Every Monday we spend time working within various ministries feeding the homeless, intercession, working in children’s ministry, creative arts, video storytelling, music/worship, and home visits with rehomed refugees. We call these opportunities “Ministry Circles.” We were given the decision in the first week and I didn’t even have to think twice about where I wanted to serve. I have no doubt mind that in this season, God has called me to work with refugees. In 2014 I was fortunate enough to go to Israel on a biblical tour. This was my first trip to the Middle East and as a 16 year old female it was extremely confronting. We were taken to a lookout point in the Golan Heights on the Israeli Syrian border where we could see Khan Arnabeh, a Syrian city in the distance. With my own eyes I witnessed at least 8 bomb blasts within 15 minutes. I stood in silence until the percussive sound of a blast interrupted my thoughts. I looked out into the distance to see a small black cloud rise up on the horizon. This continued over and over. I stood there praying for the children who were becoming orphans in that very moment until another bomb would rattle my thoughts. I was never the same after this experience, and thought about it everyday for a long time. This injustice made me angry, and still does to this day. The loss of life and the displacement that results from war breaks my heart. But I am just as frustrated with the majority of the world which continues to live in ignorance of oppression and persecution which in doing so disregards the value of human life.
So two years after this I started my degree in broadcasting journalism in an attempt to discover truth and to join one of the most influential mediums of human perception of world issues. I wanted to learn how to change the way people interpret human suffering. I wanted to bring conviction, leading to a new generation rising up in global compassion. I wanted the news to be a place for people not to just see suffering but want to act against it. Two and a half years after that I was working for the national TV news station in New Zealand and after only 8 months in my job I had realised I had become like the people I so desperately wanted to change. I had lost compassion and become immune to seeing international brokenness. War, gun violence, natural disaster… It had all just become another story opportunity. When I realised this, I immediately knew I needed to be reminded that God had called me to be a voice for the voiceless in secular mainstream media. I realised that I had forgotten my calling in Christ. My heart needed changing. So there I was at work at 3am scouring the YWAM Lausanne website. I applied, I got in, and I quit my job that I worked so hard to get. However at the time I had been living a life in disobedience to God, so when I felt called to do a DTS I knew exactly why. I knew I needed to shape up and start being obedient. I felt so convicted to go to Switzerland that quitting my job was easy. So here I am. One month into DTS working with God, learning how to surrender to him and accepting that his plan doesn’t always need to initially make sense to obey it.
Part of letting God use me was revealed during ministry circles. My friend Hanan and I visited a Syrian family living in an apartment complex for refugees at the start of this week. Despite feeling extremely out of my comfort zone and conversing through broken english and Google translated Arabic, I was still able to feel God move. I’ve been praying recently for God to break my heart for what breaks his. Although my heart was already heavy from understanding these refugees’ backgrounds, on that day my heart was broken because I realised they had never experienced the great love of Jesus. This experience was what I was needing to truly understand where the passion for evangelical missions comes from. I see it as having an active intimate loving relationship with Jesus so much so that it breaks my heart when I know that other people don’t get to experience it in the same way as I do. More so, I could so evidently see that these people needed Jesus so desperately. We didn’t get the opportunity to talk about Jesus or the Gospel but we were able to spend time with them, reflect his character. And for me, I was able to see the deep need and desperation within each human to experience the presence of Jesus.
Talia (New Zealand), is currently doing her DTS, and is fulfilling her practical ministry in the communications department here at YWAM Lausanne
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