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!

 

The Birth of Jesus {The Bible Project}

“Jesus is here to bring salvation by turning our world order upside down.”

Meet YWAM Turner Valley’s SBS of 2016/2017

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I’ve been looking forward to this post for a long time, because we’ve so enjoyed getting to know the amazing group of students that make up YWAM Turner Valley’s current School of Biblical Studies – we couldn’t wait to introduce them to you! While they’ve been here since September, their class photo just took place this month, hence the long wait. But in the meantime, we’ve had such a wonderful time getting to know these twelve lovely people, who are such a joy to have on our campus, and are working so diligently and passionately, studying God’s Word.

This year’s school includes students from six nations: Canada, USA, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, and Norway. And this school has included the addition of a dog to our campus, which has been a treat (though as you can probably tell from his harness, this is a service dog, so he can’t play all the time).

It’s been a pleasure to teach these students, to grade their work, and to remind them that once they’ve completed SBS, Titus Project is next 🙂

Psalms & A Special Guest

Last week, I (Helen) had the great pleasure of teaching our SBS students about Psalms. I really enjoyed this lecture because it was all about equipping the students to study the Psalms for themselves. The focus of my lecture was to help the students understand the Psalms as literature, and to get them excited about what God wants to do in their lives through this portion of Scripture. I also really enjoyed the lecture because it was an opportunity to be creative, and engage the students in learning.

Probably my favourite part of the lecture, was the first hour, in which I invited Karla Adolphe, of Enter the Worship Circle, to share with us her heart for the Psalms. Enter the Worship Circle has written many of their songs from the Psalms, so it seemed like a natural fit that Karla should be part of my lecture. I interviewed her about what the Psalms have taught her about God’s character and about prayer, and I asked her how the Psalms have influenced her personal life as will as her ministry as a singer/song-writer/worshiper, and then she played for us! It was pretty special to have Karla in class with us, and her thoughtful reflections on the Psalms, both in spoken form and in song, were both encouraging and challenging for me, and hopefully, the students! (Thanks for being with us, Karla!)

While video was taken of Karla’s interview and performance during my Psalms lecture, it hasn’t been edited yet, so in the meantime, I leave you with one of the exercises Karla had us do as a class: read Psalm 84, then listen to Karla’s song, “Safe Place,” from Chair and the Microphone Vol. 3. See if you can identify the themes Karla picks up on in the song.

Enter the Worship Circle: Down Here and Up Above

Yesterday Enter the Worship Circle‘s newest album, Down Here and Up Above, became available for purchase on iTunes!

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Michael and I have been listening to this album for the last couple of weeks (thanks Karla!), and we’ve really been enjoying it. It’s a different sound for Enter the Worship Circle, but the quality of the lyrics and the music are as excellent as ever, and the “pop” feel make the hope-filled themes stand out . As Ben and Karla put it, “this is music for your unfinished story, music that reaches out from where we are now to the eternal places we long for…”

Here’s a taste of the album, the first single released, “Tear the Veil.”

If you are in Canada, download here!

If you are in the USA, download here!

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