Monthly Archives: February 2011

Time Flies

By | Base, January 2011 DTS | No Comments

Week 4 already! That’s the thing with DTS, so much happens so fast, it’s a roller-coaster of amazing teaching and practical outworking that hits your mind and your heart! We’ve already had mind-blowing teaching on what God is like and an inspirational week looking at ‘Missions & Calling’.

The first Thinking Allowed Live Event

But it’s not all theory! We ran a ‘Thinking Allowed’ event in a local pub discussing ‘Who Lit The Blue Touch-Paper, God or Hawking’. It was a great opportunity to engage with people who wouldn’t otherwise hear a Christian point of view. You might want to pray for us this week as we hold the next event…

We get to see the full life of Carlisle too… it’s a beautiful city and very friendly. On Friday and Saturday nights they close some of the roads to turn one of the main streets, ‘Botchergate,’ into a party zone around the pubs and clubs in the area. We go out from around 9pm till 12am serving free coffee and chatting to anyone who wants it. Kelly says ‘At first I didn’t really know what to think, and I was a little scared. But it turned out to be a good experience to serve, to show love to the people that God loves.’

Brazil week 7

By | DTS, Fall 2010 DTS | No Comments

Sometimes it is easy to start easing up as we approach the end of something. We are now coming closer to the end of DTS. It is crazy how fast time goes! I have, however, been encouraged to see how our group has not let up. We have instead continued in what God has for us, and God has used us in a big way as a result.

On Tuesday morning I had a new idea to try out. We went into the community and asked people questions that we had come up with. We were in two groups; in my group we talked to a man who had completed three years in YWAM a long time ago. He currently has not been to Church in several years and said his life has too many problems to have time for God. I was able to speak with him about how God wants to invade His life despite His problems and will take him as he is. Afterwards, he said he wanted to come to the YWAM Belo Horizonte weekly service! He also said he wanted to talk with us again after. It was great to see this man take a step in the right direction and I hope to hear from him soon. It was a great time as we made some relationships and had several other great conversations.

A couple days this week we were able to work with the groups they are starting here at the Lighthouse. I helped with a group for 6-9 year olds. It was great fun to do activities with the kids. We painted, sang and I pushed them (alot) on the swings. The message we were give them was on creation. It was a great experience and I’m glad I could build some relationships with those little children.

On Friday us guys got to go to a prison and do ministry. It was interesting to see how hungry and open the prisoners were for God. They all came out and then we began with worship. It is amazing to think of how great God’s grace is. No matter what each of these men has done to get into prison, God still loves them deeply. Jamie preached to the men and I believe they received the message well.

It was another great week here and I’m excited to see what God will do upcoming in our last week of ministry!

~ Matthew Lemley

Painting a mural in Brazil

By | DTS, Fall 2010 DTS | No Comments

God is creative – and he made man in his image….thus we too are creative… in some way or another =).  This week we had the great opportunity to prove this. The base here asked us to design a wall, so that the base looks a lot nicer when the kids of the slum come here for activities and so that the kids can take something away from the painting when they look at it.

But how do YWAMers paint a wall?

Step One: The IDEA

Well, first of all, you….. pray. So first of all we simply asked God if there was something in particular that he wanted to have on that wall and to give us creative ideas. He is after all the most creative one and he clearly has a huge range of ideas to choose from. After a few minutes in prayer, we shared ideas that had come to our mind. We then ended up taking a vote on which one of the ideas we wanted to have on the wall. The vote was unanimous: The lighthouse idea. The idea was to draw an ocean with boats sinking and people trying to get to the shore, a lighthouse guiding them to a beautiful island with a castle on it and a king with open arms waiting for the people.

Step Two: The DESIGN

Here is the first opportunity for people to show off their God given gifting: drawing skills. Half of a degree of architecture does of course help. Willem did an amazing job with the design.

Step Three: The PAINTING of the wall

You take some paint, a brush and then you dip the brush in the paint and slap it on the wall. Or something like that. =) We have been working on the wall for more than four mornings and have come to the realization that it takes longer than we thought. Sounds like typically YWAMers to me; always the optimists and visionaries, rarely the realists. We are still not quite finished with it and it might be possible that we will leave some of the details, but it does already look pretty epic.

Even though you could keep a group of YWAMers busy with just painting, that is not the only thing we have been doing all week. After all the outreach is about Evangelism and bringing God’s kingdom (I am not saying that painting a wall with a message is not part of bringing God’s kingdom).  In the afternoons we got to do different activities this week. One day, Elisa, Jamie and Matt got to visit an old lady at her home. The lady has severe cancer. The last time some of our team had visited and prayed for her, there had been a real sense of God wanting to heal her but something being in the way. And God had started to speak to her about forgiveness. But at that time she did not think that she needed to forgive anyone. When Elsa, Jamie and Matt got to see her this time, God had spoken to her about forgiveness and she started to open her heart to God. It was amazing to see how God was touching her when we were praying for her. We really felt that this was also the starting point of her physical healing.

On Thursday afternoon we went to the red light district of Belo Horizonte for a prayer walk. It was so awful to see how some many men went to the brothels even though it was an ordinary afternoon. One girl that came with our team counted 14 men entering one brothel within one minute.  It seemed to be such a normal thing to do for them; it was as though they were walking into a grocery store. During our prayer walk one man came to talk to us asking for prayer. He talked with us a lot about his life and was really open about all the struggles he had been and was facing. We prayed for him and got the opportunity to speak truth into his life. It was so amazing how God guided and brought new hope into this desperate situation. It was really a divine appointment!

On Saturday we did something completely new and exciting. We had a roller skate disco for children from the slum. It’s something that never happens here in Brazil and the children were so enthusiastic about it. We had lots of fun, played games and talked about the amazing and unique plans that God has for every single one of them. It was so encouraging to see all the smiles on the children’s faces.

My Dear Friend

By | Base | No Comments

I met a dear friend at the bus stop last week. We have been friends now for about 2 years and since I first met him we have had discussions about life, God and politics. My friend is in his 70s and has had a lot of hard things happen to him. Today his family doesn’t speak to him, and he is quite a lonely man. My friend doesn’t think I’m quite sane to believe in God, and we have had many discussions about that.

Last week, when I met him at the bus stop, I hardly recognised him. He was wearing sunglasses and his skin looked very different. But I nodded ‘hi’ to him, and he came up to have a chat. ‘I’m incognito today’ he starts with, referring to the sunglasses. So I asked him about his skin, which didn’t look as though it was well at all. He told me he has a rare, non-contagious skin disease which he is being treated with radiation for. His eyes are sensitive to the light – hence the glasses – and water constantly. And his skin is constantly in pain. He says it’s especially hard on his feet, which he’s sad about as he loves walking in the Lake District.

And then he says: ‘so next time you speak to the Almighty One, please would you mention me to Him?’ I’m blown away by this – this is clear progress! For the first time does he acknowledge that there may be a God and he is prepared to even ask for prayer. So I say: ‘of course! Let me pray for you here and now!’ which he agrees to, so I start to pray for him there in the bus queue.

I kept thinking: ‘wow, God! What an opportunity for you to really show yourself to this man and all the people around us by healing him!’ But nothing happens. So we continue to talk, and we start talking about how God, if he really does exist, must be way bigger than we can ever comprehend. And my friend goes on to discuss how he doesn’t see why such an Almighty creature would want anything to do with us humans. I try to explain about how God loves him and how he wants relationship with him. We get on the bus, and continue the conversation until our bus stop.

I’ve been praying all week for healing for my friend and for God to reveal his incredible love to this man. And I’ve been hoping that God would heal him by the time I next saw him. So then I saw him again yesterday; this time he was already on the bus when I got on – so I went to sit next to him, and we ended up in another conversation. He hadn’t been healed, which I was very disappointed about. But we end up having a good conversation again.

Sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t take the chances he gets to reveal himself to people. There I was, willing to pray for this man at the bus stop, and what does God – the Almighty One – do? Nothing. Sometimes God doesn’t act according to our agenda, and it is disappointing. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that God loves my friend so incredibly much and His deepest desire for my friend is that he would come to know Him. So I will continue to pray for him, and to share God’s love for him with him. Would you join me in praying for my friend to get to know the living God – the God that loves him so very much?

Highlights – Brazil week 5

By | DTS, Fall 2010 DTS | One Comment

Wow, what a week!

On Tuesday we went to a local Kindergarten school, where we did dramas and shared about Jesus with the kids there. It was such a great experience and they said they loved having us coming to play games and be with them. We sang “Making melodies in my heart” in Portuguese, and gave out little hearts to the children with “Jesus te ama” (Jesus Loves You) on them.

In the afternoon Me, Matt and Elisa went on a house visit – which was in a “vertical” favela. It was essentially a skyscraper that had not been completed, as the developer had made a mistake building them and abandoned them and over the years people had moved in and created their own homes in the building. As we walked towards it I saw expensive houses on my left, and on the right piles of litter, graffiti and concrete. We ended up going to the 6th floor and visiting a lovely family – they were so welcoming and their home was very nicely decorated. We got to talk with them and we prayed for the family at the end. It was an awesome experience.

On Thursday I was really excited to find out that we would be going to a Youth Prison. I had wanted to visit a prison and do some prison ministry since coming to Brazil. It was such a fantastic event, we shared with two different groups and did a drama, I shared a testimony and Matt preached in the prison. The people there seemed to be really impacted. We talked with the guys at the end and one guy came up to me asking more about my testimony – I got to pray with him in the prison at the end.

On Friday evening we did ministry with some street kids. It was a great evening as we did dramas, played UNO with the kids, took photos together and shared about what God had done in our lives. They were totally captivated by the dramas we did and I could tell that they were really listening to the message we were bringing; that there is hope!

This week has been full of new experiences, challenges, working around difficulties but with God’s help we saw some awesome things happen and many people were impacted.

~ Jamie Allen

Another amazing week in Brazil

By | Base | No Comments

Again this week we had a lot of freedom to plan our own activities. From Tuesday to Friday we were able to plan what to do and how. On Tuesday we spent the morning randomly blessing people. First we asked God how He wanted to bless people today. We bought for example candy, biscuits and fruit and blessed people with them. We also ended up talking to many people; it was a really good start for the day. In the afternoon it was time to do some practical work. We went to tidy up a park in the favela and we also did some worship there. It was hard work because the sun was shining so brightly but it was also really rewarding. In the end we got to pray for a little girl and it was amazing how the whole atmosphere of the park had changed during the hours we spent there.

On Wednesday we had a youth event. We had football for boys and dancing for girls. It is quite rare to have a youth event here in the base so we decided to have a shot at it. The boys were again keen on playing football but there were only a few girls. But in the end it all worked for the best. We got to spend more time to get to know the girls and really make relationships with them.  On Thursday we had again something completely different, it was a day of prophecies. We used the morning to really hear God’s voice and get His heart for the day. It was amazing how God spoke to all of us. Then we went to the community to pray for people and ask God for words for them. Once more it was awesome to see God give us words from Him that really touched people’s hearts. We really have a wonderful God who meets us on the way! On Friday it was time to spend the evening in the community talking with people and praying for them.

Matt and friends

Matt and friends

This weekend we got to work with a church and on Saturday we had some young people from the church come to our base. We played games together, had some fun playing floor ball and it was really nice to get to know them. In the evening we had a youth service in that church. We talked about listening to God and hearing His voice. It was so encouraging to hear testimonies afterwards how God really spoke to them during the evening. It was brilliant how God planned also this day to work for the best! And I believe that He has some great plans also for next week when we move to another house for a week to do some different kind of ministry. Excitiiing!!!

~ Elisa Mäkilä