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Step Two

There are a few things I know about myself. I like to tell stories, I like to feel wanted, I want to make a difference and I don’t want to wake up in my forties and wish I had become something that I wasn’t.  I know now is the chance to shape my life into what I want my future to look like but sometimes getting started makes me dizzy. I know step one is important but where do I plant my foot and how do I know that’s the right step? I don’t want to be just a dreamer. I want my dreams to become a reality and I want “can’t” to be replaced with “I already did.”

 

Step Two takes us from where we are, and puts us closer to where we want to be.
Step Two is the difference between complacency of being, and the activation of DOING.

 

At fifteen I realised there were only two places in my home town that would hire someone as young as me. One place was too far away for my Mom to drive me everyday so I was really limited with options. I wanted a job. I wanted to start having my own money, responsibility, and ownership of becoming my own person.  The first time I walked into this fast food restaurant I shook the manager’s hand and asked for a job. He said they weren’t hiring… “Sorry” and walked me out the door. As I made my way to the car I said back “Great, I’ll check back tomorrow!”

 

The next day he told me the same thing, so I told him the same thing… “I’ll see you tomorrow then!” After six days, I walked in and he chuckled. He tossed me a polo, a visor, and a name tag and said “I’ll see you tomorrow!”. My step 1 was wanting a job…that was easy. My step two was wanting it enough to require action. My step 3 was getting that job.

 

I worked there for over 4 years throughout school, summer, and even off and on through the beginning years of University. It was a great job!  I loved my co-workers, management, and the lessons I learned from cooking, dealing with money, being on time, that gossip is always a bad idea, the importance of the assembly line, the customer is always right (well….), and not to dance on greasy floors at closing (one headache and ambulance visit later). That job helped shaped me into the adult I am today. I wouldn’t change a thing about that time in my life! I did however wake up one day, now at the age of 19 and wondered if there was something more for me. Wondering If I was just meant to bring joy and love people where I was and that be all. Or maybe there was something out there for me as well.

 

I found myself at a University that I hated, a little lonely and feeling a little emptier than I had envisioned. I had friends around but it just wasn’t enough for me.  I was on the track to become a nurse.  I had no desire to be a nurse but that’s what my older and cooler friend was so it seemed to make sense. I began looking up overseas trips to Africa.  Looking back, I’m not sure what that would have solved but it seemed like a good idea.  Having just got out of a relationship in which I thought was going to last forever, I found myself at a loss and I just wanted SOMETHING. Anything. I’ll spare you the long story here but in short – I ended up on a YWAM Townsville website and signed up for DTS (Discipleship Training School). I had no idea what I was in for and to be honest I’m glad I didn’t!  I didn’t know what I needed but this was it. I got on a plane for the first time in my life and flew half way across the world to Townsville, Australia. I found myself completely out of my comfort zone. I was suddenly aware that my accent was strong, there were things about the world I had no clue about, and that I had a lot to learn.

 

Once I arrived I realised that we would be involved in training for a portion of our DTS and then later going on outreach to Papua New Guinea or Thailand. Taking this six month gap in my life to focus on myself, my faith, and others was the most rewarding six months of my life at that point. I learned how to communicate with other people from all nations!  I learned to love people even when it’s hard to. To prefer others and not ALWAYS have my own opinion. I learned that everyone, just like me has “stuff” going on. We worked through stuff together, learning to lean into and strengthen our faith. I was seeing that this world is full of humans, not machines.

 

What I didn’t realise is that what I needed from this DTS was something I couldn’t even identify until I had experienced it.

 

I needed to be away from the known, the normal, the habits of everyday life.  I was put far outside my comfort zone in an incredibly safe place with people that cared and shared the same values. Not everyone agreed on everything and it wasn’t always easy – but it was always worth it! I was championed, affirmed, challenged, loved, and accepted.

 

After flying far from home I realised that I had put myself in a position where I could choose to sink in my own insecurities, bottle up things inside, and close others out or I could grasp my own personality tightly, learn to make my own decisions, lead myself, choose growth, and own my identity. No one knew the other stuff that had always held me back. I finally felt what it meant to thrive, to love and use my strengths, to be okay with my weaknesses while still growing in them.

 

The second part of DTS was outreach.  Once again, I boarded a plane to a country I never imagined I would see with my own eyes.  As we landed in Thailand, I was in awe that God had led me to a point in life, that I could never have dreamed of myself. It felt like an accident that I had ended up here, but it wasn’t.

 

Spending seven weeks in Thailand and another two in the Outback of Australia was a whole new eye opening experience. I was able to live with orphan refugees fleeing the Burmese Civil War, show them love, teach them English, and watch them laugh for the first time in a long while. I was able to meet children in begging rings along the boarder of Thailand who were scarred from acid burns and working hard to meet their $1.00 USD quota for the day in preventing more scars.  I sat with them on the ground and ate dinner with them and listened to their stories. I was invited to Burma to see their homes where they hosted our team with fresh yams and juice on their living room floors. I met women working in bars in Pattaya who were just happy to talk instead of having painful expectations from whoever decided to rent them for the night. They saw first hand love and got to relax with people who weren’t after their own selfish needs being fulfilled. We instilled a hope that does not disappoint and a love that goes far beyond what we are capable of.  They got to see the heart of God and realise just how valuable they are.

 

Developing my own faith and character was enough to convince me it was worth it, but when you partner that with the opportunity to use what you have learned to radically affect other lives… that’s a fulfilment you can’t replicate. It’s a high that doesn’t crash easily.  My gap year taught me things that now, five years later I am still using and reflecting on.

 

What I loved most about my Discipleship Training School is that it wasn’t a temporary fix. It was a type of growth that is sustainable for time to come. DTS really is just the beginning! In the last 5 years DTS has only made my life sweeter, and while I would relive it in a heartbeat – it just keeps giving, and getting better.

 

As I reflect, doing a DTS as a gap year was just the Step Two I never knew I needed.

 

Step Two got me to Step Three, and continually gives me excitement for the many more steps I’ll be taking in my life. It’s no longer just about me, it’s about what I am doing to make my life count and that’s something I’ll never regret.

 

5 Big Life Lessons I Learned On My Gap Year:

  1. Giving is far more rewarding than receiving
  2. Let go of control, it’s more fun that way
  3. My past does not define my future
  4. People are the worlds most valuable resource and asset
  5. Only you are responsible for you, so figure out who you want to be
Lea Emerson

Lea is a bright ambitious young woman. She’s from Paris, Texas but has been in Australia on staff for 5 years. 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
  • 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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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.

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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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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!