Samuel and Becca in August 2017: “Ahhh! We feel like God has called us to do a DTS with YWAM Redding in January!”
Everyone: “So cool! …What is that?”
For one, “DTS” stands for Discipleship Training School, “YWAM” stands for Youth With A Mission. Practically, it’s a missions training school. Beyond that, we feel like we have SO much greater of an understanding and ability to really explain what it is that we are doing here. Especially for those of you who have supported us – we truly want you to know where and how your seeds are being sown in our life.
With that said, here is how our Monday-Friday Schedule looks at YWAM Redding (we also put together a video mixed with everything listed below. If you would like to watch it, here is the link – Half Way Through Training! ):
6:30am-7:30am / Personal time with Jesus (Samuel and I have been doing ours together this week, SO good!)
8:00am-9:00am / Breakfast
9:00am-10:30am / Different everyday!; Outreach meetings, Study Hall, Worship and Intercession, Evangelism, etc.
10:30am-12:00pm / Lecture/Training
12:00pm-1:00pm / Lunch (Amen!)
1:00pm-2:30pm / Lecture/Training
2:30pm-5:00pm / “Work Duty”; Samuel is on the maintenance Team, I do housekeeping!
5:00pm-6:00pm / Dinner
6:00pm – / Different everyday!; Community Night, Church Serving, etc.
That’s that. A Practical layout of our day-to-day in training school.
To be as real as possible, we want to share our greatest gift and greatest difficulty from DTS at this point (it’s actually tough to think of something because LIFE IS PERFECT right now, not kidding).
For the pro, hands down, the best part about where we are now is the growth. I’m telling you, we are new people (which is also easy to write without actually being with you guys). We are hoping, though, it’s obvious when we see each one of you next that Jesus is greater in us than we have been in our past selves. We pray over each other almost daily that our spirits would lead our soul and body. That the Spirit of God in us would, literally, take us over completely. I mean, I’m still as outgoing and wild as ever and Samuel is still chill, creative and the coolest of all cool guys.
But down in the deepest parts of our beings, we are new.
We have grown from the “smallest” of things; not being short with each other, staying quiet (me) when Jesus wants me to listen (to Him or anyone else), saying kind things to each other more often, building healthier, productive habits (like not staying on our phones for too long when we could be reading or studying), things like that.
All the way to the “bigger“; boldness in praying for, around, and with other people, being obedient to and led by Holy Spirit without fear of failure, and a favorite – opening up our future to WHATEVER He may have us do. Smallest and biggest alike, Holy Spirit has been doing a lot of tuning, and we are totally new because of it.
If we have to pick a “difficulty” it would be this; I don’t know how many of you guys know this, but our DTS in the biggest one there has ever been at the Redding base. We have over 35 students in our school! As we shared in our first post, we all immediately became family. It’s like this insane supernatural bond and love you have for each other before you even get to know everyone. It’s like family.
Then you start to dig in deeper as relationships are built… that’s the hard part. We’re all hitting a point in our school where its past the honeymoon stage. As the love for each other deepens, so do the frustrations. We are together for ten hours a day Mon-Fri (sometimes more) and most students live in base houses with all of the girls or all of the guys (Samuel and I lucked out on the this one, get married before you do YWAM, ha!). Also, since most of the DTSers moved to Redding specifically for DTS, we are the only people we all know here. Which means weekends are often spent together too. It’s a lot.
Although none of us would have it any other way, it’s definitely gotten to the point of trying patience. What is great is that it allows Jesus to work on an even more “real life”, day-to-day and practical level in each of us. So long story short, we are loving (and sort of also hating) that! It’s an obvious gift when you can see what Holy Spirit really can do through all of us for each other.
Favorite moment/miracle of the past two weeks//
“A thousand times that I may fall, A thousand times You pick me up” ~Jnuru Goodwin
Shout out to my dudes! So last week the student guys got together to bless the guy staff with a steak dinner at the “guys house”, prepared by students, served by students, and cleaned up by students. Chef Dan slayed those steaks and towards the end of eating he gathered everyone together to share something God had put on his heart for that night and to rally with his fellow warriors during this season. (Side Note: that day, several petty annoyances occured and I was feeling pretty frustrated. To the point where I almost text the dudes and told them I wasn’t going to come and just go home and rest. THANK THE LORD I DIDN’T. Definitely the enemy trying to keep me from this night.)
After he had wrapped up, everyone was ready to start the games back up, turn on the tv to watch some sports and lounge. Nate, one of the staff, felt the Holy Spirit say that we should take a moment and reflect on what had just been said and not just let it pass. Then another staff, Jnuru, said he felt that we should just enter into a time of worship. (He has his Ep “Wilderness” out on apple music and spotify) As he went and grabbed his guitar I turned over to one of the students Phanuel, as we start to laugh and both agreed that “it’s about to be lit”.
We started off by being very open and honest with each other about struggles we had and prayed for eachother and that broke every stronghold or chain that was in that house. We spent the next three hours singing at the top of our lungs, which could be heard all the way down the street (sorry neighbors), praying for one another, prophecying over each other and at the very end baptisms in a freezing cold pool at 1am.
As I looked around throughout the night, all I could think and feel is – this is what it’s about. A bunch of dudes, post eating steak and watching sports, with off pitch, and on pitch voices, singing at the top of their lungs, praying for each other, loving on each other as guys do i.e chest bumps, high fives, football huddle chants. Simply put, being led by the Holy Spirit and bonding as Bros. Even before that night, all the dudes had a bromance thing going on but this just made the bonds even tighter. Now we understand that the homies next to us this season are there to battle with each other and for each other.
We had a speaker come teach on the Kingdom of God for lectures this week named Fred Allan. Ohhhh Fred (see his pic below). He was the most challenging speaker we have had yet, causing all of our brains to explode with how much we don’t know while setting us at peace in that we don’t actually have to know everything. He said countless things I LOVED, but what stuck to me most was his joy. He is so free, in the middle of all of this crazy wisdom and knowledge, he was so not serious.
During morning worship Wednesday, God said to me“Why so serious?” (yes, in the voice of the Joker from Batman because God is funny). Got my attention. He told me to analyze the room and myself, and when I did I saw a group of people who were trying to tackle a million things Jesus wanted to handle for them. DTS takes you through a spiritual gutting, and it can be heavy. But Jesus was saying it doesn’t have to be, really. We (humans in general) also make SO many things more serious than they need to be. There is a time for it, but a lot of the time… there’s really not.
I heard Him say, “I get to be serious for you.” which was a huge relief for me (it also makes all of those scriptures we hear over and over make a little bit more sense; joy in the midst of sorrows, etc). Then He said, “What could be worthy of distracting you from me? What could be so “serious” or important enough?”. Nothing. There is absolutely nothing that deserves to be thought about more than He does.
I think the enemy knows what can be unleashed if we completely focus on, obsess over and fully get into the presence of Jesus with no distractions. So he distracts us. He tries (probably not very hard either) with other thoughts; our “problems”, ourselves, the people around us, what we will have for lunch, nonsense. Mind you I’m not saying real problems aren’t important, but STILL… not as important as Him.
Long story short-ish, since this moment my week has been a nice break from over thinking everything; the dumb things, the thoughts “not of God” and even the good things that are taking place of BETTER things He has for me to dwell on. If it’s not from Him, I don’t want to think on it for a second.