Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shaggy's God Adventure - Part II

So, where were we? Oh, yes. Shaggy is in Colorado. {Sigh. Sob. I miss my boy. Sigh.} He's attending a Musician's DTS (Discipleship Training School) through YWAM (Youth With A Mission). We brought him out at the end of September and he's currently in the "Lecture Phase" of the training time there in the suburbs of Denver.

Musician's DTS

During this Lecture Phase, there is a lot of classroom time, guest speakers, studying The Word, and reading books surrounding the issues and topics covered in the classes and lectures. In addition to the very typical classroom environment, they spend a good bit of time in prayer and they have work duties and small group accountability to fulfill. Shaggy pulled kitchen duty - a task I'm quite confident he's MORE than capable of conquering after all the "on the job training" he received here at home and at Chik-Fil-@ while he was in high school. Their small groups are broken down by gender and each day they eat lunch together to share their experiences and talk about what they are learning. They also use this group as their first line of support if and when they are struggling or have prayer needs to cover. We're hearing great things about the connections they are making together.

Lecture Phase also affords weekly opportunities to do outreach, working closely with food banks, shelters, and other ministries in the area. This affords the DTS students a lot of hands-on time in the local community while learning essential team-building skills and gives them a great place to practice all they are learning in class. They also participate in local conferences and concerts events. Last week, all of the YWAM bases in  the whole state of Colorado met for three days of teaching, prayer and worship together. He thoroughly enjoyed the whole event.

Once the Lecture Phase is complete, the teams move to Outreach Phase. This particular DTS will be breaking up into three different outreach trips. One team is going to Mexico, one is heading off to Kenya, and the third team will go to Thailand/Cambodia. This phase lasts about 2 1/2 months and is the REAL hands-on of all that the DTS has been working toward from the beginning. Shaggy has chosen to work with the Thailand/Cambodia trip. They will be supporting and working alongside of the existing YWAM staff at those bases. The goal is to put into practice all the ministry lessons they learned in the Lecture Phase. It's a very tough part of the world he's heading into and we are aware that there are some really hard things to which Shaggy will be exposed. The nature of what those bases do is hard to think about; it's hard to be "okay" about Shaggy experiencing and connecting with these parts of this very broken world. But we are so proud of the conviction he has felt about choosing this team. We knew when he told us of his decision that it was right for him.  We are fully expecting that Shaggy will be forever changed and set on fire by the love of Jesus, both at the state-side portion of the DTS and even more deeply and fully in the Outreach experience. And we are fully "okay" with that, even if it means hardship in the winning of it.

Even if it means he's leaving right around Christmas.
{Sigh... Again, we will all really need your prayers
at the holiday season, my friends!}

It's still daunting to think of the things that Shaggy is committing himself to in these coming months. When I'm particularly concerned or missing him and worrying for his future, I make myself go back to the things that I know God has spoken to us over the years about our kids and I speak them out over and over. I am confident that God has some very unique and creative plans for my boy. We know that He has equipped and provided us all thus far, so we truly cannot wait to see what He has for the rest of Shaggy's experiences this year. If you think of it, please pray for safety and protection for Shaggy, as well as continued financial provision. He has the Lecture Phase completely paid for, thankfully. But the Outreach trip to Thailand/Cambodia is not fully funded yet and we are seeking the Lord's favor for that.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to give a small word of encouragement to the mommas out there who feel as if they will be wiping noses and changing diapers for.EV.AH.  Please, hear my heart when I tell you that THESE MOMENTS of diligence and repetitive training that you are doing now are all pointing you and your little treasures toward the launching into God's plans such as Shaggy is experiencing now. It's not easy, this raising of our little ones to serve Jesus and love others. And it will look different along the way for every family. Likely even for every one of your individual little treasures. But it's worth it. 

And it CAN be done. It is BEING DONE even now in the spirits of your children. Make no mistake, this man of God that Shaggy is becoming did not happen by our own strength or great understanding. NOT BY A LONG SHOT!!!! It won't happen for you that way either. Not by your own efforts. But by His grace and His equipping. And your choice to stay the course. To be diligent to keep wiping noses while you are speaking life and love. THIS MOMENT of launching like we got to do with Shaggy last month is what the hard moments of some drudgery and endless repetition are for. And you can do it. He makes you able. 

Thank You Jesus, for that. Truly.

If you feel prompted to invest
in Shaggy's God Adventure,
click on the YWAM links above.
There is a tab on the 
top right of the YWAM Denver 
home page where you can
donate specifically to a student
in residence there by choosing
the Student Payment option.

1 comment:

Aus said...

I've read this a couple times now - and there is something missing.

And it's not something that you and the Boss would ever say - so I'm going to say it for you...

Shag-man is "walking the walk" - and I'm proud of him for doing it - but he would never have considered or been strong enough to do that without the influence of you and the Boss "walking the walk" every day too.

You give great credit to our Father - and rightly so - for without Him none of this is possible - but I'm going to "front you out" too - you guys (the whole gang btw) listen to His guidance and act accordingly - and as a result produce quality kids.


(and since you won't say it - well - Heaven forbid I not be the kid of guy that just says what's on his mind!!)

hugs - aus and co.