Last Post

I am super sorry that I haven’t been more on top of this. To be honest I was bummed that more of us were not involved and so I just kind of let it stop. I want to do thing like this as a network, I believe it is important for us. Thanks to all of you who have posted on Linchpin and on how you are doing personally and as a program. Here is the last post from Kim, then we will see you at WAVES.

Linchpin – Pages 231-236

Wow, we are at the end. I have loved reading all your posts and hearing more of your heart as we try to do this thing we call Mission Adventures. I feel a little bit of pressure, as the last blog post in this series (I know Phil has plans for the future), to sum up this blog well. Anyone that knows me will know that writing is not my strong point (maybe the reason I married a writer so he would do it for me). So here goes:

As I read this book, especially these last few pages, I often found myself thinking I am so glad that I have a job that makes a difference, that changes people etc. That I often found myself agreeing with what Seth has written without asking the really hard questions about the area’s of my life that are stuck in a rut. A few years ago my husband went through burn out. It had to be the scariest time of our ministry, where we really started to ask some really hard questions about ourselves, each other and the way we do ministry. We realised some facts: My husband joined YWAM when he was 17 straight out of high school (and has never left) and I joined YWAM when I was 18 one semester through my degree and decided not to return to my degree. In that moment of burn out my husband especially, but me as well, had given 10 years to YWAM and wasn’t qualified for anything else.

Now I realise if we were thinking clearly there are other jobs we could do and we aren’t in YWAM because we have no other option but it was a scary thought. The reason I tell you this is because I think sometimes we can hear young people saying they want to live for God or be involved in missions and then give all these reasons why it isn’t possible, parents, money, education, church support etc. and we- or at least I can down play the very real concerns they have. And yet I have just as many excuses and reasons why I continue in the rut I do. I know I need to continue to seek and change the area’s of my life in which I am living “average” and not presuming that because I am working for an amazing ministry that doesn’t do things the way the world does that I can ride that coat tail and not live the way God created me to live.

The result of this art, these risks, the gifts and the humanity coming together is both wonderful and ironic. The result of getting back in touch with our pre-commercial selves will actually create a post-commercial world that feeds us, enriches us and gives us the stability we’ve been seeking for so long.

from our friend Laura

Pages 191-200

I really like this whole chapter, “Making the Choice.” There’s a lot in it that I can identify with … making your own agenda and challenging the status quo. I like when Godin talks about responding to the opportunities and challenges of the outside world, because it really is our choice in how we respond that dictates whether or not we are linchpins.

Cheers and thanks Laura

One of the parts that stick out to me the most is “More Cowbells” (funny skit!). Godin says, “The funny this is that learning how to add joy, create art, or contribute humanity is a lot easier than learning how to pay the guitar. For some reason, we work on the technique before we worry about adding the joy.” I can relate to this, because I like to distract myself by perfecting a technique and use imperfection as an excuse to hold back. It’s easier than stepping out and singing loudly when I’m not sure if I’m hitting the right notes, or being personable and helpful even when I know I don’t have all the answers.

It’s a challenging chapter for me, because my tendency is to never step out, never sing loud, and even when I’m “sure of myself” to move forward very cautiously. But if I let those things rule my life I’m just defending the status quo. And even worse, I’m not living up to the potential God gave me.

News from Bjorn

The summer went well.  It is always bittersweet when it’s over.  Bitter
because it is over and sweet because we get to rest a little bit.  Or maybe
both are sweet 🙂  

All in all, it was a good year.  God is good and His grace for me (this year
especially) was sufficient.  Since my papi passed in February, I have been
on a roller coaster of emotion, not always interested and passionate about
what I’m doing.  Moving forward in my own life has at times been a real
challenge.  It was an ironically fascinating concept to teach on.

Our staff and SOE students were awesome this year.  The training director
here (Jeff) and I continue to brainstorm ideas for integrating the two
programs.  We are excited for the future of our (new school) SOMD’s
involvement with Mission Adventures.

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall.  Blessings in the work you do!

Bjorn

170-180 by Lindsay Spang

Well since there was a chapter split in the middle of my allotted pages, there were two things that stood out to me when reading Linchpin.

The first thing was a very small part of talking about thankfulness and receiving gifts. Godin talked about when you receive a gift don’t leave it at just, “Thank you.” He gave a bunch of examples of things you could say such as “Thank you and I just blogged about what you did” (I liked that example since I am in fact blogging, right now). Anyways I thought that was pretty rad because as we who are in YWAM practically live off of gifts, it is important to remember to be giving back accordingly and to the same degree. Whether this means making our newsletters boss, or sending a gift once in a while, or even just calling and thanking our supporters, we need to remember not to take generosity for granted. I suppose if you think of being “indispensable” what’s to stop a supporter from pulling away from our non appreciating selves and supporting someone who is appropriately thankful?

The second thing was about “seeing clearly.” Godin wrote about keeping a clear mind. I loved how he gave examples of trying to work and a car horn is going off and he can’t, but another time there is leaves tapping on the window from a storm and he can work just fine. It seems like that the majority of times that we get annoyed with distractions and things that hinder our personal agendas, its the end of the world when its human, and it is totally ok when its nature. I would love to have a paradigm shift in this. His point is that we never see the big picture and we need to keep a clear head to make the right decisions. I just think that we need to love people and have grace. It’s true that we never really know what is going on with people and when they screw up or do something dumb, there may be a background story we are missing or some circumstance that is the real root of the screw up. Stephanie Murillo told me once when she was training me to run Mission Adventures back in 2006, that when she was running the program she had to make a conscious effort to ask questions. Once again a certain staff member was late to the morning session and instead of charging up to his room and letting him “have it”, she went up and asked “how he was doing”, “was he sick” etc? This helped her keep a great perspective of people over programs, and then also not looking like a total a-hole if he was sick. Mind you, he wasn’t but he did show up for the sessions more often on time after because he felt he had a leader who cared.

159-169 from Mexico

First we see that the giving is really a God?s concept, it is all through the Bible and Jesus?s teachings . So it is easy for us as Chirstian and as  YWAMers to adopt that concept and live with it (if we don?t do that yet), which is even more important.
We in YWAM have the great blessing to be part of the ?Gift from God to our lives? to be in a culture? YWAM and Christian culture of giving gifts? at least in theory it should be like that.
A new concept for me, simple but interesting is the concept that the gift makes a bond between the artist and the receiver. I just like how it sounds?
What are some of the gifts that we can give to others as part of MA?… gifts to the network for example, to give the gift to share a testimony of the great things God does in our lives and programs? to share with that YWAM staff that couldn?t attend to the waves gathering, the great insights, teachings, blessings we got there? and of course the most precious gift of all to the people: God?s message of love, the Gospel through everything we do in YWAM!
I like the part of the ?Manipulation of the Gift Economy?? it is easy to fall under that manipulation, unconsciously most of the times, but it is definitely important to realize that we can give a gift, a great gift but we are manipulating it to receive something back, like when we give a paper, or recognition or a thank you letter to the team leader for coming to our MA Program and we do it maybe not expeting something back, like they come back next summer, but maybe there is a hidden manipulating ?hook there?? the reality is that it is very easy, at least for me to mechanize the gift economy (you know we just open a file, change the name of the receiver, print it and mail it?) of course I am not saying we should not do those thank you things? is just that we need to be careful in doing it not expecting something back, but instead just to say ?thank you for coming and be part of Mission Adventures??
For some of us maybe the questions is (at least for me): How can I LEARN to be an artist and give gifts? powerful gifts to others? or how can we as MA Network create a gift network, or like a church planting movement? a gift giving movement?.. I need help getting those answers or ideas, but the cool thing is that God is willing to help me with that!
So I will give you a gift this time, just to let you know that we had a Mission Adventures Session for kids from Juarez, 67 kids came to our program, biggest numbers ever for our base (I know I know, just 67?… well 67 lives changed and challenged!). In the most difficult time for our city, with the violence so much that nobody wants to come to our city, or even, people from Juarez don?t want to go out, they prefer to stay in their homes or churches?. In that such a difficult time, God brought 67 kids that at the end of the session were so ready to go Forward, adelante? so ready to dream about DTS, and ministries! What a wonderful idea to think, to dream that maybe God in is infinite mercy and power, can use Mission Adventures, or Aventuras Misioneras to play a key part in the lives of those kids so they can become ?Linchpins?! It was such a great time, people got saved, were encouraged, new friendships, new connections, staff for next summer, DTS, missions, etc? it was a great time and we just wanted to share that with you all? Thank you all for your support and prayers? Muchas Gracias.
One final dream I guess for me: May God help us, you and I or we, to become ?Linchpins?!
David Ruesga
YWAM El Paso-Juarez

New post from Kathy

Here is a post from Kathy in Ensenada. She hasn’t read the book, but still posted on what is going on this summer. Please pray for them this week.
The Summer’s still going! Tomorrow we start our last cycle. Our last team leaves on Aug. 23rd. We will have 32 people here!
I am sorry I really haven’t really been reading the book :/
Here’s a little update on our summer tho:
Our summer has been crazy! Last cycle was our biggest, and it was absolute madness BUT God definitely helped us to make it through!
Even tho it’s been crazy, it’s been a huge learning time for all of us. We have tried new things, and we has also used things that we have used in previous years.
We have been doing good, BUT we also know that we can always do better 🙂
The activities that have caused most impact in the teams is the passion play and the experiencing injustice night.
Sorry, I am not too good at writing, BUT that’s a very brief summary of what’s been happening 🙂

Page 115-125 to rock to

Embracing resistance , don’t let fear control your life, the fear that pleases other people ..
I am very bad at summing things up so I will let you maybe do that but my summer is going great. I was the coordinator for sos this year and they were such an amazing team. It was a joy working with them and kinda stepping back and letting them lead teams, .Tias out of the country and I am in charge of everything , while she is gone. I am trying not to let fear be in control and embracing mission adventures full heartily the best i can….(:
Carrianne