The 12 week lecture phase of the DTS has now come to an end. At the beginning of this week we dropped off our staff and students at the airport as they began their journey to Thailand and Cambodia for 3 months of outreach.
In true YWAM fashion our flexibility was put to the test once again when the train the team was due to take to the airport was cancelled. So after a quick change of plans (and one flat tyre) and a 6 hour round trip in 2 mini-buses and 1 car, we were finally able to send them out into the nations.
One of our prayers/hopes for this DTS was that none of us would be the same when we reach the end. God has answered those prayers, at the half-way point we have already seen a huge amount of growth in our staff, our students, and ourselves. We can't wait until the team returns at the beginning of March to see how much more they will have learnt and grown during outreach.
As well as enjoying teaching from rich and diverse teachers such as Joe Portale (one of the founding fathers of YWAM) the lecture phase is also an opportunity for us to teach. We both had the privilege of teaching. Ruth taught for a week on the subject of Praise & Worship, covering subjects as understanding the spirit realm and our relationship through Christ to it, worship as warfare, the holiness of God, and the place of sacrifice in worship. Mark taught on the subject of the Bible, and looked at the history and the canon of the Bible, understanding the narrative of the Bible through the covenants, and the inductive Bible study method.
During the lecture phase we were also joined by 2 other DTS teams (for 1 week each), which was a full and enriching time. The first team was from a 9 month long DTS from YWAM Yverdon, Switzerland. The second was the Multi-Generational DTS from YWAM Provence, formerly known as YWAM St Paul (our former base)! It was so good for us to spend time with the new DTS/base leaders.
In addition to the classroom lectures we also took the time to learn more about the history of the Huguenots who originate from the area where we now live. The Huguenots were deprived of their freedom to worship, driven far from the cities, hidden in isolated areas, they were obligated to live out their faith in hiding. As well as visiting the Desert Museum we went on a little hillside hike to pray and worship in a cave where the Huguenots held secret meetings centuries before us.
This year, as leaders of the DTS we will not be going on outreach with the team (it will be the first time that Mark has not gone). The responsibility of leading the outreach has been delegated to our staff as we send them out in our authority and with our blessing. However, Ruth will be joining the staff and students for a pastoral visit in Chiang Rai, Thailand, from the 4th to the 16th of January 2018, where she will spend time having one-on-ones with staff and students and debriefing them at the mid-way(ish) point of the outreach. This was where she did her DTS outreach 20 years ago!
From the 23rd of January to the 21st of February 2018 I will be travelling to Ziguinchor, Senegal. The purpose of my trip is to take the first steps in establishing a manual well-drilling movement. There are many advantages to using this technique. The first being the use of appropriate technologies (simple, low-cost, readily available), makes it accessible to many more people. The second is that the cost is also greatly reduced, with a well (including pump) being able to be produced for just 100 € - 200 € compared to hiring a well-drilling rig/team that can cost upwards of 10,000 €. All this means that with a small amount of guidance and training, people at ground level are able to build and maintain their own wells without the need of specialist equipment, knowledge or the need to get the 'experts' in. The huge barrier of cost is also removed and the dream of owning your own well can become a reality.
The goal of my trip at the end of January is to buy/fabricate the necessary tools and equipment needed to manually drill wells and to then train a group of locally based volunteers who would be able to help oversee future well drilling projects.
How can you be involved?
Clearly, there are costs involved with making this happen and getting this project off the ground. To put together a manual well-drilling kit and and train the first group of people in the field I need to raise £2,000. If you want to play a part in alleviating the water crisis or simply want to invest in me and my vision, I would like to invite you to consider partnering with me today by making an end of year gift towards this project. All gifts, no matter how large or small are gratefully received and have the potential to have a huge impact, so that together we can transform as many lives as possible.
I need your help to save and transform lives. Click on the button below to make a donation with PayPal/Credit card/Debit card
If you would like to find out more about manual well-drilling or other donation methods please click on the button below
So You've Been Publicly Shamed
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.