On July 7th I received an e-mail from Maria McDaniel. In reply to my inquiry on a trip to Japan. Well she said DTS is going to be a requirement to join the staff but in the mean time I can volunteer. It makes me wonder what is the difference between Staff and Volunteering? Do the Staff get paid or don’t have to worry about some expenses. What? She gave me some information about what is going on in YWAM Tokyo. So I’m going to copy her e-mail here
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My name is Mara McDaniel and I am the Registrar for new students and staff here in Tokyo. Thank you for your letter. I am excited to hear about your heart for Japan, and we would be happy to a resource for you as you continue to pursue the possibility of coming here.
Somehow your inquiry has been missed, and so I want to apologize for the delay in our reply. I’m sorry about that.
If you don’t mind, I will share a bit of information and history of what is happening with our particular operating location in the Tokyo area.
I don’t want to repeat a lot of information you already know, so forgive me if I do. YWAM’s basic structure is that we do evangelism, mercy ministry, and training. The variety of ministries that can be done within those categories is unlimited, and YWAM encourages people to dream with God and serve Him in the area of their passions, skills, creativity, etc. In order to serve as a staff with us, you must go take the Discipleship Training School which is normally 5 months in length, 3 months of lecture, and 2 months of outreach. After successful completion of DTS, you can apply to any operating location in the world.
So please write back and let me know if you have taken DTS at this point. If so, I can send you a staff application. If you haven’t and want to work with YWAM in Japan, then the school would be the first step. Our next DTS will be next year, but the starting date is not yet set. It could be as early as April (09) or possibly in summer. I’d be happy to send the student application. Or you could also do DTS in any of our base locations world wide.
If you haven’t done DTS and don’t feel led that direction, you could possibly come short term as a volunteer as well, as you mentioned in your letter. If that still interests you, we could discuss possibilities.
Regarding ministry, let me give you a little background. Up until 6 months ago, YWAM’s base in this area was located in a suburb 1.5 hours by train outside Tokyo. That building was recently demolished, and our homeless group took the opportunity to pursue our dream of moving into the heart of the city. Tokyo is super expensive, but the Lord has provided housing for each of our small staff team (some permanent – like our family – and others are just in temporary housing). We still have no base, and so we rented a big house for the DTS. But after DTS, we will again be homeless as a ministry.
We have had a number of staff apply, and we believe the Lord has a plan for housing and a space to do ministry. But basically we are praying and standing in faith for this. We believe that the Lord has moved us into the city at this time for a reason. We have a sense of momentum, and we believe that amazing things are on the horizon. Currently we are serving in various areas individually and as a group. Together we do evangelism, worship, intercession, and DTS. Individually, people are very involved in various churches and ministries, such as homeless ministry, children’s ministry, worship seminars, and youth ministry (You would be welcome to get involved in any of these).
We are really praying into what our next steps should be after DTS ends. As our time frees up again, and we don’t have the next DTS until April ’09 at the earliest, we can really put some time into what God’s heart and strategy are for us. We will likely pray into more creative ways to do evangelism, and we hope to use more music and arts as well. Some of the direction may be determined by the type of base the Lord provides (it’s location and features). We have big dreams of coffee shops, English lessons (and other ways of meeting people), hosting concerts and other artistic presentations, etc, if the base has a space suitable for such things. Your skills in computer would be a real blessing, I’m sure.
Basically, we are in a pioneering stage, where things are not set in stone. The people who come here, with their particular skills and passions, will determine so much of what direction we go in. It’s an incredible opportunity to build a ministry from the ground up in one of the most populated cities in the world. It’s also a humbling opportunity, and we truly want the Lord’s heart and direction in all things. So our next season isn’t a settled routine, but one more of seeking the Lord and then taking steps of obedience to follow His lead. It is a different sort of situation than many YWAM staff opportunities.
So let us know how we can be of help. What time frame are you considering? The main challenge for us receiving you as a volunteer in the near future is the housing issue. If you had the budget to afford a youth hostel (maybe $25 a day) that is another option. But let me know what you are considering, and we can begin to explore it in detail and see how God leads us.
I look forward to hearing back from you. Take care!
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So that is the e-mail I received from Maria McDaniel. I would like to hear from other bases as well. Hope I can update more soon.