We Are Getting More….

Development was our focus this week as we looked at how children grow, and how they learn.  How do they develop trust, understanding, and a healthy idea of what is love and how to respond in love?  Leslie Freeman walked us through Child Development during this week and really challenged us to, plainly said, “Get it.”  Below are some of those thoughts that the students grabbed.

“Keeping that in mind, sided with the children we minister to weekly, I found the statement “ Children need love most when they appear to deserve it least” resounding in my mind.  This is just as true for adults.”- Jodie

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“There will always be things in our lives which we will regret and I think this is especially felt on any level with my parenting as I love my children so much.  My greatest desire is for them to grow into fully mature, God loving, kind, compassionate, considerate, accepting, joyful, thoughtful, courageous, resilient, personable, creative, imaginative, confident men who love life and others around them.  And this week I have been reminded that I am a massive part of this process.  Even now at 2, 5 and 7 years, the best way for my children to see how to live to their potential is to see myself living and striving to my potential.  Powerful stuff!  Challenging!”- Korrin

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“The first stage we looked at was a healthy attachment between a child and their primary caregiver. I didn’t understand any of this before and now I realize how critical it is that I do. Healthy attachment is fundamental to the rest of a child’s development.  This attachment provides a sense of security. When this need is met explorative behavior begins as they are not so preoccupied with attachment. Out of a secure attachment as an infant a child will also be more resilient, and independent.  Children who don’t have this need met can get stuck.
It’s automatically assumed, and I am guilty of that too, that a demanding child is a spoiled children. When in fact, they could just be children whose needs aren’t being met, so they try to meet their own needs…. To think, that out of their attachment relationship a child develops his / her internal view of themselves which they will carry through life. Wow!”- Rochelle
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Who He is, and Who That Means We Should Be

This week, week four, we had Scott Freeman teaching us on skype.  Him and his wife Leslie used to lead the Children at Risk School and are now living in Jaco, Costa Rica reaching out to the families and kids in that community.  They have four boys and have such an incredible love for children at risk, as well as their own kids.  Scott lead us into a week of seeking out God’s nature and character, and in turn knowing the characteristics we should seek to know and share with the kids and families we will work with.  Here are some writings to give you a glimps of the week:

“Kind of going along with that, I liked what Scott said about our hearts being in the right place when we are doing these things “for God” . We were reading in Isaiah how God said He was weary of the people’s burnt offerings. Their motivations were still selfish. They were just being religious not serving or sacrificing out of a place of true love or worship. So why do christians repel non-believers today? Well I think I’ve already stated the answer. Scott gave us an awesome quote from Dan Allander that says “God commanded his people to offer burnt offerings, and then said, ‘They make me sick.’ He wants us to live with a heart of passion for justice – period. Religious deeds, be it prayer, fasting, giving, sacrifice, song, or dance, turn God’s stomach when we do them without a heart for righteousness. And living out righteousness is no less than creating a holy, beautiful, sacred space for glory to grow. God doesn’t give us a to-do list; instead he calls our hearts to holiness and justice.” So I know for myself, I don’t want to serve the homeless or love the orphans in Mexico just to clear my conscience. I don’t want to just do a short term mission trip to check it off my list. I want to stop and buy the guy sitting outside the gas station hungry something to eat even if it means arriving late somewhere. I want to have a conversation and listen to the “crazy woman” in downtown Tijuana babbling because she just wants to be heard. I want to play a silly game with a neglected little girl at church even if it disturbs the service. I want to make a better effort so that the people in my life whether it’s my friends, family, man, woman, or child on the street feel like that take presidence over everything going on in the moment I am engaging with them-just like my Daddy would do.”- Michelle

 

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“I feel a little challenged by how he said people and things dont make us angry we CHOOSE to be angry, its all chose so we cant blames others for our actions. Because alot of the time i think in my head “they make me so angry” when really i am just choosing to be angry, even if they are provoking me. So ill be praying an working on that.”- Leah

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“I think one of my favourite things would be that Scott showed us that God is so faithful to fill the bible with people who basically screw up, make mistakes and lack faith!  So many characters in the bible made mistakes but chose to walk with God.  I loved that even Abraham, the Father of our Faith, lacked faith sometimes and made some really interesting decisions.  It is interesting (and somewhat relieving!) that though God made a clear promise to Abraham to make him a great nation he still took things into his own hands, “assisted God” and had Ishmael.  Classic case of thinking we know better than God! But still God was with Abraham and for Abraham and he did have a child with his wife Sarah.  He still sought God and that is what I I must remember.  Just seek God.

And I believe this is what I need to keep in mind and in my heart in life and ministry.  If I can just keep my eyes on God and keep coming back to him then I can do all things through him who gives me strength.  I can share my burdens and he will help take the load so that I can cope and keep going – when I am doing it all with him.  It is a process but I am excited about how it will change my mind and perspective, my relationship with God.  I am excited to see how this also effects the way I interact with my husband, my children, my family and all people in life.  It is going to be amazing to see what a difference this will make and what I can do when God is my strength…”- Korrin

 

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“One thing that I had never thought of before was that God has put something in each of us for His pleasure…. and while we do this He delights in us, He dances and smiles over us…. this could be things like running, or drawing or dancing…. Thinking of this makes me smile. One of the first things that popped into my head when we talked about this is “He delights in me when I draw”. I have on the rare occasion picked up a pencil to draw something I see before me.  I really enjoy doing this. It’s something I have wanted to develop and came prepared with a small sketch pad and pencils. :)

This quote got me thinking “Selfishness suffers when it cannot get what it wants. Love suffers when it cannot give it wants” God is love and we looked at Scriptures of how God is grieved when we don’t respond to His love, when we choose things over Him. Hosea 11:8 “… His compassion is stirred…”  Mediation time! Am I embracing God’s love fully? I need to Let God love me and let that be an expression through my life.”- Rochelle

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Tearing Out Those Unwanted Roots

Healing.  We all want it… and we definitely all need it.  We are not talking healing that is superficial, or healing of every situation in life that has ever hurt us.  We are asking God for a healing where he goes into the depths of our hearts and shows us where the lies we have believed and molded us through the years first began.  Wouldn’t you know?  In almost all cases it is when we were children.  Christy Scott has not only met with us to help us grow further in our own identity and trueness with our Father, but also showed us how to look and find those lies in the kids we will work with so that we can help set them free!  Below are some how the students received and understood the teaching not only for themselves but for the world we are called to reach out to.:

“Inner Healing with Christy Scott. Wow! Where to begin. I took away so much fro this week. Not only did I feel like I released a lot of things that I’ve let control me much of my life but Christy gave us so many tools and steps to walk others through the same process-especially the street children we are and will be working with. One of the first concepts that opened my eyes, was that from age 0 to 6 we begin to form decisions and beliefs about ourselves, our families, our environments, etc……..

Can you imagine growing up having heard or rembered your parents saying they should’ve aborted you or over hearing that you were a mistake or a “surprise” as some like to call it. I know that some parents may love their children well but little words spoken like that can be detrimental. They are planted seeds of rejection, fear of rejection, longing for acceptance, bitterness, so on and so on that grow roots that go deeper and deeper as that child develops their identity upon those lies.

So right about now you are probaby saying wow this is morbid. I am, however, going to talk about the positive. The awesome thing is that God has shown us just where to begin to mend these gardens. The first step is to spend time listening, meditation, asking God to show you when was the first time you felt rejected or when was the first time you felt like you had no voice and you start there. For me personally that’s where I began. I thought back to the first time I felt like who I was wasn’t good enough. I went to the first time I felt that expressing myself, dressing how I wanted, trying to share my heart was wrong. I had to go back and renounce those lies that I believed about myself. Not just that, but I had to go back and release the people closest in my life that I felt like rejected who I was or tried to take away my identity and silence my voice. It was hard because it wasn’t just emotional to look back and see how much things like that growing up effected me but I had to realize that I couldn’t strive anymore trying to show people how they hurt me. I had to release the responsibility of “teaching them a lesson” and bringing myself justice because it was not just righteous anger but I was taking God’s place. “- Michelle

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“Her teaching helped me to realize that their were still things blocking my way to get closer to God and she’s totally walked me through it all and helped me to be able to hurdle my obstacle, and just taught that we have to get right down to the root of our problems and that was a challenge also. I also learnt that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” i love that saying because its true that when somebody believes a lie about themselves and keeps it in their heart that lie, than they become that.” -Leah

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“We need to be healed and really secure in our place in the world and within ourselves so that we don’t react negatively when people reject us, lie to us etc.  We also need to realise that changing behaviour does not always equal changed lives if they are living with really broken hearts and minds.  We can help of course but that deep healing with God is required for people to be whole.

I am more determined to not let lies be the foundation of my childrens lives too and I am learning to be more transparent with them as a mum.  I have decided to be better at apologising and taking responsibility for the things I do and say that are not honouring of them as people and I am more and more determined to speak life over them constantly and to keep the lies I believe for myself from affecting them.  I am more aware to catch those lies that the children speak over themselves and to replace them with love and life so that the lie does not get a secure hold in their hearts.”- Korrin

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Street Kids, Steve Bartel, and a Yearning for More.

This week was a favorite for the CRS last year, so in the planning of this school I knew Steve Bartel was a must for this school as well.   Steve Bartel and his family have committed their lives to serving street children for the last 28 years in Bogota, Columbia.  The ministry they pioneered, Formado Vidas, begins with knowing the kids and getting them off the streets, and ending with getting them into families, sending them to college, and allowing them to join in the great commission.  For more information about Steve, his family and his ministry, visit their website: http://colombiastreetkids.org/

Below are writings from some of the students.  This week was so foundational for many of them.

“It is so amazingly wonderful to once again see how our Heavenly Father works in us His children, and how He leads us. Steve shared his life’s journey, showing the principles / Truths that God revealed about Himself and His character in the process of living life.

In society we are raised to focus on what is seen. Focusing on numbers and how everything needs to be happen with speed. For a building to be able to stand firm and to withstand weather storms etc it needs a strong, deep secure foundation. What we see is above the ground – the building, but what happens before that? How much time is spent on building the foundations – the unseen part, before the building becomes a visible structure? What are the foundations my ministry will stand on? My purpose /goal and motivation needs to be ‘to Honor God‘. With this focus: prayer, team unity, waiting on God for strategies, commitment to God, the team and the ministry, and getting to know the background, the make-up and history of who God has called me to, etc. These are all a part of the foundation.  The seen can only be as strong as the unseen!!

There is so much need in the world today and this is at times so overwhelming and for me even paralyzing. It was an eye-opener when Steve shared how important it is to wait and God for the parameters of the ministry. Knowing this I will not only know who I am called to work with but also who I am not called to work with. A neat Colombian saying is “If you try hug an awful lot you cannot squeeze anything”.”- Rochelle

“One of the big things that has impacted me this week is the emphasis on “regeneration” or the new life of these little children and how it is Gods highest priority.  That it is not necessarily “restoration” that they need as their little lives have often had dysfunctional beginings – and it has been generational.  I love that Formando Vidas focuses on regeneration of the child, and also of the family if possible. I love that they help to regenerate these lives in a loving, supportive, Christ based home, that they keep the ties with the biological family if they can and if at all possible they seek to have the children return to the biological family when the family is also completely regenerated.  I am amazed at how God is able to work with these children and so stoked to know that many go on to have jobs, families and lives that are God honouring and that have broken the cycle of poverty and street life. I love the holistic approach to healing the least of these in this community. Bless you Fermando Vidas!! And you Steve and Evie!! Thank you for your time and committment to the Children at Risk School.”- Korrin

 

Thanks Steve!

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Week One. Hearts are Changing.

This week we had Janna Moats from the Women and Children’s Advocacy Center share on why we are here, what is our role, what is the church’s role, and what is a biblical stance to defend these children.  Below are some writings of a few of the CRS students in what they took away from this week.  Follow along with us week after week.  Below are their writings:

The question posed this week that struck me deeply was-

“Is it possible that Satan understands the value of a child more than the people of God?” (Selah)

The church is charged by God with the responsibility to care and protect children who are the greatest targets for spiritual attacks because they have not yet learned how to defend themselves. Yet there are 2.2 billion children in the world, but 1 of 2 live in poverty. That is half of the world’s children.  30,000 of the world’s children die each year from preventable disease.  That is 1 in 3.  And Every minute a child is sold into sex trafficking.   So who does Satan want to destroy?  In matters of abortion, who does Satan not want to be born?  Just possibly one who was intended to be used greatly by God.- Jodie

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It has been really encouraging as I have been able to see that although my heart aches and breaks for the ugliness in the world and what is wrong, our Heavenly Father sees all and is on their side.  I feel like with this fresh revelation of Gods love, that I will be in a much better place to commit the least of these to our God.  And we have got the Creator of the universe, star breather come sin bearer, on our side.  Baby, we can take on the world and change things. We can win!- Korrin

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God doesn’t just want me to live righteous and try to help the needy, I believe He desires for me and all of us to understand how He values the child, the widow, and the poor. He wants us to value them like He does. And that means seeing them like He would-not pitful but beautiful. We have to see past the pity and past the state their in and see through His eyes a complete and wonderful masterpiece hidden underneath the sins of the world. It’s my job to pull myself together and carry the only thing I have to offer hope, truth, and life through my savior alone.- Michelle

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What You Have Been Looking For

Youth With a Mission San Diego/Baja will run a 9 month Children at Risk School (CRS) January 2012.  Raising awareness, giving basic skills, and mobilizing workers to reach at-risk children are our goals.  The CRS is a University of the Nations (UofN) accredited course earning 12 credits for the 3 month lecture phase and 12-24 credits for the 3-6 month field assignment.

The school focuses on disenfranchised children, such as orphans, street children, the handicapped and abused.  The course content will be taught by ministry and social service professionals experienced in helping at-risk children.  The CRS is for those who want to become advocates for at-risk children.  This school will multiply leaders who in turn will champion the cause of children through social, political, judicial and spiritual intervention.  Students experience God’s heart for justice, defending the cause of the fatherless, rescuing the poor, the weak and the oppressed.  It also has an emphasis on human trafficking and will work regularly in the red light district of Tijuana throughout the lecture phase for hands on experience during the course.

Please visit http://www.ywamsdb.org for more information on our location and other schools/ministries offered.

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