Hi there, my name is Jane! My son is a DTS graduate from the YWAM base in Mazatlan, Mexico where he later went on to join staff as a full-time missionary.
I wrote this blog to bring some comfort and insight to parents whose children are thinking of embarking on their own missions adventure by doing a DTS. Here is my perspective of DTS as a loving (and at times, nervous) mother.
Is a YWAM DTS in your son or daughter’s near future? Maybe you're familiar with what these cryptic letters stand for, or maybe you've never heard the acronym before. Either way, you probably have a lot of questions for both your child and the YWAM base they're thinking of joining.
As someone who was once standing in your shoes, I want to share some of that elusive wisdom I gained from the experience, and tell you a few things I wish someone had told me.
First I’d like to throw out a disclaimer: God has an individual and unique plan for each of us, so I believe in leaving some of the details up to him!
It's going to cost you
Now don’t stop reading yet—hang on! Any mission experience will cost monetarily. That’s just the simple truth. But, God calls us to follow him at any cost. He'll never call your children to place where he cannot sustain them! That’s a promise!
Your child will be just fine without you
It's hard to come to terms with the fact that our children won't always have to rely on us. With that revelation, you might be tempted to click close and move on, but humor me a minute.
If our children are being called by the Almighty God, then how can we seriously think that we can do a better job of meeting their needs than him? I think it’s time we admit that God is a better parent than we are!
God will stretch you
You might wonder how God is stretching you. After all, as a parent you might say, "I'm not the one leaving my comfort zone and journeying to another country!"
But is that really true? When your son or daughter leaves on this new adventure, part of your heart goes with them. Now who's being stretched?
Your prayer life will improve
When you have a kid across the globe—or even across the continent—you naturally find yourself praying all the time. Sometimes worry sets in and you miss them terribly, but the God of all comfort is there, and we can kneel at his feet any time and anywhere!
You might get jealous
What? Jealousy? Yes, it's true. It's hard not to feel a twinge of jealousy when you think about how your child gets to focus on spiritual growth and ministry 24/7. What a cool opportunity, and especially when the beach is 100 yards away!
People won't understand you
”Oh, how nice!” “Isn’t that sweet!” “You must be so proud!” “What's he doing there?”
Not many people understood what my child was doing or what I was going through emotionally. I just wanted a shoulder to cry on, but everyone acted like my son was on a vacation for a week. I wanted to shout at everyone around me, "It’s 6 months, people! I miss my boy!"
You'll have to share your faith
Ever tried to explain why your 18-year-old is in Mazatlan, Mexico for 6-months of missionary training? Ever tried to explain what a Discipleship Training School is without including your faith or mentioning God?
Not happening, folks. God gives us opportunities like these through our children! Take them!
The kid that left won't come back...
...the same, that is. Good thing, right? YES! God grew, changed, and matured my son more in 6 months than I could ever have imagined him maturing at home! Dad and Mom, as hard as it is, just stay out of the way and let God do the work in your child's life. Just don't forget to pray, pray, pray!
You might feel heartbroken
My heart was broken, but not by sorrow—it was broken by an amazing renewed passion for God as I was reminded of MY purpose. I was inspired by watching my son follow his Savior!
It'll be one of your best experiences as a parent
God called my son, spoke to him, comforted, protected, grew, impassioned, and matured him. What more could a parent want for their child than for him or her to be totally consumed by God and entrust their life into his hands, for his purpose?
Your experience may be different than mine, but I’m sure that God has an awesome journey ahead for you and your son or daughter! So instead of doing all the talking for him, why don't you let him speak to your child?