As we approach the season of Advent, reflect on the promise of hope, joy and peace to a broken world, we look forward to what God has in store for us next year while reflecting on what has happened in 2019.
For those operating the training vessel YWAM Next Wave in the Aegean, using her for discipleship, marine training, reaching out to the local Greeks and refugees it has also been a season of leadership transition. The uncertainties of this can be disruptive, however, as we continue to trust God’s leading, he has been blessing us and refreshing the ministry.
We have made Skala Loutron (a small village port about 20 minutes by car from Mytilini – pictured left) our home port, to base ourselves out of, and are quickly making friends there. The vessel has its own 7-seater vehicle now which makes airport pickups and shopping so much easier.
In March, after a refit to prepare for the coming sailing season, we started the 3rd School of Navigation and Seamanship (SoNS) in conjunction with our 12th Bluewater Discipleship Training School. This was an experiment and worked well.
Both schools combining for some things (e.g. worship, intercessions, sailing and fun) while having separate morning classes. We were blessed with a wonderful bunch of trainees and crew (pictured right) and our sailing master was one of our own marine training graduates, being mentored by the SoNS principal instructor.
The schools visited Ephesus (near Kusadasi, Turkey) again this year, as part of the Bible overview teaching and enjoyed sailing to Samos, Patmos, Chios as well as training days sailing in the smaller of the two gulfs in Lesvos. Then they split in two for outreaches in Mexico and Central Asia.
After this, Captain Brian Sloan, founding director of the ministry, stepped back into leading the vessel’s operations, with Captain Jeremy McWilliam continuing as Marine Superintendent and a new long-term Sailing Master, Paula Finlayson (pictured left) joining the team alongside her husband as the vessel’s engineer. They are a great addition to the leadership of the ministry and along with our faithful regular volunteers, we are blessed to work with them.
The vessel is ready to receive outreach teams as fresh partnerships with ministries working with the refugees and locals are established and to host guests in the beautiful, quiet location where the vessel is wintering.
Meanwhile, the YWAM Lesvos team ashore are running a Missions school in Mytilini this autumn and a DTS from January. We continue to meet with them regularly for evening community meetings and worship mornings when we are in port.
Unfortunately, the numbers of refugees on Lesvos has increased to record levels, as troubles in the middle east continue and increasing numbers come by boat from Turkey. We are developing new opportunities to minister to them, but as this is now rarely in the news, it is becoming a forgotten crisis. Pray with us we can effectively share the love of Christ with them and more volunteers join us to serve them.
A summary of the 2020 programme is below, which we would also appreciate prayer, that all our plans work out well and we can attract good numbers of participants. Helping to promote the ministry and point people to the website for opportunity details: www.ywamnextwave.org is also welcome.
Jan – Mar – host outreach teams (starting men’s and women’s Bible studies)
April to July – Bluewater DTS 2020 (applications online)
August – two weeks sailing trips (see attached flyer)
Sept – refit, possible dry-dock, then sailing in flotilla to Rhodes, Cyprus and Israel
October to December Voyage through the Bible Seminars starting in Israel
In mid-March, we will have our usual annual survey and planned maintenance period to get ready for the sailing season. We are keen to have volunteers join Jeremy to work on the vessel for a week or two (contact us for details). Alternatively, if you want to donate towards these expenses, you can donate online at www.ywamnextwave.org or send a cheque made out to YWAM to the address in the header, or make a bank transfer to:
16 The Boulevard, Crawley,
West Sussex, RH10 1XU
GB02 NWBK 6006 2056 972 989
Let us know a transfer is for Next Wave, as the bank won’t and Gift Aid forms for UK tax payers are attached here. US donations will be processed via the Marine Reach Ministries office in California. Please contact us for details and tax receipts.
Donations towards our March and September certificate renewals are particularly helpful, allowing our volunteer crew to reach out to refugees and local Greeks with God’s love, as well as keeping the cost of our training down. Thank you for considering this – every bit helps.
From the support staff and crew of YWAM Next Wave, we pray you are blessed this autumn season and through into next year.
Captain Brian G. Sloan
YWAM Next Wave