HI EVERYONE!!! I am currently sitting on my bed (the top of a three-tier bunk bed), with a pretty sick sunburn (yes already, even with sunscreen), surrounded by 12 sweet girls who are all beginning the same adventure, and BOY am I grateful. Every moment thus far, including this one, has felt very surreal. And WOW I am so happy, excited, unsure, kind of confused, and so many more emotions; but, I am excited to catch you up on what’s been going on in Maui!
We flew in at about 2:30pm Maui time. From the airport, we piled into a van and went to Target, and then to base. When we arrived at base, we unloaded our bags and took them to our room. From there, we were taken on a tour of the base and were introduced to the staff, as well as the two other DTS students that had already arrived. From there, we returned to our room, unpacked our suitcases, and got settled. I was QUITE overwhelmed to say the least. Not only were we running on just a few hours of sleep, but we had been up for about 18 hrs, had traveled all day and were very quickly overloaded with massive amounts of information regarding what would be our new life for the next three months.
Surprisingly enough to me, homesickness set in quite quickly. Until our arrival I hadn’t had even an ounce of doubt or lack of confidence, but when I got in bed that night I found myself questioning everything. The same calling that the Lord rocked my whole world with months before, the same calling that He had so radically provided for and ordained, was the same calling I laid in bed analyzing and doubting that night. Why would I leave my comfortable routine for six months? Why would I trade the ease and familiarity of home for such an uncertain, vulnerable and completely unknown territory like YWAM Maui? I was tempted to cry myself to sleep that night until I remembered, until I fixed my eyes on the real task at hand. I came to YWAM Maui for two simple reasons: because God asked me to and because HE IS WORTH IT. I did not come for comfort, I did not come for familiarity, I did not come for routine. I came because when I released control of my college plans for the coming fall and invited Him to show me to His plans for me, He called me to YWAM Maui. And He did so radically. NOT ONLY THAT, but He has been so gracious as to provide every step of the way to lead me here (through the generous support of people like you!) I simply had to fix my eyes. Doing that brought great peace and perspective.
When I woke up the next morning, I still couldn’t believe where I was. We had breakfast, some time in the Word, and worship. Such sweet time spent with Jesus, in His Word and in worship, finally fixed my eyes on reality. I entered the first day with a new-found confidence, knowing that the Sovereign God of the Universe had this season written in His book from the beginning of time for my good and His glory. This passage in my quiet time that morning was my encouragement as I entered into day one:
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Cor. 15: 50-58).”
As was the case with every other circumstance in this world, and in my life, Christ had claimed victory over this season. He had claimed victory over my homesickness, my uncertainty, my questioning, my doubt. I simply had to turn my focus from worldly concerns to those of eternity. I had be steadfast and immovable in the calling He has given me for this season, knowing that “my labor” (what I had left behind, the life I was comfortable with, the uncertainty of stepping into the unknown) was not in vain when looked at through the lense of eternity. If this season was going to be fruitful, if His glory was going to be displayed, if this was going to be eternally significant, I was going to have to press on in complete dependence on the Father and FOCUS on eternity. And all of this could be accomplished, not because of my own ability or strength, but because of His infinite strength and ability at work in me. What a gracious Father, that He uses such jars of clay to display the steadfastness of His own character. Thank you, Lord. You are so good to me.
His goodness continued to be on full display as we piled into the van once again, and headed to the beach in Paia. I thought the drive there was beautiful, but as we stepped onto the sand with our sunscreen and towels in hand, I realized it paled in comparison the the view in front of me. The ocean and sky were the most blue I had ever seen, and to the left were the most beautiful mountains. The breeze was strong, but was a nice relief from the heat of the day. The next five hours consisted of time in the water, sunscreen application, and walks around Paia.
After our beach day, we came home, washed up, grabbed some dinner, and ended the night with some games. By that time, base was really starting to feel like home. I was surrounded by the girls that I knew were about to become my best friends and as the sun set that evening, I was flooded with such peace. The Lord has some big things in the works. I can feel it.
Please know the God of the Universe loves you so much!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Elise Jenney 🙂