Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blog 2. Shannon's Reflections from D.T.S. Part I, Lecture Phase

October 28-November 4, 2006:

—Mini Outreach; Spokane, Washington: Mini outreach was amazing. I prayed to be open to God working through me, especially in stuff I had never done before because I knew this week would be stretching for me. The purpose of this outreach was for students to experience missions as a natural part of every day life in the U.S. (when we go home) as well as in other countries. We stayed at a church, and our team was really able to hang out and get to know each other better. We worked for Habitat for Humanity two days, at City Gate Church (soup kitchen, homeless shelter), Ann Ogden Hall (women’s’ Christ, grace based rehab center), Mukogawa Institute (Japanese girls go there to learn English as part of becoming elementary school teachers in Japan), and did street ministry. I have many stories of my time there, but one impactful story was when two others and I prayed for a group of rough young guys in downtown Spokane on Halloween night. They joked around with us, but some were listening and wanted prayer. My two friends began praying for one guy, then he wanted more prayer, and then they prayed for more of his friends. He took off his hood and bandana that had covered his face and re-introduced himself to them afterwards. As this was taking place, I was speaking to another guy, prayed for him, and shared how I know that God is real. I think he really began to hear the Truth. But one of the guys who was intoxicated became violent with one of my friends, so we needed to leave the situation. It was awesome to see God work through being open to sharing, even with a very bad crowd, and how Christ's light and love was brought to their dark lives.

–Our speaker during outreach shared about Moses and the burning bush (from Exodus 3) which really stirred me. He asked, "Do I recognize my burning bush? Am I even looking for it? Will I turn aside if I do see it?" This made me think about where God has brought me and how He is trying to get my attention. I believe a lot of what I said in my e-mail at the end of Matt Atkin's lectures had to do with this—empowering people and mentoring young people.

November 1, 2006: I think God may be calling me to live in physical uncertainty, to not make plans for my future—so that I am available for what He has. Even though my nature is to want my life after DTS to be planned out and controlled, I only feel peace about not making plans for February, that I should not decide anything for sure until during Uganda or afterward so that I am still available for God to lead. I am okay with this, and have to, have to trust the Lord. Otherwise, ugh, this sounds crazy!

November 5-10, 2006: Sunday I went running, and it began to rain hard once I got back, but then a few minutes later, the sun came out. God speaks to me in nature, and He did that day, and even began revealing more and confirming to me the rest of the week. The rain was God's renewing, new creation, refreshing for me. It also poured down grace, new abundant life, promises of truth, God's provision for me. I am always captured by God creation, power, majesty, and artistry—outside, and as we drove back from Spokane, I looked at the mountains. The next day several songs spoke to me, "I lift my eyes up unto the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from You, Lord, Maker of heaven, Creator of the earth. O, how I love You, Lord." Another song reminded me of hope, Israel's cities of refuge, as the Lord is my refuge. He protects me there and frees me from bondage. (I read Eternity in Their Hearts, by Don Richardson.) God healed deep inner wounds this week, and it was prayed that I was not hidden or forgotten, and that the Bible would become like a personal letter to me. God reminded me of verses prayed over me in the past that I should remember: Luke 2:19~"Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart…"; Matt. 13:52~"Every teacher who has been instructed about the Kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of her store room new treasures as well as old."; Phil. 2:15~"…that you may become blameless and pure, child of God without fault in a crooked an depraved generation, in which you "shine" like stars in the universe as you hold out the Word of LIFE…"

November 13-17, 2006: My friends prayed for me about being like a lighthouse, guide, big sister, mentor—things I do pray for also. Our speaker prayed for me, that I see in people and have a heart for the down-trodden and oppressed—Lord, I pray that I have Your heart, especially for the people in Uganda I will be ministering to. I desire to walk out God's wisdom in me.

November 20-24, 2006: Our speaker Peter Iliyn has amazing stories of God's faithfulness, provision, and working in his father's life and his own life (read a book about his father and grandfather when it is published next year!). Lord, help me to constantly pray and sow seeds of gratefulness and not bitterness in my life, so that a grateful heart may be part of my spiritual legacy to pass on to my family someday.

November 26, 2006: Final Thoughts—16 of us are traveling to Uganda Nov. 29-Jan. 29. We will be traveling around, working with YWAM and World Outreach Ministries missionaries doing open air evangelism, friendship evangelism, working with people with aides, aides orphans, prison ministry, going to the bush… We will have a worship team, be preaching, doing dramas, and dances. I am in a modern dance, hip-hop dance, and two dramas, as the head demon in the Savior drama and as a greedy person in another drama. We will be in primitive conditions much of the time with little water for bathing I am told, and I will be wearing long skirts there. I am praying that my team would be available to be used by God in any way! Thank you everyone for your support and prayers, and for being a part of my life and my journey from Montana to Uganda! And thank you for taking the time to read just a portion of what God is doing here.

God bless you this Christmas as we remember what this time of year is really about—Jesus Christ!


Blog 1. Shannon's Reflections from D.T.S. Part I, Lecture

*Visit my Uganda team blog site during our outreach at because I will have little access to the internet.

So I believe I need to try to recap some of my DTS for y'all (I am picking up some weird ways of saying things here, considering many of the students are from all over the country and some from around the world)! I have been so busy with the schedule here, homework, and just living. It all goes by so quickly. The lecture phase of DTS is over, and I leave for outreach to Uganda this Wednesday, November 29th! I can hardly believe it, but I am packed and ready to go!

I started out the DTS praying to grow closer to the Lord, and that did happen. I have learned a lot, and know my learning and growing will only continue on outreach. I also prayed for further direction and perspective for my life, and I believe that has taken place, and I believe it will be further revealed to me on outreach.

September 19, 2006: Col. 2:8-15 vs. 8 "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men." vs. 10 "and in Him you have been made complete..." I pray that God would begin an amazing work and continue to work in the hearts, minds, and souls, and build the solid, solid rock foundation of Christ to be firm and strong for me and the other DTS students to stand on in this world. Amen.

September 18-22, 2006: Isaiah 6:1-6 (my theme verses coming into my DTS too) was reflected upon during a lecture on worship this week, "Brought into the Awesome Presence of the Lord." "God's Voice in the Sheer Silence"--those words just jumped out at me. Lord, I haven't given You much silence in a long time, time so I can hear you speak. I desire to really use this time You have given direct my attention to You. This is a time to be "set apart" on the mountain, at the burning bush, in the wilderness—to learn from the Lord, to hear the voice of God, and to know the heart of God that God chose me.

October 4, 2006: Last night I went to Tuesday Night Life (a small home group like church), and we were studying 1 Thes. 1, and I was impacted with how young the Christians were in those verses, maybe a month old in their faith. They had Paul's teaching for maybe that time, but it says in verse five that the gospel didn't just come to them in word, but in the Holy Spirit's power. That is so awesome to think about, that God revealed to them, He taught them because they probably didn't have the Scriptures, and maybe not even one letter from an apostle or church leader. God told them. And I thought about what conveniences I have with God's teaching and His Word so easily available, even several copies. In some ways I feel that I have wasted time because I want to be able to minister and teach to others in my life, but I don't know His Word! So I believe my hunger for His Word is being renewed, not because I have to but my desire because I want to spend time with Him and learn from Him.

October 10, 2006: "Ministry~sharing the gospel needs to be sharing our lives with each other."

October 13, 2006: I have been part of a dance track while here. Three others and I prepared a dance workshop for Somers Middle School students. We spent Friday after school teaching several students dance combinations to music. It was a great way to connect with students that just need to be loved and paid attention to. Afterwards as we waited for parents to pick them up, some of them opened up about their lives. One boy even told about his parents fighting, talking about divorce, and his mom sometimes blaming him. Another student and I were able to speak to him that he wasn't to blame.

October 27, 2006: My Birthday—I was sung to and had birthday cake because it was my Special Person Day, and that night at a music concert here my friends' band dedicated a song to me. I became the center of attention—I don't like that at all, J but it was nice.

October 30, 2006: I have been blessed by staff and classmates pouring into me, but also being blessed with opportunities to pour into other students here as well. It's been really amazing how being available (even with a hug or late at night talks) and vulnerable can turn into times talking and praying with others.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I Know God IS Intensely Desiring Me and You

I feel I need to process and to write about this morning before I forget. Matt Atkins, from Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, was our speaker this week on the Father Heart of God. This last session he had quite a few of the girls (including me) and some guys stand up to call them out to walk in who they are (who God made them to be in the present) and not to be held back by stuff, and then he prayed for us. (Just a note that I had not and have not talked with Matt at all during this time, so what he said was the Lord.) He said specifically to me and two other girls in the back that we are leaders and need to be that. After the session Matt and I passed each other and I almost felt like we were going to run into each other, but he took me by the shoulders and hugged me and wanted me to know that I really do shine. When he said that, it really resonated with me because that is something I really want to do in those specific words even, "to shine," so that others see something different about me, and that shining is Christ's love shining out of me for them. I can't remember other specifics he said at this moment.

I haven't been too emotional (you know, when you feel like you have been hit with something new or life-changing) today or in the past few weeks of lectures (but yes, I have had emotions and have cried a lot, have extreme joy and love for others, and know the intense love of the Father for me that I want to just pour out of me for other people) because God has already brought me through a lot in the past 5 years to know His immense love, and He has been healing me. And I wasn't brought to tears or anything this morning, but I felt content, happy, and agreeing with all God was saying through Matt for the DTS students and for me. I feel like I have been trying to step out and live all God desires for me these past few months and that has been part of my motto for this time here so far at YWAM, and that today emphasized even more what my heart and the Lord has been saying in me. Side note: I just remembered that when Matt hugged me he also said that I am the kind of person or someone that he would want to mentor his girls (okay, that just made me cry because I want to be that type of person right now and where ever I am. And I have mentored girls in high school for 4 years). In this week and the past few weeks, I have been reminded and felt encouraged and confirmation that I desire to empower people with vision, that they can accomplish anything. I want to encourage them to pursue their passions. That they have been made specifically unique and gifted to fulfill who they are, that is as God's heirs of His Kingdom, for the glory of God. I want people to know that and go to God and His truth to discover who God is, and from there for them to know who they are, that God loves them and His purposes for them (as Matt said and summed up exactly what I have gone through in life and how I desire others to be enabled to live--in freedom from bondage of all the lies of the enemy Satan, what other people put on ourselves, and the pressures we even place on ourselves).

So I really don't know how to end this, but that if you are reading this, that this is what I desire for you, and ultimately what God desires for you: He is personal and wants a personal relationship or friendship or whatever you want to call it, with YOU. Because, and this is what we have got to get, from our minds to our hearts, GOD LOVES YOU, and He wants the best for you! He didn't equip you with used parts, but with the best parts for how you would be able to function best and fulfill who you are. Get on the path to discover this, even if you feel like you are 100 steps behind! Please e-mail me or talk to someone else that knows Jesus Christ if you want to know more or just talk about stuff.

The love of Christ is given generously and in abundance for you. May you be blessed today.


Friday, October 6, 2006

Please Pray-Finances, No More Cell Phone, Montana Update


I have been at the Y.W.A.M. base here in Lakeside, Montana for a little over two weeks. It is so beautiful here. I sometimes had forgotten this, but not now—I am reminded every day of God's gorgeous creation that delights my spirit. It truly invigorates me! I am about a ten minute walk from Flathead Lake, which stretches at least a half hour or more south (by car). The blue and purple Rocky Mountains distinctly frame the eastern sky with Glacier National Park also in the distance. We have cool evenings, nights, and mornings, but it has been quite an Indian summer where I can wear just a t-shirt—I even have a tan!

My Discipleship Training School leaders are amazing and truly anointed by the Lord. They keep us busy all the time! My days consist of breakfast at 7:00 a.m., and the need for coffee to get me through the day gets me up. I have lectures from guest speakers (sometimes from around the country) most weekdays and some nights. Last week was on Prayer and Intercession. This week was on relationships, beginning with the most important, a relationship with God. Next week will be on the Father Heart of God. I have an actual class on Bible study once a week, where I am studying Philippians with the inductive Bible study method. I learn YWAM values once a week, and we have worship most days. The various schools at YWAM meet for corporate worship and prayer once a week. I have a small group which meets twice a week with five girls and our leader, Jeanenne. I also meet with her once a week. Jeanenne's story is really cool. She and her husband felt led by the Lord to enter YWAM after their son and daughter had completed DTS's here and were on staff. They felt led to missions and to disciple young people in missions. There is also a Community Meeting on Thursday nights that I attend, where YWAM students, staff, and anyone from the community come together for worship and the Word. I also have books to read, book reports, and journals due each week. The journal includes points and reflections on lectures, studying an attribute of God, Bible meditations, and a weekly summary page. I am doing the creative journal, which I love doing because I feel like a kid in arts class and also get to write! But it is hours and hours of work.

To help make our time here more affordable, students and staff have several hours of work duties. I help in Facilities entering invoices and deposits into their computer system and various other small office duties. I am excited that I get to serve in such a way that utilizes some of my organizational skills and work experience from Simpson University. I also get to help paint and do other manual labor when my office work is done (I love working hard!). And just a note that the cafeteria food here is the best I have tasted and home made (not processed)! But they are not extravagant at all. We don't have dessert!

I am part of the dance track here where we devote about a day and a half to learning about dance and how to use it in ministry. We will be going into the community to teach dance to students from Somers middle school who want to participate in a dance workshop. I am part of a team of three, Christy, Samantha, and I, who are preparing our lesson to teach on Friday, October 13th. Please pray for guidance in what we are to prepare, and that we are able to connect with students and have tons of fun.

Another thing I am preparing for is overseas outreach. Before I came here I knew possibilities for outreach could be to Thailand or India. When I got here I learned two other groups would be going to Panama/Costa Rica and another to Uganda. I became so excited when I learned of the trip to Uganda in Africa because I had been really given a heart for Africa over about the last six months, and I hadn't thought that would be a possibility to go! So I am leaving for Uganda after Thanksgiving until the end of January. Possible things we may be doing is working with orphans, AIDS children, in medical clinics, doing open air evangelism, construction, going to the bush, working in Sudanese refugee camps, and maybe other things I have forgotten. We will be working with YWAM missionaries and also another established missions’ organization, and Terry and Jeanenne are my outreach staff leaders. I just got my immunizations for Typhoid, Malaria, and Yellow Fever this week. Everyone on our team has to have a Yellow Fever Immunization Certificate to be able to apply for a Visa. We are taking an acoustic worship team, and will be working on dramas and dances to perform there. I am so excited for this because as they were showing the countries and what ministry would consist of there, I was praying about where God would like me to go, and the power point slide came up for Uganda, and I was immediately holding back tears as emotions for the people of Uganda overwhelmed me.

There are so many things on my heart, and I am hoping that you will pray with me.

*That I would grow closer and closer to the Lord as I study His Word and spend time with Him in prayer.
*For each week of lecture on a different topic—that God would challenge me and I would be conformed more into Christ's image.
*That He would direct His future for my life after DTS—the next step.
*That I would be able open to learning more in dance ministry.
*Friday, October 13th—For my group's day of leading the dance workshop for middle schoolers.
*Beginning of November—A week of mini outreach to Seattle, WA. Possibly working with local ministries, serving in practical ways, performing drama, dance, and music.
*End of November—End of January—Uganda Missions Trip. Please pray for my group to get to know each other, work well together, and prepare all God desires for our hearts and in what we will be doing there. Pray that God would begin to work in the Ugandan people's hearts who we will meet and need to know the gospel of Jesus Christ!
*That we all get our immunizations soon.
*That getting our Visa's goes smoothly.
*I need about $1, 700 more for my DTS and outreach before November 15th. Thank you to those of you who have already felt led to give and have done so. I am overwhelmed by your generosity and prayers for me. Please continue to pray for my finances, that the Lord would meet all my needs because He has access to all the provision in the world for His work!

Thank you all for your love, encouragement, prayers, and support! And cards in the mail—I love mail! I truly feel that you all are with me in spirit participating in my school, preparation for outreach, and next in outreach. It amazes me to know that God is working so much in me and that I will be used to reach others with His love!

Much Love and In His Name,


P.S. I do miss you all! There is nothing like people knowing you and just being encouraged by just being around friends! But God is here, and with the people here—so I know He is my sufficiency! Thank you for your continued friendship!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

In Montana Update

Hey everyone,

I am safely in Montana before my DTS with YWAM. So far, I made the long drive to visit my parents in Glendive, and now I am visiting friends in my hometown of Eureka, MT. I will be at the base Sunday afternoon for the beginning of my adventures in YWAM and learning from the Lord.

My trip has been good, driving uneventful, and beautiful with barren Nevada, a bit of Yellowstone, Makoshika State Park (the Badlands of rugged sandstone mountains and ravines), old homesteads, schools, and churches along the way. I even saw a horse pulled covered wagon driving down the highway—not kidding. I have stepped back in time, recalling old memories and seeing old haunts (but with new people and structures intruding on visions of old home).

The mountains here received their first snowfall, frosting the tops of the purple mountains that loom over the Tobacco Valley (where I grew up). My old friend Sarah and I were talking about how when I was little I always thought the mountains were purple and blue in color, and then I would color them that way on paper. They really do look that color! If you have never seen that, you are really missing it.

For 2 nights I have been privileged to be serenaded by the Front Porch Family Band, the Henderson's who are my friends I am staying with. The play folk, blue grass type music, the whole family sings, and are amazing. They have a gig tomorrow night in Missoula about 4 hours away!

Thank you for your continued prayers. Please continue to pray for my finances as I am still short some!

God Bless,


Thursday, July 13, 2006

dark poetry

The wretchedness of my soul
Cries out in pain
Despondent in the Darkness,
Seeing nothing but a bleak hole
As a heart--Torn.

In anguish I seek answers.
Is there anything to fill this black abyss?
Is all sought hopeless
And bringing unfulfillment,
To arrive only at more desperation for a cure?

The storm clouds thunder
Lightning tearing apart the night sky
As if the sun had reappeared for a split second
Before remembering the Ruler of Night.
Should I fear?

--But I hesitate
As a single drop of silver rain
Pierces the shield around my heart,
And I feel my life blood pulse
A beat, then another.

A sense of knowing overcomes me
And I live again.
Doom is conquered
By His foe--the eternal, all-powerful Light.
God of All.

by Shannon Mintz
Written at High School Youth Group Worship Night.
Inspired by my desire to express the bleak worldview and emotional nature of many high school students while still presenting the power of God as The Answer to all.