What We Do & Why
Although we’ve been in YWAM our whole lives, our scouting trips to 9 countries in 2007 opened our eyes to the plight of children around the world. That year, we met hundreds of orphans & street kids and our hearts were overwhelmed with God’s compassion for them. Everywhere we went, we asked God, “Is this where we should live? How can we help all these children? There are so many!” Finally, at the end of our year on the road, we had an answer. Instead of being called to ONE place, we were called to ALL. To help the most children, we needed to multiply our efforts, to inspire and train thousands of people to go and do what God had placed on their hearts.
And so Paul pioneered the Children at Risk DTS in Madison, which has sent hundreds of young people into the nations to work among the destitute, the lonely, the forgotten. Monika writes the stories of what God does in and through the lives of these young people, and trains others to write as well.
We’re grateful to our team of supporters who fund this work and who stand behind us in prayer. If you’d like to know more about what we do, please get in touch. You can reach us here. Thank you!
Rescuing Children from Trafficking
We pioneered Rescue Ops: Children at Risk DTS in 2008 with the hope of multiplying missionaries to care for at risk kids. Our very first outreach with this new missions school went to India where we worked with street kids, orphans and trafficked women & children. Our prayers were answered when we helped rescue two young children from the brothels.
Throwing Parties for Orphans
The past 10 years, we’ve taken dozens of teams to help orphans across Asia, Africa & Latin America. We love caring for orphans as though they are our very own children. Our teams become house moms and dads getting the kids ready for school, doing homework with them, telling them bed time stories and tucking them in at night. But one of our greatest joys is throwing them surprise parties like the ones in this video. We have discovered that as we love these kids extravagantly as God has loved us, they grow by leaps and bounds in generosity & kindness.
A Chilling Visit Behind Closed Doors of a Tibetan Monastery
The mountain air chilled me as I walked into the stone-floored atrium of one of the world’s largest Buddhist monasteries. I held my jacket close, glad to shove my hands deep in my pockets. The moon still gleamed above. It was only 4am. Paul and I didn’t realize it then, but what we were about to witness has set the course of our work in YWAM for many years.
A loud banging resounded across the atrium, punching the air with a sharp and steady boom, boom, boom, calling the monks to morning prayers.
A barefoot little boy, no older than four, walked sleepily into the atrium. Holding his red robe tightly around his shoulders, he stepped into the temple. We, too, followed our guide inside and sat on a long row of cushions.
The little boy sat cross-legged several rows over from us. He tucked his shawl under his feet and shivered. He looked so small sitting there. So vulnerable and alone. “Where was this boy’s mother?” I wondered. “Who holds him now, kissing away his nightmares, assuring him he is loved?”
Our guide, one of the few followers of Jesus among his people, had gone to live in a similar monastery when he was only four. He told us that in Tibetan-Buddhist culture, it is compulsory to send at least one son to the monastery to be trained as a monk. Even though I wasn’t a mother then, tears burned my eyes as I imagined what it must feel like to send a child away and to always wonder what may be happening to him.
Soon, two hundred boys of all ages streamed helter-skelter into the temple, finding places on the mats. From a secret room above us rose a deep-throated hum, almost a buzz. It was the Lamas’ chanting. The boys joined in, their voices still high and sweet. They would continue chanting together for the next several hours, like they did every day.
When we left an hour later, my last image of the temple was of the dozens of sandals strewn about outside. They reminded me of the boys themselves, left at the temple doors. That did it. My heart — and Paul’s — was thoroughly broken.
Responding to the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of our Generation: Refugee Relief
In this last year, we’ve mobilized three teams to respond to the greatest humanitarian crisis of our generation. As millions of refugees flee war torn countries, our hope is that the first faces they see upon arrival will be those filled with the love of Christ. Two of the teams we sent worked in Lesvos, Greece, where refugee boats first hit European shores. The third team worked in refugee camps in Germany & Sweden. This is a powerful story of Muslim refugees discovering hope in Jesus during one of these outreaches.