When I arrived for my Discipleship Training School with YWAM Newcastle, I had a plan for how the practical outreach phase was going to be paid for. My parents were planning to set aside a certain amount of money for my college tuition, for the year after I returned from DTS, but had not yet done so. After much thought and probably not enough prayer, I came to the conclusion that I could use this money and work to pay off my college debt later on. However, God had other plans.
We soon found out which nations we would be travelling to for outreach and my classmates began fundraising. I too felt like I should do some fundraising and see how much I could raise before relying on the money my family planned to put towards my university education. My parents were very supportive of this idea but continued to hold the original plan as a backup.
Both the first and second deadlines came and went faster than I would have liked, but I kept feeling that I needed to rely fully on Him to provide. Yet, in my heart, I still planned to use the money from my parents if the funds weren’t all in by the third and final deadline.
Shortly after the second deadline, nearly all the other students had paid off their fees and were all set to go on their outreaches. Knowing that I still had about 2/3 of my funds to go, I looked at my friends and peers holding up their red receipts and dancing around with joy, and my blood began to boil with jealousy. I didn’t want to feel this way because I was happy for them! I truly was! Part of me, however, looked at those receipts in their hands and wanted to shout out to God asking where my funds were. My heart was angry and my mind was confused.
I had no idea what to do. I had $1,900 Australian due in a week and how I saw it was that it would either be an inconvenience to my family, or a major risk to whether or not I would even be able to go on outreach.
I stopped my outreach leader in passing and told him about the predicament I was in, and how I had no idea what to choose. I felt very certain that God said to raise the money, but it was drawing so close to the third deadline. He looked at me empathetically while I fought to hold back tears waiting to hear what his opinion was. Looking me in the eyes he said, “You feel certain that God told you to rely on Him to provide?” I replied yes, I had heard God to which he responded, “and you still have a backup plan?!”
Ouch. Heart ripped out. Holy Spirit conviction right there. Pre-water-works show beginning.
My heart had broken from that comment not because of what was said, but because
God showed me how He felt when I had a backup to His already perfect plan. I had a plan B because I didn’t trust His plan enough to let go of my own.
I then went and prayed for the next hour or so before rejoining the rest of my class. I refused to talk to anyone because I desperately wanted the scary feeling of what I was about to do to go away. I called my parents and told them that God was asking me to rely fully on Him and to let go of the backup plan. My parents agreed after a little bit of convincing.
When I hung up the phone, I wish I could say that a feeling of relief washed over me, or that I felt lighter and stopped stressing, but I cannot. However, what did happen was that I was filled with hope.
God said I was going on outreach. God said He would provide. And I believed Him, however, my reality was that if I didn’t have my money in by Sunday I would have to start looking at flights home.
As a student on the Trailblazers DTS, we had a camping week all planned and everybody was leaving on Monday. Sunday and Monday came and went, and myself and two other students still owed fees. We were given grace by our leaders and allowed to stay home from the camping trip to fundraise, hoping that we could get our fees in by Wednesday. One girl got paid off on Tuesday and we all celebrated. I received a couple of donations as well which brought me down to owing $1,000 Australian. I went to bed on Tuesday night in an empty room because all my roommates were camping, and wondered if it really was God’s will for me to go on outreach.
That being said, I clearly remember falling asleep to the thought that God wouldn’t bring me this far to leave me.
The next morning when I checked Facebook there were several notifications. My first thought was that more people were looking at my posts asking for prayer and updating everyone with the progress since last night, but something looked odd. My mom had commented on my recent post and it wasn’t like the rest of them.
She said she had cash in her hand from someone that put me above and beyond what I owed!
I immediately sat up and had too much adrenaline pumping through my body to be light headed by the sudden jolt and messaged my mom asking what she meant by her Facebook comment. She told me how my grandmother (who had been going through some other issues around that time) had decided to donate such an incredible gift! I held back from sobbing tears as I got ready for the day. After a backup plan, a backup plan cancellation, 3 deadlines, countless people who I contacted individually for prayer and partnership, and finally on the third day after the final deadline for outreach finances, God had shown His provision! He kept His promise. I can now say that I am officially paid off for all of my DTS and Outreach fees. Papua New Guinea, here I come!
What I learned from this experience is that, above all else, God will provide. It may be scary. There may be close calls. But God keeps His promises. His ways are higher than ours, so His timing is different as well.
by Bailey Scully
Trailblazers DTS Student