Whats Going on in the Life of the Ward's
This Blog is my quarterly update's on what's happening in our life
"Jesus your going to have to show up"....This was the silent prayer going up as there was no way to remove the distance between the driver’s side of the door and the passenger’s seat where Phillip was seated as a gunmen held us at gun point with the barrel directed at his head.
“No weapon that is formed against you will succeed” Isaiah 54:17
A few weeks ago Phillip and I where in Brazil speaking in one of our Fire & Fragrance DTS’s that we are running in partnership with Dunamis Movement. I was schedule to speak at 3 different church young adults movements in different cities on the weekend before and after the school. The Lord gave me a message that I really felt like was a word of the Lord for the young adults of the nation and the age group of who I would be speaking to. That message was about “reformation” and taking personal responsibility for our calling’s, words from God and seeing the nation changed. The first night I preached it, I felt a little on my left foot, but the Lord really showed up and I knew it was much more significant then I had realized. There seemed to be more spiritual warfare for me in Brazil from when I was the in the summer. The following weekend after we spoke in the DTS on the farm, I was scheduled to preach in two more young adult movements. I felt like the Lord asked me to speak the same message again.
We where leaded out to the next town on that Friday, and when I woke up I told Phillip that I felt an unusual amount of spiritual warfare. We drove a few hours away to the city I was speaking in. We had young woman who was driving us around and was was translator for me. That night before I spoke we met with the pastors of the church for dinner and then I asked to get some coffee. There was a coffee shop a block away from the church, but we had trouble finding parking and ending up parking at grocery store that had closed for the evening. We walked across the street for coffee. While we where there we where talking about the crime in Brazil. They where telling us stories about people being kidnapped, mugged and shot etc, but the pastor said that the city we where presently in was voted the safest city in Brazil and that he had lived there for ten years and had never had any problems. As we walked back to our parked cars we where joking around a little about the subject. We where going to drive one block and park at the church as I was speaking in 20 min. In our car was the woman driving us, Phillip in the passenger seat, the pastor’s wife and myself in the back seat. In the other car was the pastor and his two young sons. As we were backing out to leave I hear Phillip say “gun, gun, gun” and I look up to see a man standing in front of the car with a pistol pointing strait at us and blocking us from driving forward. The gunman was suddenly at the drivers window telling her to roll down her window as he pointed the gun at her. Of course he was speaking in Portuguese so Phillip and I didn’t know what he was saying at the time, and our minds are racing as the moment is more surreal then you can imagine. The gunman is now pointing it strait at Phillips head. Phillip at that time is thinking that there is absolutely nothing he can do from the passengers seat where is is, so he stays very calm. I am in the back trying to discreetly hide my passport in the seat pocket. When Phillip realized there was nothing that could be done he just silently prayed “Jesus your going to have to show up”. The man then looked at me and then looked at Phillip strait in the eyes and lowered his gun and started yelling and cursing for us to leave, and leave we did!
The pastor had gotten away in the other car with his children and called the police. We hurriedly drove to the church and with our mind and heart are racing! (though Phillip still seemed calm) I had to get up in preach 20 min after it happened. I knew that what I was preaching that night was a word from the Lord and I was fired up and under the fear of the Lord at the same time!
As we processed it with our friend and translator and other leaders in the area we came to full conclusion that the gunman had to have seen something that changed his mind. We don’t know what he saw but we know that the Lord was with us in that car and made Himself known in someway that changed that mans mind. Praise Jesus!
We where overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God and aware of the real spiritual warfare that was coming against us for more then just one reason. But again, Jesus wins!
Let me tell you a little of what is going on with us!
When we came to Kona one of the main goals was for Phillip to start a trade school in the University of the Nations. We launched that in Sept 17, as an elective track for our entry level DTS students. We are now running it for the third quarter. The students then go on outreach and use those skills in the nations. We just heard that in the last couple weeks one of our Trades and Farm track student teams currently in the Himalayas have built toilets, a washing station, put a roof on a church in the slums and have helped build a water catchment system! That's just one team in one location, all this while they seem people get saved and healed.
The Trades Track is now turning in to a full 3 year degree program. Once you have complicated your DTS you can then go right into the second year program and then into there third year apprenticeship coming out with a NCCR national recognized certification of a Journeyman with a real resume. Its amazing!
While developing the Trade school with his team, Phillip is also overseeing all of Campus Development and Operations. He has never been more busy, over his head, thrivings and loving life like he is right now! Pretty much BOSS status!
I continue to bring leadership to the campus in serving on the Core Leadership Team, as well as continuing to be on the leadership teams of Fire & Fragrance and Circuit Riders. I am traveling and speaking on different YWAM bases, our new pioneering YWAM plants, and a few other ministries. Since my last newsletter I have traveled teaching and preaching in Washington DC, Orlando several times, Alaska twice, Oregon, LA a few times, Nepal, Dubai, Indonesia, and Brazil. Phillip got to go on some of those trips as well, and he being's such a strategic piece each time. Its been amazing to see how God has brought us together in marriage to be a team in ministry. We would have never known how strategic and powerful it would be. We are so thankful we are in a season of getting to do more together.
This last fall in Kona we had the largest quarter in YWAM's history and the Fire & Fragrance DTS had the largest school ever ran that we know of with 300+ students. That school went on 12 weeks of outreach all over the world and they saw 40,700+ confirmed salvations, 3,750+ healings, 114,300+ heard the gospel preached, and over 2000 hours of intercession! We have never been in days like this before. We are in a season of great growth and multiplication. We are projected to far exceed those student numbers this coming Fall Quarter. We currently don’t have enough beds for the amount of students coming. Phillip is walking in a real level of supernatural faith and capacity increase to see dorm buildings built, 30,000 square feet of classroom space built by this fall, and a whole lot more to prepare for the growth. The level of responsibility and leadership is beyond anything he has ever known, and its all directly tied to a real missions movement. Its been such a honor and privilege to walk more closely with the YWAM founder's, Loren and Darlene Cunningham. Our desire is that they would see a lot more of the vision completed in their life time!
There is so much I want to tell you about, and at the bottom of this letter is a couple more wild things that we we are taking on, so check it out.
To be able to write you these stories and updates on what we are apart of leading is humbling and we are so honored we get to be apart of it.
Jesus You Are Going to Have to Show Up Again!
At the beginning of this letter I told you about some of the spiritual warfare has been going on. Sometimes it shows up in the form of a real weapon and other times in comes at us in other ways but it always feels personal. The enemy knows he can't stop us from obedient to Jesus but he sure as heck tries to slow us down. As you can read from this letter we have so much going right now and real assignment from the Lord but honestly one of the most challenging parts of being in missions is having to raise finances. Right now Phillip and I are in a place again that Jesus has to show up with provision for us to continue on the way we are. We are in a immediate need of increasing our committed monthly support by $3500-$4000 more a month. While we were in Brazil we where notified that the house we rent was sold and we now have to find a new place to live in the next two weeks. If you would be praying for us for breakthrough in our housing and finances we would really appreciate it! If you would like to apart of that financial breakthrough and become a monthly financial supporter then that would be a huge blessing to us!
Thank you for taking the time to read our updates. We are so blessed by our family and community across the globe.
Love and Blessings,
Amy & Phillip Ward
One of the other big things that I am taking on in this season is the DTS for the older generations that is ran here in Kona. I know, it really seems like a left field move for me, but its very much the Lord.
In serving on the leadership team of the campus there are always things that are coming up that we have to take on and bring leadership to. There are some amazing shifts and changes in what the Lord is speaking to us a Campus Leadership Team of where we are to heading and strategy on how to get there. One of the things that has come up a lot is what the Lord wants to do with the older generation that is looking for the second vision for their life. We have had an amazing Crossroads DTS’s ran here in Kona for many many years from a vision the Lord gave Loren and Darlene many years ago.
A few years ago here in Kona we developed different skill based tracks that are electives within the DTS program. Some of the DTS’s started incorporating these into their schools. We now have tracks in Business, Music, Media, Fitness/Sports, Compassion/Mercy, Dance, Construction Trades, and Natural Farming. There will be more to come. The Crossroads DTS is designed for those over 30 and many of the students are coming with real experience and backgrounds in different spheres and we want them to be able to use those skills in missions. We are in a time of great increase of young people coming into missions. With that there is a real need for those over 30 with that real life experience and skills, that are on fire for Jesus, and passionate about young people and missions. We want them to come and be encountered by God and given a fresh vision and assignment for their lives and future. We feel like incorporating these tracks within the Crossroads DTS and having them work alongside younger people in these tracks is going to further the hearts of the generations turning toward one another and impart the vision and value of being YOUTH with a Mission.
As the leadership felt like God was speaking to us about this older age group and shifting somethings with the Crossroads the Lord really started to speak to me about it. Then one night the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and He said to me that with the increase of the wave of young people that is coming that it was urgent for a great focus on Crossroads to happen and some shifts made. I found myself unexpectedly burdened by the heart of the Lord for this. We know that someone from the leadership team needed to take this on and with the prompting of the Lord I volunteered. I shocked myself!
What does this mean? Well it means I will be leading the fall Sept Crossroads DTS this year! I will have a great team to help lead a lot of the day to day but I will be overseeing the development and vision of it all. It also means I will be bringing leadership to the big picture of Crossroads as a whole in the development and vision for all the DTS’s that are run as a Crossroads DTS. Its a huge undertaking for me and not something I saw coming, but the Lord is writing this story and as I always preach sometimes when you ask God what’s on His heart He will invite you into it, and apparently Crossroads is on His heart.
There will be a lot more information to come as things unfold in the coming months. Pray for me to have a capacity increase, wisdom, and that God would send the right staff.
The new info is not up yet but you can always go to www.uofnkona.edu for more information and to apply for any DTS we run.
The Ward family adventures by Amy Ward