Family, I have 3 very important updates for you. We are approaching the end of our campus phase and our school is buzzing with excitement!
Exciting news for my Miami Beach church family — our entire outreach (previously split between New York and Miami) is now headed to Miami in the second week of December. I am still not sure how our schedule is mapped out but I will be in the city 2 weeks earlier than originally planned. 🙂 I am excited to return to my city and do ministry with our team. And I am so looking forward to seeing all of you!
After much prayer and consideration, I feel the Lord calling me to return to YWAM Orlando in the Spring for one of their secondary schools– School of Worship. The dates for the school are April 6 – August 27. My application is being processed but I do not have any financial information yet — I will have a fairly significant need to cover another school and potential outreach. I will send an update with more specifics soon.
With Thanksgiving at the end of this week, we have been processing all that the Lord has done since the start of our school. This week was our last meeting for worship elective, and we looked back on the ways that we have grown as worship leaders and songwriters. About a week ago, we hosted an event where our group shared original songs that we have written as individuals and groups since the beginning of campus phase. I am so excited to share one of the songs with you all — see the YouTube link below for one of the songs that I wrote with my co-writing group.
In this update, it is my privilege to announce that my DTS international outreach location has been decided — our group of roughly 50 students and staff members will be going to Tanzania!
Although we don’t know much about our physical work in the country yet, our general mission is to spread the radical message of the Gospel and do our best to communicate the love of Jesus in a truly tangible way. Over the past few weeks, God has brought so much revelation to our DTS about how much He loves us and how we were made to be in relationship with Him. Our Triune God is RELATIONAL and created us to share His presence and delight! I pray that God will use our team to bring this revelation to His people in Tanzania as well.
Our team has been interceding for Tanzania and our prayers are becoming more targeted as we research more about their history, customs, and environment. This past week, our DTS split into groups to research different areas of Tanzanian society to better understand their world there.
One of the most fascinating things I learned was related to music, dance, and arts in the country. Hearing another group’s presentation has inspired me to research more about their worship traditions!
In worship elective, since we have finished our two songwriting assignments, our next challenge is to write a 15-minute teaching on something worship related. I have chosen to research worship traditions in Africa and am hoping to find more information about worship in Tanzania, specifically. However, I also know that I won’t have a full view until I am there in person. With every passing day, I am even more excited to go!
PRAYER/CONNECTION POINTS FOR TANZANIA:
Pray for the people of Tanzania and the unity of their country, especially because they are currently going through a season of political turmoil after their recent presidential election.
Pray for the gender norms of their country, and for an increase in the value that they place on women and children specifically. Although they highly value families, the culture in Tanzania often only values women for their child-bearing ability, and in turn defines children by the success or mistakes of their parents.
Pray for religious confusion in Tanzania. The two main religions (data from 2010) are Christianity (61%) and Islam (35%). However, even in the percentage of Christianity, many false teachings are still popularized, teaching Tanzanians that they are only loved by God based of works/performance or intertwining witchcraft/spiritism with Christian customs.
Pray for our team to truly adopt the heart of God and have wisdom for the messages HE wants to communicate to these people that He loves so so much.
Stateside Outreach in New York City
Our DTS will also be going on local outreach before Christmas. In the first 2 weeks of December, half of our school (including me) will be going to New York City! My team will be aiding a local ministry as they hand out winter garments and hot drinks to people on the streets of New York. The other half of my DTS will be going to Miami and staying in my home church of Calvary Miami Beach. If you see them, say hi and ask if they know Anna Tuttle LOL!
Please pray for unity for our school, since we will be splitting into two separate teams for our first outreach. We still receive the same love supply from God and the same mission even though we will be separated, but it will be difficult to be separated since we have been spending so much time in close community together.
1 Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Today our DTS also spent time interceding for our own country — and for God’s nature and goodness to be revealed to those who still don’t know him. Our teacher this week said, “If everyone on earth really knew who Jesus is, they would all want to be close to him.” I thank God that He is listening as we pray to Him and that His desire is always to lavish more and more of His love on us. While we may be preoccupied with our security on this earth, He is seated in the highest place and wants to commune with us. The safest place for us to be is always in obedience to His will — wherever that takes us.
As always, thanks for reading! Thank you Jesus that all of my outreach fees have already been provided for my DTS. However, I am currently praying about continuing here at YWAM to do a secondary school. If God wills for me to continue, I will have another significant financial need– stay posted for updates in the next month or so. Thank you for all of your prayers! I pray for my Miami community very often here as well and you have all been on my mind.
As the end of our third week at YWAM comes to a close, our DTS have continued to pursue a deeper knowledge of the personal God by studying His Character (defined as His moral attributes), His Nature (defined as His natural attributes), and His Ways (defined as His personality). YWAM has a modular teaching philosophy, which means that each week we focus on one topic with one (usually visiting) teacher. Our professor this week was Peter Warren, a YWAM veteran and leader who has both a profound knowledge and a powerful personal testimony of who God is, especially as revealed in the Bible.
Throughout our weekday class sessions, Peter presented the character of God to us in a very systematic and organized way, with so many quotes and Bible passages to provide a solid foundation. Honestly, my brain is still reeling from all the information! He used a lot of his own personal stories and life experiences as a testimony as well– many of which he shares in His book, When The Shooting Stopped, which is one of the required readings for our class.
Even though Peter has a deep knowledge of Scripture and is a talented orator, what impressed me the most about him was his humility and approachability. Instead of being intimidated by hard questions, he was willing to admit when he didn’t know something. He also was very clear about dividing facts from opinions, encouraging a fellowship mentality by inviting us to discover truth alongside him.
How to sum up all the other happenings? In our Discipleship Training School, every student has been wrestling with their own personal baggage and presuppositions about God. We are constantly soaking in so much head and heart knowledge. Through it all, my lifeline is worship– both personal and corporate.
Every weekday morning, we start our mornings with an hour of corporate worship (with the entire base). I am also in the Worship Elective, which meets for 2 hours every Monday and Thursday. AND there is also a prayer room (with a piano) where I can run at any time of day to process. LOL! I am also so thankful for my student body, who share such a love of worship — even those who are not pursuing leadership in worship. Take a listen:
Many of you know that before I left Miami, one of my prayers/desires for YWAM was that I would find fellow worship leaders and Jesus lovers who shared my love for songwriting. I am so happy to report that this prayer has been answered! Our Worship Elective is centered on worship leadership AND songwriting, with all students being challenged to write songs, even if they have no prior experience. Before the end of our lecture phase (ending this December), we will have written one individual song focused on High Praise (worshipping God and declaring His character) and one collaborative song focused on Intimacy with God (more personal and heart-focused).
It’s not difficult to admire God’s creativity and artistic touch on this campus. Our 198 acres include sandy walking paths, secret forest trails, a large lake, and rolling fields. Every evening at dinner, we eat in the golden glow of the setting sun and often walk down to the lake for the full view.
I am enjoying the journey. We only have about 6 weeks remaining on the Orlando base before our outreaches begin. Our DTS leaders felt a unique call for our school to not only pursue overseas outreach, but also participate in ministries locally and within the United States. Because of this call, we will be finishing our lecture phase about 2 weeks early to team up for national outreaches before Christmas break. Then in the new year, Lord willing, we will continue on to our overseas outreach.
As always, your support and prayers continue to comfort me. Stay tuned for more updates. Thank you for reading!
Somehow, more than a week has already flown by since my last update… Time seems to be moving so fast and so slow!
Here at YWAM, we are still settling into a routine and adjusting as our schedules change. Our environment is saturated with worship, oral teachings, required readings, and good conversations.
Since I arrived on campus, I have been constantly encouraged and comforted by the presence of Scripture everywhere. All of the teachings and spontaneous words we have been receiving have been grounded in the word of God, and many of them have even had a topical focus related to the power of the word of God.
But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
John 6:68 (NKJV)
It has been an amazing experience to see the “words of eternal life” seeping through from every direction. In class this week, our DTS leader Hannah Suggs is teaching us about hearing God’s voice, reviewing passage after passage that speaks of God’s heart to connect with us, to speak, and to lead us out of captivity. In our first meeting for the Worship Elective, we also learned about prophecy in worship.
The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.
Ezekiel 37:1 (NKJV)
In Ezekiel 37:1-14, the prophet is spiritually led to a valley, where God begins commanding Him to “prophesy” over the dry bones laying there. In Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word used for “prophesy” is naba, defined further as “to prophesy, to speak (or sing) by inspiration…”. Our teacher pointed to this passage as an example of how God loves to co-create with us: to use us as His instruments to touch people and speak to them. As worship leaders, we have a unique privilege to sing songs that can break down emotional barriers and spiritual strongholds in a person’s heart, paving the way for encounters with God’s “still small voice” [1 Kings 19:12].
The passage from Ezekiel 37 stayed with me, and I dove further into it in my own personal study. When the Lord calls Ezekiel to prophesy at the beginning of the story and the end, He ends the prophesy by saying each time “then you shall know that I am the Lord” [v. 6] and “then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it” [v.14].
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Ezekiel 37:10 (NKJV)
In the context of the entire week (learning about prophecies, the voice of God, and our entire class crying out to hear from the Lord and feel the presence of His Spirit), I felt the Lord calling me to remember all the things He has already done in my life and in the lives of others I know. Through my short time at YWAM, God has already been hammering in the power of our individual and corporate testimonies. Even though He provides us with so many avenues and ways to know Him, often the stories of how He has moved in the lives of individual people with hearts surrendered to Him are the ones that resonate the most.
After my experience last week of feeling lonely and struggling to make meaningful connections, the truth of “God with Us”, a personal God who draws near to us and wants us to seek His face in return, is sweeter than ever. Since the beginning of the week, He has been nudging our small body of students individually to lay down idols that have been blocking a singular view of Him and to come sit at His feet — to just be present, to just breathe, to just be still. He has been confirming this truth in my own life by stripping away all distractions and calling me to go further into His presence.
Please pray for guidance and clarity for our leaders as circumstances in the world change. Please also pray for continued vulnerability and willingness from our student body to be open to hearing God’s call. Thank God for the work He has already done and the work He is still doing. He is worthy of all praise!!
Thank you for reading. 🙂
P.S. I was tickled by the fact that this song was just released by Dante Bowe just 5 days ago (see below), just in time for our class focus. God can speak to us in so many different and personal ways. How do you recognize His voice?
I will start this blog post update with a PRAISE REPORT! I am so grateful and humbled to announce that I am FULLY FUNDED FOR BOTH MY CAMPUS AND OUTREACH PHASES OF MY DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING SCHOOL. Thank you to everyone who has given sacrificially to support me. It has been such an encouragement to receive your financial support, kind words, and prayers.
Today was the first day of our Orlando Discipleship Training School at Youth With a Mission. There are many changes and adjustments that have the power to wear me down mentally, emotionally, and physically. But God has been continuing to renew my spirit through prayer reminders, corporate worship, and the presence of His comforting Holy Spirit. Over the past few weeks, I have been reading the book of Isaiah. This morning, I opened by Bible to Isaiah 61, which begins:
This passage and the subsequent chapters were an encouragement at the beginning of the morning that God is sending me into this experience for a reason and He is paving the way for relationships, outreach, and the songs that I am praying to receive from Him.
Through the fast-paced settling in process, I have been experiencing some doubts and heaviness centered around leaving home and my treasured community there. We started our first group DTS meeting by worshipping together as the staff prayed over the students and we declared God’s promises. I declared that– even though I am in a new place and there will be awkward moments– I am not alone!
Never been so free caught in Your love for me
Never been more secure, knowing Your heart, Lord
“Joy” by Housefires
Thank you for reading! More updates coming soon. 🙂