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?