Becky’s Outreach Update
Well, here I am at the end of my local DTS outreach! Itʼs certainly been an impacting process for me, and one that not only has taught me a lot about the communities of Turner Valley and Black Diamond, but has opened my eyes to the perceptions people in the community have towards YWAM, and our particular presence here in the town of Turner Valley. I have also learned a lot about myself, and how my actions and involvements as a believer are crucial to the community. Iʼve realized how closed off I have been to the rich culture and life in these towns, having generally chosen in the past to remain in my own safety zone, and actually have become quite myopic in terms of what Christian life looks like when I am not in a foreign country. This outreach has helped broaden and I think balance what missions look like for me in my own context and in my own backyard, and how even small efforts have large rewards.
One activity that I have quite enjoyed on outreach has been studying the Bible in coffee shops. Not only is studying something I enjoy, but people frequently approach me to ask what I am reading, or to commend me on being a young person studying the Bible, and not embarrassed to do it in public. I generally reply by telling them that I try not to take the freedom I have in this country for granted, and remind myself of this truth by studying the Bible in public. A documentary on the history of the Bible that I viewed recently also impacted me along these lines. One really interesting quote was by Erasmus, who was one of the key individuals who provided new Greek and Latin translations of the Bible around the time of Martin Luther. He was reading the Greek New Testament (the language in which the New Testament was originally written) for the first time, and had only read the corrupted Latin version before that. He said, “Either this is not the gospel, or we are not Christians.” Again, I realized how often I take having my own Bible in my language for granted, and how many people suffered and died so that I could study the Bible for myself.
Alycia and I have made several friendships with various business employees in the area, and although many donʼt seem to want to talk/ are too busy, there are a few individuals who are eager to chat with us. Throughout these last few months, this process of intentionally reaching out to the community I have already been a part of for many years has not just helped others, but has very much blessed me as well. I have enjoyed cultivating new friendships, and many will continue to grow past DTS. I feel now for the first time like I am a part of the larger community of Turner Valley and Black Diamond, in a way I never was before. I also hope that through my outreach, I will have benefited YWAM Turner Valley in promoting relationships and in some ways being a mediator between our campus and the community. We have definitely promoted a greater awareness in the community of what exactly YWAM does, and people know who we are, as opposed to the idea many people had before and referred to us as, “the old hospital at the end of the road.” Hopefully this greater awareness will lead to greater cooperation and relationship between YWAM and these towns in the future.