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I dreaded my name being called.

 

I knew not making eye contact wouldn’t change the fact that my name had already been printed on one of those small, pink pieces of paper.  I knew that next to my name was something I had hated my whole life…It’s meaning.

We were week two into my Discipleship Training School and I still wasn’t convinced I was even meant to be there.  It was hot, humid, and I didn’t know anyone. I knew there were more things in my life that I needed to learn, but I had no idea what they were or where to even begin. Weeks before flying to Australia I remember staring at the Bible wondering how I could ever memorize everything in there before I got to YWAM. I was overwhelmed and felt completely inadequate. What was I doing?

As I waited for my name to be called the girl next to me must have been chewing a whole pack of gum, I thought surely the smacking would stop but it didn’t. It made me anxious. I was at the end of my patience and this was just what I needed to convince myself to pack my bags and book a flight back to Texas. Just as I zipped my bag everything stopped.  The speaker in a stern voice said words I’m likely to always remember.

“Every one stop what they are doing. Just stop. There’s someone here still not convinced they are suppose to be. Maybe you’re scared, or bored… whatever it is we’ve got time to work it out.”

 

I thought “well, this is weird.  How does she know?!”

She stopped the class and everyone was given some alone time to think.  Just think.  No assignments, nothing to learn or lookup – just think.  I never needed alone time, I love people and I am deep thinker naturally so I was a little bothered by the silence. I went to the corner of the room and closed my eyes. A soft touch on my shoulder and a few words were whispered and everything changed in my heart.

“Lea, just wait. There’s something more for you here than you can see for yourself… but you’ve got to trust it and give it some time.  Just wait on God and he’s going to show you.”

 

That seemed mysterious, vague, and not too promising but I decided to give in.  I’ll wait it out a bit I guess, a few more days couldn’t hurt. (I still moved seats from my gum chewing friend.) We took our seats again, and while I decided to wait it out I knew the dreaded moment was near where she would call out my name and it’s meaning.  We were learning how to walk in our identity. Whatever that meant.

When I was younger I was told my name meant “Warrior”.

 

I hated that.  I was a country kid, from a small town.  I had an older brother that I adored and that meant growing up as a tom boy.  I had short hair, and I liked ninja turtles. I didn’t always fit in just the way people thought I should, but I knew who I was and I was okay with that.

While I sometimes felt like a warrior, I knew there was this other side of me most people didn’t know. Not because I hid it, I guess I just wasn’t sure how to show people. I felt soft, and sensitive.  I felt compassionate.  I felt deep, and loving. I wanted people to see that I wasn’t just strong, or good at task and getting things done.  I wanted people to see that I had a great heart, a kind spirit… but if people never saw that, was it really there? Maybe it was a question I didn’t really want to know the answer to…Other names were called, they had beautiful meanings.

Courtney- Beautiful and Strong/ Matthew- Giver of life and Saint.

Then it came… “Lea… “ a long pause…“Delicate”

I had never heard that meaning before, and I was shocked for a moment.  That’s not me, that’s not the meaning of my name.  I’m not delicate. There was another Lea on our school.  Same spelling, but we couldn’t be more opposite- she was delicate. As she went up to collect her card people awed and nodded their heads…  as I grabbed mine I heard chuckles throughout the crowd. Two weeks in and they could already see it. I held back my tears, laughed with them, and grabbed my card.

I folded it up and stuck it in my book hoping I would never find it again.

 

The week went on and I felt cold to everything the speaker said.  I never let anything sink in, I am a warrior after all.

Days later my classmate Lea walked up to me with tears in her eyes.  She gave me a hug and I wondered what was upsetting her.  She handed me her name card, and looked me in the eyes.  She said in this soft, but powerful voice “Lea, you are delicate.” It was a moment that changed my life.  Something so simple, but so complex in my heart. I realized on my DTS that I could be both.

I am both strong, and sensitive. I am driven and understanding. I am task and relational. I am a talker, and a listener. I am quick, and I am patient. 

I am a warrior, and I am delicate. I am a Delicate Warrior.
I realized that the fullness of who I was created to be was understood by the one who created me. I realized that I didn’t have to change who I was on my DTS, I just got to be me and learn who I was meant to be.

I realized that the meaning of my name didn’t mean too much, but what I believed about myself was far more important.

Now five years later, I can’t believe the opportunities I have had and all the things I have learned.  I can’t believe the lives I have impacted, and the difference that we have made together. I can’t fathom what my life would have been like if that speaker had not stopped class, and allowed us to just think.

Lea Emerson

Lea is a bright ambitious young woman. She’s from good ole Texas but has been in Australia on staff for the past 5 years. Lea serves in many different areas but plays a main role in Marketing and Communications. She’s an excellent leader, teacher and story teller. 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
  • 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
  • 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

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

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.

Register Your Interest

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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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Advocate

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

Apply Now (Townsville Campus)
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!
 

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Townsville City Campus - DTS, Volunteer, Donation
Support our community service projects and youth work in North Queensland by giving a donation to the YWAM Townsville City Campus. The campus also serves as the headquarters for the YWAM Training and Medical Ship, 99.9 Live FM, all training activities, youth work, and a home-base for all of our volunteer staff and students.
  • DTS Fees
  • Volunteer Fees
  • Tax-Deductible Donations
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Donate to support the work in Papua New Guinea
Join us in the vision of building healthy lives and communities for a healthy Papua New Guinea by giving a tax deductible donation that has the power to change lives!
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Ship Outreaches, Dental Trailer Outreaches, and more!

Joining us on outreach in Papua New Guinea soon? We are looking forward to having you! Your volunteer fees can be paid online on this page

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YWAM Medical Ships - Port Moresby Campus

Payments are in Papua New Guinean Kina (PGK) currency. Volunteer payments, donations, and projects in Port Moresby, PNG.

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Support Our Volunteers
All of our staff are full-time, self-funded volunteers, including our Managing Director! Each of our volunteers raise their own financial support outside of the organisation. This includes essential living expenses, outreach costs, and travel expenses.
Our staff include accountants, cooks, administrators, mariners, outreach leaders, medical personnel, trainers, housekeepers, program developers, communications officers, youth workers, and so many more! It truly does take a dedicated and diverse team to make what we do possibl

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Leave A Gift

Leaving a gift to YWAM in your will is an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.

Take Me There!
Charity Gift Shop

Join us in the vision of supporting healthy villages in Papua New Guinea by giving a tax-deductible donation that has the power to change lives!