Press Release

YWAM Leaders Meet at a Significant Time

Published on: September 27, 2023

With much cheering for the representatives of each nation, 620 YWAM leaders came together from Sept 14-18 in Chiang Mai Thailand. After all of the 85 nations in attendance were celebrated, the gathering began with a video from YWAM founders Loren and Darlene Cunningham. Due to Loren’s lung cancer he spoke lying in bed. He spoke of YWAM as a family, not an organization, and urged us to use our gifts and callings for Jesus and “keep living for Him.”

The following day, Jim Stier, the YWAM pioneer who helped to start YWAM’s work in Brazil, reflected on the vision that came from Loren over the years and still came from him in his video. “He’s lying there in bed and he’s still pressing in,” Jim observed. Jim challenged the YWAMers not to settle for what we’ve already accomplished but to keep pressing in for more of God and more of God’s purposes for the world.

Later, one of YWAM’s leaders in C. Asia continued this theme as he urged YWAMers to keep going to the hard places. As a symbol of this commitment he asked the audience to take off their shoes, hold them over their heads, look at the back wall and imagine one of the places or people groups where “we are not” and then do the wave from the front to the back of the auditorium as a symbolic act. The YWAMers did this as they prayed. Throughout the whole gathering there was a call for a resurgence in prayer at every level.

The event also included presentations about Oral Mother Tongue translation, a ministry that Loren Cunningham has passionately spoken about for the last few years. This method is already providing spoken translations of the Bible with accuracy using only two or three bilingual people from the language group. Many resources explain this method at prayomt.com.

The participants left the meeting with the prospect of seeing each other again at events coming up in the next year. The first is the YWAM outreach at the Paris Olympics July 22-August 11, ywamparisjetaime.com, and a YWAM Together gathering for everyone in the YWAM family worldwide which will take place in the Philippines from September 2-5.

Throughout the event, Loren’s health was on the minds of many of the leaders gathered. The message they heard time and again was to keep pressing forward. One of YWAM’s leaders in the Middle East spoke of asking for a double portion of Loren’s anointing just as Elisha did with Elijah. Said Garth Gustafson, one of YWAM’s leaders in SE Asia, “This is a tender time and a critical time and I believe it’s time to rise.”

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