Esther’s YWAM DTS Vancouver Last Newsletter #6

We returned from our Thailand outreach all looking tanned (especially me with my Filipino skin) and excited to be back at YWAM Vancouver homebase! For the next two days we recounted to our roommates at the Napier and Parker houses the flavorful and spicy meals we had, cultural shocks and adjustments, miracles we’d witnessed, the goodness of God’s sustaining grace, and also prepared reports for graduation night.

We spent the week emotionally and physically “unpacking” through “re-entry” sessions. These were important so we could process our experiences, share learnings and realizations, have the tools to ease back into our homes, churches, and countries. Most of all we used the time to praise God “in the assembly” through the Holy Spirit’s work on outreach. A significant portion of our group sharing was on things we learned about God, the world, and ourselves through lecture phase and outreach. Here’s some excerpts from the DTS students and staff!

What we learned about God on outreach:

  • He is for me. His love does not despise or condescend my weakness
  • He wants to give us gifts that are unique to the individual
  • God blesses me when I am obedient

What we learned about the world:

  • God is the same even though we may worship differently
  • There’s no right way to do anything, we just do life differently
  • God is really creative…cultures are beautiful
  • The world (other people) is always searching for something bigger than they are
  • It’s easier to adapt to the world where you are, than trying to create your own world

What we learned about ourselves:

  • If I wanna do something, I’ll just go do it. I live in the present..not wait 10 years to do what I want to do
  • I didn’t think I’d enjoy speaking truth into the life of other people, but now I do
  • I didn’t give the Holy Spirit space to have control but now I can step back and let Him move
  • I’ve learned that I bring safety to a group in the way I am and how I handle myself
  • I can agree with my unique character traits, not just the parts that I like. I’ve always wanted to meet people’s expectations, which has given power to labels but now I want to accept all the traits that I have, to not be ashamed or hide (put a mask) to hide from other people

On our last Friday we had a morning of helpful instruction from David Bornman, Senior Pastor of West Coast Christian Fellowship (which currently houses YWAM Vancouver’s school and offices). He gave pointers on preparing a 30 or 60 second short but informative reply to the question, “How was outreach?”

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David Bornman, Senior Pastor at West Coast Christian Fellowship

He gave us steps on how to use our intense spiritual experience in regular life; use our perspective on prayer and missions to encourage our home churches; and how to have a humble heart as we share our “mountaintop experience” to our family, friends, churches, and communities.

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We got a snowy treat this week

Our celebration had two highlights: First was a delicious dinner at Tap and Barrel at Canada place, where were joined by the DTS Hockey Team who returned from outreach – Coach Glen Bueckert (joined by wife Lorraine), Noah, and Karl! What a sweet reunion even though they’d only been back less than 48 hours and still very much jetlagged. Second was our graduation held during 3C Night allowing the Vancouver community to join and celebrate with us. We even Landon’s auntie and grandma as visitors! Susi, Florian, and Landon all took turns regaling the audience with anecdotes and snippets to describe outreach in Isan and Phang-Nga. Nate prepared a short video, Christian described the growth that God had worked in his life, and Holly sang a special composition.

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Dinner at Tap and Barrel 

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View from Canada Place

We prayed for Jaron who has finished his two-year commitment as staff. He’ll be going home to time with family in Ohio and pray about his next steps in life and ministry. Our instructors through the lecture phase also blessed and anointed us with “courage and hope”, dedicating us to God as we go out and fulfill the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 18-20:

…“ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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Graduation night wasn’t complete without a trip to our favorite McDonalds on Hastings for sundae and French fries. Sarah, Flavia, and Jaron joined us for a cold drive to the Golden Arches but when we arrived the system was down. We stood there, disappointed. Suddenly Holly walked up to the counter and started ordering.

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#friesbeforeguys  

 

Did your order go through before the system went down?” I asked, confused.

She replied, “No, it’s back up.”

But they said it would take 20 minutes,” I pressed.

Well, I prayed and it’s up now!” she matter-of-factly replied.

This is the same Holly whose faith was so small that she couldn’t pray for ice cream on our first week (but God answered my small prayer of faith anyway). So rejoice with us for our God is greater, our God is stronger, our God is higher than any other!

Join us as we continue “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” (Heb 12:2 NASB). I continue to trust that God will provide the rest of my outreach fees, since YWAM Vancouver sent me to outreach though I hadn’t complete my payments.  I still owe the school around CAD $1800+ from $2100+ that I owed around graduation time.

Right now I’m at my parents’ home in Ottawa, Ontario and helping out at the house as much as I can. I recently spoke on what makes Jesus worth following to the young adults group at the  Filipino Community Church (of East Gate Alliance Church). I want to serve the body of Christ here, using the tools and teachings I have received on DTS.

If you want to help me my outreach fees, here’s how: 

  1. Go to the YWAM Vancouver “Payments and Donations” site http://ywamvancouver.org/donations-payments/
    1. Go to Payments & Donations
    2. Go to Make A Donation
    3. Go to Paypal, and click on DONATE NOW. You will be routed to a page where you can pay through Paypal or Credit Card. Paypal account is not needed.
    4. Please ensure that you specify what your donation is for (ex: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees). Click the link that says “This Payment is for” and give the name/ministry. You may write: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees
    5. The option to pay through Project Funding Office is only if you need a Canadian Tax Receipt.
  1. Deposit to my Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account 0473-0686-21
  2. PayPal using this link https://www.paypal.me/estherpinzon
  3. Make your cheque or money order payable to “Youth With A Mission”and include a separate note for: “Esther Pinzon, DTS Vancouver”. Mail to the address below:

Youth With A Mission
PO Box 57100 RPO East Hastings
Vancouver, BC V5K 5G6

Ph: 604.436.4433
Fx: 604.436.4466

HELPFUL LINKS:

YWAM Vancouver http://ywamvancouver.org/

DTS latest blog: http://ywamvancouver.org/latest-dts-blog/

 

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Esther

 

 

Esther’s YWAM DTS Vancouver Newsletter #5 (Thailand)

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Week 6 marked the end of teaching english at the Trimark Elementary School and Tetsaban Anuban Kokkloi Kindergarten. I am so proud for the team members who have found the experience challenging, since they have little or no teaching experience. However, they were all eager to use online teaching aides, share ideas, and have willing hearts.

I silently prayed for the students: that they would come to know God’s purpose for their lives, come to know Him as a personal God, and grow up to contribute to nation-building.

We have gotten to know Kru (“teacher”) Ying well. She heads the English department and her cheerful heart and tireless spirit have encouraged us in our goal to to serve the students well. She also runs the English Club, a group of about 25 students who want to be fluent English speakers. We had a special date with Ying and  Ko (math teacher), so over coffee, cake, and pad thai we talked about their families, hometowns, dreams, and work challenges. With Peng’s translation we prayed for God to reveal His love for each of them, peace and joy in their work duties, and the desires of their hearts – children for Ying and her husband, and a future husband for Ko.

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On Friday night we attended a Bible Study at a Burmese home, which is shared by two families. Because the electric lights weren’t working they went to buy candles so we could start our evening. And so by candlelight our Burmese friends hummed along to our english songs…we hummed along to their Burmese melodies. By candlelight we shared testimonies about human injustice, God’s provision and faithfulness, and the hope in Jesus that we all share.

People listened patiently between the three languages (English and the Thai/Burmese translations) spoken because they were hungry for God’s word – this hunger for God’s word never ceases to amaze me. I felt God’s sweet presence among us and I long for the day when “every nation, tribe, people and language” will stand before God’s throne and worshiping together.

Coincidentally the home is located near an area where tourists go on elephant rides during the day. The elephant owners tie the elephants down for the night, so while waiting for Bible Study to start we petted a mother and baby elephant who were feeding inside a pen. After Bible Study we walked the path alongside a rubber tree orchard and saw 5 or 6 elephants sleeping under the trees. They were about 50 feet from our path, and looked like huge sentinels that were spaced apart every 100 feet. These gentle giants remind me how small I am and how big my God is!

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

  1. That we would remember everything that God has taught us and done through us as we have a 3-day debriefing in Phuket, prior to flying back to Vancouver.
  2. I still have a balance of $2186.01 CAD for my outreach fees. If I cannot pay the fees before graduation, I still have to pay the entire balance and YWAM is trusting me to be faithful to my word.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Go to the YWAM Vancouver “Payments and Donations” site http://ywamvancouver.org/donations-payments/
    1. Go to Payments & Donations
    2. Go to Make A Donation
    3. Go to Paypal, and click on DONATE NOW. You will be routed to a page where you can pay through Paypal or Credit Card. Paypal account is not needed.
    4. Please ensure that you specify what your donation is for (ex: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees). Click the link that says “This Payment is for” and give the name/ministry. You may write: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees
    5. The option to pay through Project Funding Office is only if you need a Canadian Tax Receipt.
  1. Deposit to my Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account 0473-0686-21
  2. PayPal using this link https://www.paypal.me/estherpinzon
  3. Make your cheque or money order payable to “Youth With A Mission”and include a separate note for: “Esther Pinzon, DTS Vancouver”. Mail to the address below:

Youth With A Mission
PO Box 57100 RPO East Hastings
Vancouver, BC V5K 5G6

Ph: 604.436.4433
Fx: 604.436.4466

HELPFUL LINKS:

YWAM Vancouver http://ywamvancouver.org/

DTS latest blog: http://ywamvancouver.org/latest-dts-blog/

Esther’s YWAM DTS Vancouver Newsletter #4 (Thailand)

From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly…” (Psalm 22:25)

I am always moved at how praise and worship flows effortlessly from the lips and hearts of our Thai and Burmese brethren in the Lord. Whether it’s at the Dongsawan Church in Isan, or the Burmese Bible study groups in Phang Nga, there is almost no distinction between the singing and talking – it’s all expressions and outpouring of hearts to God.

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Burmese powder thanaka on my face

Is my worship something that I turn on and off, or something that is constant and flowing – where there is no need to create a “good feeling” with music or ambiance? One challenge we have is participating in the singing when we don’t know the Thai or Burmese lyrics. So we clap our hands if happy major chords are being played. We bow our heads when the music evokes deep praise. Maybe some lines are about suffering and endurance, so we touch our hearts. I have ended up closing my eyes, humming along, or inventing my own lyrics to go with the melody so I can worship God in spirit and in truth.

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The Burmese worship team from House of God Methodist Church

The team has enjoyed our house visits to pray for and encourage members of “House of God Methodist Church” (our partner here) who may be sick, busy, or haven’t had the opportunity to fellowship with church family in some time. We visited an elderly Burmese couple – Grandfather Ulei and Grandmother Chimei. They haven’t attended the services for some time because Grandfather Teow’s swollen legs (due to diabetes) bother him. We encouraged them with the truth of God’s presence – constant and abiding in his people, whether at home or at church. We also prayed for healing and protection from the enemy’s discouragement in their walk with God.

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Praying for Grandfather Ulei and Grandmother Chimei

I am so thankful at all the learning experiences we are having. We also get to teach though! On our first week of teaching English, we went in pairs; each pair teaches 4 classes every week. We are excited to teach for almost three more weeks, and also spend an hour weekly at a kindergarten/daycare center.

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For evangelism we love taking daily walks to strike up informal conversations. We have visited home-based shops and stores, fruit stands, community centers, cafes and eateries. The people and the reception reminds me of our barangays in the Philippines – warm, open, and unhurried. We have also loved hiking to Watkhao Waterfall, which is 20 minutes away. After lunch by the falls we sang songs of praise and worship, proclaiming God’s name in a symbolic act of the physical waters spreading the true Rivers of Living Water across the land.

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Watkhao waterfall

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Watkhao waterfall

For some of our meals we love the noodles at our favorite noodle shop, owned by Teow and Min, members of the Thai congregation. You can have your option of noodles with pork, beef, or vegetarian. The eatery is situated strategically along the highway and across Tesco Lotus (one of the big grocery chains in Thailand) and on the wall is a proud announcement that they follow Jesus: a simple wooden cross. We prayed that God would bless their business, honor their integrity, and allow them opportunities to share the gospel as the store-owners.

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Lay (from Myanmar), one of our servers at the Mook&Mind restaurant

Everyday we go out in pairs or groups to form relationships with the people we come in contact with. Lay, a young woman from Myanmar, is one of servers at the Mook&Mind restaurant – a few minutes’ walk from our quarters.  She always serves us with a cheerful smile and has memorized our favorite meals. One afternoon during a post-lunch lull, God told me to tell her that she was beautiful. Through our translator Peng, I told her about my God who made her unique and special, and thought of her even before the world began. We shared how my God and his son Jesus, longed to be in her heart so she could have peace and comfort at any moment. We asked if we could pray for he, and she requested for a good working relationship with her boss and the possibility of working closer to home.

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Tiap, the store owner of this shop in downtown Phang Nga

Tiap manages a shop that sells trinkets, clothes, and school/home supplies. One afternoon we visited her with the intent of sharing the gospel, and her heart was open to hearing it. I shared how God longed to have a personal relationship with her, and made her special, unique, and beautiful. We also prayed for her mother who is partially paralyzed.

What a joy it is to pray for people and tell them of a God who wants to have a deep and intimate relationship with them. I am enjoying this part of outreach, because it allows me to grow in confidence of sharing the gospel and in seeing faces light up when God’s words of life are shared to their hearts and minds.

Check out the slideshow below for more pics from our week, as well as prayer requests:

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

  1. We have one week of outreach left. Pray that we are focused on what we need to accomplish here and be fully present – mentally and spiritually.
  2. For hearts of praise for how God is stretching and molding us to be more like Christ – in character, heart, and deed.
  3. To continue seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit as we are making deeper connections with people from the community.
  4. I praise God that I only have $2186.01 CAD to pay for my outreach fees (from $4000.00 last December); for financial provision to arrive before graduation date on February 28.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Go to the YWAM Vancouver “Payments and Donations” site http://ywamvancouver.org/donations-payments/
    1. Go to Payments & Donations
    2. Go to Make A Donation
    3. Go to Paypal, and click on DONATE NOW. You will be routed to a page where you can pay through Paypal or Credit Card. Paypal account is not needed.
    4. Please ensure that you specify what your donation is for (ex: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees). Click the link that says “This Payment is for” and give the name/ministry. You may write: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees
    5. The option to pay through Project Funding Office is only if you need a Canadian Tax Receipt.
  1. Deposit to my Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account 0473-0686-21
  2. Western Union
  3. PayPal using this link https://www.paypal.me/estherpinzon

 

HELPFUL LINKS:

YWAM Vancouver http://ywamvancouver.org/

My personal blog site https://springforward21.wordpress.com/

DTS latest blog: http://ywamvancouver.org/latest-dts-blog/

Esther’s YWAM DTS Vancouver Newsletter #3 (Thailand)

 

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Entrance of road leading to YWAM Phang Nga, Thailand

On January 16 we traveled from Northeast Thailand towards the South, in Phang Nga Province (30 minutes north of Phuket Island). It was bittersweet to leave our “family of the heart” because they have been so good and loving to us, exhibiting the Macedonians’ spirit of generosity that Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 8.

“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability…And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us….  But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

I’d like to introduce three people whose lives are making a mark on my heart. Meet Atchan “Pastor” Jum, who leads God Our House Methodist Church in Phang Nga. It is the fourth that she has planted yet she still wants to be a “full missionary” – just so she can reach more people for Jesus. She has a vision for a House of Prayer in Phuket and for more churches to be planted. Her commitment to loving people is compelling and inspiring.

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Atchan Jhum receives a hand-crafted cross, a gift to the church by our Bible Study host.

Meet Nong Esther (“Nong” means younger sister) who is five years old. Atchan Jum has taken her as a foster daughter to grow in knowing and serving God, just like Eli took in Samuel at a young age. She is precocious and smart, loves to go with the team on outreach, and already knows and trusts God at her tender age.

Meet P’Sim, another woman whose faith compels her to charge like the cavalry for God. When she finally believed in Phra Iesu, she gave up alcoholism and says, “God is always telling me to relax! I will take care of you!” I asked how often. Her reply: “ALL THE TIME! God said to share the good news with your neighbors. I am sending you.”

She used to be timid and fearful but now her feet take her around the village, as she boldly shares what Iesu has done for her. We hold Bible study at her home every Wednesdays, but before that P’Sim leads us to walk around the village. “Would you like to hear about our God, Phra Iesu? Are you sick and would you like to be prayed for healing?”

God is on the move! This past Wednesday we shared the gospel with a couple, and led a woman to accept Phra Iesu into her heart. We prayed for a deaf man and his hearing was restored! We also prayed for a man with atrophied legs, and now he is able to walk without holding onto the walls of his house! Our faith is increasing and we are seeing God’s power at work.

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

  1. To trust that God is working through our obedience even though we may not fully see the fruit of our labors.
  2. To be sensitive to God’s voice as he leads us to pray for individuals or families: what words of encouragement/scripture to say or specific things to pray for.
  3. To grow in faith and boldness in sharing the gospel and praying for people.
  4. For hearts that learn to rest in the truth of God’s character – goodness and faithfulness.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Go to the YWAM Vancouver “Payments and Donations” site http://ywamvancouver.org/donations-payments/
    1. Go to Payments & Donations
    2. Go to Make A Donation
    3. Go to Paypal, and click on DONATE NOW. You will be routed to a page where you can pay through Paypal or Credit Card. Paypal account is not needed.
    4. Please ensure that you specify what your donation is for (ex: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees). Click the link that says “This Payment is for” and give the name/ministry. You may write: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees
    5. The option to pay through Project Funding Office is only if you need a Canadian Tax Receipt.
  1. Deposit to my Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account 0473-0686-21
  2. Western Union
  3. PayPal using this link https://www.paypal.me/estherpinzon

 

HELPFUL LINKS:

YWAM Vancouver http://ywamvancouver.org/

My personal blog site https://springforward21.wordpress.com/

DTS latest blog: http://ywamvancouver.org/latest-dts-blog/

 

In His service,

Esther

 

 

Esther’s YWAM DTS Vancouver Newsletter #2 (Thailand)

We arrived in Bangkok just before midnight on January 1st of 2017. After breakfast and some rest we had devotions and worship time. What a sweet time of singing and praising God, and feeling his presence as we thanked him for our spiritual inheritance!

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During our temple tour on Tuesday, we saw a glimpse into the creativity and artistry of the Thai people. For me the colorful mosaic of tile and colored glass – which covered the roofs and spires – reflected the Thai’s love for color and design…something that God put there.

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We flew northeast to Isan and are currently staying at the Dongsawan Church parsonage. We are partnering with the church’s ministries in the community: child and youth development, teaching english, house visits for prayer, preaching at Sunday service, and participating in the National Children’s Day celebration. We are blessed with our team interpreter, Pii “older brother” Peng, who will be with us for the next seven weeks.

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First, we made courtesy calls to the village and district leaders as a sign of respect since we are new and foreign to the place. Then we visited some church members and their families. They eagerly told gave testimonies of how they came to know Jesus, and we were so privileged to pray for their needs and encourage them with God’s promises.

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We visited Mee “mother” Nii’s farm and ate fresh tamarind (sampalok), coconut, star fruit, pomelo, and apple custard (atis). She came to know Jesus because her granddaughter Suu went to church. Although she knew that her faith was growing, she had low self-worth because she couldn’t read, which prevented her from reading her Bible. While working in the fields God spoke comfort to her and said, “You still have hears to hear me.” Now Suu reads portions of the Bible to her, and she also listens to a Christian radio station. Mee Nii has been faithfully helping to cook our meals everyday.

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We are learning the language – greetings, expressions, words for food and drinks; culture – how not to offend, how to honor and show respect, and relating in a southeast Asian context of close family ties and ways of caring and loving; and local interests and expressions of daily life – chicken boxing (rooster fighting with claws wrapped in cloth), night markets, Thai coffee carts, and many more.

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Our faith is increasing through these stories because God is showcasing his glory through these people’s lives. What an honor to hear these transformations into more Christ-likeness!

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Health for the team as some members are getting sick with colds and stomach flu.
  • Increased intimacy and rootedness in Christ’s love, and for this to overflow in love to each other and the people whom we minister to.
  • Cultural sensitivity and a rich learning experience, and ways to encourage our sisters and brothers in Christ even though we don’t speak the same language. J
  • God’s provision for the expansion of Dongsawan church building. Their church family is growing from its current 17 families (including the extended family members).
  • Increased faith and hearts of service for the church members.
  • My staff Sarah and Jaron still need to complete the funds for their fees; staff also do self fund-raising. Before I left Vancouver I had about CAD $4200 left but as of today, it is down to CAD $2440.50. I have yet to find out who gave me money so I can thank them. Pray that God will move hearts to give towards his kingdom’s expansion.

WAYS YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE:

  1. Go to the YWAM Vancouver “Payments and Donations” site http://ywamvancouver.org/donations-payments/
  2. Go to Payments & Donations
  3. Go to Make A Donation
  4. Go to Paypal, and click on DONATE NOW. You will be routed to a page where you can pay through Paypal or Credit Card. Paypal account is not needed.
  5. Please ensure that you specify what your donation is for (ex: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees).
  6. Click the link that says “This Payment is for” and give the name/ministry. You may write: Esther Pinzon DTS Fees
  7. The option to pay through Project Funding Office is only if you need a Canadian Tax Receipt.
  8. Deposit to my Philippine Peso Account
    Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account 0473-0686-21
  9. Western Union
  10. PayPal using estherpinzon@gmail.com or pinzon.esther@gmail.com

HELPFUL LINKS:

You can read regular updates on the DTS Blog, written by yours truly 🙂

DTS latest blog: http://ywamvancouver.org/latest-dts-blog/

In His service,

Esther Jo (T-tarts)