FINDING REWARD THROUGH CHALLENGE

On the first day of our lectures three weeks ago we did an exercise where we told the class about lies that we felt were hanging over our life.  After we prayed, there was a really powerful community moment where we could all encourage each other and feel freed from the lies that have been holding us back. I remember walking out of class thinking that all my problems had been fixed on the first day and that I could probably go home. But how wrong was I!? The longer I am here and the more I run towards God, the more I realise I have so much left to surrender!

This week’s topic, “the Fear of the Lord” has been impacting for me. I have come to understand that I should fear God in a way that makes me want to run towards him and not away from him; in a way that makes me hate sin. My highlight for this week was learning about forgiveness. I’ve always known that God is forgiving and I thought that was all I needed when it came to forgiveness; only forgiveness from God. But I learnt that my relationship with God suffers when I don’t forgive others. Forgiveness isn’t easy, especially when there is no remorse from the other person, but wow is it freeing. I learnt that when I was unable to forgive others, I was only cheating myself. For me forgiveness has been a release and has allowed me to understand the character God on a deeper level because of the way he so gracefully forgives us.

Matthew 6:14: For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Every Wednesday afternoon the whole YWAM Lausanne community goes into the city of Lausanne to spend time connecting, talking, and sharing the love of Jesus with whomever we meet.  We call this, “local outreach.” Although this week was only my 3rd time doing this, it was different than normal. We spent a lot of time talking to homeless people and just asking about their lives. Some of the conversations didn’t exactly flow, and the language barrier was tricky. Afterwards we met back in the square to wrap up and most people headed home. It was after this when a few friends and I met Luca. He spoke broken English and seemed to be using, but he wanted to know about us. He was interested in why we were all so happy and nice to him. He began opening up and told us that his mother is a severe alcoholic. After we told him we were Christians and what we do at YWAM he asked us to pray for him and his mother. When we were praying I was reminded that Luca is also a child of God, and that God loves him just as much as me regardless of what he’s done. Even though I don’t know what happened to him after we left, at that moment I felt God move in his heart. This experience changed my perspective on local outreach and makes me excited for each week instead of seeing it as an uncomfortable chore to try to talk to strangers about Jesus.

DTS is hard but it is rewarding. I’m dealing with problems that I’ve pushed down for so long and I’m so far out of my comfort zone that I feel like I’m drowning. But the revelations I’ve received through the power of forgiveness, and seeing God move in Luca… It’s all worth it.

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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