Today is uniquely special. We are witnessing a God ordained moment. In the story of ships in YWAM, today is a miracle displaying Gods faithfulness to the promises He has given YWAM over decades.
The vessel departs under contract with the crew who have manned her for more than 20 years as they sail her to our preliminary location in Queensland Australia. Here names will be changed and the beginnings of converting her to a training and medical ship will begin in preparation for ministry in Papua New Guinea.
The procuring of this vessel has been a true collaboration of the YWAM family. We operate as separate entities with our own distinct cultures and we also relate in the spirit of a family. This is just such an example. YWAM Medical Ships Australia learned of the vessel and undertook the paperwork and legalities to bring her into the family. YWAM Ships Kona took on the responsibility of assuming ownership of the vessel and it’s operations, raising the funds for the purchase, and ongoing plans and expenses. YWAM Norway stepped up to assist with funding motivated by a desire to learn how to operate a YWAM ship. The huge maritime strength in their nation opens a door to a level of technical expertise that we need. So here are 3 distinct YWAM entities working together as one, to see this miracle happen. None of us could have done this on our own, but together we are seeing something occur that is God-sized.
This is a picture of how the YWAM fleet will grow. Each uniquely stamped with the culture of the ownership location, yet strongly tied relationally in the greater YWAM family.
One of our YWAM Captains is sailing with the vessel today. He has been staying on board for several days observing the technical operations. He is a man with decades of experience, a Scottish accent and a sunny smile. This morning he declared with great joy, grinning from ear to ear, today I am no longer a guest, I sail as an owner. This is YWAM’s ship now.
What an emotional departure! The local P&O staff were waving her off, some with tears of sorrow that she is gone from their care. We were waving her with tears of joy for all that will occur in thousands of lives over the coming years.
Passersby on their way to work observed a working ship, in need of a fresh coat of paint gliding away from the wharf. One person commented on the strength and dignity of the vessel. They are correct, it is a strong working vessel and it is sailing into a future of restoring dignity to thousands of lives.
Today she sailed out as the L’Astrolabe and Friday she will arrive as the M/V YWAM Liberty. A name selected to both honor her French history, and to speak into the future of lives that will be changed by our God who sees the isolated, the hurting and all those trapped in bondage.
M/V YWAM Liberty
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”