Sunset beach barbeque -complete with pineapple terriyaki burgers, coconut pie and a traditional Fijian dance by tiki torch light. This is how the six of us on staff welcomed our eight students to Ywam Kauai’s second DTS, and all this literally in our back yard here at the camp! In the past seven weeks we have had amazing teaching on different subjects such as the Character and Nature of God, Inductive bible study methods, Destiny, Disciplines, Hearing God and a few others. We took our school over to join Kona for a week of lectures also, it was fun to show them Ywam on a much larger scale, there was a bit of culture shock for all of us going from a base of 14 to a base of 800! It was a lot of fun, and super refreshing for us as staff to have a little break from our duties as everything runs like clockwork over there.
Our students are amazing! They are such servants, eager for breakthrough and willing to step out in evangelism. It is exciting to watch them wrestle with and grow in their faith. They are not afraid to walk right up to teens at the mall and share the gospel straight up! They will spend their free time hanging with the kids who live down the street and even hitch hike to the city to watch their soccer game! I truly enjoy being a part of discipleship training just as much as I did 3 years ago when I staffed my first school. Watching my peers grow in their relationship with God and getting to be a part of their discipleship will never cease to be rewarding!
This school I have been walking in a new role, that of school leader. Pretty much this means that I am not leading an outreach team (which is going to Bali, Indonesia btw) but am in charge of running the classroom and carrying the vision and direction of the school. It has had its challenges, but with challenges comes growth, so it has been really exciting to see God prove Himself faithful to calm my fears as I am forced to step out in different areas. Naturally, I tend to lead more in a “do as I do” kind of way, not a “do as i say”. Simply, i would rather serve my students and hope they catch on to it then vocally get up and tell them that they should be servants. I do not tend to be so loud nor do I enjoy public speaking so having to talk in front of the class everyday has been good for me to grow in the more vocal aspect of leadership. Teaching 5 hours of lecture on our school theme, Beauty for Ashes during the first week of the school definitely pushed me forward in this area. God is so faithful to strengthen us exactly when we need it. I am also in charge of intercession, which means I pray and plan for two different prayer sessions we have each week. I am being stretched, and when I feel overwhelmed God always reminds me how this is all for Him. He is so worthy of these tiny little sacrifices of me laying down my rights to lead in a way that I feel comfortable with, and stepping up into what is required of me for this season.
I am constantly reminded of how what we are a part of here is so much bigger than what I imagined when I first agreed to be a part of this pioneering team. Lets be honest, I had no idea what I was getting into when I said “Yes!” to move to this island. Little did I, or any of us, know of the blessings and trials that awaited for us. There was such a mystery to what pioneering would look like. Sure, people would give us tips and wise counsel on things to expect, but pioneering is as varied as the ministry you are starting, people you are working with, and nation you are in. There is no “one size fits all” handbook to this sorta thing.
The first year was not not always easy. But I feel like the trial period, the “tilling of the soil”, so to speak, was incredibly short in light of the lasting Ywam base that i believe will be here until the moon turns to cheese, or Jesus returns, whichever happens first. Part of me is astounded at how fast God provided amazing housing for us, students to disciple, and incredible local church support. I feel like we are already moving into a season of fruitfulness and it hasn’t even been two years! Another part of me is astounded at my lack of faith, why should I be surprised that God can move as quickly as He pleases. He is God! Simply put, pioneering, at least in the Christian sense, is about God being God and us being obedient and persistent.
Christ is the grand orchestrator. And we, well we are just part of the symphony He has been playing over Kauai since the creation of the world. What an honour to be a part of the sound He is releasing in this island.
“ As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ” – Isaiah 55:10-11