Week 10 – YWAM Kona, at the Crossroads – Impact Week


Our class met in Ohana Court for Impact Week with  hundreds of DTS students all together for the same teaching. However, the week did not start as expected. There have been many times, during the past eleven weeks when I have thought about YWAM as more of a disorganization than it is an organization. Almost always it is in the little things. Things that often frustrate task-oriented folk but in the bigger scheme really don’t matter. Yes, it could be done more efficiently or more effectively but we are people and God is love and He freely offers us His grace.

We have noticed YWAM excels at releasing young people to try, to fail, to learn and to grow. In fact, to Champion Young People is the #6 foundational value “YWAM is called to champion youth. We believe God has gifted and called young people to spearhead vision and ministry. We are committed to value them, trust them, train them, support them, make space for them and release them. They are not only the Church of the future; they are the Church of today. We commit to follow where they lead, in the will of God.”
But, and it is a big BUT, whenever it really matters the leadership comes through with flying colours. This week’s Monday morning worship time, in Ohana Court, had to be used to notify the University of the tragic death of a student due to a hiking accident on the long weekend. While Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM wandered among the students consoling and praying with individuals. Andy Byrd, leader of the Fire and Fragrance DTS,  Sean Feucht & Rick Pino who were leading worship for Impact Week, and other young leaders guided the school through the notification process and a time of grieving. To close the morning, Danny Lehmann and Loren Cunningham added their words of comfort and encouragement, all based solidly in Scripture. Monday’s scheduled program was cancelled and the Counsellors at the counselling school went to work with students. Our Crossroads school adjourned to our classroom and spent time in prayer and counselling with each other.
The regular Thursday evening in Ohana Court was dedicated as a memorial service, again it was very well done.
For those who need more information, I have copied YWAM Kona’s release at the end of this post.

Back to the schedule on Tuesday, we were preparing for outreach, we spent Tuesday exploring Unity and Agreement with an excellent teaching by Andy Byrd; Wednesday, after worship, our outreach teams were divided up (interesting term after yesterday’s teaching on Unity) between 5 stations: Children, Technical Evangelism, Fitness as a Platform, Teaching and Preaching, Word by Heart. I attended the technical evangelism one and Glenda went to Word By Heart, and learned to tell a Bible story from memory! She is awesome! Thursday was Evangelism taught by Johnny Gillespie.

DSC_0565Around campus. These are the stairs that run through the middle of the school here in Kona, we get toIMG_5601 climb 96 of them on the way from the front gate to our room. The GO centre is at the top of this picture and past that are the Flags. On Saturday the campus hosted their Christmas Fair and the Amazing Race (5Km with 15 obstacles). The campus has been decorated and it certainly looks a lot like Christmas, although the 28C highs strongly contrast with the snowy trees. The children were entertained with inflatable jumping castles and a water slide on the soccer pitch by our bedroom window. And there was singing in the cafeteria most of the day with worshipers rotating through. TheIMG_5588 open house meant another chance to visit to the Natural farm where Aquaponics and permaculture techniques are being taught and researched for the developing world. Two young inventors are working on water aeration using gravity as the drive system, and others are working on wind generation making prop blades from PVC sewer pipe. This is a quickly growing new part of the Science & Technology Department with lots of exciting opportunities for making a difference in the world.


DSC_0676DSC_0577Our Crossroads leaders hosted a fantastic Love Feast for us on Saturday night, the meal was amazing, we began with three tables of appetizers, followed by Prime Rib and Coconut encrusted Mahi Mahi, with lots of vegetables and salads, all followed by delicious desserts. Everybody dressed for dinner, almost didn’t recognize people. It was the first time in long pants and socks for me since leaving Canada. The entertainment was a wonderful variety show performed by our own classmates and leaders, ranging from hilarious to serious, Glenda and her ladies small group had a lot of fun demonstrating a western line dance as one of the acts.


IMG_5600Not much on the wildlife front, this gecko is unusual in that it is not green.

At Living Stones Church on Sunday morning Pastor Bill Barley started a new series called Roots, this week he looked at Pride as being the root of all sin, a gateway sin. It is like bad breath, we notice every one else who has a problem but we don’t notice our own. CS Lewis said that “anger, fear and drunkenness are mere flea-bites compared to pride.” Pride locks God and other people out, it diminishes our capacity to confess, to repent, to apologize and to acknowledge truth. Take some time and listen by clicking on the church link at the beginning of this paragraph.

We are a bit late posting this week, we are in the last week of teaching on Worldview with Don Stephens, preparing to pack our bags and clean our rooms as next Sunday we will be on the journey from KOA to HAN, for the next phase of our pilgrimage. We will be seperating from many of our new friends as we split up into outreach teams travelling to Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji and Vietnam, so this week has that bittersweet taste. Most will be returning here in February for a debriefing period which will provide a short reunion before we all move on.

We are not sure when our next  blog post will be, until then, be blessed and be a blessing, A&G


Below is taken from the YWAM Kona Facebook page:

On Saturday, November 29, 2014, our campus experienced the tragic loss of a student, Lindsey Nickerson. Our campus community mourns deeply for the loss of a treasured daughter and friend, and we send heartfelt condolences to Lindsey’s family.

The Hawaii County Fire Department reported that Nickerson became separated from a group of about 25 hikers about 20 to 30 minutes into their hike Saturday. Her body was recovered Sunday afternoon. An autopsy report showed that she suffered from asphyxia due to drowning. For more information, please read the following article:http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/friends-remember-kona-student-killed-waipio-accident

When faced with loss we are reminded of what it means to live our life to the fullest — in light of the reality that the moment we are born on earth we start to die. In her short nine weeks with us here in Kona studying to be a missionary to the nations, we saw Lindsey embody a life lived to the fullest! On Thursday evening, the campus gathered to celebrate Lindsey’s life. Her fellow students created and shared the following video: Lindsey Nickerson Memorial Video:http://youtu.be/cOG3aCKczf0

Please join us in praying for Lindsey’s loved ones as they — and we — reflect on Lindsey’s life and and grieve her death. Counselors have been made available to students all week, and will continue to be available through the quarter.

Finally, we are mindful of the words of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians:

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'”
1 Corinthians 15:54-55


Matt Whitlock
University of the Nations Kona


1 thought on “Week 10 – YWAM Kona, at the Crossroads – Impact Week

  1. robpetkau

    Thank you, Andy and Glenda, for keeping us posted on your adventures in discipleship while in Hawaii. As you go forth to Vietnam, may the Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious. The Lord bless you and keep you and turn His face toward you and give you peace.

    Liked by 1 person


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