Wednesday, October 31, 2012

YWAM Banja Luka | Business training

YWAM in Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina, currently consists of just one YWAMer, myself, but I do not work alone, rather alongside an inter-agency team in Church planting and development work. As part of the development work, I help run Business Training courses which was designed in my native South Africa by the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship.

As the unemployment rate among young people in Bosnia is above 50%, and the overall rate at 42%, helping people start their own business is one way that we can help them be independent and make their own living, rather than dependent on handouts. After the training, those that are interested are able to apply for small interest-free loans of up to 2500Euros, which have been provided through the Finnish organisation Fida International.

The training course consists of a business simulation game which is played in three teams. During each module the teams compete and run their own businesses, all the while learning important skills for running their own businesses. Shown below are some pictures while the students are playing the game:

At the end we go through what the students have learnt during that module:

The latest group of 23 students, ranging from housewives to a lawyer, finished the course on Sunday and are shown below with their diplomas:
They were also given business plan forms to fill out, and will be handing those back mid-November. Those that are approved will get money to start their own business before the end of the year. The loans go back into a revolving fund and in that way the hope is that we will be able to continue to help people start their own small businesses for years to come.

For more on what I do, you can see my personal blog: Bee in Bosnia

-Belinda Chaplin, YWAM Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina

Friday, October 26, 2012

Make the Change | OCTOBER 2012

Click on the image or the link below to read the most recent Make the Change: YWAM Central Europe’s monthly focus on finances edited by Carmelita Clarke, YWAM CE Director.

Helping you make the change so you flourish in mission!

Make the change Oct 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Member Care | Burnout

Some weeks ago I offered a seminar about Burnout at the Romanian YWAM staff conference. It included a short self test to find out how you are doing in regard to stress. The feedback I got led me to the following conclusion: YWAMers in Central Europe generally are amazingly dedicated and committed, but often work and minister above and beyond their normal capacity both physically and emotionally.

The needs around us are so pressing, the workers are so few, so we try to do it all… ourselves. That works for some time, maybe even years, but inevitably the point will come when you have nothing left to give.

“ You find it hard to get up and go to work in the morning. Work used to be exciting and you used to look forward to what you did with people, but now you are just tired and it takes a great deal of effort to get out of bed. You wonder what is wrong. Could it be that you are suffering from burnout? Could a really committed missionary burn out?...”

This is the introduction of the burnout brochure from

I also noticed that the long term YWAMers often try to keep up with the energetic, young new YWAMers. If you have been in YWAM longer than 5 years and intend to stay, you are like a Marathon runner. If you try to compete with a short distance sprinter, you will very likely not reach your long distance goal!!  So if you are in Missions for the ‘long haul’, you need to adjust your pace accordingly.

How? Read the brochure mentioned above. Also the website has some checklists that are helpful, e.g. the Self-care and lifestyle balance inventory

It does not bring glory to God if we have to leave missions prematurely because of burnout! I have been through an experience like this and it cost me and my family 1 ½ years of lost time as well as thousands of Euros in extra expenses. Take it from me, it is better to ‘hit the brakes’ in time, than to ‘hit the wall’ at full speed.

If you want to talk about this or other things with me or Doris, feel free to contact us for some Skype-time! You can contact us on membercare at (replace the ‘at’ with @)

With lots of love from your MemberCare folks,
Hannes and Doris Steets

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Cities Inititive | Update

Six months after the launch of the 5 Cities Initiative, we are excited to share about progress in each of the locations! Each of the 5 cities is a unique place, with its own history, culture, needs and opportunities. But God is moving in unique ways in each city! Read on to see how…

Prague, Czech Republic: Long term staff Roger and Robin and their two children have been faithfully serving the Czech Republic for twenty years. With so much missions experience, warm and open hearts, and a great network of churches and ministries, Roger and Robin and YWAM Prague are poised for growth. They are currently working on a new strategy for ministry and planning to increase their scope of discipleship. They are praying for more staff to join them. There is so much potential for YWAM to grow in Prague and impact one of the most vibrant cities in Central Europe.

Krakow, Poland: YWAM Krakow welcomed 2 new staff members this summer. Nicole from Switzerland and Simon from Sweden joined Paul from Holland as staff in Krakow. With a heart for mercy ministries and discipleship, the team has jumped right in to work in prisons, orphanages and with the homeless as well as serving the local churches in many ways. They are acting as a bridge, bringing churches together to begin meeting the needs in their own city, and are planning a Discipleship Training School (DTS) that starts in February.

Sarajevo, Bosnia: Fulfilling a dream God gave them many years ago, a six person team from the States is preparing to plant in Sarajevo in the beginning of 2014. They are currently preparing as a team to re-pioneer the YWAM work in Sarajevo. We are so excited to welcome this team. Some are coming back to the city where God has called them long-term. Others are coming for the first time to serve in Sarajevo. We believe they are going to fulfill an important role in living out God’s heart for Sarajevo.

Pristina, Kosovo: YWAM Kosovo is preparing to re-launch in the late summer or fall of 2013. With a vision for a Christian coffee house and a ministry to young people, they are excited to begin ministry in the capital of the second-newest country in the world! Currently the YWAM Pristina team is completing DTS in Norway. They are excited to expand YWAM’s work in a place with so much potential for ministry.

Athens, Greece: Shaken by economic and political turmoil, Greece is in a difficult season in the nation’s history. We are sensing a new openness to the Gospel, however, and believe this is an important opportunity for increased ministry. A multi-national team of five YWAMers is preparing to re-pioneer in Greece in the next six months. We are so excited to have such a strong and vibrant team on the ground sharing the love of God in this crucial time in Greece.

For more information on YWAM Central Europe's 5 cities initiative, check out

- Yohanan and Rachel Rempt, 5 Cities Initiative

Thursday, October 11, 2012

YWAM Serbia | Summer Mini-DTS

This summer in August we held a mini DTS, to help young people grow in their Identity and draw closer to God as well as to discover their gifting and direction in life. A group of international students came from Croatia and Romania and joined us here in Užice.

It was a wonderful month of learning and full of fun, adventures and activities in the city. During their time here we organized several English clubs, with interesting topics and games. It was a joy to see local young people begin to use English more and correctly.

One fun activity was when we held a face painting event on the main square of Užice. This was a particularly interactive time with many faces, arms, legs, feet and hands painted with everything from simply hearts, to intricate designs of birds and butterflies. By the end of the evening, the children coming to be painted were doing the painting themselves on other children and the international students! It was wonderful to spend time with the kids and It was certainly an entertaining event!

Ana, one of our students from Croatia, organized a poetry evening in the local Tea House which was a great evening. Included were poems read from contemporary Serbian poets, poems written for the evening especially, and poems written and read that very evening after being inspired by listening! Three different languages read in... Serbian, English and Romanian.

Other adventures included hikes around Stari Grad (the old city), up to the Cross above the city to see all of Užice. We pray God’s blessings on this city and nation!

The international students also visited Gostilje waterfall, and Zlatibor several times to shop in the open market, walk around the city, and all together enjoy the beauty of Serbia :)

Please check out the photo gallery on our website to see pictures from this time in Užice and surrounding area.

-YWAM Uzice, Serbia

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

YWAM Targu Mures | Sitting with Crazy Maria

During the last two weeks, the 8-member RescueNet Team of YWAM Heidebeek was able to treat and help approximately 150 people from two local villages and the impoverished community of Cold Valley. It was an incredible blessing to have them with us and to see so many people receive the check-ups and general medical care they so obviously needed.

One day while serving at Cold Valley, a woman - normally left to herself sitting on her box all day watching people - decided to come for evaluation. Known by her community as “Crazy Maria,” she sat down and took off her sock. Finding her foot blackened, the team saw that there was little they could do for her. They cleaned her foot, prayed for her, and then notified her that she needed to go to the hospital for a possible amputation. Two team members walked her home. Once they arrived, they decided to stay with her for awhile to continue praying and visiting with her.

During this time, another member of RescueNet spotted a car with Dutch license plates being driven up the hill. Asking if the driver was from Holland, the driver explained that he worked for a Dutch company and that he was from Cold Valley. When asked if he would like to talk about God, the driver declined, explaining that all the Christians he knew talked about God but didn’t live like God was real. During the conversation, the driver looked down the hill and saw two people sitting with Crazy Maria. “This is what I think Christians should be doing - sitting with people no one likes and caring for them. These are the Christians I want to know.” Finding out that the two sitting with Crazy Maria worked along with the team member speaking with this man, he became open to hearing more about God.

The people ministering to Maria didn’t know they were being watched. They only wanted to bless this woman whose needs were significant. But God used them, providing an example to an unbelieving man whose expectation of Christians had, on this particular occasion, been met.

Each day, we have an opportunity to be Christ to someone around us, and whatever we do might - in fact - be seen by others. It can be as simple as sitting and spending time with a person no one particularly likes. Thank you, RescueNet, for being such a testimony.

YWAM Targu Mures Staff