Hey friends and family!
I appreciate your patience and grace with getting my updates out. The past few weeks in Japan have been very eventful and very powerful for the team, and for me as an individual. God has really shown me his favor and grace during ministry and in my relationship with him. This newsletter will cover the past few weeks, our return to Australia, what I have been learning, and what I am planning to do after the DTS graduates.
I would like to preface with the logistical information with the juicy stuff first. During the last 3 weeks God has given me a lot of new experiences. Some have been fun, others, extremely intense, but ALL have been covered in grace and peace. I have the confidence that he uses these experiences to grow me and prepare me for life. These experiences have been intense, and I have had to seek much guidance from my leaders. I am so thankful for their wisdom and encouragement to help me through difficult experiences. Most of this incidents happened in Japan, but some upon returning home to Australia. It was a very long 2 weeks but God touched many hearts in the process.
On a more personal note, some of you may be aware that I have been in a relationship for 5 years with a wonderful girl. It has been a long distance relationship as we live on different continents and recently we felt God leading us in the direction of going our separate ways. He has given us overwhelming peace about this decision and I am very grateful for the journey we have had. I would appreciate prayer for both of us as we process our futures. I believe God has a lot in store for this next season, so I am seeking him as to what that looks like. To do that, I am reflecting on what he has brought me through, and I feel grateful and encouraged as I go forward. I am telling you all because it is a very big aspect of my life, and it is fair that my family and friends have that insight
In my last update, I mentioned changing cities In Japan. Our second location, was with the YWAM Base in Osaka. The base is a big house on the outskirts of the city, with 12 full time staff. 6 of them have been involved with YWAM Brisbane at one time and previously I met 2 of them while doing my DTS in 2018. Nothing is better than reconnecting with old friends. We spent 3 and half weeks in ministry with the neighbors and other contacts. Our main ministry was teaching English, in which we used different methods in doing so, but the one we enjoyed most was through consistent relationship building. We had the privilege of frequent meet ups with people from the university, church, and even people we met on the street. It was great to establish and build relationships over that period of time, and so hard to say goodbye.
Before going to Japan, God spoke to us as a team that we were called to establish deep connections. God knew our team, especially our students, were good at this. It was awesome to see how they took this vision and naturally fulfilled it. The way God provided every opportunity was astounding. Allowing us to meet and experience amazing people, and through it all we experienced his power. We gave him our willingness and he gave us his favor in everything.
On January 26th, we flew out of Osaka arriving in Australia the next day. Upon returning, we were able to reunite with the rest of the school. Following outreach, the teams have one week of debriefing. This is so that we can discuss how we have grown, what God has taught us personally (and as a team), and also so that we can celebrate what God has done in the locations we traveled to. This week is essential for the students so that they can share their experiences and stories so that they can process with the school, but also with God. Outreach alone is a huge aspect of Discipleship Training Schools, so it is important that the students (and staff) take time to understand the impact it has on them. We also have a week where we have lectures on returning home. It is important that the students have the opportunity to know how to step into a new season after such an intense time of growth and change. We spent one week discussing this.
On February 7th, we graduated the 2019 Pathfinder DTS students. For 6 months – we had the honor of speaking into their lives. For 6 months – we had the privilege to see them grow in character and their relationship with God. For 6 months – we saw them take risks they had never taken before, and saw them truly trust the Lord. And for 6 months – they gave everything they had to pursue God wholeheartedly.
Many of them have returned home already, and are reuniting with friends and family. And I am so happy that they get to do so. But for me, the real honor is in partnering with God to raise up a new generation of missionaries. And I can’t wait to do it again in August 2020.
I will soon be entering the 2nd phase of my Basic Leadership School. During this phase I will be working for the base doing some sort of logistical role. I am excited for this phase because I will get to develop more practical skills. I also believe it will be fun to be able to build relationships with the logistical staff on base. I will be attending less lectures, I will not be traveling as much, but I will still be invested in everything God has for me in this phase.
Here are a few things I would appreciate prayer for!
– Processing (outreach, phase 2)
– Wisdom on how to invest into this new phase of school
– Wisdom on how to seek new opportunities here in Brisbane and abroad
-Investing in the new staff and the new students (of a different school)
Love you all!
Take it easy!