Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at YWAM Brisbane!
Next year, YWAM Brisbane are re-pioneering a base in Takatsuki, a city about halfway between Osaka and Kyoto in Japan.
As a team we are praying and seeking God for a collective vision for the base. We know we will be a part of connecting in with the community and youth. We will also be running DTS’, a cafe ministry, English speaking programs and so much more!
Overall, we are all very eager to be present in Japan and open to anything and everything that God wants to do.
Five months after leading a team in 2016, God spoke to me about wanting to use the younger generation as a catalyst to bring revival to Japan. He said He wanted to redeem a generation known for its isolation and disconnection and restore them to being power evangelists, who are incredibly passionate about connecting and sharing God’s love with people.
While staffing and managing The Meeting Place Cafe at YWAM Brisbane, God has been challenging me with the idea of people experiencing revival in their own country. Furthermore, He has been showing me that coffee shops could be planted like churches. Through these cafes, people would get a sense of what the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in their own country could look like.
God has slowly been revealing bits and pieces of the things He wants me to do ever since first going to Japan. Even though I feel like I only know a small portion of what’s to come, I do know He is wanting to do some pretty incredible things and I am excited to get a chance to partner with Him in whatever that is!
Get to know our staff!
Interview with Lindsey Burton by Rebecca Bowie
How did you first hear about YWAM Brisbane
I first heard about YWAM through one of my High School youth group leaders. She had done a Discipleship Training School (DTS) years before! She told me about her experience while together on a missions trip in which a YWAM team was hosting our youth group.
How long have you been at YWAM Brisbane?
I first moved to Brisbane in 2011 to do the Music, Art and Dance (MAD) DTS. The way I encountered God and His love through community, completely changed my life! I knew that after the 7 months in Australia I had to be a part of what God was doing, and helping others experience Him the way I had. I moved to Brisbane for 20 months to take the Basic Leadership School course at the YWAM Base, which helps facilitate DTS’, mentoring young people and leading overseas mission trips.
What is your current role within the base?
Throughout my season in Brisbane, I grew in my passion for the presence of God and how it changes everything!! It creates a place where unity powerfully ushers in an atmosphere of faith where anything is possible. This led me to returning to Brisbane in 2017 and joining our Creative Ministry Team. We focus on cultivating community, building bridges through communication and giving it all to glorify God through worship and prayer. I specifically lead our worship department and love seeing the faithfulness of God as we pour out our praises and affection to Him.
What has been a highlight or one of your favourite things about being at YWAM Brisbane?I run on good coffee and the promise that God is good. I find joy and purpose in the many aspects of community life and faith filled discipleship. As a child of a loving and creative heavenly Father, I rejoice in the challenge to build something here in Brisbane that is eternal and will contribute to a move of God like we have never seen before.
Our trip to Bundaberg began with a busy schedule and high expectations. We had lots of evangelism and ministry opportunities planned as we stepped into this time of outreach. As we worshipped and interceded on our first night in Bundaberg, two things that God put on my heart were unity and relationships. I wasn’t sure how God wanted to use me in this mellow town, but I was excited to see His plans revealed!
Later in the week, I was sent to the Burnett Youth Learning Center (BYLC) with a few others from my YWAM team. The BYLC is an alternative education facility that is geared toward students who have disengaged from mainstream education for a number of reasons such as addiction, mental illness, or behavioral/learning issues. I immediately had a huge heart for these kids and was excited to minister into their lives. During the four days that we spent at the school, we were able to build relationships with a few of the students during lunch and through working alongside them in their vocational classes.
God worked through us in the most incredible ways during our time at the BYLC. It was like we had signs on our backs that said “ask me about Jesus!”. There wasn’t a single day where we weren’t confronted with curious questions about what made us so “different”. We were able to share testimonies and pray for a handful of the students. By the end of the week I was overwhelmed with emotions. I had developed such a profound love for the kids; many came from broken pasts but still held so much hope for something better. We expected to be pushed away but came out of the week with budding relationships and a stronger sense of unity in our group.
Before leaving, I felt to write a few of the students encouraging letters about their worth and potential as well as what I was praying over them. I didn’t expect anything in return but wow, did God ever move through those small words. One day after receiving the letters, my inbox was buzzing with responses from the students about how we had truly impacted their lives and inspired them to pursue Jesus. One of the kids that struggled with anxiety and addiction replied “...[the letter] just makes me feel like someone out there is looking over me… I don’t care what people think, I’m truly in love with God, I just don’t know how to take the first step”. I was amazed and overjoyed at his vulnerability and desire to dig deeper. We have been able to continue speaking truth and love into his life while encouraging him to walk in the freedom that comes with knowing Jesus.
I’m so incredibly thankful for our week in Bundaberg and the time spent with the students at the BYLC. The relationships and memories created will not be forgotten, and I’m happy to have added a few more friends to my prayer list. God hears us when we ask for direction and He uses our willingness to plant seeds and grow His kingdom. God is faithful to move, we just need to take a step out in service and open our hearts to His plans for us!
Coming from a larger town; to a community where everyone is fairly connected and you are aware of what organisation does what, has been really inspiring. The North side of Brisbane, to me, has a unique way of staying connected and having the best for the young people.
There are many different platforms serving to enable the potential inside a young person to be released. Brisbane City Council, homeless organizations, churches, drug and alcohol services, as well as budgeting groups, all make themselves available to help and impart knowledge into the next generation.
As the community coordinator for YWAM Brisbane, I am consistently looking to see how we can better the local area and get amongst what is going on, as well as where the need still is. It is a privilege to get behind these other organisations and see where they are already at work.
As a part of a Discipleship Training School (DTS), the students do 1-2 hours of local outreach every week. They spend the mornings in lectures being equipped and taught, and outreach is an opportunity to activate the outworking of this. Before they head on their overseas missions trips, it is awesome for them to have the opportunity to pour that out in to our local community.
Over the past four months, we have sent out a total of 13 teams, allowing our connections to grow and expand. We have teams serving in an elderly home, homeless ministry, with special needs and refugee kids, as well as yard work to bless those unable to do it themselves.
Many of our new contacts have expressed how they have been blessed by what it is our teams bring. The chaplain of Mitchelton Special School recently said this about one of our teams, “they are all wonderful, so encouraging and ready to have fun and be flexible with lots of different things happening. Its important to be flexible at a special school.”
We are excited to see where God leads us throughout 2018 and the relationships that develop and grow.
Change and growth can be a tricky and complicated thing. It requires dedication, endurance and perseverance. This is where we at YWAM Brisbane currently find ourselves. We're bursting at the seams and in need of new classrooms and on-base living for both staff and students.
J. M. Barrie, author of the popular and iconic Peter Pan, said, "The most useless are those who never change through the years." Change makes room for the work of growing up to take place. It helps us mature and become the men and women God designed us to be.
We here at YWAM Brisbane don't want to become useless, so, we must change and grow to become great warriors. This will help us create an environment to empower and train young people to change the world.
And this is what YWAM Brisbane is currently in the middle of -- a season of maturing. In the next few weeks construction will begin on a large auditorium, which will accommodate more than 250 people and when it's not being used for community events it will have the capability to transform into two separate classrooms. This will be a huge benefit for our growing number of ministries and courses.
In the new year, we will begin construction on a building of units, which will house over 18 YWAM staff. The beauty of this new accommodation is it will increase appropriate housing for potential families who want to commit to the centre. It will be a place of rest for them and other staff who live there.
These two buildings are just the beginning of the growth happening here. We would love for you to partner with us in seeing this become a reality. We would also appreciate your prayers and financial support. To donate to our Building Project you can give directly on our website here, mention you want your contribution to go towards our building project. Help us change and grow so we can become a more efficient and inviting place for the youth of the world to come and be empowered.
Basic Leadership School
July 2016, September 2016, January 2017, July 2017, September 2017
Beach 2 Bush DTS
Music Art Dance (MAD) DTS
Photo and Video DTS
Coffee and Communications DTS
Basic Leadership School
Health and Fitness DTS
Photo and Video DTS
Coffe and Communications DTS
Music Art Dance (MAD) DTS
Beach 2 Bush DTS
To help facilitate our larger number of students and ministries, we are constructing new buildings and the project is underway. We are over three quarters of the way through fundraising and reaching our estimated goal. Please continue to pray with us as we embark on this building project.
Our School of Digital Filmmaking and School of Acting for the Screen students created phenomenal short films. They have now graduated and we celebrate another successful school.
It's been awesome to make new connections and create relationships through our local outreach and we are hoping to develop and sustain these in 2018.
Prayer for our outreach teams who are currently in six different locations. For six weeks we have teams in the Middle East, Solomon Islands and Malaysia. For nine weeks we have teams in Peru, India and Japan. Please pray for safety, divine encounters and that God will move in and through the teams.
To help facilitate our larger number of students and ministries, we are constructing new buildings on our centre for training and accommodation. We are looking for skilled tradesman to help from December 2017-May 2018; specifically carpenters, electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, painters and tilers.
The Meeting Place Cafe has been running for four years, open six days a week. Next year they will sadly loose a few of their full-time workers. We are praying for new long term staff to join the wonderful team.