Mountain Venture DTS 2017 – A New Adventure

A long, long time ago, all the way back in February, we announced that in the summer of 2017, Michael and I would be leading YWAM Turner Valley’s Mountain Venture DTS. Now we’re two weeks into our Discipleship Training School, and we cannot get over how blessed we are to be working with the staff we have, the students who have come, and the incredible weather we’ve been enjoying!

We look forward to sharing a group photo of the whole team, but for now, here’s a few snapshots from our first two weeks of DTS!

Our staff team on a hike during staff training (L to R: Helen, Michael, Jaclyn, Steph, Daniel).

Michael getting our students pumped about YWAM’s values 🙂

For our first “mountain venture” we went white water rafting at Horseshoe Canyon with Chinook Rafting.

We also went cliff jumping!

We spent our second week camping and hiking at Blue Rock in Kananasis, and learning on the topic of Hearing God’s Voice.

Thank you for praying for us in this new adventure. We are so enjoying this season and can hardly believe our “luck” that God would allow us to spend the summer discipling, leading, and ministering to our amazing students, working with a dream-team staff, and adventuring in His creation!

Thailand and Myanmar, in Photos

Doi Tung Royal Villa (Thailand).

I told them, “Look excited about teaching Bible Overview!”

Wearing our traditional clothing for teaching.

In Thailand, looking into Myanmar. (Photo cred: Maggie).

Breakfast in Myanmar. (Photo cred: Kellie).

Evan teaching Bible Overview.

When you have your birthday in SE Asia, you eat cake made in a rice cooker. (Photo cred: Evan).

(Photo cred: Evan/Kellie).

(Photo cred: Evan).

Kellie teaching in Thailand.

Nora teaching in Thailand.

Great Wall of China, on the way home. (Photo cred: Evan/Kellie).

There are so many more photos we’d love to share and so many people we’d love to introduce you to in those photos, but to be sensitive to those who live and minister in the places we visited, we’ve chosen these photos because they feature our team members only.

What a wonderful trip, what a privilege to teach and minister to and alongside so many lovely people. Looking forward to next time.

A video is worth a million words (here’s two of them!)

While Michael and I are still sorting through all the photos and processing our thoughts from our  time in northern Thailand and Myanmar, YWAM Turner Valley’s Communications guru, Bryant, has been pumping out some amazing videos! He and his wife, Danielle, were in northern Thailand with us for part of our time there, shooting video, and the pieces below really express a) the beauty of northern Thailand (get ready for some awesome aerial drone footage!) and b) our heart for the Shan people, our target people at YWAM Turner Valley. We’d love for you to watch these videos and see where we have been, and learn about the people we’ve been ministering to, and alongside.

Multiplication

On the first day of Titus Project staff training at YWAM Turner Valley, our six Titus Project staff spent time in prayer for the start of our new program. We shared the words we felt that God gave us, the pictures that were coming to mind, and Bible verses that were impressed upon our hearts for the start of our very first Titus Project. It was in this prayer time (or another prayer time – the memory is a little fuzzy as I type in the blistering heat of northern Thailand, about 12 weeks later!), that one of our staff had a picture of what can most simply be described as “multiplication.” The idea (if I remember correctly), was that though our first Titus Project was small in numbers (only three participants), those three participants would have a big impact in the nations we would travel to.

Several weeks later, with only one week left of outreach, I can say that this picture was completely accurate. The majority of our time in Thailand and Myanmar, was spent training and equipping others to be Bible teachers. In Canada, we had three weeks of training time for our Titus participants; only a week after this training time, those participants taught the very same topics they had only just heard themselves, to a group of SBS (Bible school) graduates on the other side of the world – a group of SBS graduates who can go places we cannot go, to people we cannot reach, teaching in languages we cannot speak. We helped to train these teachers, and then had the pleasure of teaching alongside them for two weeks, in their home churches and home country. We had the amazing opportunity to watch them come to life as they taught sections of Bible Overview with us, to see them received as teachers, and to watch them grow and flourish.

In staff training 12+ weeks ago, we started as six teachers. After the Titus Project training time at YWAM Turner Valley, we grew to be a group of nine teachers. Now we’re a group of eleven teachers, half of us from North America, half of us in Southeast Asia. Though we’ve said “goodbye” to the teachers we’ve helped to train up while on outreach, we’re thankful for how God has multiplied teachers going out to the nations, and pray that He continues this multiplication as we all continue on in teaching the Word, in the places He has called us!

Titus Project: an update from Thailand!

With all the excitement that came with sharing our DTS news, it’s been a while since we gave a “Titus update.” I (Helen) write this update from northern Thailand, where we’ve been for the last week. Before flying to southeast Asia, we spent three weeks training up three participants in the skills of teaching and preaching.

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We are so grateful for the amazing group of staff who joined us in making the first Titus Project training time at YWAM Turner Valley, a success! And we had a great time seeing our participants grow as teachers over the course of the three week outreach preparation time.

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Kellie teaching the Inductive Method.

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Evan giving his practice sermon.

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Nora giving her practice sermon.

We look forward to our participants applying their new-found teaching skills in the “real-world!”

Our first week in Thailand was very much a time of cultural orientation, and learning our way around the village in which we’re staying. It was also a time of preparing for the weeks to come. We’re looking forward to all God has for us in Thailand and beyond! Please be in prayer for us.

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Beautiful Thailand.

The Secret’s Out!

Michael and I have been sitting on an exciting secret for the last eight or so weeks. I can guess what you’re thinking, and no, it’s not that kind of secret. As we finally got to spill the beans at staff meeting yesterday, we figured it was time to share with friends and family who haven’t heard the news…we’re leading DTS this summer!

For those who have any experience with YWAM, “DTS” will be familiar language for you. For those of you who aren’t YWAMers, DTS stands for Discipleship Training School. If you’ve ever known anyone who went to go do something with YWAM, it was probably DTS. DTS is the introductory program for YWAM. All YWAM staff have done DTS, and (almost) all SBS students have done DTS. It consists of 12 weeks of lecture, and 8 weeks of outreach. For the last three years, YWAM Turner Valley has been running a Mountain Venture DTS. This has meant that the 12 weeks of lecture have included hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, ropes courses, camping, and white-water rafting, in addition to teaching on topics such as Hearing God’s Voice, the Father Heart of God, the Cross and Sin & Repentance, Biblical Worldview, and Evangelism. The heart of DTS (and YWAM) is for students to get to know God, and make Him known. The 8 weeks following lecture phase is all about making God known in the nations.

So are we still doing Titus Project? Very much so – in fact, we leave for Titus Project outreach on Saturday! We’ll be taking three participants to Southeast Asia to teach and preach the Truth of God’s Word! We get back and wrap up our very first Titus Project in mid-April…and then the next adventure begins: leading DTS for the very first time.

As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been incredibly busy for us. We’ve been pioneering a program, getting ready to go overseas, while contacting guest speakers for the summer. While it might seem strange that we would lead Titus Project and DTS in the same year (and I admit, it’s pretty unorthodox!), it’s actually a really perfect fit. Our hope is to inject the Bible into DTS in a BIG way – to get our students excited about God’s Word, to equip them to study it for themselves, and to approach topical teachings through the lens of Scripture. Of course, the Bible has always been a part of DTS at YWAM Turner Valley, but we’re excited to bring the world of Titus together with the world of DTS.

Though we will be leading the DTS, we will not be going on outreach with the DTS in the Fall…but we will be going on outreach. We will be doing a short “pastoral visit” to the DTS, to support them as a team, foster team unity, and to relieve the outreach leaders or a few days. This will be in late-October. And of course, with the knowledge that we’re heading to Asia in the Fall, we’re already thinking of ways we can make the most of the trip. We’ve been asked to consider teaching on a relatively new SBS in Southeast Asia, I (Helen) will be part of a Leadership Team outreach planned over two weeks in November, and we may even try to squeeze in a holiday in a location a little further flung than Canmore 🙂 Goodness knows we will not have too much vacation time in the next little while!

  • February 11-April 8 – Titus Project outreach in Thailand and beyond…
  • Mid through late April – Wrapping up Titus Project and evaluating the program to improve it for 2018!
  • May – We are both teaching on YWAM Turner Valley’s SBS, and Helen has a busy month with Leadership Team projects.
  • June-July – DTS staff training, and the beginning of DTS on July 10!
  • July-September – DTS lecture phase
  • October-November – Outreach in Asia (may include SBS teaching opportunities, a holiday for us(!) and a Leadership Team outreach for Helen; will include a pastoral visit to the DTS)
  • November-December – Get ready for Titus Project 2018!
  • January 2018 – Our SECOND Titus Project will begin!

We’re excited about the year ahead, but we also have a deep sense of needing to lean into God through it all. He has called us and will not leave us or forsake us, and we must trust in Him. Pray with us for a new level of trust in the Lord!

It’s really happening…

For the last fifteen+ years, YWAM Turner Valley has been praying for Titus Project to be part of our ministry. For the last four years, Michael and I have been talking, praying, and planning to launch Titus Project at our campus. Today, the first three participants of our first ever Titus Project, arrived! It’s really happening.

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Our theme is “Let there be light,” and that theme will become a reality as in three weeks, Michael and I take our three participants to Thailand, to teach God’s Word. One of our staff will also travel to Honduras to teach and scout out opportunities for future Titus teams to go on outreach to that nation.

Please be in prayer for us as we train our participants in teaching and preaching over the next three weeks. Pray for Michael and I as leaders as we pioneer and lead our first Titus Project. Pray that the light of Christ will be made known in the nations, as we have the privilege of teaching Scripture in Thailand and beyond. Thank You Lord for bringing us to this point, and we thank You in advance for going behind and before us!