April 24, 2018 | YWAM Pittsburgh July Student Trip Preparation

This past Sunday, the Pittsburgh YWAM Student team met for the first time! We shared our names (along with an animal alliteration – Karlie Komodo Dragon here), discussed the appropriate posture for serving, shared our excitements and worries, and paired up in prayer partners for the next few months! We want to share a few things we’re looking forward to and some things we’re nervous about, in hopes that you will join us in the excitement and pray with us through the nerves. As we prepare to obediently go where the LORD is calling us, we’re excited about meeting new people, sharing our faith with them, and hopefully having the chance to encourage them! At the same time, we’re nervous about how to share our faith with strangers without sounding too preachy, saying the wrong thing, or hurting someone’s feelings. Some of us have been on this trip before, and we’re excited to see our old friends, and many of us are excited to spend time getting to know and play with the kids in the community. We’re also just excited to hear people’s stories, pray with them, and all the while be growing in our own relationship with the LORD. But we also recognize that growth often comes through uncomfortable situations, so we’re nervous about the unfamiliar challenges we might face (and learning to trust God through them), getting out of our comfort zones, and just simply (for many of us) doing a mission trip for the first time. If you could be praying for our team for all of these things, as well as for safety while on the trip and hearts that see what the LORD is doing (whether we get to directly be a part of something amazing or not), we would so greatly appreciate it! And, if you’d like to support the team financially as well, you can do that here. -Karlie, North Way Oakland Family Ministry Director P.S. We also spent some time tied in knots – a tried and true ice-breaker if there ever was one. 😉

August 4, 2017 | Pittsburgh YWAM Students – Days 4 & 5

Day 4 we had beautiful weather (thank you Jesus!) and we continued our kids camps as planned- no more rain-outs hallelujah! We started to notice yesterday how much more community has been developed between our team and the refugees since we have been here all week. They are really starting to know us by name, and the children are getting attached. It will be really hard to leave today, but the beautiful thing is that if we want to visit we can just head down the road and come back (yay for local missions!). Last night in debrief we talked to the team about what God has been doing in their hearts through this trip and I was amazed. Theme’s like “overcoming fear”, and “stretching out of my comfort zone” were very common, and it was so awesome to hear how YWAM helped push us further out of our fear of man when it comes to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To me, that is one of the most powerful outcomes of this trip. We have seen and played with beautiful people, seen many come to Christ, loved on children and served homeless, but I think one of the most amazing things next to seeing salvations is watching our students walk with a new authority in the kingdom of God. This week we learned what it means to put fear in it’s place, at the feet of Jesus, and step out in the faith that our Lord is with us wherever we go…. which is something we will not be leaving behind at Pittsburgh YWAM. That lesson will follow us into our schools, homes, work, and daily lives, and help us to go back into our own places of influence knowing that what God did here, He will do again, and what we did through him here, we can do through him at home. That’s the beauty of short term missions. We have a week to meet new people, step out of our comfort zones, and form relationships with our team… but in the end one of the most impactful things about short term missions is the lessons that God teaches us in the middle of our new experiences, which we are then charged with taking home and sharing with the friends and family we interact with on a daily basis. SO I would say overall a resounding THANK YOU LORD is our response to this trip, it’s been an amazing one. We have our final day of kids camps today, and some final debrief with our team, and then we are heading back! Pray that our team finishes strong! We will see you back home.