Country towns are something YWAM Brisbane has invested in for many years.
We have had a heart to invest in small rural communities and send several teams each year to take part in that vision. But God has been doing more lately. Something within that vision and heart that’s been gradually shifting and increasing as time goes on is a deep favour that God is releasing and as a base we are becoming more and more excited for our calling within that.
I personally love country towns! I get so excited for each one the Lord leads us to as He displays His uniqueness in the people I meet, the countryside I drive through and the individual heart each town portrays. I want to immediately try to develop strategies and ideas in order to see His plans come to fruition for each town. I can get a bit ahead of myself in pursuing those promises, but I have found in the pursuit doors open with ease when we are ready to steward them well.
It has been encouraging to build and establish more consistent relationships as we’ve faithfully served in certain towns on a more regular basis. We’ve been given the platform to share our faith in schools, encourage the local church into a greater depth, lead people to the Lord and witness God impacting individuals through testimonies and prayer. These are just a few ways we have seen the fruit of what God is doing in these amazing towns.
Recently, a team visited a school in a small town and shared an activity on forgiveness. One of the students was deeply impacted and the team was able to witness her choosing the freedom and love of Christ as she chose to release forgiveness towards somebody in her life who had wounded her. One life in the midst of many choosing to walk towards the fullness of what God has- imagine if each town across rural Australia was full of those individuals!
God is continuing to unfold an exciting journey with town ministry. Stay tuned to hear more impacting stories in the future!
Get to know our staff!
Interview with Jake Estes by Rebecca Bowie
How did you first hear about YWAM Brisbane
I had a friend who came to YWAM Brisbane to do the BLS (Basic Leadership School). One day I was interested in what she was doing and looked it up online.
How long have you been at YWAM Brisbane?
I’ve been at YWAM Brisbane for about three years. I did my Discipleship Training School here in 2012 and came back to staff in 2015.
What is your current role within the base?
I head up our creative team. Also known as CDMT or the Creative Development Ministry Team. We oversee our worship and intercession ministries as well as media and communications for the centre. It is such a fun job! We get to use our creativity (in music, art, design, photography..etc) to connect people to God. Whether that’s hosting a worship night on our centre, making awesome promotional material for the DTS’s, or posting something encouraging or inspiring on social media. We make room for people to encounter God is a new and fresh way!
What were you previously involved in within YWAM Brisbane?
When I came back to staff in 2015, I started in our YWAM cafe, The Meeting Place. I loved it! Learning the art of coffee and hospitality was an incredible experience and has served me well since.
What has been a highlight or one of your favourite things about being at YWAM Brisbane?
I love being in a community that seeks after the heart and purposes of God. One where incredible stories of how God is transforming lives and communities, are told on a daily basis. We serve a very powerful and loving God and one of my favourite things about being at YWAM Brisbane is that I get to experience that in new depths everyday!
When I was approached to co-lead a team to the Solomon Islands, I was both excited and nervous. I was expecting a lot of preaching but I was also looking forward to being amongst the culture and getting to know Islanders.
Throughout the trip, I experienced God in a way I never had before. He showed me that the way He does things doesn’t always make sense but He certainly knows best. When you say yes to following Him, He is faithful to reveal more of Himself to you, bringing you deeper and closer to His heart.
Islanders often travel in the back of trucks. One day while in one with my team and some locals, a coconut fell out of a tree and hit my back. About to fall out of the truck, I flung myself forward, which resulted in some bad whiplash.
Around ten minutes after the accident, I remembered God had given me a dream a few months before. He told me I was going to be okay and asked me if it was alright for this to happen and I said yes.
From then on I was recalling what I had dreamt to my teammates and we repeated everything I had seen.
We prayed for about four hours and encouraged the Islanders to pray with us as the Spirit led. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” This Scripture came alive to us as we were living it out.
God showed His amazing, incredible and beautiful power by protecting me. If I had hit my head I could have died or had brain damage, but I am fine now, albeit a bit sore for a couple of weeks.
I believe the Islanders were greatly impacted to witness and learn about the power of relying on God and prayer.
Personally, the experience showed me how I can have and choose joy in any and every situation because God is trustworthy. As I make plans for my immediate future and years down the road, He is challenging me to stay surrendered to Him and rely on Him completely. When we do this, we are not missing out on things; He brings fullness of life and joy in any circumstance. No matter what happens, my outlook on life doesn’t need to be determined by my circumstance but by the Holy Spirit in me.
Youth With A Mission Brisbane is located in a beautiful neighbourhood, where we are fortunate enough to have some quality connections. A three-minute walk down the road takes us to the coffee shops, op shops, restaurants and such located on Blackwood Street, our suburb’s hub of activity.
This year was the 100th year since the first business opened on Blackwood Road, and we celebrated this with the community in August. Historical displays, a commemorative ceremony, old-style children’s games, a petting zoo, entertainment and an olden day school demo were a few of the things put on for all to see.
We used our man power to help set up, tear down, run games and do face painting.
For years, we have been praying for our community, for our connections to deepen and our influence to expand. As we learned to recognize God’s heart for this community and everything He has, our vision and commitment to our neighbours grew.
I believe that because of our consistent, heart-felt prayers and hard work the community continues to recognize us and trusts us more and more. They see us when we smile, play with kids, pick up rubbish and serve where an opportunity is given.
During the Centenary Celebration, a lady approached one of our staff and asked him advice for her teenage daughter. It was simple but the conversation led the lady to ask questions about YWAM and what exactly it is we do. The mother didn't know much about us, other than the fact that we work with young people.
When I heard this story, I was reminded of how God moves through our efforts. Romans 11:36 says “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” I believe God has given us favour with our community because we have been crying out for Him and hungering after more.
Culture can be defined as ‘the ideas. customs and social behaviour of a particular people or society’. It is what we explore, discover and admire between different countries. We fly to nations all over the world to familiarize and acquire with local customs. In June 2017 alone, more than 3 million people flew internationally to and from Australia.
Globally, YWAM has a culture of pursuing a relationship with God and making Him known among the nations.
Every year during our winter months, we as staff have an extensive time to meet, pray and establish fresh vision and strategy on how to sustain the culture of our centre. We desire to create an atmosphere that is honouring and welcoming, and that upholds the very best for every person that comes through.
This year we specifically aimed to create a momentum for our culture, so that when students begin to pour in, the tone has been set and they can join us in what we as YWAM Brisbane believe God is doing.
At the core of our meetings was Romans 16:19-20: “For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Our staff meetings were full of prayer, discussion and expectancy for all God is going to do over the next 6-12 months. Our fearless base leader shared the analogy of making a cake, and all the ingredients that are involved in creating a successful, delicious dessert. Together we discussed the good ingredients needed to reach this fruitful vision and to sustain this culture.
Three words were highlighted to us and chosen to explain our vision. We desire to be Believable, Bold and Beautiful.
We explored what good ingredients it takes to make up each of these characteristics (learning to be “wise as to what is good”) and which bad ingredients we should stay away from (learning to be “innocent as to what is evil”). If we want to be people that are Believable in what we do, we need to be competent, faithful, have self-control. If we want to be known as Beautiful people, we need to continue being hospitable, merciful, enthusiastic. If we want to be Bold, we need to choose to step out in courageous faith, fear of God, compassion.
To quantify our growth, we came up with faith goals that we hope to reach within the next 12 months. These goals are going to move us towards a culture of being Believable, Bold and Beautiful, as we grow in knowing God and making Him known in the nations. We are excited to shift the culture and hold more good ingredients.
Basic Leadership School
July 2016, September 2016, January 2017, July 2017, September 2017
Beach 2 Bush DTS
School of Digital Filmmaking
School of Acting for the Screen
Music, Art and Dance DTS
Our network is increasing both locally and overseas. God is faithful in releasing opportunities around us!
Our film and acting schools are about half way through their schools and they are doing really well!
We had the opportunity to hear from founding members of YWAM and received wisdom and the "bigger picture" insights on the Kingdom.
Increased opportunities for Discipleship Camps and to discipline youth in country towns.
Continued influence in the film world and divine leading for our film company.
Generous donations have been given towards our building project! We are continuing to raise funds to expand and build our capacity, so we can house more students and staff, as well as to have a bigger kitchen and meeting space.