Will & Millie Toms – Directors of YWAM Tribal Winds
Blessings to you, our dear friends!
Update “From the Toms’ Family”:
Will and Millie (Left): The directors of YWAM Tribal Winds
John & Kayti (Center left) In full time work in Southeast Asia
Naphtali( Center right, bottom): Just came back from Alaska (doing Intercession & Worship & substitute teaching etc.) to Flagstaff, Arizona
Clover & Tim (Right): They became mommy and daddy in June 2012
About Will and Millie:
The Creator Of The Universe Calling- Excerpts from Millie’s first book: The Great Eagle Calling (2nd Edition soon to come out)
Chapter 1: Dreams of Tribal People
Buffalo and Deer Dancers and the Hopi maidens were moving to the drum beat of the men singers as I stood on top of the roof of the Hopi houses. I felt as though I was in a far away land, in Tibet or some place. My heart cried out for wisdom and I found myself moved to tears as I watched the dance at one village which seemed pure and lovely, but the other village the next weekend, disturbing. The one I felt disturbed in my spirit about, brought such a bad wind storm that it filled our church with dust and sand. What in the world am I doing here? How did I get here? I will tell you.
The spring of 1994 was the strangest year. That was the year YAH took a hold of Will as his Indian Chief Father. Will is a white man, by the way. I thought he had gone nuts. We were living a somewhat normal life. Then, unexpectedly, Yah took Will through an experience, actually a “Rite of Passage” unique to the Native Americans and tribal peoples around the world. Why now about these original people of our land? The Native Americans were not even on our radar. They were only familiar and of interest to us from the old cowboy and Indian movies.
When I came home and saw what Will looked like, I became suspicious. His legs were all cut up and even had a big gouge in one shin. I did not like what I saw. He shared with our three children and me something we had never heard before and took us into a whole new territory like the early pioneers entering a new and wild foreign country.
Will was awakened in the middle of the night with two dreams. In the first dream, he saw us as the Church all together in a bus. Will confronted the bus driver asking, “Who are you, some kind of a cult leader?” Upon waking he asked the Lord what that was about and received a one word answer, “Bewitched.” Galatians 3:1-3 says, “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Is Jesus leading the Church or is there something else going on?
In his second dream, he saw us as the Church all dressed up in our business suits. The Lord said to him, “Yes, you look good but you have killed the child.” In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Then later in the Sierra foothills above the town of Bishop, California, the Lord challenged him to not “fear men” but to “only fear God.” We can be much afraid about what people may think and say about us. God was giving Will a “heads up” that night that he will be doing things which may not look normal. Even then, I was glad when I heard that he made himself accountable by waking up the other staff to pray with him. After all, a crazy person doesn’t make himself accountable to anyone.
This was up in the high desert-like terrain of the foothills of the Sierra mountain range and there were many sharp desert plants all around. Will said that the Lord, who identified Himself as YAHWEH (Exodus 3:14), had him run a number of times in the Spirit. I knew that Will could run fast because his teammates from the Navy Seals, told me that Will always came in first during their training runs.
I could just see Will with his long legs and only in shorts and bare feet, running swiftly like a wild man that night through the thickets and high desert brush all around him. He said he would stop at times and fall backwards into brush with both of his arms and his legs stretched out and upward towards heaven and cry out “Yah!” from the top of his lungs. At one point, he said he was in so much pain and said, “Father I can’t run anymore. I am in too much pain.” And then, he was told, “Pray!” So, he would pray in the spirit and gain new strength and run again, and then fall into the brush, and cry “Yah!” again. He went back some years later to that site and he could not see what bushes were big enough to catch him as though he was falling into a mother’s arms.
When I saw the gouge and scars on his legs, I asked the Lord in my heart whether He was a sadistic God who would hurt his children. I was surprised to get such a quick response from the Lord saying, “Look at Jacob, I made a mark on him; he limped for the rest of his life.” So, I knew that this experience would mark the rest of our lives somehow.
Will had called me earlier that day, in a hoarse voice saying that he needed to come home and tell us, something NEW. I was thinking, “What has he done now?” I was surprised to hear from him as he had gone up to the snowy Sierra Nevadas. He and our staff should have been deep in the mountains like in the land of Shangri-La. There were no phones there. He was doing our yearly wilderness staff training and the reconnaissance of the routes where they would be taking the kids later within our wilderness program. Will and I met doing these hiking and rock climbing expeditions with the probation and other at-risk youth up in the High Sierras.
Will is a man who steps out to do what he feels the Lord is asking him to do. Once, when we were in ministry back in Santa Barbara, we all went to see an Australian war movie called, “Gallipoli.” The Victoria Theatre was packed out that night and it was standing room only even on the balcony. It was such a tragic ending that all the audience sat frozen in silence even when the movie had ended.
Then, all of a sudden, I saw Will get up out of his seat and run up to the front and get up on the stage. He began to shout to the audience and said that we were all like these young runners who were getting killed. But, there was an answer and that his name is Jesus. As soon as the name of Jesus was mentioned, the guard or the manager of the theater came down the aisle telling Will to please get off the stage. The audience began getting up and leaving in droves. Will shouted out to the audience that he will be outside if anyone wanted to speak to him. I wanted to sink and hide in my seat. Only a couple of people came, a gentle lady who was disappointed that there was no room for public speaking and a middle eastern man who wanted to argue that Jesus was not the way.
We later discussed what happened. I felt that action was done out of an un-restrained zeal and it did not produce anything that was profitable for the Kingdom (who could say but God?). Besides, I did not particularly like being embarrassed unnecessarily. I don’t know what I was embarrassed about. Perhaps now, I may stand up and say something myself. Yes, there’s time for courage and then there’s time for zeal, even an unrestrained zeal if the Lord requires it. We need discernment. Even so, I could not help but to respect this man who had dared to do what he felt the Holy Spirit was telling him to do. I would bet that not one out of a thousand men would have had the courage to do what Will did that evening.
So, I was not altogether surprised when this high desert experience happened. He was told to proclaim YAH in the four directions, and led by the Spirit, he was dancing and chanting “HAYAH (pronounced “Hey-yah”), HAYAH, HAYAH.”
The number “Four” is very important to the Native Americans, but Will did not know that, then. Will said at that point that he had to stop everything and test the spirit thinking, “I’ve had my drug days. I don’t want to go there again.” But, he soon knew this was the same Spirit he had loved and served ever since he came to know Jesus in his heart. He said that the Lord spoke in his heart.
When Moses ran into the burning bush in Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I am YAWEH”, meaning “I Am Who I Am” or possibly “I Am Becoming.” The root word for YAHWEH (which the Spirit pronounced to Will as “Yah Way”) is HAYAH (“Hey Yah”). We did not know it then, but the Lord had Will cry out in the Four Directions what all the Native Americans chant in their songs saying, “Hayah, Hayah, Hayah.” One would hear these words, and variations on them, repeated again and again at all the Powwows, and also in all the Pueblo/American Indian songs.
We believe that when the Lord dispersed the nations at Babel and blessed them with their various languages, the Native Americans inherently have been given the name of the Creator to call out in their songs and they have been singing these words back to Him for thousands of years. The Word of God says, “He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” I think it is uncanny that if one should read, “HAYAH” backwards, it still will be exactly the same! It is like the Lord being the beginning and the end. When I am singing HAYAH with my Native friends, I am saying, “Hallelujah” to our Lord.
Will said that this Indian Chief Father had told him to do a somersault that night. He did not even know how; he was not a gymnast. In fact, he said he used to sometimes do a belly flop when he had to dive off of a diving board as a child. Now, he is supposed to do a flip while he is standing on the ground? Being filled with the Spirit and without thinking, he went ahead and amazingly enough he did a complete backward flip! Never mind that he landed on his bottom. Mind you, this white man was not a young nimble man but he was in his mid forties. He did not break his neck because the Lord was with him.
I had to ask God in my heart, “I just wanted a godly man, did I marry a crazy man?” I was given a very swift reply which was “No, he is not crazy. Trust him.”
Will was so filled with the Holy Spirit that all he wanted was simply to obey the Lord with absolutely everything he had in him. So, he ran, danced and proclaimed His Name, YAH, until he nearly lost his voice.
I did not hesitate to again ask God in my heart, “I just wanted a godly man, did I marry a crazy man?” And again, I was given a very swift reply which was “No, he is not crazy. Trust him.”
Will talked about a number of experiences such as where he danced, circling in the Spirit to the right, and then circling to the left, saying words like “an Indian warrior is brave and strong” and “a maiden is gentle and kind.”
Later, he heard the coyotes howling from a distance, and he heard the words, “coyote brothers,” and he began to howl with them and the coyotes responded. It was many years later that he was doing a weekly discipleship program with the men in the Hopi jail. One evening, Will felt to ask how many of them were of the Coyote clan and ten out of twelve guys responded saying that they were Coyote brothers. I could just see Will howling with all the coyotes.
I asked again, “Father, are you sure I did not marry a crazy man?” This third time, I felt God had run out of patience with me. I know now that He did not as He is always patient and loving. He just wanted to make this one strong point. I felt a quiet but very strong rebuke as though someone had punched me in my stomach, and I heard Him in my heart.
God said, “Millie, don’t be like Michal! Let him dance!” Michal was Saul’s daughter and King David’s wife. She was ashamed of David when he danced with all his might, almost naked, through the streets when the Ark of the Covenant was coming back into Israel (2 Samuel 6:14). God did not want me to be embarrassed about what was happening. I did not want to be like Michal who despised her husband, David, for dancing with all his might. No, I did not want to be like Michal who was barren to the day of her death. I don’t want to be barren. I want to have many spiritual children on this earth.
After all, our God is a wild God! Look at John the Baptist and Elijah; they are not church pew-sitting, gentle and quiet guys. God was doing a paradigm shift in our world as He pleased, and either we were going to follow Him or quench His Spirit and walk away.
We knew that the cultures of the indigenous peoples were somehow very important to our God’s heart because He showed Himself to Will as his Indian Chief Father. He could have shown Himself as a white man, but everything about that night had indigenous roots. This initiation experience finally ended a couple of hours later when Will was told to clean his wounds and go to sleep. Will knew he had to come back home that morning to tell us that God was doing something new and that it had something to do with the Native Americans.
After that day, Will and some of our friends over the course of two years had many dreams about the indigenous people, so we knew that God was doing something new. You may wish to dream about India or China or purple caterpillars, but you cannot make yourself dream what you want. These were dreams that a white man could not make up on his own volition.
In one dream, an Indian man in the Amazon walking towards a hut with a cross on it, fixed his eyes ahead and said, “I need my black spine cleaned.” Each time after a dream, we would ask, “Lord, do you want us to go to the Amazon, the Philippines etc.?” But, we sensed that we were still in a waiting period to simply watch what He was unfolding, with more to come
We even found out about the Ainu people, the indigenous people of Japan because of the last dream Will had which were taking us roughly around the Pacific Rim. I am of Korean descent and having been born not far from Japan, had no idea that there were “Indians” in Hokkaido, Japan who have Bear clans just like the Hopis and many other Native American nations. These are things which the Lord Himself can reveal for His purposes to be done which we are not aware of. All I know is that is this was about “love”, His love which He wanted so desperately to reveal on this earth.
It was at the end of the first year of dreams and visions that Will heard the Lord speak to him one night. “You are going to the Hopis as well as other tribes and watch out for religious spirits.” (As it turned out, we found out that the religious spirits were not just in the Hopi ways, but also in some of the denominational churches).
God was showing us the Promised Land. I don’t want to stand there and be shown the Promised Land and walk away. “Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty and their lives ebbed away.” (Psalm 107:6) I don’t want to be hungry and thirsty for God’s living water and food in my life only to ebb away because I won’t cross over into the land which He has let me see with my own eyes. Life is too short. I want to walk into every area of His promise. I will not stop just before stepping into any of God’s promise and purpose for my life.