My heart is overflowing with peace! Peace that transcends all understanding.
As, we look back at this summer peace is what allowed us to have a worry free and stress free time. There where many times before the summer even began we started to think ‘how are we going to do this’? Edgar was gone for 3 weeks, as Jamie needed to train and send out 3 short-term missions teams simultaneously. Then he came back and we left for another short-term missions trip with a church. Followed by Edgar leaving again to Mexico for a short-term missions trip with a church from Chicago all the while Jamie was back in Minnesota sending out another 2 teams and taking care of the girls. Before we know it August was here and we were getting ready for a week long Latino Youth Discipleship Camp, followed by leading a VBS for a Latino Church and then helping another Latino church celebrate their anniversary while we lead their children’s program all weekend long. There are many more things, but the point is that God’s peace is what allowed this summer to be so joyful!
“Peace is not the absence of trouble but the presence of Christ.” –Sheila Walsh
When youth groups come to YWAM Minneapolis for their short-term missions trip its not about the training we give them and the missions experience but its about passing on a deeper understanding of God’s call to us to Go and Make Disciples of all Nations. Giving youth a passion to share in word and deed, all the while opening their eyes to the world around them.
One of my favorite experiences from this summer was when we went up to northern Minnesota to Nett Lake where the Ojibwa live on the Boise Forte Reservation with a Korean group from Chicago. We stayed at the Baptist church where they lead a VBS in the afternoon. These youth where able to connect in a way that I have never seen short-term teams do before. I would literally walk around and see kids praying for another one or having a deep conversation. As the youth from the youth group opened up so did the kids. Our hearts are broken for them. Many of the Ojibwa children live in broken homes, parents in prison or who have abounded them. Their homes look nice on the outside but once you step inside you are overcome with sadness.
It was amazing to see how people would just stop by and want to visit with us. Many of the evenings we would go play basketball or have a bonfire with the people. We were able to speak into so many of their lives and pray over them.
Isabella and Emma had a blast. They loved the VBS every day and being able to hang out with other kids and the youth groups. Isabella will still recite many of the Bible memory verses she learned with the motions! She loved having her face painted everyday. Granted it took some work to wash it off.
One evening we went to the bear sanctuary that is literally just down the road. The girls loved seeing the brown bear up close. There was probably more than 20 bears there. Unfortunetly, the Bouse Forte Reservation has lots of issues with these bears in early spring before the bear sanctuary opens up for the season and starts to feed them. Thankfully no one has ever been hurt.
One interesting fact is that the majority of Minnesota’s wild rice is grown by the Owibja people.