I was just talking with a friend who wasn’t familiar with YWAM. That reminded me how YWAM was almost part of me for the past two decades, but others may not know about it at all. Saying that it is “Youth With A Mission” is OK, but merely a definition. Showing the YWAM logo (on the left) might help you notice YWAM in action if you see that logo on shirts, jackets or vests. Saying that it is a group of people with bases worldwide out to help and support people in their neighboring towns and villages (and cities) is a bit better. Saying that those in YWAM are out to bring the love of Jesus to those around them is even better. But I will use some video clips (very short) to maybe provide a peek at how YWAM is out there where they are needed… in these examples… in Ukraine. Sharyn is from Idaho but has been in Ukraine since 1996. She and her Ternopil Ukraine YWAM team have been providing food, medical supplies and other resources (including prayers) to those in Ukraine. Here are about 30 minutes of short videos from her and YWAM Ukraine:
- Cute YWAM 12 sec Video (0:12) Facebook (bringing food to the elderly) March 11
- YWAM Ukraine Video (4:49) Facebook (why Yulia stayed in Ukraine when the bombing began) March 3
- YWAM Kyiv Video (2:25) Facebook (food, friendship, medical supplies, dignity) March 28
- YWAM Ternopil Video (1:44) Facebook from our YWAM Lady (Sharyn) Feb 26
- YWAM Ternopil Video (2:21) from our YWAM Lady (Sharyn) March 16
- YWAM Ternopil Video (2:49) from our YWAM Lady (Sharyn) March 9
- YWAM Ternopil Video (4:08) Facebook from our YWAM Lady (Sharyn) March 7
- YWAM Ternopil Video (3:49) Facebook form our YWAM Lady (Sharyn) March 25
- YWAM Update from Sharyn (6min) April 10
- YWAM Update (2min 40secs – From Sharyn) April 28
- YWAM Update (2min 19secs – From Sharyn) April 29
- Food Arrived to YWAM from Romania and Netherlands (32secs) April 28
- YWAM Warehouse for food distribution (1min 52sec) April 23 (edited with music and subtitles) Hello, My name is Anya. I am from Donbas, From Torez City, Very Cool City! I serve at the YWAM Base. I am very happy that I can be useful. To be honest, I’m really happy that God gives opportunities to serve even with small things like this.
Hello Everyone, Hello from Ternopil. Behind my back you can see tons of different supplies. Truck with it came yesterday. Truck was from Romania. So today we packed 650 food bags. Our goal is to reach 700 bags. All these bags will be given to families in need in our city, Ternopil. Next week we’re planning to do it again for refugees. I’m so grateful for the team that we have. A lot of volunteers are working here, and they work very fast. It took 2 hours to pack 650 bags. This is so cool.
=> Basketball Hoop (1min) April 9 – supporting their community is more than just food and medical supplies … it is a basketball hoop for the kids!
=> Metro Grocery Market (2:30) April 15 – while most stores are closed, Metro Market is open and donating food to YWAM to distribute — of Facebook Video:
This is Sergey, director of Kyiv Metro (grocery market place)
What is your message for the people all around the world as a Ukrainian?
Sergey: I want to say that Ukraine has big and strong guts. It is our motherland and we will do everything to get victory. We believe that with your help we are strong. Thank you for your support. Thank you very much. Ukraine is a beautiful country with a great future and we will do everything for this.
Japhin (YWAM Kyiv): And thank you so much for supporting YWAM Kyiv and everything we do. Thank you so much.
Subtitles from the video: We have been buying a lot of groceries from the Metro. Even when most stores were closed they remained open to serve the city. They have always been keen to come alongside and help us (YWAM). Few days back Sergey (Metro) informed us that Metro is willing to help us serve Ukraine. We are happy about it as it will drastically increase the reach of people we help. Today itself with their support, we blessed 100 Soldiers, 30 families. It is a blessing to see businesses value serving people.
Japhin: Sergey of Metro, kept his promise and is donating quite a lot of stuff. Today we came to pick up 1 ton of potatoes, and he offered three tons. We didn’t have space. We are taking 1 ton of potatoes and all these things that he gave to us. Marie, are you happy?
Marie (YWAM Kyiv): I am so happy. And I am happy with all these shampoos. It will help us feel like humans again when we can wash ourselves properly. You know when you smell nice, you feel like a human again after all this tragedy.
Japhin: And you are excited for eating 1 ton of potatoes?
Marie: One ton of potatoes … I am not ready to eat all of them. But I know Ukrainians are ready to eat all of them, so yeah.
Japhin: We are excited. Thank you for supporting us.
I also have a 4 page PDF that you can view => YWAM Ukraine Stories
This is from that PDF (but the PDF looks much nicer and includes pictures):
YWAM Kyiv Marie – Our phone does not stop ringing. Today, we were called to an apartment building to deliver 15 food boxes. It felt completely abandoned. People would not open their doors. We could hear the noise of a television inside. But they would open only if we called on the phone. They are afraid to open the door. Too many reports about Russians infiltrating, looting, and violating residential areas. They are afraid to go out. Too much noise in the sky. So they just sit inside and wait for some kind of salvation. ALL of them pray. You can tell most of them are not religious people. But now, everybody prays. They say, “We have no hope besides God”.
Please pray for safety for the people in the apartments. Pray for God to continue to shield our team in Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine in every way, in their health, in their hearts, and from the enemy. The battle continues.
YWAM Kyiv Marie – Today, we got a call from an elderly home outside of Kyiv that was running out of food, medicine, and sanitary items. We got there just one hour before curfew was about to start. We were tired and exhausted after another long day of shop hopping. On the way, we had to pass several military checkpoints. They urged us to go back home and warned us that unauthorized driving during curfew is very dangerous. So we kept our eyes on the time and did not pay much attention where Google maps led us. Until we stood in front of a house that we suddenly recognized. It turned out that the elderly home was in the house that two missionary
families used to live in until last year!
What are the odds that in a city of 3 million, we would be called to an elderly home in the exact house where missionaries used to live?
We were just in awe and praising God as we walked through the door and looked into the shining eyes of lovely Ukrainian grandmas. All tiredness was gone in an instant. Though our eyes were on the clock, we had the most precious time with these old ladies. They told us they only got food once a day since the war started. All of their helpers but two left to the West. It was sad to see the most vulnerable left behind. They had tears in their eyes when they saw the amount of food we brought with us. We asked the staff how long they had been in this location. They shared an unbelievable testimony: they rented a space in the city center, but in January the rent was raised, so they moved to the village. In that same building where they used to live, a Russian plane crashed 5 days ago. In Ukraine, we say ‘Slava Bogu’ when we hear something like this – Praise be to God.
My hair is smelling from smoke after delivering meals. My legs and arms are sore from carrying heavy groceries. My eyes are tired from following live updates about fighting. Yet my heart is joyful. If this testimony from today evening taught me one thing; then it is this: Jesus is the One at work. Oh how little do we have to do with it. His work always continues. If we are in a place and put our fate in His hand; great, He will use us. Jesus says, if His people would be silent, the very stones would cry out. I believe this is true and today this word was filled with life in front of my eyes.
YWAM Kyiv Marie – Yesterday, a couple of people shared their need for some groceries. So we went to deliver. But to our surprise, when we arrived, they said they don’t need anything anymore. I was like, what shall we do with the stuff? We gave nothing away the whole afternoon. We even forgot about it.
Later in the evening, A grandma came up to us and asked if we had some tomato paste; I thought it was a random thing to ask a stranger. But Marie did not let the lady finish the sentence. She said, yes, we have it. Let me get it from the car. On our way to the car, I told her no, we don’t have tomato paste; Marie was like, let’s check. So when we opened the car, for sure, there was. We gave her all she wanted.
A few minutes later, a guy asked us if we had some bread for him. So we opened the car, and there was bread. In the next one hour, God led us to four other people. All women, who were in their 70’s. That 90 minutes with all these people brought us so much joy.
None of the encounters was planned. Random strangers came up and shared their needs. And this car was like the Magician’s hat. Things just kept coming out of it, to the point, that they could choose what they wanted. It was a happy day; God gave us the privilege to be a blessing to those six random people.
A new law is breaking through in Ukraine. It is the law of kindness. We see a need, but we also see kindness, meeting the need. We see evil, but we also see goodness overflowing in the streets from within.
When I came to Ukraine, if there was one thing I struggled with, it was that people never smiled at strangers or, for that matter, did not make eye contact. But now, I feel people share a collective bond—a feeling of oneness. There are no strangers; everyone is a friend. People smile more. People look into the eyes more. We have made more friends this month than all the months put together.
Everybody has time to open up about their life and share their story. You become friends with cooks and soldiers, and cashiers. Everybody goes all in because there is no plan B. If plan A doesn’t work, nothing matters anyway. So we throw in our best resources, our best skills, our own lives. Kyle Schlegel…Thanks for allowing us to use your car. It has blessed hundreds of people.
YWAM Kyiv Japhin & Marie – Today, we went to a government facility; suddenly,
the air alert started ringing in our ears, reminding us to find shelter. We looked
into each other’s eyes. We were standing 10 meters apart.
She yelled, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
I said; I don’t know.
I am someone who likes to have an answer. But at that moment, I had nothing. Two times every year, we have a fire safety drill. But we never got a war drill. So who can be prepared for a bomb?
A couple of seconds later, there was a loud blast close-by. We expected a loud explosion, and we were mentally ready for it. But our bodies were not; our minds were not prepared for it. We just stood there. Still looking into each other’s eyes, each holding groceries we were about to deliver.
These are the times when reason goes numb. You give up and are ready to accept the consequences of war.
When we arrived back home, I looked into Marie’s eyes. I knew she was a little shaken. We sat in the car for 10 minutes. What should I say? Can I say it was nothing? Can I say it was okay? It was not okay, and it was not nothing. It has been one month; we are not ready. Nobody can be ready. After the 10 minute talk in the car (more like 10 minutes staring at each other), we were ready to go, serve, and do what we were supposed to do. That blast did not stop us. So, we live another day to love and to serve.
God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
And now, the rest of the story:
YWAM was founded in 1960 and now has over 20,000 “unpaid staff” with bases in nearly every single country in the world.