Monthly Archives: June 2010

Graduation- love…

Last Saturday night I completed my Youth with a Mission (YWAM) rite of passage as I graduated from Discipleship Training School- 3 months of classroom lecture phase (at University of the Nations in Kona, HI) and 10 weeks of outreach service. Our focus was on prayer and reaching out- Fire and Fragrance. This DTS course is a prequisite for any who wants to serve with YWAM in any context. Ralph did his course 10 years ago in South Africa but I still think he deserves some kind of degree for the discipleship that occurred as he undertook the job of being full-time daddy to two very energetic kids.

Highlight of this season: LOVE!

During lecture phase I felt swept off my feet by the love of God! I’ll never forget times in the prayer room when I was overcome by this love in spite of my great weakness. I also came away with a deeper appreciation, dependence upon and hunger for the written Word of God, the Bible.

During outreach I felt overwhelmed by the love I received from the people I came to serve. I came to love on them but received so much back. I’ll never forget 86-year-old Auntie Gladys, who became my adopted grandma in the village. As we parted she said, “I don’t have many friends or like many people but I like you and will never forget you.” We held each other and cried.

Love- it comes from God but in many different packages. Thank you for being one of the vessels of this love to me. Thank you to all who made this experience possible! I couldn’t have done it without your giving, prayers and care across the miles!

Marshallese

The 1-hr drive along the winding mountain road, past coffee farms and lava fields, left us dizzy and sick to the stomach. Upon arrival to the compound, it seemed we were entering a third world country. Shacks, assembled from random trash and simple plywood, sat atop piles of volcanic rubble. There was no running water, only an out house and an outdoor fire for a stove.

Did you know that there are environmental refugees in Hawaii? The U.S. military detonated 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands. Despite cleanup attempts, two of the islands remain uninhabited today because of nuclear contamination. The peoples of the island were relocated, with the majority to Hawaii. They still live with health problems, such as cancer and birth defects caused by the nuclear radiation.

As soon as we saw the sparkling eyes of the children, all the shock of the surroundings faded away. “Who wants to play?” we called out and as if on cue all the children started clapping and running toward us. We spent the the next two and a half hours making crafts, reading stories, singing songs and playing games. Children aged 4 to 12, who usually have short attention spans, were completely absorbed and focused and begged for us to come back. And we have-we can’t help ourselves. Their smiles are addictive and their hope amidst pain and loss is contagious.