We would like to share with you our fall update about what our team has been up to here in Nanaimo. There is a long while yet in getting a YWAM base established but we get to see God's faithfulness and in our team every day! It's challenging and rewarding. It's Hebrews 12:1 and 6,
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," and, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
God has been giving us His heart for the city, He has provided partnerships with local ministries, and He has been faithful in forming a Kingdom community around our team.
We have been a part of several weekly prayer groups that has been instrumental in aligning our hearts with God’s heart for this city. One such prayer group is hosted by a YWAM alumni named Darryl Jones. This group walks and prays God’s will and purpose to be unleashed at specific locations in and around the city of Nanaimo. Another prayer group that we attend is at Nanaimo Christian School. We join devout parents as they pray for the students, families, and faculty of the school. After this prayer meeting we meet up with the evangelistic Youth for Christ team (YFC) and pray with them for the unchurched youth of Nanaimo. Lastly we pray with Samuel Drouin who directs University Christian Ministry (UCM) at the Vancouver Island University (VIU), for the students and faculty to know God and make Him known. It has been by God’s design and purpose that our team has been able to join with these amazing and passionate followers of Jesus as they contend for this city to come to know God!
While we were seeking for a home during the summer, we were also making connections with local ministries that would be keen to have us join with them in their ministry. We are so thankful that we were able to labor alongside Esperanza Ministries. It does take about 4 and a half hours to travel there from Nanaimo. Our hope is to have a couple weeks of our Discovery Discipleship Training School (DTS) lecture phase at Esperanza while ministering to some remote communities in the West Coast. We have also been able to work with the YFC team. This ministry has so many different youth activities and programs throughout public schools in Nanaimo. It boggles our mind how many different ways this ministry reaches young people. And finally, working with the UCM team, this ministry is filled with university students that are passionate, authentic and contagious in their love for Jesus! If revival at VIU was a blazing fire, we are seeing smoke and it’s on the brink of igniting! I'd like to mention how thankful we are of the churches here as they have been so inviting and supportive of our YWAM team. As we have been seeking to be a blessing to the body of Christ, we have been deeply blessed and encouraged in return!
As for Kingdom community growing around us, incidentally this has come from the different groups of people in our prayer meetings and during our work with local ministries. The vision and mission that God has given our ministry is embraced and championed through these fruitful relationships. Another thing that we have been doing is attend different church each week. Not to church hop, but to explore and witness God moving amongst the churches and para-churches! An initiative that we recently undertook was hosting a YWAM alumni gathering at our house. We had 30 plus people visit. YWAMers from Victoria visited but mostly YWAMers from Nanaimo itself! People who had done a DTS or staffed in YWAM at some point in their life and are now being a light while living, working, studying, and volunteering in their city. What has also been fertile in building Kingdom community has is the weekly opportunity we have to host and lead several small groups at our house. And we still have many of our friends involved with Esperanza Ministry visit and stay at our house intermittently. We thought we were prepared to feel isolated while pioneering but God prepared a warm and broad fellowship of saints to surround us for mutual encouragement!
Yes, things are going well in terms of receiving God’s heart, ministry partnerships, and forming Kingdom community but we are challenged each day to depend on God! We have estimated that for the ministry of YWAM Nanaimo to be fully funded, continue existing and to grow, we need to see an increase in our current monthly funding by 70%. This means we are currently operating at 30% and thanks to Tessa’s fancy financial footwork and the spontaneous acts of generosity from people, our current funding covers rent and food but NOT our utilities and other essential expenses. Please pray that we can follow God’s timing and connections He would want to make with us in seeing YWAM Nanaimo fully funded! If you would like to give or would like more information, contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another update I’d like to add is that we have been receiving inquiries from all over the world for the DTS and we have recently accepted our first DTS student for July 2019! Please consider sharing this link, “https://www.ywamnanaimo.com/dts” about the Discovery DTS with your network of friends. There are some incredible plans that God is weaving together to make this an adventurous and transformational DTS! Contact us through email@example.com to learn about more specific details that you can pray over.
Thank you all for your continued interest, support and prayer! I hope this was encouraging for you to read as it has been for us to live.
God bless you and strengthen you in His love.