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In January of this year I saw a photo of myself that was taken professionally for an interview. I remembered the day perfectly.  I was wearing my favourite shirt, a cardigan, and my make up and hair looked good. I felt like these photos were going to be the bomb.

And they were… in that destructive, and dreaded kind of way.

When the photos were edited and sent to me I was in shock! Do I look like that?  When did I let this happen? My eyes looked empty, my smile was fake, my clothes were sloppy, I carried my shoulders full of insecurity, and to top it off I was at least 65lbs overweight.

I’m 25.  I’m still young.

When I saw the photos I looked at myself differently in the mirror everyday. Is that REALLY what I look like? With 40 photos taken on the same day it couldn’t just be a bad angle, surely it was real.  I decided it was time to make a difference.  This wasn’t a weight battle – it was a life battle. I refused to sit around and look empty. I have an able body, and mind. I have a life to live. I have an adventurous and spontaneous heart – where was it?!

I started making changes, that day.

I didn’t set up a diet and work out plan, and I didn’t try to make big changes all on “Monday”. I didn’t indulge on all the junk food in my cupboard before starting a crash diet. I didn’t join a gym and buy a bunch of workout clothes.  I did however decide that I was going to take my life back again.  I stopped working 60-70 hours a week, and started reading more. I stopped complaining about things, and started being thankful. I stopped trying to fill my time with useless things, and started being intentional. I stopped going for “walks”, and started doing things that brought me life. I put myself around people who I could see living a full life, and I decided that I wouldn’t wait for that to just happen to me.  Today, I will enjoy my life and make the most of it.

I realised there were a few things missing in my life that I needed to embrace more, and I thought maybe, just maybe… you might need to hear them too.

Being alone

I used to spend so much time around other people that I forgot what I was like. What are the things that I like, what do I like to do, what are my opinions, beliefs, dreams?  No music, no TV, no reading… just be. Focus on yourself and focus on being proud of who you are and loving yourself. There’s balance in everything, and I’m not talking about isolating yourself from everyone around you. I’m talking about learning about yourself, loving yourself, and taking time to embrace the time you have alone – you’ll essentially be loving others, by learning to love who you are and being that person!

Having fun

A lot of us have forgotten what it’s like to have fun! Getting older doesn’t mean losing your youthful spirit and giving up having a good time. It’s recommended to have 8 hours rest/sleep, 8 hours work, and 8 hours of something that brings life!  There’s a season for everything, and there may be times where you’re working overtime and putting in the long yards but don’t let that become your normal. If you burn out then you wont be effective.  Allow yourself to live, do things you enjoy, and laugh!!! Be intentional to have fun, and embrace it in your life – what do you have to lose!

People

Humans have accomplished incredible things on this earth.  Like running a mile in under 4 minutes, climbing everest in just over 8 hours, or landing on the moon – just to name a few. Understanding that people are the most important creatures that walk the earth, and that we are made to have great relationship with those around us is incredibly life giving!  Embrace the people around you, hear their stories, share life together, and I promise you wont have any regrets. 🙂

Change

I know, most of us hate this one.  Admittedly… so do I.  I will say that living mundane, habitual, and predictable days is what got me into a 5 year “slump” without even realising it.  Keep life interesting, accept and embrace change, and never get bored.  Boredom is an excuse to be lazy, don’t let it creep up on you!

Your Faith

Letting myself get comfortable almost cost me my faith. I started operating out of my own strength, with my own vision, for my own desires, and my own purposes. I forgot to live for the One who gave me life, and that’s exactly why I felt empty and lost.  When I started spending alone time with myself, I realised that God was there too. When I started having fun, I remembered that God created my adventurous and spontaneous spirit.  When I started embracing the people around me, I was reminded that his creation is beautiful.  When I accepted change, I was able to see that God has new things for me each and every day. Embrace your faith and remember that it comes first. After all, what is it to gain the whole world but lose your soul!!!

I never want to look back at another photo of myself and see that person I saw in January.  I want to be full of life, love, and energy – making my life count, and making a difference in others.  Last week (10 months after seeing that horrid photo) I saw another photo of myself. This time I saw a healthier, happier me. I looked familiar and it felt good.  I’m 30lbs lighter, my eyes are full, my smile is genuine, and my life is richer.

It’s good to be alive. Let’s start living like it.

*If you’re looking for a place to take time out of your life, focus on your own faith, develop in character, grow, and be challenged then we encourage you to check out doing a Discipleship Training School! It’s a great way to impact the nations, embrace life, and focus on building great foundations for the future.  Enquire below for more info!

Lea Emerson

Lea Emerson joined us in 2011 for her Discipleship Training School from small town Paris, Texas.
Lea serves in many different areas but plays a main role in Marketing and Communications. She’s an excellent leader, teacher, story teller, and never short of an idea. She enjoys coffee, being with good company, and watching documentaries.

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Discipleship Training School - Townsville Campus

Our Discipleship Training School (DTS) gives you the opportunity to set aside five and a half months of your life to grow in your faith while serving the world around you. After 13 weeks of training and discipleship at our campus in Townsville, Australia, we take you on nine weeks of cross-cultural outreach. The DTS is a life-changing experience! 

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship 

Dates
  • 28 January - 28 June, 2024
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 13 October, 2024 - 14 March, 2025
  • 26 January - 27 June, 2025
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025
  • 19 October, 2025 - 20 March 2026

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Discipleship Training School - Port Moresby Campus, Papua New Guinea

The DTS will run from our satellite campus in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The DTS will include a unique combination of discipleship, hands-on missions experience during both lectures and outreach, and the opportunity to make history as we establish a new campus in Port Moresby for generations to come.

Dates
  • 28 January - 28 June, 2024
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 26 January - 27 June, 2025
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025

 

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Apply Port Moresby

Introduction to Global Health & Development

Be immersed in a powerful combination of essential basic healthcare knowledge and community development training, with a focus on preventing illness, promoting holistic wellbeing, and empowering communities to develop their strengths.

Townsville Campus

To be announced

Port Moresby Campus
  • 14 July - 13 December, 2024
  • 13 July - 12 December, 2025
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HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site 

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

 

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Global Health & Development Gap Year

Our Global Health & Development Gap Year calls those whose heart beats to see communities thriving - physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. The Global Health & Development Gap Year is designed for both those that have experience in the health / community development industry, and for those who are starting out on their journey of healthcare in missions.

10802NAT - Certificate III in Discipleship

HLT31220 - Certificate III in Basic Health

HLTAID009 -  Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

HLTAID013 - Provide First Aid in remote or isolated site

HLTAID014 -  Provide Advanced First Aid

Dates

28 January - 13 December 2024

26 January - 12 December 2025

 

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Discipleship Bible School

During the course, you will have an opportunity to dig deep into the Bible, reading through all 66 books, gaining an overall perspective of God’s story. You will learn techniques for effective Bible study, and your speakers will help unlock the Bible’s fascinating content.

You will also be taught on topics. For example – you will look at Worldview and Origins as you study through Genesis, Exodus, and Job. Or you might look at Leadership and Worship as you study the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Chronicles, and the Psalms. Each book is filled with insights to be discovered!

Dates

28 January - 28 June 2024

26 January - 27 June 2025

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Introduction to Radio & Media

Good communication is essential for strong relationships, healthy families, and communities! Our mission is to train and equip effective communicators to share good news and influence positive community growth.

CUA31020 Certificate III in Screen and Media

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All Courses

Our wide range of registered training courses are designed to help equip you for your field of passion.

We combine elements of informal, formal, and non-formal education to not only impart knowledge and skill, but also good character, important life skills, and the motivation to serve and invest into the lives of others.

Learn more about our approach to training

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Learn More (Port Moresby Campus)

Join YWAM Staff

Our volunteer staff team is a diverse mix of different nationalities, ages, skills, giftings, and backgrounds. Their dedication and passion makes what we do possible and we are always looking to expand our team!

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Pathways with YWAM

We have a range of pathways within our training and ministry that allows you to specialise in your area and grow your skillsets. From Hospitality to Global Health you can upskill yourself while impacting those around you

 


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Resources
Joining us for a Discipleship Training School (DTS) or Gap Year with us soon? We have compiled a few resources to help prepare you for the amazing journey that’s ahead!

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For Parents
Do you have a child that is interested in a YWAM DTS or Gap Year? We have created some resources for you as your child navigates their YWAM experience. 
Canvas Online Training

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YWAM Precinct

Our recently developed YWAM Precinct located in Townsville’s CBD is the perfect hub for youth to find belonging and empowerment. A high, medium and low ropes course, brand new cafe, and multi-purpose warehouse space for seminars and other activities allows youth the opportunity to flourish through adventure based learning.

 

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Youth Ambassadors

As a Youth Ambassador you will have the opportunity to lead your peers and the wider community in helping to support the work of YWAM Medical Ships in Papua New Guinea.

 

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Work Experience

We offer the opportunity for students to complete their work experience at our city campus in Townsville. This unique opportunity gives students the ability to not only explore a future career pathway, but also get a taste of working with a local charity that is dedicated to serving the community.

 

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Schools & Youth Leaders

We know that really quality, committed youth workers, teachers and families are some of the best things young people can have in their formative years. Our hope is to make your job a little bit easier by offering adventure based learning, mentoring resources, leadership and training pathways, and service based learning opportunities for youth. 

 

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Transitional Accommodation

YWAM operates a home in Townsville for at-risk youth. YWAM receives tenant referrals from local collaborating youth support organizations.

 

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Vision & Approach

We have the hope to create a safe environment for the youth of Townsville to be, believing everyone has the right to hope for an abundant and healthy life physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. YWAM works in partnership and by invitation through Australia and Papua New Guinea.

 

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School Seminars

Our school seminar programs are designed to empower and motivate youth to live full and productive lives. Book these engaging and interactive seminars to strengthen your young people. 

 

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Youth Adventures

Youth Adventures is the ultimate service based learning opportunity for young people. We do all the work for your school or youth group so you can do the mission!

 

Pre-Register for Impact Summer 2024

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Impact Summer

Make an Impact during your Summer as you engage in epic adventure, learning and serving. 

Gain valuable skills through hands-on learning experiences at The Stable and the new YWAM Precinct, complete with hiropes and rock climbing wall.

 

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VET in Schools

Vocational education is one of the best ways for young people to explore their passions and get equipped. We offer several registered training programs for youth. In addition to all of the expected elements of a training program, our courses have an emphasis on building good character and the soft skills needed to be employable, while also giving students the chance to practice their skills within our organisation. 

 


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Adventure Based Learning
Adventure based learning programs are complete with a high, medium, and low ropes course, cafe, and multi-purpose youth space to run programs with a ‘learn by doing’ and ‘challenge by choice’ philosophy.
 

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Precinct Cafe

Help build healthy lives and communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea while dining at the YWAM Precinct Cafe

YWAM Precinct Cafe is a not-for-profit cafe located at 312 Walker Street in Townsville’s CBD.

 


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Dental Trailer

YWAM Medical Ships is now operating a Dental Trailer in collaboration with key stakeholders in Port Moresby with the purpose of providing dental services, training opportunities, and health education to schools in the National Capital District.

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Small Boat Patrol Outreaches

YWAM Medical Ships is collaborating with key stakeholders in the nation by utilising small boats to bring health and training services right to the doorstep of those who need it most. These patrols have a specific focus on empowering the youth of communities to live healthy lives to contribute to a healthy nation.

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Ship Outreaches

YWAM Medical Ships - Australia & PNG has been operating medical and training vessels in PNG since 2010.

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Our Footprint

Delivering basic services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) poses enormous challenges with 84 percent of the population living in remote, rural areas.

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Annual Reports

Read or download our annual reports. 

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Advocate

Join the YWAM Medical Ships team by becoming a Community Ambassador or Youth Ambassador in your local community.

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Apply Now  (Port Moresby Campus)
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Mission Build
Mission Building is a volunteer program that gives you the opportunity to experience life at our campus all while supporting our work in Australia and PNG. Join us for two weeks to three months at a time that suits you!
 
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Youth Adventures
Youth Adventures is the ultimate service based learning opportunity for young people. We do all the work for your school or youth group so you can do the mission!