Priceless

Just a few days ago, all available YWAM Northwoods staff participated in being taught a specific tool for Evangelism. Campus Director David Holmbeck was our teacher. The last time he taught this way to share about God, he was in Kenya.  That same night, we got into our vehicles and headed towards Eau Claire (the nearest mid-size city) to practice what we were taught. If I may, I would say that all of us were nervous. Some were less nervous than others, of course…but those butterflies in our stomachs were fluttering. No, we didn’t talk to 30 people each. Not everyone we talked to was receptive or wanted Jesus in their lives. God did do some really special things, though. Our staff split up into pairs of two, or went solo. Some places we went to were the mall, a hospital, the university, and a bar.

At the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Nicette (Communications Department Staff) walked up to three girls who were sitting outside talking. According to what she had learned, she asked each of them to respond to her question of “What’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you?” It turned out that two of the girls were Christians. Nicette then asked if she could share with them what the greatest thing that had ever happened to her was, and they said yes. She then shared about her relationship God, and why it is the greatest thing that has happened to her. The girl who wasn’t a Christian got to hear both of her friends’ testimonies as well as Nicette’s.

An uncharecteristic nervousness set in as Terri entered Oakwood Mall. After she took a moment to tell God how she was feeling and ask Him to help her, Terri felt a certain peace and felt that she would know who the right person to talk to was. As she walked down a hallway, she felt drawn to a particular store. It just so happened that the store was empty, except for the young woman working at the register. The woman remarked  at how boring it was being all alone with no customers. “So you have a minute to talk?” Terri asked, and then began a 30 minute conversation about church and relationship with God. When Terri looked at her watch and realized it was time to leave the mall, she also noticed that the store had suddenly filled with customers again. God’s timing was perfect.

As a campus we want to be more diligent and intentional in sharing what God has done in our lives. We want to bring His light into the darkness and bring Him glory. Sometimes it seems too hard, we get nervous, we’re worried about what people will think. Here’s another way to look at it: Evangelism training= 4 hours. Gas money= $15. Travel time= 1 hour. Nervous level= 5 to 9. Knowing that you have obeyed God and He has used you to encourage someone= Priceless.

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From the Northwoods to Nahong

Cheyenne and Luke Neraasen

Cheyenne and Luke Neraasen

Two of YWAM Northwoods’ beloved staff have been serving overseas in Thailand for three months now. If you haven’t met them before, now is the time. Lucas and Cheyenne Neraasen committed to leading the recent DTS team on a two month outreach to Thailand, and to stay for another four months of ministry after that. That’s six months in total. Now, they are on their own. Their goals are simple, but not simply accomplished. The spiritual atmosphere in Thailand is dark and heavy. The Thai people are bound by the traditional religous practices of Buddhism, though they don’t know it. In The Land of a Thousand Smiles many Thai people search for true happiness. Mr&Mrs. Neraasen have been called to bring God’s light and love into this place.

…It is hard to go deep enough to evaluate within yourself if what you have always believed to be true is or not. We have had the pleasure of seeing people set free. Of seeing them pray to the one true God for the first time. But the unreached places in the world are unreached because they are difficult and take time.

This week Chey was able to pick back up again with one of the girls who became a Christian a couple years ago. Her and the newest girl (who received a Bible from our DTS Students several weeks ago) are doing a daily Bible study & prayer. God has provided enough Thai language and bi-lingual material for this to work out really well.

Please Pray:

  • For Luke and Cheyenne’s physical health
  • Against Spiritual attacks on their minds and emotions
  • Supernatural ability to learn Thai and communicate easily
  • That God would daily encourage them
  • That the Thai people would desire to know Truth
  • That the Thai people would see that they can be free in Christ

On a day-to-day basis Luke and Chey can be found teaching English in the village, seeing their friendship with the other teachers growing, and helping their hostess care for her grandchildren. They will also be playing songs and teaching about the Bible after school, as requested by their students. Cheyenne does a daily Bible study and prayer time with two girls who decided to be Christians. It is simply amazing that they are doing Bible studies with people in Nahong. YWAM Northwoods has been sending outreach teams to this village for 9 years. Interest in the Bible and about Jesus has been building and building. Questions are being asked, and answers found in the Word of God.

Thailand Outreach Stories: Part One

Matt, Rachel, Amber and Lauren

Matt, Rachel, Amber and Lauren

It’s been one month now since the DTS students got back from their Thailand outreach. A little over two weeks ago they graduated as the Discipleship Training School Class of 2013-2014. God has done so much in their hearts and lives in the short time since we first met them last September. We have watched and prayed as the seeds God allowed us to help plant in their lives were received and started to grow. Being in such a vastly different culture for their outreach proved to be challenging, but as they would all agree, totally worth it. God used each one of them in a unique way to share His love with the Thai people. Because of the strong roots and tradition of Buddhism in Thailand, many Thai people are wary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There, sharing the Gospel is more about actions. It is showing people who Jesus is through how we live, because He lives in us. We do this by responding and reaching out in love.

Matt shared with us how God showed him the power of prayer in many situations that he, and the whole team, encountered. One such example was that of bar ministry. There is a ministry in Chiang Mai that focuses on helping women in prostitution by going out to the bars in the red light district and starting conversations with them. Often times, a friendship is formed. Sometimes things move more quickly and the women are ready to leave that lifestyle behind; they walk out of the bars for good. The Zion Cafe (another Christian Thai ministry) offers safe jobs for these women who have begun their journey into a new life. Our team’s students were not old enough to go out and do this type of ministry, but God used them in a different, equally powerful way. Our team stayed back and had a time of prayer, worship and intercession for the group that went to the red light district. When the group came back, they said it was their best night of ministry ever. Three women walked away from prostitution that night and none of the women in the bars were paying attention to potential customers. Praise God, He was faithful to answer our prayers!

Rachel had a revelation of the condition of her heart one day in Nahong that has led her to a life transformation. From the start of the day, I’m sure she thought it would be a bad one after waking up feeling very sick. Once a bit of a bad attitude was added to that, things weren’t looking too good. Tom told the team about an opportunity to help pick rice with some of the villagers in the afternoon. The hot, muggy, sweaty afternoon. After Rachel had persevered through teaching English that day, she was informed by Tom that she and another team member, Johnny, had been chosen for this opportunity. An opportunity to serve and love on the Thai people?! Fantastic. I’m sure Tom could tell that she was less than enthused, so he asked her the question “How much do Christians suffer?” she thought about it and then responded “A lot.” It was then that she realized that even though it would be uncomfortable and difficult to go pick rice, she could do it. God would help her to do it. Rachel and Johnny went to serve with and for the Thai people. She later said that God’s grace was totally there for her and that she was able to enjoy her time picking rice with the villagers. God used this situation to reveal to Rachel where she had been self-focused, and to help her focus on Christ and others. I have no doubt that the Thai villagers could see God’s loving, servant heart through Rachel that day.She chose to love even when it was hard; even when it would cause her to suffer.

So, the students are back at home with their families again. Their stories are far from over, though. Each of them has big dreams about how they will help to further God’s Kingdom. They also realize that their current missions field is at home with their friends, families and churches. They aim to continue to serve and show God’s love for each person. More Thailand outreach stories are yet to come.

Welcome Home

Welcome Home!   Welcome Home

 

Yesterday we welcomed home most of the Thailand team. Justin’s flight comes in today and Lauren’s flight is coming in tomorrow. We are so thankful for all the prayers and that they made it home to us safely! Please continue to pray for both Justin and Lauren’s travels.

Welcome Home Amber, Rachel and Matt!!

Crossroads DTS News

The dates for our next school, the Crossroads DTS (CDTS) have been set! The dates are June 12, 2014 to November 8, 2014.

  • Lecture phase: Twelve weeks of discipleship training by men and women who have served in missions and church ministry. It is an ideal time to grow in relationship with Christ while building friendships and a servant heart. Development is enhanced in men’s and women’s small groups and individual mentoring.
  • Outreach phase: Eight weeks of practical community and missions experience as part of a team to tribal, indigenous, and urban locations in Asia. Includes evangelism, intercession, mercy ministry, teaching and Bible studies.
  • Who is this for? This challenging course is created for (but not limited to) people age 25 and over with sincere love for God. Individuals, couples and families are welcome. We invite anyone who is eager to learn of Jesus and His kingdom to join with others who feel the same desire. In a loving, supportive and nurturing environment governed by His Spirit we will come to know Him better and what’s more, to love each other. This is no small thing; in fact it is the main thing. Our goal is for you to be successful in your pursuit to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and with His help represent His kingdom and leadership to those who are not yet part of it.

For more information please contact Duane or Lois Pederson:

YWAM Northwoods CDTS

W14580 County Highway D

Weyerhaeuser, WI. 54895

E-mail: cdts@ywamnorthwoods.org or lois@pedersons.org

Phone: 1-715-967-2133

Campus: 1-715-353-2280

Original DTS Thailand Outreach Update

Here are two updates from two of our DTS Staff

“Our students were able to give a girl a bible this week. The girl’s name is Naow (Now) so be in prayer for her. She read from Matthew through Luke in the first two days.” Lucas (DTS Outreach Leader)

“This last week in Nahong we did a lot of after school children’s ministry. We did a couple Bible stories and before and after the stories we play games with the kids and really connect with them and love on them. In the first one we talked about the birth of Jesus and who He was and why He came to the earth. On Friday we also did a skit depicting how Jesus healed various people and raised the dead. We then told the students if any of them wanted prayer that they could come to us and we would love to pray for them. The response was really incredible; about 10-12 kids came for prayer. God was really there as we prayed for them and it was very effective. The kids are very attentive and listen when we do the skits or talk about Jesus. We have also handed out a few Bibles to those we feel are really seeking the Truth and every day they come and talk to our translator and ask her to tell those more about Jesus and she told us that they are reading the Bible all the time. It is really encouraging to hear that God is planting and growing seeds in the kid’s hearts and those that have The Word so that after we leave they can continue to be exposed to the Gospel. 
Also last week some of our team was able to visit with Pi Lai, a woman who, in our first few years of doing ministry there, actually had a vision of Jesus and was really close to accepting Him. Unfortunately she has yet to completely surrender her life to Christ but we continue to pray and shine Jesus to her. As our team was there just hanging out, one of the girls who we gave a Bible to ran in all excited. We came to find out that this girl is Pi Lai’s niece. It is so cool how God is connecting dots with people in the village to have them encounter Him. 
On Wednesday morning we pack up and head back to Chiang Mai to spend a week processing the trip with the students and then it’s back to the states. I’m sad about leaving but I am also glad to be coming home. Thank you again for reading and please pray; it’s so needed for the people, for this country and for our team.” Justin(DTS Staff)

Thailand Outreach Update

Here are two updates from two of our DTS Staff

“Our students were able to give a girl a bible this week. The girl’s name is Naow (Now) so be in prayer for her. She read from Matthew through Luke in the first two days.” Lucas (DTS Outreach Leader)

“This last week in Nahong we did a lot of after school children’s ministry. We did a couple Bible stories and before and after the stories we play games with the kids and really connect with them and love on them. In the first one we talked about the birth of Jesus and who He was and why He came to the earth. On Friday we also did a skit depicting how Jesus healed various people and raised the dead. We then told the students if any of them wanted prayer that they could come to us and we would love to pray for them. The response was really incredible; about 10-12 kids came for prayer. God was really there as we prayed for them and it was very effective. The kids are very attentive and listen when we do the skits or talk about Jesus. We have also handed out a few Bibles to those we feel are really seeking the Truth and every day they come and talk to our translator and ask her to tell those more about Jesus and she told us that they are reading the Bible all the time. It is really encouraging to hear that God is planting and growing seeds in the kid’s hearts and those that have The Word so that after we leave they can continue to be exposed to the Gospel. 
Also last week some of our team was able to visit with Pi Lai, a woman who, in our first few years of doing ministry there, actually had a vision of Jesus and was really close to accepting Him. Unfortunately she has yet to completely surrender her life to Christ but we continue to pray and shine Jesus to her. As our team was there just hanging out, one of the girls who we gave a Bible to ran in all excited. We came to find out that this girl is Pi Lai’s niece. It is so cool how God is connecting dots with people in the village to have them encounter Him. 
On Wednesday morning we pack up and head back to Chiang Mai to spend a week processing the trip with the students and then it’s back to the states. I’m sad about leaving but I am also glad to be coming home. Thank you again for reading and please pray; it’s so needed for the people, for this country and for our team.” Justin(DTS Staff)

Welcome

Welcome to the YWAM Northwoods Blog!

   The main function of this blog will be to post campus and outreach updates. We’re excited to have this way of keeping you connected and up to date with what’s happening here at our campus and what God’s doing through our campus around the world.

Here’s What’s Happening

   There are exciting things happening now and in the near future at the YWAM Northwoods campus. We currently have a DTS Outreach team in Northern Thailand which will be returning in about two weeks. We are launching a Crossroads DTS in June. There will be an Infusion summer camp at the end of July for ages 14-19. There are more ways than ever to stay connected with our campus and mission. We are equipped with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, this blog, our website, etc. Of course a good old fashioned visit doesn’t hurt either. We love having people come and experience the campus firsthand. Here’s to keeping you in the loop and staying connected!