Thursday, July 26, 2007

what's new (the facts according to Zach)

Thought we'd give you a little update on what's going on with YWAM Seattle... A while back we wrote an entry about how YWAM was trying to purchase some property here in our neighborhood. Our goals were lofty, but property around here is expensive, and that's just the way it is... Our goal was to raise $140,000 (20% of the total price) in a fairly short amount of time. We did pretty well, but still fell short of where we wanted to be. However, the owner has agreed to NOT sell the property to anyone else, and is allowing us to continue leasing it from him for the next year. (giving us more time to raise money)

In the midst of that process, we began to realize that we were looking very under-staffed for the DTS this fall. In addition, one of our key staff members decided to move from Seattle at the end of this summer to pursue some other interests. We were left with some hard decisions to make in regards to how we were going to pull off running the DTS. In the end we decided that it would be in everyone's best interest to cancel it. I didn't feel like we could provide a top-quality service to our students based on the number of staff that we had. The decision was a very difficult one to make for a number of different reasons:

1. This past spring and summer I've put in a LOT of time working on improving the program and implementing some new ideas.
2. We've been involved with DTS every fall for the last 7 years.
3. In essence, we made a decision that takes away a major part of our job with YWAM Seattle, at least for the time being.

So we're left with the question of where do we go from here... I've been planning on starting grad school at Mars Hill Graduate School this fall to study counseling psychology, but a major component of my desire to do that was the impact that it could have on the DTS in the coming years. I've really been spending some time considering my decision to go there, and have decided that I definitely will start classes in September. The picture is still a bit cloudy as to where that will lead, but I'm feeling good about the decision.

To be clear, we're still not sure what the future holds in terms of our involvement with YWAM. For now, we're still in leadership of the base, and continue to work with the other things that our base is involved in. I'm still the organization's accountant/administrator. We see this coming year as a time for us as an organization to refine our vision, and a time to recruit more staff. I really believe that we were on our way to offering one of the best DTS programs anywhere. We'll just have to wait one more year to get it started. There has been quite a bit of disappointment in the last couple of months, but at the same time I see God leading us and protecting us--even when it hasn't always seemed or felt that way at the time. And we trust that He'll continue to do that.

One more picture of Amanda with Zara and her cousin Lucas for you...