I am the ninth child in a beautiful family of thirteen and grew up in the State of Maryland in the U.S.A. Being part of such a large family has been a roller coaster ride, but I’ve seen God’s faithfulness through it all.
Many times I was discouraged and sad, but Jesus stepped in and reminded me of my value and His love for me. When I was 17 years old, I got stuck in a state of laziness, depression and TV addiction, wallowing in my self-pity. Suddenly, I realised I wanted to do more with my life.
I cried out to Jesus for help, and He responded by giving me an opportunity to change my life through action.
This prompted me to search online for a Discipleship Training School (DTS), with a Christian organisation called Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
I found many locations around the world and my horizons expanded; the possibilities were endless! I sought God for guidance on where to go for my DTS and He directed me to YWAM Newcastle, Australia. They were quick to respond to my inquiries and very intentional in answering my questions. The process of applying and getting the paperwork done was a breeze. I applied for the Music and Arts DTS in 2014, and was accepted shortly after.
I had nine months to save and raise the needed finances, which totalled around $10,000 USD. It seemed like an impossible thing for me to accomplish, but despite all of my doubt and fear, a still small voice spurred me on. Jesus told me to step out in faith and write a letter telling people what I was planning to do and informing them of my financial need. I gave the letter to both people I knew well, and those I didn’t know at all.
I received very kind, supportive responses from some, as well as no response at all from others — I had to trust God.
I can honestly say that, without the help of others, I wouldn’t have been able to meet my goal. It is because of them and God that I had the privilege of flying to Australia, with all of the money I needed for my school!
Let me encourage you, wherever you are, whoever you are and whatever circumstances you find yourself in, God wants to meet you where you’re at. He wants to provide the best solution to your heart cry for more, whether that is a DTS or something else. He is calling you on one of the greatest, faith-filled adventures of your life. Don’t stop dreaming or believing that ALL things are possible for those who believe! YOU are a champion, and an amazing adventure awaits you as you step out in faith and trust that your life matters. You are more valuable than all of the money in the world.
by Danielle Dawson
School of Communication & Digital Influence Student