Ever wanted to hear what Discipleship Training School is really like? We asked current DTS students Emily, Haley, Seth, and Ian to share an inside perspective on what DTS is like and how it has made an impact on their lives so far.
YWAM: How did you come to do a DTS here at YWAM Louisville?
Ian: My church comes here during the summer for mission trips, and I thought this was the only YWAM base in the world! So I applied here. But I don’t regret that decision.
Emily: I have been on a journey of listening to God and figuring out what that looks like. I thought I was going to be doing some missions work elsewhere, but it didn’t work out, and this is where I ended up. It wasn’t what I expected, but I’m glad I’m here.
Haley: Never in a million years did I think that I was going to be doing missions! I did my first year of college last year and it was really a tough year for me. I was going down a terrible path. My mom mentioned doing missions work, and a couple weeks later I decided to look up missions on the computer. I had heard about YWAM and so I looked it up. The first thing I saw was YWAM Louisville so I applied and here I am.
Seth: I was working in a factory saving up money. I wanted to travel and spend my money backpacking, but God was like, “Why don’t you travel with me?” I had heard about YWAM so I said, “Let’s do it!”
“I wanted to travel and spend my money backpacking, but God was like, ‘Why don’t you travel with me?’ “
YWAM: Is it different than you expected?
Haley: It is so much different than I expected! I thought it would be like a camp atmosphere. When I pulled up to the house where the girls live, I was thinking, “How am I going to live here with 25 other girls?” It was the complete opposite though. I didn’t expect to change this much and I didn’t expect to want to change this much. It’s been good!
Ian: When I found out I was living with 18 guys, it was shocking. I have only ever lived with my one brother. But it’s been a blessing! It’s been the best thing for me right now.
Seth: When I came here it was different living with a lot of guys. I’ve always kind of kept to myself. But it’s been good. I’ve been opening up and God’s been working in me.
YWAM: Tell me about what it means to hear God’s voice and what you’ve learned about it. Had you experienced that before YWAM?
Haley: The first two or three weeks I struggled with hearing God’s voice. The girls in my house would come and tell me, “I read this this morning and God was speaking these things to me.” I was like, “I read Matthew in my quiet time and it was so boring.” I had never had God speak to me before. But in a prayer time with two staff I felt like God was speaking two words to me about what I was dealing with: unforgiveness and shame. So I told God that if that was Him, to have the staff members confirm that. And they did! Hearing the Lord’s voice is super new, but it totally is awesome.
Ian: God has definitely spoken to me a lot. When I was here this summer, I started to listen to God. He has really shared a lot of personal stuff with me. He’s spoken into a deep wound that I have had, and it’s finally healing up. A lot of talk and a lot of healing.
YWAM: What has made the greatest impact on your life so far? A teaching? A person?
Emily: One teaching that really impacted me was Donna McGowan’s teaching on the nature and character of God. She said that if you question someone’s motives you should ask them about it, and I really liked that. I knew in my head that God was good, but I struggled with some things. Like, “Where was God in this situation?” or “Why did this happen?” I liked the idea of asking God about hard things that happen to us.
Haley: When I learned about forgiveness, it really impacted me. I struggle with unforgiveness sometimes so it has brought a lot of healing in my heart and helped restore a lot of relationships.
Seth: Donna really impacted me talking about authority. God was telling me that I really needed authority in my life if I wanted to follow Him.
YWAM: What is your favorite thing that we do here as YWAM Louisville? Worship? Intercessory prayer? Local ministry? Something else?
Ian: I really, really like the intercession times. We have such a diverse group of people come together. It’s amazing when we all hear God telling us to pray for the same things, without talking to one another. It’s awesome that we get to do that three times a week.
Emily: I love that the staff take time to listen, and they point you to God. If you ask them for advice a lot of times they will ask you, “Well, what does God say about it?” They challenge you in that way.
“I didn’t want anything to do with missions. But God started working on my heart about being a missionary.”
YWAM: What are your thoughts on outreach?
Ian: Pumped! I am excited to go to South Asia. When I was here this summer for a mission trip, I didn’t want anything to do with missions. But God started working on my heart about being a missionary to South Asia. When I came here for DTS, I knew God wanted me to go there, and the fact that this YWAM base is going there and I am on the team – that is pretty amazing!
Haley: I have pretty much every kind of emotion. Nervous. Excited. Scared. I have never been on a missions trip before. I have had this passion though to go Africa to do missions, so when South Africa came up as one of our choices for outreach and I got to be a part of the South Africa team, I bawled my eyes out!
Seth: God has been challenging me with my trip to South Asia, to be a person that takes risk. I feel called to go to the Middle East, and right now this is as close as I can get!