Three years ago we journeyed to Kona, HI to visit The University of the Nations campus where our two oldest sons were participating in the Discipleship Training School. For three years leading up to this trip, we were amazed at the impact this program was having on our son’s lives and we wanted to experience it firsthand.
We attended a number of the Fire and Fragrance sessions along with corporate worship at the Ohana Court and the Prayer Room. All 600 students were preparing for three months of intensive Discipleship Training followed by three months of outreach.
The mission of YWAM is “To know God and to make Him known”. What began in 1960 has grown into over 18,000 staff in 180 countries. At the end of their 3 month Discipleship Training School, they disperse in groups of 10 and travel around the globe to partner with local YWAM installations in ministering to the local community.
YWAM ministries are composed of three major categories.
- Evangelism – Everyone should hear the Gospel
- Training – To equip people to use their unique calling
- Mercy Ministries – Hope for the poor, sick and those suffering injustice
During our ten day visit, we were continually humbled by the power of the Holy Spirit in transforming the lives of these young people. The students ranged in age from 18 – 22 and were all growing in their passion and knowledge of Jesus Christ. One event in particular helped me realize just how powerful the Holy Spirit was moving.
On a Friday night my oldest son came to invite us to the prayer room. We didn’t know what to expect. I figured 30 minutes of praise and worship followed by 30 minutes of teaching. For over two hours, I sat in awe while the praise team led worship. It was a Friday night in a room full of 18-22 year old young people that were worshiping and praying over each other.
At the end of the designated two hours, it just continued on. No one left. To be there and experience how passionate these young people were in going deeper in their walk and intimate relationship with of the Lord was something to behold.
On the trip back while staring out the window of our plane and ruminating on all that we had witnessed, God began to prepare our hearts for how we may multiply our own financial contributions. There were over 600 students attending this Discipleship Training School along with all leadership track and support personnel. All were being funded by sponsors. Most were stepping out in faith that God would provide the resources they needed. Many didn’t even have all their funding secured for the duration of the 6 month Discipleship Training School yet they boarded a plane for Kona, HI in faith.
Our own ability to support missions was limited to our personal earnings. If we were to have any real impact and broaden our reach, we had to do something differently. Having been an executive of a number of companies since the 80’s, I was keenly aware of the profits that accrue from a thriving business. Often I found myself in these key roles of sales, marketing, operations and finance with my sole purpose to grow volume, share and profitability.
What if we started a company with the sole purpose of using the profits to invest back into funding these young missionaries? That would be the multiplier! We could build a company and commit the profits to missions!
This is where the small seed of faith was planted in our hearts. Our journey did not end there. God had another plan to not only help fund missionaries but to partner with artisans, worldwide, and source handmade goods through fair trade organizations.
More to come!
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