Many of us have experienced the same feeling. Right as we're about to submit our DTS application, or as we're surfing through online travel agencies looking for a flight, a mini panic attack can set in. The panic is usually followed by the question: "What the heck am I doing?"
If that's you, don't worry, you're not the only one to experience cold feet! Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to listen to their doubts instead of listening to what God has spoken to them.
Don't let that be you! Here are some of the all-too-common obstacles that prevent people from booking that flight and embarking on the journey of a lifetime.
"What about the money?"
Lack of funds is almost always the biggest roadblock. Many prospective students send emails along the lines of, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’ve decided not to attend the DTS. I just can’t seem to get the money…”.
It's true that raising the money isn't easy, especially if you’ve been working and fundraising but you still don’t have enough to pay your lecture fees. But in the midst of stressing out about finances, we forget just how big our God is, and how He says in His Word:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
So don’t let the dollar signs hold you back. Instead, remind yourself that He who has called you is always faithful to provide.
"My family and friends aren't supportive."
Whether you’re 18 years old and fresh out of high school, or 26 with a stable job and your own apartment, leaving home is a scary prospect, especially if you’re leaving behind family and friends that don't understand what you're going to do.
“Shouldn’t you be applying to colleges instead of spending money on missions work?” they might ask. "Shouldn't you focus on your career?" You may hear differing ideas and conflicting opinions.
It all comes down to one simple thing: are you trying to obey God, or are you trying to please the people in your life? If you are certain that a DTS is where God's calling you next, then don't let other people discourage you or make you feel like it's impossible. You may be surprised -- after hearing about what you've done and how much you've changed during your DTS, they might even turn into some of your biggest supporters!
"Is this really God's will for me?"
Many Christians live in fear that if they make a wrong move or step outside of God's plan for their life, He will depart from them. But this is one of the many lies we accidentally believe about God. Would a loving God abandon you because you chose to set aside six months to get to know Him more intimately? Would God be angry at you for bringing spiritual healing to girls enslaved by sex trafficking, or food to starving people on the street? Remember the Great Commission:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
This is our mandate as Christians, as "YWAMers", and as missionaries: to go into all the world and make disciples. God will not forsake you for answering the call.
If you’re someone who’s interested in doing a YWAM DTS, don’t let these three things hold you back from the most incredible, life-changing 6 months of your life.
Instead, let this time leading up to your school be a time of growing in faith, trusting in God, and casting out all fear. You will never know unless you go.