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You just finished high school, and you're feeling like you really need a break before devoting yourself to 4 years of college and the daily grind of academic life. What's the best option...take a long vacation? Travel the world? Work for a while?
YWAM Mazatlan believes that the wisest choice a young person can make is to make God their foundation, before any major life decisions, such as college, marriage or a career. In the words of Jesus:
As Jesus said, in life it's inevitable that "storms" will come. A young person who does not know God or understand their true identity - the person they were created to be - is like the man who built his house on sand, there is nothing solid and unshakeable under his feet, so he isn't able to stand firm when troubles come.
If you are a young person (of any age!) interested in getting to know God and developing an intimate relationship with Him, we truly believe that the best way to begin that process is YWAM's Discipleship Training School, commonly known as "DTS." DTS is a 5-6 month, live-in missions training school which includes 3 months in the classroom, and 2-3 months on the mission field, where what was learned is put into practice. The amazing thing about DTS is that for many years, God has really used this school in a big way, to transform lives and inspire people into a life-long adventure of following Jesus and participating in the Great Commission.
Through profound teaching on a variety of topics, such as "The Character and Nature of God," "Spiritual Warfare," "Biblical Worldview and Missions" and more, students gain a deep understanding of who God is, their own true identity, as well as how God wants to use them to impact the nations.
By the end of this 6-month adventure, students are ready to begin a life of following Jesus and doing His will, whether that is going to college, bible school, serving as a full-time missionary or whatever the case may be. Unlike the person who does not know God, they have a firm, solid foundation, one that can be built upon and that will help them withstand whatever "storms" come their way.
"Going into my senior year, my heart was in two different places. I wanted to go to college, but I also had a passion for missions. When I learned that I could do a DTS first and still have the same opportunities at college a year later, I knew a DTS was the right thing for me.
DTS changed my life forever. It grounded me so deep in my faith that I have no fear of falling away or faltering in my walk when I attend college in the fall. Also, it gave me a reason to go to college! God gave me a passion for medicine and missions, and that passion is what makes me want to study! I can now say that I am going to college for a specific purpose, not because college seems like the typical thing to do." - Grace Mihalyov
So if you are thinking about what you should do for your Gap Year, remember that God wants you to have a rock solid foundation for your life, and Jesus is that true foundation. A Discipleship Training School is an excellent way to get that foundation, and an experience you will never forget. So first things first - before building the house, be like the wise man Jesus spoke about in Matthew 7 and build it upon the rock!