Ready, Set, Go! 
" only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." Acts 20:24

Good morning from a beautiful and sunny Antigua, Guatemala! During my devotional time yesterday, the Lord reminded me of an experience I once faced weekly while running track during my junior high school years. Believe it or not, back in those days, I was a pretty thin guy and rather fast runner! I loved running track and field and even more loved surprising people when I blazed past them!

That said, one of the experiences that I will never forget about those days is the feeling I also had when the coach in charge of coordinating each race invited us runners to our marks. Like I said, I was not exactly a very big guy back then and so I would always find myself entering my mark sensing quite a bit of intimidation as I looked at the huge legs of the other runners I was about to race against. That intimidation would not be allowed to stick around very long as quickly the coach would announce "set" and within second the gun sounds and off we went!

With our Discipleship Training School (DTS) getting set to officially launch this Saturday (Feb 11), I believe that this reminder of my past is exactly how I am feeling now. I love working with young people and watching them grow in their relationship with Him! Yet at the same time, I have learned that running YWAM's DTS program is a rather long race that can often make any staff member feel intimidated and unqualified for the position. However, no matter how intimidating it may be, it is a race that we have been called to run and we know that no matter how big the giants are who are about to race against us, that He will give us the wisdom and strength to excel and bring victory to the Kingdom!

So last night we were picking up our first 2 DTS students from the airport when a backpacking lady approached us about getting a ride to Antigua. Being that it was already 9 at night, we decided to squish her into our van that was loaded with groceries and suitcases and give her a lift. She ended up riding strategically right between our 2 students. As we were driving to Antigua, I overheard one of the students giving her testimony and beginning to minister to the lady. I could not hear everything since they were behind me, but it did not take much to catch on to the fact that a powerful ministry moment was taking place and that this woman was having a much needed encounter with her Father in heaven. Turns out, this woman had experienced some disappointing things from evangelical churches in her home nation and was actually beginning a 3 month journey through Central America to find God! As we were finally entering Antigua, I had a strong sense that we needed to not just drop her off at the park as she had originally asked, but that we needed to help her find a place to stay. So that is what we did and to our surprise, just about every place we went to was full! So, we ended up driving all over Antigua and got to have an extra hour with her blessing her and showering the love of the Father over her! We could tell that she was surprised by all of our effort, despite the fact that it was late and we were rather tired. At one moment when we were checking on another hotel, she made a comment to me, "boy did Jesus have something special set up for me tonight". We did finally find her a hotel, one exactly as she wanted... but as we said goodbye to her, all I could think of is how amazing He is and how powerful we can become as believers when we decide to take risks, not let the giants intimidate us, and speak boldly about the great things He has done in our life!

So here we are now, arrival day for the rest of the students. We have 6 in total coming from Guatemala, Panama, USA, Poland, and The Netherlands. Our first teachers arrive this Sunday afternoon and will be teaching on the Nature and Character of God! We want to invite you to be praying for us that we can have wisdom to lead this school, courage to stand up to the giants that try to intimidate us, and the ability to successfully balance our time between the demands of the school and our amazing children that we love to dearly.

We also want to invite you to be praying for our finances!  As many of you know, we have been looking for more appropriate sized home for us to live in Antigua and a few weeks ago, we finally found one! However, this also meant quite an increase on our monthly spending, thus leaving us in a extremely tight situation. We know that He brought us to this home and that He has people set aside to help us carry this burden! So please join us in praying for this financial breakthrough and that our focus will always remain on Him and not our circumstances!