Lori’s Lollipops – July 2017

Train Station in Ternopil, Ukraine

Click here for the July 2017 Newsletter in PDF Format

Is it just me, or is 2017 flying by a little faster than usual?

In February I got the privilege of traveling to Thailand to attend an international    gathering for DTS leaders who serve their regions by providing staff training and     oversight to Discipleship Training Schools. I had the pleasure of meeting some long-time YWAMers who “paved the way” ahead of us, and enjoyed connecting with people who have the same heart and passion for training up young leaders and missionaries.

In March, three of my co-workers and I arrived in Ukraine just in time for Easter. Let me tell you what! Ukrainians know how to celebrate this meaningful holiday!  There were colorful festivals and Easter shows going on for the entire month of March.  People there are unabashed in their celebration of the resurrection of Christ.  While there, we did some debriefing with staff members serving in Kiev and Ternopil.

Sadly, on our last day, I was pickpocketed for the very first time in 21 years of international traveling! Stepping off of one of the most crowded metro rides I’ve ever been on (and I’ve been on a few!) I reached into my purse for my wallet—but it was gone! There went my cash, card and driver’s license… taking my pride right along with it!  I was so thankful the thieves didn’t nab my passport though, and I was able to get home safely on a few borrowed dollars.

In April, one of our DTS outreach teams got to minister at a drug rehab center in Cambodia.  After sharing, the team offered prayer for healing. The first guy they prayed for was healed instantly of a headache. Soon after a man came forward and declared that he wanted to give his life to Jesus, so on the spot, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

Anticipating what the Lord wanted to do, the team got to go back a few days later.   After sharing the gospel, the team told this group of recovering drug addicts about the love and forgiveness they could receive from God if they gave their lives to Christ. The entire room of 65 people stood up. Completely stunned, the team thought “surely, they don’t understand what they are committing to”, so they had the guys sit back down ☺ as they retold the gospel in further detail, and again, all 65 people stood to give their lives to the Lord!  Hungry to learn, they asked the team for Bibles so they could immediately grow in their understanding of God and how they can become more like him.

NEW POSITION:  This spring, our DTS Directors let us know that they would be leaving YWAM this summer. I was asked to take on their role, and have already begun serving in this capacity. Running 4-7 schools with 35-ish staff per year, we hope to form a team of 3 people to lead our DTS Dept, but the other two additional people have yet to be identified.  So with this new responsibility, I have put my involvement with our debriefing ministry on hold for the time being.

I would love for you to be praying with us for this transition, especially for me to be filled with wisdom and vision as I take on a greater level of leadership here at YWAM Montana.

For His Glory,

Lori

Lori’s Lollipops – December 2016

Click here for the December 2016 Newsletter in PDF Format

REVOLVING DOORS: This September we welcomed 127 new students to our campus to be discipled and grow in Biblical understanding.  We had 5 Titus      Project teams go to India, Nepal, Cambodia, Taiwan and Ukraine to do Bible teaching.  Just as they were arriving back in Montana we had 6 DTS outreach teams heading out to Thailand, Ukraine, Cambodia and Taiwan. Our SBS students are currently finishing up their first quarter of inductively  studying the Word of God.

In October we hosted a Debriefing Training Seminar with 8 participants who learned the basics of debriefing. A week later I flew down to St. Croix to teach in their DTS on Identity in Christ. It was a great week, and I really enjoyed teaching that topic!  Another quick turnaround found me in Taiwan in November for 3 weeks with a fellow debriefer, Anna.  We met with a number of staff in Taipei and Taitung to do pastoral staff care.  It was a worthwhile trip, and it was great to reconnect with so many friends and my sister’s family.

MORE REVOLVING DOORS: Transition is a normal part of life as a YWAMer, but while it is normal, it isn’t always easy.  These past couple of months I’ve said goodbye to most of my close friends as God has called them on to other places.  I’ve known each of them for 3-8 years, and am thankful for their friendships and how God used them in my life!

As we head into the Christmas season and are reminded of the reason why we celebrate, I find myself agreeing with Simeon’s proclamation in Luke 2 where he says,  “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared  in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”  I am so thankful that our Savior came to earth, and that we get to live to proclaim the truth of who He is!

  “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his  father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever;
his kingdom will never end.”  Luke 1:32-33

As the famous carol aptly puts it, “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.”

Oh, the wonders of His love.  Merry Christmas!

Lori’s Lollipops – July 2016

Click here for the July 2016 Newsletter in PDF Format

Nobody wants to read a boring newsletter!” …That’s usually my first thought as I sit down to write an update.” So many things happen, life is so busy , yet how do I write about what I consider to just be “normal life””? Well, here goes… in a newsletter I’m calling “THE YEAR OF SEVENTEEN”…

Seventeen Years Old:

As I realized that the number 17 began to appear in various places throughout this newsletter, I also realized that though it rarely gets brought up in conversation these days, I was 17 yrs old when I felt called to long-term missions. My introduction to missions happened years previous to that and I was already intrigued by the thought of it, but in February of 1997 is when I felt God’s clear calling on my life and I knew that I would become a missionary.

Seventeen Tests (Health Update):

If you recall, in my December newsletter I asked for prayer because (seven years after my extensive blood clotting) I was going off of my blood thinning med’s in order to get my blood tested again. The news that came back from Mayo Clinic in January was excellent ~ the results for 17 different tests were completely clean… no blood clotting disorders! I was excited and celebrating! However, just a few weeks later, my leg began to get super achy, swollen, and was quite painful… and my celebration came to a sudden halt. Sparing you all the details, after another ultra sound exam on my leg my doctor and my vascular surgeon together concluded that I have a blood clotting disorder that simply doesn’t show up in testing. So back on another blood-thinning medication I went! I felt discouraged and defeated… but after about 3 days of grieving over this less-than-desirable news, I felt convicted to be thankful. So I’ve been choosing to celebrate that, with some extra care and a few adjustments, I can go about my life as normal, continuing to travel and do many of the things I love. I am blessed!

Seventeen Schools:

In January I staffed my 17th DTS, coaching Brandon & Aksana as they led their first school. I got to teach for a week in the DTS, helping students and staff understand who God has designed them to be and how to work with each other in teams. We sent teams out to Ukraine, Taiwan and India for 2 months, all of them returning with stories of what God is doing in each nation and how they got to be part of it!

Asia (x 17):

In April I did a pastoral visit to our outreach teams in Taiwan and India. I spent a week with each team, meeting with staff and students—listening, praying, and advising where needed. We do these pastoral visits from time to time just to help keep our teams healthy. This happens to be right up my alley, and it was a great way to be involved with the outreaches! (Coincidentally, if I add up the number of countries in Asia that I’ve been to, including multiple trips to some of the same ones, it adds up to… you guessed it! Seventeen!)

Seventeenth Year:

When I was finished in India, I headed to New Zealand to visit my sister Pam and her family. It had been two years since last seeing them, and it was a great way to finish my whole trip to Asia!

And finally, just to top off all my “seventeens”, I’m headed into my 17th year of full-time YWAM staff. God has been faithful!

That’s it for my seventeens!

Lori’s Lollipops – July 2015

Lori's Lollipops

Click here for the July 2015 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text only:

July 2015

God is on the move!  Now that is definitely not a new thing, but let me fill you in on what is going on in our neck-of-thewoods.  YWAM Montana is partnering with YWAM Taipei for 3 1/2 years in what is called “The Surge“, to accomplish 3 mutual goals that our two bases came up with together.  This focused effort in the nation of Taiwan has already been amazingly fruitful, with more people coming to Christ and being discipled than ever before!  It is so exciting to be part of this partnership (that began last fall), both together as a ministry and on a personal level.  My heart for Taiwan started in 2002 when I took my first team there, and has grown with each additional time I’ve gone.  Having my oldest sister and brother-in-law there as long-termers just sweetens the deal even more.  I love watching other staff come to love Taiwan like I do, and I hope to take part in a small team going there later this year.  On the flip side, we’ve also had more Taiwanese staff come to Montana to get further training and strengthen relationships as well.

An eventful start to this year…  Life was rolling right along as 2014 gave way to 2015, when suddenly we got an early morning call from Costa Rica.  My dad was having a major heart attack.  Amidst phone calls and waiting for news, I made plans to fly down there, leaving the next day.  Against all human probability, my dad has lived to tell about it.  My parents were serving at a YWAM location in C.R. for a couple months when all this took place, and I happened to have a good friend there who spent a week with us, translating and helping out wherever she could.  She was a God-send for us!  Nine days later we returned to Montana, having been able to get my parents on the exact same flights home as me!  My dad has been able to regain a lot of his strength and keeps as busy as ever.  (And I wonder where I get that from?!?!)

St. Croix continues…  After 5 1/2 years, I finally got to go back to St. Croix!  In March I went to teach in their DTS, which was a huge privilege for me.  I loved being part of a school there again, albeit in a different role.  I had an incredible time catching up with old friends and seeing some of the places that were very memorable for me.  I expected to feel strange or out-of-place, but as it turned out, I felt right at home.  Much has changed, yet much is the same.  In fact, I even found myself naturally picking up old habits – like walking around turning off fans or lights that weren’t being used to save electricity! Ha ha… 🙂

Debriefing…   I enjoy my continued work with our debriefing ministry on base, Emmaus Encounter.  Since our sessions are confidential, I am normally unable to say much about them.  However, this quote was writing by a recent debrief for the purpose of sharing, in order for you to get to hear more about it.  This photo captured a very holy moment as she spent time giving back to God the things that she no longer wanted to carry her self.

“Through debriefing I have been able to process and get a better perspective on some of the things that I’ve done and been through.  I can now see where God was in some of the events and decisions from my past that had always been confusing to me.  Debriefing has given me freedom to leave the past behind and wisdom that I can take with me into the future.  It has also built my faith in God and his love for me.  My debriefers listened and walked through the week with me, not trying to give me all the ‘right’ answers, but consistently pointing me to Jesus as the one who will help me to understand and interpret my past accurately.”

TESOL: Adding a skill set for future ministry…  SO MANY REQUESTS come from our Target Nations and countries around the world asking for English teachers, or wanting outreach teams to focus on teaching English as a ministry because it is so effective.  This is something I have done many times on outreach before, bumbling my way through it ok, but lacking skills and confidence.  The “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages” course was run here this spring during the evenings and on Saturdays in order for full-time staff to have the opportunity to do it. (And as if my life was just a little too dull…  I’m kidding!!)  Even though I’m not really an English fanatic, I felt God prompting me to take this course so I would be better prepared for the endless ministry opportunities that come our way.  I had way more fun learning all things TESOL than I thought I would, enjoyed our Saturday morning practicums with Spanish and Russian ESL learners in the valley, and look forward to using this new tool in future ministry!

Partnering to advance God’s Kingdom…  After 16 years of serving with YWAM I still feel called to full time missions.  I’m glad I get to be one of the “goers”, and even though it comes with some sacrifices, and times hardship, I’ve always considered it a privilege.  I cannot be in full time ministry without the generosity of people like you.  I recognize that not all of us have the desire or opportunity to be in full time missions or “go to the nations” in this way.  For those of us like me who can go, many others like you can send… and so we can partner together to advance God’s Kingdom.  I am looking for more partners in ministry, as my monthly support has decreased in recent years.  While I don’t write about this in each newsletter, I wanted to let you know of this need and opportunity.  If you feel led to partner with me in this way, or have any questions at all, please let me know!  You can always pass along my info to others as well.

As always, I hope this bit of news from my corner of the world finds you doing well in yours.  

Love, Lori

“May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may He be gracious to you, show you His favor, and give you His peace.”  Numbers 6:24-26 (Living Bible)

Lori’s Lollipops – December 2014

Lori's Lollipops - December 2014

Click here for the December 2014 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text Only:

DECEMBER 2014

Merry Christmas to you all!
This holiday season has brought it’s usual hustle and bustle, with so many things vying for attention. As we speed towards Christmas Day, I pray that each one of you will experience God’s presence powerfully and be uniquely drawn towards Jesus.

The last few months found me splitting my time between DTS and debriefing. In October I taught in the DTS during their mini-outreach in Portland, and then spent a week on the Oregon coast receiving further training as a debriefer. As December rolled in, we had to say goodbye to several of our wonderful DTS staff who are moving on. Although there is constant transition in YWAM, and you get used to it to a degree, it remains hard to say goodbye to people who have become close friends and “family”.

Upcoming God Story: Towards the end of March I will be heading to St. Croix to teach in their DTS. I am thrilled! This will be my first time visiting since I left in 2009, and I am excited to see what God has in store, both for the staff/students in the DTS and also for me personally. When I left it was under stressful circumstances, and since God is in the business of restoring and redeeming, I anticipate his greater purpose for this trip! I am looking forward to reconnecting with a few friends, visiting meaningful places on the island, and reflecting on old memories while making new ones. (And on top of that, who’s going to complain about trading a week of Montana winter for the turquoise hues of the Caribbean sea? Not this girl!!)

YWAM Montana—Lakeside : The bigger picture… Through my newsletters you get a glimpse of what I do, but that is a very small part of the bigger picture around here! I’ve listed a few base-wide stats from this last year that I find amazing and fun:
– We ran 30 schools, with 334 students from 34 states and 24 countries.
– 568 people got saved in 27 nations as the Gospel was shared through staff & student outreaches.
– We have 158 full-time volunteer staff — who have consumed 105,968 cups of coffee, and flown on 1,229 flights this year. 
To read some great stories and articles written by students and staff, visit our website : www.ywammontana.org. You’ll also see that we are celebrating 30 years of ministry in August 2015, which all of our alumni and supporters are invited to!

May your hearts be filled with the hope of Christ! For His Glory, Lori

Lori Rietema | 501 Blacktail Rd. Lakeside, MT 59922 | lorisrietema@hotmail.com

For more information on financial donations and partnering with me in ministry, please contact me. Donation checks can be made out to “YWAM”, a note with my name attached, and sent to the address above. Year end gifts dated in 2014 will be process until Jan 9, 2015.

Lori’s Lollipops – September 2014

Lori's Lollipops - Sep 2014

Click here for the September 2014 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text Only:

SEPTEMBER 2014

SEASONS. They come and go in various shapes and sizes. I just celebrated 15 years of being in full-time missions (!!) and am so thankful for this life I get to live – both to God for his calling and strength, and to my partners in prayer and finances! Over the last 15 years I have been able to travel to 26 nations and many U.S. cities – intentionally sharing the gospel of Christ, leading and teaching students, training and mentoring staff, and so much more. My highest highs and lowest lows have all been experienced on the mission field. Some seasons have been more enjoyable than others, and some less, but they were always worth everything I had to give. I consider myself very blessed to be able to continue on—whatever lies ahead.

Speaking of seasons, those climate changes come regularly here in Montana, too! This past WINTER I spent time working with our debriefing ministry. In February I taught in the DTS on their mini-outreach in Spokane, WA with below zero temperatures outside—sleeping on the floor of an abandoned church, hitting the YMCA for showers and trying to stay cozy while teaching and doing ministry. Brrrr….

In the SPRING I had the privilege of coaching a new DTS leader, Katie, and she did a great job of leading her first school. Shortly after the DTS started there came an emergency need for another outreach leader to join with a Winter DTS team we had in Costa Rica. Feeling prompted by the Holy Spirit to fill that need, I rearranged my schedule and headed down to C.R. for 3 weeks. It was quite the adventure, not really knowing the students and them not knowing me… but I jumped in to help where I could. When I returned to Montana I finished out the training phase of DTS with our Spring school, and we sent that team out to Thailand for the summer. They had a great outreach, and returned with stories of the gospel changing lives in prisons, schools, and villages… there are even several Buddhist monks who are interested in learning more about Jesus! Go God!

My SUMMER was wonderful! Every four years my immediate family gets together… and this was the year! In July we gathered for a week in Montana, making the most of go-carts, water balloon launching, soccer games, hiking trails and water slides together. We then traveled to Michigan for a greater family reunion on my dad’s side. Eighteen of us hit the road in a school bus that my dad converted — it had places for 20 people to sit, bunk beds for 8, a counter for sandwich making, an emergency potty, a couple small tables for playing games, and the potential to be either the best or worst idea ever!  It was a great way for my nieces and nephews to get to know each other. If you’d like to see photos of the bus trip – in all it’s glory – feel free to look on my facebook page…

We are now entering FALL once again… oh how time flies! Our base began the fall quarter just this week with 7 schools running and 129 students from all over the world! I will keep busy with debriefing, staff mentoring, and administrative projects for our DTS.

I hope you are all doing well.
For His Glory, LORi

Lori Rietema | 501 Blacktail Rd. Lakeside, MT 59922 | lorisrietema@hotmail.com | 406-890-5208

For more information on financial donations and partnering with me in ministry, please contact me. Donation checks can be made out to “YWAM”, a note with my name attached, and sent to the address above.

Lori’s Lollipops – Jan 2014

Lori's Lollipops 2014

Click here for the January 2014 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text Only:

JANUARY 2014

Winter greetings and a Merry belated Christmas to you all!  I hope your Christmas season was full of Jo!  I just returned a few days ago from a trip to Asia and New Zealand, which was absolutely wonderful!! Let me tell you a little bit about it…

In September I began to get more involved with Emmaus Encounter, our debriefing ministry.  This ministry is focused on helping long-term missionaries stay healthy on the field.  It is a week-long process where we guide the debriefees through telling their story – whatever that is.  Often times these people have gone through a lot of transition and/or grief, and have experienced injustice at varying levels.  Our goal is that by the end of the week the debriefees will have received some perspective on their circumstances, having heard very personally from God, finding healing and freedom, extending forgiveness, and are able to move forward feeling strengthened.  My heart for debriefing developed out of being the beneficiary of one such week myself, immediately following so much trauma in 2009 – starting with nearly losing my life to extensive blood-clotting, followed by some close friendship difficulties, and ending with 7 burglaries, I was pretty emotionally “messy” for a while.  Being debriefed and having a safe place to share my story helped me immensely and brought me a long way in the emotional healing process in just one week’s time.  The desire to get involved with this ministry stayed simmering in my heart for three years, and then surfaced to become a reality at the end of 2012.

In November, our Emmaus Encounter staff went to Battambang, Cambodia, for a couple weeks and debriefed 9 of their staff.  Our time there went really well and was very fruitful!  Due to confidentiality, I cannot tell you much about the people we were debriefing, nor their stories, but I’m happy to say that our two weeks in Cambodia were fantastic.  It is a privilege to walk alongside and encourage missionaries in need of refreshing!

Cambodia itself is an interesting country in that over 80% of the population is under the age of 30 because of the massive genocide in the late 70’s done by the Khmer Rouge. Our team was able to visit a “killing cave” on our day off, which was a very sobering experience. We heard there are still an estimated 4-6 million activated land mines that remain undetonated around the city of Battambang alone, meaning the threat of the Khmer Rouge still lives on in the reality of deaths or disfigurement caused by exploding land mines in the countryside. Despite this, Cambodians (from my brief observations) seem to be a relatively happy people who are open to talking about their history, choosing to move on from the horrors of the past rather than getting stuck in a victim mentality.

After our debriefing ministry in Cambodia was finished, I headed to Taiwan for a week to see my sister Amy & family, and also caught up with a few friends there. It was such a fun week, and it flew by way too quickly! I then traveled to New Zealand, visiting my other sister, Pam, and her family. I was able to spend Christmas with them, which was super exciting as the last Christmas I had with Pam was 16 years ago! It was also my very first Christmas with my niece, Lanae, and nephew, Micah, who are ages 13 and 8. Since my immediate family is only able to get together every 4 years, it was a dream come true to go down there for a visit and reconnect with precious loved ones!! I have re- turned from my whole trip feeling rested and ready for what is next.

In the spring I plan to help our DTS in the capacity of coaching our new school leader. Enjoying this role last year, I’m going in for round two. In between schools I continue to help with debriefing, mentoring younger staff, teaching a little bit here and there, and the fun stuff = administration!

As 2013 has come to a close, I see God’s thumbprint on my life. I hope the same is true for you. May you be blessed in 2014!! For His Glory, LORi

Lori Rietema | 501 Blacktail Rd. Lakeside, MT 59922 | lorisrietema@hotmail.com | 406-890-5208

For more information on financial donations and partnering with me in ministry, please contact me. Donation checks can be made out to “YWAM” with “#3027” on the memo line instead of my name, and sent to the address above.

Lori’s Lollipops – Sep 2013

Lori's Lollipops 2013

Click here for the September 2013 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text Only:

SEPTEMBER 2013

Back-to-back schools. Teaching. Discipling. Advising. Logistics. Sending out teams. Montana fires. This equals the exciting buzz of a pretty-much-normal year,I would say… Hello everyone!

In January I staffed a DTS (Discipleship Training School) and had a small group of 5 girls that I had the privilege of pouring into. Here is a summary from one of them about how God changed their life during their 5 months here:

“Coming into DTS I felt like I had it all figured out — I thought that in order to please God and for Him to love me I needed to read my Bible more, pray more, and do more. As a result I was constantly disappointed in myself when I didn’t measure up to that standard. The sad thing is that the world conditions us to believe that we can always do more to get something, and I real- ly believed that was true when it came to my relationship with God. I was caught up in legalism and “earning” God’s love. But week after week in DTS, the truth that nothing I can do can make God love me more or love me less started to go from my head to my heart. God used fellow students, my small group leader Lori, and speakers to bring freedom in this area of my life. When outreach began in Brazil, I was able to share my freedom with others and speak into the lives of people who were walking in the same bondage I had walked in just months before. God truly released a boldness in me and a freedom that has changed my life. I am forever thankful to Him and to those who were a part of this journey and I can’t wait to continue telling others of God’s love for them!”Morgan S.

In February I was able to teach for a week on Personal Design and Team Dynamics while our DTS was in Seattle for one week of out- reach. I really enjoy teaching this topic, and its wonderful to see students come to a greater understanding of who God has made them to be individually, and how they can effectively work as a team. All four outreach teams went to Brazil.

It has been on my heart for several years now to begin helping new DTS leaders as they take a step up in leadership; transitioning from staff to school leaders. During this spring quarter I had the privilege of coaching one of our new DTS Leader’s, Leah. I acted as a sounding board for her, giving advice and encouragement as needed. I find this to be a very fulfilling role, and enjoy serving and supporting new leaders as they develop their leadership abilities to a greater measure.

Thailand is one of YWAM Lakeside’s “Target Nations”. We have been sending teams there consistently for over 25 years. Until recently those teams only saw sporadic salvations of Thai’s, but this has shifted over the last couple years, and our teams are now experiencing hundreds of Thai’s giving their lives to the Lord. This spring DTS team was even able to teach in a prison DTS in Ratchaburi – literally held in both a men’s & women’s prison!! The prisoners lives have been radically transformed by the gospel, and they do “outreach” to other sectors of the prison, sharing the gospel with other prisoners. Here is a story (photos prohibited) from one of our student’s in regards to her experience with this amazing ministry:

“During outreach I felt like God was calling me to teach in the Prison DTS. I doubted myself, and tried everything I could to get out of it. Some team members encouraged me, saying they felt like God was going to show me His goodness. Coincidentally, I had been planning to teach on Gods goodness! God totally came and met me in this place of doubt and inadequacy. During my teaching, two men in the prison became Christians!! God is SO good, he showed me that he never fails us.”—Angel B.

Summer: While this DTS team was on outreach, I stayed in Montana, staffing our leadership development course called DTS Equip. We had 20 participants from 7 different YWAM locations around the world, ranging from brand new DTS staff—to school leaders—to staff of other YWAM schools and ministries. This variety made our Equip course a rich experi- ence for everyone involved. Adding to the busyness of summer’s end came the 40th wedding anniversary of my parents. My family hosted a small celebration to honor them and this increasingly rare milestone. On the heels of this came a local wildfire, located up Blacktail Mtn a few miles from us. The sound of helicopters, planes and trucks carrying machinery filled the air. Our campus was on standby for evacuation for a week. We extended our property to use as the command post, and hosted 80 firemen sleeping in tents on our field; our staff putting in extra long hours helping serve early breakfasts and late dinners to those putting out the fire. The fire was able to be contained after a few days, and thank- fully our schools and summer programs finished without too much disruption.

Coming Up!  This fall I will spend more time focusing on our debriefing ministry. In November, six of us will be heading to Cambodia to debrief some staff members there. I am really looking forward to this trip and the ways that God will use us in Cambodia!! Please pray for wisdom for us, as those we debrief are part of (or serving) the generation overcoming the tragedy caused by the Khmer Rouge. More on that in my next update…

Lori Rietema

Lori’s Lollipops – Sep 2012

Lori's Lollipops 2012

Click here for the September 2012 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text Only:

“Before DTS I depended on my own strength and understanding. I was a heavy thinker and I was harsh on myself. I planned everything, so there was no space for God in my life. However during DTS I was eager to seek God’s love. I needed Him desperately. I needed His guidance and freedom in my life. Finally I could feel His love and freedom in His embrace. I can’t even explain how great that feeling is. God is great and He totally changed my life. He is my love, freedom, Savior and my perfect Father.”   — Jooyoung Oh, S. Korea

Hello everyone! I just finished leading the Spring Discipleship Training School here in Lakeside, MT. I began preparing for the DTS in January, my staff joined the prep efforts in February, and the school started the beginning of April. We had 20 students from 5 nations. God met with each person uniquely and the students have walked away forever changed. So many of them found freedom, just like the testimony from Jooyoung above.

From June to August, two outreach teams went out to Taiwan and Uganda. I co-led the team to Taiwan. Well, within hours of arriving, I received excellent news. During my last trip to Taiwan in 2007 my team had befriended a Taiwanese girl named Karen. We shared about Jesus with her, and she stayed connected to the YWAM ministry after my team left. Karen became a Christian after a while, did a DTS and SBS in Taiwan and is now one of the main DTS leaders there. So, five years later with a different team, we are hoping that this same story will repeat itself in the future, and that the seeds we planted will bear much fruit in the years to come.

**Quick note: In Taiwan it takes a long time for someone to become a Christian because it often means you will be ostracized from your family. Many Taiwanese will accept Christ without telling their families. Baptism, being a public confession, is what a lot of them consider as their real commitment to God.**

While in Taiwan, much of our ministry ended up being with children. Five weeks in a row we helped run kids camps in various locations around the country, hosted by churches but attended by non-Christians. A typical day for us included singing songs with motions, teaching and acting out Bible stories (David and Bathsheba was a fun skit!), teaching simple English, playing sports or games, and trying to keep kids in line in spite of the language barrier. Our days were very long and tiring, but we were able to minister to over 400 kids, teens, and college age helpers. Here are a couple of great stories from those weeks:

During our 3rd camp in XinZhuang, our theme was “Jesus: Friend and Savior.” We acted out Bible stories about Creation, the Fall of Mankind, & Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. On our final day with the kids Brandon shared the gospel, and one 12 year old boy, Tom, ran right up to Brandon afterwards, saying “Is that really true? He did that for me? And I can be friends with him?” He got saved on the spot, and brought more family members to watch our dramas and hear us preach the next day.

Jay was one of our camp helpers. An addicted videogamer, he was a loner, and his sister Esther miraculously coerced him into helping with this kids camp. We got to know Esther and her friend Lily easily (both believers), as they were outgoing and spoke good English. Jay, however, was extremely shy and rarely spoke to us the first several days. By the end of the week we could tell he was definitely observing us a lot. Esther mentioned numerous times that she saw tremendous differences in Jay while he helped with the camp, and when they visited our team a week later, Jay informed us that he now wants to follow God and be baptized! His countenance had changed, he seemed far more open to friendships, and he told us that his life would never be the same after encountering Jesus through our lives and testimonies!

There were 12 high school girls helping with our camp in Tainan. A few of the girls opened up to our team about being homosexuals, which they told us keeps them from becoming Christians. We were able to do a drama and share the gospel with the girls on Wednesday night, praying over each one of them. One of the girls, whom we named “Grace”, has a very soft heart towards God and a couple of team members were able to minister to her quite deeply. We believe she is quite close to becoming a Christian. Another girl, Candy, had some stomach cramping issues, and I felt God tell me to pray for her. God healed her stomach and she didn’t have to go to the doctor as she had been planning to do that day at noon. She was very excited, and it also opened her heart more to hear about Jesus. We know that each one of the girls has an understanding that Jesus loves them no matter what, and we are hopeful that many will come to know Christ in the years to come.

One night towards the end of outreach we were able to go to a hospital and pray for some patients. We got kicked out after about 30 minutes. On the way out Aksana and her translator stopped to talk to a lady that God had given them both pictures of while praying prior to entering the hospital. The woman gave her life to Christ right there in the hospital corridor!

In a disappointed-turned-hopeful event at our 4th camp, a few team members felt God highlight one college student, Mars, to
them. Mars seemed very interested in Jesus, and on our final day with them Allyson tried giving a Bible to Mars, but he wouldn’t take it, claiming that his father would not allow him to own a Bible. Allyson and some others were extremely disappointed. However, the next day Mars told the team that he had called his father—who gave him permission to own a Bible, so Mars asked if he could still have it and read it! We are hopeful that his interest in Jesus is very real.

On the horizon…

For 12 years I have been staffing and leading DTS’s in Montana and St. Croix. I have loved doing this, and always gave it my all. For several years God has been increasing my desire to disciple staff. During this last DTS God began to show me that now is the time to step into and pursue of a few different things on my heart. Rather than lead any DTS’s myself this coming year, I will be investing more time in staff training and development. This will include staffing DTS Equip, coaching new DTS leaders, helping debrief missionaries who’ve gone through difficult experiences, teaching in DTS, and traveling to help train and equip staff at other bases around the globe. I would appreciate your prayers in this transition time.

Coming up soon…

You may remember from my previous newsletter that some of my financial support has declined in the last couple of years. In October I will be taking time to raise support in order to continue fulfilling my call to global missions. If any of you are interested in partnering with me financially, or just want more information about what I do, shoot me a quick email, and I will gladly send you more information online or through the mail.

I would also love build a greater prayer team, so if this interests you, please let me know!

Lori’s Lollipops – Feb 2012

Lori's Lollipops 2012

Click here for the February 2012 Newsletter in PDF Format

Text Only:

2011 in Review: Jan—June: I finished the School of Biblical Studies at the end of June (started Sept 2010). During the nine months, we went through each book of the Bible at least 5 times, and studied them inductively. The school was challenging, and full of long hours of studying, but definitely worth it! God did so much in my life during the SBS… and I learned so much during the in-depth process. I have a new respect for the Word of God like never before. Understanding some of the historical background information and how the original readers would have been impacted by the messages was probably my favorite part, and it helps the Bible come alive!

July—Sept: The summer time was busy with staffing DTS Equip, our 6 week staff training school held here in Montana. We had 20 students from the USA, Canada and Ukraine. During Equip we had a week of local outreach, and for several days our participants held “cardboard testimonies” on Main Street in Kalispell and Bigfork. The signs were met with mixed emotions, but this photograph made it to the front page of our newspaper in Kalispell. The front side of this sign said: “Was searching for purpose…” We would flip them consistently as people drove by.

Sept—Dec: In the fall, I participated in Titus Project, an outreach program for SBS grad’s. We learned to teach the Inductive Bible Study Method and an Overview of the Bible, and then 4 teams went out to remote areas of the world where Bible teaching is requested and pastors are usually uneducated. I went to Colombia for 2 months, and had a fantastic time! Within Colombia we traveled quite a bit, experiencing Hispanic, African/Colombian, and Indigenous cultures. I taught 19 times in 9 different cities/villages, drank 130 cups of coffee in 57 days, we were stopped by police patrols x3, ate alligator once, saw countless tarantulas, and witnessed over 25 ppl give their lives to Christ.

On our first day of ministry we taught at a high-security prison. It was quite the experience to say the least! After entering through 5 security checkpoints, having our passports held and getting frisked a couple times, we found out that we had 1⁄2 the time to teach Bible Overview as we were originally told. So with men working on handicrafts around the courtyard, Graham taught about Creation and the Fall of Mankind, and then we skipped straight ahead to Jesus. My turn. As I taught, not knowing what deeds had caused each man to be trapped inside those four walls, I was struck by how similar I was to those men: I need a Savior… they need a Savior. Same same. Caught up in the desire of wanting the prisoners to really understand the gifts of grace, I spoke with conviction… but also due to the time crunch & the inability to bring some of our illustrations inside, I had to improvise. Feeling out-of-sorts, I ended up losing my train of thought while teaching, scrapping about half of it. I was disappointed in myself, but the Holy Spirit was clearly moving in the heart of some of the prisoners. God, always the hero at the end of the day, made himself known. Several of the men gave their lives to Jesus, some weeping, and my team got to pray with many men in the courtyard. I was humbled by God using my insufficiency in his own sufficient way.

Week 2 we spent with a church that we affectionately termed the “Modern-Day Corinthians”. Upon arriving we learned that the pastors were in jail, and soon after discovered other problems among the leaders left to run the church, including some immorality. Our team prayed hard, and felt God had brought us there for a specific purpose. So we turned down the request to do radio & TV promo’s for the church, and instead taught from the book of Titus on godly leadership. With the Holy Spirit bringing conviction, members of their leadership team spent time repenting to each other. We heard a couple weeks later that many of them had made changes in their lifestyles and leadership, and progress towards godly living was being made.

We had the opportunity to stay and teach in Palenque, an African/Colombian village which is historically recognized as the first town to revolt against slavery, and win, in all of the America’s.

The last month of our outreach we flew to the Amazon region where Colombia, Brazil and Peru come together. Wes pent a few days teaching at a pastor’s conference in the small city of Leticia, and also traveled by boat to 3 different villages. On the last night in the 2nd village one of our YWAM contact’s who came with us, Sophie, had an asthma attack unbeknownst to the team. Her fiancé, Lucas, had to actually resuscitate her while we were finishing up our final teaching. Walking back to our tents, we learned of the situation. We prayed and Sophie began to breathe deeper. We prayed again, and she took one deep breath and started asking, “qué pasó?”, as she didn’t remember what had happened. God not only spared her life that night (7 hrs by boat from the nearest hospital), but also healed her completely of asthma! She told us a week later that though she had used an inhaler multiple times a day for over 6 years, she hadn’t needed it since the night God healed her!

There are so many other stories I could tell, but limited space prevents their telling. This was the first outreach I’ve been on since my blood-clotting issues in 2009, and I feel so blessed to still be able to travel. Knowing that I can survive in physically difficult places for short periods of time is wonderful! Through being in Colombia, I feel like I came through some final stages emotional healing from everything that happened in 2009. God is so good!!!

God’s Faithful Provision: I was given a donation last year that covered the cost of Titus Project, so my outreach was completely paid for, praise God! I also needed to take some medical equipment with me to Colombia in order to keep up with checking my blood while in remote locations. I was praying all summer that God would provide the supplies I needed to take with me, and it turns out that my clinic lent me a machine (that would have cost me $2500+), and I was able to take it with me and use it for free!
Over the Christmas break I was able to move across the road from the YWAM campus into an apt building. I have spent a total of 9 years in dormitory housing, so I am very thankful to have a kitchen and space to entertain again!

Upcoming: I am going to be leading the DTS here in Lakeside that runs from April through August. I am very excited about this as it has been 3 years since the last one I led in St. Croix.

Finances: Circumstances have caused several of my monthly supporters to need to cut back or be unable to continue supporting me completely. If any of you are interested in supporting me, I will gladly send you more information.
“… to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude v.25