October 18, 2015
That's the word that comes to mind when I think back to my first week here at Ywam Kona (I'm currently in my second week and have had little free time). This place is awesome, and it feels as if I've been living here for months already. I wish there were sufficient words to describe my experiences here, but there aren't, so I will just do my best to describe them in these blog posts!
After missing my flight from San Fran to Honolulu because of flight delays, making my way through LAX and finally arriving onto campus at 10:30 pm (1:30 am for me & after most of my roommates were already asleep), I had this peace in me that I had never felt before. Knowing that I was exactly where God wanted me to be, despite the many challenges of that day, I was overwhelmed with excitement and peace (which for me was surprising considering the HUGE step this was for me).
Day one (Friday Oct. 2nd):
I got to meet all nine of my roommates and they are such incredible people (from Hawaii, California, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Indiana). It definitely took a lot of sacrifice and selflessness (as well as bug spray and sunscreen)to get settled and used to living here,but now I see that these living conditions are just another way God is refining and sharpening me during this season.
The first thing Ywam Kona did as a school was get welcomed by the native people of Kona in an assembly. During the assembly we gave gifts from our home towns and got to learn more about this incredible island as well as the University of the Nations campus. With more than 1,000 students from around 46 different nations all coming to learn more about God and know Him more, Ywam Kona is the most incredible place I've ever been. The presence of the Lord here is so strong and so overwhelming, it's so dang amazing. For the rest of the first day we walked around to different parts of campus for orientation, and I think I said "whoa this is unreal" "I feel like I'm in a dream" and "it definitely hasn't hit me that I'm here yet" about a hundred times.What stood out to me the most was how at peace my heart felt throughout the day, God had completely prepared me and it was like I had finally reached my home for this next season.
Day two (Saturday Oct. 3rd):
A day spent at a beautiful Kona beach with my Holoholo DTS(discipleship training school) team. (we're the smallest dts here with 10 students and 12 staff). And I could not get over how beautiful God's creation was there (my two roommates from Hawaii were very amused by how in awe I was). Then that night our staff set up the cutest dinner in our Holoholo classroom and we spent time just bonding and having fun.
Sunday we went to a church in a MOVIE THEATER(and my team was quickly finding out that I get excited about everything very easily)
Then on Monday, (after campus worship in Ohana Court ((which is super crazy amazing))) our Holoholo classes started, and the topic for the beginning of the week was "Hearing God's voice". Each week we will have a different speaker speaking on a different topic (this week we had four different speakers). I absolutely loved learning about hearing God, because I had never really known how (which really means doubt and fear always got in the way).
Monday-Wednesday- was all about how to tune into God's voice and get rid of thechaotic noise in our head. We learned that there are four voices we can hear: our own voice, the voice of others, the voice of the enemy, and God's voice- and we got introduced to "SPA" (scripture, prophesy and application). We would read a chapter of scripture and ask God which verse He wanted us to focus on, then what He wanted to speak to us through it, then lastly what He wanted us to specifically do that day because of it. It was cool to look back on what I had written down for SPA those three days. I can see so clearly how I wasn't really letting God speak to me the first couple days. It's like I didn't feel worthy, didn't understand His love enough, andwas filled with fear/doubt.But by the third day, I was letting God actually speak to me. No doubt, no fear, no blocking Him out, and I was in tears after hearing/writing out the loving words (many words) He spoke to me.
Thursday- we learned about Worship and what it really is: to bow down in honor/submission/adoration, and that it is specific and special and has many different forms. We also learned about words like: holy, hallelujah, praise, thanksgiving- and what they actually mean. Daniel, our speaker, was so incredibly inspiring, and had so much knowledge to share- I wish I could describe all that he taught me.
Friday- we had two speakers that have spent many years of their life with isolated tribes in Brazil. Their testimonies were CRAZY and my goodness was it an eye-opener. The faith they had in God through the most challenging circumstances blew my mind. I learned so much about the calling everyone has on their life. That it'll look different for all of us, but no matter what, the best place to be is exactly in the center of God's will. Even if we don't know why we are where we are, we can trust God because we know that He is faithful.
Out of everything I learned that first week, the most important thing I got from it all was the importance of dying to myself, and realizing that it's all about HIM- Giving God every hope and every desire, because only God knows the true desires of my heart, and I trust Him with my life because He has promises for my life beyond anything I can imagine. I seriously can't wait to find out what He has in store for me, to find how how I can glorify Him with my life- because that's all that really matters.