Week 8: Father Heart of God - René Laframboise
René Laframboise, our speaker this week, is father/grandfather figure to the YWAM Vancouver family. He is known for his care and interest in the well-being of students, and still remembers the students he has ministered to. Weeks prior to our lecture he prayed for each student – what a huge blessing and privilege!
We learned that our identity is in God the Father and that He promises fullness of life (John 6:35). As His children He calls us into emotional and spiritual adulthood and wants to strengthen us in our inner being through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). This is manifested in having good self-esteem, a sense of competence and capability, and the capacity to enter freely into relationships without fear or intimidation.
Jesus came to bring us to the Father. “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). We were shown some behaviors that reveal where we continue to look to for self-image, instead of looking to the Father. We were invited to acknowledge these behaviors and respond to the Father’s invitation for adoption-ship.
Jesus came not just to take our sins, but to also take away the sorrow that comes with sin. (Isaiah 61; Luke 4:18). We were invited to lay on the cross the hurts and disappointments caused by actions or words towards us, and to ask the Father to come and fill that void where parents or earthly authority figures were limited in their relationship to us. In faith, we asked God to be our perfect Parent (not our earthly parents or authority figures) – because He wants to be our comforter, protector, a faithful and trustworthy Father.
Our last day was an opportunity to minister to each other. We were encouraged to share our stories and in faith, ask the Father God for gifts. We shared stories of the hurts and disappointments we’d experienced and asked God for the gift of trusting in his Father’s heart. We prayed for each other words of healing and affirmation of the Father’s love. Throughout the week René also made himself available for counseling sessions, and these were moments of healing and blessing for students who took up the offer.
The second highlight of this week was 10-minute sermon by the students! During outreach prep last week, our staff Flavia gave a short lecture on making sermons since we might be asked to preach on our outreach in Thailand. Everyone had a week to prepare, so Nate, Mariah, Esther, Suzi, and Florian were the first batch (the other students get their turn too). We were all so nervous but afterwards the class gave pointers for improvement and words of encouragement. (You may ask why only 10 minutes. Well…we have to account for the translation from English to Thai, which takes another 10 minutes!)
The third highlight of the week was going with Noah and Karl for their hockey track. We went to Canlan Ice Sports Burnaby 8 Rinks, and rented an ice rink for almost two hours. I was the only one who’d never been on the ice but Coach Glen Bueckert, Noah and Karl were so patient as they taught me basic techniques in standing and skating. Everytime I fell down, I got up again and continued skating because I just loved learning this new sport! It made me think of discipleship of new believers, and how much encouragement and spiritual coaching makes such a difference and impact in their desire to follow Christ. Well, that’s what DTS is for – a period of mentoring and coaching, as our teachers and leaders walk with us into deeper love for Jesus.