“I was reaching out to YWAM and I wanted to staff a DTS.”
Josh Risch, volunteer staff for the Bible Core Course (BCC), had been going on YWAM Kona’s website when he was told by 2 of his friends about another campus located in Kona, Hawaii called YWAM Ships Kona.
His friend Jason had tagged him in one of Philipson Georges’s facebook posts. Philipson, a leader for the January Justice Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM Ships Kona, had never met Josh before.
He contacted Josh and asked why he was tagged. Through their conversation Philipson told Josh he felt that God kept putting it on his heart to reach out to him, so he did.
It was Philipson who told Josh about BCC.
Finding out about the BCC felt like an answer to prayer. Josh always wanted to study the Bible and taking a 3 month course like the BCC was a lot less intimidating than the 9 month School of Biblical Studies.
Not only was Josh told by Philipson and Sean, another leader for the January DTS, that they believed and had faith that he would be a good DTS staff but they also encouraged him to gain his foundation in God’s word.
“It was like God showing me that He had even better plans than I did.”
Josh came to YWAM Ships Kona in September 2016 to take the BCC. He was planning on going to Papua New Guinea afterward but when not enough funds came in, he was reminded of his original plan, God’s original plan for his life.
“Sometimes it’s hard to decipher what you want to do and what God wants you to do. My opinion can go a lot farther than it should and I think God’s constantly teaching me to not build up my own walls or make my own decisions.”
It was Josh’s original plan to staff the January Justice DTS. As soon as BCC was completed, he jumped right into DTS staff training.
He wanted to be a part of a DTS and impart the life lessons he’s learned through his life before and after YWAM to the next generation. He felt his perspective could help mentor them in the decisions that many of them are faced with.
After staffing the DTS, Josh volunteered in the mobilization office where a small group of volunteer staff would call prospective students and staff to answer any questions they may have about coming to YWAM Ships Kona.
From there, he transitioned into BCC staff for the first time.
“I love studying the Bible and I’m excited to redo it. I’m going to get some new perspectives from new students.”
If given the opportunity to teach during the course, Josh would want to teach on the book of Daniel. It was the first book he really started to enjoy and it was a turning point for him; from being depressed about the Old Testament to getting excited about the people of God.
“Daniel’s a young person. He has confidence in himself and in his relationship with God. He challenges secular authority.
We also see an amazing miracle of [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego] seemingly being forced to worship a false god and they choose to honor God, the one true God, they are put into a fiery furnace and [come out of it] alive afterwards!”
Besides studying the Bible, Josh’s favorite way to worship God is to paint and draw. He likes to use his hands to create something for others to enjoy. Eventually he would love to own a large studio where he could develop a community of artists that would study God’s word and then use their creativity.
“It would be taking God’s word and then walking it out through artistic expression and allowing God to be a part of it.”
For his life today, God is teaching him to pray specifically for his students and not generalize prayer by being lazy. Every morning Josh says the Lord’s Prayer, a habit he picked up at a young age from his dad. Josh doesn’t consider it a bad thing to say that prayer every day but feels God is calling him to ask for more, specifically asking what God wants him to pray for.
Josh has prayed for his students before they arrived in Kona and now that they’re here, he feels to pray for them to be able to go to Papua New Guinea after the BCC is completed. The hope is that while they’re on outreach, their hearts and minds will come into alignment with what God has in store for them.
After studying the Bible a bit, Josh has more confidence in the bigger picture of the scriptures. The meanings, the context of who it was written for, and the reasons why it was written allows Josh to have the capacity to love God more and understand that it’s not about us.
“It’s really about God first. We are a by-product of His love and therefore because of God, we have the capacity to start loving.
YWAM is so radical because it focuses on first worshipping God, interceding and studying the Bible. Those things are knowing God. Once you’ve got those first 3 steps down, then your job is to be that water bottle.
The goal is to keep our lid open and have a hole at the bottom of your own water bottle so that everything God is imparting onto us we are sharing with other people and not keeping His gifts selfishly to ourselves.
We are called to give freely and share His love with those around us.”
By Jaime Gomez
Port YWAM Kona Communications Staff