WHERE HAVE WE BEEN ///
These past ten years have given us the privilege to work with some rather amazing people in rather amazing places. We've trekked through jungles, climbed up mountains and wandered city streets with the hope of the gospel in our bones. We've grown a network of friendships and community which spans the entire globe. We've gone without showers for weeks, slept on concrete floors soaked in gasoline and been terrorized by every insect you can fathom. We've huddled into corners as gunshots rang out, wept for friends and enemies we've lost and tried to cope with a world that often seems to have lost it's imagination. We've seen some people healed of illness and loneliness and injustice while others have succumbed to their trauma. We've watched the spark of life come alive again in the lives of abandoned children and seen communities choose peace over violence. We've had the joy along the way of helping disciple and cultivate a lifestyle of merciful missions in hundreds of young people through leading training programs ... But above all we have simply tasted and seen that the Lord is truly good and just and loving... even in our darkest hours.
A SCHALLERT TRIBE IN MISSIONS TIMELINE
2008 to 2010 - Worked primarily with "Voice for the Voiceless" using art to raise awareness of issues of injustice.
2008 - Participated in DTS (Discipleship Training School - YWAM's introductory corse).
2008 - Spent three months in Northern Afghanistan on outreach supporting the local missions community and documenting the effects of war on local communities.
2008 - Debriefed our work in Afghanistan in South Africa. This initial visit to South Africa marked the beginning of our families connection to Cape Town.
2009 - Staffed a photogenX DTS and led a team of student to Panama City.
2009 - Documented and developed campaign materials to protect the rights of orphans in Panama. Published a book project from the materials to raise awareness about the orphan crisis called “Dear Panama, A Letter From Your Children”.
2009 - Spent three months in Cape Town, South Africa helping lead the School of Photographic Communication as part of the photogenX Around The World Track Program (a two year mission training practicum focused on art and issues of injustice).
2010 - Helped staff a Biblical Core Course in Alexandria, Egypt.
2010 - We were first responders to the Haiti Earthquake.
2010 - Spent two weeks in Haiti (mostly in Port-au-Prince and Saint Marc) as part of YWAM’s global response to the humanitarian crisis. We documented conditions, took soil samples, worked with the UN to coordinate missing peoples reports and helped support YWAM’s emergency feeding program. The following month consisted of helping coordinate and give recommendations for YWAM’s global response to the crisis.
2010 - Staffed another photogenX DTS.
2010 - Spent a month in White River, South Africa working with a YWAM ministry called "10,000 Homes” building houses for Child Headed Homes (families of children who have been orphaned primarily by the AIDS pandemic) and doing pastoral work for the photogenX Round The World Track Program.
2010 - Spent three weeks in Pakistan responding to the flood crisis which left millions homeless. Documented the effects of the crisis on local communities for a global campaign (Pure Hope Pakistan) and supported local pastors who were busy developing a “network of mercy” from the Christian community to the Muslim community, a movement which would ease religious tensions in cities all across the nation.
2010 - Steve began accepting speaking invitations mostly within the global YWAM network.
2011 - Spent another month in South Africa doing pastoral work, teaching and connecting more intentionally with the YWAM, Muizenberg community.
2011 - This was a massive transition year for us as we joined forces with some friends to start leading the Community Transformation DTS. Most of 2011 was spent developing the school, preparing our 30 some odd staff and then co-leading the Comm Trans DTS which had over 100 students from a dozen nations represented. This season also awakened a fundamental passion for discipleship and missions training in us.
2012 - Spent three months in Cape Town, South Africa actively seeking guidance and praying into moving to South Africa.
2012 - Did pastoral work in Jordan, Nepal and Mozambique.
2012 - Steve began to speak more and more frequently in YWAM Secondary Schools and DTS’s primarily on World View, Discipleship and Human Rights Issues.
2012 - We developed and ran a three week seminar called “Let Justice Roll Down: A School of Restorative Justice & Peacemaking” with a desire to host difficult but needed conversations within the YWAM framework. The ripple effects of this seminar would linger for years and subsequently opened many doors for speaking and partnerships across the globe.
2012 - Prepared to move to South Africa as a family while developing and co-leading the 2012 Comm Trans DTS in Kona.
2012 - In late 2012 we packed up our lives in Kona and moved to Cape Town with a handful of friends and families.
From early 2013 till April 2015 we called Cape Town, South Africa home while working with YWAM, Muizenberg. That two plus year season was simultaneously the most life-giving and beautiful season for us as a family while also being the most stretching and sorrowful season of our lives. Between the culture shock, welcoming two more babies to our family, experiencing family tragedy and learning to fail gracefully we grew like the grinch on christmas. Our lives were an interweaving web of family, intentional community, outreach to the margins of the city and learning learning learning. We failed more than we succeeded and we watched good intentions fall short. That said we also fell in love! We fell in love with The Mother City, it’s heartbeat and story… it has woven itself into our bloodstream.
Over those growing years we hosted community dinners, took high-school kids on camps, worked extensively in marginalized communities, experienced violence and violation, helped establish a ministry center, watched that ministry center suffer but find new purpose, hosted a weekly gathering of worship, prayer and eucharist, taught extensively in schools and seminars, hosted outreach teams from other YWAM bases, Steve recorded and released a worship album, on and on. It’s much harder to bullet point this season of our life, which is indicative of many of the differences between life with YWAM, Kona & YWAM, Muizenberg.
In early 2014 we found a bit of rhythm, we were invited to pioneer a new training initiative which eventually evolved into our A Life Together DTS. That September we hosted fourteen students from seven nations in two massive community houses and ran an intentional discipleship school. Out of that school we sent four teams of staff and students to Thailand, Ethiopia, Nepal and Southern Africa.
2015 - In April of 2015, a few months after the birth of our third baby, we felt a strong push to return to YWAM, Kona for a season.
2015 - Back in Kona Steve continued to speak internationally and lead worship corporately for the base.
2015 - Pioneering "A Life Together” as a ministry became the primary focus of our work within YWAM.
WHERE ARE WE NOW ///
Today we work shoulder to shoulder with close friends from around the world and give co-leadership to a spiritual development initiative called A Life Together. After pioneering the first A Life Together DTS in Cape Town as a kind of culmination of our entire experience of life in missions we feel like we've entered a new season in our journey with YWAM. The experience of that school was so gratifying and the fruit we witnessed in the lives our staff and students, not to mention our own family, was so profound that we’ve decided to make the development of A Life Together our primary focus for the coming years. Since making that choice we have seen the Lord knit together a beautiful and deeply gifted global leadership body for the pioneering season before us and seen door after door open. We believe our A Life Together DTS is timely and strikes a needed nerve within the missions community.
The “A Life Together DTS” is a six month intensive YWAM Discipleship Training School focused on reconciliation, community and discipleship in the Way of Jesus. Throughout DTS participants will be invited into a lifestyle of merciful-missions and equipped to walk as ambassadors of reconciliation (2nd Corinthians 5:20) in the nations and in their communities. At it’s heart, A Life Together is a gathering space where fellow recovering sinners can wander together to widen their imaginations of what is actually possible in this world.
We believe, whole heartedly, in a movement of loving God, one another, and the world well. We believe in learning to live justly, honestly and more beautifully so that the Kingdom of Jesus can reach into and reconcile the most divisive, most violent and most segregated spaces in our lives and the communities around us. Our prayer is to see a movement of reconciliation birthed in individuals, communities and nations as people are reconciled one to another and all to God.
At present we are preparing for the next round of A Life Together DTS’s... we welcome you to come join us as we journey together towards the heart of God. School dates are as follows:
July - December, 2017 @ YWAM, Muizenberg, South Africa.
WHERE ARE WE GOING ///
“I live not in dreams, but in the contemplation of a reality that is perhaps my future” - Rainer Maria Rilke
As we look and pray towards our next ten years in YWAM there are as always plenty of question marks floating in the atmosphere. That said we have growing awareness of what the Lord is speaking and orchestrating. There will certainly be plenty of twists and turns in the story as there aways are, but we’re happy to share some hopes in our hearts.
As we look ahead, we are becoming more and more confident that our current “home plate” at YWAM, Kona is a seasonal reality. YWAM, Kona is an incredible place to dream and certainly an incredible place to let kids grow up a bit. The UofN pre-school here is amazing and we plan to give our kids an opportunity to experience it. But looking a few years down the road our hope for the long-term is ultimately to move our family more permanently to Cape Town, South Africa. Spending this past year back at YWAM, Kona has really solidified the ache in our hearts for Southern Africa, it’s where we feel most at home. So it’s worth knowing that we plan to continue to regularly visit Cape Town and keep our feet planted there as we look ahead toward moving back once our babies grow up a bit. Our work with A Life Together is a huge part of this as well as we see the story of South Africa as a living metaphor for the ministry. A Life Together is a movement of reconciliation which we plan to hub out of Cape Town. In the long-term we are praying for a permanent facility to purchase in Cape Town where we could host DTS’s, seminars, keep regular hours of prayer and worship and develop ministries that reach into the margins of The Mother City.
Along the way we are also actively trying to build bridges between the various conversations and ministries of restorative justice and reconciliation within the YWAM framework believing that we can accomplish much more for the Kingdom working together than going at it alone. As we continue to travel and continue to speak globally we see a similar ache for community, honesty and reconciliation basically everywhere we go, especially within the missions community itself. So we pray that A Life Together can be a catalyst for networking this common ache that we may learn together how to become a more contemplative, merciful and honest missions movement.
We recognize also that everything stated above is completely indebted to the dozens of individuals, families and communities who have supported us financially and emotionally over the years. We would have given up long ago if it weren’t for your generosity and kindness... so we just want to thank you for walking with us, trusting us and believing in us all these years. We believe the best days are yet to come so thank you as well for walking with us into the unknown. If you would like to support our family in missions please check out the "partner" section of this site to find out to join the tribe.