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My childhood home was always a safe place, a refuge. Even when I moved to Uni I knew I could come home for the weekend and find rest, love, and Mom’s home cooked meals.

It’s a small house, sitting several hundred feet from the road, nestled in around the pines and a row of trees. Trees that provide homes to squirrels, cardinals, and a tree house hung for me and my brother, when we make-believed we were superheroes that were out saving the world!

Having just moved home to this place after 6 years of being overseas, I find myself feeling the same way I did then, safe, rested, and loved. Missing my adventurous life overseas but feeling right at home, here at the same time.

As I sit and look at these trees I can see they’ve aged just as I have. We’ve owned this house for 24 years now and the trees are bigger, older, and much different. Some of them still healthy, growing taller and broader each year. I glanced up to notice that a mistletoe had made it’s way into the tops of my favourite tree. The big oak that held the tire swing years and years ago. It’s likely the oldest one on the property and slowly it’s big strong branches are starting to fall off and die.

At first I was sad, but then God began to highlight something I was missing. Trees have always reminded me of how elegant, thoughtful, and faithful God is. Each tree is unique and while some may be similar, none are exactly the same. They take root into the ground and bring up life. They are homes to animals, they provide shelter, oxygen, and they bare fruit.

My eyes focused in on the mistletoe. Remembering that we’ve made it something glamorous for the holidays. A romantic gesture that when two people walk under it they should share a kiss. What we forget is that mistletoe is like a silent killer for big trees such as the oak.

It’s a parasite that while it looks green, lively, and healthy it’s actually smothering what this tree is meant to do, as it steals the life from it. We’ve glamorised it and forgotten that all fruit isn’t necessarily good.

I started thinking of the things in my life that have bore fruit due to my decisions. Things that might look glamorous to me or to others. Things that are alive and have the appearance of being good, all the while smothering what God originally intended.

The thing about mistletoe is that once one tree has it, it quickly spreads across to its neighbours unsuspectingly. It runs rampant and there’s almost no way to completely stop it. People might admire it from afar while the tree is silently unable to live its full potential. It’s a parasite that while it looks green, lively, and healthy it’s actually smothering what this tree is meant to do, as it steals the life from it.

I started to see what God was showing me. I started to allow my mind to realise the things that I’ve gotten use to, or even found pride in. Things I thought were good but things that were never meant to be a part of my life. I started to see that there were things in me, that because of my choices it had affected other people in allowing my decisions to take root and become a part of them too.

Somehow my vision got blurred along the way. My heart wasn’t sharp anymore. I had allowed my conscience to become dull and these mistletoe attributes became a part of me. I was even blind enough in thinking all the fruit I was bearing was good. So here’s to seeing the mistletoe. Not just for our own sake…but the sake of stopping it from spreading to the lives of others. For the sake of becoming exactly who God intended us to be and not allowing anything to rob us of that.

Sometimes there are areas of our lives that we don’t know are problematic until we allow God to show us. It’s then our job to kiss the mistletoe goodbye and step into the fullness of who we are created to be and what we are created to do. If you’re wanting to take that next step in your life, join us on a journey of discovery of purpose and truth. Sign up to one of our unique Discipleship Training Schools.

*** Sometimes life’s biggest moments come at the least expected times.

If you’re keen for 22 weeks of life changing moments just like this one, then check out one of our Discipleship Training School (DTS) options to not only learn about your faith, but experience it!

Lea Emerson

Alumni DTS and Staff Member for 5 years, Lea, is a bright ambitious young woman from Paris, Texas, USA. She’s an excellent leader, teacher, communicator, and one of the best story tellers you’ll ever get the privilege of hearing from! 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!