I truly believe some people were cut out for something different from the very first time they began to dream. Some hearts beat for the unknown. Bodies, minds and spirits thirsting to reach the unreached places, to do something with purpose.
Some minds dream of being on the frontlines of a world-changing movement.
About 4 years ago I set out on a trip that would impact the rest of my life. What I thought would be an incredible, life-changing experience turned into something that wouldn’t rest on the shelf as just a “story” or “experience”, but would light a fire deep within me that will never go out.
One “yes” to enrol in a 6-month course opened doors I never imagined possible. Three months in Australia, learning about a God who cares so deeply for the ones He created – the ones He made to seek purpose, to live in deep intimacy with Him and to seek each other out in unreached places.
The same, “yes” took me to a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece where the Syrian refugee crisis became more than just a headline on the news.
It was in this beautiful chaos that I heard the names and the stories behind violence and injustice, it was here that I knew the power of relationship, making friends with the ones the world says are enemies.
It didn’t stop there. One week I was in a refugee camp with broken sewerage, the next in Vienna, Austria walking well-kept streets praying for a radical change. Praying for openness to the Spirit of the living God. We pray, we worship, we walk up to strangers and ask to share. Most politely, or quickly decline.
But then, somebody comes. Somebody responds to the worship, the prayers, the Spirit of God in the streets. We share stories, we empathise with deep hurt and grief, she weeps, and through the worship, peace comes like a river.
These are the frontlines.
Fast forward and I find myself having said, “yes” to help launch a new ministry. For the past 4 years, “pioneering” has been a regular word in the vocabulary of our home. To be fair, it is not every day that a small group of 20 somethings starts a medical ship ministry… and runs it.
It is a mess, a beautiful mess, where we are faced daily with the impossible and met by miracles.
Starting a ministry is full-on. Our training is on the job, lets-problem-solve-with-all-our-inexperience, type training. Most of us have education or expertise in other areas and our work makes us laugh on a regular basis, thinking, “what did we just get ourselves into?” We work with government, with churches, with families and with doctors. We set sail for the unreached places of Papua New Guinea, hoping word gets out that we’re on our way. And through it all, we see God move.
There is a call.
To the pioneers. To the front runners. To the advocates. To the seekers.
Will you answer?
by Audrey Walter
YWAM Ships Newcastle Staff