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I know that I could have simply gone to University straight out of high school. It would have been fine, but I also know that God set apart those 5 months to break down the walls around my heart, invite into a deeper relationship with Him, and to simply show me how much He loves me. Going to do a Discipleship Training School at YWAM readied me for university in many ways, and I am so thankful every day that I made that choice to go.
I determined I was going to take a gap year, and pursue a DTS when I was in 11th grade. I felt I wasn't ready for university right away, and so I decided that doing missions would be the best thing for me. I spent an entire year planning out when I would go, where, and what I thought those 5 months would hold for me once I got there.
Yet, the Lord changed those plans about how He would use my life as soon as I got there, and it was an intense healing process that I went through, being transformed and renewed as a child in Jesus. Completing my DTS and graduating at the end of those 5 months was a moment marked in history for me. I began a new life deeply rooted in the truths of God, and with a new identity founded solely in Him.
As I entered into my first year of university after I had come home from Mexico, I began questioning the Lord a lot about my place at university. "Why am I here?" "What purpose does He have for me here?", were all questions that flooded my mind as I began a new chapter in my life.
I had no idea how much doing a DTS before university would build in me a stronger foundation, and prepare for the challenges that would come with being a university student. I learned how to trust God more than I ever had before, and in every challenge came God's grace and trust that I had spent time developing.
Being in university felt a lot like YWAM, where being a student in both places meant there isn't a whole lot of money for things aside from tuition and textbooks. I learned through some hard moments, that I still serve the God I served in Mexico, who loves His children with an overwhelming amount of love, and loves to provide. God will provide for you, regardless of where you are, because He loves you. I was so thankful I had this truth to fall back on in times of hardship.
I came into university with zero friends. I didn't know anybody and felt very overwhelmed at the sheer fact of even trying to make friends. I remember walking back from one of my classes, early in the semester, and asking God for friends who I could confide in, pray with and simply pour into. Once again, God provided. He brought incredible people into my life, with the same kind of passion I have, because He knows me. I came into university with the powerful truth that God had changed me from the inside out, and I had a newfound intimacy that sustained me in moments of despair. I know that He had marked me for incredible things, and my eyes were opened to His wonder and awe throughout my time on DTS.
I will always be so grateful for those incredible 5 months. 5 months that changed me, transformed me, and brought me into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus.
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