One thing i frequently say about YWAM is "the only constant is change" After 12 years of leading the campus here in Ensenada, we've decided its time to hand the mantle over to the next leader and to serve the mission in another way. As you can imagine this is a big change for us, and a decision we have taken over a year to get to.
You may remember us first coming to Mexico back in 2006. Initially coming to be the "Computer Guy" but then we took over leading the training department for 5 years and then leading the Ensenada Campus for the past 12 years. Its been an incredible journey for us as we've grown in our leadership and seen 1000's of lives transformed through the YWAM Ensenada campus, through building homes, training schools and our local ministries in the communities.
The role i'm taking on is Director of Mobilisation for YWAM San Diego /Baja. This is a new role that we've created and will be serving alongside our founder and the director of development to serve the ministry in the areas of communications, marketing, student recruitment and fund raising. All with a goal to build and grow the ministry to enable us to be able to serve more people and see more lives transformed.
Ive already had a number of questions about my new role, so here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
When do you start the new role?
We wanted to make the transition as smooth and healthy as possible, so we had a long run of the first 6 months of the year with me leading but deferring to the new leader on most things. Then in June we did the hand over. Its been a very healthy transition, and Stephanie is doing an amazing job of leading the base, as i move into my new role.
Will you still live in Ensenada?
100% YES - Ensenada is our home, and is an amazing city that we've grown to LOVE over the years. The kids are still in school and university here. Most of my work is done remotely with lots of Zoom meetings. We will still be part of the YWAM Ensenada community as we have been for almost 18 years.
Were you Fired?
I know some of you were wanting to ask this, so thought id answer your thoughts... No we were not fired. The Ensenada campus is thriving. We have more staff and more activity than any time in our history. Part of leadership is learning to replicate yourself and do yourself out of a job. Ive spent the last number of years training and developing someone for this time, so the transition has been smooth, easy and natural. The change of role is a sideways move to help the whole ministry expand, and we feel now is the time to hand off the day to day logistics of the campus to help bring leadership in a different way.
Will you be traveling much?
If this year is anything to go by, then yes. Already this year i've been serving or attending events in Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Denver, Thailand, Juarez and ill be close to Mexico City in December.
Strengthen the Steel, Leaders gathering in Kona Hawaii
Central America & Mexico Gathering in Costa Rica
If you've not seen it yet, check out this amazing short film, directed by David Cunningham, based on true life events. Enjoy
Last week, the world lost an amazing leader. Someone who changed the face of World Missions, invited millions of people into the life of loving God and loving others, and more personally changed mine and my families lives.
On Oct 6th, Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, and the first missionary to travel to every nation in the world got his final stamp on his passport as he graduated into heaven.
He will be greatly missed by all of us, but our commitment is to keep going and carry on the legacy he started.
First time we met Loren and Darlene Cunningham in Ensenada in 2006
With Loren & Darlene at their home in Kona Hawaii
For more information lorencunningham.com
LOREN CUNNINGHAM, FOUNDER OF YOUTH WITH A MISSION (YWAM) WENT TO BE WITH JESUS ON OCTOBER 6, 2023 AT THE AGE OF 88
The ministry he founded, Youth With A Mission, an ever-expanding global missions movement born in 1960, has reached into every nation on earth through evangelism, training and mercy ministries (YWAM.org). Tens of thousands of full-time staff participate from 200+ countries and various denominations and Christian traditions, serving at over 2,000 YWAM locations in nearly 200 nations. Millions have served in YWAM programs as students, short-term volunteers and fulltime staff.
Many have credited YWAM as being among the world's largest mission movements. But when presented with this claim, Loren always deflected the glory to Jesus, saying, "Well, however large it is, it's not large enough because Jesus' last commandment to reach the whole world with the Gospel has not been completed." He was well-known for his call to build bridges of unity within the body of Christ, always quick to recognize the scores of other missions and churches serving together in partnership.
The Vision Of The Waves
Global initiatives launched under Loren's leadership include King’s Kids International, the University of the Nations, YWAM Ships (28 vessels currently serve the most isolated islands and coastlands), and myriads of other ministries birthed by leaders he inspired.
The Christian Magna Carta
The Christian Magna Carta, penned by Loren in 1981, included both his personal goals and YWAM's corporate goals that are implicit in the Gospel:
Everyone on earth has the right to
1. Hear and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
2. Have a Bible available in his/her own language,
3. Have a Christian fellowship available nearby to be able to meet for fellowship regularly each week and to have biblical teaching and worship with others in the body of Christ,
4. Have a Christian education available for their children,
5. Have the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing, shelter, and health care,
6. Lead a productive life of fulfillment spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Influencing Every Sphere of Society
Loren was also the Co-founder (together with his wife Darlene and Dr. Howard Malmstadt) of the University of the Nations (UofN), a global ministry of YWAM ( www.uofn.edu) designed around the "Seven Spheres" that influence every society. In 1975, God gave insights about these spheres simultaneously to Loren and Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). The UofN was established in 1978 and has grown to offer more than 600 courses and seminars (some in nearly 100 languages) held at more than 800 locations/campuses in 160+ countries. Hundreds of thousands of students are registered within the global UofN system. They all begin with the Discipleship Training School (DTS), which serves as the entry-level course and pre-requisite for all other UofN courses and for becoming YWAM staff.
Ending Bible Poverty
This passion became fine-tuned in his final years to focus on making an ORAL translation of the Bible available in each of the 8000+ MOTHER TONGUE languages on earth (PrayOMT.com). A person's mother tongue is the language that speaks straight to their heart, making this very important. The goal is to fulfill Jesus' prayer for God's will to be done "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). And what is being done in heaven? According to Revelation 7:9, there is "a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.'"
In his final days, though his body was riddled with cancer, God energized Loren to "Zoom" with tens of thousands on every continent to share this passion. Just as he showed people how to live "full on" for Jesus, he also modeled how to faithfully finish the race God has set before each one of us. These were precious days of impartation into and prayer over the next generation and the next, who responded with an emphatic "yes - we accept and will carry out the call." The future of YOUTH With A Mission, University of the Nations, and YWAM Ships is in good hands! The largest number of leaders and volunteers in YWAM are young. They are confident, capable and committed to leading YWAM into all God has for the coming 60+ years.
Born in Taft, California, Loren's family heritage was rich with generations of Christian ministers. He married Darlene Scratch in 1963, who had an equally rich Christian ministry background and complementary leadership call, and from that point, they led YWAM together. He was the apostolic visionary, and she was the people/team developer and implementer.
Loren's educational background includes three Bachelor's degrees, a Master of Science in Administration of Education, and three Honorary Doctorates. He authored six books: Is That Really You, God? (translated into more than 140 languages), Making Jesus Lord, Daring to Live on the Edge, Why Not Women?, The Book that Transforms Nations—the Power of the Bible to Change Any Country, We Can End Bible Poverty Now and No Boundaries.
For more information lorencunningham.com