YWAM Furnace

How I Discovered My Vision on my YWAM Journey

How I Discovered My Vision on my YWAM Journey

I am currently in my Leaders Internship course with nine others, supported by an awesome team—all in the beautiful nation of Aotearoa (the Maori word for New Zealand)! The goal of these three months is to develop and understand our strengths for leadership, to learn what it means to be rooted in our identity in God, to lead out of a place of overflow, and to be equipped to be on the team here at YWAM Furnace NZ for the coming year. One of our major focuses has been on developing a vision for this season in missions. But discovering my vision all started with a story...

After attending a Discipleship Training School (DTS) here last January, I really experienced for the first time what life could look like when you do it in relationship with God.

While on my DTS outreach in Uganda, I was really challenged by the overwhelming brokenness I saw. I felt God reminded me that with Him I could actually do something to see positive change and transformation in the nations, and to take a step of faith in making it happen.

Little did I know, that step would lead me right back to NZ after DTS to do the Transformational Development School (TDS). During this school, we talked a lot about the role of missions and how we could see wholistic and longterm development, God’s intentions for humanity, and how we can partner with Him in seeing the nations transformed and discover how we were designed to live life in community. All in all, I have a whole new perspective on how God is at work to see people, communities, and nations transformed through the revelation of who He is.


Now, this is where the story starts to get interesting. I studied Art, Design and Sustainable Building in University before coming to New Zealand for YWAM. At the time, I thought I was giving up my passion for the arts in order to pursue what I thought God was guiding me towards.


But looking back, I am increasingly more aware of how strategic God has been in my life, that nothing in our lives is a waste—but that He uses every experience for a greater purpose and ultimately to glorify Him.


On a seemingly normal day of outreach during the TDS, I felt God really challenge me to think about my life and if I was using my creativity to simply reflect the problems I was seeing in the world out of my own brokenness—or if I was creating out of a place of wholeness to actually influence the culture. I realised I want people to be able to look at my life and see the reflection of His beauty. That through everything I say and do, it would all point back to Him and say He is worthy of everything we have to offer. All that being said, I feel that this is the vision for the next season of my life:


“To create a place of encounter with God’s beauty to see communities transformed and the cultural and spiritual identity of nations restored.”


Through this whole journey, God has been giving me parts of a puzzle, piece by piece. Finally, on my Leaders Internship, it has all come together. I now feel free, equipped, and released to take action—and see what God has spoken come to life.

Kaarina Kotanen

Leaders Internship

Published at Mar 7, 2019 . Authored by: Kaarina Kotanen |