Crawley Community Church

Meet Dave and Ali Swann






Hello we are Dave and Ali Swann! We are part of the leadership team here at Crawley Community Church (CCC) and also long term missionaries with a lot of international experience.

Keep up-to-date with all that we do – The Swanns Blog

How the story began

In 1979, we were part of the youth group at the first ever meeting of CCC. As the church grew we were involved in activities such as arranging chairs on a Sunday morning, youth drama group, church accounts, starting an 18-25s group and leading midweek house groups. In 1989, we took a year out and volunteered to work with refugees in Thailand with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). We knew nothing about the missions, refugees, Thailand or much at all really!

If you want to know more about YWAM look here: http://www.ywam.org


The journey

That year in Thailand totally changed our lives and God called us very clearly into long-term missions. So we sold eDaveAli1989verything and happily returned to the refugee work in Bangkok

When the refugees were repatriated in the early 1990s, two community development projects were started in Cambodia & Vietnam that we’re still involved with today. This was the beginning of our involvement with community development to empower the poor and needy. Michal & Sophie, our two daughters, were born in Bangkok. Ali was involved with leading a large women’s group at the expat church. We realised that missionaries often need support and training, that we could possibly meet some of those needs and, together, we could work towards fulfilling God’s purposes for the needy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 1997 we moved to a YWAM training centre in Switzerland, where Dave registered a Swiss NGO to support community development
work in Africa & Asia and we were part of the training centre leadership team. Ali had the opportunity to be trained in debriefing. Burtigny became the place where our skills in cross cultural training were encouraged through the opportunities and coaching we were given.

Our next move to Pretoria, South Africa in 2005, allowed the Swiss NGO and our project support in developing countries to continue. We also built relationships with more teams, designed relevant training for them and offered debriefing. We began to see how God was bringing together our relationships, skills and experience to offer appropriate responses to the needs we encountered in the long term teams.


What we do now

After all these years and travels we are still working with YWAM but based in Crawley! We love being an active part of CCC once again after receiving much love, encouragement and support from the Church and its members over the years. Locally, we have opportunities to be involved with YWAM in Harpenden, Herts as well as serve on the CCC leadership team. The Church will often hear about short trips to Switzerland to meet with the Swiss NGO board members or 100_2922conduct debriefing at a partner organisation.

Our main work however revolves around our roles as YWAM Mercy Ministries elders – which is the term YWAM uses for those with recognised leadership within the mission internationally. This means:

  • we support projects & teams
  • we teach & run seminars
  • we mentor leaders
  • Ali debriefs staff
  • and we promote & recruit staff for YWAM Mercy Ministries.


Our passion

Our passion is to equip and support missionaries to see their ministries become more effective for God’s Kingdom. We have been privileged to trP1040581ain and release leaders and staff in many countries. The long-term projects we oversee have transformed lives and communities. We are honoured to partner with God in all that He is doing.


We love what we do and are so very grateful that God makes it possible! We do not receive a salary for the work we do, instead we are totally reliant on the gifts and generosity of others. If you are interested in partnering with us financially and/or prayerfully please talk to us.