since arriving here in Kona. We came into this “Training Time” thinking that we would be going deeper into what it means to do missions as a family… and although there have been moments of this in our lecture time, it’s mostly been about going deeper in knowing God and figuring out who we are in this journey…the “making Him known” (intentionally) part will come soon.
Throughout the 9 weeks that we have been here, we have covered topics such as; The Father Heart of God, The Cross, The Blood, Fear of the Lord, Inner Healing, Hearing God’s Voice, Marriage and Parenting, Identity, and we have heard from “YWAMers” and ministry leaders from around the world. Each week, we have been challenged to dig deeper and open up our hearts to allow God to do His work. It has not been without challenge; the schedule can be exhausting, our kids have been sick off and on more than they ever have before (as have we), and the heat inside our non air-conditioned apartment can be oppressive. (First world problem, I know.) This training time has been different than we expected, but, in the end, we KNOW that God has had great purpose in bringing us here. We have felt this season to be a real refining time… it has been an uncomfortable process but one in which we have been able to “count the cost” and continually find Him worthy.
During the week, when we are not in class, we are involved in times of Corporate and Family DTS Intercession, Family Worship, Community Outreach, Small Groups, Ministry Nights on Campus, and One-on-One times (with an individual on staff.) Our small group consists of all of the families that will be going on outreach with us to Mexico. That time has been really sweet as we get to know these families and prepare together for our time there. We are really excited to step out and practice the things we have been preparing for, specifically as it relates to loving people and asking God for practical ways in which we can be a blessing to them.
We leave for Mexico in less than two weeks, December 15th marks the end of our lecture phase and on to outreach.
We will be located in the Baja California region of Mexico in a town about 2 hours south of Ensenada called Vicente Guerrero. Located on the Pacific coast, it’s a smaller fishing/farming community. We will be serving in a few different capacities in orphanages, and homes for young mothers, but our primary goal will be relational time within the community. One exciting opportunity that has arisen is to help pioneer a surf school for the local kids. If you know anything about our past ministry with YFC and the 180 House, you know that this is near and dear to our hearts. Practically we will be able to teach valuable skills in the water with a pastime that has brought us so much joy…. and spiritually we will be able to share the Hope of the Universe that is within us. We are excited to see the relationships that are forged and the lives that will eternally be changed in Christ.
Please being be praying for our team of 29 individuals (19 of which are kids!) and the people that the Lord leads us to over the coming weeks. We will be purchasing surfboards and wetsuits once we arrive in Mexico, all of which will be left with the local YWAM base when we leave for continued ministry. If you would like to sow into this aspect of what we will be doing, that would be immeasurably helpful! (you can do that on the connect/donate page)
We know that we can get a good beginner board for about $120 and the wetsuits, from what we have heard, are less.
At the end of January 2019 we will be flying up to Chico, California to work at the YWAM Chico base for 1 week. During that time we will have the opportunity to serve in the town of Paradise which has all but been destroyed in the recent fire that swept through the area. When we were told that we would be going to Chico, the fire had not yet happened and the ministry that we would be doing looked somewhat different. We are so sad for everyone that lost their homes, friends and family and we feel so honored that we have an opportunity to serve them in some capacity while sharing the restorative love of Jesus. We don’t exactly know what to expect for that time but would appreciate your prayers as the Lord leads in that area.
Mid-February we will be in Kona, Hawai'i for our debrief and graduation and then back to Florida on the 17th. Currently it looks like we will be in the states for about 4-6 weeks as we prep for our longterm assignment to Europe. (more on that in a later update:)
From the bottom of our hearts we want to express our deepest gratitude for your friendship, partnership and prayers. You are part of what the Lord is doing through our family, it’s not just the Bell family on mission….it is all of you… the body of Christ working in beautiful harmony, to know God and to make Him known in all the world!
Caleb, Mimi, Banyan, Sebastian and Sailor