10 years and no salary
It has been 10 years since I did my DTS, which was a life changing time that set me on a course so radically different from anything anyone in my family had ever seen. It seems like now is a good time to reflect back.
I had just finished University in Belfast studying Electronic and Software Engineering and I was faced with the choice of going straight for a graduate job leading to house, mortgage, wife, kids etc or taking a 6 month break before all that started.
For whatever reason, I chose to go to YWAM Seamill for “6 months” and I find myself still here! It is true that when you follow the Lord He can open up unknown possibilities, especially when you show your faith by saying, “yes” before He explains how!
There have been many shaping experiences over those years, all of which God has used to bring me more into the identity He had for me in the beginning, but it is finances I am particularly reflecting on today. In the last 10 years I have:
Travelled to over ten different nations, several of which I went to multiple times.
Moved house six times.
Gotten married (the order of these points is not indicative of their importance!).
Had three kids.
Eaten every single day (unless by choice or sickness…).
Essentially lived life.
It does truly amaze me that for these past ten years not only have I not been paid, I also have paid to work! Just like every other YWAMer I have given my time, energy, talents and money to serve God through YWAM. And yet as I look at my life I am so profoundly struck at how much I have.
There is nothing materially that I want/need that Jesus can’t provide.
Work satisfaction wise is there a better boss than God Himself?
I count it as richness itself to have a wife who loves me and three tremendous kids, who also love me! And I adore them all!
Of course I am not saying that it is easy or that I have a direct line to a Swiss bank account with instant access to bundles of cash at a moment’s notice! However the joy of working for Jesus supersedes everything. Also I don’t have to be in YWAM or be a missionary for this joy to be mine, it is open to all of us who live for Christ. Every one of us can live this way, by faith. It is not only for the super Christian or the elite. The fact that I have been able to do it, journeying through life with crises of faith almost daily at some points, should encourage even the most fearful that they could do it too!
As I finish this rambling musing, I return to gratitude. God has been so faithful, miraculously at times and I count it as a total privilege to do what I do. It has been a great ten years in YWAM and I know as I follow the Lords leading it will be another great 10 years.
Ian (Northern Ireland) and his wife Deborah (Scotland) and three children (Zoe, Hannah and Aiden) live and work in West Kilbride with YWAM Seamill. Ian leads the DTS team and both have a heart and passion that Scotland and Scottish people will live out their God given identity to the full.