My seventh week (November 7th – 13th) here at the YWAM LA base for the SOMD (School
of Ministry Development) God totally blew me away beyond my expectations would ever be and I also felt completed wrecked and overwhelmed by the love of my Daddy God as well. It was definitely a blessing beyond what I could possibility put into words that my school and the two DTS schools from the YWAM LA base were able to go to the YWAM Chico base for the Presence Gathering conference which is what we did this past week and it was incredible!
I first heard about our school going to the YWAM Presence Gathering regional united conference for a week in November back in the summer I think in August but I have to be honest I wasn’t too thrilled about paying an extra $135 USD on top of my tuition fee and I honestly didn’t really know what to expect of how this conference would go either but now that the week has passed I can honestly say that the cost of the conference was completely worth it and if I had any expectations from the week God totally blew them away beyond what I could possibility put into words.
On Sunday (November 6th) we left from our base at 5:45am and we had a very long drive of 9 hours to Chico which is north from Los Angeles, California. There were 77 of us that went from the YWAM LA base which includes all of the students, staff and the children so we definitely had a pretty large group from our base which was a real blessing from God to be able to experience the conference with so many people from the base that I am currently at right now.
This conference was definitely the first largest YWAM conference I had been to since I have joined YWAM. There were around 450 people who were there from 17 different YWAM bases from all over California which also included the Denver, Colorado base as well. I really felt very blessed by the YWAM Chico base and the amazing hospitality that they gave to all of us that went to the conference this past week.
It was such a blessing to be able to meet so many amazing people this past week who are really passionately in love with Jesus which was so very inspiring. The worship times were incredible during our sessions that we had together and you could just sense in the atmosphere there was so much hunger for the Lord as well. The teachings by John Dawson, Chris Overstreet and the other people who we were blessed to hear during the week either during our main sessions or the breakout sessions on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon were really amazing and inspiring to hear them speak to us at the conference.
Some of the things that struck out to me from the teaching sessions are:
- God created us in hope and it is in His intimacy.
- When we are serving God we need to do it through God’s perspective and not through our own.
- We need to be kind and loving towards people and to also speak to people with love and grace as well.
- We cannot survive by the power of religion but we need the love of the Father.
- Identification of repentance means you are repenting and confessing of the sins of the people on behalf of a nation.
- Vulnerability is extremely important for us to go forward in what God has called us to do especially in our relationships with people.
- We have to be aware in our relationships with people that there is a spiritual battle that we are in and we need to support each other. In other words, people are not our enemies but the devil is our real enemy so we must recognize the spiritual warfare we are in and have discernment with this.
- We are a spiritual river of blessing to people especially when we pray a prayer of blessing over them and when we do we are releasing things from the heavenly realms.
- The greatest barrier to love is not hatred but it is fear. The opposite of love is fear but God’s perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
- God doesn’t need you but He has chosen you. We just need to be bold in our love, gentle in our love and truthful in our love especially when we share the gospel with people.
- Unless we are compelled by love than we are not going to live out what God has called us to do like sharing the gospel with people.
- The tug of war that we have with fear in our lives has to stop. We need to have a love encounter with the love of the Father. We need to have a revelation of the love of the Father both for ourselves and for other people and also to continually filled with the Holy Spirit.
- We could do so many amazing things to reach people for Christ (e.g. pray for the sick, feed the hungry, love orphans, crisis relief, etc) but we must remember to take time to share the gospel with the people when we are doing ministry with them.
- When we share the gospel with people we need to remember to take time to listen to the Holy Spirit so we need to be sensitive to hearing God’s voice more because there is no one size fits all formula when we share the gospel with people.
- It is incredibility important that we see people and the places we go to when we do ministry through the eyes of faith. We also need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and that we are aware of the presence of God when we share the gospel with people as well.
- It is the testimony of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy that brings life. God wants us to prophesy to people and to speak life to people.
- It is okay to fail, God just wants us to step out in faith, to reach out to people for Him and to share His love and the hope that we have in Him.
- God is looking for people who agree with Him and believe the power of the gospel that changes lives.
- When you have good member care for your team you can do ministry for the long haul.
- You can ask the Holy Spirit daily for Him to give you the gift of hunger for God and also for the gift of faith as well.
- Ask God daily for you to have daily encounters with Him, for other people you meet to have encounters with God and also for you to demonstrate Jesus to people as well.
- It is not so much the teaching that you hear that will change your life but it is about having a humble and teachable heart and then applying what you have learned to your life.
- You cannot separate the power of God from the gospel. When you share the gospel with people you can also pray for healing and deliverance for them as well. You just need to remember to believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always with you.
- It is not about you but it is all about God. God is honored when you step out in obedience to Him. God looks at our hearts, He looks at our willing hearts and He wants to use us. God is in love with our hearts especially when we take risks with Him.
- God is in our random thoughts that comes into our minds so it is really important that we are attentive and aware of this when you get these random thoughts because they can often be words of prophecy and words of knowledge when we are ministering to people.
- What are you asking God to do when you go to another nation and what are you expecting Him to do?
- It is really important to not allow our hearts to get filled with any negatively, doubts and disappointments from people.
- Sometimes we just need to know when to raise people up and when to release people into ministry.
There is so much more that I could probably write of what God spoke to me through the teachings from this past week at the conference but I would also like to share about some other things of what God did in my life this past week as well. The first day of the conference on Sunday we had a love feast with a delicious meal, communion and we also had a time of worship as well. On Monday afternoon we had an opportunity to go on a hike near the YWAM base and to see a beautiful waterfall which was a lot of fun to have a relaxing afternoon and to get to know some new people during that time.
On Friday afternoon we all went out to do a massive street evangelism outreach to be able to share the love of Jesus with people in the town of Chico. At dinner time that day there were many testimonies of healing and salvations from the afternoon outreach which was really encouraging.
My heart is so full of joy to the overflowing and I feel so overwhelmed by the love of God to think of all that He has done this past week. I praise God for the many healings that He did (healings of sprained ankles, back problems, an arm and a leg that healed badly from a cheerleading years ago was restored, a 72-year-old woman’s hip that was fractured 6 months ago and had caused a lot of pain was healed, a stomach ulcer was completely healed, sprained wrists, bad knees, people who couldn’t take full breaths due to asthma now can, a woman who couldn’t walk without pain in foot now feels fine – it just keeps going!!)
I praise God for deepening my hunger and thirst for Him, for blowing me away with intimate fresh encounters that He gave me this week including all of the different prophetic words that He encouraged me with, for activating a couple of the spiritual gifts (prophecy and healing) in my life that He has given me and also that my class was able to get together on Wednesday evening which God completely blew us all away with His sweet presence as the Holy Spirit just broke out so strongly during that time.
I am so very encouraged to see not only what God is doing in my own life right now but
also in the lives of my classmates and everyone else who went to the conference this past week. I am so hungry for more of God and I never want this to end but I just desire with all of my heart to keep on growing in everything that God has created me to be and what He has for my life as well! Every day this past week I kept thinking and praying in my heart “Wow, how can it get any better than this?!” but it just does because God is so very faithful and He is just so very good! Yes, God just keeps on getting better in our lives because that is His very nature and character!
My heart is filled with so much gratitude of the goodness of God and how He just keeps on overwhelming me with His love! I also would like to take a moment to say thank-you to everyone who prayed for me when I was at the conference. I definitely felt your prayers during the week I was at the conference and I’m so very grateful for your prayers.