What I Learned in Rotary Today | 16 July 2015

by Glenn on July 18, 2015

What I learned in Rotary | Thursday, 16 July 2015
Guest Speaker: Julie McLaughlin with YWAMShips

A problem for the non-profit is that they need money to do their work. This money can come from government or individuals or businesses, which is to say that it comes from businesses, since both governments and individuals depend on businesses to create excess wealth out of which salaries and distributions to the government can come. I have no economics training, but my understanding is that government can do a great job of taking wealth, but can’t really create it.

Our guest this week was Julie McLaughlin, Advance Director for YWAM Ships.

What was intriguing about their model of fundraising is that individuals who want to serve with this organization must raise their own funds. This is not a non-profit that must raise funds to pay for the people who’ve been hired to the work of the non-profit. These are people who value the work that this non-profit does and figure out a way to raise money so they can do the work themselves.

Their motto is SAIL. STUDY. SERVE.

I have heard of YWAM and known people who have participated. The point of this group is to take help on ships to places where it is needed. Julie mentioned Papua New Guinea, Panama, and Micronesia as the focus for the work she is involved in. She says that there are remote parts of Papua New Guinea where one out of seven mothers die in childbirth. She also said that 31 dentists serve the 6,000,000 people who live in PNG. One of the ministries of YWAM Ships is to show people how to do better oral hygiene so that there can be fewer teeth extractions.

One of the questions that came up from one of our members was, “Why have we never heard of you?” To be fair, he probably should have said “I.” I think he assumed we were all as ignorant as he was about YWAM.

I wondered if the fact that YWAM is a distinctly Christian group would come up in conversation. It didn’t.