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Every missionary’s story is unique, just like we are unique, as children of God! Here’s how God led me into a lifestyle of missions. 

 

Inspired by stories  

As a child, I heard missionary stories from speakers who visited my church, with their fantastic photos and amazing adventures. I always loved seeing pictures and films from or about missionaries, they seemed like real-life heroes to me!

 

Learning to serve 

As a teen, I served my church. Setting up chairs, singing in the youth choir, teaching Children’s church and washing dishes. it didn’t matter what it was, I was learning to serve God, rather than men. My youth pastor took time to encourage me in my giftings and help me get some training to serve in the wider church setting. The choir director helped pioneer new ways of involving the youth in church services – making me understand that I did not have to work to become part of the church, I was the church, and had a vital role in serving the world! 

 

My first missions trip 

At the end of high school, my parents asked what I would like for a graduation gift. The one thing I wanted was to go on a mission trip that our regional church was sponsoring. It was a big step for my parents to let me go, but I found I enjoyed being out of my comfort zone, encountering new cultures. I learned to be grateful for my life and family (not always easy for a teenager) and I gained a new perspective on what it meant to be a Christian, on God’s faithfulness in the midst of difficulties, and even on the suffering I witnessed. I found creative ways to use my gifts for God’s glory. And finally, I learned that when a team works together well, people would see Jesus in us! 

 

Learning to make work my mission field 

When I became a teacher, my work was my mission field. Praying for my public school students and their families, seeking God for the best way to teach each one, and keeping a servant’s heart when my work was not appreciated – those were my challenges. Later, when my husband-to-be and I started getting to know each other, we spent time encouraging my students at their sports games, piano and ballet recitals, and even yard sales! I was always looking for ways to share the love of God in word and deed! I often got to speak with parents about big life issues and many accepted my offers of prayer and help. Because I had summers off as a teacher, I continued to go on short-term trips within my country and beyond.

 

Letting go of “stuff”  

A few years after I got married, we realised that we wanted to make full-time Christian ministry our full-time work. I had always been a full-time Christian, but now my work was, too. My husband and I had made a choice, when we were first together, to stay out of debt and minimise our accumulation of “stuff”. We served God in the local church as youth pastors, and when it came time to move into Youth With A Mission (YWAM), where everyone lives on relationship-based support, it was a simpler transition because we had no debt and had chosen to live a simple lifestyle.

 

Choosing the tribe we wanted to belong to 

We chose to join YWAM because we loved their values and the way young people are championed. We loved the vision of how it started and the willingness to follow God’s direction into the future. Learning from others who have walked the path helped us avoid common pitfalls. Our initial six-month Discipleship Training School (DTS) course turned into 25 years of service with YWAM! 

Those years are filled with amazing experiences: Teaching in DTS courses at various locations in the US, Mexico, Australia, Sierra Leone, and South Africa; moving to Mississippi and Louisiana to lead YWAM’s youth response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita: teaching English to young girls and government officials in Afghanistan, and seeing the young people we have discipled leading ministries of their own around the world! 

There are many missions training organisations, and even college courses that will prepare you for missions. Find a small group where you can do life together and a mentor who will help guide you. Always stay close to the One who is your Guide! Learn to pray, listen to God’s direction, and obey! And let the adventure begin!

Ready to take your first step onto the mission field?

Download our free information sheet – Steps to Becoming a Missionary – for a few tips on how to get started!

Donna MacGowan

Donna is one of the trainers on our Discipleship Training School. Originally from the US, Donna and her husband, Mark, have been serving with YWAM for over 25 years! Donna has a background in teaching and is deeply passionate about championing young people to be all that God has created them to be. She also loves dogs…before going to bed at night, she winds down with YouTube videos of golden retrievers!

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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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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!