The Beginning: Into The Wilderness

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In any story, the beginning of a chapter is only as good as the end of the last one. If there is a good lead-in, something that drives you to want to keep reading, the first sentence of the next chapter will be exciting and full of promise. This is how I see where we are right now. As we begin this chapter of pioneering YWAM Yosemite, we owe much of our enthusiasm to the beautiful end we had at YWAM Salem. About three weeks ago, we stood in front of the staff at YWAM Salem and said goodbye. As they came forward and gathered around us in prayer, we felt surrounded by their love and dedication to seeing us through the last three years. As we have served alongside them, they have carried us through as well. They placed their hands on our shoulders and feet, commissioning us out and sending us with blessing. They have unreservedly encouraged us and celebrated with us in the birth of this new venture. It that context of faith, the sprout of this beginning rises up green and full of promise.

It has been surreal, leaving our friends and the comfort of what became home to us only to return to somewhere that once was home to us and will be again but, right now, feels somewhat foreign and all too familiar at the same time. (How was that sentence for you?-- I know, and that’s how we feel). We are walking through a transition that, though softened by the graceful reception of our dear friends and family here, is uncomfortable. At the same time, it all feels so incredibly right because we have known our calling is sure and our calling is here now and we are excited.

We are excited because we have arrived with everything we have, our whole hearts, and a vision of what’s ahead. This is the actualization of a new identity for us. We are walking in a new context. We have been who we were called to be in Oakhurst in the past; we are discovering who God is calling us to be in Oakhurst now. Some of that has to do with new job descriptions and some of it has to do with how we’ve changed as people since we lived here last. Everything in our lives leading up to this has been our preparation for this moment. So we are ready, and we are willing. Now we simply walk forward.

We have less than one year now to be ready for our first Discipleship Training School. We are throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into preparing the way for our future students. We want the students to come into a team that is already functioning in steady and committed prayer, worship, and service to others. As we walk through a myriad of logistics, we are also continually reminded of our focus: know God and make Him known. As we prepare a place for our future students and staff, we are prayerfully stepping into the public arenas and taking part in the community around us in the day-to-day. At the same time, we are ever-ready for the world international. Our heart beats for the world-wide spread of the Gospel of Christ, for the ends of the earth to see the Glory of God. We want the global to meet the local, the local to meet the global, and see a glorious relationship blossom between them. We want to remind Oakhurst of the world and remind the world of Oakhurst and proclaim the amazing things God is doing through all of it.

We have been given so much and there is still so much we need. As we look back at where we’ve come from, we can’t express enough appreciation for those who have launched us out and given us a platform to step from. In the same way, we are abundantly blessed by those who have received us here and are ready to walk with us through this next season.

This story is a good one; we trust the Author completely. In this beginning, we will pursue Him and seek to glorify His Name; in the process, we will seek Him and spread His love; and in the end, we will look back and say He did it all, to Him be the honor. Here’s to this next chapter: let it be everything the last one was and even more.