I AM A MISSIONARY.mp4
This video was produced by some friends of mine. It is narrated by Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission. Click the title above to play the video.
Fall is our busiest season for ministry activities with YWAM. We have two schools in session and both are well attended. 33 students came for the Discipleship Training School and 19 students came for the School of Biblical Foundations & Missions. In our 2 schools we have students from Canada, Chile, Finland, US, Norway, England, the Philippines, Switzerland, Scotland, and South Korea.
With the SBFM being the largest session yet, we are excited to be sending out 2 outreach teams. Collectively these 2 teams will be ministering in China, Thailand, & Myanmar. Another student will be doing his outreach to Europe.
Our son, Timothy, has graduated from 8th grade and is on his way to high school in the Fall.
We are so thankful for Doris Todd Christian Academy and for their commitment to Christ centered education. It has been a great school for both our boys.
After a long application process, Timothy was accepted into one of the few openings for Kamehameha High School.
The Hawaiian word for family is “Ohana.” Here’s just a few updates about our Ohana. First of all, our YWAM Ohana… In recent weeks, we have been saddened to see some of our staff move on either due to circumstances or to the ending of their YWAM commitments. These folks blessed our YWAM family tremendously and although is hard to see them move on, we’re excited for how the Lord will use them in their next steps.
What’s Happening in DTS?
Last week was the opening for the Spring Discipleship Training School (DTS). A week earlier over Easter weekend, we sent out our Winter DTS teams to Nepal, Indonesia, and elsewhere. 4 weeks before that we graduated our Fall DTS and School of Biblical Foundations & Missions teams who had been on outreach to Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The reports of how the Lord used these 40+ young people to advance the Kingdom of God in Asia are truly wonderful to hear. The team to a large country in Asia saw over 20 people come to know the Lord. The team to Nepal were privileged to lead 35 people to Christ. The team to Bangladesh saw many people physically healed in the villages they visited and ministered in.
Staff Leadership Track
Concurrent with the Spring DTS, we will be using this quarter to run a new Leadership Development track with our staff. We have such an incredible group of people that we are privileged to work with and our goal over the next 3 months is to pour into them and groom them to be more effective in their ministry and in their leadership roles.
In our immediate Ohana, our youngest son, Elias, recently turned 7 years old! He’s growing up so fast. Elias has grown in his love of reading and is thoroughly enjoying the last months of first grade.
Hoku continues to help out in Elias’ first grade class as the teacher’s aide. She’s reading a great book called, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp, which has a fantastic message on the power of thankfulness in the believer’s life. Hoku recently ran the Warrior Dash (a 3 mile obstacle course) on Oahu with her sisters.
It’s hard to believe Timmy is going into high school! The school he’s been attending since kindergarten only goes to 8th grade. Our primary pursuit was applying for Kamehameha School. It is an excellent school with a great heritage. There were over 80 students applying for 16 openings. We are so happy to report that Timothy was accepted to the school!
In the previous quarter, Tom was a guest lecturer for 2 different schools at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. One of these schools was a DTS which had close to 150 students. That was the largest DTS he’s ever taught. Shortly thereafter, he lectured at a DTS of 8 students in Cody, Wyoming where a YWAM base is being re-pioneered by Kevin & Sherry Coolie. These are some friends of his who were formerly serving in Homer, Alaska.
We are now in our 2nd week of the Fall schools. Our DTS has 36 students and our SBFM has 10. Tom is co-leading the SBFM this quarter. It is a great group of people coming from US, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Palau, and Norway. The students are great to be working with. Although the course is a lot of work, we’re having more fun than YWAMers should be allowed to have.
This week Tom is presenting an overview of some of the challenges facing our world. Though the situation seems bleak from natural eyes, as believers we see things through Kingdom eyes. Next week, we will be examining methods of Bible study which will then be followed by 2 weeks of surveying the narrative of the Old and New Testaments.
With the Spring DTS & SBFM leaving for outreach at the end of June, we will be heading to Minnesota for over a month to connect with family, friends, supporters, do some fundraising and enjoy some holiday rest. It all starts with the Osterhus Family Reunion celebrating the family’s 100th anniversary of moving to MN. After that, we will spend Independence Day with Tom’s family at the cabin in Cross Lake. We’re all looking forward to this time in Minnesota. If you’re in the area, we hope to see you during our visit!
On June 14th we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary! We had dinner at the Kula Lodge where we first went for our honeymoon. It has been an amazing journey together these past years and we are looking forward to the years ahead!
“Madness” as in, “a state of frenzied activity”. During 4 weeks of the month of March, Tom was teaching at 4 DTS programs at various YWAM bases around the country.
The first week, I headed to Washington DC to speak at the Fire & Fragrance DTS on the topic of Christian Worldview and its influence on America. This was my first visit to DC and I was unprepared for how this time would affect me. Personally, I have been burdened for years with the direction that the nation seems to be heading in. During my time in the capital city, I was so encouraged by what I witnessed. Without going into detail, I was privileged to meet and join with fellow believers who are strategically and intentionally interceding for our nation’s leaders. Hope is now the best word to describe my feelings about the Lord’s work in our Capital city.
Following the week in D.C., I returned to Maui to teach in our DTS on the topic of Bible Survey. The goal of this week is to see how the person and work of Jesus Christ is woven throughout the biblical narrative and to reveal God’s heart to redeem all people to Himself. It was great to be home and to spend time with an amazing group of students who are hungry for the Lord.
After this, our whole family went to the neighboring Big Island of Hawaii where I taught in the Fire & Fragrance DTS in Kona. The topic here was Introduction to Worldview. It was so nice to have my family with me for a change. We were able to connect with friends we’ve made over the years in YWAM and to spend time with Hoku’s sister, Lahala, and family. While we were in Kona, we celebrated Elias’ 6th birthday.
We flew back to Maui on Friday afternoon. As soon as we got back, I met with our Leadership Team for a few hours before returning home to pack and take the red-eye flight to Alaska late Friday night. In Anchorage, I was picked up by an old friend from my early days in YWAM. Scott Frerking and I served in the leadership at the Maui base in the mid-90’s. Scott and his wife, Sarah, and family are living in Wasilla where they serve at Church on the Rock. It was such a great time to catch up as it had been over 16 years since our paths had crossed. After a day with them, I flew to the town of Homer, Alaska to teach in the Arctic Mercy DTS on the topic of Introduction to Worldviews. This was my 5th or 6th time teaching there. I had a fabulous time with the students and staff of this YWAM location. It’s always nice to get a short dose of winter weather and an occasional moose encounter. My DTS friend, Ken Farnen, lives here and we had our yearly reunion. Now I’m back and am looking forward to staying put for awhile while we run the Spring schools at the Maui Base.
After a very busy month preparing for the the Fall DTS and SBFM schools, we began the schools on September 10th. It is such a privilege to have staff and students here from around the world (Asia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. We are full to capacity in the DTS program and have 14 students in the SBFM.
Before the schools started, the staff were very busy bringing our property into compliance with some county regulations. It was a lot of work, but we got the job done by the deadline. Tom has been teaching for the past 3 weeks in both schools on topics such as Intro to Worldview and the Nature of Truth, State of the World, and Bible Overview. It is nice to have a bit of a break before he heads to DTS’s at neighboring YWAM bases in Kauai and Kona.
Timothy turned 12 years old on September 15 and is in 7th grade. He’s doing well in his classes and enjoys being on the volleyball and Lego Robotics teams. Elias is in kindergarten. He says it is not as much fun as preschool was, but he still likes it!
Our family outreach to Asia this summer was fantastic! It was the boys first time out of the country and they did so well with everything from travel, to new foods, to adapting to cross-cultural settings, to helping out where possible. We were so proud of them.
It was Ohokulani’s first trip overseas since before we were married. We began our family journey to Asia on our 14th wedding anniversary and traveled from Maui, to Honolulu, to Japan, to Taiwan, and on to our final destination in Asia. While there, we visited our long-term team in one city and then took the train to another city to involved in what our colleagues are doing there. We have some great family memories from the journey and our boys had a great introduction to what we do. They were in no hurry to return home.
Thank you so much for your prayers for us while we were there. It was surpassed our expectations in almost every way.