Europe United

YWAM Europe United, Albania 2017

We have had our different European regions for a number of years now and they are a good way of organising ourselves; creating connectivity and unity. However, a family doesn’t have political or geographical borders. It is one with itself and if there needs to be some kind of organisational structure due to its size, those borders and definitions should be porous, lines drawn with a dotted line if you like, which are easily networked. Strengthening family was the aim of YWAM Europe United.

It took a couple of years to incubate before it was finally birthed this Easter (2017) in the beautiful country of Albania.

750 people came from all over Europe! We were so encouraged by this and it proved to be a wonderful time of fellowship together. Great food and coffee breaks were supplied by the hotel. Worship by a collective of YWAMers from all over Europe which was very well coordinated. We had founding Elder input from Al Akimov, Lynn Green and Judy Orred and then we had two main plenary speakers as well. One amazing women called Martha working in the Middle East challenging us to pioneer and take risks for Jesus. And also a wonderful man from Ukraine called Michael, a spirit filled theologian who teaches in Catholic and Protestant Universities alike. He challenged us to go deeper in our love for the Lord, even in times of hardship and persecution.

In the afternoons we enjoyed time on the beach; the sun shone with a passion. There was volley ball and football, a lot of sun bathing, baptisms in the sea and a lot of coffee was drunk!

There were some optional seminars on offer late in the afternoon as well as historical visits to a Roman amphitheatre where St Paul quite possibly preached.

Other than all of these highlights, here was the big take away for me personally. One evening we heard an amazing story from Reona Joly Peterson and Evey Heckman on how they were arrested in Albania 40 years ago for smuggling bible literature, just along the beach from where we were now worshipping! The story is written in the YWAM book, ‘Tomorrow you die’ and it was so inspiring to hear of young YWAMers, so many years ago, going into the hardest places for the sake of God’s Kingdom and with a desire to make Jesus known. It felt like a new moment in YWAM if I could be so bold to say. A story that came full circle from being a closed country with no church and no YWAM……to many churches planted, YWAM established and growing and to top it off, 750 YWAMers worshipping on the very same beach! It was a holy moment to see the work of God in just one generation and see that nothing is too impossible for Him. However, we also felt it was a YWAM DNA Image may contain: 3 people, people on stage, people standing and people playing musical instrumentsmoment, a reminder of who we are and what God has entrusted to us as a corporate family. It is simply a call to build God’s Kingdom on earth, knowing God (intimately) and making Him known (in all of the nations of the earth, even the hardest ones).

After the story there was a call to come down to the front and declare our commitment to follow Jesus unashamedly and without fear throughout the world. Hundreds came down the front and began to worship and call out places they were called to. It was a profound and impacting moment; one that I shall not forget. God is drawing us back to our beginnings as a mission, renewing the call He has placed upon us as a mission, a tribe, a family. Together, fearlessly making God known to the principalities and heavenly realms as we disciple nations and influence in the spheres of society, throughout the world.

Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoorWe do this by loving God with our whole selves, by listening to His voice and radically doing what He says.

I think this time has marked a new era in unity amongst us in Europe as a whole and I will continue to proclaim this truth no matter what comes our way in the future. There is great love and honour amongst our current leadership circles and it is a new day, I believe, for releasing the prophetic and apostolic hand in hand. So stay connected to the family! We are all different with different callings, and we are one.

Take a look at the sessions in the here and YWAM Europe facebook page. If you went to this gathering, talk about it, share your stories and testimonies. Tweet and Vlog to your hearts content. We will probably try to meet again like this within the next 4 to 5 years so make sure you don’t miss the next one!!

Bless you

Carl Tinnion

On behalf of the European Field Leadership Team