A Tribute to YWAM's Jim Dawson

Jim and Joy Dawson
Jim and Joy Dawson

Sunday at 2:45 p.m. PST, a mighty warrior entered into heaven. Jim Dawson was ushered into the arms of Jesus, with his family worshipping the Lord around his bedside in ICU. Jim had undergone heart surgery several days ago which was unsuccessful. Joy Dawson, his wife of 65 years, daughter Jill and son-in-law John Bills were with him at the time of his passing. Son, John Dawson, is currently making his way back home from New Zealand to be together with the family.

Jim was a very dear personal friend to Darlene and me. I first met Jim and Joy in their home in New Zealand in 1967. It was a God-ordained encounter, which brought a strength of focus into Youth With A Mission on hearing God’s voice, intercessory prayer, holiness and waiting on God—along with the knowledge of God's character.  

As Joy taught in and out of the YWAM world internationally, she and Jim worked very much as a team. He was not only a wise and godly foundation stone in their marriage, but he had the security in God to believe in and release Joy to give all that God had invested in her to give. He was her greatest encourager and intercessor.

Jim was a founding member of the YWAM International Council that was formed in September of 1972 to provide true spiritual eldership to YWAM, separating this spiritual leadership role from the function of legal/financial accountability to a legal board. He served in many international, national and local leadership roles in YWAM from that time onward because of the wealth of wisdom that resided within him and the depth of his character and relationship with God. The role that he is probably best remembered for is that of “global YWAM pastor,” because of his compassion and relational skills. He loved deeply and was greatly loved.

Please be in prayer for the family during this time of great loss. Jim will be deeply missed. But it is a comfort to know that, as he is now with the Lord, the Lord is with us. We have this blessed hope of being united again one day.

We love you, Jim!

Loren Cunningham, a former Assemblies of God minister, founded Youth With A Mission with his wife, Darlene, in 1960. Today, YWAM is one of the world's largest Christian mission otganizations.

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