Dave and Cheri Bartsch
Director with YWAM | Gold Coast, Australia | Home church: Aylmer EMMC, Ontario | Elianna and Verity
In May 2018, after serving with YWAM for 16 years in various roles, Cheri and I were asked to take on the directorship role of the YWAM centre for Gold Coast. We have felt amazing grace on us as we transitioned into this role with support from our co-workers.
We had the incredible privilege of training more than 50 young people in missions in 2018 with amazing God stories and transformation. We have seen many of our students become greater at sharing their faith with others and learning how to discipline themselves to read the Word and value their relationship with God. It is amazing to see people fall in love with Jesus and want to surrender everything to Him and make Him the priority in their lives and tuning in to His ways for living.
Weekly we reach out to our city with a vision to “Impact”. Every week we have people sharing their faith with others, praying in specific areas that they feel God’s leading and worshipping in the streets with intent to see His Kingdom come to our city. It has been powerful to see how God has been using this simple act of obedience and seeing Him lead people to us that have never given their lives to Jesus.
I was able to connect with a young man through our coffee van ministry. He was interested to chat but knew very little about Jesus. I shared my whole story with Him and how God came and gave me a new life with purpose and joy. He was listening intently and when I asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus he was reluctant and was reminded of how he enjoyed smoking weed and partying.
I shared with him how to receive and start a relationship with Jesus. I left the Gospel of Luke with him. He then mentioned he loved reading and was really good at summarizing books. I saw him a few weeks later and he came running to me telling me how he loved the book that I gave him. He shared he struggled with anxiety and when he was reading the Gospel of Luke he got totally healed of anxiety and did not struggle any more with the intense anxiety that he always felt!
He summarized the Gospel of Luke to me almost like a preacher would. I asked him if he wanted to give his life to Jesus and said YES! We had a powerful time of prayer and I asked him if he wanted to get baptized and he said YES! He has been coming to our weekly ministry meetings and we are encouraging him to stay plugged into the God-things that are bringing him life and strength.
These last 8 months have been a powerful journey of learning how to believe God and have faith for something great! I find it easy to believe and trust God for everything that I can see and makes sense, but to believe God for something that is way out of my control and for something that I don’t have the resource for is very difficult. This is where the rubber meets the road and we can either lean on our own understanding or we can acknowledge the Lord and His ways.
In my times with Jesus I found myself praying Holy Spirit would you teach me how to have faith for these things that you’re putting in front of me … Holy Spirit would you teach me how to have faith for changing a city for the Kingdom of God … Holy Spirit would you teach me how to believe your word when everything seems at odds with it.
There is a powerful supernatural thing that begins to happen when we get sincere and raw with Holy Spirit. He begins to teach your heart how to believe and it’s hard to pin point the moment when you started to believe it just began to happen and you just begin to see differently … I am thankful that God hears my prayers and trusts me with a vision that is far greater than me.
If we stay willing and available for God there are no limits to what God can do with us!