The REAL Adventure Begins - Esther Peterson
Hi again everybody! Guess where I am? I’m home in Florida!!!! I guess that’s not such a surprise. I’ve been here for about five weeks. After the last time I wrote you guys I left my beloved base in the city of Corrientes and headed down with some of my teammates and most of the base staff members to the conference in Buenos Aires. It was for all the YWAM bases in the five countries of the Southern Cone of South America. I thought it would be a nice time, but I was wrong. It was an incredible time, (apart from the heat and lack of sleep)! We met people there from all over the place and had some great speakers, workshops and worship times.
By the end of the conference, I still didn’t have confirmed plans for the next six days before my flight and I started freaking out, really wishing my mom and dad were there to work everything out for me. But God was faithful, and it worked out better than I could have imagined. All of us five foreigners from my DTS went down to Mar del Plata, a famous touristy beach five hours away, and while my crazy American guy friend stayed down there in a hostel, the four other girls and I stayed an hour bus trip away with a friend from the YWAM base and his mom. They spoiled us rotten! They fed us tons of food, let us use their washing machine, burned tons of CD’s of photos on their computer, and gave us presents to remember Argentina. It was a really special and blessed time.
The other American, Alex, left first, then the girls from Bolivia and Peru returned to their homes by bus. Last of all Johanny from Venezuela and I left at 1:00am to take the five hour bus trip back to Buenos Aires, arriving at the airport at 7:00am. We spent the whole day at the airport. Johanny left at 6:00pm and I left at 10:10pm. It was a long day at the airport. After a stopover in Washington DC, I was back home with my family. I had a lovely vacation, catching up with people and celebrating the holidays.
Wow, this really was the most incredible time in my life. I had a lot of amazing experiences I never would have dreamed of. I learned Spanish and the Tango, I made friends with people from all over the world, and God taught me a lot of things about Him and about myself.
· I learned that God’s love really is unconditional and unchanging.
· I learned that when God tells you to do something (many times through your spiritual leaders) and you don’t think you can do it, just do it anyway.
· I learned that God makes and keeps his promises and that He uses us just the way he made us.
· I learned that we can fight the enemy’s temptation by taking our thoughts and feelings captive.
· I learned that to build friendships you have to make spending time with people a priority, even when you may not understand much of the conversation.
· I learned that God loves all countries equally, that America (or Australia) are not better than any other countries in the world, and that you can’t judge the people of a country by their country’s history or government.
· I learned that I can hand wash my clothes, take a 10 minute shower three times a week, sleep in a sleeping bag on thin mattresses for four months, and…
· Many, many other things!!!
And all of this was because of you guys!! Your financial support, your prayers, and your encouraging e-mails are what got me through and brought me safely back from this amazingly blessed time. I can never thank you all enough!! Every time I received a check or heard that someone was praying for me, I was just amazed that I have so many people that care about me so much. I am so blessed by God! I now want to do my best to pass on this blessing to as many people as possible.
I also want to take this opportunity to encourage EVERYBODY to do a Discipleship Training School! It would be so awesome if every single Christian did one. It’s like our spiritual boot camp. They have them all over the world, including America, Australia, and England as well as numerous second and third world countries all over the place. There are DTSs with special focuses as well as Crossroad DTS for people over 35 or those who may have families and/or careers. They’ve even had 70 year olds so it’s open for everyone! So tell your brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, children, grandchildren, parents, neighbors, friends, and churches about them and look into them for yourself. You can find more information and search for DTS at the Youth With A Mission website: www.ywam.org .
So what am I doing now? What they say in YWAM is that when your DTS ends, your real DTS of life begins. I just finished my second week at Trinity College of Florida. It’s a really little (280 students total) Bible college near Tampa. Right now I’m headed toward a major in youth ministry. I’m enjoying college life so far! God has already blessed me with some great friends, which was something I was worried about and prayed about a lot. I have a lot of work for my classes but at least it’s mostly just reading and writing, no more math! After visiting a number of churches I think I’ve finally decided where I’m going to connect and I’m really excited about that. It’s called Highest Praise Family Church, and some parts of it remind me of my YWAM base in Corrientes.
I have a few things you could keep in prayer for me. One is that I need to get a job soon to pay for gas and to start paying for my insurance and cell phone bill, new expenses that come with living away from home. I also need God’s help in managing my time. And I would like to spend most of this next summer in California, but I really need to seek God on that for confirmation.
And last, but definitely not least, I’ve decided to go on the Trinity mission trip to Costa Rica over spring break (March 3-12). It sounds perfect for me because they’ll be working mainly with kids and youth, the two groups I really love, and I’ll get to use my Spanish! I’m really excited about the possibility. It is coming up really soon and the cost is estimated at around $700-$800. If anyone is able and feels God’s call to give a donation towards this trip I would appreciate it. To receive a tax deduction you can make a check out to Trinity College of Florida and specify that it is for the Great Commission Missionary Fellowship. Otherwise you can send cash or check to me at my parent’s address: 4418 Lake Trudy Dr., St. Cloud, FL 34769
I also would love to have people committed to pray for me and the group every day while we’re on the trip so if you could commit to doing that, please let me know.
Well, I can only thank you all for coming on this incredible adventure with me over the last seven months. I may continue to write every now and then to share life’s exciting moments. I’ve also made a Window’s Live Space that you can check out at www.godslittlerocker19.spaces.live.com.
All of God’s super blessings to each and every one of you! You rock!!!! In Christ, Esther Peterson