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Our Story

Our Directors

Brent and Heather Madsen are the directors of Youth with a Mission, Mazatlan, México. They have three children: Micah, Nicki and Asher. Brent and Heather met in 1993 while attending a “Surfer for Missions” DTS in Mazatlan, Mexico. Not long after, in August of 1994, they were married and made their home in New Zealand where Brent is from. In 1997 they joined Youth with a Mission again, this time in Newcastle, Australia.


In 2003 God led the couple, their 3 children, and a pioneering team to Mazatlan, Mexico to re-establish a YWAM training center in the city. Their vision is to see young Mexicans trained, equipped and released into their destiny; whether that is serving in their local church or out in the nations. They believe in and champion young people.

YWAM In Mexico

YWAM has already accomplished much in Mexico. We have built over 1,000 homes in the last ten years. Tens of thousands of young people have taken their first step in missions in the nation of Mexico. Several churches have started as a result of YWAM’s work in the most unreached parts of Mexico and groups from Mexico have been sent to the 10/40 Window where some now work long-term. YWAM Mexico’s focus includes three major concentrations. The first is mobilization: to send out teams to the Middle East, Africa, China, and many Latin American countries. Third, YWAM Mexico has mercy ministries that include everything from mobile medical clinics to children’s homes to house construction for poverty-stricken families. As YWAM Mexico grows, their locations have staff needs from maintenance, kitchen, and administration staff, to DTS and worship staff. YWAM Mexico hosts multiple ministry opportunities at its different centers, and by contacting these centers, you can get involved in the diverse and growing programs offered.



Some creative tools used to present the gospel include drama, music, performing arts and sports camps. YWAMers want to share their faith effectively in ways that their audience – whether teenagers, elderly refugees, or an unreached people group – will understand. YWAM also engages in church planting among unreached people groups.


Mercy Ministry

Mercy Ministry is the “hands and feet” of making God known. YWAM helps meet some of the practical and physical needs of about 400,000 people annually. Caring for street children in South America; aiding in the recovery of drug addicts in North America and Western Europe; feeding and housing refugees and women in need in Africa and Asia, and operating ships that declare the Good News practically and verbally, are just some of the ways in which helping hands are extended.



Through YWAM’s University of the Nations (U of N), missionaries can study in specialized areas such as science and technology, linguistics, the humanities, and Christian ministry. Most YWAM schools combine classroom teaching with relationship-centered discipleship and practical service. The Discipleship Training School is a requirement for applying as YWAM staff, and serves as a prerequisite to all other training programs. Each year some 10,000 students attend a U of N school at one of the 250 different locations. 

About Youth With A Mission International

What is YWAM?

 What is YWAM? 

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Youth with a Mission (YWAM) is an international movement of Christians from many denominations dedicated to presenting Jesus personally to this generation, to mobilizing as many as possible to help in this task, and to the training and equipping of believers for their part in fulfilling the Great Commission. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are called to love, worship, and obey our Lord, to love and serve His Body, the Church, and to present the whole Gospel for the whole person throughout the whole world. We of Youth with a Mission believe that the Bible is God’s inspired and authoritative word, revealing that Jesus Christ is God’s son; that people are created in God’s image; that He created us to have eternal life through Jesus Christ; that although all people have sinned and come short of God’s glory, God has made salvation possible through the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that repentance, faith, love and obedience are fitting responses to God’s initiative of grace towards us; that God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth; and that the Holy Spirit’s power is demonstrated in and through us for the accomplishment of Christ’s last commandment, “… Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

Youth with a Mission (YWAM) encompasses thousands of people and hundreds of ministries in almost every country of the world. In every case, our passion is to know God and to make Him known. We are a mixture of people from all over the world, from 149 countries in fact. In many of our locations, people from a wide variety of nations serve side by side. We come from numerous different Christian denominations and speak hundreds of languages. Nearly half of our staff comes from “non-western” countries, such as Brazil, Korea, Indonesia, India and Nepal.

In addition to our full-time staff, many YWAM locations host short-term outreach teams made up of individuals, youth groups, families, and churches who get to participate first-hand in “making God known” through both words and actions. We send out over 25,000 short-term missionaries each year.

The Christian Magna Carta

The following Christian Magna Carta, developed in 1981 by YWAM leaders, expresses what we believe is an individual’s basic rights implicit in the Gospel. Because God so loved the world that He gave His own Son, everyone on earth has the right for an opportunity to:

  • Hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Have the Bible available in his/her own language.
  • Have a Christian fellowship nearby, to be able to meet, have biblical teaching, prayer, and worship with others in the Body of Christ.
  • Have a Christian education available.
  • Have the basic necessities of life: food, water, clothing, shelter, and health care.
  • Lead a productive life of fulfillment spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.
YWAM Mazatlan

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