TWoL – May Newsletter

This is my personal emailed newsletter called “The Way of Love.” The name is based on the name of my blog, “The Beginnings Of.” I started my blog when I started my DTS with YWAM and I knew it was the beginning of something big but I didn’t know what. I have been wondering ever since then what exactly it was the beginning of and I felt like God gave me the answer in October of 2015 at a prophetic conference while I was listening to one of the speakers: “The Way of Love.”


05 June 2016

Hi everyone! I hope this newsletter finds you all doing well. This last month we have been good here at the Chateau. We recently had a team from Salem, Oregon who helped us out a lot with some projects in our garden. This month I also decided to staff the next “One Thing DTS” in September. I would like to share with you about something the Lord has been working in me these last couple weeks, too. It’s been a good month and I’m looking forward to this next month.

One thing that is important to us as a community is to develop the land that God has blessed us with here. We have lots of acres of land and we have been able to use a very small portion of it to grow some produce over the last couple of years. However, doing so has taken a good bit in water cost and have made it not efficient. So a few weeks ago, a DTS team of around a dozen people came to our base as part of their DTS outreach. They were a huge blessing to us. At the same time, we had a great guy from a nearby base come and teach all of us how to build water catchment tanks and systems. That was the big project that the team helped us with. The plan is for the rain water (from a roof we will be building shortly) to collect, after it runs through a natural filter, in these large tanks. The team did a great job and we are very thankful for their help. It was a joy to be able to learn this system, as well, because it is something that can easily be built in relatively remote places around the world as it is made of simple, cheap, and easy to find materials. We now have one of two of these tanks built; when finished they will collect enough water for our organic garden to begin to flourish.

This month, I have also made a pretty big decision regarding the upcoming DTS. I had it in my mind that I would not be staffing this coming DTS, but as soon as I got back here after my trip to the States, God starting working on that idea of mine. The day after I arrived, we were in the middle of a time of 24 hour prayer and worship that we called a “prayer burn.” As a community we all prayed together for a portion of the burn about the different ministries that God has asked us to do with Him here. As we prayed, I had no small amount of excitement about each one, but I felt like none of them were where the Lord was leading me to be fully involved. Once we began to pray for the next “One Thing DTS”, however, I didn’t feel way any longer. In my heart there was this love that I felt for that particular school and this deep desire to be a part of it again. But I wasn’t sure that it was from the Lord. Later, I was talking with a fellow staff member and she told me that she was going to lead the outreach for that school and we talked about the possible outreach locations. As we did, my heart stirred once again and this time very strongly. I felt like all of this was the Lord redirecting me to work with that school. But I wanted to take more time and pray about it to be sure. So I took a couple weeks and waited to hear from the Lord. One weekend, not too long ago, I was asking Him about it and He responded with basically that this is part of why He brought me here to Bridges of Life, to be a part of leading outreaches. That was what I needed. The next day I met with my leaders here and they gave the green light for me to be a part of the school as well. I am very excited to be staffing a DTS once again. It is something very big on my heart – to see God transform students that come, as well as the staff involved. I grew so much closer to Him during this last school and I learned so much. I am looking forward to doing it again.

God has been doing an interesting work in me personally this last month, as well. He has been stirring up things in me to the point where I knew something was going on, but I could not figure it out. It had a lot to do with things that had been spoken over me in the past; things that deep down I still believed to be true about myself. One such thing was this voice that continuously told me that I was lazy. It was something that had driven me to “try harder” and “do more” all the time. I could almost never find rest because this voice would tell me that if I was relaxing, I was being lazy and that I didn’t do enough; so I was always driven to keep working harder. I could almost never find good rest. There are a lot more things that play into it as well but that’s the simple way of putting it for now. So, at one point recently, I was having a meeting with one of our base leaders about our website and I asked for her help in figuring out what was going on and it turned into a really good time of the Lord healing some of those deep wounds. Basically, I realized I could tell myself that I was not lazy and others could say the same thing, but deep down I could not 100% believe it. I realized that the only thing that could possibly change this belief was the Lord’s opinion on the matter. So, long story shorter, I asked the Father the question, “Do you see me as lazy?” It took me a while to ask Him and I had my own idea of how I hoped He would respond. He took His time to answer too. And then He asked me, “Do you think I am lazy?” It kinda caught me off guard. “No. You are God, You know what You are doing.” Through our dialog, He spoke to my heart and began to work out that lie that was in me. Finally, after a good long process, I was able to speak out the words, “I am not lazy, because my confidence is in You, Lord.” That was something I wasn’t able to do before. I couldn’t say those words and believe it in my heart, but now I could. I am still figuring out what this looks like for me going forward and how to walk it out, but it definitely broke something in a good way.

Overall, this month has been another month where the Lord has been faithful. Not a single day has been wasted. Whether we are doing practical things all day long or if we have a chance for ministry, He has been faithful to make it all “count” and to use it for His purposes. Even sleepless nights, He takes and redeems. I have found He does that. In His kingdom, nothing is ever wasted and nothing is ever without purpose.

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime about anything. It is possible that I may not get emails if you just reply to this email, so if you don’t hear from me in a day or two, feel free to email me at JustinASmith151@gmail.com. Thank you all for watching what God does though my life! Love you all!

-Justin Smith
PS: I am still trying to raise monthly support to continue the work that I am doing over here. I am looking for people who can partner with me by supporting me with at least $10 a month. If I can get 50 people who can do at least $10 a month, I will be fully funded. At the moment, I have less than 10. Will you please pray about and consider joining what God is doing here in the south of France? If you would like to donate, you can do so through my blog. Just go to thebeginningsof.wordpress.com (or click on “Check out my blog here” below) and in the menu, click on “Support.” Thank you! 🙂

PSS: The school leaders for the upcoming One Thing DTS are looking for a babysitter for their year and a half old son during the first half of the DTS. It would be from September till November. If you are interested and would like more info, email me at JustinASmith151@gmail.com
Acts 6:1-6 NASB

Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

– I chose this verse this month because it highlights something really important, especially in the practical side of missions. The apostles needed someone who could take care of food; so instead of choosing just anyone they said to be sure to choose someone who was was “of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom.” I find this very encouraging. To me, it shows how important even the smallest tasks are to God. Those that are cooking, setting tables, filling out papers, vacuuming churches, or locking the doors at night are no less important to global missions and the kingdom of God than the one on the “front lines” or out on the streets or locked up in jail for their faith. They are all just as important to the Father. Did you notice that one of the men selected was named Stephen? This is that same man who became the first martyr, who was killed at the feet of Saul who became Paul.


Prayer points:

– For finances to be released to cover everything. God is faithful, I know He will provide. 🙂

– For the right students to apply for the “One Thing DTS” and for more staff.

– For wisdom and guidance from the Lord for plans for the DTS and for open doors with the right outreach locations and contacts

Praise points:

-My visa process has gone very well! I am just waiting for my resident card to be ready to pick up.

-Thankful that I get to be a part of this next “One Thing DTS”.

-Several people have said they will be able to help support me monthly. Very thankful for all of the Lord’s provision!

 

The water catchment tank that the team from Salem, OR built for us.

 

Some of the staff and volunteers before the banquet from the Hospitality seminar. Isn’t that table set up pretty!

 

Went on a hike up a beautiful mountain in our city, St Hippolyte du Fort, and found a cool cave on the way.
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