Sixty plus hours of travel and you begin to doubt such a place exists. I like traveling. Really, I do. I like driving, flying, airports, currency, languages, you name it. But the passion lies in the destination for me. And the destination is never as comforting as when it is home. Ah. My home is peaceful, invigorating, empowering, and spiritual. My home is here in a little base called YWAM Zion located in a town of….I mean, a pasture of about fifty-seven and a half cows. And there is no other place like it. So even though I’m on the opposite side of the world from my birth place and most of you, I am home.
Once I arrived “home”, a new chapter began….
The last three weeks have been incredible. There’s definitely been ups and downs but the opportunities continue to move me to my feet.
I spent the first weekend catching up with two close friends from my DTS(Discipleship Training School) and getting to know quite a few new faces. It’s the family that makes a home. This fam is pretty lit. Pretty weird. They are radically in love with Jesus, following his voice from all over the place to come and serve here. I like ’em.
The next two weeks featured quite a bit of worship, work, and spontaneous beach trips championed by our school leader. We cut up bushes, pulled weeds, sucked on popsicles, vacuumed, assigned roles and prayed for students. My role as school staff includes working on media projects, doing work duties–dishes for now, driving the vans, lending a hand with various base maintenance, and helping to lead worship on base and the Music and Worship Stream. The Stream is a way for students to focus on a gift they have or desire and learn through experience. I’m pumped to be co-leading with two other staff members, Tim and Jo-ann. Together, we are exploring the realms of worship. We also had a speaker come from Auckland who used to be the national YWAM director of New Zealand. He taught on my school so I was familiar with his easygoing, gentle style and hungry for the many nuggets of wisdom he shared from his vast experience in leadership.
Adjusting to community isn’t always easy but through the sweat and salt water, I’ve started finding out who these brothers and sisters really are. We are all so different but there is a vision for this school that we all share. It’s the “new thing” vision based on our school verse:
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 ESV
We see a school of fire. Passionate students of God gathering within a community of discipleship and empowerment. God gives us opportunities and gifts, we give him willingness. Together, lives are changed. The new thing is exciting. Beyond the newness the students and we as staff will experience, our base is also going to experience a shift. There’s quite a big transition in the leadership and staff here. It’s incredible to stand on the verge of change and smile. We know our God has big plans.
With the so much going on, it’s easy to get distracted. That’s why I’m learning love all over again. Quite a bit of performance, fear of rejection, and selfishness has been revealed. In this atmosphere, EVERYTHING comes up. But it’s in the face of that that love can flourish. It’s a choice. The more I sense God’s love for me, I more I desire to express the same to others. Oh let me tell you, dying to self and living to Christ is necessary for survival here. It’s good.
I’m jumping into February with anticipation. Chapter one has been a trip. Chapter two will be hype.
Keep me and the base in your prayers! I long to continue to bask in his love while spilling forth the waters already in me, but it isn’t easy to find the perfect balance. Thank you for the support and prayers! I love you all so much.
Tim(actually Mex now) Ornelas