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Bad news, good news

An old friend of YWAM wrote to me in near desperation a while back. He gathers information about mission opportunities from the internet to put on his website www.mfinder.org, and gets several thousand ‘hits’ each month. When he started this almost two years ago, he had fully expected to steer lots of people to YWAM. Instead, he discovered YWAM seemed to have very little to offer on the web.

“I spend many hours per week on the net, and frequently go to YWAM sites looking for such info,” he wrote. “Sites for each base are too often poorly designed, and it seems very difficult to find out what YWAM bases are doing.”

My friend was writing out of loyalty, not critically. He quoted other organisations that were indeed “doing a pretty good job” in their use of websites. He had been awed at the number of organizations offering mission activities and seeking volunteers for everything from A to Z.

“It took LOTS of time to go to each base and find out what they were planning for 2001, but finally I have most of it cataloged and up on the web (see www.mfinder.org/ywam.html. I’ve had a far worse time trying to put together similar information for YWAM Europe. The web sites of most bases seem to be either poorly put together, or lack any information about their plans for 2001.”

Ouch! the truth of that really stung! I promptly sent him all the information I had on hand…

So, that was the bad news. Now the good news.

Thanks to months of work by Dutch Canadian Ada Koppejan, my friend can now go to www.ywameurope.org and get information from most of the 170 YWAM locations across Europe, including short and long term mission opportunities. There’s a wealth of information already there about each nation, contact info and crosslinks for locations and transnational ministries, schools planned, staff needs, and so on. A resource section offers downloadable versions of foundational YWAM papers, and a number of other useful articles and policy papers (e.g. policies on AIDS, emergency procedures, etc.)

Please give us your feedback. Check out the site and give us suggestions or missing information you may have access to. Ministry leaders will eventually be able to update their own information. W e e k l y W o r d is also posted on the site, and you can download past numbers. ‘Subscribe’/’unsubscribe’ features will soon also be available on that page.

Some sections are still incomplete – especially ‘news & events’. Is there anyone out there willing to help edit this page from raw material I could forward to them?

Ada – who merrily sings along with her CD’s while she works – is willing to assist ministries in the fall to upgrade/create their own websites or pages on the YWAMEurope site. Contact her at ada@ywameurope.org.

By the way, the YWAM international page is in the process of being totally revamped too, by another Canuck, Colin Forbes. More good news for my friend.

Till next week,

Jeff Fountain

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