I am pumped for this next year. From the very first day when I was recruited to help roof 2 buildings, I have been quickly getting involved here at YWAM Salem. I have met lots of new people, and already made some good friends. I am even more excited to see exactly how right of a fit it is for me to be here. I am part of the first steps here to get an EARS training center going (more on that below) and it is an adventure to start something new. Thankfully, the couple that have come in to develop these things here are well experienced in that sort of thing. So far, we have done projects around the base, sorting a lot of recycling, harvested a TON of produce from the garden here, planted fall crops, received a shipment of baby chicks, as well as several other projects. In the midst of that, we have been learning about the history of EARS and what we are a part of, about project planning and management, and about each other. Seven of us make up the EARS team here, and I am looking forward to working alongside these people to further develop the steps this base has already taken to responsibly utilize its resources for the kingdom of God. I am also looking forward to how doors open to use the skills I am learning overseas.
Craig and Jen Woodring Had their first taste of working overseas in India in 1988. Both then received PhD's before heading to YWAM in 1994. They first got connected with YWAM's EARS program then and have been developing EARS centers around the world in and outside of YWAM ever since. I am really honored to be working and learning under them in the time I am here, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help equip me for doing projects like they have been doing all around the world.
YWAM Salem is on a really beautiful 35 acre tract of land It has been running for about 38 years now and I am blown away by the facilities they have here. There is a stream running through the property, several dorm buildings, separate houses for families, and spots for campers to come so they can host volunteers. It's a bustling campus with about 80 staff and this fall they have about 50 students. It is fun seeing how a different YWAM base operates, as each one is a separate entity with a slightly different flavor than any other base. I'm in a room with my fellow intern, Dain and a guy from another secondary school.
Team Unity: Craig and Jen, Leah and Bakari, Sarah, Dain, and myself make up the EARS team here at Salem. Please pray for us as we learn about and work with each other. Wisdom: We want to spend a lot of time learning about ways to do sustainable practices oversees, but we've also got to make sure those same projects are doing enough for the base here. We need wisdom to know how to balance learning knew things and maintaining the systems here. Relationships: I'm getting to know people here, but could still use prayer that I am able to generate solid friendships during my year here at YWAM Salem. Provision: I am quite a bit short of what I will need monthly to stay here a year (and to continue after that) please keep this need in your prayers. Baby Chicks: We want our baby chicks to grow up to be healthy egg producers. Pray for their health and our knowledge to care for them. God cares about them too! Matthew 6:26
Much of what I will be learning centers on food production on a small scale. Most of the projects already running here have to do with providing extra food for the kitchen to prepare, rather than having to purchase everything. We've got about 2500 square feet of gardening space, including a small greenhouse to help bolster fall and winter leafy vegetable production. We also have 19 laying hens and a rooster, as well as 20 new baby chicks that just came in the mail to provide eggs for the kitchen.
My first Monday here I ended up getting recruited to help shingle a roof as that was a rather pressing need and we are here to serve the base first and foremost. It was a great opportunity to bond with some people here, but also a good feeling to be able to jump back in to the craziness that is YWAM community. As time progresses, we will be serving the base by running their recycling program, taking kitchen waste and composting it, and producing some of the food required to feed everyone. The goal is to save the base having to pay so much to take trash away and buy all of its food.
Mailing Address: Michael Brewer 7085 Battle Creek Road, Salem, OR
Email: MB1985@gmail.com Phone: 303-552-6832
I would appreciate hearing from anybody. I know we are all really busy, but if you're thinking of me or praying for me and want to send me a note of encouragement or anything like that, please feel free. I will try to be posting day to day things on my blog at www.michaelbrewer.me as well as a progress report on our chicks. I hope you are well, and that everyone has an enjoyable October.