Hill in Townsville

Genetic diversity

As we expected, our time at the YWAM DNA Infusion Leaders’ Meeting in Townsville was one that has marked our year and elegantly divided it into a ‘before’ and ‘after’.

We thoroughly enjoyed being in the presence of so many cultures and languages, with their various expressions in worship and storytelling. There is so much richness in this diversity, so much to learn if you keep your heart open (and don’t do a Michal). For example, I had no idea that potted plants make very amusing and cheerful banner substitutes (wish I had a picture of that to show you!).

Each of the sessions was packed out with people keen to soak up the teaching

It has been observed that organisations that stay true to their original vision are the ones that last. Although YWAM’s founders prefer the description ‘mission movement’ rather than organisation, there must be a certain amount of structure, albeit decentralised. International gatherings such as the DNA, therefore, are where leaders come together to review the foundational principles, listen to the key stories that have shaped YWAM over the decades and take steps in moving forward according to God’s word.

View from the hill
View from the hill
Townsville in colour
Townsville in colour

Despite never seeing ourselves as life-long YWAMers, it was a great learning experience to sit in the midst of countless years of collective mission experience and wisdom. We received teaching on topics as diverse as worldview, biblical covenants and generosity. We heard honest tales about successes and failures, stories to inspire (miracles, humility and courage), and stories that serve as stark warnings (pride, dependence on finances, institutionalisation).

There were many unforgettable one-liners:

  • Trust God or die (my favourite)
  • Build altars not towers
  • The gifts you don’t have are also part of God’s design
  • Sensitive to culture but obedient to truth
  • If you don’t know God’s generosity, you don’t know God
  • Listen, obey and don’t quit
YWAM Townsville
YWAM Townsville

It was so encouraging to experience the thriving Townsville base, how well it is organised and how the staff excelled at welcoming all 300 conference delegates.

Occasionally we appear in photos together
Occasionally we appear in photos together

We were also shown around the YWAM PNG medical ship which serves Papua New Guinea in primary care, dentistry and ophthalmology. Dani, being passionate about the ethics of medical volunteering, met with the medical ship manager to talk through some ideas and ask questions about medical mercy projects within YWAM e.g. how can the different ministries better connect and help one another work to high standards?

YWAM PNG in Townsville harbour

In terms of RescueNet, we made the most of every opportunity to promote the mission and expand its network. We had numerous meetings with potential contacts around the world and also hosted several afternoon sessions where we described and demonstrated aspects of our work.

Spreading the word about RescueNet
Spreading the word about RescueNet
Teaching some basic knots
Teaching some basic knots

Returning to Canberra held the risk of being a bit of an anti-climax, but some friends blessed us with the use of their home for a few weeks. Being a step removed from base life and having the comfort of our own home made it easy to mentally linger a bit on all the words, hope and joy of the previous fortnight.

6 thoughts on “Genetic diversity”

  1. Thanks.. so good to hear from you and love the way you communicate… liked the “Trust God or die”….one of my favourite sayings from Amos is similar… Seek the Lord and live”
    Carna

    1. Thanks Carna! I love one liners like that, I’m all for the amusing and easy to remember! Didn’t know that verse out of Amos- nice 🙂 Hope you are both well and enjoying summer time.

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