August 1, 2017 | Pittsburgh YWAM Students – We’re here!
We’re here!!!! And we hit the ground running! We arrived at the base on Sunday night to an orientation by YWAM, an ice breaker & some evening team time. Then Monday morning we dove in head first to all that YWAM partners with here down in the city!
We started our morning with some devotional time down by the river on the south side, where one of the YWAM staff members shared the story of Gideon from the Bible, and encouraged the students to go out and walk boldly into whatever God calls them into this week, even if they are nervous… and let me say… the team did just that. I was so impressed with our group of students yesterday. Their willingness to jump into something that was new right from the top with unmatched joy, bravery, and excitement was amazing.
YWAM has us running three kids camps throughout the day. One in Mckees Rocks, one in Carrick, and the other in the middle of Prospect Park. Our group separated out into 2 groups of 14 in the morning to tackle the McKees Rocks and Carrick kids camps, and then came back together and had some training, lunch, and prep time for our evening camp in Prospect. The Prospect camp is by far the biggest one, with anywhere from 80-100 kids showing up on a daily basis. We are working with kids from as young as 3 years old to middle school, so there is a wide range of ages. A majority of them are Nepali and Iraqi, but there are also many others from all over the world who have come to Pittsburgh to seek refuge from their homelands. It’s heartbreaking knowing that we are working with kids who have been displaced or left their homes because they didn’t feel safe there, but it’s also exhilarating knowing that we are playing a small role in giving them a place here in America where they are seen, loved, and protected. YWAM has us partnering with some pretty amazing ministries.
We wrapped up our first day after Prospect Park with some debrief time on Mount Washington before heading back to the base and CRASHING into bed! So far our time has been amazing, and we can’t wait to see what today has in store. We’ve already had such a great, and beautifully challenging time… and we are just getting started!!!
I have horrible stage fright and am terrible at public speaking. On the last day of our trip to serve the refugees here in Pittsburgh, we spent the day preparing for the annual talent show held for all the Nepali refugees. YWAM asked if someone wanted to share their testimony while the judges were deliberating. I could feel God telling me to do it. He gave me the courage to share my testimony with almost 75 people. I was able to get up on stage in front of Nepali kids, adults, grandparents, YWAM staff, and my team members and share my story about finding Jesus and what He has done for my life. I could feel God’s presence so much. After I was done I had so many people come up to me and tell me how powerful my testimony was. I was told to keep sharing my story with people because it’s a great one. We spent the rest of the night dancing, singing, and just having a great time with all the kids. This was a really rare moment for me when I did not care about who had texted me, who had snapchatted me, or really about anything else that was going on. I was living in the moment, without a care in the world, and was so happy. I realized that God does want me to share His word with others, and that He created me to do so. It was a night I will never forget.