Tuesday, July 1, 2014

40. How to participate of YWAM?

Many people write and ask how they can become part of YWAM, and how the missionary organization works, etc. So, we have created a short explanation that we hope you will find helpful.

YWAM (Youth a With A Mission) is an international, non-denominational, Christian organization dedicated to presenting Jesus to the current generation, helping them to know God for themselves and then teaching them how to make Him known to others. Since YWAM was founded in 1960, by Loren Cunningham, thousands of people have been working out Jesus’ desire for the nations and that is that all my know of Him and His saving love. To accomplish this, YWAM focuses on training and equipping young people to carry out the Great Commission in specific interest areas, for example communications, photography, justice, mercy, and children at risk, to name a few. Today, YWAM has ministries in more than 171 countries and has about 16,590 full-time workers in a myriad of different outreach functions.

In Brazil, YWAM began in 1975, through Jim and Pamela Stier in Contagem City, in the State of Minas Gerais. Today there are 53 locations and Missionary Training Centers throughout Brazil and more than 1,300 full time volunteers. You can join in the work of YWAM Brazil by volunteering, participating in our outreach campaigns, participate in a DTS, short-term courses or joining our staff (which means, becoming one of our missionaries). If you are  contemplating working with us, in any capacity, please contact any one of the Brazil bases and we can assist you. All YWAM bases share common principles and values, but also have different ministry emphases and specialties.

To be an YWAM missionary/staff member you must meet a few requirements and they are: you must be a Christian, must be active in your local Church, you must provide a letter of recommendation from your lead Pastor, and be at least 18 years. Then you must complete a Discipleship Training School (DTS). This school is the gateway to YWAM. You can "do" a DTS in Brazil or abroad and after satisfactory completion of a DTS, you´will be eligible to work in any YWAM base in the world. DTS is a 5 month, full-time commitment, so the students live in community, at YWAM base where their DTS is located. Each base has different types of DTSs with different characteristics. For instance, some may be bilingual, others may be focused on sports and others may be focused on working with children at risk. 

The DTS curriculum is directed towards the individual students' vocational profile and personal relationship with God. Experienced missionaries teach the students and assist them in discovering their unique skills, talents, and gifts which can then be used in Christian service, whether in missionary work or in the Christian or secular spheres of society. DTS is divided in 2 periods: 3 months, called Theoretical Period, in which classes on various subjects are taught and students have homework, reports and various other assignments. This is followed by 2 months of Practical Application.  During this time the DTS students put into practice what they have learned by serving in Brazil or abroad. The cost of a DTS varies from base to base but the cost (almost always) includes food, lodging, and travel. The variation in cost is usually a function of the base location, the type of DTS, and the cost of living in that base locale.

As for how to pay for a DTS, or classes, or time spent as a volunteer you should understand that YWAM is called "to do life"  based on the fundamental belief that God will supply, through His plan and people, financial provision for individuals and YWAM corporately. We also believe that a support system of people, built on a network of personal relationships is essential to successfully sustaining financial support. We believe that this support-based system promotes responsibility, interdependence, communication, and prayer. The supporter gets involved in the ministry as a partner and is able to experience God in a more personal way than just sending a check to a large organization. YWAMers are taught to give of themselves, their time and talents on the mission field with no expectation of remuneration and we believe that those who give to YWAMers are no less giving and it is essential that this is communicated to those who support YWAM.  Also, communicating with and involving your local church in your decision to participate in YWAM is of fundamental importance. A relationship between the local church and aspiring missionaries through the church's participation in sending a missionary to the missionary field and providing support spiritually and financially is immeasurable. And so, when you put these three foundational principles together...confidence in the faithfulness of God, confidence in your personal relationships and involving your church ...this system of support works well.

Virtually all YWAM bases are running DTS at any given time and you can choose to attend any one. Our suggestion is that you submit this choice to the Lord. And after you have, then write to the base or bases in which you have an interest and request an application.

We hope this helps answer some of your questions. Please, don´t hesitate to contact us for further information or with any other questions! http://www.jocum.org.br/na-web/contato

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