I just want to start off by giving out a belated happy thanksgiving! It's seems a bit late but it was a part of this week for us here at ywam so I'll just go with it.
So yeah like I said, this week started off with an amazing thanksgiving dinner at the Furlongs house. I'd like to give a special thanks to everyone involved with preparing the food, it was delicious and incredibly filling. I don't think I was the only one who still felt full the next morning. We also got to see which one of us students was the best artist with a big game of pictionary! I'm usually not a huge fan of games but it was good for a few laughs.
The next day we started off bagging bread for the first time, which we usually do after worship Monday morning, but since it was a holiday we had to fit that in the schedule on Tuesday. However, after that was when things started to get serious. We were introduced to our first guest speaker, Pamela, who's expertise lies in teaching people how to hear the voice of God. Pamela is actually a really good speaker and is interesting to listen to. She also changes things up with activities that put the teachings we've just learned into practice, which seems like common sense but is actually a really smart thing to do. She even managed to pull off everything she taught into 4 days instead of 5 without seeming rushed or skimming anything.
For example, the first thing Pamela had us do was look at a table full of pictures and pick out one that stood out to us in a way that explained our current relationship with God. Simple enough right? A good warm up for learning how to hear God. Later in the week, those same pictures came up again in an exercise where we had picked a name out of a hat and had to pick a picture that we felt God was showing to us for that person. We then had to pray about why God had showed us that picture and what God wanted to tell that person through us, which is exactly what we did. The results were shockingly accurate, for me personally and many others as well. Here we were, getting told a message that is so personal and hidden by people we barely know. If that's not God speaking then I don't know what is.
Events like that have kept happening, even until today, all week. We learned about intercession, and how to get rid of the distractions in our lives so that we could hear God more clearly which eventually led to a sort of "burning ceremony" where we wrote down everything on our hearts that got in between us and God and burned it. This was significant to me since it's the only time in recent memory that I know I heard God. It impacted me so much that if I had had the time I probably would have fallen on my knees in the middle of the street where I was walking, and I know I wasn't the only one. There was a lot of emotion going on in the circle around the pot where our papers burned.
I feel like I've rambled on for long enough already, but bear with me as I've saved a good story to wrap things up. Last night, Oct 17, after a hike through beautiful Lynn Canyon led by the fearless Casey, we had an incredibly emotional night of healing after watching a documentary called "The Finger of God". The documentary shows how God still works miracles in our modern age. It showed God turning peoples teeth to gold; gold dust, jewels, and manna appearing out of thin air; He healed people in crutches, wheelchairs, people with bad eyesight or sore joints. It was honestly hard to believe, but I couldn't deny God's works after the movie. Especially with what we all personally experienced. We had a time of confession at the house, and people confessed what they were holding in their hearts and let down their walls. Even I, having struggled with my faith in the past, could feel God's hand at work in the building that night. And I think we're all a little closer now because of it. Feels like this is just the beginning too, and I can't wait to see what else happens!
I'd like to give a special shout out to Marlena, Pam, Theresa, Nicole, and Erin for their bravery Saturday night and stepping out of their comfort zones. So I'd like to ask everyone to pray for them, also Pam has had a death in the family, as well as a general prayer for all of us who are starting to miss loved ones at home. Have a good week everybody!
"Our rough edges must be chipped away to bring out the image of Christ."