Here is the first ministry update – I hope it’s a blessing to hear about everything that we’ve been up to. Let me know if you have any questions <3
This past month, Nicole and I officially made it to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and started our ministry roles at Youth With A Mission, North Idaho. It took a few extra days to make our way here due to vehicle troubles, but we had the car fixed in Colorado Springs and were able to stay with family there for the duration of the car repairs. We have settled in and have been doing ministry for about three weeks now. The first week we had a base-wide conference for the purpose of determining our values and establishing a firm foundation for this coming season. I’ve included a picture and description below that will help explain more in detail about our base’s vision and values. First, I’d like to share with you all the vision statement that our conference helped to establish:
YWAM North Idaho Base Vision
By operating out of a simple structure and engaging daily in holistic discipleship, we aim to mobilize Christ-followers to communicate the gospel with Unreached people groups in Thailand through every means possible, all for the purpose of spreading God’s global worship to the ends of the earth.
In this vision statement, we’ve outlined the calling and commitment YWAM North Idaho will strive towards in all of our future endeavors for the Lord. We are, above all else, dedicated to reaching others for the purpose of those people giving God the worship that He deserves. As the perfect, holy, righteous, loving, and eternal God who gave Himself for our ransom on cavalry, we believe that Jesus Christ deserves the worship of every single person that He died to save. This is something that all Christian ministries have in common, so what is the unique mission of YWAM North Idaho? This is mobilization of Christ-followers to engage in the Great Commission through the use of a simple structure and holistic discipleship. We also have been called to focus our ministry efforts towards the Unreached, especially those in Thailand where the people have little to no access to the gospel of Christ. Below is a visualization of our ministry values and beliefs that we created during the conference and I’ll use this image to go into more detail about who we are and what we will be doing in ministry.
YWAM North Idaho Belief Tree (Inspiration from Psalm 1)
YWAM North Idaho Belief Tree
I’ll start at the bottom, where you can see the water which we’ve labeled as Jesus. This is to show that the life source and ultimate purpose behind our ministry is Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord who deserves the worship of every tongue, tribe and nation. All that we do is to serve, glorify, and love the Lord. The roots of the tree represent our Youth With A Mission values; all that we do should align with the values that YWAM has been called to since its founding in 1960; these are available at https://www.ywam.org/about-us/values/. The three large roots near the surface of the ground represent the values that YWAM North Idaho had uniquely been called to. These include:
Intimacy: seeking the Lord's presence, moment by moment, and submitting ourselves and our ministry to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
· This goes for intimacy with the Lord AND intimacy with community. We are called to love the Lord and one another - these are not mutually exclusive, but rather go hand-in-hand.
2. Sacrifice: doing anything and everything needed for obedience to God and to spread His global worship.
· “If it doesn’t cost you anything then it’s not a value.” - Brandon Oliver
· We recognize that in order to be obedient to the Lord, we will have to make sacrifices and choose to lay down our desires, our preferences, and our comfort zones, and make the decision to pick up our crosses and pursue God.
· We will choose to sacrifice good things for better things, and what is just good enough for what is best.
3. Focus: stewarding our calling by pursuing quality and effectiveness above quantity.
· We have been called to focus on mobilization (training, equipping, and sending) primarily to Thailand and the Unreached.
· Focus increases efficiency and productivity.
· Paul’s ministry focus was being an “Apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). Jesus’ ministry focus was “to proclaim good news” (Luke 4:18).
The trunk of the image represents the “core pillars” which will be the ministries that we engage with daily:
Mobilization: We aim to inspire, challenge, and equip the Church to focus on God’s global purpose by aligning priorities, efforts, and resources so that Unreached people groups give their worship to Jesus Christ.
· This will include training, equipping, and sending out Christ-followers to engage in the Great Commission.
2. Discipleship: We aim to willingly open our whole selves to God and our family in Christ for the building up of faith through the full ministry of the body of Christ.
· “Jesus described a disciple as one who abides in Him, is obedient, bears fruit, glorifies God, has joy, and loves (see John 15:7–17).” - Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ
· “Discipleship includes transformation: believing what Jesus believes, living the way Jesus lived, loving as Jesus loved, training as Jesus trained, ministering as Jesus ministered, and leading the way Jesus led” - Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ
3. Simplicity: We aim for a structure that promotes unhindered ministry to and for Thailand, as well as locally, encourages frequent fellowship, and champions intimacy with God.
What We’re Doing
After spending the first week establishing this clear vision, we have been primarily working on promoting an auction for our base. Since the fall Discipleship Training School has been pushed to next year, our base is in need of financial support for renting our classroom space and so we are hosting an auction in order to raise these funds. We’ve been prioritizing the auction the last two weeks, putting our time into meeting and contacting local businesses and promoting the auction in local churches. We’re hoping that this auction will bring in the necessary financial support for our ministry, as well as garner monthly supporters for the base. The auction will be on July 25th, so after this next week we will be able to shift our attention towards pioneering and firmly establishing the individual ministries at YWAM North Idaho.
Timeline for the Next Year of Ministry:
1. Establishing Individual Ministries (Now)
In this next year, our primary focus will be to develop each of our ministries at YWAM North Idaho with excellence so that when our training schools are in session, these ministries will support, rather than distract from the discipleship and mobilization process that these schools are aimed at achieving.
These ministries include: Project No Compromise, Communications (social media, website and blog), Community Life/Hospitality, Cleaning & Maintenance, Intercession & Worship, LIFT (Legal, Immigration, Financial, Taxes), Accounting, Community Night, and more.
2. Weekly Community Nights (Now)
A time for fellowship, worship, and bible study with our local community.
3. Weekly Evangelism and Compassion Ministries (Now)
Serving our community’s physical and spiritual needs by partnering with local churches and non-profit outreaches.
4. Thai Language (Now)
Every staff member has daily Thai language class (includes oral and written communication).
5. DTS Student Internship (Fall 2020)
This is a new on-base living opportunity for students to prepare for DTS. This internship is designed to remove barriers and equip students for the DTS so that they are in an optimal place to get the most out of DTS when the school begins next fall.
The internship will include things such as reading assignments, discipleship training, helping in various ministries, and living in Christian fellowship.
6. Discipleship Training Course (Early 2021)
An abbreviated Discipleship Training School designed for those with full-time jobs.
This course will include weekly lecture, discipleship, small group, and discussion times.
7. Thailand Ready Mission Course (likely 2021)
A 9-month training school designed to prepare and equip those who will go long-term (at least two years) in Thailand.
Includes culture, religion, and language studies, as well as bible and missionary training.
A Story of the Lord’s Faithfulness and Protection
Nicole and I left on June 10th to drive across the country. We had packed the car to the brim and drove away from our family’s new home in Port Royal, Virginia early that morning. This was the culmination of what seemed to be the last year of my walk with the Lord, and it was hard to believe this moment had finally arrived! Nicole and I had spent the past three months at home with our family raising support for our ministry, and thanks to you, we were able and ready to move across the country. Only a few hours later, the check-engine-light came on in West Virginia. We ended up taking the car to the nearest Subaru dealership and spent most of the day there. There was no diagnosable issue or solution in sight so we made the decision to opt for a general fix and to keep driving until we were tired. The car seemed alright that night, and the next day, we drove sixteen hours through Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Colorado Springs, where our close family friends live. As we turned on their road after driving all day, the car started overheating and smoking only fifty yards away from their home. We couldn’t believe the timing!!
The next day, our family friend found some debris in the radiator, cleaned it out, and we did a test-run to see if we had found the issue. The car seemed to be just fine, so after some fun adventures at Garden of the Gods and in downtown Colorado Springs, we headed out again, this time with the hopes of reaching Twin Falls, Idaho. We made it to Fort Collins Colorado when the car overheated. . . AGAIN. But praise God for our family friends: they came and picked us up after we got the car to a shop, and brought us back to hang out with them until the necessary repairs were completed. A week later, we got back on the road and THANKFULLY the Ft. Collins shop did a wonderful job with the car and we got to Coeur d’Alene safe and sound. What a journey!
With all the car trouble and financial worries that were standing in the way of us getting here, one thing has been reverberating in my mind this past week: God made a way. He made sure we had the financial support to be able to follow His calling. He made sure we were in safe places when the car broke down. He made sure we had a place to stay when we were delayed. He has been so very faithful in all of our support raising and travel plans which were necessary for us to be where we needed to be. When I made the decision to do this - there were so many reasons not to: raising financial support in a worldwide pandemic, travel costs, the list goes on and on. Yet, He’s worked miracles in these past few months and for that I am so thankful. I am so excited to be here, doing the work that He has called me to. There is nothing I’d rather be doing, so thank you for supporting me in serving our Lord, and thank you for being my answered prayer: the provision that has allowed me to be here at YWAM North Idaho!
Below I’ve listed a few ways you can be partnering in prayer with YWAM North Idaho’s ministry and the nation of Thailand. I hope this is a helpful resource for you!
YWAM North Idaho Base:
Base leaders: Brandon and Angela Oliver and their two children: Noah (13) and Ellie (2)
Staff: Mikayla, Makayla, Jael, Connor, Will, Nicole and I
Pioneering Ministries: please pray that the Lord’s will is done in each ministry. I’ve listed some below that need specific prayer.
Project No Compromise - a ministry aiming to awaken, educate, and empower Christ-followers to zealously engage in the Great Commission through mobile presentations
Training - a ministry which pioneers training schools designed to educate, disciple, and equip students for ministry in the unreached nation of Thailand.
Communications: a ministry that strives to excellently and reliably present information about YWAM North Idaho’s ministry, values, and staff for the purpose of mobilizing Christ-followers to engage in the Great Commission.
Intercession & Worship: a ministry designed to cultivate a lifestyle of prayer and worship in our base, in order to love others and the Lord with all our hearts.
LIFT (Legal, Immigration, Financial, Taxes) & Accounting
Community Night: a time of worship, fellowship and bible study with the community. Please pray for blessings in networking and relationship building during this time. Please also pray that these nights both bless and grow all that attend.
Pray for the 78 Unreached people groups. To explore the specific needs of these people groups visit https://joshuaproject.net/countries/TH
Covid-19 has stopped much of the sex-trafficking and prostitution in the region, which is praise-worthy. Yet this means that many women are now without jobs; please pray that the women and men who were involved in this find stable jobs to provide for their families so they do not return to this work in the future, and please pray that the Lord would put Christian ministries in their paths to support them.
The economy has taken a hit due to Covid-19. Please pray for those that have lost jobs and are struggling to provide for themselves. Please pray that through this struggle, individuals come to a deep revelation of their need for an eternal Savior, and that they find Jesus Christ.
Pray for the Christian ministries there: for financial provision, strength, and new vision to preach the gospel and reach the Thai people during this time.
For those who have heard the Good News but need discipleship and a Christian community, please pray that the Lord provides a way for them to come into contact with support.
Thank you for reading this update, and most especially for your continued friendship and partnership in ministry. I’ll be sending a card your way which will give you the chance to write down any prayer requests that you might have, but in the meantime, please call, email, or text me anything you would like prayer for!! God bless.
His servant and yours,
YWAM North Idaho Staff (540) 845-5919
1913 North 4th Street, STE.C Coeur d’Alene, I.D. 83814
“I thank my God in all remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all, making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in this gospel from the first day until now.”
Philippians 1:3-5 (ESV)