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From College to Missions: Heather’s DTS Story

I had just graduated college with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a determination in my heart to “help” others however I could. I was a fiery-eyed social worker, ready to see justice put into action but where? How? That, I was unsure of. However, I could not deny this stirring in my heart that began my last semester of college. I had been thinking a lot about missions and helping people in other countries. I had shared this with my pastor at the time and he was helping me see what options were out there.

I was a fiery-eyed social worker, ready to see justice put into action but where? How? That, I was unsure of.

My pastor called me one afternoon during that final semester and said, “Hey, Heather, there are going to be some missionaries from YWAM coming to do our Wednesday night service. You should come and meet them.” I was bummed to turn down the offer because I had class that night. But, he called me back and said, “Heather, I know you have class but they have offered to meet you for coffee the next morning. Can you make that?” I was able to meet them for coffee. On the way I remember being nervous and wondering what am I doing? Am I making the right choice to meet them? I’m getting ready to graduate and I’ve worked so hard. Pushing past these thoughts, I drove on to the coffee shop.

Pushing past these thoughts, I drove on to the coffee shop.

While there I met two ladies who were close to my age and they were so down to earth and nice. They shared stories about what they do, where they had been, but they mostly wanted to get to know me. They genuinely asked about me and my life. After coffee, I was feeling refreshed but still unsure as to what my future would hold after graduation. I had pretty much made up in my mind that I would go on a six month to a year missions trip/outreach somewhere and then I would come home and practice social work. I just needed to find the right program at this point. After many talks with my pastor, he suggested that I try a two-week trip somewhere instead of jumping into a longer commitment. I had never been out of the country or on a missions trip, so I figured this would be a good start.

After coffee, I was feeling refreshed but still unsure as to what my future would hold after graduation.

After graduating college, I joined a two week outreach to Nicaragua. While there, I was put in a room with three other girls “randomly.” Well, at least I thought this room assignment was random but it was actually a divine assignment. My roommates were all YWAMers but one. I couldn’t believe it because one of the girls who I had met at the coffee shop in my small town, was there and rooming with me. We hit it off and throughout those two weeks I asked questions and heard so many stories of God sending her to different nations, her experiences, and how God provided for her. I was stirred to say the least, but I must admit I was skeptical. They didn’t get paid, they lived off of support and they left everything they knew to share about Jesus in other nations. While it sounded awesome, how could I do this? What would my family think? How would I pay college loans? What about my boyfriend? are the questions I asked myself.

I was stirred to say the least, but I must admit I was skeptical.

Towards the end of the trip, I was riding the bus back to our hotel in Nicaragua after a day of ministry. I was sitting by myself, quietly pondering: my life, my time in Nicaragua, and what would be next, when a man named Andy asked if he could sit by me. He talked about missions and told me more about a missionary training school in Louisville, Kentucky with YWAM called DTS. I knew when I went back to the US, I really needed to weigh out my options. There were other missions organizations that I looked into, but I couldn’t seem to forget the YWAMers I met and how they challenged my faith by inviting me into this risky, unknown adventure with God. As I look back on this season in my life and the crossroads I came to, what marked this season was God’s pursuit of me and the many ways He sent folks into my life to lead me down the right path and pursue me.

As I look back on this season in my life and the crossroads I came to, what marked this season was God’s pursuit of me and the many ways He sent folks into my life to lead me down the right path and pursue me.

I signed up for a DTS in the Spring of 2010. This year actually marks 10 years ago since I said “yes” to following Jesus and serving with YWAM. I completed both a DTS and a SOMD with YWAM Louisville. These schools have forever changed the trajectory of my life!

These schools have forever changed the trajectory of my life!

In case you’re wondering, most of my family embraces what we do as missionaries and have had their own faith tested alongside ours as we have set out to follow God and trust Him for ALL of our needs. That college loan, it’s wiped out! God provided for it to be paid off. The icing on the cake, that boyfriend felt the call to do a DTS right after mine. We did our SOMD together and were married shortly after. After five years on staff we have two boys, a baby in heaven, and a dog that’s on a mission to love and welcome everyone who walks through our door! We all have a purpose, a call and a God who beautifully and wonderfully pursues us so that we can see His Kingdom come and His will be done. 


Written by: Heather, YWAM Staff

1 Comment

  1. Mommom on August 1, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Beautifully expressed. God has been good to you both. And many other people whose lives have been touched. Love you



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