Trailblazers DTS

tr

Our Story

From the start, one of our main goals for our marriage has been to live bold, adventurous lives, and to engage in our dreams rather than just talk about them. We knew that we wanted to move our lives in an unconventional direction filled with risks and intentionality. However, after we graduated college and got married, we settled into comfortable 9-5 work weeks in unfulfilling jobs. Soon those crazy, imaginative desires seemed to fizzle out as we became complacent in the safety, security, and predictability of our routine. We spent the better part of two years feeling convicted that God was inviting us into a life that moved away from typical, but we felt lost as to what that might be. We considered moving, then changing jobs, and then an extended vacation. None of those options stuck, and we still sensed that God wanted more of us and for us. In one of our favorite books, Love Does, Bob Goff writes:

Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy, and in love.

This perfectly expresses both of our hearts’ desires, and we have spent a lot of time thinking about how we can apply it to our lives.

We were first introduced to the organization Youth With a Mission (YWAM) when our best friends did a Discipleship Training School (DTS) in New Zealand last year. Watching them take that huge leap of faith gave us courage, and seeing them grow both personally and in their faith throughout the DTS solidified our decision to do one ourselves.

We began looking at DTS’s all over the world and strongly felt called to do one in Australia. We spent a lot of time in prayer and research and chose the Trailblazers DTS in Newcastle, Australia. As many of you know, we love the outdoors. Hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and camping are some of our favorite activities. We were drawn to the Trailblazers DTS because it focuses on trekking as a way to reach and minister to people in the most remote places of the world. We felt so strongly called by God to Australia that once we overcame our initial fears and what-ifs, it was a pretty easy decision. We submitted applications and were accepted shortly after.

au

Trailblazers DTS

The first phase of the Trailblazers DTS consists of three months of classes and lectures beginning in October 2015 at the YWAM base in Newcastle. During this time, speakers from all over the world will give lectures on topics such as “Hearing God’s Voice,” “Character and Nature of God,” and “Building and Maintaining Godly Relationships.” Each week a new speaker will cover a new topic. This time is meant to teach us more about God’s character and challenge and grow us in our personal relationships with Him. Also as part of the lecture phase, we will be volunteering with Youth Street – a weekly youth program that YWAM Newcastle organizes. Our role in this program will include spending time with the city’s youth and building relationships with them as a way to positively influence their lives.

The second portion of the Trailblazers DTS is the outreach phase which is also about three months long. We will choose the location of our outreach a few weeks into the lecture phase after the staff has prayed and researched possible locations. Once we select our outreach location, our DTS team will travel to isolated communities, building relationships and serving alongside the people there. We will know more specific details about the type of ministry we will be doing once we know the location.

Financial Needs

We feel that God has been leading us to do a DTS for a while, and we are finally ready to step out in faith and say “yes” to His plans for our lives. In order to be able to do this, we need to raise $11,000, in addition to our personal savings, between now and October 2015 to cover course and outreach fees. We ask that you would consider partnering with us by donating to our missions fund and/or by keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. If donating financially is what you feel led to do, we ask for donations in the amounts of $50, $100, $200, or any other amount you feel called to give. There are three ways that you can partner with us financially:

  1. Donate through our Youcaring.com fundraiser at https://www.youcaring.com/connor-and-alix-bruson-391046
  2. Donate with a credit card directly with YWAM Newcastle via phone at +61 2 4960 0777, via Skype at ywam.newcastle, or online at YWAM Newcastle’s website (2% transaction fee) https://secure.ywamnewcastle.com/product/student-paymentdonation/

Also, if you know of any individuals or ministries that might be willing to partner with us, please feel free to share this support letter with them or provide us their contact information so that we can send one.

Prayer Needs

If making a financial donation is not on your heart or not a possibility at this time, we are also heavily relying on the power of prayer to successfully send us on our journey. We would be very grateful for prayers in the following situations:

  1. For patience and wisdom as we navigate the processes of applying for Visas, travelers’ insurance, booking flights, etc.
  2. That we would learn to trust God in decision making instead of relying solely on our own abilities
  3. For financial provision, and to trust that God will provide for this ministry
  4. For a heart for the people in our outreach location(s)

Thank You!

We want to thank you for your support whether financial or spiritual. We truly cannot do this without you! If you have any questions about this ministry, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to talk to you more about the Trailblazers DTS and why we decided to do it. We are so excited about this next chapter in our lives where we will set apart six months to focus solely on God and share His love with the nations!

Thanks and blessings,

Connor & Alix Bruson

Stay Connected

We will try our best to frequently post on this blog and social media before and during DTS. If you’d like to stay updated with what we’re doing, feel free to follow us!

For complete details about YWAM Newcastle, visit
http://www.ywamnewcastle.com/

We’re Going to Australia!!

Flag of Australia

Connor and I are beyond excited to announce that we will be doing a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in October in beautiful Newcastle, AUSTRALIA! We will set apart 6 months to study God’s Word, get to know Him more intimately, and serve others across the globe. Check back soon for more info on what’s to come!!

fall

Two weekends ago Connor and I spent the day hiking in Mueller State Park to see the Aspens changing. Fall is here! In this season I’m most looking forward to seeing this movie, mountain biking in Fruita, redoing my great grandpa’s old Schwinn bike that my dad gifted us and cruising around town on it, and making this Buttermilk Pie with Cranberry Orange Sauce for Thanksgiving. It’s going to be a happy next few months!

5 things

Five small things I’m currently grateful for.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” – Melody Beattie

IMG_0608

1. This vintage succulent planter Connor’s mom gifted us. Succulents are the coolest.

IMG_0612

2. This incredible smelling candle. Makes our house smell like a bakery.

IMG_0614

3. This matcha latte mix we got from Whole Foods. Tastes better than Starbucks. I may or may not have had one every day for the past week.

IMG_0613

4. This workspace. See that “Call Your Mom” sign there on the desk? You’ll never guess who bought me that.

IMG_0623

5. This cold-brew. SO good. If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for caffeine.

life lately

{Listening} Junip. A whole lotta’ Junip.

{Watching} Outlander. Good stuff for us history nerds.

{Reading} The Fellowship of the Ring (how have I never read this before??) and Forgotten God.

{Celebrating} Connor’s 23rd birthday!! We had dinner with both of our families and went to our favorite restaurant, Nosh, for food and drinks. If you live in the Springs, you must go here! They have potato chip nachos…enough said.

{Dreaming} Road-tripping to Northern California in the late Spring.

{Learning} How to make the most of each day instead of living for the weekends. Tomorrow isn’t promised.

{Planning} Where we’ll be living next year. Decisions, decisions.

{Creating} French macaroons. My best friend Dani and I just made our first batch and can’t wait to perfect them! They’re such finnicky little things.

{Working} Paying off the remainder of our student loans by the end of this month!! At which point we will be 100% debt free!

{Drinking} I gifted Connor this iced coffee kit for his birthday and it is insanely good. That’s coming from someone who usually hates cold brew coffee.

{Wearing} Birks and jean cutoffs. Summer wardrobe is still going strong.

{Exploring} More 14’ers (we just crossed #20 off our list!), and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Such an awesome backpacking trip. I’ll be posting a video soon of our weekend there.

{Cooking} I haven’t been very creative in the cooking department lately. But I did make some excellent homemade Cherry Garcia ice cream the other week…does that count as cooking?

{Stoked About} Fall biking weather, pumpkin scented everything, and the new Ben Howard CD releasing on October 21. FINALLY.

{Goals} Eliminate wheat from my diet entirely. I tested negative for a full-blown allergy, but am definitely intolerant. I’ve found that when I eat wheat, I get rashes, irritability, stomach aches, increased seasonal allergies, and fatigue. Suuuuch a bummer. :(

our favorite coffee shops in colorado

 

If you know me well then you know that I LOVE coffee. I love trying new roasts and new brew methods – espresso (my very favorite), chemex (second favorite), aeropress, cold brew (Connor’s favorite), pour over…I know, I know…super hipster. Connor and I love coffee so much that we went on a self-guided coffee tour in Denver a few weeks ago. It got us thinking that we should share our favorite coffee places in Colorado. There are a lot, so this is a big list. Below I share our favorite coffee shops as well as our pick for the tastiest drinks/treats from each.

#1 Cafe Dawn

Location: Salida, CO

Our Pick: Iced latte

This little coffee shop in downtown Salida makes our favorite iced latte. The espresso is strong (which we love), and the iced lattes are thick and smooth tasting – none of that watery, weak stuff that you get at most coffee shops. We also love the environment at this cafe. It’s located in an old car garage in one of our favorite mountain towns, which makes it our go-to post-camping/mountain biking/snowboarding beverage.

#2 Urban Steam

Cubano Cortados at Urban Steam

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Our Pick: Cubano Cortado

I really cannot fully express how good the Cubano Cortado is at this place. It is a revelation and currently our most favorite coffee drink of all-time. Urban Steam makes this drink a little differently than most by blending espresso, a bit of milk, sugar, salt, and BUTTER. That’s right – it has butter in it, which makes it rich, creamy, and very smooth. We HIGHLY recommend ordering one of these babies ASAP. You won’t regret it.

#3 Alleycat Coffee House

Location: Fort Collins, CO

Our Pick: Red Eye Cat

You haven’t lived until you’ve had Alleycat’s famous chai, whether iced, hot, or in a milkshake. Even better than their regular chai is their Red Eye Cat – basically a dirty chai (chai+espresso). We had dozens of these in college and it was the perfect study drink. We’ve since tried dirty chai’s in other cafes around Colorado, Washington, and Canada, but nothing even comes close to Alleycat.

#4 Camp 4 Coffee

Location: Crested Butte, CO

Our Pick: Hot or iced latte

Every time we’re in Crested Butte to mountain bike or camp, we’re sure to stop here for a latte. They have the strongest, darkest espresso I’ve ever tasted – like knock your socks off strong – which we enjoy but other people may find a bit intense. We like that they roast their own beans and are located in a TINY shack covered in license plates. So much character. The only thing we don’t like about this place is their high prices.

#5  Steam Espresso Bar

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Location: Denver, CO

Our Pick: Macaroons

This place gets our vote for the most stylish coffee shop in Colorado. It is seriously a work of art. I had the most delicious macaroons of all-time here (get the lemon and the chocolate) and wish I’d bought some to take home. We also ordered their iced latte and iced dirty chai – both of which were excellent.

#6 Black Eye Coffee Shop

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Location: Denver, CO

Our Pick: Cold-Pressed Honeydew Mint Juice

Ok, disclaimer: this was our last stop on our Denver coffee tour day and we were so overloaded with caffeine that we decided to opt for a cold-pressed juice instead. I’m so glad we did. The honeydew mint juice was hands-down the most refreshing drink I’ve ever had. It was so good that we tried recreating it at home with our own juicer the next week. This place also gets bonus points for carrying our favorite espresso roast of all time: Owl’s Howl from Sightglass Coffee. It’s a life-changer, people. We can’t wait to come back to Black Eye and try their coffee!

#7 Fifty Fifty Coffee House

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Our Pick: Cold Brew

With this quaint neighborhood shop being located a few blocks from our house, we bike or walk here at least once a week. They have a nice patio, a super friendly staff, and great local partnerships. In fact, they’re located next door to Switchback Coffee Roasters, where we buy most of our coffee beans.

#8 Huckleberry Roasters

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Location: Denver, CO

Our pick: Cortado

This place also roasts their own coffee, which is awesome. It’s located off the beaten path and has a very calm, quiet, and laid-back atmosphere. We both ordered Cortados and thought they were top-notch. We’d love to buy a bag of their beans the next time we’re in Denver.