I feel God is doing something to heal those who have been spiritually abused. I am not from a charismatic “signs and wonders” kind of background and this is not a “thus saith the Lord”. For the longest time after I left YWAM, I felt guilty for even mentioning spiritual abuse and YWAM in the same sentence.
When I was sent to Healing for the Nations in Colorado (now based in Georgia) in 1995, a woman named Miriam who was attending the retreat from Holland told me “It takes strength to be weak”. I have thought about that several times since then.
As I have come forth and exposed what I experienced during my time at YWAM Honolulu, I have realized that by being real and sharing that reality, others (even former base leaders) have felt they could feel free to share what they went through & the dysfunction they experienced.
A minority of people have chastised or rebuked me for this openness. Some have not responded either way. Others have felt the floodgates of freedom to share from their bruised and aching hearts as to what they too have experienced.
It is important for us to support and encourage those who have felt abused. Because YWAM is often a respecter of persons, people on the same base at the same time can often experience a different reality. One may find it healthy whilst another feels it abusive.
I do not have the expertise to think I can bring another to healing, but I can point people to Jesus, the only One who can bring true healing and Life. I can also share my experience and listen when others share theirs. I can pray for breakthroughs and healing and that positive Christian role models will come into the lives of the wounded. I have a long way to be totally healed, but I at least there has been healing. Living in a sinful world where we all have a sin nature, I know that I won't be totally healed until I see the Saviour, but I can grow in that direction.
I pray I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in being an encouragement to others.
I want to encourage those who have experienced spiritual abuse at any YWAM base around the world to join a new Facebook group I have started, “Spiritual Abuse in YWAM”.