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The decision to do Discipleship Training School (DTS) is a big one. You're setting everything aside with the sole purpose of knowing God and making Him known. Many people have asked what's DTS like, and a lot of YWAMers give people pretty generic answers.
I mean, it's hard to explain a five month long roller coaster transformation in a passing conversation... but here are four quick and unusual ways to describe DTS that for me encapsulate such a formative experience.
DTS was the first time I could really be myself. The base was a safe place to stop being fake and start walking in the light, but openness before the Lord and others may seem embarrassing at first. It's easy to believe you're alone or weird or different from everyone else. The beauty of DTS is that all those lies are confronted, and you find that classmates are not just with you, but willing to fight alongside you towards victory.
Most people don't get it. Leaving the comforts of home and the security of an income to go to destinations that most would not describe as paradise seems pretty awful. It can be hard to see past the sacrifice in order to catch a glimpse of the eternal reward. If five year olds were honest with themselves, I think they'd agree that being in bed is actually great; the struggle is the process of getting there. DTS is like going to bed when you're five years old because when you make it, you're living the dream!
I would say YWAM is pro-relationships, but on DTS it is a no-no. DTS is a wonderful time to fall in love with Jesus Christ without distraction, but seriously, we are a community of young people. It's possible that someone would show up who fulfills your long list of requirements. But DTS is all about God and falling in love with Him, and that must be done with an undivided heart.
In my opinion, community is the most rewarding… and challenging thing YWAM has to offer. Just imagine a bunch of people who are young and young at heart, who live love for Jesus in such a way that everyone learns, serves and grows together. That's YWAM! It also means sharing and working with people you may not easily understand, but it's in that place where we really learn what it means to love. The sad part about YWAM DTS is it does end, but you leave with friends that last a life time and a better relationship with God.