I can officially say DTS is complete! The past few months of outreach have flown by in whirlwind! We were blessed to visit SEVEN different cities while in Russia, and traveled almost 6,000 miles between January 8th- March 17th.
When we prayed for a vision for this DTS and what our outreach would look like; one of the words we got was “trailblazers”. It’s been amazing to see God’s hand move in our team, and how accurate that word has been for the past few months. Our last week at the base was a sweet time to see them draw closer to Jesus, and get excited to see the lessons they learned come to life, and be put to practical application in Russia.
Most of the cities we went to had never heard of YWAM or received a team from them. God opened up so many doors for us to minister to the people of Russia and make a way for more teams to come in. Open evangelism is illegal in Russia, so most of our ministry was within the churches. We preached, taught, and shared testimonies in different churches, youth groups, and children’s ministries. Even with the restrictions on the sharing of the gospel we were able to help build relationships, and share the gospel in different ministries that were reaching out to unbelievers. One of my favorite moments was the youth conference that the students planned, on their own, at the end of outreach. 40 or so youth came to the conference!!! Our team and the youth group from Olenegorsk (one of our student’s youth groups) planned out the entire conference: worship, teachings, workshops, games, everything! It was truly spectacular and in the words of one of the participants “an answer to prayer”. Our team grew so much on outreach! I love DTS for seeing how God continues to challenge and grow us as we walk through different seasons of life. This year’s group were a bunch of leaders, and it was awesome to see them all grow more in their different giftings and deepen their relationship with Christ.
God is doing big things in Russia! Please continue praying for all the seed’s that have been planted!
One of my personal takeaways from this year’s outreach was: What does it mean to lead well WITH Jesus. So many times it can be easy to bulldoze ahead when there’s a goal to accomplish, or to feel like the things God’s asking of me are a heavy weight. I let my mind shift into: I, have to do this. I, have to run full speed ahead, I, solve the problem. In reality one of the joys of walking in relationship with God is that He partners with us in the midst of chaos, in the midst of pain, and in the midst of joy. We are called to work hard, and to be diligent in the tasks set before us but, God’s not a slave driver. He steps into every season WITH us. I can’t make it through in my own power, or my own strength but when I create that pause to listen and partner with what he’s doing, I become a better leader.
I will be participating in some different ministries with the base and joining a seminar! In the end of April I will be joining together with other staff from Northern Europe to do a DTS Foundational Workshop, we will grow in our skills as disciplers and learn more about how we can run better schools. Following that I will be joining Bible To All, our bible distribution initiative here in Norway. At the end of May our base will join the first wave of bible distributions in Sweden. In between all those events I will continue planning the next DTS that will run in September this year.
- Grace over the planning of the next school
- Open hearts and minds to grow for those joining the workshop to grow as mentors and leaders
- Travel safety between ministries
- Acceptance of the bible as we distribute it
- That everything goes smoothly with switching my drivers license over to a Norwegian one!
If you would like to hear more stories about Russia, or what’s coming up next feel free to drop me a line as always!