Participants in secondary schools offered at Port YWAM Kona say they are encouraged to see what can be achieved through outreaches. The schools, which are comprised of three months of instruction followed by optional field assignments of varying lengths, provide opportunities for participants to quickly put classroom training into practice. These programs regularly include the Bible Core Course (BCC), the Introduction to Primary Health Care (IPHC) and the School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS).
Jim Walker, director of training at YWAM Ships Kona, said whereas the ministry’s entry-level discipleship school offers outreaches geared toward team goals, second-level field assignments can be more flexible to accommodate student’s personal objectives within a group context.
“When students come to us with defined ministry ambitions, we can be conscientious about creating opportunities that are specific to their calling or specific to what God is guiding them to do for the rest of their lives,” Walker said.
Jennifer Campbell, who has trained and staffed with the IPHC, said she used information she learned at the school to promote public-health awareness during a field assignment in Maharashtra, India, this year.“People had access to health care there, but they wanted knowledge,” Campbell said. “They asked questions to find ways to stay healthy using means that were already accessible to them.” Campbell said her team taught people in Maharashtra about basic germ theory principles and nutritional concepts such as the health benefits of incorporating moringa — a plant native to India — into meals. Campbell said the people her outreach team met felt empowered when they were educated in sanitation and health-maintenance. “I’ve seen the fire it puts in people when you give them tools that they can take to their communities. It’s so much you learn in this one field that you can be equipped with and then take out. I have enjoyed it immensely.”
Chatelier Ebio, the lone participant in the BCC outreach two years ago, said she enjoyed equipping elders from churches in the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati. She taught church leaders the inductive Bible study method — a way of reading Scripture intended to zero in on its message for the original audience. Ebio’s outreach was significant because most elders in Kiribati churches can’t participate in formal training mostly because of financial limitations. They often rely on the second-hand sermons of missionaries, she said.“They learned how to study the Bible themselves versus relying on outside sources. Now, if they have questions, they can go look it up,” Ebio said. “It was cool to see their faces light up as they learned to study the word.”
Zachary Smith, who has trained and staffed for SONS, was part of an outreach to the Marshallese island of Lib. He said his outreach team brought two things rarely seen on that island — outside visitors and health care. “We brought doctors and medical supplies and friendship as well. When we left, they were all crying — they were so happy that we came,” Smith said. “I really feel like the love of God was prominent just through our time of being there.”
Capt. Ann Ford, who leads SONS, said the school’s outreaches are meaningful because they bring relief and a sense of being cared for to Pacific islanders who are helped. “Some of the islands may not get aid ships at all. Most of them get government ships that come three or four times every year, but never know when they’re going to come,” she said. “We can provide some basic support services to those islands — but more than that, we provide them with encouragement and the love of Christ.”
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