Thursday, December 7, 2017

A YWAM Encounter

Waikiki Beach

Whilst doing laundry this morning in the closest laundromat to YWAM Honolulu I saw a group of about 6 young people I was sure were from YWAM. It did not take long to hear one of them telling a woman they were indeed from YWAM and leaving in a day or two for outreach to India & Nepal.

After the woman walked away, I told her I overheard she was with YWAM. Her face beamed when she answered me in the positive. There was also a young man near her folding clothes. I asked if she had ever googled, "YWAM cult" or "YWAM abuse". Her perky smile quickly faded as she told me she had, but her experience has not been like that. I told her that I had been with YWAM Honolulu 12 years, but "by the time I left, I was spiritually & emotionally dead!" I also told her about starting this group & how there were members who'd experienced similar abuses from bases around the world and that a common theme seemed to be control by base leaders.

I told her & her friend (who turned out to be her new husband she had married just 3 weeks prior to their DTS) to realize that those in leadership positions on base or in the schools are no closer to God than they are and that they have a direct line to him. I also shared how I & others had several times heard leaders say, "God told me to tell you" and, "God told me". Again, I reminded them that they have a direct line to God & how leadership often says things like that as a form of manipulation to get them do as they want.

I said that I it had been several years since I was involved there so it may be better now, as I do not know of anyone at the Honolulu base that is still there when I was & I hoped that it was a healthy environment now. Of course, she assured me that it was a good environment where there was an attitude of servanthood now.

I asked if they still used Joy Dawson's principles to intercession, which they affirmed they did. I said that though the steps are not bad in themselves, but that we do not need to go through a formula or incantation to come to the throne of grace. I gave them examples of the ridiculousness of some of the things people would say they heard from the Lord when going around the prayer group. I also shared about the time I wanted to pray for Russia but was told I couldn't because we were to pray for the pacific & Asia which was the focus of the base. She told me that we should never be prevented from praying what we felt God had placed on our hearts & I agreed.

I told her that when they get back from DTS, not to let the leadership manipulate them to stay on base or school staff unless they felt it was from God & how in the past they have often tried to talk people out of getting a formal education because that was not needed in missions. I also reminded them that the University of the Nations is not accredited & it would do them no good to have a degree from there as most of the "professors" do not have more than a high school education. She seemed to know they are not accredited.

As I was about to leave she told me that God had already spoken to them to stay on after their DTS on base staff. She wants to work in hospitality & her husband in maintenance. They already have the money & were going to buy a home but decided to go into YWAM instead..... I told them that a lot of people who are in YWAM for years do not put anything into savings for when they get older & have nothing when they leave & that even though God calls us to depend on him, we are to be wise when it comes to finances. I told them that they do not realize now, how fast the decades will fly by (They looked no more than 20).

I asked if they had been to Chinatown in Honolulu (as it is an interesting place to go with good, cheap food). She told me, "Oh no, we haven't done any outreaches there & were told it was dangerous!"

I told them that they had it much better being married than having to share a room with 6 or 8 other people. I told them stories of the rat infested house I lived in on base & how we'd sweep the dirt & dust between the cracks in the floor to fall to the ground below.

I wished them well, that hoped that they would have a good outreach to India & Nepal & that they would remain healthy & to remember only to drink bottled water & not to eat anything from street venders unless they saw them cooking it fresh.

Our talk lasted at least 30 minutes & though we were all pleasant enough, I felt emotionally drained by the time I left. Hopefully, if they experience some of the things I brought up, they will remember my words of caution at that time. I hope our talk does not lead to a YWAM nightmare tonight! That was enough "ministry" for me today.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Video of one who calls out YWAM's abuse:

Though a little crude at times, as we were told in YWAM, "Chew on the meat & spit out the bones."

Monday, September 25, 2017

Healing and Atheisim


Old Mango Trees along the Makiki Valley Trail

There are now 176 members in the Facebook group I started, “Spiritual Abuse in YWAM”. I have heard so many abuse stories that took place in YWAM. Many have symptoms of PTSD years after getting out. I have been out of YWAM Honolulu since 1995 yet still have nightmares of being back in the cult of abuse & control. The past couple of years, there has finally been some healing with fewer & less dramatic nightmares when I do have them.

Looking back from the time I got out, I didn't see growth and healing in my life on a daily basis but see growth in the process of time. I feel closer to my Lord now than ever in my life. I still don't trust Christians in authority (even though my father was an example of a godly pastor) so do not regularly go to church. Instead, I listen to Christian topics on YouTube while I paint watercolors that I pray reflect the Master Artist.

My closest times with the Lord in fellowship with Him are when I go on my hikes in the Hawaiian rain forest. It is easier to talk to Him there than at home. I am so thankful that I do not need to play by “YWAM rules” to grow in my relationship with Him. I do not need to go through the (copyrighted by Joy Dawson) YWAM steps of intercession to get to the throne of Grace.


I often pray for those who are members of the little Spiritual Abuse in YWAM group, especially those who now consider themselves atheist due to the spiritual harm they experienced during their time with YWAM. I pray God brings some godly examples of Jesus to their lives to show them His love & grace. I know, had I not had examples of godly Christians in my own life (including my parents) before I went into YWAM it would have been easy for me to leave Jesus behind the door when I left YWAM as well. Still, he woos those who have given up on Him back to Himself.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Common themes in YWAM abuse worldwide

There are currently 176 members in my Spiritual Abuse in YWAM Facebook group. Some join & never make any comments. Some are currently in YWAM, perhaps to “spy”. I have had the group a few years now & members come & go but slowly increases over time. It has been a good place to talk about the various abuse and false biblical doctrine inflicted by YWAM bases worldwide. The common denominator seems to be power trips by controlling leadership and shaming if you do not accept the YWAM party line. There is something wrong with you if you do not tow the line or if you think for yourself & make your conclusions & ideas known.

The group has helped bring closure & healing to many who are left wounded after their YWAM experience after going into YWAM in search of a better relationship with the Lord & to be around others who are on fire for God but turned into abusive nightmare instead. Some were disillusioned & left after a week or so while others, like myself left empty & spiritually numb after 12 years of service. The group has been used to help inform people who were planning to join YWAM not to.

If anyone who reads this is thinking of joining YWAM, I'd invite you to join our group & see how it has affected over 100 people. Several have even left God behind (including former YWAM leadership) & are now atheist or agnostic. I personally have a better relationship with the Lord than I ever did when in YWAM. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Do Short Term Missions Produce Results?

http://almost.thedoctorschannel.com/14323-2/

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I escaped an Australian Cult!


Here is a story written in Australian Women's Weekly that shares one girl's experience in YWAM Australia in her DTS.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Chinatown Christmas

I was walking in Chinatown & saw this Christmas tree in a Chinese store so thought I would take a photo from the doorway. The woman working there ran up to me & said, "No pictures, no pictures!" I asked her why that was & her response was, "It's a RULE!" Again, I asked, "Why?" She replied, "I don't know!" I immediate thought of YWAM & the legalism that is so prevalent on so many bases rather than walking in grace & love & often, leaders do not even know why...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

If you are thinking about joining YWAM, read this account...

Cartoon by David Hayward

If you are considering a YWAM DTS, please read the lengthy account of one who experienced it firsthand by Laurie Jacobson. It could spare you a lot of money, time & most important, spiritual damage. CLICK on the headline below to view article:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Life Outside of YWAM


When I left YWAM in 1995, since I left with no self-esteem and little faith, I wondered if God would care for me away from the base. I was timid, quiet & afraid. Being a “starving artist”, I thought that surely even if I could pay the expensive rent & afford the overpriced food in Hawaii, I would not be able to go on another overseas trip.


God knows the desires of our hearts. He has always provided for my needs & many of my wants, but still I doubt when I am put to another test for trusting Him. 


Since that time, God has allowed me to go on trips to Italy, Brazil, Canada & Australia. This past June, a retired doctor friend offered to take me with him on the trip of a lifetime. When I asked what my portion would be he said, “Nothing”! I just had to accept the gift, which was an example of grace. We went to New York for 3 nights and stayed right at Times Square & then did a 7-night crossing on the Queen Mary II before spending 4 nights in London.


I cannot relate in words what an amazing trip this was. I would never even think to have desired to do something this extravagant! Whilst in London, we went to a small cafĂ© for lunch. We saw a photo of some organ pipes on the wall.  My friend remarked (since he is an organist), “I would like you to paint something like that for me.” The above is the painting I did for him after we got back as a thank you gift!


There IS life outside of YWAM, an abundant life! “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)