Here is a testimony from what God is doing in Sri Lanka, from our outreach team, written by one of our students, Caitlin.
We’ve visited about 10-15 households throughout our week in Mannar. At our fourth house visit
on Friday, we sat with a Hindu mother, her kids, and her Christian parents in the living room of
their small, humble home. Through the open door, we watched the sun set over the distant
landscape and heard the sound of children playing outside. Life in the village is simple.
With the help of our translator, we asked the family a few introductory questions. I asked the
Hindu mother what she thought of Jesus, and she said she liked Him. In the Hindu religion,
Jesus was one god of many. She was raised Christian, but she converted to Hinduism because
the man she married was Hindu. I could tell she wasn’t passionate about Hinduism. To her,
Hinduism was nothing but a set of rituals. I shared the Gospel, my personal testimony, and a few
other few things that the Holy Spirit put on my heart: “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No
one can go to the Father except through Jesus. He’s the only One worthy of our whole lives.
He’s personal and present; He wants an intimate relationship with you” etc.
She sat in silence for a minute, processing everything I shared. Then I asked, “what do you think of what I said?” She agreed that what I said was true. I was a bit startled by her agreement. I expected a few questions or a little resistance. So I asked, “do you want to give your life to Jesus? You can be a
Christian even if your husband isn’t (yet.)” I looked around and saw all of the eyes staring
intently at us. So I affirmed her that she doesn’t have to feel intimated or pressured. But she
smiled and said yes. I told her if she confessed with her mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believed
in her heart that God raised Him from the dead, that she would be saved (Romans 10:9.) Then,
she repeated the salvation prayer after me. I asked how she felt afterwards, and she said she
felt peace in her heart. I told her to remember this peace she felt. I encouraged her to read the
Bible to learn more about Jesus, and to go to church because a Christian community is
important. We ended the night by praying for the whole family. After we left, awe and excitement gleamed on our faces. I think we all thought to ourselves, “did that really just happen?”
The next day, we visited another Hindu mother. This conversation was similar to yesterday’s,
but this time Rachel shared her testimony. The Hindu mother listened intensely to every word
she spoke. After Rachel was done, the mother told us how a Christian prayed for her sick sister
and was healed instantly. She cried as she retold the story. She agreed that there was
something more special about Jesus than any other god. I asked if she wanted to give her life to
Jesus. She said yes and she wanted to learn more about Him. So we prayed the salvation
prayer together. She didn’t have a Bible; but thankfully, our guide said she would come back to
give her one.
We tend to think that leading others to Jesus is complicated, intimidating, and a holy task limited
to special Christians. But what I experienced that night was the opposite. Workmanship with God is exciting, simple, and possible for a simple girl like me. God doesn’t expect us to be “qualified” or have everything together until we can serve Him. Rather, He tells us that He is strong in our weakness. All that’s required from us is a “yes.” The Holy Spirit will help and lead us in all that we do. During the conversations I’ve had, He gave me words to say and questions to ask. Everything happened on the spot. I have no idea what was really going on in both of the mother’s hearts [but God knows]. I know that a seed was planted, and these women are in God’s hands now. I can only continue praying for them. I love proclaiming the good news to the poor. The people of Sri Lanka are so receptive to the Gospel.
Discipleship Training School (DTS) is YWAM’s “bread and butter” so-to-speak. The acronym gets thrown around so much, and while you may have heard of this training school before, you may not actually know what it is, or what makes it unique.
This summer we were honored to host an outreach team from YWAM Brisbane’s Sports DTS. This enthusiastic trio arrived at the end of June and served in Detroit until the first week on August.
Have you graduated from high school, or college, or even an extensive season of your life such as a job or raising your children? Do you remember that heavy cloud over your head that left you in doubt about what will come next and where you’re meant to be?
Please be praying for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) this week. Today and yesterday it was all over the news that DPS was only going to be able to pay their teachers until June 30th.
***From our previous blog -- originally posted 1/27/16***
YWAM in Detroit has been blessed so far in the pioneering process. We have felt so much favor and support from everyone we have met. Our building in Hazel Park has been such a blessing to us. The original wing of the building was dug by hand in the early late 1930’s and the newest addition to the building was added in the 1970’s. Over the course of time there have been multiple leadership changes along with congregational ups and downs. We have been renting a section of the building from the existing church. We were so blessed by them to have been given full permission to do what we wanted with the space. The location was perfect for what God wanted us to do in the metro Detroit area. Unfortunately, with so many changes over the years in the building there is now a long list of things wrong with the building.
Last Thursday we came back to the building to see a notice from the city. The notice said that we (YWAM and all other ministries in the building) had 48 hours to vacate. A city inspector had come through and noticed a number of things that did not comply with building codes. We were hoping that the issues would have been manageable to fix right away so that we could move back in. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move back into the building anytime soon. We are still hopeful that we will one day be able to move back in.
This has come as a huge surprise to us. Thankfully we have been blessed with such a huge amount of support from families and churches in the area that have taken the team in and given a place to stay in the meantime.
You are probably wondering where we are with finding another building? We have been looking at our different options all over the metro Detroit area. We have been looking at potentially renting house and we have also been looking into some buildings similar to where we previously were running our ministry out of. We just want to reassure you that the team here is well taken care of. We could really use your prayer in this time. We are still exploring our options and seeing where God is taking us.
We will try to keep everyone updated as much as we can. Thank you to those of you who have been with us every step of the way! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.
***From our previous blog -- originally posted 1/14/16**
Here at YWAM Detroit, we have been hosting a DTS outreach team from Richmond, Virginia. They have been a real blessing to us here thanks to their huge heart to serve in the metro Detroit area. One of the most interesting areas for ministry here is in the city of Dearborn because it has the largest Arabic Muslim population in the U. S. and is home to the largest mosque in North America.
Yesterday we set out for a church in Dearborn with the YWAM Richmond team and a few YWAM Detroit staff. We started off our day at a friend’s church worshipping and eating lunch, but due to a change in plans we found ourselves with some time to kill until the evening when we were coming back to the church for the midweek service.
We all had decided to let the Holy Spirit lead us and take a driving tour around Dearborn. We were planning to stop at the Justice House of Prayer which was located at Springwells Church, just a few miles down the road. Before we had gotten to the church we noticed that there was this car that had been closely following the YWAM van for a few miles. When we changed lanes this car would change lanes and when we would turn this car would also turn. When we finally pulled off the road into the church parking lot the car still followed. It pulled up in front of our van, and a man got out to ask us what we were doing. He then went on to say that he was the pastor of the church we had just arrived at. He just so happened to see the van which says “YWAM” on the side and then followed us right into his church’s parking lot. His name was Trey and he invited us into the church for a cup of coffee.
This had to have been an equally strange encounter for Trey as it was for us. And for Trey, he saw the YWAM van and followed us right into his parking lot without any sort of communication before this. Purely a divine appointment.
Once we went inside Trey sat down with us and shared about his time in ministry in Dearborn over the last 30 or so years. This was just the man that we wanted to talk to. An expert in his community with tons of opportunity to serve in the area. A few of us had questions about the culture and religion which Trey was able to answer for us. The following day the outreach team was invited back for early morning prayer and the girls were given the chance to help in an English class for some of the women in the community while the guys from the team were able to bless Trey by cleaning up and organizing part of the church.
This was quite an odd but awesome act of God’s perfect timing. A minute later or earlier could have made the difference. We may have never been able to meet Trey and hear about his heart for the Muslim Arabic community in Dearborn.
Want to know more about sending an outreach team to Detroit? Check out our Outreach Team page.