The call to move to Mazatlan to complete a DTS has taken different forms for many of the students, but for Mike Melson of Loveland, Colorado, it came from a friend. As Mike, 25, began to explore the opportunity of doing a YWAM DTS, friends from church recommended the Mazatlan base, and now he’s here learning about the plan that God has for his life.
He is here to take the next step with God and to allow Him to have control over his life and to learn more about Him. Mike’s favorite week of class was the course on Original Design in which he became more aware of how God made him. Another highlight of the DTS occurred on an outreach trip to Durango when Mike publicly shared his testimony and experienced a new level of freedom. He is also learning the importance of surrounding oneself with other Believers for encouragement. He is being challenged, and learning to shift his priorities to spend more time with God to live out Matthew 6:33. “Priority is seeking God and [then] He’ll make everything work out for me,” says Mike. Mike’s big, soft heart for following God has also been revealed when he has lead intercessory prayer for the DTS class.
Holly Pratt, a 27 year old call center manager from Los Angeles, California, first came to Mazatlan in March 2013 as a team member to help at Carnaval, a life changing experience for her. She decided to return for DTS as she felt God calling her to a greater level of discipleship and teaching in her church, as well as the need to develop a strong foundation to minister to young people. Holly’s highlight of the DTS thus far is the outreach trip to Durango, Mexico when she was able to minister to the young people at a youth prison with words of knowledge. Her own faith was increased as God blessed with that gift to minister to others. Her biggest challenge has been dealing with her pride and the ability to absorb a lot of information from the classes in a short amount of time. But God is speaking to her and using Joshua 1:6-9 to show her that He has always been with her. “He is leading me wherever He’s sending me. I can [also] have confidence that God has been with me,” says Holly brightly. Holly’s warm smile and Biblical insight are a wonderful part of the September DTS class.
Daniel Manta, 18, is a recent high school graduate who comes to Mexico from Buffalo, New York. Daniel made the long journey to Mazatlan to find his identity in Christ and to learn how to leave a legacy. “I want to be remembered as a person who has made a difference in the world for Jesus,” says Daniel. Daniel thinks back to the outreach trip to Durango and reflects on his highlights: playing keyboard on a Mexican worship team, evangelizing, getting to know other students better, and praying for someone for God to reveal His original design. He’s been challenged by learning that he doesn’t have to understand everything about God or rationalize everything. He has also experienced God challenging him by helping him to understand the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, and how those need to be in his heart, not just his head. Daniel plans to return home after completing the DTS and challenge others to follow Christ in a personal way and to experience His love. Daniel brings a great attitude, a cheerful spirit, and intellectual viewpoints to the DTS.
Though each student at the DTS is different and comes from various places around the globe, they each make up a critical part of the Body of Christ and have different gifts to offer.