Can WE change lives?

Reaching out.

In the past 6 months, I’ve seen this phrase play out in Scripture repeatedly. In Luke chapter 8 Jesus was on his way to the ruler of the Synagogue’s house to heal the ruler’s deathly ill daughter. As they rushed through the crowded streets to reach the young girl, there was a woman who sought out to find Jesus. She had been sick for over a decade, and as she saw him she reached out for his cloak. This was an act of complete faith. She believed that merely touching the Messiah would bring her healing – and it did. As soon as she touched him, she was healed. Jesus then sought the woman out of the crowd, knowing that someone had touched his cloak.  This story shows us that in the middle of all the busyness, Jesus stops. This woman would have been just as in awe of Him if all she received was healing, but Jesus stopped to acknowledge her, to call her daughter, and to tell her that her faith has made her well.

Reaching out, in its most vulnerable form is sticking out your hand and waiting faithfully for someone to grab ahold of you.

Before my involvement with ministry, my definition of “reaching out” would have been casually saying “Hey I’m here if you need to talk!” But let’s be real, that’s an invitation that, unless said genuinely, is hardly ever taken up on. In the past year and a half, my definition of reaching out has been redefined. I would define it as a bit more literal. Reaching out, in its most vulnerable form is sticking out your hand and waiting faithfully for someone to grab ahold of you.

In Thailand, I experienced reaching out in a way that shook me to my core. While working with the Ruth Center, a ministry committed to investing into the elderly in the slums of Bangkok. Towards the end of my two months in Thailand, I prayed that God would break my heart for what breaks His and that he would allow me to see the Thai people with his eyes. The following morning, I’d almost wished that I hadn’t prayed so boldly because God fulfilled my request in a very real way.

We stood frozen for what felt like hours, hands shaking and hearts breaking for the practically dead woman lying in front of us.

It was a normal day of ministry where we went to the slums and would talk with the elderly people living there. When we were there, my translator pointed to a small shed, telling us that there was a woman there that we could choose to either go see or to keep walking to the next house. I looked at my friend Carly, and without words we both knew that we needed to go see this woman. As we climbed over piles of metal scraps and garbage to this tiny shack, we questioned how it was even possible that someone lived there. We approached the opening of the shed and laying on the ground was a woman. She was naked and frail, her skin was dry and she laid on the hard wooden ground, covered in her own feces. We stood frozen for what felt like hours, hands shaking and hearts breaking for the practically dead woman lying in front of us. In that moment, we had no idea how to pray. We had no idea how to tell this woman that there is hope in Christ and that he wants to save her.

On my own I would have left and run the other way out of fear from what I’d seen…

In one moment I was outside of the shed looking in, and in the next I was on my knees next to her. I tried to give her water but she couldn’t sit up, she choked the water right up and laid coughing in front of me. Out of a total lack of words to say, I grabbed her hand and her blind eyes seemed to have looked right at me… But it wasn’t me that she saw. I believe that the woman saw Jesus that day. On my own I would have left and run the other way out of fear from what I’d seen, but praise Jesus that He is better than I am. He stepped in using my hands and feet to tell this woman that she is loved.

Since this day, the image of her hand replays in my mind. I dream of her and instantly grieve because of her need for Jesus. In studying the Word, God has shown me that this woman is a picture of the condition of which He sees His lost children. He has challenged me to look at the lost in the same way. At some point in each of our lives, we have all been in the condition of this woman in the slums. We are no better than the homeless man down the street, the murderer in prison or the prostitute on the corner because without Jesus we are all in the same condition of spiritual bankruptcy. We are lying in feces, frail, exposed, and absolutely blind without Him.

So what do we do about that? The answer is not all that profound. It’s actually pretty simple. Our response to humanity’s condition without Jesus should be to repeatedly fall face down on the ground in prayer and boldly ask God to show us how He sees His lost children.

Our Father loves us by giving us His time, by the touch of a hand and by speaking truth over us. There are lost people everywhere, some of them are in shacks tucked away behind garbage and others are right in front of our very eyes… Knowing this, we are called to love simply and to know that we are simply loved.

Lend somebody a hand, pray for a stranger and know that God will use the ways you reach out to restore hearts.

Wanting to see lives changed but realizing it’s not possible in your own strength?  

Come join us for a Discipleship Training School to learn how God sees His lost children and then watch as He works through you to restore hearts.

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Is Perfectionism Hindering You From Sharing the Gospel?

About halfway through my Discipleship Training School outreach, my team spent a week in a Cambodian village (during Khmer New Year). It’s a week I won’t forget. In the mornings, we usually walked to houses in the village, visiting and talking with people. If we visited with Christians, we prayed and encouraged them. If we visited with those who didn’t know Jesus, we asked if we could share about Him. Sharing Jesus is where I struggled.

    Perfection complicates sharing the gospel, and I’m still learning to let go and replace it with trust in God. Through outreach, Jesus was teaching me to trust Him and His Holy Spirit in everything I do. A verse that He highlighted to me was Romans 11:36 which says, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

I forgot that He saved me through His grace – not anything I did – and He saves others the same way.

    Before my DTS, sharing the gospel was a terrifying idea. I told myself that it needed to be perfect because if I missed something, or made a mistake, I would prevent the person from accepting Christ. When given the opportunity to share the gospel, I held back and allowed others to step forward. I mistakenly thought that my human flaws were too great for God to overcome. I forgot that He saved me through His grace – not anything I did – and He saves others the same way.

    One day, we visited with a woman who was a believer, and her mother-in-law, who was not a believer. Her mother-in-law was very sick, so we prayed for her. Afterwards, one of my teammates shared the gospel and asked if she wanted to accept Christ. She said yes, and we led her in a simple prayer. It was incredible! Jesus saved someone and I got to be a part of it! Yet…I walked away skeptical. Was her prayer genuine? Did she understand what she was doing?

    We continued on to the house of another believer. After encouraging her, we shared the gospel with her sister-in-law, who also decided to accept Christ. We celebrated and praised Jesus for using us in two salvations in one day! But, I continued to struggle with doubt. The enemy spoke lies and said things like, “it’s not that simple…there must be more than saying yes and a prayer.”

I might not know how Jesus has worked or will work in a person’s life, but I am blessed to have a part in their salvation!

    After a morning of feeling challenged with evangelism, Jesus reminded me that the gospel is simple; it can change a person’s life in five minutes. I might not know how Jesus has worked or will work in a person’s life, but I am blessed to have a part in their salvation!

    Thankfully, God is greater than my mistakes and grace and salvation come from Him. He is the One who saves, not me. I still struggle with sharing the gospel, but the more I share the easier it becomes as I learn to rely on God more. Each time I listen to and obey Jesus, sharing the gospel brings joy and freedom to me and to those around me.  

*Editor’s note: We believe salvation is the beginning of the process of following God. When we send our outreach teams out, we always make sure to serve alongside long-term workers so anyone our teams lead to the Lord will be followed up with and discipled.

If you would like to learn more about letting go of perfectionism and trusting God to work through you, come join us for a Discipleship Training School!!

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Intentionality and Hospitality: They Go Together

It was January 12, 2016, and I was having a rotten day. I’d just gotten an email from my best friend in the world and she was having a hard time. Back home, friends were getting sick, breaking up, moving away, and everything seemed hard. As for me, I’d been in Taiwan for about a month and I’d just gotten over 4 days of an awful fever. I was discouraged, my heart felt heavy, and the last thing I wanted to do was ministry.

As a team we split into two groups to do ministry at The Rock, a cafe ministry we were working with. We alternated days and it was my teams day to go help people practice English and talk to them about the Gospel. It was a slow evening and as people trickled in, one of our local friends started teaching us some Chinese explaining how confusing Chinese characters are and how to combine them to make numbers and some of the origins of the numbers. It was interesting and made me forget that I didn’t really want to be there.

As the evening progressed, this friend had to leave and we were left talking amongst ourselves. That is when James came in the door, walked straight to our table, and pulled up a chair. He was holding slips of paper, which he handed out to those of us who were at the table. On the papers were simple sentences, teaching us how to say and pronounce sentences like “I like to eat bread.” or “I don’t like eggs.” James spent at least a half hour with us, teaching us how to pronounce the words, which tone we should use, and how our mouths should be positioned to get the right sound. As he explained, we learned a little more about James. James is a retired elementary teacher (which explains his patience with us westerners and our horrible pronunciation!) and has two daughters who are 23 and 30. He’s been retired for 10 years, and he wants to learn more English, but he’s worried he’s too old to learn. After spending a while practicing my Chinese and his English, we parted ways. I left the Rock encouraged and uplifted.

I never saw James at the Rock again, but the life lesson he taught me has stuck (The Chinese lesson, not so much).  James taught me about hospitality and intentionality. James, we realized, had been sitting in the Rock as we learned about Chinese characters and asked questions about how to order food and use numbers. He went home, typed and printed out sentences, and came back to give them to us, knowing that he was about to invest a chunk of time teaching us pronunciation.

This night was a turning point for me in my outreach. This was the start of a week where I really listened as God spoke into my identity and took me deeper into who He is and who I am in Him. This was the point where God said to me, “Ya know, kid, I love you and I love them. You need to love them like I do. Put down all the things and just follow my heart.” I think, going into my outreach I expected all good days. I don’t know why, because I’ve been on other trips and they’re not all good days, just life in general isn’t all good days. God is showing me that what matters is my heart attitude on those days that aren’t so good and we grow in that as we continue on our walk with Him. Some days, though, He’ll send a James along to help.

I am Loved

“God, I am sorry.”

“God, I am hurting.”

“God, I am dirty. I am a disappointment. I am so incredibly lost.”

This has been my conversation to God most of my life. I came to Him in my brokenness, over and over and over again. I came to Him for forgiveness, but never for love. I came to Him for healing, but surrendered nothing. That was my “relationship” with God. I had no idea someone
like me, with all that I’ve done, could have it any other way. Little did I know, it just took one small step in obedience for God to show me something incredible. “Let it all go” is what I heard for over a year. A year full of pain, disappointment, heartbreak, and plenty of sin. There I was, fighting for worldly things while Jesus was fighting for me. Finally desperate enough, I let it all go. And that’s when every worldly thing I wanted began to mean nothing. I tried not to let my shame and my complete lack of self-worth keep me from saying “yes”. So I decided to do a DTS, leave my plans behind, and put my complete trust in what God had for me.

The first three months, I expected to learn who God really was. And honestly, I did. But even more than that, I learned about love. Yes, LOVE! Love was always one of those things I talked about, but never really understood. I thought love came from goodness, and I knew that I wasn’t good. And I knew that I didn’t deserve to be loved, especially by God. I was “too dirty”.  But then something happened during lecture phase. God completely exposed what I had believed my whole life as a lie. He showed me that I was beautiful, not dirty. He would tell me over and over again “you are loved”.  Every time I felt unworthy He would tell me “I know you. I see you. You are heard”. It was the most beautiful thing. And it didn’t stop either. Every day He poured more and more truth into me about how incredibly loved I am by Him. I began to believe it, too. That’s what changed everything. It’s one thing to hear something, but it’s another thing to completely let that become a truth in your life. I am loved!

Then came outreach. The biggest thing God taught me during those two months was the act of surrendering. There were many lies that the enemy tried to speak, but once I realized the control those had on me, I gave them to God. There were moments I felt unqualified. Moments I didn’t understand. Moments I was heartbroken. And it was in those moments that God showed me His power. In my weakness He was always there to give me strength. The enemy would come, but God’s power outshone the enemy every single time I chose to surrender. The peace I found in giving those things to God really helped me own my own story. I began to absolutely LOVE telling my testimony. It was something I was nervous but so excited about! I wasn’t “too dirty” at all for those who chose to listen. I wasn’t “too weak”. I was qualified because it was through God’s strength and not my own. It became God’s words. It became God’s story. And the fact that He can use it for His glory shows just how beautiful and gracious He is! Now that I’m back home, I am so incredibly thankful that I said “yes”. I have a relationship with Jesus that no longer consists of just brokenness. I go to Him in LOVE! I surrender anything that tries to capture me and take me away from that love. I am His! He is mine! And this journey has been the best decision of my life.

I am loved.

A French Connection For Salvation

One of the YWAM Taipei Staff, Julien, was at the Rock a few weeks ago and led a young man to Christ in a really unique way!

Julien tells the story below:

Lately God has been challenging me with my faith. He has been wanting me to ask for more challenges to increase my faith in Him. So here is proof that He is real.

This past Monday (February 1st) was a long day.  I got up at 5:30am to read the Word and pray.  I was then in meetings most of the morning and also taking care of a construction team from Montana. My friend Nathan and I had to ride on my scooter all day, going from shop to shop to compare prices for kitchen appliances.  It was a really bad day for driving on a scooter because of the cold and heavy rain we had in Danshui.  By 5:45pm I was ready to head home, get in my bed and sleep for the whole night, trying to forget about that cold and wet day, but I remembered I had to go to the Rock Cafe that evening, and that I had to prepare for the prayer time that I was leading.

There was nothing spiritual in me at that time, just logical thinking – I’m cold, wet, tired and I want to go home.  Well, I told myself it was pointless to go home, drive fifteen minutes there and fifteen minutes back because I was still going to end up wet somehow.  I decided to go get some nice mushroom cream soup and eat it at the Rock to have a bit of a quiet time and read a book.  At 6:30pm the phone rang.  Oh no, I’m in the middle of my meal. Come on…. I’m going to have to answer it because there is nobody else around. My Chinese is terrible and I am going to have to say that I’m sorry for not understanding them, again.  So I pick up the phone and of course a person is speaking super fast in Chinese and I have no clue what they are saying.  Therefore, I pull out my nice, “Sorry I’m french, my Chinese is not good, I can’t understand you.” And then all of a sudden I can understand the language, but it’s just weird because I don’t understand why I understand. Then I realize that this person was speaking fully French.  I end up telling this person that the Rock will be open at 7:30pm, as usual and that they are welcome to join us then.

7:30 comes around and a 20-year-old kid comes to me and starts speaking with an incredible French accent and pronunciation.  We end up talking about all and nothing until he asked me why was I in Taiwan.  Well let me tell you buddy.  So here I go, explaining the whole missionary calling and sticking in some miracle stories here and there.  Usually by that time the people lose interest because they think I’m crazy for following God in missions for the past ten years.  But this time this kid was so intentional and kept on asking questions. Before I knew it, I was sharing the whole Gospel to him and this is still all in French.  I could tell that the part about God being our Creator and our Father in heaven impacted him, so I shared some more about the Father, how He wants to have a relationship with us and how He loves us.  By then I’m starting to think that he might accept the Lord this same night, but the faithless part of myself reminded me about all those other times when I thought the same thing and nothing had happened.  By faith I asked him if he wanted to be part of God’s family and he said yes!  I was a bit shocked because I had never gone that far in the conversation before when I was preaching the Gospel.  So here I go, sharing the need of Jesus and all I know is that I am all of a sudden taking him through some verses in Romans. Then this kid proclaimed with his lips that Jesus is his Lord and Savior and that God is his Father!

Boom, chakalaka! What just happened? Did I really led a 20-year-old Taiwanese dude to the Lord and all in my mother tongue? Dang, God is good. And all I wanted that night was to be in my warm and comfy bed. God has a greater plan for us even when we don’t seem to be fit for it.

To Him be all the glory.

Avalanches, Saunas, and Jesus

My name is Luke Smith, and I am one of the three interns with the Outdoor Ministry Program here in Lakeside, MT.  Last weekend we had the opportunity to receive avalanche training in Hamilton, MT.  I was going into the weekend with expectations that there was not very many other people and that the people that were there might not be too receptive to the Gospel.  When everybody got up to the lodge, we had orientation and ice breakers for the group.  Of course, one of the first things that I was asked was “what is YWAM?”   So I explained that Youth with a Mission is a Global Christian Missions Organization that trains, equips and sends people out to proclaim the Gospel.  I have seen in the past that once I say that it is a Christian Missions Organization, it closes some doors to different people, but when I said this at the training, I could see that the instructor George was still trying to figure out what we did.  So back to the ice breakers.  One of the questions asked was, “What is your spirit animal?” The other members of our group answered this question pretty quickly, but when it came to Ryan, another intern,  he said that he was a Christian and didn’t really know what a spirit animal was.  So he said, “In the Bible it talks about the Lion of Judah so I guess I will be that.”  When it came to Benji, another one of the Outdoor Interns, he said, “In the Bible, it says that Benjamin is the ravenous wolf, so that’s what I am.” So pretty much right off the bat, the whole group knew that we were Christians.

The rest of the day was spent studying the snow pack, causes of avalanches, and how to use Personal Locater Beacons, in case you get buried, we can find you.  Around 5:00pm we headed back to the lodge for dinner and to relax for a little bit.  While we were relaxing, we had the opportunity to mingle around with the  some of the other members of the course.  I was challenged earlier in the week by my Internship Leader to listen more to the Holy Spirit and step out in faith to what the Spirit says.  After dinner, I went to one of the hot tubs with most of the group. While I was listening to anything that the Spirit might be telling me, I got nothing.  So after being in the hot tub for about 20 or 30 minutes, I decided to head to the sauna. When I was about to step into it, Ryan was coming out.  He stopped and told me that he felt like I needed to be in there and that he needed to leave.  I found out later that while Ryan was in there, George, the instructor, was asking questions about YWAM.  Ryan told him some stories about Loren Cunningham and how YWAM got started.  I went into the sauna with expectations that something was going to happen.  I could only take the heat for a few minutes, so I went outside with George for a couple of minutes.  While outside, I kept on praying in my head for the Holy Spirit to give me a way to share my faith and the Gospel with him and a girl sitting in the sauna, Jenny.

When I went back in, it was pitch black and silent for the first few minutes.  Then George started to ask more questions about YWAM and what we train for.  The conversation quickly turned into a questions and answers conversation, with them asking me questions like, “How can you believe in something so much, even though it is intangible and you are so young?”, “Why do Christians get hung up with how important Jesus is?”, “Is the Bible really true and how can you be so sure of it?”, and finally, “Do the people that have never heard of Jesus and the Gospel go to heaven or hell?”.  These questions were only a few that they asked me. Most of these I have tried to answer in the past, but have never been able to give a good answer.  This time, I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me. I told them answers that I truly believed and told my view on the questions.  I found out that if I explained why I believed certain views and spoke about my past, they would in turn open up to me and talk about personal things.  There was even times when I said something and in my head I was trying to figure why I said it because it really didn’t even make sense to me, but after, there was a quick pause, and someone would say that I had made a good point and more questions would follow. God was really with me as I was answering questions and sharing the Gospel with them. I could feel His presence. We talked about George as a youth, when he was growing up in a Southern Baptist church in Pennsylvania.  He was telling me problems that he had with the church growing up and how, when it came to high school, he decided that he didn’t need the church anymore.  He tried to think of all the questions he had a kid, so that he could ask them and I answered as many as I could.

Through the rest of the weekend there was only one more conversation ,which happened on Sunday morning as we were snowshoeing.  Ryan and I were in the rear with George and we started to talk to him about his childhood again.  What kept on getting my attention the whole time as I was talking with him was that he was so receptive to anything that we were sharing with him!  He never asked us to pray for him, how he could accept Jesus, or anything like that, but he was hungry for more!

THIS is the very reason that I am doing the Outdoor Ministry Program! I love going to trainings, meetings, or just doing what I love, being outdoors and having the chance to share my faith with other outdoor enthusiasts.  We are called to be the instruments that God uses, to share who He is, but it is up to Him to make the person believe the truth.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”(2 Corinthians 5:20-21) I felt like I was the ambassador for God to spread His word through and at that moment it was awesome!

It Is Worth It!

Hello, Taiwan, it’s nice to finally meet. This plane touching down, this is a year and a half of praying and dreaming. This is seven months of raising support and fighting fidgeting nerves. This is three months of dedication, self-sacrifice, self-discovery, and preparation.

But, oh, wait. I’ve been here once before, haven’t I? That’s right, I’ve lived here for nine years.

Well then, Taiwan, it’s a pleasure to be back.

I am as giddy as a man embarking on a first date. There’s a smile etched on my face and I’m confident stars dance in my eyes. Being back in Taiwan, I am overwhelmed by love for this nation. A team member asks me what I love so much about it, but there’s really no concrete answer. I love it all: from the people to its culture, from the maddening, gritty city streets to its sheer marble mountain walls to its fine, snow white beaches. It’s my childhood. It’s memories. It’s home.

We bathe in the city’s scents struggling to navigate our luggage through narrow, bustling streets just inches away from a visit to the hospital due to vehicles barreling down the already crowded roads. I relish every moment of it. Memories in the backroom of my heart emerge knocking dust from their shoulders. Oh, look, there’s a piece of my childhood! Hey, I understood what they said! I totally want to go back and buy some of that! Déjà vu like a freight train.

Outreach is vastly different then my preceding life in Taiwan, I discover this quickly enough. In a way it’s just a shadow of what I’ve experienced. There is no safe haven of an American home brimming with American food and culture. There is no air-conditioned room for one to escape to when the noise of the city becomes deafening.

There’s no plush bed to rest my weary body as night blankets the city. There is my team and I and the pulse of a muggy, clamoring city. Indeed, outreach is a different animal entirely.

Four days in, immersed in a liquid warm coffee shop, I groan internally, my mind wards off the relentless lure of sleep. What’s the point? My thoughts murmur. There is a man before me, he tells me one story, but his eyes speak another. One of loneliness and wandering, seeking a pinprick of light that will blossom and become something worth living for. He’s worth it. A subtle prod throbs at my heart. The conversation lulls for a brief moment. “What does your father do?” An open door to share Christ? Simplicity at its finest. “Well, he’s a pastor?” The man poses questioningly, “so you’re a Christian.” It’s not a question, but a pointed statement. I nod knowingly, “Yes.” Where does the conversation go from here? He picks up the rope and tosses me an end. “So what do Christians believe?” My heart fractures with a realization that I’ve subtly known but never explicitly faced. This man has never had an opportunity to hear about Christ. And it dawns on me. This is why I am here. He’s worth it to sacrifice a few hours of sleep for.

[promote_post title=”Learn more about Endurance DTS” post_id=”195″ description=””/]

We take to the countryside; making our bed in a home so bizarre it would be difficult to paint a picture. Spiders spindle their webs as we shower below them. Fleas and mosquitos feast on my feet, lighting it up like a Christmas tree. A few days in, my knee blows out and that night I find myself fighting back tears and seething with the same question: What’s the point?

A few days later we do a kids ministry to a group of children coming from broken families. They are hilariously ecstatic. They engage in a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” like it’s the finest thing they’ve ever had the privilege to partake in. They cling to us like monkeys as we leave. My heart swells when we say goodbye. A whisper prods at my heart. They’re worth it. They’re worth fighting through pain in my knee to demonstrate a glimpse of Christ’s vast love.

Days march on. Some days I find myself at wits end, dragging a bum leg around. Some days I’m on a couch dying with laughter with my YWAM family. Some days we’re traveling six hours just to minister to one group of children. Some days we’re traveling by subway, bus, train, and walking to make it to our next destination. Some days we’re dancing our hearts out with little children as they cling to us, grinning ear to ear. Some days I’m bent over a sink washing a seemingly endless line of dishes. Some days we’re eating the strangest foods in the midst of an Asian temple. Some days we’re interceding for God’s heart toward his children. Regardless the circumstance, he is faithful to remind me and to show me His love. He shows me in the tears in the women’s eyes. He shows me in the calculated interest to know more following a street performance. He shows me despite my ignorance. He shows me despite my impatience. He shows me along the damp, reeking streets with a backpack straining at my muscles. He shows me as I stand beneath the stabbing cold shower. He shows me through the sad eyes of a working class man. He shows me through the toothy grin of an elderly man. He shows me in the timid smile of a child. He shows me they’re worth it. He shows me their beauty. He shows me how he loves them. He gives me a taste, a sliver of the Kingdom. It makes the sweat and tears worth it; it makes the exhaustion and hours of preparation worth it. Because Jesus thought we were worth it. So why shouldn’t they be?

The Surge From Taipei’s Point of View

YWAM Montana is partnering with YWAM Taipei in an initiative called “The Surge”. We are partnering with YWAM Taipei’s vision to pioneer YWAM locations in 3 of the least-reached areas of Taiwan. We’re also working together towards three God-sized goals.

We want to see 500 Disciples. YWAM Taipei is defining this as “new believers who are receiving ongoing discipleship”. We want to see 50 Church Partnerships. These are church partnerships that will be active “giving and receiving relationships” between YWAM Taipei and the local churches around Taiwan. Finally, we want to see 50 Missionaries sent long term. We’re talking about people really leaving (in the Abrahamic sense) and moving to a location with the intention of being there for at least 5 years.

This summer we had the pleasure of having several YWAM Taipei staff join us for our summer quarter. While they were here they put together this video to share what The Surge has meant to them so far. We’re excited to see that The Surge is already having an impact and we look forward to the ways that God will use this partnership over the next two years.

[promote_post title=”Learn more about The Surge” post_id=”3578″ description=”Our first Surge location is our Target Nation Taiwan.  We are partnering with YWAM Taipei’s vision to pioneer YWAM ministries in 3 of the least-reached areas of Taiwan…”/]

Why Do I Dance?

Our dance company recently returned from a tour across the southern United States. While in the South we quickly realized that self-expression isn’t as prevalent in southern churches and Christian communities as some of the other places that we’ve traveled.  However, we knew that dance was on God’s heart, so we obediently stepped out. We reminded ourselves that it’s not about us. We dance to see Jesus glorified and to see people encounter His love. Our hearts were longing to release God-given expression to people around us and so we did.

As I danced I felt a prayer erupting from inside of me

One sunny, hot day in Atlanta, GA we found ourselves in a park talking to a couple who were singing their way around the USA.  Their music was beautiful and they filled the park with soul-filled expression.  When they heard that we were a touring dance company they asked us to dance for them.  They began playing and I began to dance, and as I danced I felt a prayer erupting from inside of me.  A prayer of hope, beauty, and restoration.  An expression of the father’s heart released through dance.  A crowd started to gather, and the company performed one our group pieces.  As we finished the choreography and started talking to people I noticed a  young lady who had been watching us from the fringes of the crowd. Her name was Angel. She explained that she had been planning to leave but, “It was like I couldn’t get in the car, like my feet were walking over here and I couldn’t control them”. We prayed for her and gave her some encouraging words.  With tears in her eyes she thanked us and said that one day she hoped she could do what we did. She felt so loved and accepted for who she was. She encountered the love of Jesus.

So why do I dance? This is why I dance, this is why I travel the country for hours upon hours in a van, because of people like Angel.  It’s worth it! Bringing an encounter that could change a life, stepping out in obedience even when it’s unplanned or seemingly random.  Jesus is purposeful, and as we trust Him and walk in obedience He reaches into lives and changes them forever.