Over the years, we've known a number of people who've served for a few weeks or a number of years with YWAM (Youth with a Mission, pronounced WYE-wam) or one of its associated organizations. When Dean discovered a YWAM training center near Nashville, we decided to visit. We didn't call or email to make arrangements, so we weren't sure if we'd be able to talk with anybody, but we figured we'd at least see the entrance after a drive through the springtime countryside of northern Tennesee.
The gate was open, so we drove in and followed handlettered signs to the office and parked the car. The door to Office A (three modular buildings were labeled Office A, Office B, and Office C) was unlocked, so we opened it and looked inside. After a moment, a young man named Tom came from the end of the building and introduced himself. We explained that we'd hoped to learn about this particular YWAM training center, and he offered to show us around.
The Nashville training center is one of over 200 YWAM locations around the world for Discipleship Training School, a five or six month, full time program designed to bring students into a more intimate relationship with God by means of lectures and outreach. There are also several other more specialized courses held during the year.
Tom told us he'd been on YWAM staff in the past, but has since been married and had a child; he's taking classes and working as a volunteer until he and his wife are able to be on staff again. As usual, God had gotten us to just the right person in spite of our lack of planning.