About halfway through the outreach of every DTS we run here at YWAM Mazatlan, we send a member of our eldership team to visit the team. This month Ikaika had the opportunity to visit our teams in Mexico City and Panama City. The primary reason for the visit is to support our outreach leaders and help them navigate through different situations, but you also just get to observe our staff and students in action. While I was on my trip I had a few really proud moments. One night in Panama we were at the welcome dinner for the Panama DTS and after dinner during our time of worship I watched as our DTS students prayed for and encouraged this new DTS. What impacted me the most was our students were in that same spot just four months ago, and as I watched I felt to some degree like a proud father. You hope that you were a blessing to the team that you went to visit, but at the end of the day the thing that made the trip for me was to see the growth in our guys and to know that we are able to help make difference in the lives of these young people.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people flood the streets of Mazatlan to celebrate Carnaval, and for the last 9 years YWAM Mazatlan has been in the thick of it telling people about the love of Jesus. This year close to 200 people from Australia, Canada, USA and Mexico came to be a part of the outreach. After being a part of 8 other Carnaval outreaches we took some time to reflect on what made this year unique to all the others.
Sometimes missions just isn't perfect Leading up to the arrival of about 200 people, a few of our staff and mission builders were busy turning the roof terrace of our storage room into a dorm/classroom. Because some of the materials were delayed they were getting closer and closer to arrival day and we realized that they just weren't going to finish. So with a roof, no windows and a partially dry walled interior we began to make bunk beds and prepare for the teams arrival. Sometimes missions just isn't perfect and we end up sleeping in less than ideal circumstances and eat less than ideal food, but at the end of the day none of it really matters. We all came to see Mazatlan transformed one party at a time and if we have to sleep in less than ideal circumstances and eat the same bread roll sandwiches every night, so be it. This is missions!
40 days of prayer Heading into the Carnaval we tend to pray a lot, so this year we thought we'd try to get everyone involved in praying for Carnaval. This year we launched our 40 days of prayer campaign. It was a joint effort between Laura, the Carnaval outreach leader and David, our resident design guru. Laura came up with a subject and a verse for each day and David would take that and translate it into an amazing design that we sent out via email and social media. It was awesome to see everyone's response to the campaign and we hope that next year it will be even better.
Our media and communications team are champs The media ministry officially launched during the very first Carnaval outreach with a rough looking video produced by yours truly. Ever since then media has been a major feature to the outreach. In the early days it was all about documenting the outreach, but now the media team is looking to tell the stories from the Carnaval outreach and use media and communications to reach people for Christ. This year we had people covering the outreach on Instagram, capturing stories, editing videos and taking amazing photos.
When plans change, you adjust In order to run the Carnaval outreach we rent a building close to the base that serves as our hub. We do worship there and run the beauty salon and cafe as well. A day into the outreach we received a call saying that we could no longer use the building, which meant that we had to do everything outside in the parking lot. Sometimes things don't go as planned, but you just roll with it and it turns out even more amazing!!