Youth With a Mission Sunshine Coast – Josie Dunsdon
In September of 2009 I flew over to Maroochydore, Australia where I participated in a Discipleship Training School (DTS). The main goal of YWAM is to know God and to make God known. I wanted to take a “time-out” and really explore who God is and His plan for my life. We did three months of lectures in Australia on topics such as Hearing God’s Voice, Missions, Spiritual Warfare, Relationships, the Fear of the Lord and Jewish Roots. This portion of the DTS was intense and incredibly rewarding. It made me look at God and the world in a new light. It challenged me to put my faith into action and it helped me to understand what it really means to live like Jesus did.
Once lectures were done we moved onto the Outreach phase of the DTS and I went on a team with 11 other people to South Africa and Mozambique. There we volunteered at several different organizations and orphanages doing manual labour, sharing our testimonies, visiting families in the communities, and loving on the kids. This was an eye-opening experience, the highlight being my time spent in Mozambique at the Destiny Rescue orphanage. I didn’t fully understand poverty until I saw it with my own eyes, until I saw starving children running through the garbage dumps ripping through my trash for food. I met many people who did not have much in the way of material things but who found great joy in their relationship with God and who would go out of their way to make us feel welcome. My time spent with the children was also very special. We did not speak the same language but it didn’t stop us from spending time together playing games, dancing, painting nails and goofing off at the beach.
Overall this experience was life-changing. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, and although the journey was not always easy, the reward was great. I discovered a new passion for a life and a greater passion for Jesus. One of the biggest things that I have taken back to Canada with me from my time overseas is a heart for social justice. James 1:27closeJames 1:27 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (ESV) “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” I have become more involved in social justice issues, in particular human trafficking. It is our job as Christians to take a stand for those who can’t stand up for themselves and to be the voice for those that can’t speak up for themselves. I have learned that even little things help and that if I keep seeking Jesus he will use me to impact the world.