Groundbreaking News…

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It’s a Brand New Day!

 

June is just around the corner…

Summer is a crucial and excitement-packed time for YWAM Las Vegas.  With summer staff arriving fresh and full of passion and soon following the short term staff is group after group of young individuals.  The numbers all come for the same reason…God is doing something in Vegas and they’re here to be part of it.

 

Every week of the summer we take 6 or more trips out to Fremont Street or the strip (las Vegas Boulevard) area with the distinct purpose of sharing the Gospel and seeing the Kingdom expanded.

 

This summer we’ve added something new. It has been on the hearts of the dreamers for quite some time.  We are going to have a short prayer and worship internship for the first time!  The Groundbreakers…

 

Why the Groundbreakers? 

We know that God has called YWAM Las Vegas to contend for this city in prayer.  Through regular times of staying faithful to praying God’s destiny over this city as well as regular prayer walks on the grounds of this city.  We believe that God is always at work and we want to invest life, justice and peace into the increase that heaven is pouring out. We want to walk in the truth that, “…the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much….” (James 5:16).  Also,  the power of God is released in awesome ways through worship.  We know that the sound of worship can transform any place as the word tells of that He is, “Enthroned in the praises of His people.”.  We literally build a place for God to abide when we worship Him.

 

We are still in the building process of Prayer and Worship as the vision is huge, but laborers few. That’s when God spoke saying, “Bring in the Groundbreakers.”  As we move forward in dreams of dozens of passionate intercessor and worshipers traveling here to partner with us we are overjoyed with the beauty of small beginnings.

 

Calling all Groundbreakers!  If you have a heart for worship and prayer and would like to join an unforgettable experience I urge you to check it out!  For 3 weeks you could be part of a small team of individuals gathered here for the purpose of partnering with YWAM Las Vegas in the groundbreaking process we are in.  We will be taking worship to the streets several times a week in the 3 weeks.  We will be sharing the gospel and reaching those in this city every week.  We will dwell in the presence of God and seek Him in His word for His heart and destiny so that we can cry out in the spirit for that destiny to pierce through and shake this city.  Not to mention we’ll have loads of fun!

 

Where is God taking you this summer?  Can three weeks revolutionize your prayer life?  Can three weeks reveal to you the impact that worship makes in your circumstances and atmospheres of daily life?  Are you hungry to see God move in new ways? Are you curious to experience His heart for such a city as Las Vegas? 

 

If you’re 18 years of age or graduated from high school check out our page on the internship found on the YWAM Las Vegas website…

http://www.ywamlasvegas.org/pwinternship.html

God is out to do good things! Psalm 27:13…we want to see His goodness and hope arise in a stronger way in this place!!

 

 

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Waiting on the Strip

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         There has been something particularly special about the New Year and it lies within to taking worship and prayer outside of our YWAM building.  It’s very evident, no matter where you are, how much of a battle prayer really is.  One of the most sober ways to approach a time of prayer is to remember that very fact.  Oh the breakthrough we find in our prayer times when we stand firm on our authority and remember that, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

 

               We have an outreach we love to do here at YWAM Las Vegas called, “Viva La Worship”.   In this outreach we take 1 microphone, 1 tiny battery powered amp, 1 guitar, 1 djembe and as many worship leaders are available to join.  All of this we take, along with hearts revved up and ready for evangelism, and we set up at a spot out in front of the Bally’s hotel/casino on the Las Vegas strip.  We’ll play sets that include a couple of worship songs, sharing about 2 testimonies and a little gospel message usually lasting about 4 minutes.  After that we’ll take a 5 minute break and do the set again.  Though it seems short and though some see speakers and microphones as a bit intimidating; God moves in awesome ways!

 

              What is so different and such a delight in the midst of talking to passers-by, observers and even mockers is how the worship really sets a tone like no other.  Outreach is a major battle as well.  Some nights you’re engaged before you even get in the vehicle to drive to the strip and some nights it’s a battle to the very end to feel connected with what the Holy Spirit is doing.  However, in Viva La Worship there’s a unique grace that un-ravels as if a cloth canopy is over our spot out front the casino and, “The peace of God which surpasses all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7) comes as a guard over your heart and your mind.  Suddenly, whatever people or tall buildings that were once scary are no longer intimidating.  Billboard-trucks, LED screens and club recruiters flashing images of inappropriately dressed men and women all around aren’t distracting your gaze or grabbing attention out of the corner or your eye.  Best of all it doesn’t seem to matter that you’re on a public sidewalk anymore, you’re just there to bless the one you love.  The distractions fade away the focus becomes so obviously Jesus.

               It’s astounding how brilliantly the worship draws people in.  A 10 inch battery powered amp gives no special sound.  Forget about a singers voice sounding the way it actually does out of the teensy speaker.  It’s the heart and the spirit within it that really hooks people in.  Following the music with raw stories of how Jesus’ radical love transformed broken people into princes and princesses plays a vital role in all of it as well.

               God really does bring us those who are hungry and wanting.  Just this spring we began a set as usual and less than a minute through the first worship song a young man stopped to listen.  Two of the students from the Mission Adventures team approached him and went to talk to this young man.  They conversed with him through the entire set.  At the conclusion of the same two students walked over to the remainder of the group and announced, “Praise God!  We just got to lead that young man to Jesus!”.  Once again, how astounding  and brilliant is the draw of worship?  Imagine what God can do with the willing hearts who step out onto their streets and do the same?  To simply pick up your instrument, let that spirit do its thing and love on those who are intrigued by it.

               “5 I wait patiently for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.  6 My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning-Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.  7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.  8 And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Psalm 130:5-8)

             We wait patiently for the Lord in this city and contend for the increase of His kingdom being brought to the ones He loves here in Las Vegas.  As we set up and tear down on our Viva La Worship outreach I find my soul in this posture; waiting on our faithful Lord and holding on to hope.  For with Him is mercy and abundant redemption.

 

 

Burning in Las Vegas…

Burning in Las Vegas…

We are not forgotten. We are not alone. As we follow Him we are brought gifts of friendships and relationships. He knows what we need, who we need and when we need it!

YWAM Las Vegas got this blessing. We have around 25 fulltime staff here and run 6 ministries out of our base. We are constantly challenged as we seek the right balance of all the tasks that these ministries require along with purposely pursuing worship and prayer in the day to day of our community. This leaves us always joyful to receive visitors who have passion in the area of worship and prayer. We’re seeking God to increase this and we’re breaking the ground more and more. However, just as any other pioneering endeavor we need encouragement from the outside that will bring “extra hands” to this time of establishing such a goal within our community and within our city.

Along came the Burning Ones! In the past year we have been blessed in building a relationship with The Burnings Ones Internship and an awesome brother in the Lord named David Fritch based out of Shawnee, OK all a part of The Burn 24/7 prayer movement. Their hearts and lives are dedicated to abiding in a place of worship and prayer and taking the heart of God that is gained in that place onto the streets and even beyond to the nations.

About 2 weeks ago they came to Vegas for just 3 days and in those three days we shared time after time of prayer and worship on behalf of this city.
Please enjoy reading the stories and testimonies, whether you get to read about all 3 days or just one. May God stir your heart for your current city and awaken you to how you can pray!

Saturday:
It was only 2 hours after the group arrived that we went out to the Las Vegas strip for prayer. I shared quickly of our city’s atmosphere and the usual of what Las Vegas tourist life looks like; in the many varieties that it is. Then after praying together on a Corner underneath The Bellagio bell tower we split into groups of 2 and went where ever we felt inclined to pray. Being in 5 different group a lot of different things happened in that 45 minute time. One group walked what was probably a good 1/3 of the mile and a half strip just praying life and the Lord’s destiny over that place. Another group found themselves conversing with and praying for a young street musician who expressed the perfect timing of their reminding him that our Father in Heaven loves him very much. It was nearly 10pm when we finally wrapped up that time of prayer in the middle of the strip, but we didn’t end the night there! On the way out we stopped at the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. We thought we would just pray for about 20 minutes blessing the city. Instead we prayed, sang worship songs, cried out with tears and danced on that location until almost midnight. When you ask God for His heart for a place there just doesn’t seem to be a timeframe on how long you might be praying that heart out.

Sunday:
Sunday was a beautiful day of what came as a dream come true in my heart. The Burning ones had a, “Mini-Burn” here on our YWAM base with the heart and desire to fill our prayer room even more with prayer and the sound of worship, investing and believing for that increase of activity in the future of our base. From 1:30pm to 4:30pm they sang, played their instruments. They cried out in prayer and in song for our city, the body of Christ in the city and YWAM Las Vegas. It was a beautiful feeling that day and a blessing to watch YWAM staff join the Burn Interns in the noise. I believe soaking in all this got us ready for the awesome things we saw Sunday evening.

Sunday evening the Burning Ones divided up. Half came with me to the Las Vegas Rescue mission (a faith-based homeless shelter right across the street from us) and half stayed at our YWAM building to minister to a bible study one of our staff has established and leads. The chapel service at the Rescue Mission brought great surprises. In the middle of David Fritch sharing a testimony about their team seeing a woman they ministered to cease to crave a drug that held her in addiction; a couple in the chapel service interrupted and said, “Excuse us Sir, we don’t me to be rude, but we struggle with that same addiction and we need prayer to be free from it RIGHT NOW.” And right in the middle of the service we stopped everything and prayed for anyone who wanted that struggled with addiction. We ended the chapel time with simple altar ministry right after one of the young women who helps lead the Burning Ones Interns named Rachel had shared her testimony. In the alter ministry Rachel and I got to lead a lovely woman to the Lord who desired Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.

If that wasn’t enough to call it a great evening we re-connected with the rest of the interns to find that their ministry time to the members of the bible study took double the time simply because God was speaking so much through prayer and prophetic words.

Monday:

Monday with the team was a wonderful time. They led our staff in worship as we usually do as a base at the beginning of every week. David Fritch shared a message on making a resting place in worship and prayer for the Lord where we’re at and to end under the covering of sweet, soft worship the Burning Ones prayed and poured words of life over each staff member individually.

Monday evening was the perfect way to wrap up the time shared with this precious group of people. We went out to the Las Vegas strip one last time. As we often do we set up portable amps and with a microphone, guitars and djembes we worshipped the Lord in front of Bally’s right on the strip. Always taking whatever opportunity we can to talk to, pray with, or love on people who stop to listen. With a good number of the group being worship leaders we were able to take turns and worship non-stop for 3 hours in that place. This was the day before Valentine’s Day. We found ourselves singing quite a few loves songs to Jesus. Many passersby stopped to hear the love songs being sung over this city. Love was released!

To End…

God loves Las Vegas and His children! He is a good father to add to the number of hearts that carry Vegas in prayer. It was indeed a blessing to spend time with a group of individuals who do not live in the city, but have a heart for God’s Dreams to break through.

Be encouraged that God has not forgotten the dark places. He has not forgotten those who are reaching for Him and for hope in the dark places. If we cry out asking Him to bring more people who can come alongside those who fight for light in one place; then He will send those life-bringers as He has to Vegas. And He is going to bring more!

If you ever feel inclined in the slightest bit to join us for any period of time for worship or prayer in Las Vegas COME!! Come join us!! It will most certainly be an unforgettable time!

“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing…..” Isaiah 35:1-2

The more we do these things the more I feel the wilderness around me as this scripture describes it…

The Quiet Season

When you hear the phrase, “The peace after the storm”, what comes to mind?

Lately I’ve been discovering a new definition to this phrase that we as a base have experienced, which is the classic emptiness that comes with the territory when a Discipleship Training School has left for their 2 month outreach. Just 2 weeks ago our building was buzzing with action as masses gathered in our multi-purpose room at lunchtime, in worship times the one guitar was over-powered by voices and the evenings were a time to relax as you could relate to and enjoy all those around you. Now, everything is silent while 8 staff and 13 students are currently overseas in India (soon to proceed to Nepal) and Thailand. After 4 months of being poured into through teachings, ministry times, intercession times and worship times; they’re out in the nations serving others, contending for the captives, and spreading the gospel!

To some this quiet season may sound depressing, and truthfully we really miss them. However, our opportunity to pour into them is not over. We have a “Home Base” for a reason. We get to send them off in prayer, cover them while they’re gone and we will welcome them home rejoicing!

There’s a joy in this time of receiving updates and praying for more! For us it seems like, “The peace after the storm”, but for a chunk of our community currently across the world the storm is still pulling in new winds and releasing rain. The silence of where we are turns out to be a constant reminder to pray for them.

This DTS has been focused on the justice issue of Human Trafficking which is the exact area the two teams are actively pursuing to bring the Kingdom of heaven into in these countries. Our 2 teams will be reaching out to victims on the streets, in red light districts and where ever they can find them. They also will be ministering to those who have been rescued out of the enslaved lifestyle.

Please join us in praying for our bold and courageous staff and students as they follow the leading of the Lord to find opportunity where they are to “preach good tidings to the poor… bind up the broken hearted… proclaim freedom to the captives and opening of the prison to those who are bound…” (Is. 61:1).

This week in praying for the teams I was drawn to 2 specific chapters in Psalm to pray over them!

For the India Team Ps. 20 and particularly verse 7,
“SOME TRUST IN CHARIOTS, AND SOME IN HORSES; BUT WE WILL REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD.”

And for Thailand Ps. 46 particularly verses 5 and 10,
5 “GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF HER, SHE SHALL NOT BE MOVED; GOD SHALL HELP HER, JUST AT THE BREAK OF DAWN.”
10 “BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD; I WILL BE EXALTED AMONG THE NATIONS, I WILL BE EXALTED IN ALL THE EARTH.”

For many outside of this YWAM base this may not be such a quiet season, but perhaps you will find yourself taking notice of the types of “reminders” around you that could bring to mind someone or something to pray for…

God in Vegas

There’s a new thing happening here. New songs are coming out of this place. New dreams are constantly being birthed and the constant seeking of the Kingdom of God for this place.

The first time I visited Las Vegas in 2009 it was the usual and obvious things about the strip that caught my attention. What were these obvious things? CHAOS! A lot going on! I saw tons of people were going every which direction, like a flood, they poured in and out of every extravagantly lit door. However, as I rode in the YWAM van down the strip along with 2 YWAM Las Vegas staff I thought to myself, “I want to pray here so badly. I want to be part of things here.” What was meant to be an entertaining tour to make up for the fact that my flight had gotten me stuck in this city, and made my day of traveling into two days; ended up being an awakening to God’s heart for this famous city.

The journey from that 15 hour flight delay in August 2009 to my finally joining YWAM Las Vegas staff this past May (2011) is a long one, but with the FABULOUS RESULT that the heart cry I kept quietly within me on that ride down the strip has become my everyday life.

I coordinate worship and prayer here at YWAM Las Vegas. Every day I am overwhelmed and blessed to be called to this place and be doing what I do. I work with amazing staff here at YWAM Las Vegas who are passionate and focused on bringing the Kingdom of God to our neighborhood, the city of Las Vegas and the nations. Every week we seek God corporately in intercession and worship both in our base of operations and outside. God is most certainly calling us to more, increasing how much and how we are engaging in His presence. We are excited for this increase to take place and want to take others on the journey, so we felt inclined to create a blog of regular updates, stories and testimonies of how God is moving specifically through worship and prayer here at YWAM Las Vegas.

It’s a beautiful invitation to be called to such a lifestyle of ministry, but of course, therein lays a more beautiful invitation and that is to abide in Him (John 15:4).

We look forward to what is in store and we hope that you are too! Come along won’t you? It can’t be boring! “…the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (matt. 11:12)

Written By Joanna Seamen (Staff Member at YWAM Las vegas)