January 9th, 2017 is when our next Worship Justly (refugee-focused DTS) Discipleship Training School (DTS) kicks off here in Boise, Idaho. During the 3-month long DTS “Training” Phase you will have a different teacher and topic each week but you will also connect with refugee families on a weekly basis that are now making Boise home. Imagine this: In just a 5 minute walk from YWAM Boise, you can buy fresh bread at an Iraqi Market, visit your new friends at the Somalian Market, try on some cool Turkish clothes at the Uzbekistan store, eat an amazing, home-made sandwich at the Bosnian Sandwich Shop or all of the above!
Following the time in Boise, you and your team will travel for 2-month outreach to a country like Greece, Cyprus, France, Jordan and others to continue your work with refugees. You won’t just be traveling, you’ll be traveling with purpose!
Because we don’t want you to miss out on an adventure of a lifetime that will also encourage you in your faith like never before, we put together a list of 5 Reasons you Should do a Refugee-Focused DTS in Boise. They’re in no particular order…wait, who am I kidding? I was really hungry when I wrote this so that’s why we’ll start with food!
[big_title2]5 Reasons you Should do a Refugee-Focused DTS in Boise[/big_title2]
1. The Food
On a recent trip to Cyprus, one of our students described his thoughts regarding all of the amazing food he had been eating, “My tastebuds have never been so happy.” I consulted my tastebuds and they whole-heartedly agreed!
The refugee crisis has brought many different cultures to Boise, each one with it’s unique, full of flavor, mouth-watering food. One thing you will often hear is how generous and hospitable people groups from the Middle East and Africa are. It’s their culture to invite you in to their home and feed you a delicious meal even if that means they may go without. Whether you’re visiting your Iraqi friends or the Uzbekistan Market, it’s unlikely you will get to leave without eating something amazing. We may actually have to run a CrossFit DTS along side our Refugee-Focused DTS just to burn all the calories we eat during the week!
Now of course we don’t make friends just to eat their food but let’s just be honest, it certainly is a plus!
2. The Languages
It’s not uncommon to meet refugees that speak 3 or 4 or even more languages. One of the pastors I know that came to Boise as a refugee speaks 7 languages! There are many different languages and dialects represented by our new friends and as we get to know them better we get to know their language as well. When you do a refugee-focused DTS you will connect with one family or individual for the 3-months that you live in Boise. During those 3 months you will undoubtedly pick up a few new words. Of course, if you’re like me, you will fail at your pronunciation more often than not (I supposedly kept calling a book an elephant in Arabic once) but that will be a good laugh for your new friends and they will actually feel quite important that you would try to learn their native tongue.
3. Be a part of The Church
YWAM Boise is located right across the street from Discovery Church. Between Discovery Church and our building, there are three other churches meeting…except these services are not in English. They’re in Nepali, Amharic, French and Swahili. Christians from around the world worship right here…in Boise. Even when I sit in a service where I don’t understand a word or can’t get the worship song down, I cannot help but be encouraged by the faith of those I’m surrounded by.
I’ve sat down with a few of the church members and listened to their journey from fleeing their homeland because of war and persecution and it often reminds me of stories from the Bible. These brothers and sisters have often experienced Jesus in a way many of us never will and because of that they have so much to offer the Christians in this city.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. Check out Acts 11: 19-25. The Church at Antioch, one of the greatest missionary sending churches recorded in history, was started by refugees. Is it possible that God is doing something similar at this very moment in our city and around the world? Come find out!
4. Different Ministries
At the time of this blog post, we’re 2 days away from something new here in Boise. It’s called the Boise Refugee Circle. Because Boise has been a host city for many years for refugees, there are quite a few unique ministries that you can plug in to. The Boise Refugee Circle will exist to connect those ministries with each other as well as with those interested in serving. Maybe sports is your thing? Or maybe you love kids? Or what about gardening? Or fishing? While you’re living in Boise for 3 months you’ll get to find unique ways to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
5. It’s the Greatest Opportunity in our Generation…
We’ve all seen the pictures online; boats overflowing with refugees seeking safety, bodies of those young and old washed up on the shore. We’ve maybe seen so much that we’re numb to it. It doesn’t shock us anymore. We’ve been told this is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation.
That’s how many people were displaced in 2015. 60 million. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and many more.
Real quick. The last words that Jesus spoke here on earth were to go to all the Nations (people groups, not countries) and make disciples but only 10% of all Christian missionaries and only 1% of all mission funding* actually go to the Nations that have never heard the Gospel (* Ralph Winters). It’s no secret that we the Church (me) have not done the best at going.
Now check this out. The majority of the refugees coming to our city are from the most unreached places in the world. Is it possible to believe that God so loves the _________ (fill in the blank…..Syrians, Iraqi’s, etc…) that He would uproot them and set them right next to Christians? Is it also possible to believe that God so loved the Christians that He would still want them to be a part of the redemption process of the _________(fill in the blank again)?
The world may say this is the greatest crisis or problem in our generation but we know that it’s the greatest opportunity for the Church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a people that have never heard. And THAT is why we think you should join our refugee-focused DTS coming this January!
Got questions? We’d love to hear from you!