At the beginning of my DTS outreach I made a mental note: “I am going to be willing and open to God’s plan.” It was a vague and weightless declaration that I quickly forgot about, which caused it to fade away just a few weeks into outreach.
My team and I arrived in Cambodia after spending two weeks in Byron Bay, Australia, where we did loads of street evangelism and participated in other ministries such as holding free BBQs in the park or sport events on the beach. The ministries were challenging, but I loved them.
It wasn’t until kids ministry in Cambodia that my loving attitude began to change.
For years I had struggled with my confidence in leading children and I had no interest in kids ministry, but I found myself continually placed into it. My motivation and vision for kids ministry was virtually gone after being involved in it for so long without the proper attitude or perspective. I was three weeks into outreach and still hadn’t noticed this.
Without confronting this heart issue of mine, I carried my lack of drive and passive attitude into Cambodia and completely dismissed my original declaration of willingness to God.
It was hard for me to get excited about going into the local villages to teach English and help out with the Vacation Bible School, but I wanted more than anything to deeply love the children and share in the excitement of the ministry with my team. I tired to show this with a smile, but it just wasn’t sticking. I needed more than an outward excitement — it had to come from the bottom of my heart, as cliche as that may be.
Soon after realizing this, God revealed His perspective to me through one of my leaders: I am not serving to do what I want to do, but to do what God wants.
Just then, my eyes were open to the fact that I had been living like I came on outreach for me own sake and in my own interest.
My vague and weightless declaration of willingness to God soon became a tangible one; I will be willing to lay down my desires for those of God, which was to have me wholeheartedly invested in every child I meet. Once realizing my unwillingness, I asked God to change my heart towards the kids ministries, and He did!
I could finally see and feel a genuine zeal for the children and ministry.
In laying down my life to God, I found that I am able to love people better. I do not live for my will to be done in my own interest, but for God’s will to be done in the interest of others.
by Kayla Holt
YWAM Trailblazers DTS Student