As a YWAM missionary, I have been to multiple countries and states and love the adventure of traveling on a mission to share Jesus with those in need! I especially have a passion to serve the poorest of the poor, and I love to worship God in what others would consider unreached places and sin cities.

For a while, I've been frustrated that God wasn't opening doors for me to do my passion. I longed to serve the poor and share Christ with "the least of these," but here I was living in a safe, comfortable town full of churches in the Bible belt. I could think of so many other places I'd rather be!

However, God saw my heart's desire and recently surprised me with an amazing opportunity close to home. I was invited to lead worship at the most interesting church service I've ever been a part of. It was for a homeless community that lived in the woods just a few miles away from where I live! I had no idea as I drove past these woods frequently that there was anyone living in them!

One Saturday, some DTS students and I headed to the woods with a local pastor, arms full of sandwiches, hands carrying a guitar and hand drum, and hearts wide open. I was surprised to see some of the folks living in the woods loved Jesus and had clean, nicely set up camps that looked as nice as anything I'd ever seen in a campground. Then, there were also people living in camps whose lives had obviously been destroyed by drugs or mental illness, and the camps were filthy and filled with every kind of disgusting trash imaginable.

We led worship and prayed for people in the clean nice camp, but it was when we went to lead worship and pray for people in the smelly trashed out camp that I was really impacted. The people living there gladly accepted the sandwiches and water we brought them. They even cried as we prayed for them and gave us all hugs afterward.

We sang some worship songs and the words to one of the songs went like this, "🎢🎡There's no place I'd rather be, there's no place I'd rather be, there's no place I'd rather be, then here in your love, here in your love!🎢🎡" As I sang, it hit me like a ton of bricks, that I was standing in a dirty, smelly, drug infested camp in the woods, yet because of the powerful love and presence of God there, I could sing that song honestly!

His love INVADED that place, and there really was no where else I would have rather been in that moment! One of my friends said the other day, "If the gates of hell are still standing on the earth, it's because you and I AREN'T KICKING THEM DOWN!" His presence kicks out ANY darkness. This is why my heart longs to worship Jesus in the crazy places.

If you're ready to let your light shine bright and kick down some gates, consider doing a five month Discipleship Training School with YWAM Tyler. Whether overseas or just down the street, you will have plenty of opportunities to serve those in need of an encounter with Jesus!

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Kriya Herzog

Author: Kriya Herzog

Kriya blogs with the YWAM Tyler writing team. When she isn't chasing her 5 children she is probably somewhere singing and playing guitar for Jesus really loudly.