I’m an interesting case. I find myself sitting in a room at YWAM Newcastle. But I’m not from YWAM, I don’t go to YWAM, and I don’t really know that much about the species of young and sometimes old who define themselves as YWAMers.
‘She doesn’t even go here!’, you may say. So I’ve come to ask myself, who are these mysterious creatures? After analysis of two months, I think I’ve finally learned a few things about them:
1. Coffee is a necessity.
As if we didn’t need an excuse for coffee already. I walk into the building each morning and my senses are overwhelmed with the amazing scent that is caffeine. The students eyes are glassy and they look exhausted after staying up all night doing whatever it is that YWAMers do. I assume about six hours is sleep, a few hours are DnMing, and the rest is jamming in the hallways. No wonder coffee is a must before you get to class.
2. Everyone knows your name… it’s kind of creepy.
So the first day I walk into YWAM, I get a hello from almost every breathing thing I walk past. They all know who I am, why I am here and what I’ll be doing.
I’ll set the scene – it’s almost lunch.. I’m walking to the lunch table and out of no where I hear my name called from across the hall with such excitement. I turn to look in slow motion – I see no one I recognise and continue on my way. Out of no where, there’s a tall person, bright eyed and cheery who comes running up to me. “Hey Ellyse! How are you?!” I don’t know him, but he sure knows me. My question to him with hesitancy after talking for a minute gradually makes it way into conversation.
‘So… how do you know me?’
‘Oh everyone knows you! We’ve been praying about you for months!!!’
Like I said – EVERYONE knows your name.
3. There are a lot of Americans at YWAM.
It’s unusual being in an Australian country, yet inside a space where the majority of accents you hear are American. I think it may have something to do with our beaches, vegemite and tim-tams.. Who would say no to God when he asks them to go to an island thousands of kilometres away if that was up for grabs?! Let’s be honest – God sure had fun creating the land down under.
4. Man, these guys can pray!
I’ve never been in a church environment where everyone gathers around one person and we all lay hands to pray, out loud, at once. It’s such a beautiful experience to be involved in, where the spirit of God moves within the individual who is being blessed by the prayers and words of others. It may feel a little weird the first time you see it, but once you’ve done it, there’s something that makes you want to come back and pray with a body of believers in such a different way than what church has taught us.
5. They have a passionate love for Jesus.
Who leaves their country, family, friends, careers, gives up all of their time and purely relies on God for funds to get through every day life? YWAMers do.
Who conveys kindness, generosity that keeps on giving, a loving nature and welcomes everyone through their doors? YWAMers do.
Why? Because they love Jesus. They have a mission. They want to know God and make God known. Waves of young people are to go over the nations, into the world and make Disciples.