20 Seconds of Bravery

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“Today, for my 20 seconds of bravery, I conquered my fear of large dogs and people!” one of our Mission Adventure students announced. It was such an honor last week to watch students overcome their fears and boldly proclaim the love of Christ to the community of Salem, OR. We, Sandy and Rob, traveled to YWAM Salem last week to train with their Mission Adventures department. Our team here at YWAM Yosemite sent us out to learn the ins and outs of this program. Mission Adventures (MA) is a week-long event for youth groups that encourages growth and confidence in high school students to evangelize wherever they go. The Mission Adventures staff plans and facilitates the week so the youth pastor can fully engage the students during their activities and be part of the program rather than worrying about running it.

One of the themes of MA for this year is “Bravery”. We encouraged everyone in the group to step out in "20 seconds of bravery”, as said in the movie, “We Bought A Zoo”. There are stories after stories of each student facing their fears, whether on the ropes course, on the street or door to door. The opening quote above was said as we were taking students around Salem offering door-to-door prayer. The whole week, up to this point, this young girl had been terrified of interacting with strangers. God, the loving and patient Father that He is, was never disappointed in her through this process and gave her courage in His perfect timing. After an entire morning of saying no to approaching people with prayer, she suddenly decided she would knock on a door. Of course, a massive dog jumped on the screen door almost putting her into a panic. The immediate fear went away when the owner, a sweet elderly woman, came to the door and settled the dog down. When the student asked if she could pray with her, the old woman grabbed the student’s hands and thankfully received prayer. God used this experience to show this girl that no matter how scary a situation may be, He can always turn it in something amazing. After that day, the student was totally different; she had all kinds of courage and inspired others to be courageous as well.
Every base that runs MA has their personal twist on how the program will be run as far as activities, but they all share the same goal: to equip young people to share the gospel. For us here at YWAM Yosemite, we will spend time studying how Jesus interacted with people and how effective He was at making people feel valued, even if they thought completely differently. Then we will practically apply those teachings around Oakhurst and in Yosemite National Park. We are so excited to see what will happen when we run ours here at YWAM Yosemite!  Keep checking in to see what our Mission Adventures department will do next.