AlongTheWay

Keeping Your Edge Sharp - Doug from YWAM’s Journey AlongTheWay 11

June 24, 2019 John Matarazzo / Doug YWAM Season 1 Episode 11
AlongTheWay
Keeping Your Edge Sharp - Doug from YWAM’s Journey AlongTheWay 11
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AlongTheWay
Keeping Your Edge Sharp - Doug from YWAM’s Journey AlongTheWay 11
Jun 24, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
John Matarazzo / Doug YWAM

Doug from YWAM shares his journey of choosing God’s call over his own comfort

Discover how Doug learned to trust God in everything and Keep his edge sharp AlongTheWay

His AlongTheWay moments include...

  • Life as a missionary
  • Do First, then Teach
  • Moving his family to a dangerous country by faith
  • Encouraging yourself in the Lord

YWAMPittsburgh.org

Watch episodes of RealLife

Email Me

More episodes and Social links for AlongTheWay

Show Notes Transcript

Doug from YWAM shares his journey of choosing God’s call over his own comfort

Discover how Doug learned to trust God in everything and Keep his edge sharp AlongTheWay

His AlongTheWay moments include...

  • Life as a missionary
  • Do First, then Teach
  • Moving his family to a dangerous country by faith
  • Encouraging yourself in the Lord

YWAMPittsburgh.org

Watch episodes of RealLife

Email Me

More episodes and Social links for AlongTheWay

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AlongTheWay)

Doug YWAM :

And he's sitting in our living room couch. I said, Don, how do you do know you're supposed to move there? What was like, did you have a vision? And he said, that's the wrong question to ask. And I was like, What? That's a really interesting response. He said the question was never where I was going to go. The question was, would I go? He said, so I had to, God had to work on me long before he could lead me anywhere, to have a heart that was wanting to do whatever. So the hard part was getting to a point of surrender, where I would just be obedient, God could say anything.

John Matarazzo :

Welcome to along the way. I'm John Matarazzo, your host and fellow traveler. Thank you for joining me along my way, as I try to become more like Jesus every day. I love what I have the opportunity to talk with fascinating people, and learn how God has met them along their way. Everyone has a story, and I believe that we can all learn from each other's journey. Through my work as a television producer, I get to interact with somebody the most amazing people making an incredible impact for God's kingdom. In this episode of along the way, my journey connects me with a really good friend, Doug, Doug, and I have served together as missionaries for many years and have remained great friends. He recently took a brave step of faith and moved his family to a country we're being a Christian puts their lives in danger. But the call of God to reach the people in that region has beckoned him to the ends of the earth. If you want to know how to really trust God in everything, and to keep your edge sharp, then you'll want to hear what Doug has to say. Before we get to the interview, I want to let you know that I always enjoy getting feedback about how my along the way journey is helping you. If you would like to connect with me, you can find along the way on Facebook, Instagram, and at my website along the way dot media. You can find all my social links there as well. You can always email me at John along the way@gmail.com. I'd love to hear your feedback. And now here's my along the way conversation with Doug from Weiwei. All right, well, Doug, thank you so much for being on along the way. It's a pleasure to actually have this conversation with you. We've been friends for quite a while. And so I kind of know your story already. Or at least I think I know most of your story. We've lived together and served on the mission field in various capacities. Yep. And so could you just kind of explain a little bit about your life? And how you are to the listeners?

Doug YWAM :

Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me. This is a very exciting what's going on with the along the way podcast. And the whole theme behind this whole program is pretty cool. But my story kind of begins with my parents. My father was not a Christian growing up, but went to church. And someone shared the gospel with him at his college campus, and he got saved, and my mom was leading the Bible study at the campus. And they became pastors and then missionaries. And so I grew up surrounded by that. Some of my earliest memories, as a kid was going out on the streets and preaching to people traveling around the country. I can remember now that I have kids, and you think about different toys, the kids like, I can remember my dad, when we were kids would gather surround every time he'd be leaving to another country, and we would get our best toys and fill a suitcase with them. And so I just, you know, those are the type of memories that was how I was raised. So it wasn't they didn't like preach at us. But whether we they lived it, they're very authentic. So we had people staying with us all the time, we're always bringing people into like our family. So it was chaotic at times. And never dull, was a wild childhood thinking about it now. But it was full of people. And that was the ultimate thing. It was always somebody we're trying to help or somebody was joining. You know what, what the Lord was doing in our story. So that's how I kind of grew up. And then when I was a teenager,

John Matarazzo :

I

Doug YWAM :

really felt like I wanted to be involved in missions and do that. So that never like left my heart. I never had a massive rebellious stage where I didn't think that that was something I would want to pursue. And I remember someone asking me a missionary, he lived in China, when I was like graduating from high school, like, what do you want to do with your life, and I just, I didn't really have like, clear direction, but I just remember telling him like, I just want to, like, I feel like God's given me so much. I just want to give back in some way. Obviously, you can't give back to God. Right? He's more than anything. But in the at that time, that was just like, so for me, it was Yeah, so I mean, obviously had many hiccups along the way, and many mistakes. But throughout that process of maturing, I was always thinking about like, this is what I come alive. This is how I was raised. This is like in my blood. I love talking to people about the Lord. I love meeting people. And I love like the how messy it is. Yeah, life is like super messy when you get involved with people. Yeah. And it's, it creates, like your story totally changed your life changes from some conversation you have and, and some of its heartbreaking and super disappointing. But also sometimes it's incredibly refreshing. But it's it's it's an adventure. And that's how I've known God is it's always like an adventure. And I yeah, and I'd say it hasn't always been like, exciting. But there's a joy that's deeper than excitement. And I think you get that when you have the highs and lows with God because you get to experience his broken heart for people. Right? And then everything is not cut and dry and clean. History wasn't clean. No, no. So yeah. So that's kind of how I was raised. And that's how I got into missions. So when I graduated high school, I went to college for a short time. And then I decided to go full time and serve and mission. So I was in YYM. Been in YYM since 2002. So it's been great. And that's

John Matarazzo :

where we met. Yes, you were my small group leader and my disciples returning school. And yeah, we've been friends ever since

Doug YWAM :

we went to the Middle East. Yeah, 15 years ago, 16 years ago, um, I had a great time. And, you know, youth with a mission. My favorite thing about youth with the mission is one of our mottos is do first and teach. And I loved being around people that weren't just like hypothetically talking, going about doing stuff, but they had actually done it. And that's what motivated me a lot. So that's what's fun about the DTS program to separate your training school, is it's not just like a classroom, but we get to go. And we did we got to go. And then we're still going. Yeah,

John Matarazzo :

one of the things that I really admire about you is you, your dad, and mom, and your brother and his wife and a couple other people went from the Pittsburgh base to start a base in Boston, and then all of a sudden, you found yourself in charge of Pittsburgh base, and enjoyed working with you for the many years that we did that together. And then God moves, you guys moves the whole base to the city. And that has been your heart for a long time. And then God puts something on your heart that's a little bit different. And I'd like you to talk about that a little bit.

Doug YWAM :

Yeah, I mean, I think always in my heart has been unreal peoples around the world. And I think, I don't know when that began. But you know, I do think a lot of it has to do with as your kind of form forming heroes in your mind. And you're reading through the Bible. A lot of it's like, many people are ignorant I and I was, you know, as a kid, I was exposed to missionary stories and what those people did. And I really looked up to them. And so as, yeah, I mean, that's always been in my heart. So when I was director in Pittsburgh of YYM, I was great to send people around the world and to travel with them short term trips. But about three years ago, I felt like almost actually four years ago, I felt like God saying, like, how are you going to personally help more people to go to the places that are least exposed to the gospel? And me and my wife, we just sit at night and we talk about it? We'd say, Well, what, let's take like a trip around the world for a year, or let's do this. And I said, Well, maybe first we need to get around those people that have done that, and get educated by those people, those doers. And not someone from you know, somebody will never meet, but let's invite them. So we spent a month and we close all our ministries. And I was really busy at that time running a lot of inner city ministry outreach is we just said for the next 30 days, we're going to do nothing but pray and educate ourselves about what's going on around the world. Because there's huge pockets we all know. I mean, it probably everyone listening to this knows, there's large portions of the world that don't know about Jesus. But a lot of times we're not fully educated on that. And I as a Mission Director knew a lot of those things, and constantly was interested in that. But I found a lot. during that month, I felt like I met people and I, it became much more real to me. And at the end of our time, that month, we just all sat in a group, we had about 30 people that just spent a month praying and saying what are we going to each individually Do not tell other people do not inspire other people? What what are we doing? Because obviously, we believe that Jesus wants us to go the unreachable to the least. And those people that will never get an opportunity here and that we feel like from what the Bible tells us that it's a great injustice that's going on in the world that God commanded us. And it's not just like some hypothetical option for those weird people like to eat food in foreign lands or learn other languages. It's for everybody, we got to do something, each one of us. So I was just sitting there going, Well, what am I supposed to already kind of do this, you know? But I remember just at the end of that month, I said, Okay, like me, and my wife just prayed. And we said, we'll do whatever, like, we'll go. But I was also had maybe a little bit of a Savior complex, I thought, everything I was doing was so important. And I couldn't leave it. And I did, I had a in a lot of ways, I had a lot of important things I was doing. And so the thought of leaving all those obligations and family members and ministry opportunities and wasn't like things were going bad. It was going great. And but I felt like man, maybe God will have us do something. So we just prayed. And we said, okay, God, we're going to do something by the end of the year. We don't know what that is. So it was in March, about four years ago. So we just said we're going to go somewhere by the end of the year figure out something. And so I just had spent a month with these missionaries that had some of them had, you know, had martyred family members had served in the most dangerous places around the world had expose themselves to unbelievable things. They're not some of them, maybe hadn't been in danger themselves, but they had just been faithful. Some of them lived in places that were peaceful, for you know, but I remember sitting down with one couple, and they had lived in India, and I said was the hardest thing and they said, putting our daughter on the train, to go to boarding school and seeing her cruise away. And they said that was like the hardest thing in the world knowing that God had called us but we couldn't teach her. So she had to go to boarding school, on the other side of the country. And hear the stories were very inspiring. And I said, Well, if they can do it, now we can like, we gotta get like on it, you know, basically,

John Matarazzo :

because So, I mean, you and your wife have a few kids. Yeah,

Doug YWAM :

we got three kids. And we at the time, had two other young men that were like a part of our family, older young men that we brought into our household, and we were taking care of them. So yeah, was I adopted? Yes, yes. And yeah. And I stood there still considered though both those boys, my sons, so it was a very interesting time for us. So yeah, I mean, we had a house and all that stuff. And our whole life was kind of set up. But this thing deep inside of me was like, what are we going to do about this? And it goes back to that do first and teach. So I felt like if I'd telling people to go to the end, I am leaving them on short term missions, maybe God has something for me, like more long term. And so I just said, I'm going to try to do whatever I can do, to go somewhere and try to help in this, these areas of the world that don't have access to the gospel. Because at the end of the day, that's how I want to spend my energy, my life. Back to what gets me up in the morning. When I think about the world. I think like, Wow, this is great. What's happening, this person's doing that, but what I feel like particularly call to get excited about is like, places that, you know, they have no Bible in their language, or they have, you know, just a handful of believers or no Christians and the entire people group and that, that doesn't do it for everybody. But for me, yeah, I get excited about it. So that was kind of our beginning on that journey.

John Matarazzo :

So you moved your whole family, yeah. To country that we're not going to name for safety reasons.

Doug YWAM :

Yeah. So we just decided we're going to go and it's kind of amazing how it worked out. But my dad went to a conference and I said, find anybody from Central Asia, and he of those countries. And he just, it was a missions conference. And he found a guy there. And I remember he called me said, Hey, I'm going to put you on the phone with him. And I said, Great. And he didn't really speak English that well. So we were kind of chat and I said, Hey, do you need help? So I'm willing to do whatever you need me to do? So this was like in September of that year? And he said, Yeah, come to, I'm going to be here for another week. So I drove the next week to meet him. And I said, I'm coming January 1, and buy my tickets. And he said, really, like now? And I said, Yeah, yeah, we're kind of, like, if you need help, we'll be there. So we just didn't really have a plan. And people were kind of asking us how is all going to work out. And I didn't really understand how I was going to get a visa, and be able to live in that place. Long term country we're now in. But you know, I really do believe that God orders our steps. And one of my favorite takes on the scriptures. He's a flashlight to our feet, meaning like, he doesn't give us often like a lot. This is plan, but he just gives us a next inclination. And I always feel like I don't hear God, like super clearly, sometimes, like people have visions and verses pop into their head, and they have pictures that doesn't normally happen to me. It's only happened to me a few times. But normally my walk with God is like trying to be obedient and just feeling an inclination. So I felt that inclination, expose yourself to what's going on in the world, you know, for like, a year. And then I was like, okay, shut down everything I'm doing because I'm too busy to even think about that stuff. And then I was like, just find somebody from that country. And like, that's how God let let us. And so it was kind of an adventure. So yeah, we just showed up there didn't know anybody. And my friend that guy had met met us at the airport. And they dropped us off at a random old Soviet Union apartment and left us. And I only saw him once that first like three weeks. Wow. And I was just out and about exploring the city and trying to figure out worse, you know, hello, I was buying kefir. And I thought it was milk for a few weeks, and I sorts of stuff does make it all I did not have the exchange rate, how to get a cell phone. I remember, I was like, I had all these utility bills coming to the door. And I'm like, I don't know how to pay these. Where do you do this? There's. So he had to take me down to where you pay him at the post office. And I had no idea what I was doing. And I couldn't pronounce the Post Office Word. So I wanted up at a police station. Okay. And police is like, what are you looking for? I'm like, I'm trying to pay my gas bill, how do I do that? In my broken language. And anyway, he was very nice. He drew a map for me. And I finally made it to the post office, and I paid my electrical bills, and the gas bills and all these. So it was adventure. And God, you know, you have very frustrating moments. I'm not like 15 years old. So I'm setting my ways and a lot of ways. And so going over there, even though I have traveled my whole life, and

John Matarazzo :

how many countries have you been in?

Doug YWAM :

I don't know. A lot. A lot. Yeah. I don't know. Something. Yeah. 35 or so. But many countries? Yeah. But I guess I would say that going over there revealed like a lot in my character that I need to change. So I think God's really patient about that. But I remember freaking out like, I can't stand this tiny apartment. I can't speak these people, you know. And so there's a big adjustment at first, but God's faithful. And he did start to break me and a few anxious moments, I'm sure yeah. But in my family, I remember the first day we were like walking around, we were so scared. Like I said, let's just go to the store. It's like, it was like maybe four blocks away a little grocery store. And so we all went, and it was the middle of winter into the freezing cold. And they don't shovel the sidewalk. So we're all like penguin walking to the store. And then the next day, I said, Okay, you guys go, just my wife and the kids. And I remember watching out the window, like, Are we going to get you know, what's going to happen? This we just were very ignorant. We didn't know anything about the country or the culture.

Unknown Speaker :

He don't speak the language. No, we're just,

Doug YWAM :

you know, I'm scared. Because you think so much about that area of the world. And a lot of its fear driven into us from, you know, seeing stuff on TV or in the news. And, and yeah, so we kind of had to break ourselves from that. And I just think that was just had to happen by experience. So after a while, we really settled in. And we didn't have exactly a ministry, but then God led us to an amazing ministry that we love. And that's like, right up our alley. So now we've been doing that ministry there for the first six months, we were just trying to figure out, and then we found a real home there. So it's been awesome. That's, that's,

John Matarazzo :

that's remarkable. That takes a lot of guts to move your whole family your whole life to a place that's not comfortable. But the call of God is greater than the creature comforts that this world has to offer.

Doug YWAM :

Yeah, and that's cool, because you get new experiences. Is that? Like, you just never knew that you'd be interested in. Okay, I know. So yeah, like, not just foods, but like, you know, just like making making dinner with like, three random items that you could find at the grocery store and fun stuff like that. Like, I feel like I was like a child again, you know, a lot of ways learning the first words of the language and but in spiritually speaking, you know, I was probably at a bit of a cruise control before I went. And, you know, people come up to me and say, Oh, God, so great. Well, you guys are doing, you're leading this ministry. And I'll go Yeah, but I think Yeah, puts you back in a place of trust. Yeah, we got to trust God again, for like basic things, like, you know, just for the emotional wherewithal to get through a day, right. I hadn't really had to do that probably in a while, you know, before going there. So yeah, just simple things where I'm like, okay, God, help me not lose my mind. Help me stay focus helped me be a good husband today, is I really feel like freaking out and losing my mind a little bit. You know, we're in this 15 foot apartment, and I'm just going crazy. And yeah, I can't drive there Can't you know, so all that type of stuff. But that becomes an adventure in and of itself with God. And you start to learn more things about him in the in the like scripture you take for granted and become alive again. And you're like, Wow, that's really refreshing. Yeah. And stories that you've read your whole life. That mean, you know, maybe at that point your life not that much to you. They're just kind of building block stories, they go back and they become, like, new again, not, that definitely happened to me, like what I would say stories of like Nehemiah going to something that seemed impossible, and becoming totally refreshed by that vision that seemed impossible, and then seeing it happen. That's a story I knew, like front and backwards, I could teach a lesson on it. But now like, going to a new place, and have to unify like vision in it, where it seems like very hopeless in that area of the world, you know, Islam can make a lot of people feel very hopeless, and it can overwhelm you at first. And I'm sure that's how Nehemiah felt. But Nehemiah feels like a cartoon story. Because we're so familiar with it. I'm so graph. Yeah, it's a planet graph story. You know, so you're like, Oh, yeah, they built the wall, and everything was cool. And then he called, you know, and but then, you know, you go to a place where it feels really hopeless. And then you go out how he really felt like that, you know, he I can understand how people the opposition felt, because that's, you know, and Simple Stories of miracles that Jesus did become, like, because you really need God, like, in a new way, at least I did, you know, and just, and then reading through the Psalms, stuff that I kind of, I would go Yeah, that's kind of like, I don't know, you know, Psalms can seem a little bit fluffy. Yeah, not like real, you know, but then I'm like, man, I had a hard time waking up this morning and feeling motivated and feeling like, excited, because this is so overwhelming. And so I'm like, praying and gone. I really need this. Today, I really need to know what it's like to have that intimacy with God, where he just helps you put one foot in front of another, you know, so that's the type of stuff that became like fresh to me again. Wow. Which was cool.

John Matarazzo :

For me. That's awesome. Because I mean, being in youth of the mission for I was in for eight years. It's not a comfortable thing. Yeah. But it in a way can become comfortable. Yeah, I think, my faith, yeah, not knowing exactly how you're going to provide for this bill, or how God's gonna take care of it. But he does. And then you kind of get used to that. And so your level of comfort is definitely somebody else's level of discomfort. And so but God had to God wanted to put you even even further. Yeah.

Doug YWAM :

And I think he's always doing that in our lives, because the Bible says, adjust to walk by faith. So there's been many times in my life where I felt like, if I could just get that I'll feel comfortable. And then as soon as I got that, you know, the Holy Spirit pushes you. So you never get to that plateau, or you're like, I'm at this Pinnacle moment of spirituality where, you know, I just cruise, at least I have never been, I always get to that point. And for five minutes, I feel great. And then God goes, Harris, the next thing like, yeah, you're really got a bigger mountain over there. And just to give that illustration, where I live, we have mountains everywhere. And I did that one time, I thought I was at the top. And then I came over the mountain top, what I thought was a mountaintop and realized was just a foot Hill, for a seriously high mountain. We were on a hike with my friend who lives he lives in another country there. And he came to visit, he said, Let's go for a hike will go to the top of that I went great. So like two hours later, we're at what I thought was the top, but it wasn't. And I said, Man, that's for you to go. I'm not an outdoor person. So but my point was, like, a lot of times I think we all I mean, definitely, I'm guilty of it. You think like if I could just get this in the bank, or this, my kid to do this? Or if I could just get this, you know. And I definitely felt like that if I could have a house all paid off the car paid off, then I won't have to trust God, basically, you know, you don't say that. But that's how you think. And so you kind of you say words like maturity or you know, wisdom, stuff like that. Which means, for me, it means like, I just get like, do whatever I want, you know, and kind of live off those things. So yeah, so that was that was how I think what God was doing for me preparing me, and he's still doing that definitely put me in uncomfortable situations. Which, at the moment, don't always feel great, but they're definitely wonderful in the end. Yeah. So you learn to trust God.

John Matarazzo :

Oh, man, Doug, do you remember the first time that you heard God speak to you?

Doug YWAM :

Well, I don't know if I remember the first time that I remember being raised learning about hearing the voice of God. And I can remember when I was really little hearing about people around the world and getting words for them. As I'd be praying, we our family would, a common thing our family would do is we would sit around, we had Globes, and maps in our house and a lot of books. And so we had read a story about somebody comments, or my dad would read us his story. He read it to us, like once a week was a story called the pineapple story, which is about missionary and Papa New Guinea. And he released pineapples. And he wanted that for himself. But the news kept stealing them. And then one day, he decided I'm going to give these pineapples to God. And then the natives came to him said you've become a Christian. Because anyway, they said, No, you finally don't care about your stuff more than us, you know. And so it's a very famous story. But I remember times when we'd read those stories, and then we would just pick a country, and we would would start to pray. And I can remember God speaking to me to pray for a child in this nation, or whatever, those type of things. That's been a lot of the moments when I was little, you know, that I definitely heard God, we'd get together, I'm just crying, you know. And as an adult, I can remember the first time practicing inner sensory prayer that I had done that as like, as an adult, I sat down and I just said, God, I'm just going to empty my mind and you need to speak to me what is on your heart. And I remember having a vision of children in India on a train, and like crying like weeping over something that I 10 minutes before I didn't care about, you know, so I knew that was God because that wasn't something I'd been naturally I had no idea what was going on with them. So that's normally how God has spoken to me was through an inclination in my heart. Sometimes, like I said, that picture of the train, but a lot of times, for me, it's more of an inclination, it's more of something I just am interested at some point, sometimes it's a news article, sometimes it's something my, you know, hear about from a story somebody tells me, I'm a pretty curious person, you know that about me? So sometimes it's just something that picks I think God gives you that, you know, and I just get interested in it, and I go, Okay, well, tell me about that. And so that's, I think God knows my personality. I know. I mean, I know he does. And he tends to speak to me like that. And since

John Matarazzo :

you grew up in a house like that, and now you have kids of your own, how have you like, how is their relationship with hearing God? How have you been able to help them?

Doug YWAM :

Yeah, it's, I think it's obvious that we know it's important. But it's interesting when you're trying to teach people how to how to make principal decisions off the voice of God. We've been talking a lot about that. Because, you know, I'd like to say that when you move somewhere, like we moved, everything's like, easy, and it's wonderful. But there's been days where, you know, my kids come up to me, and they go, we really don't like it here. And we don't we wish we didn't live here. And this is really hard. And I go, I do too. I don't like it here every day and and then we start to read the Bible. And we start to go through the Scriptures. And we talk about heaven. And I say, just ask God about what happens, like what he's preparing for you. And we sit down. And we have these powerful devotions where they start to talk about things that God has put in their heart that's so rich, it's so rich, and it good to just like, it changes your life. So they speak to me. And this is the voice of God coming through them a lot. So we do that a lot. Whenever we have a Yeah, like I don't know, I don't know, if you call them like a theological quandary or some sort of like, you know, you got one of those things that like, okay, here's my life and supposed to be doing this for God. And here's how I feel. You have the situation where you go, this doesn't really line up. And then that's how you have to go and encourage yourself in the Lord. Oh, that's me go create the discipline. And I don't know if I like thought of that necessarily, but like, wandering minds of children will actually force you to do that. Because what else answer I'm going to give them. So let's go to the Bible. That's been cool. So we do a lot of that. And and then the joy of the Lord does become your literal strength, like you actually get excited about, like thinking about those things, you know, and it's not mind manipulation. It's the power of the Holy Spirit, He transforms what you think about things, because of the natural Christianity is insane, from beginning to end for us to follow it. Obviously, I mean, we're worshipping a carpenter from 2000 years ago that had a small group of followers. In the natural that makes no sense. But when the supernatural hits us, and you hear the words of Christ, come alive, you read those read words, and you go, Wow, there was something different about this guy. That's not just a book, that's, you know, you open the scriptures. You read a script, you read 1000 times, then Wow, yeah, it's alive, then, you know, the spirit exists, you know, you're experiencing God, because you're like, Okay, it's, it's there. He's so with my family. That's how we do it. It's often a discovery. So we kind of sit down and I kind of let them lead it, you know, give them the ground rules. Like, here's God's character. Yeah. Like you guys find the way. And then it's cool, because later on, oftentimes, we just had an experience with my oldest daughter, where she was teaching me stuff that I taught her, you know, in a moment of my frustration, and it wasn't on of arrogance is out of like, she was trying to encourage me, which was so cool. So I was like, all right, yeah, you're right. I did tell you that that is true. We all read the Bible together. And that's like, so yeah, we're not like a big formal family where we have like, times, we will, you know, do but it's, it's in the course of the day to day where those type of things happen with us. That's really cool.

John Matarazzo :

Doug, I like asking people questions about the detours that they face in life. Obviously, the column God in your life is for what you're doing now in this country, where there's a lot of potential persecution for what you're doing. So I'm sure there's a lot of detours and roadblocks and things in the natural that tried to stop you. What advice would you give to me about dealing with the roadblocks or detours in my life,

Doug YWAM :

I think the I don't know if I have advice, but I have some examples of things. Sure. I feel like not the expert on this. But I do know how I deal with when I feel like I'm at a roadblock. And what I try to remind myself as first. None of this is like eternal. So every situation I'm facing is in the natural. And Jesus's kingdom is eternal. So I have to consciously sit down with myself and actually train my mind to think of those things. Because sometimes your ministry or just life in general, can be incredibly disappointing. You know, I'm not trying to be a downer here. But that's where reality you can feel disappointed at your experiences. And if you don't realize that there's an eternity waiting for you, and there's a reward in heaven, and there's a whole nother thing is sometimes it doesn't match up. And so first, I remind myself, okay, this is not and then that roadblock doesn't have to be forever in this world, to this situations, frustrations, irritations, and just sometimes, right tragedy don't have to dictate like the next end, I don't have to respond to them the way that the enemy has planned for me. So I've had a lot of conversations with myself in my mind where I went, Okay, how am I supposed to respond to this? What like, what is God and just praying, God help me respond to this situation? in the right way? Because Yeah, I mean, in the end, the natural listings are everywhere. roadblocks are, there's reasons why we shouldn't do the call of God in our life in the natural, we shouldn't risk that conversation with our neighbor, because you want them to like you shouldn't share the gospel with them. Or you shouldn't help that person because they may come in your life and hurt you. And you know, you see people like passive aggressive posts on the internet all the time about Don't let anyone in your circle. But really, that's the opposite of Christianity. Christian is about opening yourself up, just like Jesus did. I mean, he led us all in his circle. He died for us, like for real. And so, to me, I think about like, those roadblocks are going to be there. Jesus promises us, he said, guarantee you're going to have difficult times, it's not going to leave you till the day you hit heaven. So if you expect them to come, it's kind of like in sports, you know, you're expecting to be hit if you go play hockey, or if you, you know, expecting to be hot if you're gonna play baseball in July. So there's something to be expected. So you know that. So as you go into that you're prepared. And so mentally as believers, we know that this world is not our own, like our we're preparing for another place. And so if we expect everybody to love what we're doing, be happy with us. And you know, that includes Christian, sometimes, our faith family members to celebrate everything we're doing that we're crazy, right? So we got to know Jesus, his own family member wasn't down with everything he was doing all the time. They didn't understand everything, later on his brother, but at first, his brother was very skeptical, right? There's situations in our lives that can be thrown at us. And if we constantly think like, Oh, my, you know, what was me there's a roadblock, then we're missing his teaching. I mean, it's okay to be upset and sad. But to be surprised, is kind of ignorant to the whole thing that he set up. So I've tried to remind myself, like, don't be discouraged when things don't go, right. Because that's like a natural outcome of struggling and fighting for something. And if it's going to be worth it, it's probably worth the fight. Right? Like, yeah, if it was easy, everything would just be like, boom, the whole world would come to Jesus and and be over. But sometimes there's people we got to pray for a little bit longer than we want to feel comfortable doing. People we gotta love a little bit longer. situation we got to enter that aren't like our forte. Sure. Yeah. So I think we guys sometimes in Christianity, we get a little too specialized. And we go, God made you for this thing. And this was sometime God, maybe just to suck it up and love people, and that might be in something you don't really enjoy doing. So we've got a little bit. I don't know what to say about that. But you understand what I'm saying? Yeah, we've got a little bit soft. I think in some of those areas. I'm not saying I'm hardcore. I fallen into a to like, I'm not that type of minister. I don't like doing stuff with those. You know, I don't like children. I don't like doing with teenagers or old people make me uncomfortable. Whatever people say. That reminds me of same dreams teaching on pride or Yeah, we're one of the fruits of pride is that we limit who were who were willing to minister to?

John Matarazzo :

Yeah, limit where who are willing to connect with?

Doug YWAM :

Yeah. And if you would ask me 10 years ago, it's Elisa place to go on Earth, it would be an Islamic country. Yeah, I would say let's like last most difficult for me, not up my alley, you know, so I think God, I don't think he's gonna send the everyone to but now I love it. You know. So I think, though, when the Bible says, God gives you the desires of your heart, it's not like your initial desires, he transforms you by the renewing of your mind, and changes your desires. And so I think that's, thank God, he does that. Thank you, Jesus for that. Because, yeah, it just doesn't throw us to the wolves. But he does bring us to uncomfortable situations that we didn't expect. And it's through those roadblocks. If we keep pursuing him, we wind up somewhere random that we didn't even know or doing something we didn't even know. Or maybe ignorant to a year before a relationship started that we get to manager, somebody that just happened and, you know, happenstance, so

John Matarazzo :

that's good done. What has happened in your life that showed you that Jesus was walking with you, but you didn't realize it until you look back?

Doug YWAM :

I mean, my whole life. a million things. I mean, from when I met my wife, I remember praying literally the day before I met her. And I said, God, if I never meet anybody, I'm okay. I just because I just wanted like, an hour as seriously, I said that, like a day before I met her, I think about my kids, we couldn't have children. And I remember praying God said, I said, God, if we never have kids, whatever, I seriously believe these circumstances exactly the same. And then, actually, my wife was already pregnant when I had prayed that when I was going to the country gone to I didn't know anybody. And the place where actually now I'm at. Surprisingly enough, the man who started the place I'm minister in was actually from Pittsburgh, he's from my city. And and he knew my dad, and he had gone there several years before me and had established this work and needed someone to go there. But I didn't know him or his story or anything. I never met him, had no idea. So then when I prepared to go out, and only one guy actually knew somebody else, and he wrote me a Facebook message one day said, I'm here. I'm at this project, are you the son of? I'm like, Yeah, he's like, I know your dad. He got me into YYM. And I moved over here. And he goes, and I'm like, This is so weird. I'm going there in a month. And and he said, I'm coming back to Pittsburgh, let's meet right before he left side met him right before I left, like a week before I left. And he starts sharing about how his family went with his four kids. And all of a sudden, I'm like, I can do this. Yeah, man, this guy's awesome. And it was just so motivated and encouraged by meeting him. But I didn't know until I'd already bought the tickets planning to go in here. He had lived there, learn the language, ministered, started this place and done all this stuff. In a much more difficult time when you know, we didn't have the internet and all sorts of stuff. So it was I said, Wow, if he did it, then I could do anything. This guy's a legend. So like, how would God have none? Like how? I mean, that's just a miracle. It's totally miraculous that God did that. Yeah. So yeah, the very place I'm working, I was started by a guy from my city that I never met, that I only met after I already did decided to go,

John Matarazzo :

you know. So it's amazing how God puts those things in place after we've said, Yes,

Doug YWAM :

he puts people in your life to like that. You know, like I remember years ago, I went to it was an Africa. Just doing sports ministry, we're doing basketball. And I walked down this little trail in Liberia. And this kid walks up to me and he doesn't have a Liberian accent. And he says, Hey, how's it going? I'm like, Where are you from? He's like, I'm from Philadelphia. I'm like, really stop his story about how he had been sent. A basically abandoned from had grown up in Liberia with moved to Philadelphia, and then had been abandoned and sent back to Liberia and had nobody and I walked in his house with all these people, random, even a bedroom, nothing. And I was like, wow, like, God made me for this moment to meet you. Like, this is our Yes. So then he ended up coming to United States living with me. Went to Christian School in Pittsburgh, graduated, went to YYM. Now he's, you know, serving in the military, US military. So that'll happen on walking down a dirt road in the middle of Africa. I just got off the phone with him on Father's Day, and it was just such a rich time. You know, like, he's like blood to me. So God's like, orchestrated that. I've got like, a real like, son, you know? And he has, he's so encouraging to me, it's actually given me a lot. And he's like a friend to me, too. Yeah. So, you know, God knew I needed that, of course. So it wasn't just about me saving some kid. But God has created something, you know, there. So I think about stories like that. That's just totally random. You know what I mean? That's amazing. Last night, I spent the night with another young man that I met, that was just he was homeless in the city of Pittsburgh living at the bus stop. And I just literally met him, like a total random. And he just came and started staying with us. And you know, we've been friends for years. And, and we just sweet time with him yesterday, you know, so people join your life. And I think God, you know, obviously ordained those things. So, yeah, that's a testimony, those stories are just testament to that. put someone in your life at a gas station or whatever, I have a lot of people like that. where they've come up to me, or I've connected with them or just get an inclination in my heart. Like I said, it's not normally like a voice. But

John Matarazzo :

it's still being aware of when God is moving, or, you know, bringing those people in your path has been kind of a key point of your life. Yeah,

Doug YWAM :

yeah, definitely. Just being open to it. Because sometimes it doesn't work out. Sometimes people are weird, and they're weirded out by you. You think like, I'm supposed to have this person you're not. But you just kind of keep the lower in the water. You know what I mean? Like, you just kind of are you just live kind of like, you know, every day is an adventure, not closed off. I tell my kids all the time, stranger, not danger. Know, strangers are great to me. Like we're supposed to meet these people open up our lives to them, and somebody may pick up today or see at a bus stop or whatever, they might be somebody that becomes like a great friend of yours, you know. So most of the people that I consider, like, very close to me are random people like that, that I've just come into my life, you know, even in the country of as one of the people that we've been ministering to since we got there. I just met her one time at the grocery store. I invited her to have dinner at our house, we became friends, and my wife just loves her. And we should keep sharing the gospel with her. She hasn't come to Jesus yet. But we're hoping. So yeah. So I think knowing that God's always up to something is a big thing. And it's not on us. That's good. You know what I mean? So like, I don't orchestrate any of that. I just get to live free. Let the Holy Spirit like figure it out, you know, some might sit next to, you know, this is an interesting thing. One of the people that supports me financially to live over there, I met on a plane just sat next to her. And she was reading a book. And I went, I know that puck is a missionary book from YYM. And we became friends. And anyway, friends for a long time, more than 10 years. And she has been one of the most faithful people at pray for our family, encourage our family. And we met, you know, we didn't meet at some big conference or anything I just got put me next year on a plane. So I know how he that's how he works.

John Matarazzo :

So your life has been full of along the way moments where Yeah, God has just showed you. Yeah, himself and through other people. And through those opportunities. That's awesome.

Doug YWAM :

I think he knows. He knows. That's the only way to get my attention. A very short attention span. I'm gonna take him to Wendy's today and make this person talk to him. Yeah, so yeah, I think that's he knows, you know, like, another one of my favorite verses is that he remembers we were made from dust. Hmm, it's an amazing thought. Right? He's mindful that we're nothing. And so he knows that. I need his help. Yeah, God's like, mindful of me. He knows I was formed out of literally dust was formed of dirt of birth. It's like, pretty amazing. So I'm incredibly thanks for that. So the pressure is not on me. I can trust God.

John Matarazzo :

That's so good. Sometimes we put the pressure on ourselves. Way too much. And we Yeah, we don't. We don't acknowledge that God's there with us.

Unknown Speaker :

Yeah. And I think,

Doug YWAM :

even for, I mean, for myself, there's no attempt to I thought it was the Savior of the world, like I said earlier. And I realize I'm very helpless and being able to solve the world's problems. And I think the more you realize that God is actually up to he's really powerful. And, you know, if you just take an open posture, like, what's he gonna do? some cool stuff. But yeah, if you told me how it all worked out, I wouldn't never, you know, been crazier than fiction.

John Matarazzo :

Yeah. Well, speaking of that, Doug, one of my favorite questions that I like to ask people doing these interviews, is if you could go back in time, and, and meet yourself, like a younger version of yourself, maybe 1617, whatever, you know, 23, whatever it might be. Where would you interact with yourself? And what advice would you give yourself?

Doug YWAM :

Um, it's a great question. No wonder you're doing that if you have good questions. I think the lessons that I learned, you talked about a man named Sam Duran, who talks about pride. Another thing he talked about his integrity. And one of the his, obviously, it's from God, but the teaching where he talks about your character has to be stronger than your ministry. I think that's the greatest lesson of anyone's life, certainly for mine, because there's been many times I minister out of not that just ministered off of like, ability or just, you know, common wisdom. You know, sometimes you're saying something to somebody like this could be like the Dalai Lama or anybody like this is really doesn't mean anything. And that's when you know, you've lost last year edge. My daughter plays hockey, I had to get this in on the podcast, and we're absolutely I love hockey, hockey is the best sport ever. If you're listening, go see it live. It'll change your life. But I don't know anything about hockey. I never played till as an adult. So I'm learning now. But I, when we move there, I actually found a hockey program in this random country. And I was so excited. But I didn't know where they could sharpen their skates. And I didn't know that was a big deal. Like sharpening skates. Again, I don't know anything. So you're actually supposed to serve your skates. Like if you're practicing, you know, every 15 hours or so. Or, like late some people sharpen them, you know, every week if they're practicing three times a week or so. So but the reason is your your blade loses its edge. And you can't stop and turn. And so anyway, the first year I signed her up. Now she probably had, she had three practices a week. So that's a lot. And I never sharpen them. So it was like from like, September to march. And I'm like thinking everything's cold. Like they're basically fine. The other March, I'm like, yeah, we should probably show up. And then I took them to the trainer. And he started screaming at me. He texted me afterwards in the language basically berating me, saying, how could you never sharpen these, they had no edges. These are like almost destroyed by them. Now. I thought their escapes were fine. And I think spiritually speaking, there's often times where we have no idea we've lost our edge. And now that I've learned to play hockey a little bit, I'm awful. But I also know, I now can tell when my edges need sharpened. When I try to make a quick stop, I can. And in the same way, spiritually speaking, when you have to have a moment where you got to give grace to somebody in the natural you can't. That's when you know your edges are slip, you know, they're not sharp anymore. Or when you're really trying to a word that maybe is not friendly. Sometimes we have to give a difficult word. And you kind of find yourself flattering someone and being really generic, we can all fall into that. And that's how I know I've lost my edge. When someone says pray and I go, I don't have anything to say, No, you start talking in those prayers, or, you know, if you think about what scriptures have inspired you, and nothing comes to mind of like, what's happened in the past week or two, then you know, you've lost your edge and you gotta go back. So that's the type of things I would tell myself is like, keep that edge. Maybe date you have like a

John Matarazzo :

earlier version of yourself like

Doug YWAM :

that you would birth? No, I would just I think, yeah, I would say to myself after moral failures, like don't be too afraid to just repent, swallow your pride and tell those people you lied to them or tell that person you did that. Oftentimes, we're so scared of that. Get it quicker, because lies can grow or different things can happen our lives where we just accept things. And when you have a sensitivity to Holy Spirit. That's what I would tell myself like, you know, you remember years ago, we had a time at YOM we all repented about movies. And we were bringing in like PG movie Some of us are repenting of we were so convicted. You know, it was such but it was really real. We all like felt like God. We don't want anything. We don't want to watch anything that will distract us from you. And it was a real and when we all ask ourselves, like how come we are okay with gratuitous violence, but not nudity or via or cursing? Like, what is violence? Okay, and why is you know, we all have a different weird standards that we created. And we never asked the Holy Spirit. But we had that moment where we just had this real time. And I remember like, it's kind of funny, because it was a long time ago, burning VHS is are throwing them away, or I don't know what we did. But I remember grabbing VHS from my room and gone, I can I don't need these movies. But I'm saying that sensitivity, I would say I would give that to myself as young as I possibly could that I understood that and say, it's okay to say sorry, and you're wrong. And ask God to keep you sensitive, because you don't want him to get to the point where he's just got to go. You know, we all know the CS Lewis quote, where there's two types of people. One, they said, God that will be done. The other one, God says to them, that will be done. You know, so you want to be that person where you can save gut to God that will be done. And that's in the little things. Yeah, and I think the biggest key I mean, I'm no theologian or philosopher, but I know for my life, it's the little things are the biggest things in life, just the day to day. And if you can keep sensitive, you know, you said that word under, you know, use that word snuck out that, you know, you should never said and nobody was around you, but you're you don't, you're not sensitive to it anymore. And then you say it in front of your kids, or are you still that white lie? Are you kind of change that story? Are you manipulated that thing? And these are all things I've done, you know, and you get to the point where you go, Man, I'm just missing the mark. And it's, it's okay to be sorry, it's okay to say you're wrong. And it's a case that guys or anything in my heart, that doesn't please you, on a very, very small level. Don't be too good for it. That's what I tell myself. Don't be too big and bad to say like, I need to go back and sharpen my edges. You

John Matarazzo :

know, that's a lot to digest all over again.

Doug YWAM :

So good. Don't throw away some DVDs.

John Matarazzo :

You mentioned a few verses, it throughout our time together here. Do you have what you would consider a life first?

Doug YWAM :

No, but I have a life story. In Second Samuel. There's a I don't have a life verse. I love all the Bible. I don't know how a lot of Bible verses come to mind. So yeah, the short answer I have I have a couple. So the short answer is no. But my favorite story in the Bible is tied to get tight. And you've heard me preach on that before. That's been my lifestyle. It's a beautiful story where a guy joins David's army. He doesn't know David's about to be overthrown by Absalom. And David basically says, you can go to Absalom side, because you just came yesterday. David is fleeing Jerusalem, and apps. And a tie says David, your God is my God, wherever you're going, I'm rolling with you. And it's a beautiful story. Because he doesn't know the future. But he knows that David's on the right side of God. So David is fleeing Amazon's coming down to Jerusalem to take control of the country. He has the hearts of everybody. He's going to be the new guy. Well, shortly after that, a tie goes out to the desert and everybody's crying. And it's boohoo. And it's a bad thing. But a tie stays faithful to God ultimately, but he barely knew him. So I think we can have great faith in a very short amount of time about key pivotal moments in life. It doesn't take a theology degree. So Ty was you know, part of Israel for one day, literally. And then David defeated, eventually got his kingdom back. And he picked three people to be in charge. And he chose a tie as one of his three. So in graft into the family of the Jewish people, and the story of God is a man that knew about God and knew about Israel and all that type of thing for a day. And he became a leader. So that is my favorite story because it shows that is not about intellect. It is about decisions you make in the simple moment. So one of my favorite quotes from the Bible verse. But his his success is found in common hours. And I really think that for me, but I think for many people, I think it's the way God really works. It's been my experience with God is that way too often, I'm waiting for some big cataclysmic moment where I reached this experience with God, but really success is opening my Bible that day, reading the Bible, forgiving myself forgiving other people, you know, renewing my mind, allowing God to change me in little things. Little things, man, little things. Couple weeks ago, I was chewing gum, I was walking across the parking lot. And I dropped that pack the trash. And I took about 10 steps. And I went No, I'm not doing that. I felt like an idiot walk across the parking lot to pick up, you know, a very small piece of aluminum foil, but it's in those little things right? You know, I'm sure many times it was just dropped something like that and didn't care. But it's allowing God to re prick your heart. Do you? Are you saying that about littering is just God's real, right?

Unknown Speaker :

That's hilarious.

John Matarazzo :

But that's so true. That's it's very practical to is there's little things, sometimes we want a life change. We want those things. We want them to be big grandiose, but God wants us to be faithful in the small things.

Doug YWAM :

And I don't think often God wants to be such a, such a rip off for God to just tell you everything to your relationship with him. You know what I mean? Like, what if on your wedding day, you know, everything was going to happen nuts about the journey, or what is the first time you go on a date, you knew, okay, we're gonna get married in a year or whatever or the first time, you know, you when your child was born, you knew the next, you know, 30 years of our life. It's not exciting that way. And so we tend to think of God like we want to use them for to be our Genie. And I just don't think he's willing to do that. Maybe he just does it sometimes out of just this humility. But I think he would much prefer, from my experience with him is that day to day is walk with me, let's hang out. Let me show you this person. Would you like to be a part of this? And that's why the even the theme of your podcast is so cool, because it's all about just the day to day. Yeah. You know, it's Paul Marcellus. And he was just happened to be there. He was just hanging out waiting to the next thing. And then God practice hard. Yeah. So I think there's a lot of that cultural key to Yeah. And God does that to you if you just got an open heart. And I mean, that's the story of so many the Jesus miracles were, who happened to be there, somebody waiting at a pool, somebody just walks up to him, someone comes through a roof wasn't all planned out and orchestrated. And it wasn't professional, you know? So it was, it can be professional at times. It can be very organized, and it's wonderful. But also I think I this, a lot of times he wants to just lead us day by day.

John Matarazzo :

What books would you recommend?

Doug YWAM :

Oh, man, what's up? Well, you know, in my book, I'm a book hoarder. I'm a book hoarder. So this is a very, I would recommend reading stories by real people that have done missions around the world. Amy Carmichael's book comes to mind or her autobiography. The story of CT stud is an amazing story is just called it's called CT stead.

John Matarazzo :

by Norman girl.

Doug YWAM :

Yes, by Norman grub, cricketer and pioneer, not the first time that that has been mentioned on this podcast. All right, Tom. Tom. Yeah, of course. I like to read those type of books, because those people can open your mind to a whole different type of world that exists out there. And a lot of I'm not critical of what's being written currently. But it's hard to find those type of books that are just off the press right now. But I have found modern biographies that knows everything doesn't have to be from 500 years ago, you know, obviously, all the way in publishing has lots of missionary books that I've read. Tomorrow, you die. That book is amazing about Albania. That's from like, not ancient history. That's 30 years ago, but imprisoned in Iran. Another great book, Dan bomb, and we met him in a conference, right? I didn't but yeah, but anyways, those type of books, I would search out like, missionary biographies. And because I think people like, hyper spiritual eyes, all that stuff. So those people are not me, but they're just normal people. And I think, you know, I had one of my heroes was Don Richardson. And he was he wrote a book called peace child. And that's a book I would that probably be the book, if I said, read a book, I'd say, read peace child, by Don Richardson, but he's like, He's my hero. And he moved to a tribe in Papa New Guinea that were headhunters, in cannibals. And through an amazing story, which we don't have time to go into, converted them to Christianity. But the coolest thing is, he came to my house a long time ago, and I had read his book as a kid. Yeah. And I'd watch his movie. He's also a filmmaker. And he just, he was a genius. He just died. But I asked him, How did you know you're supposed to move to papa New Guinea? So I'm sitting there, like, what smart thinking, I think to ask this like, guy that I really look up to, who's a lot older than me. And at that time, I was like, 20. And I said, it was the first time I met him. And my family knew all about him. And so he's there in our house, is my dad's house. And he's sitting in our living room couch. I said, Don, how do you do know you were supposed to move there? What was like, did you have a vision? And he said, that's the wrong question to ask. And I was like, What? That's a really interesting response. He said, The question was never where I was going to go. The question was, would I go? He said, so I had to God had to work on me long before he could lead me anywhere, to have a heart that was willing to do whatever he said. So getting Papa New Guinea finding these people doing all that stuff. That's the easy part. But we think that's the hard part. So the hard part was getting to a point of surrender, where I would just be obedient. God could say anything to me. And I thought, Wow, that's pretty cool. So that was the best advice I ever got from anyone in my whole life was. It's not about that destination. It's about having a heart that's prepared to follow after God. And that's in every single day. That's helping out your grandmother that's serving somebody you meet at the grocery store. It's not about moving to a foreign country, and being some missionary hero, it's about today, what does God have for you? And he said, you know, God led him to a point where he would just go anywhere he care about going to pop into Guinea or anywhere, you know, but it was the Holy Spirit transforming his life and saying, like, just do this. So that, to me is a amazing story. And very powerful. And yeah, I'm just thankful that he taught me that lesson. To spirit

John Matarazzo :

he taught my school to do what is an advice? What is a piece of advice that you would give somebody that is afraid to take that step of faith?

Doug YWAM :

That God is all knowing. And that's one of the greatest lessons we can learn in life. He literally is all knowing we don't think he is. He's also all powerful. So he either is or he isn't. There's no in between with God, he's either he's either God or he isn't like a man. So if he's a man, just stop being a Christian, right? Like, why bother? Because we treat him like a like a human right? We treat him like he's got limitations. And there's things he can't do, or he's not interested in, or he wouldn't want to hear to hear that from me. But we forget he has supernatural ability. And something I even that word supernatural is something like, my son comes up to me all the time. And he asked, like, I'll see something and he'll ask, is that a superhero? And I'm like, well, superhero. What does that actually mean? But what is supernatural mean? Right? supernatural means it's above what we can comprehend, right? It's outside of the normal day to day things that we have seen, tasted, touched all the separate things, right. And so God is supernatural, he really I know that same. So Elementary, but we either believe that or we don't. So my. Yeah, I don't know if I have advice to give. But the thing I have to remind myself in life, is I'm not talking about some normal guy, like from Jerusalem. I'm talking about Emmanuel, God with us. Like, that's really powerful.

Unknown Speaker :

So he's either not

Doug YWAM :

or he's not. So he either knows my future knows my past knows my hidden secrets or not. He either loves me, despite my center, he doesn't he either physically rose from the dead, or he didn't. So I yeah, I take those stories for granted. Sometimes I'm like, yeah, Jesus rose from the dead. And I'm like, well, that's I'm saying the crazy, right? So that either happened or didn't. So he's either all powerful or is not as I think a powerful. If you're afraid to take that step. Ask yourself, why are you afraid? And it's probably because you don't need the Holy Spirit to great help you with give you more faith, to believe who like it goes to that dinner to some question like, how did you get to this country? Well, it's not really about that. It's not really about being afraid. It's who is God to you. And if God is all powerful, then you can take the step. And if he's got good character and good nature, then he's not going to give you some you can handle he's going to help you. So he's there. You know, he knows. Some people like I remember meeting someone over where I live, a missionary who's lived there many years, and I was so impressed with them. They serve orphans, they serve the poor. So the poor, they also serve severely disabled people all day, every day, and they've been doing for close to 30 years. And now they're just like, in their house, like, Wow, you guys are saying, like, how did you do this? I can't even I don't know how you do it. Right? And then I remember the wife, she said to me, you know, what's so cool about God is he never gave me anything that was like a above what I could handle for that day. And I thought that seems like a lie. You know, but really, it was true. She was saying God's so loving, that he's always given her the strength is so for resurrected with Christ, then we do have that resurrection power within us to resurrect our attitude, resurrect our character, you know? So yeah, I was. That's a long answer to a short question. But

John Matarazzo :

but that's very good advice. Very good. Not all, not like a nugget I could take away. But there's so much in there. Doug, I thank you so much for for spending some time with me and allowing, allowing me to record the conversation. We've been friends for such a long time. And you're truly one of the best friends that God has ever brought into my life. And I'm so grateful that God has brought you along the way into my life. And it's not just a even though. I don't know what the next time that it is that I'll get to see you. Yes. But I am grateful for every moment that we've been able to spend together.

Doug YWAM :

And Jay, Matt, John is very committed to this job, everyone that's listening. I was 45 minutes late to my own house. He waited on my porch patiently. So those of you who are listening, know that he really cares about you. And thank you for waiting on my porch.

John Matarazzo :

I am so grateful for my friendship with Doug and his leadership and why when he really does apply that principle of do first then teach. And I appreciate how, even though it was difficult, that he really wanted to encourage others to take that step to do cross cultural ministry in areas of the world that are unreachable. How do we respond to the call of God? I love that he said he shut down all the distractions. For a month, he set aside time to seek the Lord about what to do for the call of God in his life, even though it seemed like he was successful in ministry. He was still wanting to seek the Lord for what's next. He didn't want to become complacent. And I appreciate that so much. And he surrounded himself with people who have done that step people that have moved to other countries long term with their families. And he found out Yes, I can do it too. If they can do it, I can do it too. You don't need a complete plan. You just need the first step. Doug mentioned the verse, Psalm 119, verse 105, your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me, and to keep me from stumbling. You know, it's okay to not be perfect and to have a few missteps. But God will give you the next step. When you take the first step. Am I willing to take the next step, maybe even a first step, God help us to find out what those steps are that you want us to take. I don't want to be in a faith cruise control. And I, I kind of know what that's like I've been there myself. When God calls you into a new season. It's difficult, but it causes you to be stretched, so that you can learn more about God and have a deeper relationship with him. We need to allow God to take control to go from one level where we are to another level where we need him and we can go deeper. I love the Doug said, you know, the Psalms weren't his favorite. But now he has a fresh hunger for them. Just as our bodies crave what we need for health, so does our spirit. What is our spirit craving for? There's always a bigger mountain around the bend there. But God is preparing us with each step for the next step. The next mountain, the next obstacle that we have, Doug mentioned a story that he grew up with called the pineapple story. And he gave me a link to a video on YouTube with somebody sharing that. So that'll be in the show notes. If you'd like to hear that whole story. We need to encourage ourselves in the Lord to line up to him. Even when we don't feel like it. You know, I want my will to align to God, not God to try to align to my will. That's dangerous. And when we do that the joy of the Lord really becomes our strength in the natural. It doesn't make sense. But God will give us that strength. Doug gave some simple but great advice. Expect the roadblocks to come and be ready for them. Just like a hockey player football player expects to be hit when they're on the field. What are the things that we need to be expecting to be hit by? I don't want to respond in a way that the enemy wants me to respond. I want to respond in a way that God wants us to respond. And in a way that affects the eternal. I've been interviewing people along the way, I've been really noticing that the more we live by faith, the more obvious the along the way moments are in our lives. I really appreciate Doug's candor about neglecting to sharpen his daughter's ice skates and how important that actually was. And there's a spiritual connection with that. How do we keep from losing our edge? He gave the example of that he can't give grace when he needs to quickly. In what areas do I need to sharpen my edge? Am I saying to God, God, your will be done? Or am I being rebellious and God has to say to me, okay, your will be done. I pray that it's the first one. If you're interested in reading Doug's favorite Bible story of a tie that gets height that can be found in Second Samuel chapter 15. Our success is connected to our being faithful in this simple moments and in our relationship with Jesus. One affects the other talked about his chewing gum litter, and how he had to go back and pick that up. Now, that's a life change for Doug, for sure. You know, it's all about the journey. God's not a genie. He wants to walk with us every day. He wants to hang out with us. How do we let God do that? How do we become more aware of his presence? How do we become more aware of his friendship? The advice that Doug received from Don Richardson of the questions not Where would I go, but rather would I go is really challenging? What am I not willing to do for God that needs to change in my life. Our relationship with God is not as much about the destination as it is about having that journey. And having a heart that is prepared to follow after God every single day. Here are some ways that you can grow in your relationship with the Lord on a very practical level. We can pray every single day just talk to God. Make sure that you're listening to what he has to say to you to one of the ways that God will speak to you is through His Word. Read the Bible every single day. also go to church, get connected with other believers, people that will help hold you accountable, and help you to grow through encouragement by reading your word, and living for the Lord every single day. If they love Jesus, they're going to love you too. And you could help each other. Another thing that I want to encourage you to do is to tell other people about Jesus and what he has done for you. The last thing that I want to challenge you with for this episode is what does God have for us to do today? What is that step of faith that we need to take right now? It might be big, it might be small. But ask God what is that step for me? Doug mentioned a few books in this interview that Amy Carmichael story, peace child by Don Richardson and many others by YYM Publishing, and I'll have links for those in the show notes. Thank you for listening to along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please rate and subscribe to this podcast and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and on my website along the way dot media. You can always email me at John along the way at gmail. com. I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey. And may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way