In January of 2018 we arrived in the Tahoe area!
Come check us out!
In January of 2018 we arrived in the Tahoe area!
Loren is handsome.
We have arrived in Tahoe.
the mountains are calling…
About YWAM North Cascades
We are located in an iconic location between the pacific ocean and the Cascade mountains in the Northwest corner of the U.S. Situated strategically between Seattle and Vancouver. We are on a mission to impact the nations, seeing young people encounter Jesus and then go out as His ambassadors: going to unreached peoples where Jesus is needed the most.
Most of the people who come through our doors will go back to college or to the work force but with a sense of purpose and on mission. Others will join us to build the movement.
Through all of this we’re also building a missional, outreach mindset right where we’re at so that it’s not just global, it’s not just local but it’s both of these things together building a missions movement to reach the unreached.
There’s a popular missions story that’s been told for years to recruit young people to go to unreached nations. It goes like this:
Two young Moravians sell themselves into slavery in order to reach African slaves on the island of St. Thomas. As their boat sails off they shout ‘worthy is the lamb to receive the reward of his suffering’ never to be seen again.
Moving story right? Except it never actually happened.
Here’s what really happened:
Two young men; Johann Dober, a potter, and David Nitschmann, a carpenter, did go to Saint Thomas. They went not as slaves, but as businessmen. They considered selling themselves into slavery, but when they suggested it to Von Plesz, the King’s Chamberlain, this is how the conversation went:
Nitschmann declared, “We shall work as slaves among the slaves.”
Von Plesz responded “You’re not allowed to do that.”
“Very well,” said Nitschmann, “I am a carpenter, and will ply my trade.”
“But what will the potter do?” Von Plesz asked.
“He will help me in my work.”
‘If you go on like that,’ replied the Chamberlain, ‘you will stand your ground the wide world over.’
For Dober it was just a short term missions trip, he only went to help Nitschmann get settled, and he left after a few weeks. Nitschmann left a few years later and eventually became the Chief Elder of the Moravian church. Others carried on the work they pioneered for 50 years and 13,000 people were baptised.
The point in debunking this story is that being strategic and humble gave them a platform to make a multi-generational impact. Those values still involve sacrifice, but sacrifice isn’t the point; we shouldn’t glamourize suffering, suffering is a side effect of obedience, not it’s purpose.
We should invest our emotional energy into finding ways that everyone can be a missionary, even a potter or a carpenter, not setting the bar so high that only a few spiritual elites will dare to follow God.
If we can do this “[we] will stand [our] ground the wide world over.”
My Discipleship Training School was very eventful. It was both the “Awaken DTS” which basically means seeing God move in a lot of extraordinary ways, and also an “Around the World DTS” which means going to a lot of different and exciting countries. When you have those two descriptors in a DTS, you are destined to see God work in amazing ways! I want to share a story where I saw a woman in India go from praising her Hindu gods to praising only Jesus within an hour.
Our team of eight left the house in the early afternoon to evangelize in the nearby Indian villages; what that means is that we set out to strike up conversations with strangers about God and Jesus.
We also wanted to show them the power of the one true God by praying for their infirmities and watching them get healed instantaneously before our eyes! Seeing this happen is a common occurrence, especially in India for some reason- I believe it’s because the gospel hasn’t been preached much, if at all, in most areas of India.
To help me get to the best part of the story, I will sum up what happened next in a nutshell- an opportunity was presented to give a gospel presentation to 10 or so Hindu women and I was nominated on the spot to give it to them.
God totally spoke through me, though I felt very unprepared and I somehow seamlessly summed up the Bible from Genesis to the gospel books and explained who Jesus was in 15 minutes- praise God! It was so funny, they sat me in a chair and everyone stood around me.
The first woman who approached and asked for prayer invited us back to her house. The woman wanted us to preach the same message to her mother who was laying sick in bed and immobile.
We started talking with her, and at the beginning of the conversation she would talk so proudly of the Hindu god’s that she worshipped. She started to open up about many problems that she had in her life.
At the same time hat we were telling her about the love of Jesus, we would stop and pray about each problem with them.
They didn’t know how to easily pray to and talk with God because they only knew the rituals and process that they had to go through before praying to their Hindu God’s. We taught and showed them how to pray and ask for forgiveness through Jesus so that we were all able to pray together!
We didn’t see her fully recover on spot, but she miraculously started feeling much better than she had in a long time!
After all of this she said, “I’m in bed all day and I haven’t even been praying to these other gods, but if you bring me a Bible I can read it all of the time. Then when I’m completely healed I will go tell all of my friends about Jesus and what He has done for me!”
Now she has a Bible and connections with members of the local church. Thank you God!
All in the same day I got to see God speak through me and help me summarize the Bible, teach Hindu women how to pray and ask God for forgiveness through Jesus, and see people get miraculously healed! Preaching the gospel is challenging, exciting, and eternally rewarding.
The outreach of my Discipleship Training School was a time where God challenged me to step out in boldness, faith, and most importantly love.
Before we left for our Around The World adventure, God really began to speak to me about “stopping for the one.” No matter what country we would be in or what we would be doing, He encouraged me to have eyes to see the one He was placing in front of me. I had many amazing encounters when I opened my heart to those God wanted me to talk with. Some of these included a guy sitting next to me on the airplane, an old lady sitting on a park bench, and many more along our trip.
It is so easy to see past these seemingly small moments as we long to see big things happen, but God constantly reminded me of how much He loves each individual we came in contact with, and to understand that those moments are so very important to Him.
One encounter I remember so clearly, and will probably never forget, was on a very hot day in India. We met up with a bunch of other outreach teams serving in the surrounding areas of Calcutta to worship and pray together, share testimonies, and evangelize. Our group went out into the streets to set up an area where we would perform skits and share testimonies with anyone who would watch.
About 10 minutes after we started, we were asked to stop performing, but we didn’t let that discourage us; instead we decided to go talk and pray with the people who had gathered to watch.
As I was looking around, I saw this man sitting on the ground way down an alley we were near.
I instantly felt this strong faith welling up inside of me, and I knew we had to go over to Him.
He was shriveled up, holding a sign, and waiting for somebody to notice him. I found one of our translators and we went over and started a conversation with him.
This man had been paralyzed from birth and had never taken a step in his life. His legs were so tiny beneath him, it almost appeared he didn’t have any at all. As we shared the gospel with him and asked if we could pray for a miracle, he very quickly agreed.
In the middle of our prayers, he stopped us and asked if he could try to walk! Together, the two of us took him by the arms and slowly pulled him up to his feet. He had a very hunched back, but as we prayed it began to straighten. Still weak, he asked us to lower him back to the ground, so we prayed some more.
Not giving up, he asked us a second time to help him up because he wanted to try to walk again. This time he took his very first steps! Both my translator and I began to cry and kept praying fervently for the Lord to completely heal him.
By the end of our time, he had walked across the street and back with very little assistance.
A crowd gathered of about 40 people who had seen him sitting there day after day, just like in the book of Acts. He once was lame, but now he was healed! We got to preach the gospel to all the people and share how this was not our doing, but the very power and love of the One True God!
It was amazing to see God move so powerfully day after day as we stopped for the ones God placed in our path. We encountered many salvations, people healed, and lives changed just through stepping out in faith and saying hello to someone.
I encourage you, no matter where you go throughout your day, to ask God to show you these ones that He will place in your path. You never know what could come from a simple hello or an encouraging word to someone that you see.
Opal and Margie are two, sweet girls from the Orphanage/Children’s Home in our town. They are both disabled which is why their families put them in an institution. We try to take children to our home to show them individual love and the Father-heart of God. We also want people in the community to recognize that these are real children and have innate value.
Working at the children’s home is simultaneously disheartening and encouraging. Conditions are wretched, but Jesus lives there, and He and we are showing love in this little enclave smack in the middle of a conservative, Muslim neighborhood.
One day when Opal and Margie were at our house, we also had a young, local visitor named Annie.
We laid Opal and Margie on the suru. Annie was fascinated.
She was shy at first, but then wanted to help. She got them toys. “Can they talk?” “Why are don’t they play?”
“They’re good, aren’t they?”
“Yes, Annie, they’re good. God loves them.”
She doted on them the whole day. Talking to them sweetly, helping however she could.
Annie can be downright nasty. She lies and manipulates and whines. But that day, God was drawing His glory right out of her. He was using a naughty little gal from a dysfunctional Muslim family to shower His love.
Like Jonah, who was used in spite of himself. Or Rahab making a difference in the kingdom of God even though she was pretty dysfunctional herself.
God stuff was pouring out of Annie onto Opal and Margie and all of us. And Annie was getting a huge cultural awakening: All children have value because God made them. They are people worthy of love and care and compassion.
You see all of us here share a common goal. To move people closer to Jesus.
It’s not our job to convert them. We just need to make Him visible. He’s the one doing the drawing. He can use a thin child, wracked with cerebral palsy or a healthy one wearing a headscarf. Or a high-school teacher, or a mechanic in the inner city, or a mom from the Midwest.
If I can remember just that goal–to help move others one step closer to Jesus, it takes a lot of pressure off. I don’t understand why God lets us be part of the cool things He’s doing, but I’m convinced that He’s doing them everywhere, and He’s looking to use all of us. I’m trying to be alert and available for those times.
There are so many articles, books and quotes about leadership floating around these days. I find myself cringing over most of them. Sometimes the word leadership itself is off-putting. I picture older men with fancy watches and glued on smiles, ready to dole out tedious jobs to unimportant underlings.
But there are a lot more ways to be a leader, I know. I realized a few years ago that I have some leadership gifts, but it was a confusing revelation because those gifts are paired with other traits which don’t appear to mix well with being in charge of a group of people.
For a few weeks in August I was able to test out those gifts while co leading just a small portion of an outreach in Thailand for a Discipleship Training School. I didn’t go in thinking, “how can I be a good leader?” so much as, “Lord, help me do right by your children.”
I discovered several interesting things about Leading.
1. Leading is not about being the most aggressive, or even the most assertive.
Being from America and growing up as I did with a single mom, I have learned the how and why of both. No one else will do it for you, right? Being aggressive is like spice in food and it’s best utilized in advocating for others. Walking with Jesus, though, with His unique example of love, I find that particular leadership style easily squashes the real goal of community.
Charging ahead often sacrifices relationship for efficiency.
While being decisive is an important part of leading, I also want to note here that the leadership quality that counts is not the ability to come up with the right decision, but the wisdom to recognize and choose that decision, even if it’s proposed by someone else in the group and doesn’t serve the leader’s personal desires.
2. Leading leaves room for people to make mistakes.
This is a lesson I learned while teaching. People learn things best when the question is their own and they’ve gotten their hands dirty to find the solution. I’m always available for giving advice (believe me, I often have to tell myself to wait to be asked or at least ask if it’s wanted) but if I’m too eager to tell someone The Way It Is, I may keep them from discovering it more deeply for themselves.
Obviously there is a place for giving advice or I wouldn’t be writing this blog post, but even what you take away from reading this will be just a line or two that you were probably already chewing on in your mind.
3. Leading means laying down your life.
This was the biggest thing God kept repeating while I was in Thailand. First through Philippians 2:1-11 and then through of Mark 10:42-45. Jesus laid down his life and invites his followers to do the same.
If you think being the leader means being the Big Shot with the heaviest vote, please resign right now and spend a while cleaning bathrooms without getting credit.
The whole point of leading people is to help them grow into who they were made to be. You might think it’s about a particular project or product, but it’s always really about the people. They might be made to take your job. Let’s hope they are, and that you spend your gifts pouring into that potential.
Often we are led by people who use their position to get what they want. What grows in us, because of that, is the desire to be our own boss, if not to simply replace the person in charge. What follows is this cycle where the person in charge gets their way and everyone else must obey until they, too can get out from under that tyranny to take hold of the reigns for another round of tyranny.
But friends, leading is not actually about Being In Charge and it’s especially not about Getting Your Way. Leading is about being the first to sacrifice, the first to do what is wise and loving for the good of others. Leading is about showing people the way forward and helping them go farther, grow more, be more. Leading is about initiating vulnerability, being trustworthy, being honest when it’s painful and persevering when others want to give up.
If we follow Jesus and walk in his example, our lives will not be about building influence, but about continuously laying down our rights.
After all, the only legitimate Big Shot that walked on earth laid down His heavy vote to help us go where we couldn’t, and be who we weren’t. His life is the leadership model I’m looking to follow.