For those of you in the USA, Molly and I hope you had a great thanksgiving, and for all of us, a great Christmas season ahead. We approach the end of 2014 with gratitude to God for all we have been allowed to partner with Him over this last year. At the close of 2014, we wanted to give an “overview-update” of the year.
As most of you know, 2014 has been busy for the Wests. I led two leadership training programs (“DTS Equip”) here in Montana (Spring and Summer), as well as overseeing and teaching in two others internationally (Ukraine and Cambodia). In addition to these schools, there is other work we do to move missions forward. This means that you are also part of many more initiatives and work which build the Kingdom of God locally and globally.
I also travel and train other students, staff, and leaders—both inside and outside—of YWAM. I have just returned from a week of teaching the 130+ staff and leaders of all the Discipleship Training Schools at our Kona campus. I have also taught in other locations in the USA, Asia and Europe. Equipping local church members and leaders is also a joy and passion, equipping and contributing to reaching the local community. In this vein I designed and ran a 9-session leadership development series over 18 weeks at our church here in Montana, called “CORE”. All of the church ministry leaders, small group leaders, and pastoral staff were involved in this. Our involvement continues to grow with our local church family, as we co-lead a small group, and I am also part of a preaching rotation.
While all of this work is valuable and meaningful, what really gives us satisfaction is sending students and staff out into the field. This happens at the end of each quarter, as it did a week ago; these are special nights. At our community worship meeting we had the opportunity to worship together, hear from the students and staff, and then prayerfully commission four teams for their outreach assignments. Over 50 people headed out on 4 teams to: Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, and India. For the next two months they are not only the hands, feet, heart and voice of Jesus, they are also our hands, feet, heart and voice. This is why we do what we do, and why YWAM exists: to obey the great commandment, and to perform the great commission.
YWAM Lakeside Montana is training and sending out dozens of teams out each year. These teams are Bible teaching teams, discipleship teams, evangelism teams, community development teams, children’s ministry, human-trafficking ministry, English teaching, and more.
Finally, a word about our car situation. As many of you know (and have been communicating and praying with us) we were looking hard for a car. Well, the time of waiting came to an abrupt end with 4 degree Fahrenheit weather forecast for an upcoming weekend! We just bought a 2007 Toyota Highlander. It’s a great solution for us. Smaller than our van, but with 4wd and studded tires it tackles our icy hill nicely. Just as well, too: the night we got it we had 6” of snow and the low temperatures I mentioned. We took the money we had, and took out a loan for the remainder (that’s info for a lot of you who had been following our “car adventure”).
We have included a few photos also. Our Christmas tree adventure, teaching in Kona, and [for family members and those who walked with us through Samuel’s school transition] some video of Samuel’s Middle School choir. He is front row, center. Each are about 35-40 seconds (they were actually very good). (Forgive the quality – most were taken with my phone, in poor light)
Jeremy, Molly, Samuel, Joel and Eden (oh ok, Boomer too)
To hear Samuel’s Choir, click links below:
Samuel Choir 1: http://youtu.be/sbQp95lg1Vg
Samuel Choir 2: http://youtu.be/VOP5q7wlMCY
Samuel Choir 3: http://youtu.be/QxArNPErA0w
Samuel Choir 4: http://youtu.be/mkQaPB-P0QQ