**This is a personal website and reflects my thoughts and convictions. It does not represent any official position held by Youth With A Mission.**
Vikki, a leader in one of our training bases in north western Uganda, sent the following article. I think it is really important. She and her husband, John, have clung on to the word of the Lord as they understand it and have not given up, though they have experienced one hardship after another. I believe they have pioneered something that will be an example to many.
I felt this letter was so important that I read it out on my weekly Facebook Live-stream. You can find it there and it will be posted here soon.
In my summary statements, I recommended a book. It is Reinventing Organizations, by Frederic Laloux. I recommend the illustrated version.
Here is Vikki’s letter:
A letter to my brothers and sisters in YWAM
Warm greetings from YWAM Arua, Uganda, East Africa. In the middle of this global pandemic, I would love to share with you what God has been putting on my heart in terms of what He is doing, and what we are still waiting to see. First, allow me to give you some background information for context.
Six years ago, we first started hearing about a Word of the Lord to the Body of Christ worldwide foretelling a Wave of Revival, a global move of the Holy Spirit that would usher in a Billion Soul Harvest. The timeline predicted this Wave would start in 2020 and continue. For YWAM as a global movement, that Word included a promise of multiplication times ten. God spoke to our founder, Loren Cunningham, about flattening our YWAM leadership structures even more into circles of leadership and relationship, rather than top down hierarchical leadership, in order to prepare for this growth and multiplication.
In YWAM Uganda, our National Director responded to that Word by removing his title of Director, and taking steps towards expanding the national leadership team into an Eldership Circle with more representation from the various YWAM bases.
Our response in YWAM Arua to that Word and the promise of multiplication was to look at our current leadership structure and ask God how to position ourselves for this Wave and the subsequent growth. At the time, the encouragement to move into circles of leadership was meant for the regional and national levels, but was not expected to be done at the YWAM base level. There was a sense that YWAM bases functioning at a local, operational level, needed a more top down leadership approach in order to keep things moving smoothly.
As we prayed in Arua base, however, we felt that in order for this Word to our global YWAM family to come to pass, it needed to reach the base level where the majority of YWAM ministry takes place. We felt strongly that for us to ride the Wave, we needed to move into a base leadership circle that would position us for growth and multiplication.
Through a significant process of seeking wisdom from other international YWAM leaders, prayer, revisiting the Words of the Lord to YWAM globally and YWAM Arua specifically, as well as reviewing our personal Words of the Lord as individuals … a process that spanned three years… we finally made the move into a leadership circle. John removed his title of base leader and took up the role of elder. Others of us joined John in eldership, and still others came together as ministry leaders for their various teams.
As I speak, our base of 40 staff has 4 elders and 11 ministry circle leaders working together to run this base and prepare for the Wave… that’s more than a third of the staff in leadership. And no, none of us holds the title Base Leader. It is also important to note that our team includes 3 bases that were operating in South Sudan until the civil war broke out in 2016 when they fled to Arua for refuge. This is one of the reasons we have a plethora of leaders in Arua base.
It sounds crazy, a recipe for disaster, too many cooks in the kitchen.
But what if it’s true? What if the Wave is about to hit, revival breaks out, and many new believers come into the Kingdom? What if doors of opportunity that have been locked down for weeks, sometimes months or years, suddenly fling open?
My hope is that we’ll be ready to jump up on our ministry surfboards and ride that Wave. My prayer is that we’ll be able to multiply quickly as God leads us; grow rapidly with few hierarchical bottlenecks.
For years we’ve been laboring and sweating and praying and scratching our heads wondering how in the world to lead in a circle, how to trust God to have the final say, not anyone with a title or a stamp. We’ve wrestled with God’s Words and promises, wondering if we really heard Him right, or have we gotten off track somehow. In moments of insecurity I’ve reached out to international leaders, fathers and mothers of YWAM, asking them if we took the whole circle leadership thing too far. Some encouraged us to keep at, don’t go back, hold the line. Others weren’t sure; they wondered if bases need a more directive style of leadership to give vision and focus.
Ultimately it was God again who encouraged me, who told me to trust Him, to wait and see. As 2020 neared, I felt a growing sense of expectation…would the Wave start to move across the globe? I kept talking about it to anyone who would listen. By then I think a few people had grown a little tired of all the Wave talk. I didn’t blame them… six years is a long time to work and wait and wonder.
But I continued to pray. I asked God for eyes to see. I lifted up every member on this base and their kids and prayed that none of us would miss the Wave. I staked everything on the Promise of the Lord, and I didn’t want anyone swept under who should be riding on top.
So I watched for the Wave that would sweep the earth.
Then COVID-19 rocked the world.
Wait a minute. Just one cotton-pickin’ minute.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. People aren’t meant to be going into isolation…we’re meant to be gathering in greater number than ever before.
People aren’t meant to be full of fear and anxiety…they’re meant to be set free and filled with hope and peace.
People aren’t meant to be dying… they’re meant to be receiving eternal life!
Everything that is happening is nothing like I expected. Nothing. In fact, the exact opposite.
On the 18th of March, God spoke:
You have been faithful to steward my promises, to carry my words both for you and for the base, to believe in the face of doubt and conflict…the time is coming when you will begin to see the fulfillment of these words. The world is in turmoil but I am about to unleash a move of my Spirit more powerful than coronavirus. You are seeing the enemy’s attempt to bring confusion and fear globally. Soon you will see me bring clarity, hope and salvation globally, and what a difference it will make! The enemy can only imitate, distort, mutate, but the Truth is about to be revealed, and everyone will see.
Once again, I find myself in the place of trusting God’s word no matter what the circumstances. That is what God’s children do… we listen, we trust, we obey.
Now it is our job to walk in that victory and power, to move in the opposite spirit to the works of the enemy:
- Instead of division and isolation, let us reach out to the hurting and scared and draw them into a family.
- Instead of fear and anxiety, let us minister peace and hope.
- Instead of focusing on physical death, let us lead people to the Source of eternal life.
- Instead of lifting up the name of coronavirus, let us lift up the Name of Jesus!
- Instead of helplessness, let us prayerfully move in the power of the Spirit to see healing, salvation, life.
- Instead of darkness and despair, let us shine our light on the hilltop, that all may see the salvation of our Lord. Let the whole world be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the seas.
Let us not give up at the last minute right before the Wave hits, but let us cling tighter than ever to God’s promises. He is YAHWEH… Promise-Maker AND Promise-Keeper.
Yes, it will be challenging. Yes, we will face difficult decisions and loss in various forms. But if we can stand our ground, hold firm our faith, I believe we will ride this wave with the Holy Spirit in one of the greatest global revivals the world has ever seen.
Father, help us not to miss this. We’ve prepared for years; we’re ready to ride. Make us sensitive to Your Spirit so we can join You in bringing Your Kingdom of light, love, hope, healing and everlasting life to a world desperately in need of You. Thank You for the privilege of partnering with You at such a time as this. May Your name be glorified. Amen.