Before coming to DTS my friend and I had been walking across the country for 3 ½ years. We were sharing the gospel with people we ran into, relying on the Lord and His provision, and just trying to live similar to what we see in the Bible with Jesus’ ministry going town to town. Coming home after that process of stepping out, I was excited about what the Lord had in store for me. I had all these expectations of what my life would look like now at home. When I got home, not all of those expectations were met and it sent me off into a depression where a lot of past insecurities came up about relationships with different people. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone, including the church, because I felt like no one was there for me. So, I isolated myself.
I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone, including the church, because I felt like no one was there for me.
During that time of depression, my close friend that I had walked the country with was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and that kind of threw me off. I doubted God and His control in my life and with the people I love. I became anxious with trusting God and knowing if He was good or not. I began to doubt a lot of things in life, including whether what I was believing was real; whether my Christian faith was real. It made me question everything I’d been through and what the Lord had done for me.
I began to doubt a lot of things in life, including whether what I was believing was real; whether my Christian faith was real.
As I started sharing with other people what I was going through, I began to find freedom from the depression and anxiety I was experiencing. I started praying more and seeking the Lord and He started to bring back passions and desires I’d had for missions. I realized I really enjoy missions and I felt like YWAM was something He brought up during those times I prayed to Him. I had heard a lot about YWAM before through other people and my sister had gone to YWAM as well. I saw a huge change in her and a more solid foundation for her faith. I wanted that kind of solid faith that was unshakeable.
I wanted that kind of solid faith that was unshakeable.
So, I prayed. I wanted to be pushed out of my comfort zone because I’d never been away from familiar people and I wanted to learn more about my identity in Christ. I thought YWAM would be a good place to go away for five months to seek the Lord about my life and the desires he put in me for missions, and to be able to go out and do missions and learn from people who have had experience.
I decided to do a DTS. I knew this was what God wanted for me in this season, but it was definitely difficult to go into committing to do a DTS while my close friend was still diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and I was still battling my own doubts and fears about stepping out in faith. I came here not knowing what would happen with his health while I was gone, they said he only had a few more months to live. God really worked on my heart for me to be ready to come. I was really excited to come and experience what He had for me in this season. He prepared my heart, even in saying goodbye to my friend.
…it was definitely difficult to go into committing to do a DTS while my close friend was still diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Now since being here in DTS, I’ve learned a lot about how deeply God loves me and cares for me. I think I had a lot of head knowledge about that, but never really truly accepted that in my heart. I think DTS has helped me understand that more. I’ve been able to put into practice what I believe by just knowing that He loves me and it’s helped me love the people around me more. I feel more free to be who I am and not live in shame because of things in my past.
I’ve also been realizing how much I need community. DTS has shown me a lot of that and how healthy it is to have people encourage you and have the same vision and goal that we’re all working towards. It’s been really good for me to be able to open up and not feel judged for the things I’m going through. It’s good to be in community.
– Jon, January 2019 DTS