September was a month of transition wrapping up my work in the Missions Engagement Department at the base and stepping into a new role staffing the Fall Discipleship Training School (DTS)!
Schedule wise, September was an “unconventional” month and flew by faster than any other month here so far. It was filled with a new sense of hope for the rest of 2020. And some much needed rest, fun, and family time.
On September 29, YWAM Orlando started our “Fall Quarter.” The base operates on a quarterly schedule with schools and each quarter is when staff may get placed in a new role. I wrapped up my work in the Missions Engagement Department early in the month; which was bittersweet. I love the heart behind this department and, while the work was not always the most fun or engaging during the time I was working in it, I am excited for what is to come through that department this fall!
Through phone calls to youth groups and pastors that we made over the summer, we were able to schedule 5 events for youth groups for this fall. At these events some of our staff will go and share about missions opportunities and YWAM with young people!
For this next quarter I transitioned into staffing the Fall DTS – the “All Cities” Discipleship Training School. We have 39 students enrolled and it is truly an honor to walk alongside them with 7 other staff members.
The couple leading this school felt that the focus of this specific DTS is to reach cities in our state (Orlando and Miami), country (New York City), and the nations (Brazil) through sharing the gospel with the lost and calling people into missions. While all outreach plans are still being held open handed (thanks, covid), the hope is to send half the school to NYC and the other half to Miami for 10 days in December and then go as an entire school to Brazil in January and February!
I have so much excitement for what God is going to do in this school not only for our students who were so brave in obeying the call to missions in the midst of the wild year it’s been, but also for my personal life in working with this school.
It has been exactly 6 years since my DTS in Kona, and I have a lot of emotions thinking about how much the Lord has done in my life since that time. I honestly feel like a different person! Six years ago I was a timid, sometimes insecure, yet hopeful and hungry to grow, 19 year-old who had no idea the adventure that was to come when surrendering your life completely to Jesus. Six years ago was my first time in New York City, and the first time God captured my heart for a place like never before.
Ever since my first outreach in New York during my DTS God has gripped my heart for cities, and specifically that city. I cannot believe that I have been able to go on ministry trips there (and fashion week ministry at that!) 6 times since my DTS. When I was there this past February God spoke to me through the book of Jonah.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Ninevah and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Ninevah. Now Ninevah was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.” (3:13)
When I read this sitting in a coffee shop in Manhattan, a small voice whispered in my head, “What if the entire city of New York could be reached in 3 days? What if there was a flood of missionaries in the city over the course of three days that culminated in a big gathering where the gospel is preached?”
This felt like an audacious thought to me, but I knew it was not something I could have made up and I made a point to write “NYC, 2/7/20” in my Bible next to the passage. Other than praying for the city throughout the rest of the year, the thought of sending a YWAM team to New York wasn’t something that crossed my mind.
Fast forward to the summer months, when I expressed to leadership here my desire to staff the Fall DTS. I had no idea that NYC was going to be one of the places we would go to do outreach.
It was not until a staff meeting in late summer where the DTS leaders shared about the school and how some of their vision for this DTS came from the story of Jonah reaching the city of Ninevah. And then followed that with the dream to send some of the school to New York City. Praise God for clear confirmations!
In addition to the portion of our NYC outreach, there are many other reasons I am anticipating God to do incredible things in this school. The last few months have been some really tough ones for me, and honestly, I feel pretty battered and weak in ways. But this is what makes me so expectant for God to do incredible things. I have been growing in the revelation that God’s power really is perfected in our weaknesses. His grace really is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) The weakness that I am recognizing in myself is the greatest opportunity to tap into God’s power, to let Him and Him alone be sufficient for me, and to be the greatest leader through me.
From being in this place emotionally and spiritually is where I believe God has been equipping me to lead these students well. Feeling beat up and weak is not me saying, “Poor me,” but rather it’s recognizing God really has equipped me to lead – and I must continue to rely on His equipping alone. I look forward to and anticipate growing in leadership and intimacy with God like never before.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this update, September had some really sweet, fun family moments! Every year YWAM Orlando staff have 4 days dedicated to training followed by 4 days of “staff retreat” at Panama City Beach. During this week I got to grow my relationship with leadership and other staff members. Let me remind you that, since joining staff, I have spent many months operating under social distancing regulations. I am so grateful to work under and alongside such incredible Godly leaders. I really value this community that feels like a family!
Another amazing family moment I got to take part in this month was my sister’s wedding! It was so special to be her maid of honor and spend some time in Tennessee celebrating her and my new brother-in-law.
I truly felt the kindness of God through these fun and refreshing times at the end of a hard few months!
The last quick update I’ll share is that the apartment that I had applied for with a few other girls fell through. While the process has been a bit frustrating and a lot of work and money put into the application, we are trusting that it is all in God’s hands. We prayed a lot throughout the entire process, did all we could from our end, and now just have to trust that God is closing the door for a reason; even though we don’t see it at the moment! I have peace over my current living situation (in a campus dorm with three other girls) and know that I am going to be busy with the DTS and outreach. So seeking off-campus housing will be put on the back burner for now.
|HOW YOU CAN PARTNER |
PRAY – Energy and wisdom when leading and discipling students.
– Favor with our outreaches, that we will all be healthy and able to go to the locations that we are planning for.
– Rest (and knowing how to rest well in this season) 🙂
GIVE – YWAM Staff account (CLICK HERE)
– PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Venmo: CassL-Baker
Thank you, as always, for being my family and support. Hope this next month is full of good things for you and your family! Would love to hear how you’re doing and how I can be praying for you.