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.