The Girl and The Ocean / Jenta og havet

as told by Tincy Mathai 

I want you to picture the ocean. You’re standing on the coast, whichever coast that is, looking out. Can you find the end? Look with all your might, and shy of that island in the distance, can you fathom the distance from one end to another?

     I was speaking at a church right in the heart of the city, at a youth group that a friend of mine from DTS (Discipleship Training School) leads. I was slated to give a devotion that night, I think it was something on God’s peace. The room, Norwegian-style cozy and candle lit, the light warm and inviting in the face of Norway’s January cold. Some other adults bustled around, taking care of some of those practical needs, candles and cake. Some of the teens began to file in, some from Iraq and Syria, and some from Norway.

    The devotion begins, and ends, uneventfully. Afterwards, my friend and I begin to pray for people. She is quiet, at first, she doesn’t say much. As I begin to pray for her, I saw the ocean. Picture it with me again, vast, endless, steady, grand, and unfathomable. And I heard that still, small voice.

      “ Do you know how much I love her? Can you measure the ocean? It’s that big, there’s no end.”

      I looked at this girl, small and quiet, and I say, “I got this picture, a picture of the ocean, and as I got it, I heard God say this. He said, do you know how much I love her? Can you measure the ocean? It’s that big, there’s no end.”

     As I watched the words sink in, I watched the tears began to fall, as she realized the grandness of the love of God for her. Here in Norway, we are no stranger to the vastness of the ocean. The ocean as an endless entity is a fact that surrounds us daily.

    My friend and I continued to pray for people, and we ended the night. As I headed through the January chill towards my bus stop, a car pulled up alongside me, and the girl’s mom, one of the ones helping with the cake and candles before the meeting, offered me a ride home. Grateful for the reprieve from the sharp cold, we were talking about the night, and I told her how wonderful her daughter was. From the corner of my eye, I saw tears begin to form in this mom’s eyes, as she told me of the conversation that her and her daughter had been having.

     “She’s gotten that picture of the ocean often, all the time actually, but never knew what it means, what it meant, all these times she’s seen it. But tonight, she realized how much God loves her.”

      Picture the ocean with me again. Endless. Powerful. Relentless. Persistent. Next time you picture the ocean, or next time you stand on the shore, think of the love of God. Think of the girl and the ocean, and the way God’s love pursues us persistent like the ocean waves never stop crashing up against the shore, and the lengths he will go so we are sure of that love.

 

Tincy is returning to staff the BSN (Bible School for the Nations) here in Kristiansand with husband Hari and daughter, Stefania. This story was a part of Tincy’s BSN outreach as a student in the 2016/17 BSN.

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Ask A Student…

This fall, we have asked some of our students about their experience with BSN and DTS here at our base. To reflect the dual nature of this fall, with the BSN and DTS running simultaneously, we’ve added twice the content this time! In today’s interview you’ll hear from Renske and Thorbjørn. Enjoy!

Renske

Renske

Tell me something about yourself?

My name is Renske and I’m from the Netherlands. Some people know it as Holland. It’s the same country but some people think it’s different. I have three sisters and both my parents are still together, so that’s a blessing. I was born in a Christian family and I was able to go to Christian schools so I learned a lot about God. I really love to just spend time with friends — just enjoying and being together. I love traveling a lot. I have a boyfriend and he’s from Africa. We’re having this long distance relationship which is kinda hard but it’s also cool to have a boyfriend.

Why are you here?

The reason why I’m here is to do the BSN (Bible School of the Nations). You read through the whole Bible in four months and learn what’s in the Bible and how you can read the Bible. After, we’re going to go on outreach to teach people how to read the Bible and what God is trying to communicate to us through the Bible. I really felt like God was calling me to do it because my foundation was not very strong in Him and it’s good to have a strong foundation in Him for the rest of your life.

What has God done in your life so far here?

I think it started in the DTS. I knew about God before that but now I know more about God’s truth — that He’s loving me and that He made me with a purpose. He healed me from insecurities, depression, and also some addictions. I’m still in the healing process but those are some of the things He’s done in my life here.

Can you share a story where God has taught you something?

So I was at B­City — that is a Christian ministry in Kristiansand where people can come to at night. There was this guy there who really wanted to know more about God and wanted to be prayed for because he had been really scared for a few years. We prayed for him and afterwards we went with him to a quiet room where he wrote down all his sins. After that, we went outside and burned all the papers and prayed freedom over his life. He wanted to be saved, so we prayed the salvation prayer with him. Afterwards, we encouraged him and felt a lot of joy!

If you could say one thing to the world, what would you say?

That God loves you. Because I think that is what God is trying to communicate to us — that He really loves us and that He just wants us to be with Him. That is the purpose of our life. So yeah, that is the thing I would communicate to the world.

 

Torbjørn

Thorbjorn

Why are you here?

I’m here because I have this longing and hunger inside me to get to know God and to let Him hold me, to let Him use my life as He wants to use it. And I just felt that God told me to be here. He just lead me to this point and now I’m here.

What has God done in your life so far?

God has always been there, always had control. He’s been my rock. He’s been my foundation. He has always looked after me. When I look at my life, I just see that God has always been there. He’s always made my life good and He’s always faithful. He’s always there with me in good days and in bad days. And He always gives me so much joy and so much pleasure. For me, I can’t imagine a life without Him. That is so empty—life without Him.

Can you share a story where God has taught you something?

One concrete thing is a bit hard, I think, because there are so many things. God has worked with me throughout the entire DTS. He has reminded me of many things and shown me what has prevented me from getting closer to Him. God has also reminded me of things that make me so glad to be in His presence — just to get to know Him better and to learn so much about Him.

If you could say one thing to the world, what would you say?

Trust the Lord and your life will be so good.

 

You can continue to follow the blog for more updates from other DTS students and our outreach teams! Please continue to remember all the students and staff in your prayers.

Staff Profile: Rieneke

rieneke

Rieneke (right), one of our new staff

Here is the first in a series of posts about our staff. Rieneke did the Bible School of the Nations (BSN) here last spring, and is now working as DTS staff. We asked Rieneke the following questions, to learn more about her experiences in YWAM so far and her expectations for this upcoming year.

1) Tell us a little about yourself:

 I am 19 years old, and I was born and raised in the Netherlands, in a town called Zwolle. In 2012-2013, I did a “Children@Risk” DTS, in Madison, WI (USA). After my DTS, I returned home to the Netherlands to work full-time for eight months . In March 2014, I moved to Skjærgårdsheimen for the BSN.

 2) Tell us about what you learned during the BSN:

One of the main things I learned during the BSN is that God is constant and trustworthy. As I studied the Bible, I observed that God’s character is unchanging. I saw this over and over again through his interactions with people in the BIble- how he remains the same, and how people who trust him are not let down. He might do things differently than we would expect, but He never lets his people down.

During the BSN, I also learned about the “story” of the Bible- how to read and study the Bible as one big, united story. Though the Bible is comprised of many small “stories,” it is also one big story. And the cool thing is that this story is still going on! We get to be a part of creating this story, right now! God invites us to partner with him, to be a part of his plans and dreams! This means that it actually matters what I do and that I can make a difference, no matter where I am.

 3) Tell us about a memorable experience from your DTS or BSN:

During my DTS outreach in Mexico, I realized that I could make a difference with God. Because of the focus on Children@Risk in my DTS, we worked in a children’s home. In this children’s home, another student and I took care of the boys staying there, and the others of our team worked with the girls. One day a little boy, Juan* came up to me crying because another boy, Diego* had bitten him in the arm.

Together with my leader, we talked to the two boys for over an hour. We found out that Diego had bitten Juan because he came to his bed, with the intention of saying goodnight, but because of Diego’s past, he got upset and the “goodnight” was not received well. We explained to the boys how to treat one another kindly, and told them they could talk to us (or other leaders) next time problems came up, instead of using violence. Though it was cute to see the little boys hug each other after our long talk, I was still unsure if the same thing would happen again next time. Against all my expectations, the next day Diego came to me crying with a similar situation. This time, however, he had not used violence, but came to me instead to solve the situation! That was when I realized that however small things may seem, we can make a difference if we work together with God!

*names changed to respect the privacy of the children

IMG_4167Teaching the Bible in Uganda, BSN outreach 2014

4) Tell us what you’ve learned about and experienced with God during your time in YWAM:

During my time in YWAM, I’ve seen more and more that God really does know best. When I look back, I see his amazing timing- how he teaches me new things or gives me new challenges. A year ago, I can’t imagine trusting and relying on God for financial provision. But because I have seen so much more about God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness throughout the BSN, I am now able to trust God for my finances as full-time YWAM staff.

5) Why did you decide to work as DTS staff, and what are your expectations for this year?

One of the main reasons I decided to come back to staff the DTS this fall is because I believe God told me to (and I value hearing his voice!). Moreover, it is also something I am really excited about. I believe that everyone is called to share about God and His story; we are just called to do this in different ways and places.

If I can play my part in sharing about God and helping others find their part in God’s story and sharing his love with those around us, I get really excited to work with God in the upcoming DTS! I am looking forward to growing together with the students, learning from them, and passing on the things that God has taught me already. I enjoy seeing how God works with different people and am definitely excited to see what God has in store for the students in the DTS this fall.

We are excited that Rieneke has joined us as staff and for the gifts she brings to YWAM Kristiansand! Continue to check out the blog to read about our schools, staff and students!

Photos courtesy of:  Rieneke, DTS staff