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When I sat down to write this post, I looked back at my journal to try and figure out how to summarize the past few weeks – what to talk about and what to leave out – but the longer I stared at the paper, the more overwhelmed I became.

“How do I choose what to share? How do I sum up the incredible moments that have happened over the last month?” To be honest, I just can’t do it. I can’t tell you everything that’s happened here because you wouldn’t understand. You’d read my story and try to figure out why it means so much to me, but you wouldn’t get it. Not because it’s too complicated, but because you don’t know what it’s like to actually BE here. You can’t picture my stories and the impact they’re having because you can’t put yourself in my shoes.

That’s when it hit me.

I don’t need to outline every detail of what’s happened here thus far, but rather I need to try and explain what it’s LIKE to be here. To paint you a picture of this breathtaking place and the company that surrounds me so that you can begin to understand WHY I’m here. Why any of us are here. And why maybe, one day, you may find yourself here too.

I’m not exactly sure how to put it all into words, how to accurately grasp the feeling of being a part of something this great, but I’ll give it a try.

YWAM is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. 

There’s a sense of love here that’s like no other. A love that brings people together. That heals wounds you never even knew you had.

There’s an all encompassing feeling of safety and belonging that connects somewhere deep in your soul, like you’ve finally stumbled into the place your heart’s been longing to be for years.

It’s a place free from guilt + shame + hatred + fear that instead fosters the growth of your own individual uniqueness through love + kindness +grace + mercy. There’s forgiveness here. There’s acceptance here.

There’s FREEDOM here.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t figure out why this place was so different. Why it was so unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. That is until I sat down and began writing this to you.

I realized that this place is unique because it is selfless. It operates on the understanding that serving God and His people, through sharing the Gospel and through acts of mercy, is the foundation of what it means to be a Christian. It strives to help each one of us know God and make Him known. To help foster the development of our own personal relationship with the man we call our Father; so that once we truly begin to understand the UNCONDITIONAL love our Father has for US, we can then begin to share that love with the rest of His children.

And after starting down this road of personal growth + love + relationship with God, we end up in a place of pure, overwhelming joy – a place many of us thought we already resided, but have since realized, since joining YWAM, we were only spectators.

We were so convinced that, up until this point, we were truly happy with the lives we led, that we failed to see the wounds we nursed and struggled with beneath the surface. We failed to to see the lies + the hurt that were keeping us from what it truly means to be free and forgiven in Christ. But with THAT realization comes TRUE freedom. With THAT realization comes TRUE happiness.

YWAM is more than a bible college, or short term mission trip, or a place to get away for a while. It’s more than just new friends + traveling + evangelizing. YWAM is the beginning of something greater. Because with YWAM, the change begins with you. It starts in YOUR own heart. With YOUR personal relationship with God.

So yeah, a lot happens here that I can’t even begin to explain. And yeah, it’s definitely different. But it’s a great different. Because YWAM is full of people from all over the world who have a radical love for a man named Jesus.

And at the end of the day, that love is what will change the world.

By Heather Fedak
Port YWAM Kona DTS student
http://heatherfedak.wordpress.com/

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