Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What God Starts Continues

We had several special worship times together, some led by current YWAM staff, others led by former SLW staff.

By Craig Anderson
Shawn prays for our new leadership team as they are commissioned.
RICHARDSON SPRINGS: What a fantastic celebration we had this past month as we thanked God for 45 years of fruitful ministry at Youth With A Mission—Springs of Living Water!  We actually celebrated a dual anniversary: 45 years of Springs of Living Water and 25 years of Youth With A Mission in Chico, California.
     More than 300 people gathered for worship, celebration, testimonies, fellowship, teaching, prayer and fun.  One special highlight occurred Saturday morning when we corporately honored Dale and Shirley Harrison for 14 years of faithful leadership of this ministry.  In addition to many words of affirmation and thanks, they were presented with two gifts: a quilt created by current staff and a photo book with contributions from current and former staff and well-wishers from around the world.  At the end of the meeting they passed their leadership mantle to a team of four (Craig Anderson, Carlos Penning, Shawn Bansen and Jake Findley), who will guide this ministry into the future.

     John Dawson spoke several times and challenged the attendees to walk in spiritual eldership as relates to the ministry.  Without a need for position or title, spiritual elders take their place on the mountain (as did Moses, Aaron and Hur) and intercede on behalf of the Joshua generation which is fighting in the valley.  When the elders are in position, the younger generation advances; when they are absent or falter, the younger generation is slaughtered by Amalek. 
Patrick and Dan show off the quilt Marci and Grandma Judy
 made (with the help of staff & kids) to celebrate Dale & Shirley. 
Our leadership team is a team of worshippers.
     I shared on the final morning of the conference.  Using an analogy from the Lord of the Rings, I referred to all former and current staff as “Ring Bearers."  Ring Bearers are those who have lived on the campus (both past and present) and carried the weight of the ministry. (Those who are partners and friends with us in this ministry constitute the Fellowship of the Ring.)  Once a ring bearer, always a ring bearer.  Ring Bearers (and those in the Fellowship of the Ring) are called to take their place as a great cloud of relational and intercessory witnesses, covering the ministry in prayer so that our current generation can advance and not be slaughtered by Amalek.  Only as we go together can we effectively advance the Kingdom of God.

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