YWAM Perth News - March 7, 2023

As we shared in August, Shirley passed on directorship of YWAM Perth to a team of directors – Ari Sloots, Mariecia Groenewald, and Caleb Brownhill. Last week we had the privilege of celebrating her legacy and of commissioning her into her next season as an elder in our Mission. It was a lovely evening with encouragement from national and international YWAM leaders, current and past staff, and ministry partners.

As we reflect on Shirley’s many years of faithful service, nearly two decades of which were spent as director of YWAM Perth, we are deeply grateful for all God has done through her faith, courage, and obedience.

During her years leading in partnership with her husband Pete, YWAM Perth has sent out 23 permanent teams to 13 nations. It has been a joy to see some of these locations now pioneering other works and locations themselves. Her strategic leadership has also opened up multiplication of ministry and training here at YWAM Perth. There have been many challenges and celebrations, times of grief and times of joy over the years. Through it all, Shirley has often expressed her desire to be like the donkey upon which Jesus rode into Jerusalem – that He would be the one to get the glory. We saw this commitment as she laboured in prayer, worked long hours behind the scenes, championed emerging leaders, and released others’ vision.

Shirley has always carried a deep compassion and commitment to the poor and needy, both on a ministry level and in her personal life. Under her leadership, YWAM Perth has served over 3,000 families in crisis in Perth city, let alone all the needs which have been addressed regionally and internationally. Alongside of that, during her directorship, God has provided property for accommodation, training, ministry, and the daily functions of our YWAM base which has facilitated all of this.

A major part of Shirley’s legacy over these last two decades is her pioneering leadership of the Megacities vision. Megacities is a year of partnership with the body of Christ in a large city, rallying international teams to come alongside what God is already doing as a catalyst for transformation, starting new initiatives, and strengthening what already exists. Megacities has operated in 8 cities on 4 continents over 15 years, rallying 604 teams representing 6,379 missionaries, seeing churches planted, slums adopted, people trained, missionaries mobilised, health care ministered, hundreds of miracles and healings, thousands of salvations – ongoing transformation catalysed.

We're so grateful that, although we're celebrating the end of her long season of directorship, these threads of her influence, strategic innovation, training, and friendship will continue to be a part of all God has ahead as an elder in our Mission. She, together with Pete, have already left a legacy and a rich inheritance which we are confident will only build from here. Fruit that will last. We’re looking forward to all God has ahead for our base and for Shirley as she continues in her eldership role.

As a team of directors, we recognise the strong foundations that we stand on. These foundations allow us to keep building towards the future, to be a community that is committed to the presence of God and to following Him into the nations. It is more needed and more possible than ever before to "GO," and as a team stepping into this directorship, we are committed to this privilege and task.

We have seen God do so much through the years, as groups of YWAMers have walked in obedience to His voice. We are confident that God will continue what He started back in 1985 at the beginning of YWAM Perth.

Thank you for your continued friendship and support as this new chapter in the story of YWAM Perth begins. Your partnership, through going, giving, and praying, is what has helped make all this possible and will continue to impact individuals and nations. Every story and statistic shared here is also your inheritance, that you have invested in. We carry deep conviction that the Great Commission is not a one-person job, or a one-mission job. It calls for all our participation as the body of Christ. Thank you for standing with us, and for working with us for the gospel, and for God’s purposes in the nations.

Warm regards,

Ari Sloots, Mariecia Groenewald, and Caleb Brownhill.


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