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Kuhreestos harryav ee merrelotz! "Christ is risen from the dead" ~ an Armenian Easter Greeting to you.

eTouch is a loveletter to all who read it. Our intention is to be an encouragement to you by means of words and pictures that reflect the fruit of the Spirit. Though originally intended for those who have served—or are serving—with YWAM, our welcome extends to all.

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Here and Now Like Then and There!

Mark Herringshaw

What in the World?

We live in extraordinary days, and seemingly in two very different worlds.

On one side of the globe – the developing nations in particular – the Gospel of Jesus Christ is advancing at an unprecedented pace. Here Jesus is winning the day. Like no other time in the last 2,000 years, miracles and wonders are guiding people to faith, in the 100s of millions.

  • A Jesus-revolution is secretly transforming Muslim nations, like Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Across Latin America Evangelical Christianity is growing virally and sparking bold social transformations.
  • And Africa . . .  In 1900 there were 8.7 million African believers. Today, there are 500 million. By 2025 there will be 750 million followers of Jesus on the continent of Africa.
  • Much of Asia is in full-throttle revival: Vietnam and Cambodia, Korea of course, even India are all seeing waves of Christian conversions.
  • And China . . .  In 1948 there were 5 million Chinese Christians. Today, after 60 years of government-sponsored repression, there are more than 150 million Chinese believers. China is experiencing the largest and fastest advance of the Kingdom of God in history.
  • Evangelism efforts like “The Jesus Film” and “Global Media Outreach are seeing 30 million conversions a year!

We live in extraordinary days and YWAMers are among those laboring on the front lines of these revival hot zones.

But in the other half of “the world” – in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe – we hear quite a different story: spiritual stagnation, indifference, even hostility to Jesus.

  • In the U.S. 4000 churches will close this year. Only 1500 will successfully start.
  • 15% of our churches are growing, and only 2.3% are growing through conversion. Just half of the 200,000 churches in America added at least one new member through conversion last year.
  • This overarching trend is chasing 1500 pastors from ministry every month.

Yes, people in first world nations remain spiritually hungry, but their focus tends to be away from Jesus, not toward him. So now the true gap between the “haves and have nots” is not food or finances, but faith. In our case they are the “haves” and we westerners are the “have nots.”                      

Standing in the Gap

Some YWAMers are working in places where the harvest is ripe; while many YWAM Associates have been planted in areas of spiritual drought. Most of us live in the Western world where we see our churches falling into decline and our cultures struggling for purpose.

This is our struggle: we remember God working powerfully in and through us. YWAM led us into personal revival and we saw him do amazing things in our outreaches; it’s easy to believe he can today bring revival to Bangladesh. Our battle is to believe he can also revive Bloomington, Minnesota. This is our yearning…

Our ministry of YWAM Associates exists to say “Yes!” God can do “here and now” what he did “then and there.” We can see God work right in our midst and we can become advocates and assets of revival right where we live our ordinary lives. Join in. We’re YWAM Associates for such a time as this!

Mark & Jill Herringshaw are Coordinators for YWAM Associates North America.
Email Mark at mherringshaw@gmail.com.

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The best way to disciple someone is to give them responsibility

Missions is all about the revelation of God’s love

The Great Commission? Take the Kingdom of God to the earth

Missions*** is our natural response to friendship with God

[***”Hmmm,” you might murmur to yourself, “That’s me; I’m a nurse-missionary right here at home.” Or maybe you’re a teacher-missionary or a mother-missionary or a missionary-fireman . . . or anything else that God has called you into; that’s missions too.]

Death of a Ministry: most ministries die before the age of 30 or 40, because:
1. They move away from the authority of Scripture
2. They care less and less about missions
3. Finances become an extra emphasis
4. They no longer train people for ministry

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New Perspectives

1. A New Perspective on the Down Syndrome Veil
Margi Leech, New Zealand

There are times when ‘joy’ is not a word I could use (about my daughter Emily), because mostly, her having Down Syndrome(DS) is an inconvenience. That’s her gift to us—we are challenged to give up ourselves at times and to be better people. Our selfishness is often challenged. Our future of being free from kids when they all leave home may never happen. Our present financial situation may never improve because it is impossible for the mother of a child with special needs to hold down a well-paid job. read more
 

2. Removed by request
3. A New Perspective on some old YWAM Terminology
Laura Sutter, USA

I want to comment on the section about, "Is it a job or a ministry?" I have been thinking about this issue lately but from a different perspective. I guess I have always carried a passion to make sure the people who make up YWAM are treated well. That is why I work with Member Care.
read more

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       Childlikeness: Part Two

Last month I told you about the importance of teaching children—young children—to listen for God to speak to them. He will.

Here’s another story about our grandson Jonathan. I love what children say and how easy it is for them to hear from God, but as with us, it's not always easy to be obedient.

Our daughter Michelle works at Cedars Christian College where her two oldest kids are students. Her heart’s desire was for all four of her children to be at the same school, but the two youngest ones were very happy at the school close to where they lived. Michelle knew that the two little ones needed to hear from God for themselves, and she was careful not to pressure them. Michelle writes . . .

"David, then eight, always felt he should go to the new school, but Jonathan, six, did NOT want to change schools at all; he was quite happy where he was. He was in Grade 1 when we started praying about them coming to the school I worked.

“We prayed about it together as a family and my husband Mark and I prayed about it as a couple, but there was no clear word and the time for the final decision was fast approaching; we had to make a decision. All along, Jonathan was adamant that he wasn't going to change schools.

“Finally, I just decided to leave the decision totally to God and not get stressed about it.

“I hadn't brought up the subject of changing schools for some time when Jonathan came to me one day and told me, right out of the blue, that God had spoken to him. I asked him what God had said and Jonathan replied, ‘that God had told him to change schools, and go to Cedars along with his sister and brothers.”

“Quite shocked by this turn of events, I asked Jonothan when God had spoken to him and he said he had been out on the driveway one Saturday morning and he just heard God speak to him about it. He had tears in his eyes as he shared with me, saying, "But Mom, I really DON'T WANT to go there." So we knew it was God.

“Jonathan visited the new school a couple of times and each time came back with a severe headache. He still didn't 'want' to go, but told me that God doesn't change His mind.

“Finally, the day before I had to tell both schools our final decision about Jonathan, I asked him again if he was sure about changing schools. He looked at me and said that he had been thinking that day a lot about the story of Jonah and he did NOT want to be like Jonah who was disobedient—and he was supposed to go to this new school even though he still didn’t really want to.

“Long story short, now more than a year later, Jonathan is VERY happy in his new school, loves his teachers, and knows it was the right decision. The whole issue challenged me personally quite a bit with obedience—even when we don't want to be obedient.”

Jesus said whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:4). Childlike humility is to be honest and real, with no guile, no agenda and not trying to impress people.

Kids. Just being themselves, which is how God created them.

Love & Blessings,


 

 

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Renewal Camps & Gatherings 

April 21-24: (Easter Weekend) Australia! Your Only Camp This Year!
Easter Weekend at beautiful Tahlee, near Newcastle, NSW Download the Refresh brochure: Refresh 2011 brochure.pdf


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July 25-30: Norway (Skjærgårdsheimen, perhaps the most beautiful location in all of YWAM). Mark & Jill Herringshaw, former pastors of a very large Lutheran church in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, will be the speakers—they are now North American Coordinators for YWAM Associates.
Contact: Lidvard Andreassen - lidvard@online.no

July 27-Aug 3: Germany Hainichen (Saxony) Markus Egli plus Jeff and Romkje Fountain, former directors for YWAM Europe.
Contact: markus.egli@ywam.de

Aug 7-13: France (Le Gault la Forêt) Champagne region, near Paris, with Daniel Schaerer, former YWAM France Director: “Our Destiny in God.”

Aug 18-21: Switzerland (Burtigny) near Geneva, with Eliane Lack.

France & Switzerland Camps: www.ywamassociates.eu

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And Finally . . .

Airspeed, altitude or brains… two are required to successfully complete a flight. Pilot wisdom

Old age, to the unlearned is winter; to the learned it is harvest time. Yiddish saying

 

 

Peter Jordan, Editor  

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