A Refugee in YWAM

A Refugee in YWAM

Fleeing for My Life as A Refugee

One of the greatest challenges God gave me was to move from my native country to the United States as a refugee. A few years ago, I witnessed a political shooting. Being able to identify the shooter, put me in grave risk. After being stalked and intimidated, I fled to the United States as a refugee. I ended up in Miami with two bags of belongings and God’s voice saying, “This is going to be your new home.” In the natural, my situation looked dire: a new language, a new culture, a new system, and I had no family, no friends, and not enough money.

Starting Over in the United States

My faith back then was smaller than my obedience. This country gave me the documents and the opportunity to start again. But it wasn’t easy at all, and I struggled with many things. God stretched my faith, my character, my heart, and my role as a dependent daughter of the Father. Would He let me down? Never. I had nightmares, nights of crying. There were days where I could smell the breeze and I wanted to hug my family one more time. There were days when I focused on my pain instead of focusing on what God was doing.

One day, while working a part-time job as a waitress, I got tired and said,“God I don’t think you brought me to this blessed country just to pay my bills and send money to my family. I have a purpose. I know you called me to go to the Nations to share your Good News.” That same voice Who spoke, “This is your new home,” told me to “Look for YWAM.” The real adventure started to unfold.

Obeying His Voice Despite Everything

After receiving an inquiry email, a man from YWAM Kona called and explained to me what a  DTS (Discipleship Training School) is and that he was going to pray for me. Six months after that phone call, God opened doors for me to go to Kona, Hawaii. He miraculously paid for all of my school fees, outreach fees, and food. My DTS was the greatest experience of my life. I really met Jesus and I learned about His perfect love and my identity as His child – not just a refugee. He also gave me a huge present: a family of friends from all over the world. We loved each other, we laughed together, we cried together, we eat together.  We were a community of sons and daughters of the same Father!

A month after I graduated my DTS, God called me to YWAM Redding to participate in their School of Islamic Studies (SIS). Being a refugee and having an Arab heritage has put me in a unique position to reach Muslim refugees for Christ. In SIS, I’m learning God’s heart for Muslims and about how He wants to be their loving Father.   

Even though I cannot legally leave the United States, I have a big family and a new home. I’ve been collecting so many stories in this season—so many testimonies of God’s love, provision and faithfulness! He has given me all I need.

Yes, I came as a refugee, but I found a family.

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From Redding to Los Angeles!

From Redding to Los Angeles!

The last two weeks have been a wild ride! We are so proud of this DTS for stepping out of their comfort zones and into the promises of God.

Last week, we were blessed to learn about the “Father Heart of God” from Redding’s own Claude Bonjour. Claude touched us all with many stories of how God displays his parental heart, both from the Bible and from personal memory. The Holy Spirit revealed many misconceptions of God that we had been believing, ushering in fresh revelations of His love for His children.

You see, our God is not only the Creator of the Universe, not simply our King, Judge, and Shepherd – He is also our dad.
He yearns to hold his children, to beckon them back into the embrace of redemptive acceptance, and, in return, He longs for us to recognize the massive family into which we’ve been adopted! He protects his kids, teaching them and molding their hearts through both happy and difficult circumstances.

He is such a good, good Father, and He so desires for us to know Him as such. That being said, it was an honor and a privilege to witness our Father adopt one more brother into the family just a few days ago!

During our weekly Thursday evangelism, one of our groups met a homeless man sitting alone on the streets of Redding. Over the next 45 minutes, they listened to him pour out his story, asking him where He believed God acted in his life. Tears and laughter ensued before our team got to share the Gospel with him, a motion that resulted with him accepting Jesus!! God is so good!

This week, our team is down in Los Angeles, CA for a “track week,” where we are spending the days in sessions, evangelism times, and workshops – all intended to strengthen our heart for worship!

We kicked off the week with a night of teaching from Joy Dawson, an honored “matriarch” of Youth with a Mission, who blessed us with a motivating discussion on our role to end human trafficking. Hearts were were stirred, eyes were opened, and prayers were activated as we interceded fervently for those in captivity. We are so thankful for this time with Joy.

Today, we also had the privilege of hearing from Lou Engle, a veteran revivalist and prayer warrior. He imparted so much wisdom and inspiration to us through stories of God’s faithfulness in his life, as well as his incredible call to move the world into prayer and fasting for America. It was an honor to hear from this man of God, and I know all of us left the session with renewed fire for our nation – the cry to turn America back to Jesus is louder than ever!

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