DTS is an incredible experience. It is a season of your life where you put aside 5 months to seek after the Lord with no outside distractions. It is a time to experience new cultures and meet new friends that will last a lifetime. When I graduated from DTS at YWAM Lausanne, I was able to look back on who I was when I first arrived, compared to who I was after. The change was quite dramatic. I had such a clearer understanding of my identity and a much deeper level of intimacy with God. I developed a love for spiritual disciplines and understood God’s heart behind them. I was able to travel Switzerland, and then to a third world nation for 2 months to serve with my outreach team. I was stretched, challenged, and championed in the YWAM community more than I have ever been in my entire life.
My heart dramatically changed during DTS. When I went home, I quickly realized that most things were the same as before I left. It was up to me whether I could take what I had learned during DTS and apply it to my daily life back home, or slip back into my old ways of doing things. There are a few key things to carry back home to keep you gaining momentum in the Spirit!
1. Find a Community
Maybe you already have an incredible Christian community to go home to, and that is amazing! For some, DTS makes you realize who the people are back home that are probably not the healthiest to be around. When I came home, I specifically asked God to bring forth a community where I could grow, be kept accountable, and be poured into. Guess what?! God was so faithful and blessed me with a beautiful group of friends who were able to walk with me in my journey with the Lord. Really pray and seek out a community like this when you go home.
2.Find a “One on One”
Ok, in all reality, you will not always have such an easy access to a mentor like you did on your DTS. When you go back home, this will be an area where you may have to seek out someone you wish to gain wisdom from and be extra intentional. Prayerfully choose someone who you know will give you honest feedback and will continue to pray with you and for you. It is so important to process with someone who has more life experience in areas where you desire to grow!
3. Continue to Discover
When you are on DTS, you are always wrestling with something. Whether it be a challenging lecture or an intensive processing time, there is a great spirit of growth that comes with DTS! When you get back home it is easy to go back to a normal daily routine and to lose that learning spirit. Continue to ask God to challenge you in new ways, and give you new discoveries every day. Keeping a heart for discovery will increase your ability to hear from the Holy Spirit, and will grow your capacity for wisdom! A way to keep up the spirit of discovery is continuing to study the word. I know when I take time to really dive into a bible study, God brings new revelations to gain a deeper understanding of Him and His character. Keep seeking God’s heart in everyday situations, and your heart will continue to be transformed!
4. Schedule quiet time into your day
During your time on DTS, you probably got used to having quiet time in your schedule every day. When you integrate back into your community at home, odds are you will not have this luxury. It may require setting your alarm a bit earlier in the morning or going to bed a little later. I promise, taking even a few minutes out of your day to spend quality time with God is SO worth it. Whether it is taking a walk, diving into the Bible-, or listening to music with Him, really take this time to be intentional and listen to God.
5. Stay in touch with DTS friends
You just spent 5 months growing and learning with people from all over the world. You were vulnerable, strengthened, had great adventures, and experienced Jesus in new ways with your DTS. If you are like me, keeping up long-distance friendships can be a bit challenging, but it is SO worth it! This is the only group of people who will have the capacity to truly relate to you regarding your time on DTS. Things like Messanger, Instagram, Skype, and Facetime are great ways to stay in communication with your friends. It is such a blessing that DTS allows us to make amazing friends from different cities and nations. It also gives us an excuse to continue to travel the world!
Ally (Tennessee, USA) is currently enrolled in the Ministry and Leadership Development School here at YWAM Lausanne and is serving in our communications department
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