At one of the ministry nights during lecture phase, I was kind of praying over what was coming next, and I got this picture that made me very nervous at the time. In my head I saw myself following Jesus down a path, la de da. Everything was hunky dory, we were greeting people and having a grand ole time. Then he crossed a river. He crossed on a bridge, one of those wide, well paved ones with lookouts and benches and stuff. But before I had a chance to cross, it sank. That was unexpected. So I’m standing on one side, quite surprised, looking across at Jesus on the other like, “Ummm…what the heck? Now what?” And he beckoned said, “Just walk on the water.” Easy as that…
I was pretty sure that God was telling me that whatever was coming next was going to require a lot of faith, a lot of trust. My nice big bridge was going to sink and I was going to have to trust Him to get across this river to the next step. I was a little excited, because ADVENTURE!! but also quite nervous because I don’t always trust myself to trust Him. Which is a weird phenomenon that puts me in an equation where I just don’t belong, but it happens. I assumed this sinking bridge thing was going to happen after outreach, that it was about whatever was coming next, but then a volcano happened.
But here we are on day one of debrief (outreach is over?!), and I was kind of thinking back over my YWAM time, and having a serious “woah” moment. I honestly didn’t make the connection until right now. I think the Paraguay outreach was my happy bridge, and the Puna outreach has been me walking on water. There was definitely that sinking moment when I lost my clear, bright, fun path. There was that moment of “wha…but…how?” And then I did it. To be honest, I haven’t been as good at trusting God as I maybe should have been. It’s been a fight a lot of the time. Right now I’m mostly very thankful to be done, although I know I’ll miss it when I look back from a greater distance. But I did it! I made it to the other side. Phew!
It was hard, but also really cool. I got to be part of a pioneer team! When we showed up, we thought we were doing a disaster relief outreach, but as time went on we realized that the volcano was more of a beacon than anything. That really, Puna needed us and the volcano pretty much just got us out there. Pahoa is a town that seems to be right on the brink of turning around. A complete hippy, new age town, but a place with believers who are devoted to it and its people, with a community that has been praying for decades, and with a population that ache for a touch from something real and supernatural. There is a lot of darkness there, but I feel so confident that God will turn them around to the light. One thing is for sure, that place will never be lukewarm. If Pahoa goes Christian, they will be fiery Christians.
For the majority of the outreach, we assumed this outreach would be a time of…mostly prayer. Prayer and worship. We felt like God was telling us that we were to reclaim ground for Him, cover as much ground as we could with prayer and worship. Joshua 1:3 came up a lot; “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you…” God also spoke to me about Joshua and Jericho – that the walls, everything that was keeping Pahoa from God, would come crashing down. But first, we had to circle the city in silence. That behind-the-scenes, un-glorious silent prayer for Pahoa. I assumed that would be our whole job, silent prayer. Circling the city in preparation for the shout that would happen sometime in the future, at which point would have the revival we prayed for. We’d all gotten used to that idea.
But this weekend, God gave us a little glimpse. He rewarded our work, and I’m so thankful we got a taste of what’s coming. Saturday night we hosted a ministry night in Pahoa – two hours of worship music, prayer, and sharing the Word. Five youngsters decided to make Jesus Lord! Five more brothers and sisters in heaven! Woooooo! Then Sunday night, we went to a Young Life dodgeball tournament and shared the gospel a bit afterward – three more salvations! It was awesome! Eight salvations in two days, all young people. There’s so much hope for those high schools, for the town at large if the youth catch fire. One of the girls was so thankful that she texted us later and said that even in the short time we knew her – about four days – we were one of the biggest impacts on her life. So glad that we got a taste of what we have been working for for the last two months!
This crazy YWAM adventure of mine is winding down, but stick with me! I know my adventuring is not over, and I’ll be keeping up with the blog in the future. Love you all! Thanks for sharing the journey with me.