(by Megan, staff at YWAM Madison. Inspired by “Hinds Feet on High Places.” Pictures from some of Megan’s fondest moments from the last three years in YWAM)
Megan (on right) shares one of her precious outreach memories. As she reflects back over her past 3 years in YWAM, it is memories like this one that forge her determination to persevere.
“I didn’t get to take many pictures in Greece, but I can’t tell you how full my heart was to get to love refugees and serve them with all of my heart, whether that looked like folding clothes in a tent for hours, serving food and hot tea, hanging out and building relationships, or even just picking up trash.”
My Maker took my shallow beliefs
And turned them upside down;
I no longer desire the shortest path.
The Endurer gets the crown.
The road that leads to the most reward,
The trophy that lasts through the years,
Goes the highest heights with the steepest falls
And is paved with the most loss and tears.
One cannot make it without dying to self
And sacrificing her desires
To take the shortcut and do things her way.
Only God’s chosen path will go higher.
There will be times when she won’t understand
And it looks like she’s going the wrong way,
But just when she wants to throw in the towel
She must most be determined to stay.
She runs into Fear, Self-Pity, and Pride
And is tempted to give up the Fight,
But she looks at her Maker and Lover and Lord
And sternly sets them aside.
When it looks like she’s not getting anywhere
And it gets so much harder to trust,
When it’s hardest to believe in his promises,
Is when she absolutely must.
She clings to the Lord and puts on his strength
And picks herself up off the ground
And there leaves her will, and goes further still, for
The Endurer gets the crown.
She learns to love as Jesus did,
His songs of self-giving employ,
For to endure the cross for the sake of love –
It was His Greatest Joy.
To learn from Him and walk his path
And take the narrow road
I’d walk it a thousand times again
And gladly share his load.
He did it, for love is worth it –
The prize is worth the pain –
We are his crown jewel, his diadem,
So he counted his loss as gain.
To walk with him and learn from him
I choose the longer race
To be transformed into his likeness
And to lean into his Grace.
I am the seal upon his arm,
The reason for the cross.
I’ll trust and follow Love anywhere;
I’ll gladly bear the cost.
Through this road I’ve learned His heart
And will learn it still
For this part of the journey is just the start
Of laying down my will.
I’ll gladly give my all again
To lovingly obey,
To walk the path he chose for me.
Lord Jesus, make the way.
My Maker took my shallow beliefs
And turned them upside down.
I no longer desire the shortest path, for
The Endurer gets the crown.
It’s worth it.
A girl in Nepal who stole my heart.
In this closed Asian nation, special needs orphans are the least of the least. It’s amazing they are even alive, but often their living conditions aren’t much better than death. Praise God I got to fall in love with some of the greatest people in the world. Your value is in this truth: you are a LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED child of the Living God – and you are worth everything to him. I thank God I got to be a part of such a special ministry; my heart was deeply and forever touched.
Sending balloons with Scriptures and prayers across to North Korea just before the new year.
Doing the dirty work in style! Sometimes missions looks like kids laughing and adults in tears at the revelation of a God who made, knows, and loves them. Sometimes it looks like dirty hands, wet feet, a full heart, and a cleaner island.
(Cleaning the beaches of Lesvos on our days off to make the place a more beautiful place for and bless the people who live and do business there. They’ve generously given of their time, resources, and home, and their businesses have suffered for it, but they do what they can. We wanted to bless them in return by making their home a little more like home, and to say “Thank you” for what they have given.)
We did a week-long VBS focused on “No Fear”. Kids came back with testimonies of their nightmares going away after praying before bed, doing things that would normally terrify them because they know they know they can place their trust in God (like getting a pet or going camping!), and stomping on their fears in this truth:
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
This is one of my favorite people in the entire world. She is one of the most generous and servant-hearted people I have ever known. She lives in a small one-room house with her family of four, and you have to squeeze between a tree and a wall and duck just to get in. She lives on nothing, but she invited us over to lunch at her house and invited me and one other girl again because she loved and trusted us. There, she provided lunch and sent her husband to buy some soda for us; she insisted. As I sat on their table slash storage place slash bed eating with her, I learned so much about generosity. She gave everything she had. If she had more, she would have given it.
When we had a spoil the women party, I got to preach about Moses being a light to his people, because God said he was worthy of this call and what he lacked, God would provide. She was nodding the whole time: It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from; God can use us to be a light to our people, and who He says we are, we are, because of who He is.
At the end, we had a food party, washed the women’s feet as Jesus did to show honor, love, and respect, to be each other’s servants, and painted their nails and prayed for them and their families. After we were finished, this amazing woman was the first of three to pull us aside and wash ours in return. Red light to white light, God redeems everything. I’ve never been more blessed in my life.
These boys are from a small Nepali village. They are from the “Kamaiya” people, or “slave people”. They were legally emancipated almost 15 years ago, but their parents are still very much slaves. We got to teach English at their school so that the cycle can break and their destinies can change. I love this photo because of the realness of witnessing daily life for these boys. Just chillin’ in an ox cart with their friends (the cart we came in) waiting for a program to start. We come from different places, but our purpose is the same: to love and be loved.
These are prayer flags to other gods. People (especially elderly people) will stay by the temples and spin the prayer wheels for days, months, years, hoping to earn God’s favor and grace. One day these prayer flags will be to the True King, every tribe tongue and nation kneeling in awe and love before God, and all will know that they don’t have to spin prayer wheels to hope to be spared from a god’s fearful wrath.
I have served at many places where women rescued from sex trafficking are making jewelry, bags, headbands, etc, to sell instead of their bodies, in a place where they are shown and told of their value and worth. I am so blessed and honored to get to serve them in whatever way I can, to get to befriend and see the process of women’s lives being totally redeemed.
This woman’s name is Maya, which means “Love” in Nepali. How loved she is!
I don’t think I have a single in-focus photo from this time, because these kids literally never stop moving. They go CRAZY at the knowledge that they are our only priority, and we love them and came all the way here to play. They live in the brothels, which really sucks. So since they can’t live where we get to, we took God to them. These kids knowing God loves them is worth all the money and time in the world. One day they won’t have to live unsafe and afraid, but for the hours each day we came back exhausted and barely able to move, it was worth it.
Don’t forget your elderly! These Latvian ladies are a hoot! I had no idea what they were saying without our translator, but that didn’t stop them from making me laugh til it hurt! These ladies are inseparable! (And in comes the translator to the rescue!) Don’t forget that your elderly need joy, too. Some of them just want a friend. Many elderly folks’ families don’t visit them, and need a lot of hope and encouragement, and joy! You can do that.. anyone can do that! What a blessing.
And don’t forget your home city! As much as I LOVE to reach out overseas, I am so thankful for this season where I get to pour into the city I live.
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:4-7