YWAM Sarasota Says Goodbye...

I wanted to start by saying thank you so much for standing with YWAM Sarasota and all of the staff over this past season. We have had some large questions we have been bringing before the Lord. It’s been an adventure tosay the least! These have personally been the hardest months in over a decade of ministry.

I am going to make this email as short as I can, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

As we have been in the season of praying about the future of YWAM Sarasota we have made sure to surround ourselves with people that wouldn’t be afraid to encourage us or challenge us depending on what was needed. Through processing and praying with our team and others, we feel that the Lord has lead us to close down YWAM Sarasota. 

This was not an easy decision by any means. In fact, I would have to say this was the hardest decision I have ever made. Nothing has ever challenged us more. We battled for almost 3 years and saw no breakthrough, but justfurther breakdown of the ministry. I don’t have all the answers as to why this happened and I know there will be some, maybe even a lot, of people who don’t agree with this decision but this is where our conviction lies.

Ruth, Sven and I (YWAM Sarasota leadership team) are in the process of figuring out what it looks like to close everything down. So we are in this process with the last few remaining staff, we are looking at the legal side of things, as well as making sure we don’t close local relationships but steward them well for the next YWAM team that comes (if that happens). YWAMSarasota.com will also stay live for a few more months. One very important thing to mention is that all the remaining staff are healthy and actually very excited about what the future holds. Nervous of course, but still expectant for what the Lord has next. 

As YWAM Sarasota we spent time over a weekend just standing in awe of all the Lord had done in the first 3 years. We saw 113 students go through DTS, over 50 people came through as staff, saw 904 salvations in the 1040 window!!!!! And the gospel was personally shared with over 10,000 people! Go God! He has been so faithful and so good and it brings me to joyful tears just thinking about the greatness of our God!

Not everything is called to last a lifetime but some are just meant to be a stepping stone for a season... and what a stepping stone this was! 

I want to say thank you to everyone who prayed for us over the years! These testimonies of what God has done over such a short time are yours as well. Thank you to everyone who blessed us with finances, encouragement and of course friendship. You helped make this place home from near and afar! We are blessed to have had you in our lives.

Blessings and Peace,
YWAM Sarasota Leadership Team

-Josh Elke

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