YOUTH WITH A MISSION KOIVUMÄKI JANUARY-JUNE 2020 UPDATE
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,”1 Corinthians 15:57.
Indeed, it is so important to remind ourselves to keep thanking the Lord because His faithfulness and mercies are new every morning. He’s the One who daily carries our burdens and constantly walking with is in every season of our lives. Most especially in this season, we are in.
All Generations DTS 2020 was supposed to start on the 18th of January 2020 but due to lack of students and staff, the Base Team Leadership of YWAM Koivumäki decided to cancel it. It was not easy to cancel it because we really desire to obey the Lord in discipling and helping people to grow closer and intimate in their relationship with the Lord. However, the Lord knows exactly what is ahead of us- A Pandemic is just around the corner that will affect the whole world.
Before the Lockdown and Quarantine
Before the quarantine was implemented by the Finnish Government Officials, the Staff of YWAM Koivumäki were able to continue to serve in different places doing many things. They were also given the opportunity to help in nearby churches by teaching, preaching, praying, and counseling people. They also helped in-need families and visited elderly people to encourage and checked on them if they are fine or sick.
YWAM Koivumäki hosted visitors from different parts of the country and visiting ministers who were invited to preach and teach in different churches in the Savo Area. The staff also serve and encourage the neighbors who live near Koivumäki Training Center.
One of the staff was given a very good opportunity to serve in one of the schools near Kuopio. He was able to help and encourage school children to practice their English language with him. He also helped them in playing sports. Some staff was given the opportunity to serve outside of the country: they taught in seminars, churches, and conferences.
Staff Training and Development
On February 21-24, 2020 YWAM Koivumäki staff attended a three-day YWAM Finland staff training development, planning, and prayer time in YWAM Oulu. Together with the other staff and leaders from other YWAM training centers in Finland they seek the Lord, worship, prayed and planned for the things that will enable YWAM Finland influence the different spheres of society, improvement of working relationship with other missionary organizations and churches in Finland and other topics that are in God’s heart for this season.
Quarantine and Lockdown time
On March 15, 2020, the quarantine time was implemented by the Finnish Government and then followed by the Lockdown of Uusimaa Region. Upon receiving the guidelines and instructions all the regular ministries and programs of YWAM Koivumäki Training Center were put on hold. The seminars, schools and other events that were planned were all canceled. Even the teaching trips of the different staff inside and outside of Finland were also canceled.
The staff living outside of the training center are no allowed to go to the center. The staff is all advised to work at home and conduct meetings online. All of a sudden the normal and regular activities that the staff and the training center used to do were no longer allowed so the Team Leadership of YWAM Koivumäki seeks the Lord. The Lord reminded the Team leadership what he has spoken during the prayer and fasting time Of YWAM Koivumäki Family did in January 17-18,2020, that this is the year of Prayer/intercession and worship.
On March 17, 2020, YWAM Koivumäki Family started a Prayer Chain starting from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening. Each staff has its own time to pray. The testimonies of answered prayers coming from different people who requested prayer have been a great encouragement to all of us in our prayer chain. We are also praying for different Nations, government leaders, churches, and other events connected to this epidemic. Indeed, it is mind-blowing how the Lord has led each staff during their prayer times and how He has continually answered the prayers prayed each day.
God has been revealing new things to each staff in a personal way and drawing each of them intimately. Indeed, we are living in very interesting times.
Renovate Missionary Staff Housing
I am currently working at a mission base in rural Finland that is an old farmhouse. The base has run many schools and conferences over the years with the goal of deepening people’s relationship with God. Many of the staff and all students live on the base during these schools and conferences. The staff live and serve here year-round. That being said it is an old school and I would like to bless the base by doing some basic renovations to bring it up to date and make it feel more home-like. The renovations I would like to do are mostly cosmetic in nature though I would love to tackle bigger renovations in the future. I am starting with a staff kitchen and living room. Some of the things I would like to do: paint and stain (walls, trim, doors, windows, some furniture, cabinets), put hinges on the windows so they can be opened safely, hang new curtain rods and curtains, replace the handles on the cabinets and drawers, replace old door handles with ones that work, and possibly replace some furniture. I have volunteered to do the work myself. What your donations would go towards paint, rollers, brushes, sandpaper, new curtain rods and curtains, lamps/light fixtures, door handles, and possibly furniture. If I have any excess it will go towards updating other rooms in the house. I wanted to start with the staff areas because they are all volunteers and giving their time to invest in people and the local community. This is just one way to bless them back as well as all the staff and students that will come in the future. Alex Baab
This is now the staff kitchen and living room after the hard work and love put into it by Alex. YWAM Koivumäki family, would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the donors, who opened their hearts and gave towards this project. Your generosity made it possible for this project to be accomplished. May the Lord return a hundred folds to you and your family.
What God taught/revealed to YWAM Koivumäki Family Members during the Quarantine time
1. One thing for me is the fact that God was not surprised. He told us this year is to be a year focused on prayer. So I’ve learned once again the importance of asking God for His plans then Obeying. I have also learned how to Zoom all around Finland and the world, saving a lot of money on gas. That even GOD uses smartphones. It is amazing how well it works to have prayer meetings. Mark Erickson
2.Some things I learned: first how God speaks to all His people and how connected the international church is. For example, God gave the same word to many different people and churches all over the world. I just thought that was cool. Also like Mark learning the use of zoom and being grateful for the technology that has kept so many people connected as well as the church. Alex Baab
3. I think the three most meaningful things I learned was the importance of knowing the Word of God in the Bible in times like this, also praying more prayers that are inspired by the scripture and really understanding more deeply how we should not lean on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him. Blessings, Hannele
4. Our highlight during the lockdown was family time. We found it to be a time of spending time with our children doing activities, praying, cooking, baking, and talking with them about life in general. We believe God allowed the lockdown time for us to slow down and pay attention to the things that matter the most and that is our relationship with Him and with each other in our family. God was using the lockdown time to regather family to spend time together and strengthen the foundation of their faith and love for one another. Saukuru Family
5. This time has been for me, a season of being at the feet of Jesus just like Mary. ”Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed/or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 NIV My relationship with the Lord has gone deeper through prayers, fasting worship, and praise. Considering what was going around the world with covid19, the Lord is our only refuge, in Him alone we should put our trust, He reigns and He is in control. Anything can fail us, but our God will never fail us for He is forever faithful! The Lord put on my heart to share more about what Jesus did for us on the cross to my neighbor. I have offered them a bible and they love to read the scriptures. I continue to pray for them to get an encounter with the Living God. Glory be to God, Angélique
Here are some of God’s promises that we can use to pray and declare over ourselves and our families and also to remind or encourage ourselves when we are at our lowest point.
1. God is our home. No matter where our journey takes us, we belong to Him. (Psalm 119:114)
2. Some people will hurt us with their words but God will heal us. He is our safe place. (Psalm 31:20)
3. When we have nothing to offer or to give to God, He still delights over us and will sing over us a new song. (Psalm 40:3)
4. God encourages us not to carry the burdens on our own so don’t hide your worries from Him. Come closer and bring them all to Him. Again and again. (Luke 12:22-25)
5. Let go of what holds and hinders you and let God hold you instead. When others reject you, He wants. You are his. (Isaiah 41:3)
6. God’s heart is big enough to be our home and a sure shelter in this journey–Not because life is perfect, but because His love for us is irrevocably perfect. (Jeremiah 31:3)
8. Come to Me all of you who are heavily– burden and I will give you rest. Yes, Be still and know that I AM God and I AM with you- Matthew 11:28-30
We would love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can pray for you and encourage you and your family. Grace and peace from the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit
YWAM Koivumäki Family