I hope all of you are doing great. I just wanted to fill you in on what’s happening here on the Gold Coast!
It has been very busy these past few months. Between ministry, teaching, discipleship, hosting an outreach team, (and trying to have a life!), I feel a bit tired but extremely encouraged at what God is doing here at YWAM Gold Coast. There is so much to tell! I have highlighted some main points to give a condensed update:
I am currently staffing two girls who have joined us for an Internship: Tina, 21, from Norway and Alexandria, 21, from USA.
This season of the Internship has been very different for me. The program may be the same, but each student makes for a unique experience. God has new and specific things for each student (and new challenges for me), and I feel privileged to be used by Him to speak into their lives and help them discover what God has for them here!
It is hard to summarize all that is happening within our ministries here. I couldn’t be more full of joy when I reflect on it all. It’s honestly such a privilege to be involved in all of our ministries on a weekly basis.
The schools: We currently teach “religious education” to 7 different classes from grades 1-7 at two different primary schools, as well as our lunchtime programs that we run. Since there are only 3 of us from ywam doing these classes, I have found myself teaching quite a bit! It’s an amazing opportunity to share with these students about Jesus, about 250 kids a week! What an amazing door God has opened to our base.
Set Free Care: We still faithfully go to Set Free Care each week to feed the homeless and have conversations with them. It sounds crazy, but I feel like I am one of them. A lot of the guys know me and trust me, and have let me into their circle of friends. When I go, I feel like I am just sitting and chatting with friends. I feel like what I say is much better received when that level of trust is there. Sometimes the pastor has me go up in front of the group and share something on my heart or a bit of my testimony. I find it is more effective to share like that after people see that you are genuine with them, taking the time to build relationships.
Coffee Van: Coffee Van is going great. There are stories every week of people coming closer to God through this ministry. I personally look forward to every Thursday night, connecting with our regulars and meeting new people. Right now, I am very encouraged with what God is doing in the life of a man named Chris. He came to Coffee Van 2 months ago, lonely, homeless, and somewhat depressed. He admits that he’s been an alcoholic for over 20 years off and on, despite multiple attempts at rehab. I spent the whole night at Coffee Van listening to his story. He has come every week since! I can see that he feels like he belongs and knows that we care about him and want to support him. He is now 4 weeks sober, is back going to church, and attends our discipleship meeting on Monday nights! Praise God! Just one of the many cool things God is doing through Coffee Van...
With the money that was donated from OCC, we are going to buy 2 coffee urns and a grinder so we can brew coffee (rather than just use instant coffee). We look forward to this!
Monday Night Meeting: This is something that I started 4 weeks ago. It is a discipleship group for those we meet at Coffee Van who either get saved or are interested in learning more about God. It is very informal (we meet at a McDonald’s), includes a short teaching and we spend time discussing things brought up in the teaching, all questions welcomed. 5 guys from Coffee Van and Set Free Care are coming to it, me, and 3 other ywamers. It’s been a great opportunity for me to practice teaching, while seeing these guys mature in their faith. It’s going really well so far! They have lots of questions which is awesome.
I got the awesome opportunity to speak on the topic “God’s Heart for the Lost” to the DTS last Monday. Just a one-day teaching. I pray that I could impart a desire to the DTS students to step out and genuinely love people. It is something I am passionate about!
OUTREACH TEAM: YWAM TOWNSVILLE
Martin and I hosted an outreach team from YWAM Townsville last week. They participated in all of our ministries, and we also added more outreach in their schedule, including a soccer game on the beach with tourists, and a skatepark BBQ to reach youth. They LOVED their time here! We got amazing feedback from them.
I feel that this experience of hosting a team was a new challenge for me and helped me to grow a bit more in leadership. It was fun hosting a team so excited about evangelism, and hearts to serve and bless us. I wish they could have stayed longer!
Schoolies is just 3 weeks away! “Schoolies” in Australia is like Spring Break in the United States. Over 60,000 17-18 year olds come to the Gold Coast to party hard, and unfortunately, leads to decisions that end in tragic statistics such as suicide, rape, and drug abuse. YWAM partners with an organization called Red Frogs to offer support to students by walking them home, cooking pancakes, cleaning rooms, handing out candy and most importantly, offer emotional support through what often can be a challenging week. Often this support leads to opportunities to share the Gospel, both by word and deed.
This outreach is from November 18th -25th and is $300 for me to join the support crew. Would you please pray about helping me finance this outreach?
THANK YOU for your continued prayers and support! I’m sorry it took so long to write an update. I will send a more formal newsletter in the coming weeks.
I love and miss all of you. Please feel free to contact me at any time! I would love to hear from you.