"YWAM Louisville is committed to not just taking the truth of the Gospel to the nations but to make disciples and serve in the example of Jesus"
I’ve realized Christianity is about having a relationship with God first. This creates my identity. Then through that relationship creates obedience. Now my obedience to God isn’t so that I can have relationship with Him, but rather, out of relationship with Him. I’ve also gained a greater understanding of how much God values me as an individual, how everyone is made in God’s image and practically how to value others because of this truth. But, the main thing I’ve learned is that I can’t earn my righteousness. I don’t have to earn my way back to God when I sin. God has already reconciled me to Himself through the cross.
Before I did my DTS, I struggled a lot with insecurities and knowing that I am valuable, that I matter and my voice matters. I also struggled with different fears and becoming jaded. A lot of my major life decisions were made with fear as a large motivator. I overcame those things in a process. As God began to show me more of His character and His love for me, fear didn’t seem as overwhelming. It was still scary, but I knew that God is a faithful and good Father who would walk with me through the fear. I didn’t want to live my life running away from fear or letting it rule me. That meant that I needed to face it and overcome it. As I learned more about God’s character and love and learned how to listen to His voice, God (and others) spoke truth and life over me and I began to believe that over lies. It has been a process of un-training my brain, uprooting lies, and retraining my brain to believe truth and planting that truth.
Before I did my DTS, I struggled a lot with insecurities and knowing that I am valuable, that I matter and my voice matters.
Something that really defined my relationship with God was Him redeeming things in my past. There were some things that had happened that made me question whether God was really good. He showed me that He didn’t cause those things to happen but He also hadn’t abandoned or forgotten about me or ignored the pain when it did.
Learning to hear God’s voice has helped me identify lies, replace them with truth, and trust that God is walking with me and leading me.
I’m different now than in my DTS in that I don’t let others and life just take me wherever. I am more secure. I learned that God wants to speak to me and that I can hear from Him and that I have purpose. This was a large part of what helped me get to this place because it grew my personal relationship and trust in Him. Learning to hear God’s voice has helped me identify lies, replace them with truth, and trust that God is walking with me and leading me.
"Even though fear of man had a grip on my life, God Is bigger than fear, and he had freedom in store for me. When I came to my DTS I brought with me my fear of man. Even in a Christian atmosphere where people truly cared about me, I still struggled with it.
During my DTS, we talked about identity one week. The focus was on who we are biblically, and it was extremely impactful for me. I was starting to learn that my worth wasn’t in the opinions of man. What my Creator says about me defines my value. If that’s true then I don’t have to live in fear of what others think. Their opinions don’t have to hold me captive. After being a Christian for years I was just starting to understand what it meant to be made in the image of God. I am valuable to him and I have a purpose. I’m unique and no one else is like me. With this in mind I began to see I can have freedom from fear of man.
During that week there was an application time where two staff members prayed for me and heard from the Lord who He created me to be. The Lord was showing them that a stronghold in my life was fear of man and that I can break it off in prayer. So, I went to spend time with the Lord and I felt like I was different, like something monumental just happened in my struggle against fear.
After being a Christian for years I was just starting to understand what it meant to be made in the image of God."
What I Learned in DTS Lecture Phase
"Quiet time has been revolutionary for me. I’ve learned so much about God’s character through spending time with Him." - Grace
"I didn’t understand the extent of God’s grace before I came. One of the speakers we had opened my eyes to how you don’t have to earn your place at God’s table." - Sehrena
"One of our speakers talked about how if I take one step towards God, He takes 1,000 steps toward me." - Aaron
"That pride can be valuing yourself above or below what you truly are. I thought I wasn’t prideful but thought of myself below who God created me to be, and didn’t realize that was a problem before DTS." - Zach
"God has been speaking incredible things to me through intercession." - Brianna
"I didn’t know how intense DTS was going to be. I’ve learned so much about God’s fatherly character and how personal He is with me, and how much grace and patience He has with me. " - Travis
I was teaching a woman who is a mother of 3 and she was super personal with me. I introduced her to the Bible first thing, and she was super interested from the start. I would teach her different parables from Matthew, and she was so amazed asking if the stories were true. I would tell her that they are and that the man teaching was Jesus. She asked me if I would teach her more about Jesus and more of the stories. I said that I would. I asked if she had a Bible and she told me that she did not. I offered her one to take, but she shared that she didn’t want to have one because the religion in her country is Buddhism and she was scared to have one. Learning about Jesus was enough for her.
A week later in one of our lessons she came to me and was so excited. She said that she had something to tell me. Taking me aside, she told me that her and her son had gone to a book swap and they didn’t know what kind of books they would get back. when she got her box of books, inside was an unmarked English Bible! She said she didn’t know it was a Bible until she opened it and she open it to a story I had taught her the week before! She felt like Jesus brought me to her to help her know Him and teach her the Bible.
It showed me how intentional God is with His people on knowing them and loving them!
Anna, Natalia, and I were on the same Sudanese house visits. We get to our second house visit and there is a woman and her elderly mother. We are talking and I felt like we should ask if she has any pain or sickness. And she tells us she has something wrong in her spine and pain in her stomach. She told us the doctors told her to have surgery done on her back. And she told them no God will heal me. So we get up and gather around her and pray. We feel the Holy Spirit moving, I feel fire coursing through my body. And after we prayed for her she said her back felt better and no pain in her stomach. Then she asks us to pray for her mother. She has a had a stroke. The left side of her body is nearly paralyzed. So we make our way over to her. Lay hands on her and she says she felt her head feel less tense and could move her arm a little higher. We prayed again she lifted it even higher over her head. And when she stood up where she could only straight legged walk now she could bend and lift it. God radically moved that night. This was the first major miracle I’ve seen and really strengthened my faith and confidence in the Lord.
On our last day of door to door ministry in Monterey, we went to a neighborhood that was on a hill and my team decided to go to the top. We reached the top of the hill and there was a dog that scared us, so we began to turn around, but a woman came out and said “hola”. I turned around and began to talk to her. Her name was Quena and she loves the Lord so much, enough that it takes her two-ish hours to make it to church, yet she does it almost every Sunday. I asked her if she had a Bible and she said, “No but if you gave me one I would read it”. then I asked how I could pray for her. She began to tell us about her family problems, her finance problems and her husband's mental health. The Mexican CPS came to her house that was barely big enough for one family, yet held 3 families. They told her that the condition her grandkids lived in would result in them being taken if not fixed. They were stuck because her husband had just been laid off, and they were struggling financially. This led to his depression. Through prayer and a lot of work, Quena managed to fix the house up enough that the grandkids were safe to live there. But their fixed house didn’t fix her husband's broken heart and soul. My heart broke for him, but it also broke for Quena because I know what it’s like to help take care of someone who is depressed. my team asked Quena if we could meet her husband to pray over him. Without hesitation, she asked him to come out and then invited us onto her porch. We walked in, and as a team, we prayed over this man and connected with him. As we are praying over him, God led me to Psalms 23:4. I explained to him the importance of relying on God when you’re afraid and living in darkness. As I finished talking about Psalms 23, Her husband looked up at me and told me that he was at a loss for words but was so amazed that we actually spent time with him and wanted to see him change.
As we walked out, Quena hugged me so tight and sobbed on my shoulder. She told me how grateful she was that we cared about her family the way God does. I walked out with goosebumps and tears running down my face. Although I began that day with complaining, through my apology and my team's willingness to walk all the way to the top, God used us to change a man’s view on how God sees him and hopefully how he sees himself.