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
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2 responses to “159-169 from Mexico

  1. I think you’re right that gift giving it is something you can learn, and this is why I think that…

    As I read the very first part of the section “The Selfish By-Product” (starting pg 164), “some people are gift givers by nature…” it reminded me of ownership. I really wasn’t 100% sure why I made that connection, but I guess I thought that if something is your nature, you must feel some sort of ownership over it (at least in the way that I think of ownership, in that if you make something yours you take extra time and care).

    And then I started thinking about how when I first staffed MA as full-time YWAM staff I kept wanting a manual, and I kept wanting to make one. To help myself in years to come, and to help other staff who’d run it with me or after me. I read everything on MA that I could, and I made a lot of lists. I loved MA, and I loved the vision of it, and I wanted to explain it so others could understand it and love it too, and do the best they could in running it. We didn’t have MA at our base in 2009, and I really missed it. And this year, when we started, I felt so overwhelmed and like we were starting from scratch with MA. I was afraid we were forgetting a ton of important things. I don’t know about David, but I didn’t use any of the lists we have. We just did what we needed to, and it happened. And it was my favorite time with MA in the 5 years I’ve been part of it. When I realized that, I wondered why, and I came to the conclusion that it’s because it was more natural. Now, reading this section of the book and thinking about art and giving gifts and being “gift givers by nature,” and ownership, I would say that the change I experience is because MA has become natural, a gift. Because God is so amazing, we give MA as a gift, not for an ulterior motive, but because it gives us joy.

    And so … I think that, even if in the beginning you’re just simulating the behavior like Godin talks about on page 165, and especially if you’re submitting it to God, gift giving can become nature and art, something we do out of love. ☺

  2. Thanks David, and Laura for the response. It is super encouraging that you had 67 people though this summer. And you are right, it is 67 lives changed, not including all the lives changed in your city.

    Blessings man.

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