This is my blog where I hope to update everyone on my adventures with YWAM. :)

"He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and
to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Monday, December 19, 2011

Muraho from Rwanda!

Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. It is so mind-boggling to me that I am finally here, thousands of miles away from home on a completely different continent. I am in Africa! It is so absolutely beautiful here, the way the bright orange and blues of the buildings mesh into the lush green hillsides. Our home here is so much nicer than we had anticipated. There are 8 of us living in this house (7 that makes up our team plus our Rwandan translator Amable) with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! I made a video that gives a tour of the house so you can get a better idea but the internet here is really slow, hopefully I will be able to upload it at some point. Rwanda is usually a very safe country but our house has extra security in that we are surrounded by walls and to get in you have to go through a gate. Every door (even cupboards!) in our house has a key that locks it. The thing though, about the walls in our backyard is that when you climb up and look over them you are greeted with poverty. Our neighbors on the other side of the wall live in dirt floor homes and cook their meals outside over a fire. It is so humbling, and the fact is that if we hadn't climbed up to look over the wall we could easily still be living unaware in the luxury of our home. It makes me feel guilty but grateful at the same time. It is such a strange mix of emotions.

Our team is still getting used to the time change (we traveled at least over 40 hours to get here) and the culture difference but I'd say we're doing pretty well. We're starting to get the hang of cooking our own food and taking taxis around. Surprisingly things aren't cheaper here like you would think, in fact prices are a lot more like that in Hawaii so we have to be consciencious of how we spend our money. It's a great learning experience. The one thing that I wish I had brought was nicer clothes. Everyone here dresses so nice, especially in church! Coming to Kona I only brought one nice dress as the style in Hawaii is very casual. I've picked up a couple things since then but I definitely feel lacking in the fashion department here.

Almost everywhere we go we are constantly stared at. It is so hard for me because even in America I hate being the center of attention. I dislike crowds because of the fact that strangers I don't know are looking at me. Here, there is no avoiding it. In church yesterday I was stared at by a particular girl for most of the service, no smile, just staring. I don't know how to react to that. I smiled and got no response so I just tried to ignore it. It's something that I'll just have to get used to living here though, as many people have never seen a white person before. I'm told some children may even cry! I do hope that doesn't happen though.

We went to the Kigali Genocide Memorial the other day. Over 250,000 genocide victims are buried there. I felt such a heaviness being there and going through the museum. It's so hard to fathom that something so terrible and horrifying could happen, but I thank God for the great work He has done in this country restoring it and for the strength He has given Rwandans.

This week it is planned that we will be doing door-to-door ministry visiting people in their homes. I am so glad that we have our wonderful translator Amable with us as the majority of people here don't speak English but Kinyarwandan. I made some flash cards of words in Kinyarwadan before we came which was helpful but I am eager to learn more. We are told that we will have times put aside for Amable to teach us the language and I am very thankful!

In our bathroom we have a small window and in the mornings when we're getting ready we can hear the children that live next to us singing. It is one of my favorite things of being here, I could listen to them all day. There is just something so precious about hearing children sing!

We will typically be doing ministry Tuesday through Sunday and only have Monday off to go downtown to an internet cafe. I don't have my own laptop so I have to borrow one of my teamates, so we'll see how it works out but I am hoping I will be able to write updates each week. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, they are so appreciated! :)



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ready for Rwanda

Lecture has officially ended and tomorrow I will be boarding a plane for Rwanda! It’s crazy how fast time has gone by, it’s hard to believe the lecture phase is really over! Words can’t aptly describe all that has happened in these past 3 months. Our lectures have been on topics such as worldview, the father-heart of God, relationships, the fear of God, giving up our rights, intimacy with God, destiny by design, spiritual warfare and global missions, and weeks filled with bible study, intercession, prayer, and worship. God’s been greatly working in me and teaching me new things each day and I know He’s not finished. It’s a life-long journey I’m on with Him.

I again apologize for the lack of updates. I think most of my problems with blogging are that I am a mostly internal processor, and since a lot of new information, revelations and emotions have been hitting me each day I struggle with having time to simply process them myself let alone put it into writing on a blog! I hope with time I will get better at it though since I truly do want to share with others what is happening in my life.

I am nervous but also excited for Rwanda. The things that I am nervous about are typical (unproductiveness, health problems, disunity etc) but the things I am excited about are seeing all that God is going to do because the possibilities are limitless! When praying about Rwanda I got a “picture” or “word” about the country that it is going to be a wellspring/fountain of living water spreading out to the rest of Africa bringing God’s love, hope, and healing! I believe that God is going to use the devastation that happened in Rwanda for His good. He is doing a mighty work in healing them and in turn they are going to be able to bring that same healing to the nations! That He will “…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” I believe that God has amazing plans in store for this nation and I am excited to be a part of it, no matter how little.

  • Team unity; that we would not let anything come between us and that we would all have servant hearts and humble attitudes towards each other
  • Health; that all of us stay healthy and won't get sick or hurt 
  • That we would effectively be able to minister to those that we come across and speak boldly with no fear
  • Time; that we would use our time to best honor God and bring Him glory. Not wasting any opportunity that He gives us

I have been so blessed by all the support that has come in for this trip. I am truly blown away by the generosity that has been shone. The day before my outreach finances were due I still need $2,700. I was worried and starting to stress out, wondering how on earth I was going to get that much money in one day! But God works in wondrous ways and by the end of the day I had all of my funds! God is so good and so faithful! The next thing that I am trusting God for is my airfare coming home. I have yet to buy a ticket to fly home to Washington after outreach as I don’t currently have the money to do so. But I know that like the rest of the money, God will find a way to provide. What’s in store for me after this DTS, I don’t really know. I am praying that God will reveal to me what step I am to take next and where He wants me to go. Either way I know that God has something amazing planned for my life as I follow whole-heartedly after Him.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Typical DTS Day

6:00-6:30 am : Wake Up
6:30-7:15 am : Breakfast
8:00-9:00 am : Worship/Intercession/Bible Study
9:00-12:15 pm : Class Lecture
12:15-1:00 pm : Lunch
1:00-2:30 pm : Medical Workshop/Prayer Room/Outreach Meeting
3:00-5:00 pm : Work Duty
5:00-6:00 pm : Dinner
6:00-8:00 pm : Ministry Night/Free Time/Local Outreach/Corporate Meeting

The view from our class tent

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hey everyone! Apologies that I haven’t been posting very often, it’s difficult for me to put into words all that is going on here. First off I should update you on where I’m going on outreach! As I mentioned earlier I put down that they could send me anywhere. The night that we found out they set up an elaborate and drawn out reveal of our outreach teams and the suspense was driving me crazy! I finally found out and the place I’m going on outreach is Rwanda! It (of course) was a complete shock to me, but after being able to process it and let it sink in, I am very excited to be going! Our team of 7 is made up of 3 Americans, 3 Canadians, and one Norwegian! We haven’t learned exactly what we will be doing while we are there but we will be staying with a missionary family in Kigali (the capitol) and doing short outreaches to other areas of the country.

The last two weeks of lecture have been great, but very emotional (it seems like that’s a constant theme here!). The first week our speaker was John Bills and he spoke on the Father-heart of God/Hearing the Voice of God. He was very real and open with us about things that he’d dealt with in his life and his testimony was so very inspiring. The last two days of the week our whole class kind of had a “breakdown” where people stood up front and shared some really deep and painful things/areas in their life, just laying it all out and being vulnerable. Our class really came around those people and just loved and prayed over them. We truly have become a family! 

This last week our speaker was Andy Byrd who talked about Intimacy with God. I've never heard anyone speak so passionately! His zeal was so contagious. A few snippets from his lecture I’d like to share:

  • Sometimes if we want the PEACE we have to give up the right of UNDERSTANDING”
  • Live from the revelation of His love, not for His love
  • We have embellished what we’ve given up and minimized what we’re gaining
  • You are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness
  • God wants us to be revived, delivered, and freed so that we can go out and bring revival, deliverance, and freedom!

On Monday our class was giving the opportunity to volunteer at something called Candyland. A local church here in Kona puts it on every year to help keep children off the streets during Halloween and give them a safe environment to trick or treat. There were fun game booths, face painting, jump houses, a rock wall, food, balloon animals, entertainment, and tons of candy! I helped out with one of the game booths and was dressed as a 50’s chick. It was such a great experience, especially being able to connect with the community here; around 8,000 people showed up!


·        Unfortunately I’ve been on and off sick for the past few weeks so prayers for my continued health 
·        Prayer for our Rwanda team that we would be able to grow close in our relationships with each other and be able to prepare as much as we can now so that we can be most affective on outreach!
·        Finances! I am still needing around $3,000 for my outreach expenses.

If you feel called to support me on this journey financially please contact me at

Imana aguhe umugisha, ("God bless you" in Kinyarwanda)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Send Me

Ahh, I don't know where to begin. I feel like there is so much to say yet I don't know how to say it, which means this post will probably on the shorter side. We've had two weeks of lecture now, the first was on the topic of the Kingdom (of God) and the second on giving up our rights. We were blessed to be able to hear Loren & Darlene Cunningham speak this last week as they have such amazing stories and testimonies of faith. I won't go into detail about the lectures because I know I won't be able to do them justice. I will say this though; they have blown me away and been really beneficial to my spiritual growth.

I have however been struggling this week a lot with missing home, my family, friends, pets, fall, etc. I'm still getting used to the routine of things and settling in. It takes me longer to make friends then most people so that can be hard at times too (even though everyone is so friendly). Kona is such a huge campus with so many people that it can be really easy to get lost in the mix and feel lonely. Another thing about the campus is that there is a LOT of walking. I counted today that there are over 98 steps of stairs on campus that I walk every day (and more than once)! I'm looking on the positive side that all of the walking/climbing will help prepare me for outreach! Speaking of outreach....

We learned our outreach locations on Tuesday! There will be ten teams with about 8-10 people in each of them. The locations are:

  1. Cambodia
  2. Rwanda
  3. Colombia & Chile
  4. India & Sri Lanka
  5. Myanmar
  6. Japan
  7. South Africa
  8. Cambodia & Vietnam
  9. Virgin Islands & St. Croix
  10. Mozambique & South Africa
We were given note cards and told to put down our top three options, however I ended up writing on mine "wherever you feel led to send me". There are several reasons for that decision but mostly because I didn't feel a real peace or calling to any specific one and I will be satisfied with any of the choices, knowing that wherever I go, it's in God's plan. I am very nervous/excited to find out though! We will learn our locations and teams this Monday night. 

I am still needing to raise most of my outreach fees. Depending on where I go it will be between $4,500 - $6,000. It's a lot of money but I'm believing that God can and will be able to provide that for me. If you do feel led to help support me you can use the donate button on the right side of the blog or email me at for more information on how to donate. 



Saturday, October 1, 2011


It has been a very long and tiring past couple of days, but I am in Hawaii and loving it! I know that this is where I am supposed to be. Thank you to those who came to the airport to see us off and I am deeply apologetic if any of you came later and missed us, it was poor communication on our part!

My journey yesterday did start out quite humorously. While going through security at PDX I was pulled aside to have my purse examined. The TSA agent asked me "Is there anything to your knowledge in this bag that could harm me?". My initial response was "No" but it was quickly followed by an aha moment of "WAIT!". I remembered that I had a knife and pepper spray in my purse. If I didn't have my arms full of luggage at the time I'm sure I would have smacked my forehead with my palm. Thankfully the TSA agent was very kind and even went so far as to give the items to my family and friends who were (of course) watching from the security entrance. Besides that the airplane ride was pretty uneventful. I was and am very thankful that I had my friend and fellow DTSer Kimberly along with me for the journey. I truly believe that our being together wasn't just chance, but God's plan and provision. (another time I might post more on this)

The Kona base here is so very beautiful and it is truly awe inspiring being able to be at the very place where YWAM started. There are more than 1,000 locations in over 180 countries, and out of all of them Kona is the largest base! There are over 100 students and staff in my DTS alone and there are also 5 other DTS's going on at the same time as well as several other schools! So many people from so many different countries, and yet there is such a sense of Ohana (family). You can strike up conversations with anyone and it is totally normal.

This morning we had a welcome ceremony where each school presented gifts to the Native Hawaiian people and they welcomed us to Hawaii. I love the amount of culture and tradition involved. I do believe it is so important as missionaries/Christians and foreigners to honor and pay respect to those who are native to the land. And this ceremony was just that. The rest of the afternoon was mostly orientation, a lot of orientation!

After general orientation we (Compassion DTS) gathered in our classroom (a white tent with a view of the beautiful ocean!) to get to know each other better. Our school leaders Dawn and Pieter made it clear that this year, this class of DTS they feel is very different from any they've had before. That God wants and is going to do something radical in us. We ended up breaking from what the scheduled plan was because they felt that God wanted to do something in us right then! Powerful words were spoken and so many of us students were broken down, confessing weaknesses, struggles, hurts, etc. and giving them over to God. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the class (although it was hard to tell through my own tears).

God has confirmed to me that this is exactly where He wants me. It's going to be scary and hard, but I believe that God WILL radically change and transform my life. He has a PLAN and a PURPOSE for my life, what it is I don't know yet, but with God the possibilities are endless! There were several words the leaders and staff felt God gave for our group; 1. Restore 2. Rest in my love 3. Bring my River of life and hope to the hopeless. One of the staff said something that really stuck out to me; "When God speaks TRUTH, you receive it!". How often has God spoken truth to me and yet I have tossed it to the side and not taken it to heart? Instead I choose to listen to the words that the enemy whispers in my ear. Receive God's truth! Reject the enemies LIES!

I am so blessed and thankful for all of you who have been and are praying for me. Please do continue to pray, this is only the second day and I still have a long way to go in my journey here!

Tomorrow we will be going to the beach and on Monday we will be starting our regular schedule of lectures and work duty. The first week our speaker will be a man named Don Stephens and after that Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM! It is so inspiring meeting people here who have been so impacting and influential in what God is doing in nations all over the world. I look forward to meeting even more such people. It truly is an example of God's faithfulness and goodness.

The weather here is very warm, which wouldn't be as much of an issue if it wasn't for the humidity. I feel like I am in a perpetual state of sweaty-ness! I am rooming with 5 other girls my age and I love it! Right now our room has an army of itty-bitty ants that march from our windows (open slats) all across our walls! I'm just thankful they aren't BIG ants! :) We have several friendly cats roaming around that like to wander in our rooms and they even beg for food (who knew cats begged??). There are also little green geckos. Side note: don't grab a gecko by it's tail, it will come off! Poor gecko, but at least it will grow back! I also very briefly saw a mongoose, from what it looked like it reminded me of a squirrel only with a not-as-bushy tail.

There is so much more I could write but I think I've written plenty enough for now!

Me ke aloha (with love),


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Support Letter

This is my support letter (edited slightly for online) explaining the why, what, where and when of what I will be doing. 

This past year has been one of the most difficult and hardest times in my life. But through that God has shown up in a powerful way and brought a lot of great change in my life as well. I know He has so much more that He wants to do in me and through me, which is why I am very excited for this next chapter in my life.

It was over a year ago that God laid it on my heart that He wanted me to do a DTS and I am finally heeding His call. I will be attending a Compassion focus Discipleship Training School (DTS) through the organization Youth With  A Mission starting September 29th. I will be gone for 24 weeks; half of that time will be spent in Kona, Hawaii for schooling, learning about who God is and how to make Him known. The other half will be spent on outreach.

 "The outreach will focus on reaching the poor and needy, and children at risk.......We will reach out to those living in absolute poverty, the homeless, those struggling with life addictions, women and children at risk, and those have been sexually abused, trafficked or enslaved. Our hope is that out of our prayers and service new ministries will be birthed" 
Possible locations that I will go to on outreach are Rwanda, Cambodia, and Colombia among a few others that have yet to be decided. I am very excited for the outreach portion as I know that it will be a great opportunity to minister to those in need, as well as be stretched greatly in my faith. I'm so looking forward to what God is going to do in my life and the lives of others. I feel as if this new step in my life has been a long time coming and I'm thrilled to finally be embarking on it! 
The fees for the 12 week lecture phase are $3,995 which includes room, board and tuition. I will also need to raise more for airfare, housing and food during the 12 week outreach portion. If you feel led to support me whether financially and/or in prayer I would very much appreciate it! 
Specific prayer requests I have is that my health would stay stable. It's been an up and down road with my health and I am blessed that right now I am doing well, but I would appreciate prayers that it would stay that way, especially during the outreach portion! I would also like prayer that I would not let myself get too emotional, homesick, etc. I know that this school will be very intense I want to devote all my time and energy into it without letting my emotions get the best of me! 
I am excited for the opportunity to serve those hurting around the world, and hope to discover more about my purpose and the direction God has for my life. I want to thank you for being apart of this journey with me and for your support as I start a new season in my life.

If you would like to receive updates about my journey or if you would like to financially support me, you can email me at and I will add you to my mailing list!
 With love, Bethany