There are seven of us here, all from different nations – Canada, America, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Madagascar and France. The YWAM house is home to 12 people, including the SOMLD (School of Ministry & Leadership Development) students. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know one another, sharing about each of our cultures, with many “you say tomato, and I say tomato” moments.
The week started with registration at the YWAM Centre, which shares space with West Coast Christian Fellowship (WCCF). It is about a 15-20 minute walk from where we are living, depending on how long you spend admiring the cherry blossom trees along the way. After we did all things admin, we celebrated with a welcome dinner at Randy’s house, where we met all the YWAM Vancouver staff.
The rest of orientation week we spent at the YWAM Centre, being introduced to our schedule for each week including lectures, outreach prep, worship, intercession, one on ones, small groups, as well as community and house service. I think I can speak for everyone when I say; Monday nights will definitely be the highlight of the week when we all get together to clean the house. Yipee!
We also had teaching from Addison (a member of WCCF church staff), who spoke to us about devotional time, inspiring us to have quiet time each day to spend with God and soak in his presence. Then one of our school staff, Stuart (who is from Australia), got us thinking about what worship is, and led us in worship together for the first time – it was awesome!
However the best part of the week had to be on Thursday & Friday afternoon when each of the staff and students shared their testimonies. It was really moving to hear the journey everyone has been on, and how God has been working in each of our lives. I feel so privileged to see how God is going to transform us over the next 3 months in Vancouver, and even more when we go on outreach.
On Saturday we explored the city of Vancouver, taking the skytrain downtown, and the SeaBus across to the North Shore, where many pictures of mountains with snow capped peaks were taken. As we travelled home, many of us began planning future adventures of the city, taking note of the many restaurants, shopping and attractions we wanted to explore.
On Sunday most of us attended West Coast Christian Fellowship’s morning church service. During the service the pastor asked everyone to share where we had come from, and we soon discovered that the congregation was made up of at least 20 different nations. We all found this super encouraging, being reminded that even though we are all from different parts of the world, we all have the same thing in common; a love for Jesus.
Week one began with a new city, new people, new accents, new customs and many other new moments to begin this chapter. But despite all of this, it is already starting to feel very much like home.
– Georgie –