Big Announcement: Welton Missions
The Welton Academy Missions Director has resigned and has written a letter sharing her heart below. After her letter, I will share the new direction for Welton Academy Missions.
Dr. Jonathan Welton
From Dawn Weaver:
I think, in order to understand the true gift and miracle this job was for me, I will have to start with where and when I met my teacher, my boss and my friend: Dr. Jonathan Welton. I grew up in the western United States (several time-zones away from Jonathan's home in NY) where I attended a small church in the middle-of-nowhere, also known as Hamilton, Montana. Our church had been reading several of Jonathan's books and, on a whim, our associate pastor decided to see if Jonathan would want to come to our annual spring conference to speak. So, in March of 2013 Jonathan came. Much to all of our surprise! I didn't meet him at that time, except to briefly shake his hand, but I was floored by both his teaching and his humble, open demeanor. I was intrigued, to say the least. I immediately signed up for the school he was talking about, which was called Welton Academy Supernatural Bible School, and was set to begin the coming fall.
I moved soon thereafter, which is only important because it was sort of a miracle that I happened to be back in Montana when Jonathan visited again the next year. Through one circumstance after another I found myself in Montana for two weeks in March 2014 and it was only after I was home that I heard about who would be speaking at our annual spring conference. Jonathan Welton. I extended my stay at home in order to be there to see him. The first night of the conference he pulled me up to prophecy with him and another man. I didn't even know he remembered my name. The rest of the weekend we had a few intentional conversations and found we connected very well. He asked me what I was working toward, I shared my heart for the world and for missions and social justice, shared that I had tentative plans toward YWAM etc. We exchanged contact information and I departed, moving to Virginia to be with my brother and his family. It was about 6 weeks later that I received a message from Jonathan asking me to apply for a position that was opening up at Welton Academy. I could not believe he wanted me to apply for a director position at his school! I had absolutely no prior knowledge about directing anything and very limited missions/ministry experience. In the years between then and now, I have become accustomed to Jonathan's take on hiring people. Duties can be taught, but a special heart, one that beats to the same rhythm as the rest of the team and of the school, that's something that cannot be taught, that's something for which you bend over backward.
I started on staff in May of 2014, my position was titled Missions Director and I had the incredible honor of helping to plan, organize, and co-lead the short term Mission Trips which began in January of 2015. For all of 2015 I traveled almost every 6 weeks for about 2 weeks a trip. I was sent on some training trips as well, as I had (and still have) a lot to learn.
Together Jonathan and I took 45 of our students to 6 countries, 1 Porn Convention and 1 Witchcraft Festival. We helped to ignite a passion in the churches of Trinidad to do outreach at their annual Carnival (think Mardi Gras). We distributed free water, gave out hand-made cards with encouraging words personally written on the back, prayed for the sick, gave prophetic words and formed a fire-tunnel which quickly became a hit with the costumed Carnival participants as they paraded by our booth. In helping the local church with the vision, and with understanding their spiritual authority, we were able to make the outreach an annual event which the church now handles on their own, no help required. The church expects to completely change the festival in the years ahead, to be celebration of Love, rather than of hedonism.
Six of our students braved the heat of Dallas, Texas in August and the intimidating surroundings of an Exxxotica Porn Convention in order to be Light and Love where both are much needed. We still have contact with some whom we met while ministering Christ's love inside the convention.
Thirteen students came with me to pour out love in Salem, Massachusetts during their annual Witchcraft festival. We joined a larger group called the Love Project and interpreted dreams, sang songs of unconditional love, turned a Hare-Krishna chant into a chant of "Yahweh, Yahweh!" on the main street of the festival, gave out countless prophetic words and witnessed many amazing healings. We ended the night with worship in the streets, huge crowds gathering to watch as people were dancing and laughing and crying, the Holy Spirit at work.
We took 10 students on a cross-country, 4 city tour of Australia. Jonathan taught while I and the students worked as his ministry team. While on this tour, we made invaluable relationships and had more fun than I can communicate. Though it was a difficult trip administratively, I would do it again in a heart beat!
We did many fantastic outreaches in Mexico and Romania, teaming up with local ministries and encouraging the churches in both locations. We have an ongoing connection with Romania as one of the students who attended has continued to support them relationally and spiritually.
Jonathan and my last trip together was in March of 2016, to Argentina. Ten students and 3 staff members were present. Jonathan brought his core teachings to several major churches in Buenos Aires, having them translated into Spanish in order to open up South America as a target for Welton Academy. We met several key leaders of Argentina, the most remarkable being Carlos Anacondia, commonly referred to as the Billy Graham of Latin America. On the streets we saw incredible healings and some salvations and were able to give many encouraging prophetic words. We visited a children's home where a little boy who was deaf received back the ability to hear. He has since been adopted but still writes me from time to time. We ministered at an inner-city hip hop school that doubles as a place of ministry. The relationships made there remain strong! The group of young adults who worked as our interpreters during the trip, about 20-25 total, became activated in their prophetic gifts and pulled up into their callings. They continue, many months later, to go to the streets regularly as well as minister to each other in ways they formerly did not. I believe they are the beginning of a major move of God in their country. The fruit from this particular trip, is easy to see and certainly long lasting!
These describe, in skeleton detail, the trips that were taken and outreaches that were done. So much more remains unsaid. The relationships that are ongoing and vital to my person, the lessons I learned from both doing the gospel and simply finding Jesus in the darkest places, the experiences are too numerous and too nuanced to ever mine fully. As I said at the beginning of this letter, even memories I cannot specifically remember, are not lost to me because they've been sewn into the fabric of who I am.
As I look back into the mirror of my soul and see the person I was in 2014 when I started this adventure, not a clue in the world about what I was doing, barely knowing why I was doing it, and I contrast that girl with the person I see now, the change is remarkable. It's been a fast pace of growth for me and it's been extraordinarily difficult from time to time. I've fallen deeply in love with nearly every country and ministry and church we've visited these past two years, and even more deeply in love with students and staff whom I've travelled with to these places. One goodbye has been heaped upon another and my heart thought many times it could not house one more country, one more person, could not care about another face. But time and again, the Lord has expanded the tent of my heart upon arrival in a new place, and time and again it's been broken upon leaving. But as much love as I've poured out all over the world, more love has been poured in. And this brings me to the dear, dear staff of Welton Academy. Those on whose team I've been, since long before I even knew them.
I say this privately, but not enough, and I want to say it here as well. If not for the love, encouragement and belief that each one has for me, I would not be half of what I am. I have grown more than I thought possible, because of each of you. I have survived a year of actionably loving the whole world, because you have loved me with actions every day. As I move forward into the great unknown of my next adventure, I thank you for every prayer, every meaningful conversation and tidbit of sage advice, I thank you for honesty, open hearts, deep caring, long talks and short talks, hours of vision casting and hours of prophecy. It's unfathomable, who I would be if not for who you are and if not for all the above actions of love and the uncountable others I do not have time to list.
And specifically to you, Jonathan. Thank you for seeing whatever it is that you saw in me several years ago. Thank you for acting on what you saw and for pulling out of me qualities I did not know existed, much less in me. Without your influence in my life, I would only know half of what I know about the world, about our Father, even about myself. Your teaching, encouragement and friendship have meant, and continue to mean, the world to me! Thank you for growing into who you are, by doing so you are creating a way for me to grow into who I am. And not just me, but countless others.
It's time to close and it's as hard to close as it was to begin. Perhaps that's metaphorical of what it's been like working for Welton Academy as well. Though I know this decision is the right one and have mountains of peace, it's still hard to believe this day has come. I love you, all of you remain as deeply rooted in my heart as ever you were.
From Dr. Jonathan Welton
The last two years has been a major learning experience for Welton Academy. One of the things we have learned along the way is that we should partner with others that are excellent in their field and not aim to reinvent the wheel or replicate everything ourselves. In this, we have found several wonderful Kingdom partners.
- For Accreditation, we have partnered our school with Vision International University
- For Ministerial Credentials, we have partnered with The River Fellowship
- For Missions opportunities for our students, we are partnering with Impact Nations
By partnering, I am able to focus my time on the following:
- Our Annual Summit gatherings: East Coast US, West Coast US, Euro and New Zealand
- Network gatherings: The River, ARM, Euro Leaders Advance, etc
- Archeological tours: Egypt-February 2017
- And extremely select itinerate events
With this trimmed schedule, my goal is to devote myself to writing books, and refining the Supernatural Bible School, which is entering its fourth school year.
It is with love and appreciation that we release Dawn Weaver to her next phase of life and make this shift in our missions department. She has been a huge blessing and a major piece of our heart goes with her. Also, we are excited to partner with Impact Nations and to see our students go get activated from a partner ministry that loves Welton Academy.