Posts tagged with "Youth With A Mission"

2015 Highlights

Here are a few highlights from our latest newsletter! Merry Christmas and we wish you the best in 2016

Ending Bible Poverty <<<<

It has been a fruitful year with the School of Biblical Studies in Africa. Chris leads the Hub for these schools in the African continent. This role includes providing support, encouragement, and training to the schools on the continent.

This year he was able to visit Rwanda, Uganda, Togo and two schools here in South Africa. Togo was a highlight as they had a Hub Gathering, bringing together leaders and staff from 6 different Bible Schools across Africa. It was a gift to strategize with so many faithful men and women who are longing to see an end to Bible poverty in Africa.

IMG_20151028_103547036

The Exchange <<<<

It was exciting to see The Exchange women’s retreat finally take off this year! Women in South Africa carry a massive load in their churches, families, work and communities. This retreat was a time for them to come together and find fresh strength, hope, and courage in Jesus.

It was an amazing time of  relationship, laughter, teaching, worshipping, pampering, and of course eating!  We had such amazing and lovely women come to rest and receive. Almost all of them had never experienced anything like this before. On one afternoon we did manicure, pedicure and massages. So many of them had never had a massage in their life. It was a blessing for them not just receive spiritually but also physically and relational. One lady commented, “Just to be out of my community for two nights was amazing.”. She lives in a very intense and impoverished community and was able just rest away from her day-to-day

exchange-logo

Light Shines in the Darkness >>>>

We often try to avoid telling the stories that might perpetuate the negative images that people have of South Africa. No nation is a sum of the negative stories. We always seek to be looking for places where God is at work. But, all nations have times of struggle and this was a year of struggle for South Africa. The government is facing the reality of rampant corruption. The massive divide between rich and poor is causing emotions to run high and hope to run low. Unfulfilled promises have caused overwhelming frustration resulting in widespread protest and sometimes violence.  A shortage of electricity and water is looms daily in the life of this nation.

With these challenges comes opportunity. Christmas reminds us that it got darker, darker and darker… and then Jesus was born. Darkness and difficulty is always an opportunity for light to shine brightly. We value your prayers for South Africa. 

Between the Headlines

Visiting Team
In October, we had the huge blessing of hosting an outreach team from the Worship Center church in Pennsylvania. What a massive blessing they were. The women on the team served at The Exchange retreat; cooking, cleaning and pampering the women! They also served youth, gave input to men, encouraged young fathers, and did a painting project to bless a widow. They were an amazing blessing in every way!

Reaching Every Location

  • The School of Biblical Studies is in 9 countries in Africa.
  • Chris or other co-workers from the Hub office, have been able to visit all of these locations for support and encouragement.
  • There are plans to plant 3 more Bible Schools in 3 new African countries.
  • Our local school has 31 new students currently studying the Bible verse by verse. Reading the entire Bible 5 times through in 9 months!

SbsAfrica

Mentoring
One big thing we do which can’t be photographed or put in to a statistic is mentoring. Both of us spend a lot of our time meeting one on one with people. A lot of is simply listening, encouraging, and praying. No matter how big the vision; relationships is always the primary strategy of Jesus modeled for us to follow.

Family Update

Another year is in the books for Garett and Thabo. In December they finish Grades 3 and 4. They both are doing so well, really working hard, and showing a lot of determination.

Both boys played Rugby and Soccer this year.  They love sports and seem to have boundless energy. Both boys are learning Afrikaans. Garett especially is immersed in learning this local language.

At 9 and almost 11 years old, we feel we are in such a sweet season of seeing who they are becoming.

This year we also celebrated our 13 wedding anniversary. It’s fun to be teenagers again!

1917680_10153913993041177_8559306142403352053_n

Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and friendship!

Equipping the Saints

In 2015, both of us had a major new project we were working on. Here is an update!

Bible School Leaders Gather in Togo

Hub Gathering Togo

One of my (Chris)  main roles is serving as the School of Biblical Studies Africa leader in Youth With a Mission. This role allows me to influence and encourage the Bible School programs located in Africa with YWAM.

In August, I was able to travel to Togo for a gathering of our leaders. This is an event which began as a conversation in late 2013. We had people from 12 nations present, including all but 2 of our current schools on the African Continent. This was the first ever gathering of its kind in Africa.

It was a wonderful week to build relationship, hear the stories of both victory and difficulty, and learn from each other. We tackled difficult issues such as finances and disunity. There was such a sweet spirit of togetherness as we provided equipping and training. 

Many of these leaders serve in areas with little or no support. To feel like they are “known” and they have been “heard” was a huge morale boost.

We also took time to think strategically for how we can continue to grow in Africa, identifying some targets for future expansion. In a land of over 50 nations and literally thousands of languages, there is much work to do to reduce “Bible poverty.” 

This was a personal highlight for me to see this event start as an idea, grow into a fundraising effort, and culminate in something which exceeded my expectations. I am already looking forward to our next such gathering. 

The Exchange

exchange-logo

I (Lindsey) have a huge heart for the women in this nation. Truly, they carry a massive load in their communities, places of work, churches and families. Time after time I am amazed at the challenges women face in leading their communities forward.

In October I will finally see a dream become reality of a weekend retreat for women to gain fresh strength, courage and hope in Jesus. A time for them to step away from all they carry and receive from God. This retreat is called, “The Exchange”. Please be praying for this time and these women!

Many of the women come from extremely challenging situations where the cost of this retreat would be too much. If you are interested in sponsoring, it costs $30 for one woman for the entire retreat. Please e-mail me and let me know!

Rwanda Twenty Years On…

I recently returned from a trip to Rwanda. This was the fulfillment of 6-7 years of prayer and preparation to plant a Bible School at the Youth With A Mission base.

I had a wonderful time teaching students from the region in both the Discipleship Training School and the School of Biblical Studies.

dtsClass

I met students and staff who had witnessed their families being slaughtered during this dark period of history.

In spite of this, it was impressive to see how far the nation of Rwanda has come in the last twenty years since a genocide killed more than a million people in just a few months.

Rwanda, like South Africa, used the power of forgiveness to bring transformation.

Nearbase

Rwanda in many ways has exceeded South Africa as they continue to implement forgiveness as a continual act.

Today Rwanda is one of the fastest growing African nations economically, is virtually free of corruption, and is peaceful enough to walk the streets alone at night.

Base

It truly was a joy to see this nation “rise again” after such horrible events. I look forward to a return some day and continuing to see our Bible School grow and flourish.

Rwanda Flag

A New Chapter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!newhouse

The end of every year is a time of reflection and looking ahead to upcoming events.

This has never been more true than in 2014 for us. Here are some highlights and previews of what is to come.

We moved into our HOUSE! 

After years of prayer, attempted purchases, and even times of giving up; this dream became a reality. We purchased a small house in Cape Town and were able to do some renovations to it. We are so happy to have celebrated our first Christmas in our own home!

Campus Growthkitchen done

2014 saw us train more students and send them be missionaries than ever before. 2015 will be a year of fundraising and trusting God to provide new property to house and feed our students as well as run the campus operations. This will be uncharted territory for our campus!

New Ministries

2015 was a year of passing off some of our old responsibilities to faithful people we’ve been able to raise up. Both of us (Chris and Lindsey) are now able to turn our attention to developing some new ministries which have been growing in our hearts over the last
few years.  Stay tuned for news about ministries to the women of South Africa and further training of Bible school staff throughout
the continent of Africa.malawi

The Boys

As of January, we have a 10-year-old! How did this happen to people as young as us? Garett will start Grade 4 and Thabo, 8 years old, will begin in Grade 3. Both are doing very well in school and enjoying multiple extra-curricular activities.

 

 

A Huge Thank you to all who have prayed, given, and walk with us through 2014. We could not do this without you! 

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and we wish you a fantastic 2015!

Family Christmas photo

Back to Africa

Hello friends

We have returned  to South Africa from a wonderful summer spend in the United States.   grandpasmith

Some Highlights:

Seeing family! We had a wonderful time reconnecting with Grandparents, Cousins, and Aunts and Uncles. The kids loved all the swimming and soccer time.

Missions Homecoming at the Worship Center. We were able to reconnect with one of our home churches as well as the other 45 missionaries from around the world.

Special events and good food. There was far too many to count.

Traveling to 10 states including a free trip to Disney World and visiting Lindsey’s grandfather for the first time since we’ve been married.

apineslide

Coming up:

Both Lindsey and I teach shortly after returning in the Discipleship Training School in Muizenberg. All the schools are underway and we are training 125 student this term. Chris will teach on Grace and Lindsey on Relationships. Chris will also be teaching Romans in the School of Biblical Studies

The kids will finish up their school year in Grades 3 (Garett) and 2 (Thabo)epcot

We will be MOVING into our new house after a few minor renovations are complete.

Chris looks forward to travel to other African School of Biblical Studies as part of his role in the Africa hub.

To all we saw and gave generously to us, THANK YOU for making this the best summer! 

Stay tuned for great news coming out of South Africa

donut

Mission Accomplished

 It is hard to believe we are in our 8th year in South Africa. Time sure does fly.

Shortly after we arrived, we embarked on jobs and projects we felt God lead us to. Chris took on the School of Biblical Studies and Lindsey stepped into the role of Training Director, seeking to bring cohesion to all the different programs.

At the time the campus was small, with 30 full-time staff, training approximately 70 students per year. DSC09849

Through the years, we’ve seen explosive growth; outgrowing our classrooms and needing additional housing. From 30 staff we now have 150 full-time staff, from 70 students we now have 260 students coming through our doors to be trained each year. God has been good and gracious!!

Recently, we were able to hand off many of our responsibilities to some faithful men and women we have had the privilege of seeing rise up. Every leader’s greatest hope is that what you build will outlive you. It is wonderful to see this transition take place!

With all this growth, we had become swamped with more responsibilities than we could handle.This transition gives us the freedom to continue to develop leaders, teaching and preaching, as well as helping to lead the ministry of YWAM. We are excited to be even more focused on what we are good at. Exciting times!

photo 4

Prayer Requests
With growth, we find our campus desperately in need of additional facilities. We need more housing for students, additional classrooms and dining space, as well as a large corporate meeting area. Please Pray!!

Answer to a Long Standing Prayer Request
For those of you who have journeyed with us for a long time, you know it has been our desire newhouseto plant roots in South Africa through the purchase of a home. We’ve had a number of false alarms and disappointments over the years. God recently dropped a house in our laps! In a matter of 3 days, we found a house and bought it. Even better, it is only two doors down from our current rental. The boys will not need to adjust to a new neighborhood or make new friends. Thank you to those who stood with us in prayer all these years!

HEADLINES

After Mandela As you are aware, South Africa lost its “Tata” (father). The nation continues to mourn but also looks forward, recently holding elections. Pray that this nation would walk in the spirit of Mandela. Violence is still an issue. Just this week, 8 people were killed, blocks from our home, in gang and drug related violence.!

Thailand Lindsey taught on Relationships in Thailand to students from all over Asia, even some from unreached people groups. A highlight was a discussion on “dating” as a Christian. Many students shared that in their culture they “date” by kidnapping the girls from their homes (also known as bridal kidnapping). This was an enlightening experience where the students asked the question, “What would a follower of Jesus do?” !

Reproduction of Leaders One of our desires is to multiply leaders throughout the African continent. We recently sent out someone to Burkino Faso to work with Bible schools in West and Central Africa and another to pioneer a Bible School in Rwanda

Permanent Residents We have been granted Permanent Residency status in South Africa (like a Green Card). This means no more Visas, we stay or leave on our own terms. We do not need to renounce our US citizenship. This gives us an extra layer of security and longevity.

IMG_20140405_083012470_HDRBoy-land The boys are 8 & 9 years old and in Grades 2 and 3. They both attend a local South African school. They have great friends, are doing well at school and learning the language of Afrikaans. Like boys, the highlight of the week is sports. They play soccer, rugby and cricket. Thabo also sings in the school choir!! Both of them are very excited about this upcoming trip to the USA where they plan to eat as many hamburgers as possible and drink as much root beer as we allow:)

OnlineWe are both blogging! You can find Chris’s writings on Grace, Leadership and the Bible at: www.nosuperheroes.com

Lindsey writes about love in the areas of friendship, dating, marriage, parenting and sex at: www.thisisloveactually.com

Contact Information

If you would like to receive a paper copy of our newsletter published about once a year, let us know.

Chris and Lindsey Lautsbaugh linds and i
email@lautsbaugh.com
www.lautsbaugh.com

Donations processed through:
The Worship Center
2384 New Holland Ave
Lancaster. PA 17601

or Project Grace at  www.lautsbaugh.com

Heading Stateside!

Hello and greetings from COLD South Africa. Yes, Africa does get cold. With no central heating we have been bundling up and wearing multiple layers.

In just a short while we will be heading to America for a few months.   linds and i

Some of our highlights will be:
– Family vacations.
– The Worship Center’s mission conference in Lancaster.
– Meeting extended family for the first time.
– Warm summer weather activities.

IMG_20140405_083012470_HDR

We would love to reconnect during our time. Please let us know if you are interested.

We will spend the month of July in Washington State and the month of August in Pennsylvania.

A newsletter will be coming your way soon to update you on all our ministry and personal news, including the purchase of a home here in South Africa!

See you soon!

 

Spring is in the Air

As many of you are ending your summer, we are ending our winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  Winter for us is a time of re-grouping and preparing for the coming 12 months.  Some highlights of what we have been doing and what is ahead:

– We have been doing a massive renovation to the inside of our main campus building.  Old carpet is out, wood floors are in, all the walls are repainted, leaks are fixed, the kitchen is re-done… you get the idea!

– Our paperwork and buildings are almost ready for inspection with the government so we can become a registered University.

– We have our annual Staff Gathering at the end of September.  Around 200 staff come together to re-connect, get refreshed and hear from God together.

– At the end of this month we will be receiving over 100 new students on to our campus to grow in God together.

– Chris is teaching in the USA, Togo (West Africa), and South Africa this coming term.

– Our boys enter their last term of 1st and 2nd grade… they have had a successful school year thus far!

– We just moved in to a new rental and are feeling settled and grateful for a new place to call home.

– We celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in just a few days.

family_elephant copy

Thank you for your continued support of Project Grace, we feel so grateful.  God is on the move in South Africa and beyond and we hope you realize how much of a difference you are making.

Four by 4!

Hello everyone! We wanted to update you on some of the things which are happening in our lives. Here are four recent highlights:

Capricorn – a number of our staff have been ministering into an underprivileged local community. One of the amazing stories is of a whole household turning to God, receiving healing for high blood pressure and headache.! After living together for 12 years, this family is committed to getting married. Lives are being changed!

Bridge For Hope – a  branch of ministry family here in South Africa is offering job and life skills training. While giving practical and computer skills, they also deal with the whole person; addressing issues such as trust, forgiveness, and identity. A number of these participants have moved on to the Bible training program.

Growth – our campus is in a prolonged season of growth in training programs and ministries reaching into Cape Town. As members of the leadership team, we have needed to spend a significant amount of time looking at how to facilitate this. Growth is a good “problem” to have and we are excited about what God is a doing.

Australia – Lindsey recently returned from some international meetings held in Perth, Australia. Leaders of the 40 biggest Youth With A Mission campuses as well as representatives from each of the Faculties within our University were present. This was a profitable time for moving forward in the future. She was able to see some kangaroos as well!

DSC07677

Here are four more things coming our way in the near future:

No Superheroes – Chris’ blog continues to grow and we are being featured in a series of posts at Life Overseas, a blog by Laura Parker. Have a look! We are blessed to hear more and more stories of the impact his book is having.

Moving – there has been no movement on the sale of our house, so for now we are still in it. We know that moving is only a matter of time. Pray for the right house to rent, or should God (and the banks) allow it, the right place to buy.

Teaching – we continue to teach frequently in South Africa and abroad with opportunities coming in South Africa, USA, Madagascar, and within Asia.

School of Government – we are proud to be hosting the first such school in YWAM Africa.  It will teach Biblical principles on government which we feel is a key to transformation within this continent.

Thank you for all your partnership in prayers and support. Lives are being changed!{jcomments on}