Saturday, September 29, 2018

Slovakia Family Camp

What started as a small, pilot, family camp 21 years ago has grown into YWAM Slovakia Family Ministries that now provides support, training and resources to hundreds of couples and families in Slovakia and beyond. 

This summer we ran three family camps with over 470 participants, including children and our team. The theme #balance explored our need for balance in our life, work and life, what to do when our lives are unbalanced and where to find our fixed point. 
We began each camp day laughing with a highly creative and original puppet show that introduced the day's topic. Then our guest speakers -  1- Brian and Chris Clarke (UK), 2- Christoph and Eveline Leu (CH) and 3- Al and Carolyn Akimoff (USA) - shared Biblical teaching and practical application along with many stories from their own life. Evening small groups helped people connect and process what they had heard. The afternoons were full of fun and sports for the whole family, as well as outreach opportunities to evangelize on the streets or do some practical work at our YWAM base. A highlight of each week was the romantic evening, where couples relaxed and enjoyed quality time together, while their children were cared for by our amazing volunteers. 
The childrens program is one of the most important aspects of the camp and we have a small army of talented, young volunteers who prepare and run it. They don't just play with the kids but help them to grow in their relationship with God too. 
One of the camps was specifically for families with teenagers. That week Alon and Raja Grimberg and their King's Kids Israel group challenged the teens to go deeper in their relationship with God. The Slovak and Israeli teens had a blast together, became good friends and encountered the Father's love in a profound way. 
We are awed by what God has done through these camps over the years. Families have found encouragement and strength to last the whole year. People have made new friends, formed prayer groups and started new initiatives to impact society. Marriages have been saved, parents have learnt how to relate to their teens and whole families have come to know Christ as their savior. When the Father's love touches the hearts of His children it brings much needed balance to their lives.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Move OUT | Poland

Three hundred young people were coming to Warsaw from Germany, United States, Poland, Ukraine and Egypt to take part in our Mission Event "MOVE OUT", where we would have one week of GO Camp and then send 20 teams to different places throughout Warsaw. A month before they arrived, we did NOT have anywhere for them to stay! But God was faithful and through the district Mayor of Zoliborz we were given the use of a huge school completely for free! The young people came and stood before God to seek His heart for Warsaw and during that first prep week we saw how God broke their heart for this city!

The most teachable moment in the prep week happened when we were able to host the World War II survivors, actually they were all people who were involved in the "The Warsaw Uprising" who came to meet with us and share their story. We found out that school which we had been given to use for our mission camp happen to be a place where Warsaw Uprising started. We felt this was so significant spiritually. We were able to pray for the survivors and thank them for their example of fighting even they knew that they had no chance to win. Our wonderful guests were so excited and encouraged that some of them decided not to attend another government event to just sit with us and eat dinner. 

We do not have the space to write all testimonies about the outreaches and what was happening during this time. God used amazingly used young and older people as a team to reach the unreached in hospitals, soccer fields, playgrounds, streets, subway, buses, homeless shelters, parks, squares, kitchen for needy people. 300 young missionaries spread around Warsaw and were like a wave which touched places! 

I was able to see how a young girl was able for the first time bring another young girl to Jesus! I was witness to my own daughter who were encouraging other team members to stand in faith by sharing her heart how we all can serve. I heard about healing, deliverance and tons of prayers. 

We also sent three teams to different places: Zakopane, Namyslow and Brno in Czech Republic. Team who went to Zakopane were able to work with a Catholic camp, sharing about Jesus.

The team in Namyslow shared Jesus love among Punk people at a Punk festival - it was such experience to serve breakfast and Jesus in the same time. 

In Brno our team were able to encourage the local King’s Kids leader and share gospel among young people and churches. 

Words cannot describe how much God worked through this Mission Camp in Warsaw and beyond. It was so encouraging to see how God went before us, and provided the right place at the right time, and used us to touch so many people with His love! 

Thank-you to everyone who was involved in making this project a success! 

-Greg and Erin Skrobarczyk
YWAM Warsaw, Poland

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

YWAM Together | Thailand 2018

What can I say about YWAM Together 2018? I was part of the organising team after being invited by Rebecca Gibbons (who used to be in the Czech Republic and we worked together as the CE communications team until she moved to Thailand in 2012). It was a privilege to be part of such a well-run event. There were almost 4000 people from over 100 nations and 77 languages, including over 300 from secure nations, and yet even with tight security and loads of people, everything more or less ran like clockwork.
There were amazing speakers, worship by teams from all across the globe, and cultural dances from many nations. It was wonderful to see how many of the people up on stage were not Westerners and when they were there, they were often translating into English instead of being the main speaker. That says something!

The theme of the whole conference came from Revelation 4:1 “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” I felt that this is what heaven would look like - so many different nations together in one place and worshipping Him!

In the middle of the conference they sent everyone out into Pattaya city to do some sort of outreach - from prison ministry to schools, to bible distribution. Seriously well organised - sending out 3500 people!! Here are some of the statistics from that day:

This should be the way we do conferences: sending everyone out in the middle to reach out to the people in that place! What an impact!

On the day after the conference finished, I was part of a gathering of leaders from all over the world. It was the main reason I went - to be a part of that meeting on behalf of Central Europe. And out of the over 100 leaders there, I just happened to sit at the table with our founders, Loren and Darlene Cunningham and some other senior leaders. It was completely by accident and it was so wonderful to be able to share with them some of the things going on in our region since they were with us in 2016. And also to be able to hear from them and other leaders directly about how the new Area Circle Teams are supposed to function. What a privilege!

I am still reeling from all that happened in that week, and even though it was a lot to take in, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing gathering.

Otherwise, I leave you with the highlight video of the whole week... it is amazing and gives a feel for what it was like to have so many people from so many different countries together in one place: Enjoy!

- Belinda Chaplin
YWAM Central Europe Convener

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Summer night life outreach

Thousands and thousands of young people in Europe pass through holiday resorts every summer, looking to enjoy the sun, the beach and the party scenes of our coastal towns and cities.
Away from home and from their daily responsibilities, their normal limits are thrown out of the window and we often find them looking for a good time through drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, experimenting with drugs, and sex.
The very things that were supposed to guarantee a good time often prove to be empty and even destructive.

What if we could be right there? What if we could offer them something better? What if YWAM starts sending teams into the party scenes of these holiday resorts, ready to love on the people, ready to share the gospel with them and ready to lead them into an encounter with Jesus?

Starting this year with our own coast on the Black Sea in Romania, we have sent teams into the party scene on night shifts and early morning shifts, six nights a week for the entire months of July and August. In the night shift we connect with people by asking them to guess what the message might be that connects the four signs we are holding up. This approach has led to thousands of people hearing the gospel message, many meaningful conversations and opportunities for God to intervene in their lives as we prayed with them right there on the street. We’ll share one exciting testimony:

On one of the Saturday nights I got to talk to a young man. The four posters that we held had drawn his attention, but because his friends continued walking on, I quickly led him through the gospel. I told him that God’s love is meant to be experienced and I asked him if I could pray for this. He was open, so I prayed a short prayer if God would fill his heart up with His love. When I was done praying he was so overwhelmed with joy because he had clearly experienced God’s touch. He hugged me, let go and then he hugged me again. He almost lifted me off the floor! Two weeks later I ran into him again. When he sees me he immediately introduces me to a female friend and tells her to go with me, so that she too can hear the gospel and experience God’s love. It turns out that she doesn’t believe in the existence of a god and our conversation ends quickly. But a few minutes later she is back, telling me that her friend is very persuasive. She now immediately opens up and starts sharing the reason why she stopped believing in God. There is a lot of hurt and questions about the way she lost her father when she was young. She is open for prayer and together we pray for to God step into her pain and to receive her in His loving arms. She is grateful for meeting us and for the prayer we got the pray!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

InTouch Camp Romania

During the past six summers, inTouch has been coming to Prod in Romania. Part of YWAM Associates International, inTouch camps are geared towards encouraging former and current YWAMers but also giving friends of YWAM (supporters, sending churches, family members of YWAMers) a taste of our mission. 

We've been blessed to have great speakers over the years such as Dean Sherman, Mariette Louw and Edwin Fillies. This year it was the turn of Kim and Cindy Hunt to join us.  Well known in the region, they encouraged us to run our spiritual race with endurance.  

There was lots of time to process the teaching as well as to relax and enjoy each others company.  God really met us in a variety of ways as we worshipped, learned and relaxed in His presence.

Why not join us next summer in Prod?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Bible for Every Tourist

This is the third year that during July 15 - August 15th we ran the evangelistic project "Reaching the Balkans, A Bible for every tourist".  Over one month, we hosted more than 130 wonderful people from 10 teams. We gave out 6500 Bibles (new testaments) and brochures. We shared the gospel with hundreds of people in creative ways through songs, dancing, games, facepainting, balloon shaping saw several salvations and healings taking place. 

Besides this, we also Served in four prisons, prayed for sick children in public hospital, helped a local church to run the children camp. We also had the privilege to serve in four local churches through preaching, leading Bible studies, sharing testimonies, praying for people, skits and dancing, leading an elderly people meeting and the women meeting, organizing cultural evenings, collecting garbage, doing prayer walks intercessions and out loud Bible reading, corporate worship times and prophetic workshops. 

For the first time had the partnership of six Albanian local churches, in evangelism. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support! Enjoy some moments from the ministry times.  In three years we have given out 23500 Bibles (new testaments and brochures)

-YWAM Durre, Albania

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Faith and Conflict Journey | Bosnia and Herzegovina

We ran a Faith and Conflict in 2014, and Jonny Clark from YWAM Rostrevor has been on me ever since to run another one here in Bosnia. They are run in places all over the world, but I never felt it was the right time for us again until this year. Since, the Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Croatia was focusing on Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia as well, we decided that this week long conference would be part of the DTS lecture phase. We would also see if anyone else wanted to come along for this journey of understanding... and they did!

Even though Jonny couldn't come at the last minute, and he was supposed to be the main speaker, everything still turned out OK. Walter Nicora and Alex Atwell from Rostrevor jumped in and really did a fantastic job. We had some wonderful locals who shared their testimonies of forgiveness and it all just came together wonderfully! 

We physically (as well as mentally and spiritually!) went on a journey through Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting in Banja Luka, then on to Sarajevo, and ending in Mostar (pictured above). 

Here is a picture of us all in Sarajevo: 

Below is how this week impacted Taylor, one of the girls, on the DTS .

This week made a big impact in my walk with the Lord. At the time, I had been to Serbia several times and had been a few weeks in Croatia for the DTS. I didn’t understand why the locals seemed not to get along. I had underestimated the hatred and hurt that was there. We heard powerful testimonies from several of the locals during the Faith & Conflict week who had experienced the war, and how they have chosen to forgive their enemies.

Throughout the week, we also heard from Alex and Walter who serve in YWAM Rostrevor. A couple of themes that ran throughout the week was forgiveness and reconciliation.

As the week went on, I came to realize that I had never truly forgiven anyone. I thought I had, but it was something I was never taught how to do. I said that I forgave them, and that’s all I had to do, right? But nothing reached my heart. Well, during this week, I learned how to truly forgive, and it was not easy. I had to dig up past hurts, and practically go through them all over again. But this time, I had the tools I needed and the family to support me to go through this painful process. God has forgiven me for so many things, and I had to accept that forgiveness. Once I could accept the forgiveness God has extended to me, I was able to deal with my past hurts. And get this, I wanted to forgive the people who hurt me. It still took a while, seven weeks to be exact, to forgive this one person in my life, but I feel so much more free now!

by Belinda Chaplin & Taylor Smith

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Central European Leadership Gathering "The Keys"

The 2018 Central European Leadership gathering was held near Cluj, Romania in May. The core circle of Florin, Arlen, Alket and I had the privilege of leading this wonderful gathering of 80 people who came together to learn about "The Keys".

When we were praying through who to invite to speak, we all felt that it was right to have Stephe and Rite Mayers come and share their wisdom with us. And we can see that it really was God's idea. It was so great not just to have them share from the front, but also in between as well. During the sessions, we learnt about transitions, and team leadership, and so many more "Keys".

We also had the honour of opening on our first evening with Al Akimoff who shared stories with the common theme of the importance of simple obedience. It was lovely to have him and Carolyn and many of our other elders with us as well.

We also prayed in the new Area Circle Team (pictured below). These people will come alongside the core circle to provide leadership to the Area of Central Europe. Currently there are 17 people on this new "ACT", representing countries and various regional ministries.

I was looking through the feedback forms from everyone and so many put as their highlight "the community" or "building relationships" or "spending time with others". In our region of mainly smaller teams and bases, it is so important to be reminded of how we are connected to the bigger picture of YWAM.

We also had two afternoons of amazing workshops, and on one afternoon a lovely walk to a nearby waterfall. But we also had enough free time to build relationships and  network together in the beautiful surroundings.

All in all, it was definitely one of my most favourite gatherings to date!
Belinda Chaplin (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Convener for Central Europe

Now, don't just take my word that it was a great gathering:
Here are some testimonies from other people:

The CELG was wonderful for me. I was able to get together for the first time in as the YWAM Slovenia team. Yes, there is a team soon in Slovenia! A wonderful couple from New Zealand is moving to Slovenia next year. For me this is a huge blessing and a testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision. Such a huge answer on many prayers, when we prayed that God would send people who would come and serve alongside me, pioneer and have heart for Slovenia the and Slovenian nation.

Andreja Klinc (Slovenia)

When we meet together as YWAM Central Europe, as a family, God comes through and answers to our search for him. The CELG was an amazing 4 days with great leaders from across CE. We enjoyed very good teaching from Stephe and Rite Mayers, we connected, we prayed together, we enjoyed the nature around us.

Tabita Huluban  (Romania)

It was great to be all together for the CELG meeting, seeing old friends, hearing what is going on in the different nations from Central Europe, making new friends and rejoicing together. I left from the meeting very encouraged and full of passion to extend the kingdom of God.

We had Stephen Mayers teaching about leadership, transition, how to be a model in leadership and how to take people along, to invest in them and then to make space for them to lead, as the example of Jesus, walking with his disciples, teaching them and then passing on the leadership.

Benjamin Simion (Romania)

Monday, April 23, 2018

B2B Romania

As I celebrate 10 years of being in YWAM I am looking back and thinking what made me stay, what made me find my place in YWAM? And one of the first thinks coming to my mind were: people invested in me, I found here a place where I can grow, learn, develop... YWAM gave me value. And this is what we want to continue do for young leaders coming in YWAM.  

B2B is one of this tools that we have in YWAM for young, emerging leaders to grow. After many years, the second B2B took place this year in Romania and we had 18 participants from all the bases in the country. What made it very special was the fact that our staff team included people from different bases, from the national leadership team, a convener, some of our elders in the region and we benefited from the experience of amazing leaders. We have seen God working in our lives and in the leadership of the participants.

Here are some of the testimonies from the participants:

„In this course you learn not only things about leading others, but also leading yourself, how to start practically and plus there is a great time of fellowship, and learning from each other!”


“B2B is like a refreshing rain in your personal development if you are open for what God has for you!”

“This experience helped me grow and develop my abilities as leader, I will keep hold of them my whole life!”

“It was an amazing experience with lots of fulfilling moments!”

We are already planning our next B2B for March 2019, so stay tuned! 😊

Tabita Huluban, 

YWAM Romania

Friday, April 6, 2018

YWAM Craiova - Romania

Craiova, Romania's 6th largest city and capital of Dolj County, is a beautiful city in SW   Romania with about 300 000 people, but in a very big need for  the Gospel.                        Total of evangelical christians in our town is less than 1%. The majority are Orthodox.     The need of workers is really big and we believe God is raising up His people in this part of Romania, so that it will not be considered anymore one of the poorest parts of             Romania economically and spiritually.
It is also a strategic place for the Balkans, and we believe God will use us to bring His     Kingdom all around this region.

YWAM Craiova is a young ministry in a pioneering situation, but with a great team full of enthusiasm, living a  dream with God, who is making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert  (Isaiah 43:19).
Our vision is to help our generation to know the Lord and to fulfill God’s calling for His   glory, and to bring  transformation to society, and all nations!
Depending on God, we are committed for Prayer, Evangelism, Discipleship of youthEquip workers and leaders, Mobilize for mission, Mercy ministries and Church Planting and Coaching.
We started in 2015: a family with 2 small kids and a girl, all romanians.    Now, after almost 3 years, we are a team of  10 long-term staff from      Romania, Brasil and Republic of  MoldovaAs a team we function in English and Romanian.
Our ministry involves running a DTS each year and other seminars: 
Church Planting Course 
World View Seminar
Relationships seminars
Mission Conference
Kairos Course

Ema Bogdan
Craiova, Romania