YWAM Madison presents “Women and Children at Risk,” an hour long presentation of live music, video, testimonies, dance, and art that will share the stories of our work in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our goal is to raise awareness for street kids, AIDS orphans, refugees, child soldiers and victims of human trafficking. We will also share stories of hope and restoration.
Our teams will also bring a variety of cultural items, souvenirs, and art to give a taste of India, Africa, southeast Asia and Latin America. Some of these items will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the women and children we encountered on outreach.
Five teams will be on tour in the midwest, east coast, and parts of Canada. See the schedule below. Links open in a new window and take you to the church or school's website for location information. Times are subject to change — we recommend calling the event location to verify.
The tour culminates with the DTS graduation at the YWAM Training Center on March 12 at 7:30 PM. Join us!
I first heard of Bible School for the Nations from Joshua S., (BSN leader in Australia) and a team he led to Tanzania in March 2008. I translated for them when they ran a BELT seminar in Arusha. I liked the teachings, as they were deeply based on what the Bible said. They helped us dig into the Bible and showed unity in the old and new testaments.
I was excited!
I had been staffing DTS in YWAM Tanzania and pastoring a church. I taught the word of God to youth in churches and conferences and taught Bible classes in schools. I also translated for several speakers as they taught from the Bible, mainly from English to Swahili. But I wanted to get more knowledge of the Word of God. There were questions that I couldn't find answers to. I wanted to know about the law, if Adam and Eve had any choice, or if they were just going to sin anyway, and so many more.
As I prayed more about it, I knew I needed the BSN to give me more time to study, understand, and apply God's Word. I applied for BSN Australia twice, but could not get there because of visas. I also tried to go to Nepal and Norway, but couldn't get through because of visas and financial difficulties. I then applied to come to Madison!
Getting to the States was not easy. I needed so many documents to show the embassy that I am a “good” person and that I would return to Tanzania after BSN. Once I had all of the documents together, I thought I would apply for just myself. Bringing my wife and two young kids would be so expensive. Besides, the people at the embassy told me that it would be impossible for me to get the short term visa with my family.
When I told this to Manuel (BSN leader in Madison), he explained from God's perspective the importance of bringing my family. Still, I applied for just myself.
When that application was also denied, I applied with my family. One week before the school began, we were all granted visas to USA!
My family had visas, but no money to purchase tickets. People all over the world prayed for us and some gave gifts of money so we could come. And here we are. God is so good, Bwana Asifiwe!
To be in the BSN and learn has been the greatest experience ever! God is giving me a lot of understanding of His word and His plan for mankind. He's showing me that He wants the Bible to be understood. He is opening my eyes to the truth.
I want to go back to Africa after my BSN and serve the Lord, teaching the truth in the church. I also want to translate the BSN teaching in Swahili, work with the BELT team in the Congo, and maybe even bring the BSN to Africa. In anything I do, I want to see people, pastors, and ministers of the word have a deeper understanding of the Bible. I want to share to other people the truth that is setting me free, that way we may also disciple the Nations.
Many people I know in Africa have limited understanding of the word of God. They love God, they are in the Church, but they don't know God. I want to play my part, even though it's a small part, to make God know. I started that by going to the Congo for out BSN outreach in January!
Manuel plays worship music in Tokyo's Anime district
I was in awe again while my team was worshipping God alongside our new friends in Japan. We were singing the same songs, us in English and them in Japanese. While the literal translation may have been different there's one thing that remains the same no matter what: the love & joy it brings God to hear his children worship Him.
Asaino Joseph was the oldest man who came to the seminar in Ibambi, DRC. He was always on time, being brought by motorcycle as he couldn't walk properly. He sat at the back, always taking notes, asking questions, and engaging in group discussion.
One day in the middle of teaching called “Command to Mission,” Asaino came up front.
“I will go to Tanzania!” he said, overjoyed. “If this man from Tanzania, went to America, and come to the Congo to bring us the good news, I will also go to Tanzania.”
He then invited me to his home, where he told me his story.
Asaino Joseph is a son of an evangelist in the same church where he was a pastor for more than 50 years. He grew up in the church his whole life.
“At 82 years old, all my life I have never received any teaching like the BELT seminar
teaching!” he told me. “This is the kind of teaching that the Congo needs. I wish I was still young. I am old and my body is weak, but my spirit is strong. I hope the young people here will put into practice what they have learned.”
He cried the whole time he told me his story and the things that God was opening his eyes and heart to.
He promised to keep praying and teaching the truth to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, (he has more than 500 of them).
“I will keep praying for the Congo, and Tanzania, and for you, Elisante,” he said.
In Asaino Joseph and in the other 93 graduates of the seminar, I saw signs that revival is coming to the Congo.
God is up to something great in the Congo! The people I met, the pastors, and other community leaders are getting ready. They are receptive to the Word of God, the are hungry and thirsty for righteousness. They openly confess their sins, they are ready to take responsibility as the church, and as leaders.
Looking in, the Congo might look closed because of her wars and other problems, but if you will go inside, you will know that the Congo is open to the truth.
I know I will continue to go to the Congo to declare the truth, to bring them the light, the Word of God, that they may wake up and shine the light in the Congo, in Africa and all over the world.
I could see in the peoples' eyes their expectation and hope. The welcoming was so touching; it brought tears to my eyes to see these people giving us all this honor. It was like they wanted us to know that we finally brought what they had been looking for for so long.
Last year, epidemics tore through Ibambe. So many children were lost. Some families lost up to four kids, others lost all the children they had. The children I saw were almost naked and poorly fed. They always carried their younger siblings strapped to their backs. Many of the families had been large and the parents struggled to care for all their children.
This place is full of poverty but it should not be that way. The land is rich! Yet even the school and health care center we visited were so very poor. Last year's disaster could have, should have, been prevented–what about next year?
Elisante in Ibambi, DR Congo
My heart was broken. I lost hope. I thought it was impossible to even want to come back here next year. What if I return only to discover another epidemic wiped out these beautiful little children? As I spent my free time with the kids, teaching them Tanzanian Swahili songs, I prayed for them. Even as I praised God, I asked him in honesty, “Is there any hope?”
God worked in my heart while we were in Ibambi. He restored my hope and helped me see answers. I know there is a lot that can been done in the Congo. The only way to stop the enemy from snatching the lives of the kids in the Congo is to teach the people the Truth, the Word of God.
It is going to take God's principles being applied to see kids being valued, loved and brought up in the right way. We need to know the values that God has for people, knowing God for who He is will bring transformation and kids will be safe.
I believe that the BELT seminar will bring transformation and revival. I want to keep coming back to the Congo to run these BELT seminars and outreaches to train leaders who will reach others!
On the streets in Kolkata, I’m overwhelmed by my surroundings:
Dogs itching, horns honking, children running, and never-ending noise.
A child runs up and takes my hand, looks up at me, beams, eyes glowing.
I smile back, and quickly turn, afraid of my emotions overflowing.
Another runs up, arms extended, and I scoop her up.
She presses her dark hair against my face, arms around my neck.
I sit on a curb and hold her and hold her, position never changing.
Although she didn’t understand me, I sang to her Bible songs, quoted scripture to her, and prayed, while she silently sat and ran a finger through my hair.
My surroundings fade and I’m captivated in the moment.
I don’t want to ever let go.
We walk further and further down the streets, and still she clings.
Occasionally shifting her eyes on me and smiling, then laying her head back down.
It’s time to say goodbye and I see where she lives,
a section of sidewalk on a busy city street.
An old tarp makes up her bed, with nothing to protect her from the outside world.
As I walk away, I look over my shoulder and she’s standing there blank faced, waving.
I leave a piece of my heart on that street in Kolkata that day.
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of my Father in Heaven…Your Father in Heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matthew 18:10,14
Our final three nights teaching at A-Mane English Center, my team took the opportunity to present the gospel. We created a skit that would share the story about the woman at the well (John 4). I also felt like I should share my testimony of what God has been doing in my life.
I had never shared such personal things in front of a group like this. I was so nervous!
In the skit, we acted out lies that people begin to believe about themselves and showed how Jesus wants to replace those lies with the truth. This skit felt like it was taken right out of my own life. Once the final strains of the song, “The Struggle,” ended, I stepped forward and began to share….
Growing up in a Christian home didn’t keep me from believing many lies about myself, my value, and how God saw me.
I believed I was ugly, that my beauty depended on the number I weighed on the scale. I thought people didn’t really like me and they didn’t want me around. I didn’t pursue friendships because I assumed others would want someone else to be their friend instead of me. I couldn’t see that I was valuable simply because God made me.
English class with Thai kids
The crazy thing is, I knew the truth about many of these things in my head, but not in my heart.
I didn’t want to let God work in my heart because I didn’t trust Him. I was afraid that if I made any sort of mistake, I would go to hell. I “knew” God loved me, but most of the time I thought he was mad at me, just waiting for me to mess up. I didn’t see God as a loving father who encourages me or helps me when I fall down. I didn’t believe that God would help me do the right thing. And I believed that what he wanted for me would always be the opposite of what I wanted.
A big change has taken place in my life through coming to DTS! From the first day, God started chipping away at the lies I’ve held onto for so long. I felt like God was saying to me “you are my child” over and over. I can’t explain exactly how, but God began to show me that I was believing lies. I slowly realized that God is not always angry at me. I can’t earn his love by being perfect. He has saved me. He wants to just be my Dad. He wants me to trust him.
God is there to help me when I mess up. It’s like I’m a baby learning to walk. My dad wouldn’t yell at me after I fall over, but would encourage me to keep trying. Dad would help me up and hold me close. The same is true with God. I’ve realized God just wants time with me. He wants my heart.
Getting past lies I’ve believed about myself doesn’t happen overnight. Even during DTS and here on outreach, I’ve felt alone or unwanted. But last week, a wise person told me that I needed to learn to like myself. I realize just how true that is! Putting myself down is not the way God loves me. As I read scripture and pray it for myself, God is changing my perspective.
I am learning to be myself, to love people without assuming they do not want my love. When it comes to beauty, I am believing that I am made in the image of God. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am trying to learn to even eat in a way that brings Him honor. I am a creation of God, and I am trying to see myself and my body in that way. I wish I could make all these lies be gone by tomorrow, but changing my views of myself is a process, a battle. I’m thankful that in Christ, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” II Corinthians 10:4.
When I finished sharing from my own life and telling the kids that God loves them no matter what, we did a project together about Truth. We wanted them to learn how God sees them. Some of the kids said that they understood how I felt when I was acting in the play. Some of them knew about Jesus already, but many did not.
One of the boys asked, “Do you really see Jesus?” and “Why did Jesus have to die for us?” and “So all you have to do is believe in Him?”
It was such a blessing to be able to use the work God is doing in my life, to show the kids how He loves them that much too!
by Jamie S., BSN student Ibambi, Democratic Republic of Congo
After forty hours of travel and an overnight in the Entebee, Uganda airport, it was finally time to board our last plane to the Congo. The African heat greeted us as we made our way onto the runway to our small 9 passenger plane. I sat in the back and was about to buckle when the pilot asked if anyone wanted to ride up front in the co-pilot seat. I couldn’t say yes or jump out of the plane fast enough! Of course I wanted to ride shotty!!! I climbed aboard and strapped myself in. At this point, I could barely contain my excitement and had a ridiculously large smile plastered on my face (that remained with me the rest of the flight).
We took off and I gazed down at God’s beautiful creation. Tears streamed down my face as I just kept thinking, “Who is this God I serve? And how is it that the Creator of the universe cares for me? Thank you Papa. Thank you for this wonderful gift!”
The view was spectacular. We flew over mountains, lakes, rivers, and miles and miles of jungle land. Once we passed through the clouds I became even more enamored with the beauty that surrounded me.
All along I’m still streaming thoughts of thanks toward God. “Thank you for letting me witness your creation from in the front of the plane, thank you for allowing me to know you and to make you known, thank you for allowing me to come to the Congo to represent you!”
Then a voice broke through my reverie.
“Would you like to fly the plane?” the pilot asked.
I thought he was joking. Nope. After a quick lesson he gave me complete control of the plane.
I was flying!
I was flying the plane into the Congo!
Jamie flies "shotgun"
Somehow I think the smile on my face got even bigger as I wove in and out of the clouds! What a great day and great start to our outreach.
I flew until we neared our destination. As the pilot dipped the plane below the clouds, I gazed over the land once more. “This is your country, Lord, and these are your people,” I thought. “Go with us Lord. Help us bring the truth into this place. Transform hearts the way you have transformed mine. Thank you for this opportunity.”
We descended further. All I could see were trees. I wondered where we would land when suddenly a little dirt airstrip appeared and we landed in the middle of the jungle. We were here. We made it to Ibambi.
On the other side of Bangkok we worked with A-Mane English Center, a Christian business that serves mostly Buddhist and Muslim families. Our first few days, we practiced introductions with the children and played games with them. We also helped the teachers with some of their lessons. At the end of the week, we led an English camp at a local amusement park for 51 students.
I was in charge of six ten-year-old girls who only spoke a small amount of English. It was a fun challenge. I loved watching them experience new things like snow and sledding in Snow Town, or build their courage to take risks on the scary roller coaster. By the end of the day, I had been called “Teacher” about 150 times, and I felt so much closer to these precious little girls.
I hope the light and love of Jesus shown to them through my actions that day. I hope they one day know just how much He really loves them!
My experiences working with A-Mane have opened my eyes to something that I love: teaching and tutoring one-on-one. I also found that knowing English can be a gift from God. So many people want to learn it, and I can bless them by teaching it. And I enjoy it too!
The team introduces themselves at the Chi Alpha Student Center, Tokyo Japan.
We were full of expectation as we entered through the old gate of the University of Tokyo. What an honor it was to teach a Bible study in partnership with Chi Alpha at the most influential university on the Pacific Rim. Students enrolled at the University of Tokyo have prepared all their lives to be at this school. Even as young kids they had to be in the right school to have a shot at studying at the University of Tokyo. This is the school that produces the leaders of Asian society.
God had led our team to prepare a teaching series on “Identity in Christ.” Today, Mark L. was going to teach on the value and purpose of people. People were visibly challenged by the message and almost everyone stayed after the Bible study to have lunch with us.
During lunch, I spoke with Makiko who is getting her PhD in Economics to be an economics professor. She is writing her dissertation on the economic relationship between China and Japan. To me that is one of the most interesting topics anyone could research as this is not just about economics and business but also how to deal with a strained relationship, deep seated hatred, and mistrust in a business climate.
As we talked about what she was finding I asked her how long she had been a Christian. I was surprised when she responded: “Oh, I am not a Christian yet but I have been studying the Bible for over a year. My professor told me that if I want to understand Western economics I have to study the Bible.”
I asked her if she had come across anything about economics in the Bible yet and she said that she had not. We talked a bit more about morality in the West and its biblical roots. But what really caught her interest was when I told her about the economic principles that God gave his people in Deuteronomy such as the limiting of debt, interest rates, how to love the poor of the nation, and how to empower them to get out of poverty. We exchanged info and I told her that I would send her more material on economics in the Bible.
What a privilege it was to talk to Makiko about the things that the God of Creation had to say about her field of study. May she come to know this wonderful God and may her work help break down the walls of animosity between China and Japan.