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Jesse David Schafer first landed in Mazatlan in November of 2012, but he didn’t arrive as a YWAM DTS student. “J.D,” a 26 year old landscaper and Christian camp employee from Casa Granda, Arizona first came to Mazatlan on a sailboat from California and then began to live and work at the base as a mission builder.
He spent the next four months working and living on the base, including constructing an addition to the base that serves as a room for visiting missions teams. After leaving the base, he returned home, but now J.D. is back, and this time as a DTS student. He looks forward to hearing God’s voice more clearly and experiencing the Holy Spirit move in his life. Returning to the base as a student rather than a worker is a challenge for J.D. as it brings a new level of responsibility, but he feels that now is the time in his life to learn and grow spiritually. “For me, the Bible has always been a 2000 year old book. It’s never been something in my own life,” says J.D. But he seeks to know God in a new, more personal way as he recalls Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
At a Christian camp for kids in California is where Kyle Zamora’s DTS story begins. Kyle, an 18 year old high school graduate from Cerritos, California, was working at the camp and praying about the next steps for his life. And that’s when he met J.D. Schafer, who told him about the DTS in Mazatlan. Kyle knew that God was speaking to his heart, and that the DTS was the next chapter in his life. He hopes to become stronger in Christ as he learns more about his faith and working in missions and ministry. His highlights since starting DTS include experiencing a new culture and getting to know new people. His challenges include trusting God for finances and provision and also for the ability to minister to college students at the local university. But he holds onto Psalm 18:2, knowing that God is his shield and his fortress. He hopes to use his passionate heart and relentless energy to minister to the needs of the people in Brazil one day.
Amy Alexander began her journey to Mazatlan from the city of Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba, Canada, but Amy first visited the base in 2010 as a member of a missions team. She wants to work directly with kids and is hoping to gain experience while learning in the DTS. “This is my time to make my faith my own,” says Amy, who hopes to learn more about herself, increase her confidence, and acquire boldness to do evangelism. She is challenged by the language barrier and the difficulty of communicating in a foreign language, but is hopeful that will improve. She remembers Jeremiah 29:11 clearly, that God knows the plans for her, and that He has plans to give her hope and a future. Amy previously attended college for social work, but is open to how God will use her, wherever that may be.
As the paths of students cross in a place far from home, they begin to build relationships with each other, while also learning more about how God wants to use them in the future.