In Ecclesiastes, it says, “There’s nothing new under the sun” and yet elsewhere people write, “I’m doing a new thing – don’t you see it?”
Many identify with this seeming paradox in their own life journey and for YWAM Canberra, this season also bears this out. They have been around a long time and some of the earliest ministries and expressions of YWAM are being reborn or re-formed in Australia’s capital city.
They may look different but they carry that same spirit and those same values.
Known by many as the ‘mother base’, (along with Goulburn) YWAM Canberra has given birth and borne much fruit in ministries and training, expanded overseas, matured into a campus and then during leaner times even experienced the self doubt and ‘what now?’ akin to middle or older age.
But they have found that in the midst of God’s faithfulness and the incredible creativity of the family (kingdom) business, He still has many ‘new things in new ways’ for them to engage in and even old things in new ways.
Hospitality has always been a strong value of YWAM Canberra. They offer a warm welcome to all who pass through. God has blessed them abundantly with a spacious and beautiful property in which many find refreshment. They have been able to house and feed countless YWAMers as well as other teams, school groups and individuals for different periods of time. For each individual who passes through, YWAM Canberra seek to pray for, bless and encourage them.
Recently, during one of those team visits, God opened up a door of relationship and service.
A performing arts group from Papua New Guinea came to dance at the annual multicultural festival. They discovered the ‘boutique’; a veritable treasure house filled with extra warm clothes! One night they put on a magnificent performance for us and through conversations afterwards, shared their needs and their concerns for the young people in their village. They invited YWAM Canberra to visit them.
A month later, a DTS and a small staff team travelled to be there, following Jesus into that situation, listening and obeying as they shared about Him in word and deed. Many years ago, a young man named Tom Hallas did the same thing – and he went on to help pioneer YWAM Canberra.
Throughout the glory days and the lean times, from the early days until now, YWAM Canberra has seen the importance of being relationship-oriented, listening to the voice of God and obeying. That winning combination has seen them partner with a local church to form Chain Reaction, a youth discipleship ministry. Kings Kids was birthed out of YWAM Canberra in the 1980s and now an expression of it is greatly impacting the city and region.
Easter saw a combined local Fijian church/Island Breeze Brisbane team and the Chain Reaction camp both staying with the base at the same time, laughing and dancing together, praying and imparting to one another. What a glorious taste of heaven and an expression of the great calling to “the all and the every”.
YWAM Canberra began in the early 1970s with grass roots evangelism – the Rediger family held street outreaches in the city centre and invited people home for Sunday lunch (hospitality again!). Australian Relief and Mercy Services (ARMS) was also birthed from this base. Fast forward to 2010 and a fresh season of local outreach combining evangelism and mercy has begun with ‘The Pantry’ – helping the disadvantaged in the local area and ‘Hands On’ – a creative group who uses their gifts, or learns new skills, to bless others.
Hearts are shared, prayers prayed, bibles given away and lives are changing and becoming open.
The big vision of these and other new outreach initiatives; English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and meetings with overseas students at the local university, is church planting right here in Canberra. There is a long way to go but the team are excited about what lies ahead and are actively partnering with other like-minded people and ministries for training and impartation.
During the 1980s and 1990s, frontier missions featured strongly in YWAM Canberra with Target 2000; assisting with the production of people group profiles and pioneering what became significant long-term works amongst the unreached in various Asian countries.
These days YWAM Canberra is targeting new and hard to reach places in Asia and the Pacific and training continues, often in seminar or other forms of delivery to reach a wider audience in the body of Christ as well as traditional YWAM schools.
Within the 4K and omega zone framework, church planting and impacting of the spheres of influence is being multiplied in several new locations.
YWAM Canberra is hungry to see the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
Everything old is new again and it is very, very exciting!
Contact us for more information and a list of schools we run.