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What am I getting myself into? The main question in my head from the moment I stepped off the airplane and touched ground in Mazatlan for my YWAM DTS. I had long awaited and prepared for this moment of my life, and now that it was here I wasn’t sure what to think. Honestly, I was nervous out of my mind.
Grabbing my oversized suitcases with all my belongings for the next 6 months, I shuffled out of the baggage claim and out into the waiting area where everyone arriving passed through. Noticing a group of young people waiting with a tall man holding a YWAM sign and realizing these were the people I was meeting, I hurried to their side. After introducing myself quickly and meeting the rest of the little group, we followed our guide to the van in the parking lot to head to the base. What am I getting myself into? The question repeated itself. Once seated and ready in the van, I glanced around at the faces of my fellow soon-to-be DTS mates. A funny, talkative girl from Canada. An older guy from Texas. A sweet, quiet girl with her mom, also from Texas. The tall Canadian in the drivers seat who was staff at the base. And they were only a few of the big group of people I was going to spend the next 6 months of my life with. How is this going to work out? I thought to myself.
Upon arriving at the base, I met 25 more people from all different parts of the world, who were either staff or students on the DTS, not including the rest of the base staff who had other duties during that time. So many people, right? But already within the first few weeks, I had already connected with most if not all of the students and staff on my school. We were all so different, with distinct cultures, traditions, backgrounds, ways of looking at things. Yet we all had one thing in common. We were at YWAM Mazatlan doing a DTS to really get to know God and the way He wants to partner with us to change the world. All of us there to pursue transformation and Christ’s freedom in our lives. And the funny thing is, we all came not knowing a single person, yet we became such a family.
I had been so afraid of the thought that I would have to open up to people I had never met in my life, that it would be awkward or weird. And living in community? Living with 5 other girls in one room and sharing one bathroom? Definitely not something I was jumping up and down about. As the months went by, I lived some crazy moments with the girls in my room, with the rest of the DTS students. Learning things we never knew about in class. Challenged to persistently seek God out, hear His voice, and obey Him. Figuring out how to work through issues together and love each other unconditionally. Getting broken in class by things God was revealing and being there for each other, the hands and feet of Jesus to help each other heal. Whoa. I never would have thought I would live such a crazy journey with people I otherwise would have never met, and becoming an authentic family together. What have I gotten myself into? A question I asked myself at the beginning of DTS, and by the end of it I was laughing at my own answer. I’ve gotten myself into the best adventure of my life so far, and I’ve gained another family.
Are you thinking about coming to do a YWAM DTS? Do you have any fears about how the community is going to be? Is the thought of 5 months with people you’ve never met before in your life something scary for you? Let me be the first to tell you....don’t let that fear hold you back! At YWAM Mazatlan, I was able to open up with the other DTS students and with the staff, and instead of facing rejection, I was accepted here. DTS is the best place to start learning how to really trust people and see how God blesses community. This is a place where you can find a family; a family that’s willing to work through the hurtful things, the beautiful things, the sad things, and the incredible things. I’ve experienced that firsthand. Maybe you’ve struggled with trusting people in the past and it seems impossible to think that you can trust more people, much less complete strangers that you are going to meet on your DTS.
This is a great place to start learning how to trust again, to experience the grace and friendship of other people who are on the same journey you are. Seeking out more intimacy with Jesus and learning how to walk in their identity as children of God. So, DTS. What are you getting yourself into? An adventure, with a family and community that is growing and learning day by day. So think about it, don’t let fear hold you back, and jump into our family!