Monday, 20 March 2017


Well, we're all home.

We got off the bus, greeted our waiting parents and other rides. 

We said a prayer of thanksgiving.

And we all found our way home.

What an amazing God inspired adventure this was.  It was so amazing to participate in this trip and see so many lives impacted for the Kingdom of God.

It was also so amazing to come home to my amazing wife, and to see my three amazing girls in the morning.  

As we all settle back into somewhat normal routines - it is still spring break - I ask that you continue to pray for our students as the make his adjustment.  It's not always the easiest thing to do after you've done and seen so much.  

We here in Canada are so fortunate.  May we live into that blessing, as learn more and more how to share what we've been given.

I'm signing off for a while.  I can't wait to catch up with each and every team member.

May God bless you all, and may God bless those who we have met, encouraged, and where blessed by.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Back in CANADA!!

The title says it all!

Back at the church in 10mins (or less)!!

On a bus!

I've never really ever looked forward to being on a school bus.  But - HERE WE ARE!!!


Google maps tells me we should be at the church within two hours.  11.15pm.  Plus BORDER crossing.  

We're all pretty stoked to see you all!!

Still on the train.

So - we're still on the train.  Although, nearing the end.  We're within three hours of Seattle now.  

However, we are running a little behind schedule.

Which would mean we're going to be a touch later at the church. 

I'll update this once we get into Seattle, and get on the bus, and then once again, after we cross the Canadian border.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Back on train.

We're travelling north!!

For the most part, we got here without a problem.

Friday, 17 March 2017

DAY 7 | elderly club, markets, and beach

So, today has arrived.  It's the last day of our trip, we're starting our way home tomorrow morning - getting in a bus at 2.45am.  That's just not cool.

Today though, is really the day that I've been looking forward to.  

It's weird to say that - but hear me out.

On the last night's of our trips, we spend some extra time debriefing our week - chatting about what we've done, where we went, and what God was teaching us.  

I challenged the team to spend 45minutes, on their own, writing out what they did all week, and in doing that - looking at what God allowed them to experience.  Then, they were to read some scripture.  Anything.   Just as long as they read it with their experiences of the last week in mind.  

And so we did just that. 

We came back together, and talked about the exercise, and the value of carving out time for reading God's word, and reflecting upon our lives.  Most came back saying that we didn't get enough time!!  I invited a few students to share about their time in scripture, asking them what God was teaching them through it.

The responses were fantastic - I wish I could remember them all.

We heard about enjoyment in reading scriptures.  One student told us about how much they've read the bible, but tonight, was one of the first times they took joy in it.  Another student had a similar experience, identifying a new closeness through it to God.

Another student talked about how they found themselves living in the fruits of the Spirit.

Another student told us about difficult times in life, and overcoming them through Christ.  

The Lord did so much more in us, and He used this time to draw us closer to Him - all the while using us to bless many others.  I can't wait for you all to hear more personally the stories of our whole trip!  

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to take your students on trips like this.  It's a real joy to see so much growth in them.  Thanks for entrusting them to me, and our leadership team. 

2.45am is coming.  


My 2.15am alarm, even quicker.  

Check back to see about our travel.


Here's a few pics...

First thing this morning, we went to an "elderly club" - And I taught this guy a really simple solitaire-type card game.  I would tell you his name, but even our translator had a hard time with it.  We played the game for the entire time we were there.  I told him we weren't going to leave until we beat the game.  The AMAZING part was that when we were told it was time to go, we had just started another game - and we BEAT THE GAME!!!!! The third time in my life that I had beat it!!! He was so overjoyed - and as was I.  

Our typical team on the beach pic.  This time, no silhouette.  
It's been pretty foggy here on the coast.  

And of course, you gotta try the jump pic.

DAY 6 | build day #2, is this a dream?

Today was our second day building the house, which we finished and presented to the family.

We started off our day with a flat tire on one of the trucks (still at the base), but once the truck was replaced we were on our way!

We arrived at the build site, and picked up right where we left off. We completed the roof, the trim, the door, the electrical and touched up on the paint. While some of our group and some of the YWAM staff went to Walmart with the family to shop with them, as the team on site assembled chairs, the table, and the bunk bed for a surprise when the family returned.

I had a chance to talk to the mom, and her son, while she also translated to her husband over lunch. She told me her husbands occupation is maintenance for construction companies while she stays at home with their two kids. However the dad sometimes doesn't have full time work and when that is the case, mom collects used clothing and accessories to sell. Typically on an average day they make about $6-8 dollars a day. It makes it very difficult to provide for a family of four. 

They had two small shelters and one was taken down so that the new house could be built, however judging by the size of the shelter still standing, I am pretty sure they divided their family and every night had two people in one shelter and the other two in the other. Buying land isn't too expensive the mom was telling me, however it's building a house that is. Mom explained a bit of the process of applying for the house. She said they waited two months from the point of approval to having their home built.

Today that dream became a reality.

While shopping, their son kept saying “is this a dream?” And once they returned from Walmart with all their groceries and toys for the kids, they arrived to see their finished home where we gathered around to dedicate the house, presenting them with a bible and a plaque. Each person had a chance to hold the keys to the house while saying a blessing as our translator helped communicate to the father and daughter. Many tears were shed, and at the end of the day, around the fire, most of our team agreed it was the most impacting part of the day.

Once we all got a chance to say something, the keys were given to the family and they took their first steps into their home. The kids jumped on their beds and played with their toys while one of the staff members showed mom how to use her stove.

We eventually said some hard good byes and mom told me this was the first house she's helped built, and on top of the volunteer work she already does, she wants to continue making homes for those in their community.

So much thankfulness was expressed from both the family and from the team for the incredible experience and the blessing of a new safe and functional home. The first thing the dad said after presenting the house was “first of all I want to thank God”. That really shows that this isn't something we did, but something that God has done. Through all of us we have been blessed and the Lord our God glorified.

Tired and bruised with blisters and sunburns, we left the site feeling that all that hard work was 110% worth it.

Thank you to all those who have supported this project through finances, prayers and more for both our team and the family. We couldn't have done this with out you! May the Lord our God be praised.

Alicia Zak

Here's a few pics.

And no, little guy - this isn't a dream.  You have only a house to live in, but a HOME to grow up in!