two weeks before this DTS began in September we had to redo the school budget that we had created based on having ten students attend and figure out how to make it work with only eight (as two students decided not to come). honestly it didn’t plausibly work with eight! but we knew we were supposed to run this school and we had students booked to come so cancelling the school was not an option for us!
one week before the students arrived we had nowhere to house them and no where to hold lectures (we had plans for both that fell through very last minute).
four days before the students arrived we found a house on the other side of the island which was half the rental cost of the one we had been banking on in kapaa. and then later that day a church in the same town offered to allow us to use their library as our classroom. to our natural eyes moving from the east to the west side of the island mere days before the students arrival seemed rather insane, but the way God provided and opened the doors for us left little choice but to walk through them.
and i am so glad we did! even with a stressful crazy move two days before our students arrived running this DTS in Waimea has seriously been so perfect! this is one of the funnest/smoothest schools I have ever been a part of. these past three months have felt like such a gift from the Lord. the staff, the students, the housing, the classroom, the ministry opportunities we have had in the community all just attest to His faithfulness!
we like to call waimea the wild wild west as it is super hot and dry, with men on horseback riding down the street, and the storefronts make it look like an old western town. the community here has welcomed us with open arms, and we have been given so many opportunities to serve the families and businesses here. for community outreach we got to help in a community garden, pick tea leaves up in the mountains, help a woman clean her antique store, help our neighbours prepare taro root to be baked into a hawaiian dessert, and play volleyball with youth at a community centre.
our students are amazing. each of them are so unique and their ages range from 18-27 yet they quickly united as one big family and have challenged each other to grow in their walks with the Lord. they love evangelism and are always eager to share their faith with people they meet in waimea.
this is their twelfth and final week of lectures and I have had the privilege of teaching lectures for this week, which is on Identity in Christ. this is my first time teaching a whole week and so preparing 12 hours of material was quite the learning process! the stress leading up to teaching is always worse than the actually delivery part of it, so now that we are midway through the week I am actually really enjoying it.
in a few days the team leaves for Nepal where they will spend three months doing various ministries. as I am not leading the team I get to go home for Christmas (yay!!) and for the birth of my second nephew (double yay!!) and then in mid January I will do a pastoral visit of the team in Nepal and get to join them for ministry for a few weeks. nepal has been a dream of mine for years and years now and to finally get to go to this beautiful nation, most likely as the last outreach I will go on with Ywam, is such a gift from God.
after the school returns from outreach and graduates in March i will be returning home. yes as in home home. aka Canada! my commitment will be up at this time and I have felt the Lord speaking to me over the course of this last year about moving forward from Kauai. even before I moved to this wonderful hippie island God said Kauai was going to be a stepping stone for me. I had no clue that this would be a stepping stone to home and not some foreign nation as I probably presumed at the time. its hard to even imagine not being in kauai or working for Ywam since this has been my life for so long now but I am excited to see where the Lord leads me as I return home. i treasure your prayers for these next few months I will be spending here, in Gibsons and in Nepal. thank you friends and family for your unending encouragement and support!