Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hi! My name is Felicity - I have just come back from an amazing 2 weeks at the Arua base and have been asked to write a short post giving a visitors perspective…so here we go…!

During my first week at the base I learnt that wherever you are in the world there is always a need for people who are fanatical about organising and tidying! And the office is looking loads better as a result! It was good fun to be able to do odd jobs and be useful on the base. During my second week, Firestarters, a church youth group from Coventry arrived so I joined their programme to help them settle in and plan outreach in a local village – their blogpost

will be coming up soon so look out for stories of their adventures and all God has done in and through them!

This was actually my second visit to Arua, my first visit was in 2007 as part of a student mission team. When I arrived this time I was really struck by how much the base had grown and how there is a constant pressing forwards of their vision. In 2 years it has changed so much – new buildings, new bridges (a good addition – I nearly fell in the river so many times on my last visit!), new people, new ideas and new ministries. I felt so at home and settled there – in fact I didn’t really want to leave! It is an inspiring place – their attitude of looking forwards and seeking the opportunities God is creating rubs off on you – I have been challenged in my walk with God and in the plans I had made for my future. It makes you realise that through God all things are possible and so much more than you can imagine.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

YWAM East Africa Regional Staff Conference 2009

Our East Africa Regional Staff Conference was held at YWAM Arusha base in Tanzania last week.

The theme for our conference was: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Prov 3:5)

Approximately 300 YWAMers gathered from the countries in the region including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Other YWAMers came from South Africa and South Korea to bless us with their presence.

It was great to catch up with old friends, and see the Body of Christ in YWAM in all its unique colors and nationalities.

Our keynote speaker was Sung Gun Hong, the Regional Director for YWAM East Asia. He's been in YWAM for more than 30 years, and his testimonies were very encouraging. He challenged us to stay in the presence of God, to cling to our Father and not go out of His will. He reminded us to be faithful in everything, and to pass on the baton of Faith, Obedience and Vision to the next generation. He concluded by exhorting us to be a blessing to the nations, just as we are blessed as we follow God.

Edwin Phillis on the right (Base Leader of Muizenberg, South Africa) declared that God wants to restore the Identity, Dignity and Destiny of Nations. He led us in an exuberant time of praise and worship that celebrated the national diversity within our gathering.

John Mukolwe on the left (Base Leader of Arusha, Tanzania) translated for Edwin.

Our East Africa Regional Directors, Method and Mary Kamanzi from Rwanda, gave lots of input into the conference. Method reminded us that the righteous shall live by faith, and talked about the challenges and rewards of trusting God for everything, and Mary led a workshop on HIV/Aids, and Families at Risk.

Here Method and Mary honor 'Baba' Choi from South Korea who is the founder of YWAM Arusha base.

Sitini on the left (Base Leader of YWAM Morogoro, TZ) translated for Jeremiah (National Director of YWAM TZ and Base Leader of YWAM Dar es Salaam). Jeremiah showed great humility and transparency with his testimonies on the struggles he has faced in YWAM and God's faithfulness through each of those struggles. He challenged us to a life of Christ-like servanthood, and encouraged us that tusting in the Lord means REST from our anxieties, fears and selfish ambitions.

Sitini also translated for Sam Kisolo on the right (National Director of YWAM Uganda) who exhorted us to unity and humility. He reminded us that humility is generous and selfless, and it opens the doors for others to excel.

Each day YWAMers from different nations led the whole assembly in worship.

The team from YWAM Tanzania
led us the first day.

Rwanda led us on Day 2...

...and Uganda took over on Day 3.

Edwin, Jeremiah, and Leo enjoy the worship.

The kids caught the spirit of worship and
joined the Rwandan team on stage.

John Wright (Base Leader YWAM Arua, Uganda) dances with his daughter, Keziah.

Baba Choi praises the Lord.

Sitini kneels in
worship to

The conference ended with a 'Love Feast' followed by a blessed time of communion and prayer for the nations.

It was a very special week that we are still feeling the blessings of.

Many thanks go out to the team in YWAM Arusha for their hard work, commitment and excellent standard of service and hospitality. They were a big blessing to all of YWAM East Africa. May God bless you all!!