Back in Heidebeek (Week 4.5 – 6.5)

     Hi there, it’s Caleb again, remember me? I’m one of the co-leaders on this outreach team, and I’m here to inform you what we’ve been up to. Now, we still have a little catching up to do, so I’m going to (roughly) walk you through our first two weeks of April. Spoiler alert, we didn’t spend it in Amsterdam! We left! Amazing, stay tuned for more information on this, after some photos.
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     Welcome back. So, on April 1st we travelled east and left our sprawling concrete jungle for a cute amalgamation of forests and villages. The place? YWAM Heidebeek. Our time in Heidebeek was a very different creature than Amsterdam. While in Amsterdam we were quite independent and evangelism-focused, in Heidebeek we were supported and more focused on bringing something to communities.
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     We spent a lot of time with youth groups and connect groups, which was interesting because none of us speak Dutch… Still, as someone who grew out of living a mediocre Christian life, it’s good to go and try to share what you have learned with some youngsters who are rapidly growing. We actually spent a lot of time with various youth groups, sometimes it was a group of 40, sometimes 4, and the ages ranged from 12 to mid-20’s. We hadn’t done anything like that in Amsterdam, so it was a cool change of pace. Oh also we played some terrifying football-in-a-cage game (North Americans, that’s the one where they ONLY kick the ball). It’s probably worth noting that I’m not hyper sporty… God loves me anyways.
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     Another thing we did in our time there was run an afternoon of creative workshops! That was a very neat opportunity for us to share our skills of photography, dance, and fine art with the youth in the area. What was special about that was we were also able to share what we’ve learned at the DTS about being creative with God and co-creating with him. It was very nice to spend time there and get to know them a little bit. We also ran a house of prayer using some of our creative abilities (dance, drawing, music, other things), and it was a really special time in the presence of God. Fun fact: The mayor of the city was there! I even shook his hand! I only found out he was the mayor after however.
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     Other than those things, we spent a lot of time with the staff at YWAM Heidebeek and with the local churches/services they are involved in. The team there was phenomenal, very serving and hospitality focused. It was a huge blessing to have them helping us with stuff, and also just to have their company. They were older than most of us are used to for YWAM staff, but with age comes experience and wisdom, things you can’t put a price tag on. It was great for us to see how they live their lives in their communities and also for Christ. Something we noticed during our time there was that even though we were generally busier than we were in Amsterdam, we found ourselves more rested and peaceful, which was a huge blessing.
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     After that, we left! On Sophie’s birthday we made the travel back to our crazy world of Amsterdam, and enjoyed the nice weather when we got there. Thank you for your continuing support and prayer, it is always appreciated. We don’t have so much longer here, but we should still have more for the blog….. Hopefully 🙂
Thank you!
Caleb & The Ålesund to Amsterdam Team
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Recapping because blogs are hard (Week 3)

Caleb here. Ok, our team has learned the hard way that it is difficult to keep up a steady blog and also do all the activities and ministry that takes place within an outreach. However, we are trying to make up for that starting today! Here is a blast from the (not so) distant past, week 3 of outreach. March 22 – 28 roughly. Here’s Jemina’s post for you!

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Hi guys! This is Jemina Ainesmaa, one of the students in our Amsterdam outreach group. Our third week here has been slightly hectic as we’ve had to re-schedule some of our days due to cancelled plans, but we’ve been productive none the less. We still had some work to do at De Poort, like helping out at the cafe and dinner prep. We also took some time to have fun together as a group.

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We also worked with The Lighthouse some more interviewing people and asking them about the Red Light district and other tourist attractions. We had many good encounters, discussions, and even prayer. We found it to be an easy way to start conversations with people, so we did it twice during the week in two different teams. We’ve also done some productive prayer walks. On our latest one we noticed the flowers blooming, spring is coming! (Editors note from the future: It’s April now, and gorgeous. Many flowers.) Maria also had her birthday on Thursday so we made a surprise cake for her and enjoyed the evening together.

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The First 2 Weeks

Hello! My name is Caleb Munchinsky, I am one of the co-leaders of this outreach team to The Netherlands.
     We have been in Amsterdam for two weeks now, and it is going swimmingly! At the beginning of our time here YWAM Amsterdam was hosting several international YWAM conferences, so we were helping them practically during that time. We did things like clean toilets, prepare food, cleaning dishes, and serving meals, and we were very happy to help them with those things! Many people felt honoured by our servanthood for them so they could enjoy their conference, and work towards a better future for the global effects of YWAM. It was very neat to be serving people who have so much influence on the very organization we are with.
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     The conferences have finished now, so we have gone off into the next step of our outreach. EVANGELISM! What a scary and exciting thing. On our first day we went to a very popular area of Amsterdam (Dam Square) and handed out homemade cookies to people and offered to bless them or pray for them or have a conversation about faith with them. Doing something like this is not always easy, but God was working throughout the day and many of us had good conversations with people about their personal faiths and were able to pray for them as well. On the flip side of that, many people really really did not want cookies, as they were afraid we had placed drugs inside them (which was not the case), so it was not always easy.
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     On our next day we aimed for a different approach. We went to an area of town where there were cafes and a market (later we went to a mall), and we prayed for people around us with the intent of encouraging them or prophesying over them. A few good conversations were had here as well! Some brought their creative utensils and handed out art pieces to people as encouragement also. As the personal writer of this blog post, I can tell you that I had a harder time with this day than I did with the first one 🙂 It’s important for me to remember that efficiency and productivity are not always most important with these kind of things. The best I can do is be available for God to use me and work through me, andI don’t always know what that looks like, which is also ok.
     It has been a learning experience already, which is awesome. It has also been a time where we can bless people from all over the world, with all sorts of beliefs, and share Jesus with them, which is even better.
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     For prayer points, you can pray for encouragement for the team! It isn’t easy to be doing things like this always. Also for unity, as we have a team comprised of many different kinds of people, which is amazing, but also requires some work to make sure things go smoothly.
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     Thank you for your prayers, you will hear from us soon!
Caleb & The Ålesund to Amsterdam Team

Departure

And we are off! After one more flight we will arrive at our first location, YWAM Amsterdam. We are very excited to see what this location will be like and to have specifics on the work we will be doing with them!
Here are Linnea, Maria, and Ruth waiting for our final flight.
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