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YWAM DTS Survival Kit

Tyla Fazzari June 3, 2016


You never quite know where you'll be going or what you're going to do on a DTS. At YWAM Mazatlan, we have a heart for the isolated, so your outreach team might be hiking to an unreached village with no electricity, or sailing on a ship to a remote island community.


You won't be able to carry much with you on an adventure like this, so it's best to only pack the essentials. Here's a list of things that are absolutely necessary for your DTS. We know from experience that being prepared makes the journey a whole lot smoother!

1. Journal

DTS means diving into something new ever day. It could be a new culture, a new language, new friends, or new challenges. A notebook or journal is absolutely necessary for jotting down memories and revelations. It's important to be able to process what you learn in class and what you experience on outreach, and it's also important to be able to look back and remember all the hilarious moments, crazy stories, and powerful testimonies.

2. A willing heart to say YES!

No matter who you are and what your personality type is, a DTS  will push you into doing things you find uncomfortable. For some, the struggle is evangelism, for others, it's having to be away from home for a long period of time. However, we encourage you to keep saying YES! Choose to say YES to the adventure. Whether the Lord tells you to approach a random person on the street to pray for them in a language they don’t understand, or you're just trying to get out of your comfort zone and learn to surf for the first time, it’s important that you have a willing heart. You don’t want to look back with regrets, wishing you had given it your all and said YES more often.

3. Travel mug

Frappes, lattes, cappuccinos, espresso. Coffee (in whatever form) is a must have! Your days will be filled with base duties, class, reflection time, hang-outs with friends, one-on-one meetings, games, and worship sessions. The days might be long; there's always something to be apart of. Even if you prefer tea, it's best to have your mug ready to go -- you will definitely appreciate an extra boost of energy now and then!

4. Trust in the Lord

It’s important to understand that you’re not here for vacation. While it may be exciting to be in a new place and to be experiencing a new culture, you are ultimately here because God has called you to serve. Let go of your worries and fears and put it all in God’s hands. Because you’ve been called here, trust that you are about to be a part of something bigger than you could have imagined.

5. Photos of family and friends

Although you will be surrounded by amazing new people who will become like family, there will inevitably be those times when you feel a little homesick. A great way to feel "at home" and be reminded of your loved ones is to hang up pictures of them on the wall or underneath the bunk bed above you!

6. A good translation app

"¡Dos con todo!" is the only Spanish you need to know to order great food at a taquería in Mexico. Although it's good to have helpful phrases like this one under your belt, whenever you are in a new city or you need to communicate in a new language, be sure to have a good translator app on hand. Another great app to download is Duolingo. With Duolingo, you can pick up on some of the basics in just a few practice sessions!

7. A love for different food

On outreach (or even during your lecture phase) you will eat all different kinds of food from all different cultures. Be adventurous and open. Who knows, you may even find your new favorite meal!
Furthermore, for many people, food is a doorway to culture. As you minister and build relationships with others, they will often invite you into their home to share a meal. Don't just accept the food--do your best to enjoy it and be grateful. Food is a way of building community, giving hospitality, and demonstrating love.

8. Good walking shoes

New cities, new friends, and new places to explore. Those three things add up to a ton of walking! There's so many places to go and so little time. During lecture phase, you could be playing capture the flag with friends, exploring shops and side-streets, or running across the base to make it on time to your next meeting.
On outreach, you may be prayer walking, evangelizing, or hiking to a rural village. Having good quality walking shoes is a must. You are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus -- so make sure those feet are protected by something sturdy!

What not to bring: expectations

If you find yourself getting nervous as you imagine what the base and DTS will be like, just take a deep breath. When you arrive, you will find beauty everywhere you look, and not always in the ways you expect. You will find physical beauty in the surroundings of the YWAM base, from oceans, to lakes, to cityscapes, to open fields.
There is also a different kind of beauty that comes from learning about yourself and your relationship with God as you grow into the person He desires you to be. Whatever you may be thinking, leave it at home, simply come, with arms wide open, and allow your DTS story to write itself!
Become A Missionary

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