Dear YWAM family!
I once met a young evangelistic frontier YWAM missionary, with a heart for the unreached and a strong calling over his life from God to missions. He was more than ready to find someone to share life with, as many ywammers are, and we prayed together about a wife for him. We stayed in touch and not long after, he got married to a beautiful, evangelistic and frontier hard core missionary woman with a strong calling from God for mission on her life. They served the Lord together, travelled the world together, as ywammers do. Some time later I met him again at a conference. This time he was alone, and I asked him about his wife. He told me she was at home caring for their two children, also pregnant with their third. He said his wife was not happy about him travelling so much. He struggeled with the idea of slowing down or changing his ministry. «Actually» he stated, «this is not fair! We used to do this together, but now she is just staying home complaining about me going. Coming home is not nice anymore, because she’s nagging about changes all the time. I can not quit ministry. After all I was called by God to do this. I am sick and tired of this. It feels like I am doing all the ministry by my self.»
What do you feel when you read this story? Do you see yourself in it? I sure hope not, but the situation is not uncommon, even in our beloved mission. Having a family changes everything in life, from priorities to energy levels. But your calling to missions remains alive in your heart.
Is it possible to combine both family and missions in a sustainable and good way for all the people involved in the project? The truth is that we need to find the right way in this as soon as possible. It is the make or break for the future of our missions movement. Families are falling apart in the church almost at the same rate as outside the church. If we think we are protected from marital problems in our mission we are believing a lie. When missionary couples and families fall apart, the ministry falls apart as well. Sounds just like the plan of the enemy.
In September we met as a YWAM family in Pattaya, Thailand. I heard David Damian say something profound in his message to us: «We know a lot about how to build an army, but not how to build a family. The warfare today is for family. This is not about titles, but about the restoration of hearts. It is all about a shift from unity to oneness.»
I believe this is a timely and serious call to us as a mission. Are you helping us build strong families? When last did you go through a marriage workshop? Do you have a couple who mentors you? What does your base have in place to strengthen the families in the mission?