They now have more in common than being 2 ministries with 4 letter acronyms that end with “M”. This month, we were honored to have 2 speakers from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) come to YWAM. Dr. Andy Bannister, who is the Canadian director for RZIM, and Alycia Wood, RZIM itinerant speaker from Boston, both came to teach Apologetics in our 2 schools.
RZIM is perhaps the premier ministry in combining apologetics and evangelism and it was a fantastic opportunity to receive these team members and have them contribute to our training programs. This connection came about from a providential meeting in England a year and half ago between one of our alumni and Dr. Bannister. As they chatted, they both foresaw the mutual benefits of YWAM and RZIM coming together.
This is something that I (Tom) have been praying about for a long time: how to bring the strengths of a ministry like RZIM into the passion of the young people in YWAM. YWAM is good at raising up young evangelists and RZIM is great at training them to be effective.
As the communications began to move forward, we realized it would be very beneficial if we could host these speakers in a broader YWAM context than just our base in Maui. So, I contacted my friends at the University of the Nations in Kona (a much bigger YWAM base with about 800 people) and they set up sessions for the RZIM team to speak in some of the Kona training schools at the front end of the week before heading to YWAM Maui for the latter part of the week.
During the teaching time on Maui, a local church, Kahului Union Church, opened up their sanctuary for the RZIM members to give a talk on the “Problem of Evil” which was open to the public. On a very stormy night, the auditorium was full and the talk/Q&A was well received. A youth pastor who attended the event was so encouraged by the session that he asked Tom if he would teach apologetics at the island wide “Unashamed” youth camp which is held just before Christmas. We praise God for this significant opportunity to equip the Christian youth of the island to be more confident in their faith and to be more effective at sharing it with others.