5 years ago today was Day 1 of my Discipleship Training School. It was my second day in Australia, but it was my first day of lectures, first day of orientation, first day of a lot of “new”.
For several years, the idea of DTS was in the back of my head. A friend of mine had told me about YWAM and DTS back in 2003, and even though I didn’t think I would do it straight out of high school, I kept it in the back of my mind. I went to Uni, and my second year in, very quickly, God began speaking to me about missions. Later that year, I went on my first missions trip to Haiti, and it totally changed my life.
Fast forward. As I was finishing Uni and working at the Uni full-time, I was so restless. I knew I couldn’t stay there much longer, and I knew I wanted to do a DTS somewhere in the world. The idea of doing something so drastically different than what I was currently doing really scared me. I was restless enough to pursue it, however.
So there I was – 14 July 2009 – sitting in orientation, learning about YWAM Newcastle, getting a tour of the practically empty warehouse (the shipping containers were delivered on my DTS).
I remember I had my doubts that first week about it all.
I thought, “Wow…I have just uprooted my entire life. Did I do the right thing?” I was nervous because I didn’t know a single person. There were 15 including myself on my DTS – all from the US, Australia or New Zealand.
The next day we went into Base Worship, and something happened during that time that I will never forget. We were having worship, and I was observing an overall sense of freedom in the group. We weren’t sitting in rows, mindlessly singing the words on the screen. People were moving around, jumping – excited to worship their King.
Then, a girl I hadn’t met yet came up to me and said, “I feel like God wants to say some stuff right now to you…” She began telling me what she felt God was saying to her about me, and it was terrifying in the most wonderful way.
She said stuff that literally not a single person in the Universe knew at that point in my life. She was affirming my steps and the things God had been doing and wanted to do over the next 6 months. Tears streamed down my face, and I knew I was embarking on not just a good journey but the right journey.
5 years ago today I started my life as a missionary, and my life has never been the same.
I didn’t forsesee life being the way it is now, but then again, does it ever turn out exactly how we imagine? I am so thankful for God’s goodness and the incredible things that have happened in these past 5 years since I first came to Newcastle. They have far surpassed anything I could have imagined.