Youth With A Mission's University of the Nations (UofN)is truly unique. It's a global university designed to train students to be messengers of the Gospel into every sphere of society. This September, we had the privilege of hosting one of the biggest events on the YWAM calendar. The UofN Workshop is a gathering of staff and leaders of the university from all over the world. This year the conference was chosen to be held in our San Antonio Del Mar Campus, near Tijuana. the conference was attended by 800+ delegates from over 60 nations.
As Technical Manager, Tym had the job of turning the undeveloped land at the top of the YWAM base into a conference centre with a venue to seat 1000.
A few Stats about the UofN
16,500 Total Students in 2010, a 12% Increase from 2008
176,501 total students 1974 - 2010
550 Global Training Locations in 2010, a 49% Increase from 2008
160 Countries in Which Courses Are Taught, a 33% Increase from 2008
Average of 2364 on outreach at any one time
97 Languages spoken daily in the University Worldwide
We want to thank the many of you who have been following our lives and investing into our kids with your time, money and prayers. We are constantly overwhelmed by everyone's encouragement.
Yesterday was a big day for Tianna. Part of her therapy and healing from the trauma of being abandoned was to go over her birth story and talk about her birth mother. To help her visualize this we decided to go and retrace the steps of the first few months of her life.
The day started with a trip to the General Hospital in Tijuana. There we met with Dr Lopez, the head Pediatrician, who actually looked after Tianna when she was first born. He showed us the baby ward and the bed that Tianna slept in. It was very sad, as many of the babies in there were either too sick to be looked after, or had been abandoned, by their parents. As we left he told Tianna that before she died, her mum had prayed for an awesome family to come and look after her, because she couldn't.
The next piece was probably the hardest part of the day. As we went to find her birth mothers grave. We had the Cemetery details from our investigations during the adoption process. It was hard when we got there, knowing that we were probably the first visitors that this poor lady's grave had ever had. All that was there was a mound of earth and a post with a plot number. Along with all the 100s of other unknown dead. We bought flowers for the grave and Tianna chose a pink cross and plague which she wrote a message to her mum. We then all prayed together and Tianna had a moment by herself at the graveside. It was a very emotional, but very powerful time.
The next part of the day was full of joy, as we went to visit the orphanage where we first met the kids. We were warmly welcomed by some of the boys who remembered Micah and Tianna as babies, and our family from the time we were visiting the children. We looked at baby photos together and they saw their old bedroom. Although the children were both very young when they left the orphanage, there is still a part in them that remembers life there.
The aim for the day was to help Celebrate Tianna's life and help her release her birth mum, so for the final part, we decided to have a celebration on the beach. We finished it by releasing balloons, to symbolize Tianna releasing her mum. One ballon said "I Love You" the other said "TQM" or "Te Quiero Mama". As we released the balloons we all prayed and thanked God for Tianna's birth mum and Tianna waved a final goodbye.
It was a very long and emotional day for all of us, but well worth the energy. I think we will all remember this day for a long time and will be another part of our journey of helping to heal Tianna's Mind and heart...