As an 18-year-old, I had no idea what I was doing going to Wollongong, Australia. I wanted to grow closer to God and had an urge for adventure. And so I found myself on a plane over the Pacific. Within hours of arriving, I was in a worship time with folks from all over the world, kicking of our very first Discipleship Training School.
The leaders of YWAM Wollongong had been praying faithfully for over a year to see this vision become a reality. This was a group having a go at trusting God. Through a miraculous event, an opportunity to rent a property came the day before I arrived. Overnight, an old, neglected dental clinic was turned into housing, classrooms, and a community space.
Before I arrived I was convinced that I would only be here for 6 months. But then God spoke clearly to me that this was to be my home base to the nations. I went to Egypt on outreach and felt like my life would never be the same. I wouldn’t trade those first years at YWAM Wollongong for anything. The foundations set in these years of perseverance and blind steps of faith now hold up all the schools and ministries we run. We developed into a close community and have sent dozens of teams to many nations, buoyed all along by the faithfulness of God.
A Timeline of Significant Events
- May 2005 – YWAM Wollongong was commissioned
- August 2006 – Our first Discipleship Training School(DTS) runs in Shellharbour
- November 2006 – Two outreach teams are sent out to Egypt and Afghanistan
- February 2007 – A team heads to Fiji to serve at the Impact World Tour
- March 2007 – Create Emerge joins YWAM Wollongong
- May 2007 – Vision continues to take shape at the Proclaim Conference in Sydney
- May 2008 – The School of Strategic Mission runs for the first time
- June 2009 – Create Emerge travels through New Zealand for a missions mobilisation tour
- December 2010 – Our campus moves from Shellharbour to Port Kembla
- November 2011– The head office of Australian Mercy moves to YWAM Wollongong
- September 2011 – First Justice & Mercy focussed DTS
- January 2013 – First Sports focussed DTS
- May 2014 – Mission Adventures at YWAM Wollongong is founded
- January 2015 – Happy Hearts children’s ministry is founded
- May 2015 – As a community we celebrate our ten year anniversary
- May 2015 – A team from YWAM Wollongong travels to Turkey for the YWAM Anzac Day Conference
- June 2015 – YWAM Wollongong hosts the Go Fest conference in Sydney
- January 2016 – An event management ministry joins YWAM Wollongong
- May 2016 – First Community Development Seminar
- July 2016 – First Media focussed DTS
- September 2016 – Our first School of Biblical Studies runs
Written by Zach.