This note is for those of you who are currently “on the fence” about coming to do a DTS. You may be sitting there with an application in your hand. Or maybe you have just found out about DTS and are playing with the idea of it. Let me first start out by saying that doing a DTS is rarely a bad choice! If you’re wanting to get real with God, experience amazing community, and find what God’s designed you for then ‘just do it’.
So whatever point you are at right now I want to encourage you not to wait. Don’t sit there waiting around all year for a miraculous sign or 100% confirmation. Yes it is absolutely a good idea to pray into it. But please don’t put it off because you haven’t heard God’s voice clearly saying “GO DO A DTS IN NEWCASTLE”. I think we can often over spiritualize things like this and wait for the “writing on the wall”. And without that ‘writing’ we are afraid to take that step out into the unknown. Remember that it’s a faith step. If we had 100% confirmation we were meant to do something, there wouldn’t be much faith needed in that.
When I first heard about YWAM it was from one of my good friends who had just come back from her DTS. I saw the change in her and at that time in my life was desperate for a change as well. I honestly just saw DTS as an “experience” that looked fun and exciting. After hearing her stories I was sold and I went online and applied. I didn’t pray. I didn’t include God in this process really at all! To be honest my relationship with God wasn’t in the kind of place where I could include Him.
All I did was make a decision and commit to 6 MONTHS of something that I knew would be good for me (I just didn’t realize HOW good!), and through that I was immersed into the most amazing community I’ve ever been apart of. I totally fell in love with Jesus and also decided to commit the rest of my life to missions. God used that decision that I made on my own and blew me away. It wasn’t until most of the way through my DTS that God told me this was the right decision, this was the adventure he wanted to take me on.
God has placed in EACH of us a desire for adventure and a courage to make decisions that lead to him. So, go and make decisions that seem adventurous and a bit scary. Just do it, don’t wait. For my own process I was in a place where if I had waited around to hear from God I probably would have spent a lot more time waiting around and may have never come. Instead I stepped onto a plane and into one of the best decisions I have ever made.
By Jess Norris,
January Summer Classic DTS ’09 Student & Current YWAM Staff