Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world.
Our Desire Is To See His Kingdom Built
It all began with a vision. In June of 1956, Loren Cunningham, a 20-year-old student from the United States, spent a part of his summer break in Nassau, Bahamas touring with a singing group.
One night after a busy day, Loren had an unusual experience. “I lay down on the bed,” he recalled, “doubled the pillow under my head and opened my Bible, routinely asking God to speak into my mind. What happened next was far from routine.
“Suddenly, I was looking up at a map of the world. Only the map was alive, moving! I sat up. I shook my head, rubbed my eyes. It was a mental movie. I could see all the continents. Waves were crashing onto the shores. Each went onto a continent, then receded, then came up further until it covered the continent completely.
“I caught my breath. Then, as I watched, the scene changed. The waves became young people–kids my age and even younger–covering the continents. They were talking to people on the street corners and outside bars. They were going house to house. They were preaching.
YWAM Is Established
YWAM's First Training Progam
Discipleship Training School (DTS) Begins
From That Vision Came Youth With A Mission
In the summer of 1960, Loren graduated from college. With the vision still on his mind, Loren led a youth mission trip to Hawaii. While there, he developed more of the vision for a new organization. This ministry would send young people out after high school to gain a sense of purpose. It would welcome all Christians no matter what their denomination.
He started that organization, Youth With A Mission (YWAM), by the end of the year. Two years later, Loren married Darlene Scratch. Together, they are viewed as co-founders of YWAM today.
From a late-night vision given to a 20-year-old in the Bahamas to a global ministry with over 20,000 workers, the growth of YWAM is the story of God’s inspiration, God’s grace for many mistakes, and the creativity of the Holy Spirit’s leading.