Going into my DTS with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) I only knew a few things:
I was about to travel 9,300 miles across the world to spend 3 months in Australia and 3 months in another country. I would be leaving my friends and family for a total of 6 months, and I’d be doing some kind of missions work! Little did I know all that God had in store for me! I never imagined learning and growing as much as I did. Here are 10 of the biggest things I learned on my Discipleship Training School:
1. God’s plan for my life is SO much better than my own plan for my life.
So often, we try to control our lives and forget to invite God in. We get so caught up in our own plans that we forget to ask God what he wants. Sometimes he will completely redirect our plans into something so much better! And the safest and best place we can be is in the will of God!
2. God’s love is steadfast. He is constant in his character and his love will never fail.
God does not pick and choose favourites, or decide to act in certain situations and not others. God is consistent and trustworthy in all his ways! He is near to us even when we can’t see him working or feel that he is with us. He is always in our midst, regardless of our situation. Even though the seasons change and trials come our way, God is still the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
3. The importance of reading the Word of God!
When we dive into scripture we begin to replace the lies we’ve believed for so long and start to fill ourselves with the truth of God! Spending time with God allows us to grow in intimacy with God as we gain wisdom of his character.
4. FREE people FREE people!
The thing I love about YWAM is that they train, teach and equip young people like myself to be missionaries! To Know God and Make him known! Not only did we learn more about God throughout DTS, but we also learned so much about ourselves and how God sees us. When we start to see ourselves from God’s eyes, we break off the chains the world has put on us and walk out in the freedom God has for us.
5. God ALWAYS finishes what he starts!
God never leaves things half done or unfinished. He is a God who finishes thoroughly. Just think of creation! God put so much time and detail into everything he made! He also cares about all the little details in our lives!
6. There’s nothing we can do to earn God’s love!
The story of the lost prodigal in Luke 15 has really stood out to me recently. The prodigal son leaves his family and spends his father’s fortunes. Eventually, he wants to go home to his fathers’ house but assumes his father will not welcome him back. However, the father is waiting for his son with the door wide open. When his son returns, he says nothing about what he did or where he went. Instead, he delights in his presence and celebrates his return. God does the same thing with us. We are never to far gone for the Love of God!
7. There is so much freedom and reward found in laying things down to God. To allow him to be Lord over everything in your life.
Living a life completely devoted to God is not easy but it’s so worth it! Life with God is the most exciting life you can live! God loves adventures and excitement, and he wants us to experience that too! There’s nothing more exciting than stepping out in obedience to God and experiencing all the rewards and challenges that come with it!
8. What it looks like to rely on God to Sustain my joy!
On outreach, God really taught me a lot about what genuine joy looks like He has also challenged me to keep my roots of Joy in God and not the people I’m with or the places I go. It’s so easy for us to get our joy from the temporary circumstances we are living under. The places we are or the people we are with can often be temporary, but the joy of the Lord is eternal!
9. God is constantly speaking to us!
He speaks to us all in different ways because he knows how we will best receive/discern his voice! For instance, God speaks to me the most through nature and people because he knows I’m a people person and I love to be surrounded by nature. I’ve learned so much about how God is a speaking God, and how I can learn to hear His voice!
I am so incredibly thankful for tall that God has taught me and given me revelations about over the past 6 months. It has been a crazy, God-filed adventure! I’m so sad to know this season of my life is coming to an end, but I know that these 6 months have just been the beginning of all that God has in store for me!
By Katie Estenson
July DTS Student