Dear fellow YWAMers,

It’ s amazing to see God at work and to see His faithfulness. I have recently heard reports from Constanta, Romania about a young boy being baptized, having decided to follow Jesus. That is what is all about- Jesus to the generations! Sometimes it just happens when there is openness and people are meeting Jesus all around us. Other times we labour for years and hardly see any fruit. In the midst of it all we are one family, we don’t compete, but rather stir up each other’s faith and spur each other on, loving our diversity. 

For some time we have felt the Lord speaking to us about growth in our area, starting from where we are today and going into a new season. The vision of seeing 1,800 staff has come to us as a Mission Innovation team and its something for us to think about, not just for us as a team, but for all of us in our area. In Central Europe today there are about 135 million people and we are about 200 to 250 YWAMers in our area. So there is tremendous room for growth.

Our heart is to see how many new locations we need, what new works need to be pioneered and which existing locations to expand.  Our DTSes are important as it is about discipling the nations, believing in young people and giving room for what I believe is the most exciting young generation in a very long time. 

For most of us we will say it’s not about YWAM and for sure it is not, but it is the tool that has been put in our hands and we can make a difference through YWAM. We have amazing DTSes in our area. We have locations in big cities and small towns. We serve both in the urban and rural areas, and we represent all kinds of expressions within us. This amazing area is called Central Europe. 

Do we need YWAM in every nation in CE? The answer is no. Only if we are playing Risk or Monopoly then it is important to get a pin in every nation, but we are not in that game. For us it will be important to see teams starting up in our locations, multiplication of youth, empowering all generations, and seeing new locations pioneered where the Lord is speaking to us.   I believe it would be amazing to see all the nations in our area bringing their uniqueness to us as a mission and I trust the Lord for it, in His timing.

“The opportunities are right here!”

It has been more than 23 years since I first came to CE as a young man. I remember asking the youth in a church youth group about their dreams. They all said the same, “going abroad”. My heart was saddened and my mind confused, thinking to myself, “The opportunities are right here!” All these years later I see a new generation rising up- a generation that doesn’t remember the communist decades and they don’t remember the crazy 90’s. I see a generation that identifies themselves as European and they have dreams about a future and have hope for their nations. I see them in our community, where they have no limits, they go on mission and they are radical. We as a mission have a job to do, believing in them, creating room for them, and making our DTSes hubs for hope, innovation and most importantly, a spring board into mission. 

We live in a fantastic area, not without hardship, but with amazing opportunities to see growth. Think about what it will look like in a few years when we have 1,800 staff. Think about our cities and how they will be impacted by the Gospel. Think about our ministries to the poor and needy and how we can flood them with love and care, self-respect and dignity. Think about the 1000´s of campuses that can be reached for Christ as we send our staff to universities and schools to spread the love of Christ.  Imagine the boats that can sail from the shores of our area, from the Black sea to the Adriatic sea, spreading the love of Christ to the people on the coastlines. And, my little baby dream, imagine the boat that can travel from the Black sea far into Europe on the Danube, spreading love to those living next to this great river. 

Think about how 1,800 staff can bless Europe and the ends of the world. We are living in this time. Let’s raise our eyes and see…

I would love to challenge you to take part in the vision 1,800 in your heart and prayers. Let’s keep seeing our DTSes grow and new expressions of our DTSes going forward so we can reach more youth. There is more to come, let’s dare to dream.

Rune Saether

Irene and Rune Saether are from Norway and have had a heart for Central Europe since their first mission trip back in 1996 to Bucharest, Romania. In 2004 they moved to Constanta and in 2005 they took over as base leaders and lead the community for the next decade. They have remained involved in Constanta and are today working with an extended heart for Central Europe with Mission Innovation, a ministry based out of YWAM Constanta. They have four boys age 12 to 22 years old. They love sharing and teaching about leadership, vision and innovation. Irene is also coaching, both in the spheres of society and within our mission.