The past few months have been really different for us. Coming out of a lot of activity over the past year we sensed
a change in approach and as a couple we sensed a season of establishment as
we settle down to gain deeper roots in San Jose.
I think our initial thought when we received this word at the beginning of the year was a growing and stabilizing of our staff team. This has not been the case though and as of a few weeks ago we transitioned back to our family as the only full-time staff of YWAM Ember Ink.
Initially this was a little confusing as we had all guns blazing, growing our programs and gearing up for the next DTS. Then we felt God confirm to us to not run a DTS this year, this word in addition to a desire for our family to take some rest really directed us to scale back some of the things we were moving towards, and go deeper with our investment as a family as well as really makes some concrete steps to gather some leaders to our side to help develop and grow YWAM Ember Ink.
We were so grateful for those He called to us for this season of pioneering. We have been blessed with some incredible teams over the years and we are excited to see how God will guide and provide for us over this next year.
Youth Street is still in full swing as we see a fantastic synergy develop with 'The River Church Community', 'Shalom Iglesia' and 'Servant Partners'. We have seen a wonderful team of locals come alongside to love on the crew. Last week we had over 30 join us for 'Youth Street', and we have seen a real deepening of our relationship with the crew and their families.
Please be praying for us for wisdom as we walk in obedience in loving the 'Chicos de Barrio' (kids of the neighborhood) This is our loose Spanish translation of Youth Street.
Angela and I believe to head out to Australia in September to be a part of a YWAM Conference called 'YWAM Together'. This conference will be held in Townsville, hosted by our previous 'YWAM Centre', we sense it is time to head back and are excited for God to impart to us. We are also hoping to take a few days either side of the conference to visit family and celebrate our 14th Wedding Anniversary that just past this week.
We will be spending a majority of this year building a strong team to join us in the spring/summer of next year to run our second DTS here in San Jose. We believe this is a key step for us in addition to building a strong, local volunteer core for the 'Youth Street' ministry.
Unpacking the 'Establish' Word.
When we first received this word I think we may have interpreted it wrong. Angela and my first impression was that it was a word primarily about our ministry. Another word that we got was to take more rest. We have struggled through the first few months of this year trying as best as we could to reconcile them together but amidst huge transition with our staff team, tight finances and general lack of settledness about our approach so we came back to the Lord to seek more clarity.
The past few weeks have been wonderful as we have discovered more unity and asked better questions, I think. While we are still pondering the "establish" word we are realizing that it may have more to do with our family than we first thought. We have had a desire to become more planted and stable as a family yet no amount of effort from us has really worked. Our heart is for the Lord to establish us as He sees fit.
During these past months God has really highlighted for us to be more Holy. Casting aside idols, comforts and distractions so we can hear Him better. I'm sure you can all relate with different times in our lives when we take our eyes off Him. Whatever our eyes turn to, no matter how innocuous or how deadly the distraction may be, anything less than putting Him first can lead us down the wrong path.
As we have had revelation of some of the areas we had lost sight of, particularly after an intense schedule and pressure of running our first DTS. We will be making space over the fall and the summer to recruit more partners to our team. This takes a lot of time, energy and intentionality but we feel positioned to do this as we believe our vision and purpose has become clearer and more defined than in the past. Please be praying for us as we share our need and the opportunity to partner both with us as a family in ministry and also towards the mission of YWAM Ember Ink.
We will also be making a priority of sharing the need of a pioneering team to several key locations. This will involve some travel from either Angela and I over the next year and our heart is to hear God about the right places to go. Similar to when Jesus instructed the fishermen to cast their nets on the other side of the boat we believe to not lose heart in our efforts and perseverance.
We have seen God provide so faithfully for our family and ministry over this journey. This October marks 6 years. We believe God has us right where He wants us, and as we hold on to His promises and continue to exercise our faith anything is possible!
We appreciate your continued support to keep us in the place of being a blessing to those around us. We believe our family is a unique fit for the ministry we are doing and as we continue to depend on Him for our every need we see the seeds continue to be planted and the fruit remain.
Some big areas of need we have. These are both for our family as well as YWAM Ember Ink.
A large vehicle to transport our Youth Street crew and families.
A permanent neighborhood facility for us to hold our programs and be a gathering place. We need this in our neighborhood. We are hoping to partner with a local church who is looking for something suitable as well.
A Monthly Income for YWAM Ember Ink to help cover the cost of facilities and the program. At this stage we need $800 p/m, this covers a partial amount of the rent for our YWAM house and hang out space, snacks and materials for Youth Street and administration costs.
During a prayer meeting with other YWAM leaders in the Bay Area in February we received an encouraging word about our ministry here in San Jose. The word was a picture (above) about our ministry being like an orange tree planted out the front of our house and kids from the neighborhood coming by and picking fruit off when they needed it. The fruit symbolized spiritual health and nourishment. Here is a picture I drew of the tree as it appeared in my mind. This came in a season where we honestly felt like giving up, but upon receiving this word it brought so much life, encouragement and affirmation to our souls and to this day offers so much hope to us.