My eighth week (November 14th – 20th) here at the YWAM LA base for the SOMD (School of Ministry Development) was really great except that I struggled with tiredness this week. This week we were blessed with having Werner Pfau teach us more on effective ways on how to finish well in leadership and Lisa Jones our school leader also taught us on accountability as well.
On Monday’s class Werner asked us to split into five different groups and we taught each other from the handout we got on five different enhancements which are: 1) Perspective – it is basically exchanging our perspective with a Biblical perspective of how God sees things, 2) Renewal – four different areas where we can have renewal are: special moments of intimacy with God, challenges from God that can force us to go deeper, new vision from God and personal or ministry affirmation from God.
3) Spiritual Disciplines – these include: inward disciplines: mediation, prayer, fasting and study, outward disciplines: simplicity, solitude, submission and service and corporate disciplines: confession, worship, guidance and celebration, 4) Learning posture –to always have a humble and a teachable heart to God and to others as well and 5) Mentoring – it is really important to be mentored by someone in the specific area where you have a desire to grow in for example if you would like to grow in the area of the prophetic gift you could ask someone to mentor you who has already been functioning in it for a while.
We learned on Monday in class that it is really important that we have a balance of all five of these different enhancement areas so we can keep growing healthy in our Christian walk especially when we are in any kind of leadership position and these are also essential for finishing well too. I am so very grateful for the renewal that God gave me when I went to the YWAM conference last week in Chico, California but I also know that I still need to work on the other enhancement areas especially more in the different spiritual disciplines. I am definitely very thankful that God has shown me these enhancement areas so I am aware of them and I can work on them in my life.
On Tuesday in class we worked on our own individual spiritual time lines. I actually already
have my own spiritual time line that I have been working on since I did my DTS (Discipleship Training School) in 2013 but this time line is a bit different because there are six different stages which are: 1) sovereign foundations, 2) inner-life growth, 3) ministry/leadership maturing, 4) life maturing, 5) convergence and 6) after glow. Werner explained to us that the different stages are according to different life experiences and also our ages so actually with my life experience and my age I am only up to stage 3 in this time line.
When I did my spiritual time line on Tuesday I found it to be a really helpful exercise because I was not only able to look at the good and bad experiences in life but also this time I also wrote down what I learned from each stage as well. Now when I look at this new spiritual time line I had made this week I see how God has redeemed different areas in my life. For example: God spoke to my heart to get my TESOL certificate at a Bible College in Toronto in 2000 but unfortunately my professor didn’t see the potential in me to become an English teacher and I felt like she discouraged me from further pursing it so I didn’t end up getting the TESOL certificate there however I ended up going to another Bible College in Manitoba but this time it was very different because my professor did see potential in me and she believed in me. I praise God that I not only graduated with my TESOL certificate but also a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies. I am so very thankful for God’s grace and His goodness that I was able to teach English for a year in South Korea and my first 2 ½ years in Romania as well.
Some of the key lessons that God taught me that I wrote on the bottom of my spiritual time line are: It’s not about being religious as a Christian but God desires our heart of surrender to Him and to have an imitate relationship with Him. I need to keep on having a child like faith and trust in God in every area of my life. To keep my eyes on God and not on what other people say about who I am because He truly does see so much potential in me far more than what I see in myself and also His plans and dreams for me are much bigger than what I could possibility image. Perseverance is crucially important when God has called you to do something to keep following Him and not to give up even though we may go through trials, difficulties and obstacles in our lives.
Some other key lessons that God taught me from my time line are: I learned that I am a daughter of God, He is my perfect loving Heavenly Father and every good gift does come from Him including it is God’s heart for me to function in the gifts of the Holy Spirit which is what I had experienced for the first time when I went to Mozambique in 2012. When I was there that fall, God opened my eyes to the prophetic and I functioned in it for the first time which did open my eyes to a whole new level of ministry to be able to encourage people on a whole deeper level but now I just need to remember to step out more as God leads me with confidence, boldness and courage.
The newest biggest lesson that God showed me when I had made an effort to lead a DTS outreach team in the Czech Republic but I actually wasn’t ready to do it however God showed me the different flaws in my character and where He wants me to work on in my life so I can grow and mature more into the woman He has created me to be.
I really liked one of the quotes that Werner told us on Tuesday morning which was: “We row into the future by looking back.” I really like that quote not because we are not defined by our past but it is because we can learn from the lessons that God taught us in the past so we can use them as growing experiences in our lives which I think is incredibility important otherwise if we keep on making the same mistakes over and over again we are not learning the lessons in our lives that God wants to teach us.
I can honestly say that God is still teaching me some of the same lessons that He has been trying to teach me years ago especially to not worry and figure things out for what my future looks like next but to simply trust in Him with a child-like faith. I definitely do not want to struggle with worry anymore because our God is truly such a good Father and He is so very faithful and He has always taken such good care of me.
There has been already more than one person since I have been at the YWAM LA base who are on staff here strongly recommend to me to prayerfully consider taking a minimum of a 6 month sabbatical break. I have to admit especially since I have never taken a sabbatical break before and I have already served in Romania the last 9 years that it would be a good time to take a break after my SOMD school before I continue to serve on the mission field. I feel in my heart this is a whole new level of trusting in the Lord of how exactly this sabbatical break will look like and how all of these details will work out including a place that I can truly rest with my cat.
On Thursday the speaker who spoke at our base community evening event prayed for me and he sensed that God wanted me to know that it is okay to take time to rest so I really need to give this next season to the Lord and to really trust in Him with all of the details that need to be worked out.
On Wednesday, Werner spoke about four different areas where we need support in our lives which include: emotional support, economic support, strategic and social support. My school leader Lisa did a teaching session on the importance of accountability on Friday which was also really helpful as well. I am incredibility grateful for all of the different people who have been such a crucial part of my support team over the years since I have been serving as a missionary.
I believe God helped me to realize this week that it is extremely important to have more key people in my life to help me in these different areas
where I need more specific support including a handful of people that I can be accountable to in my life as well. This is something that I am really going to be bringing before the Lord in my prayers especially over the next month and the rest of my time here at the YWAM LA base until I return to Canada in December. I would also really appreciate your prayers for this as well.
I would like to end this blog by thanking God for all of the things that He is teaching and showing me from my time here at the YWAM LA base during this leadership training school. I am also really grateful for God giving me such an incredible class to grow together as well and also to read the Bible together throughout this school too. This week on Tuesday evening we had a special highlight of our school together which is we all got to gather together at Lisa’s house, to enjoy some delicious homemade soup that she made and also read the book of Psalm together from the Bible. We all had such a great time and what a blessing it was to be able to spend 4 hours together to read the word of God together.