For years, YWAM Madison has been working with Madison’s homeless population alongside many churches in our city. This is the exciting story of one of our staff helping a homeless lady find hope, move off the streets and establish a new life with her newborn baby.
YWAM Madison presents “Women and Children at Risk,” an hour long presentation of live music, video, testimonies, dance, and art that will share the stories of our work in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our goal is to raise awareness for street kids, AIDS orphans, refugees, child soldiers and victims of human trafficking. We will also share stories of hope and restoration.
Our teams will also bring a variety of cultural items, souvenirs, and art to give a taste of India, Africa, southeast Asia and Latin America. Some of these items will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the women and children we encountered on outreach.
Five teams will be on tour in the midwest, east coast, and parts of Canada. See the schedule below. Links open in a new window and take you to the church or school’s website for location information. Times are subject to change — we recommend calling the event location to verify.
The tour culminates with the DTS graduation at the YWAM Training Center on March 12 at 7:30 PM. Join us!
Wisconsin/Iowa/Illinois/Minnesota (two teams)
- March 2, evening: East Madison Baptist, Madison WI
- March 2, evening: Redamte Coffeehouse, Madison WI
- March 3, morning: Checkrow Community Church, Avon IL
- March 3, morning: Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Pewaukee WI
- March 4, morning: Master’s Commission, Bethesda Christian Fellowship, Madison WI
- March 4, morning: Northeastern Lutheran High School, Green Bay WI
- March 5, morning: ALCS & Highpoint Schools, Madison WI
- March 6, evening: Highpoint, City Church, Living Waters, and Bethesda youth groups, Madison & Sun Prairie WI
- March 7, morning: ALCS, Madison WI
- March 7, morning: Waterloo Christian School, Waterloo IA
- March 7, evening: TnT City Church, Madison WI
- March 7, evening: Cedar Hills Community Church, Cedar Rapids IA
- March 10, morning: Metro Believers Church, Madison WI
- March 10, morning: Good Shepherd, Owatonna MN
- March 10, evening: New Crossing Church, Sun Prairie, WI
- March 3, morning: Charlotte Church of Christ, Charlotte MI
- March 3, morning: Maple Rapids Congregational Christian Church, Maple Rapids MI
- March 3, evening: Kalamazoo, MI
- March 4, morning: Heritage Christian School, Kalamazoo MI
- March 5, morning: Lansing Christian School, Lansing MI
- March 6, evening: North Clinton Mennonite, Wauseon OH
- March 7, evening: Emanuel Old Stone Church, Wooster OH
- March 8, evening: Dayspring Church of God, Cincinnati OH
- March 9, evening: Cincinnati, OH
- March 10, morning: Lima Community Church, Lima OH
West Virginia / Pennsylvania / Delaware
(Events in Keyser, WV are being coordinated by YWAM West Virginia. Please contact their office for specific locations and times.)
- March 3, morning: Keyser church service
- March 4, morning: two schools, Keyser WV
- March 4, evening: youth group, Keyser WV
- March 5, morning: school, Keyser WV
- March 6, evening: Kaiser, WV community
- March 9, morning: Grace Evangelical Congregational Church, Lancaster PA
- March 9, evening: In the Light Ministries, Lancaster PA
- March 10, morning: Cannon Mennonite Church, Bridgeville DE
Ontario, Canada / New York / Ohio
- March 3, morning: Westdale Reformed Church, Hamilton ON
- March 4, morning: Dundas Calvin Christian School, Flamborough ON
- March 5, morning: Hamilton District Christian High, Ancaster ON
- March 5, evening: Westdale Reformed Church, Hamilton ON
- March 6, evening: Toronto, ON
- March 7, evening: Potsdam Church, Madrid NY
- March 10, morning: White Oak Christian Church, White Oak OH
by Elisante, BSN student, from Tanzania
I first heard of Bible School for the Nations from Joshua S., (BSN leader in Australia) and a team he led to Tanzania in March 2008. I translated for them when they ran a BELT seminar in Arusha. I liked the teachings, as they were deeply based on what the Bible said. They helped us dig into the Bible and showed unity in the old and new testaments.
I was excited!
I had been staffing DTS in YWAM Tanzania and pastoring a church. I taught the word of God to youth in churches and conferences and taught Bible classes in schools. I also translated for several speakers as they taught from the Bible, mainly from English to Swahili. But I wanted to get more knowledge of the Word of God. There were questions that I couldn't find answers to. I wanted to know about the law, if Adam and Eve had any choice, or if they were just going to sin anyway, and so many more.
As I prayed more about it, I knew I needed the BSN to give me more time to study, understand, and apply God's Word. I applied for BSN Australia twice, but could not get there because of visas. I also tried to go to Nepal and Norway, but couldn't get through because of visas and financial difficulties. I then applied to come to Madison!
Getting to the States was not easy. I needed so many documents to show the embassy that I am a “good” person and that I would return to Tanzania after BSN. Once I had all of the documents together, I thought I would apply for just myself. Bringing my wife and two young kids would be so expensive. Besides, the people at the embassy told me that it would be impossible for me to get the short term visa with my family.
When I told this to Manuel (BSN leader in Madison), he explained from God's perspective the importance of bringing my family. Still, I applied for just myself.
When that application was also denied, I applied with my family. One week before the school began, we were all granted visas to USA!
My family had visas, but no money to purchase tickets. People all over the world prayed for us and some gave gifts of money so we could come. And here we are. God is so good, Bwana Asifiwe!
To be in the BSN and learn has been the greatest experience ever! God is giving me a lot of understanding of His word and His plan for mankind. He's showing me that He wants the Bible to be understood. He is opening my eyes to the truth.
I want to go back to Africa after my BSN and serve the Lord, teaching the truth in the church. I also want to translate the BSN teaching in Swahili, work with the BELT team in the Congo, and maybe even bring the BSN to Africa. In anything I do, I want to see people, pastors, and ministers of the word have a deeper understanding of the Bible. I want to share to other people the truth that is setting me free, that way we may also disciple the Nations.
Many people I know in Africa have limited understanding of the word of God. They love God, they are in the Church, but they don't know God. I want to play my part, even though it's a small part, to make God know. I started that by going to the Congo for out BSN outreach in January!
by Jordan, DTS student
We had just finished yet another wonderful day at the drop in center, when Florence (one of the staff) asked me if I'd like to accompany her on her regular hospital visit. She said we would be praying for people who had tuberculosis and HIV. I excitedly accepted and prepared my things to leave.
We picked up some nurses at the hospital, and to my surprise, kept going. (Language barrier strikes again!) I wondered what would come next as we rode higher into the mountains.
The view was breathtaking: lush forest and majestic mountains rose before my eyes. I could smell a mixture of tropical fruit and food cooking in the homes and markets around. The warm air was soft against my face. Behind us, the dirt road created clouds of dust as the vehicle sped up the mountain.
We stopped abruptly at the top of the village, where all I could see were colorful tin roofs. I had the sense from the Holy Spirit that this was a significant moment, and that I would learn about being the tangible love of Christ–that it was more important than words.
We walked down the hill to a small hut and knocked at the door. A man came out who was partially blind and had tuberculosis. The nurses gave him the medicine, then asked if I had anything to say.
I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit, so I shared about the love of Christ with this man. His whole demeanor changed! We laid hands on his eyes and prayed for healing to his body and peace into his life. The image of his smile and brightened expression is imprinted on my heart!
Florence and I then rode to an even smaller hut. I noticed was how dark it was inside. In the darkness, I saw a woman sitting on the ground separating the seeds from a fruit she called “the sweet fruit.”
“This woman is completely blind,” Florence had told me. “She and her and her husband are living with HIV. They have a 7-year-old daughter who tested negative.”
I introduced myself to the woman and we began to talk. I asked her questions about her life and her dreams. She told me she had been fully blind for about a year, and though the doctors had said there was no chance for her to be healed, she said she had full faith in the healing power of Jesus. I was honored to be in the presence of such a faithful woman of God.
We prayed for healing for her eyes. I shared that we must keep believing that God is good and He can make beauty from ashes. As Florence took me back to our home, I silently praised God for choosing me to be his hugs and laughs and friends to these people.
He loved a broken man and woman through me and I am filled with thankfulness and awe.
by Lo, YWAM Madison staff, DTS '11 graduate
Our team in Nepal talks of villages stripped of women, children without mothers, and families without daughters. These women were taken from their homes and trafficked to India for prostitution.
Today I walked the streets of Mumbai, India scouting a new ministry for future work.
As we sat drinking chai, our contact Abhay told me more about the room we were in. We were sitting in a former brothel. As I looked up I could still see the poles from which they hung the partitions. I couldn't believe such a small room used to have 8 beds in it.
The room itself tells of God's restoration, what was once a place of pain and abuse is now a children's daycare – full of children laughing, playing, and dancing around the room. These children who would otherwise be hiding under their mothers' beds while they were with a “customer” now had a place where they could be loved, rest, and just be kids.
As we ventured out into the alleys and brothels I saw the women that were missing from Nepal. In 2001, there were at least 100,000 prostitutes in Mumbai alone. Abhay told me he believes there are at least 200,000 prostitutes in Mumbai, half of which are Nepali.
We met woman after woman, all from the villages that our team in Nepal is working with right now. Their stories are similar, at the age of 11 to 14 they were trafficked out of their village and sold for $2500 to work in the brothels of Mumbai. Some of the women were my age (23) and others had been there for 10-20 years, most now suffering from HIV and TB. These “older women” are often thrown out on the street like trash. My heart broke for them.
There are also many children, like a little girl named Mari we met at the daycare. Her mother was trafficked into Mumbai at age 15. When Mari was 7 months old, the pimp sold her mother to another brothel, leaving the little girl in the care of the pimp who is now raising her to be a prostitute.
I watched as man after man entered different brothels, paying for services from women whom I had just talked to and prayed with.
I felt useless, like I couldn't move, I couldn't do anything to save them.
I saw little glimpses of hope and light in the women's eyes as I sat and talked with them. They would hold my hand as I asked them questions and prayed with them. In that moment, God reminded me that I bring something to these women that no one else can. For the fleeting amount of time I'm with them I am being a unique part of God's love that they may never see again.
* Editor's note: Watch our blog for posts about the villages in Nepal, where the women are being tricked or sold into prostitution
by Jenny, DTS Student
Read about Jenny's first visit to the public hospital.
A week after my heart-breaking visit to the public hospital in Kampala, Uganda, my team leader said she had good news for me.
“When we go to Ray of Hope ministry, they have one spot for someone to shadow nurses at a private hospital,” Elizabeth said. “I thought of you right away. Do you want to go?”
Of course I did — especially because of how we had discovered Ray of Hope Ministry several months earlier. Our team had been praying about what we should do in Uganda, and the phrase “Ray of Hope” came to mind. I didn't know what it meant, so we Googled it, discovered the organization in Kampala, and set up ministry times with them. Ray of Hope Ministry works with the local church and city officials to advocate for the needy and HIV affected families of Kampala.
The following day, I toured the Ray of Hope Medical Centre. I interviewed the director about what it takes to run a medical centre in Uganda. After that, I worked with the director of Loving One by One on a mobile medical team. I took vitals of about 270 people!
I LOVED it!
I really feel so passionate about nursing and I cannot wait to start school and gain more experience to walk out what God has planned for my life! When we left the clinic we headed out to the private hospital in Kampala to pray and to hand out candy and biscuits to the children.
This hospital was vastly different from the public hospital we first visited in the beginning of January. Here the patients pay for their stay and I noticed the difference right away. While I was there, I saw one doctor and several nurses working with patients (I saw none at the public hospital). Also it was very clean, and medicines were readily available and being distributed appropriately to the patients. Some patients even had their own room.
I felt relieved to know that some people could get care at a safer hospital, but I couldn't help but think of the patients in the public hospital suffering, simply because their family couldn't pay for their health care. It still breaks my heart and I think it always will.
I feel like this whole outreach, and even before we came to Uganda, God pointing me very clearly what to do with my life. I'm so excited!
by Corrie, DTS student
A group of us headed out into the busy streets in Bangkok, praying over the area and talking with the people there. We have had the privilege of working with MST project, an organization that reaches out to sex tourists in the red light area. As we walked I got distracted taking in all the surroundings: flashing lights and loud club music that pulsed through my ears, men walking the streets, and women waiting to be bought for the night.
As I looked past the heaviness of it all, I was able to see the loneliness and rejection that had driven the men to this place. Instead of looking at them with disgust, I started to really look at them. I was able to see that they are simply hurt people, they are sinners just like I am. The only difference is that I have been saved by Jesus’ grace.
After we finished praying, we headed home. I felt stressed and couldn't wait to get back inside. I was impatient while my teammates unlocked the door to let us back in — I just wanted inside and out of this mess. All of a sudden something struck me, these people can’t just leave when they want to, they don't get to come inside out of the mess. I was free to leave the area when the door was unlocked. They live in it, they are trapped here. The women are in bondage to human trafficking – forced to be here, and the men are just as trapped – stuck in the deep bondage of sin. Each one of them have so much more value than this, they need to know about Jesus who loves them for who they are.
When I got inside, I finally understood the heaviness people talked about. It was overwhelming. Every night my team members came back and told the stories of the conversations that they had with the men. It amazes me to hear how willing the men are to talk about what is going on in their lives and their past hurts. One man, who was an atheist, started to really open up after talking to one of our groups. He was amazed that he met Christians who didn't judge him, but lovingly had a conversation and listened to him. I wish that every single man and woman on that street could know the truth and freedom that Jesus offers.
by Jenny, with Marlo – DTS students
Two weeks ago we went to a general hospital to hand out biscuits (cookies) to children who are pre- and post-surgery. I was not prepared for anything that I saw.
When we first got there, I noticed boxes of small glass vials of used medicine sitting out by the curb. I could picture how easily any person could grab them. I was even more shocked when I went inside the hospital. The children's room was rank with the smells of urine and infection.
As we handed out the biscuits, I noticed something strange — there weren't any doctors or nurses. I kept waiting, glancing at my watch to see if someone would be by to do the rounds. An hour had passed; still, no one.
We learned that the child must have a caretaker stay with them in the hospital to attend to all their needs. The caretaker is usually a family member who has no medical experience or understanding in how to prevent infection. All the hospital provides is the bed.
My friends and I prayed for several of the children. It hurt so much to see how severely sick and in pain they were. I couldn't imagine how their health could do anything but get worse.
The director told us that the death rate hovered around 75%.
I couldn't hold back my tears.
That night, I wept for the way the sick were treated, especially the children. Even writing this now stirs up so much inside me. As I prayed, I realized I have IMMENSE motivation to come back when I finish nursing school to help these children.
by Cierra, DTS student
On our first day in Mai Sai, Thailand, three boys and a girl came up to me and my friends, hands out, eyes big, asking for money.
“Are you hungry?” Maya asked.
“Yes, yes!” one of the boys said.
“Come with us,” I said. “Bring your friends and we'll buy you some food.”
With those magical words, the kids scrambled to find as many friends as they could who could climb the barbed wire fence to get to us.
Once they were all together, we walked to a little food shop and ordered. The kids sat down like a family–the older ones hollering at the younger ones to hurry up or to sit back down.
In their broken English, the kids shouted questions at us through mouthfuls of rice. “Do you have a family?” “What do your parents look like?” “How many brothers and sisters do you have?”
We learned about them, too. The kids we first met were 6, 8, 9, and 12. They lived and begged at a bridge nearby.
The woman serving us our food was so happy we brought the kids to her. “Bring them and some more kids tomorrow!” she said.
How could we say no? But even with my two friends, we knew we'd run out of spending money to feed these kids at the restaurant and I hoped to come up with some other options.
After everyone had their fill, we walked the kids home. It was hard knowing they weren't going to a house with a roof over their heads, and my heart was already breaking for them. But they seemed happy, full of wide smiles and so glad to take their pictures with us.
Then a young man approached the oldest boy in our group, the twelve year old. He stroked his arm and down his back, saying something in his ear — so obvious in his intentions. The boy jumped away, shaking his head “no.”
In that moment, any happiness I had felt vanished completely. My heart split into millions of pieces. It's one thing to hear about the plight of street kids, to watch documentaries and buy t-shirts that raise awareness. Seeing this in person–It's almost impossible to explain what it's like.
This is reality for these kids every day.
by Samantha, DTS student
Due to flight cancellations, we stayed in Juarez for longer than we originally planned. So this weekend our team had the privilege of helping out as acting staff at Rancho Los Amigos, which is a home to abandoned, neglected, and abused children from various parts of Mexico.
Before we started, Fernando, the leader of the home, warned us, “Just be careful. These kids are dangerous. They steal. They will steal your heart.”
I smiled and nodded, not quite expecting it to happen to me in such a short time period.
Now it's the end of the second 13-hour day of watching after the niñas. This involves waking them up, doing their hair, helping them find their things, somehow solving disputes in spite of the language barrier with most of them, playing with them, supervising, and finally putting them to sleep.
Most of my team is asleep now, but I'm just sitting here on my bed, wondering how I could possibly leave these precious chicas and chicos with the thought of never seeing them again; never again seeing their faces light up with their beautiful smiles, or hearing their voices ask me questions in rapid Spanish that they somehow expect me to understand.
Fernando was right – they've stolen my heart.