It’s been 7 days since I left Biarritz to begin the Outreach phase of my DTS! It feels like it has been much more than that.
We left on Thursday night on an overnight bus to Paris. We got to spend the day exploring the city with one other Outreach team. I got to see Notre Dame, L’Arc De Triomphe, the Louvre, the Lock Bridge, and the Effiel Tower. It was really cool, but I wish that I could spend a little more time there to get to go to the less popular places around the city. I think the coolest part for me was actually getting to see the things that I learned about back in grade 9 French and Socials class. (Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Quasimodo at Notre Dame, but I’m hoping he’ll be there next time I go! ;)) Overall it was actually very full, but very fun day.
After 12 hours in the city of love, we were on our flight to Stockholm! When we landed in Stockholm, we were picked up at the airport by the (incredible and super kind and welcoming) leaders of the YWAM base that we’re staying at. We drove maybe 3 hours and made it to the base here in Borlänge at 1:30am on Saturday. Every time I woke up I was in a different city… pretty wacky.
We had the weekend to get comfortable in our new location. I love it so much here! We have 3 pianos and a playground down the road with the craziest see-saw I’ve ever seen (-saw). It’s pretty sweet. The weather has been a bit of a shock for me. On our last day in Biarritz, we spent the afternoon at the beach in 23° weather. On our first morning here, we woke up to snow and -4°. It’s more of what I expect March to be, but I sure was enjoying the sunshine in France.
Over the past week we’ve had the opportunity to do evangelism/bible study at Ikea (could we get more Swedish?), a prayer walk through a neighbourhood of refugees, evangelism at the mall, and a hike where we prayed over the city of Borlänge. We also went to a local church for an incredible service on Sunday, hosted a meal for the local YWAM staff, and visited with a refugee family in their home. Evangelism has been a little more challenging here than it was in France. The Swedes are very reserved, so going up to someone in the middle of the mall is a little bit (more like a lot bit) weird for them. I tried starting conversations with people by asking if they had some free time to help me practice my Swedish. It was actually pretty successful too! I talked with one girl for a while and she taught me how to say “I like to ski”. Following that I ended up being able to pray for her and her father who was having health issues. It was really really cool.
Evangelism has by far been one of my greatest areas of growth throughout DTS. Before coming here, I had done street Evangelism maybe once or twice, since coming here I’ve done it at least once a week. Needless to say, I’ve been forced to get out of my comfort zone. It’s been so good though! Of course when you have a group of people all coming from different nations, a common question is “how do you all know each other?” This gives the opportunity to talk about YWAM and how we have been doing a Bible school for 3 months and now are heading out on a missions trip, which can then lead to more conversation about religion/faith etc. It has been really cool and really different every time we go, but what I’ve noticed is time that people are actually surprisingly open to receiving prayer.
This weekend we will be spending the day with some Christian refugees, just hanging out and playing games together. I’m really looking forward to that. We don’t have a total set plan, so each day has been a bit of an adventure, but it had been really incredible. I seriously love this country so much! We are here until the first week of April, and then potentially will spend a few days in Stockholm before heading down to the nicer weather (Albania) for a YWAM conference.
Well, that’s a little snapshot of what this first week of Outreach has looked like for me. I’ve been working on my Swedish everyday, and I can now say maybe 20 words! The weather and landscape here has been making me a little homesick, I miss you guys in Kamloops so much! Thanks again for checking back, and thank you for keeping us in your prayers! I’ll update again soon, hopefully!
Specific Prayer Requests
- For courage, boldness and bravery to share the Gospel
- For safety for our team