It is with an excited (and relieved) heart, that I would like to share with you some very exciting news! After nearly a year of praying.... waiting....praying... and waiting, God has lead me to apply to a program through an organization known as YWAM. YWAM, or Youth with a Mission is an organization seeking to mobilize young adults to share the love of God with all of the nations of the world.
So why YWAM? And why now?
Well, the story begins about 9 months ago, when I found out I could graduate a year early from college. I was eager to give time from my first year out of school to serve God overseas. It was then that I heard about YWAM for the first time from a girl who is a part of Acts Two 42, the international ministry I am involved in on campus. After that, it seemed that almost every new person I met in the next few weeks had also done a YWAM DTS before. Funny how that happened. ;)
So, after finding out they had DTS programs with a focus on medical missions, I finally decided to meet with one of my friends to receive more information about YWAM, and prayed about which DTS the Lord might have in store for me the following spring. It seemed that as I prayed, I continued to hear the word Fiji. So, being the impatient control-freak that I am, I thought the YWAM DTS Marine Reach in Fiji was where I should go. A few weeks later, I found out that they were losing the medical leaders for the following year, and that the focus would be more dental/optometry. (Not my interest.) However, I continued to give it to God, willing to go wherever He was calling me.
Then my five closest Christian mentors and friends all asked me at different times within the same week if I was sure that Fiji was where God was asking me to go. My answer gradually went from a "YES!!" to a "Ummm.... I don't know."
Additionally, God spoke to me through a dream about the Israelites, in which He promised that He had something for me, but that I needed to wait, and trust His timing for when He would drop it. After that, it became a long-waiting period of prayer, a bit of frustration, but continued trust that He is faithful to fulfill all of His promises. I explored a few other mission groups throughout that period, as my heart had seemed to change towards YWAM.
However, several weeks ago, I had another groggy morning awakening, that I began to realize the YWAM Compassion Medical DTS in New Zealand might be what the Lord has for me this spring. Coincidence or not, the day this happened, Operation World Prayer Team sent me my daily email with the country to pray for that day, and it happened to be New Zealand.
Alright alright, I guess I'll apply. With so many amazing things happening in Madison right now, especially with all that God has done with Hungry 4 Change, I had others join me in praying that I would only receive a "yes" to this program if this is what God had promised me in the dream I had mentioned before. Only 48 hours after submitting my application, I received a confident "yes" from the application committee. And despite having a six to eight week waiting period, I received my passport in the mail only ONE week after applying for it! (Ok ok God... I will trust you.)
As someone who loves the nations, and one who is eager to serve internationally someday, I am incredibly interested in becoming exposed to what that life might be like for me down the road. Additionally, I have been seeking for many years to have the opportunity to learn more about who God is at a deeper level, through classes and teachings from others. Through my conversations with people who have done a DTS in the past, this is a wonderful chance for me to be able to do that. Finally, it excites me that there is a program like Compassion Medical DTS that might allow me to use the medical skills I have, and new ones I will learn, as well as my love for Jesus, to further His kingdom on Earth.
The DTS is split into two different phases - the first phase is a twelve-week lecture phase and it is during this time that we go through an intensive training process designed to develop character and a deep intimacy with God, as well as receive hands-on training for basic medical skills. The second phase is an eight-week outreach phase where we take everything we've learned from the lecture phase and apply it on a mission trip. For my specific program, my outreach will either take place in the remote Fijian islands (hmm.... coincidence?), or the Philippine islands, where people are without access to basic healthcare.
I'm writing all of this to you, because I would like to offer you the opportunity to partner with me in this. I have gotten to the place I am today because of a lot of prayer and because of wonderful people like you supporting me. As much as this will be a great experience, I also know it will be physically, emotionally and spiritually stretching at times. Your thoughts and prayers will be a huge blessing.
In addition to needing prayer support, I am also in need of financial support. Just writing that last sentence made me squirm a little bit. For anyone who doesn't know me well, asking for help is one of my biggest struggles, especially when it comes to asking others to give me money. The DTS program is going to cost about $7,500, which if I am going to be entirely honest, is absolutely impossible for me to do alone. However, as I write this, I am reminded of the verse: "What is impossible for man is possible with God." (Matthew 18:27)
Please don't feel obligated to give, but if you can, please prayerfully consider if God is leading you to do so. I know that by making my need known I am extending this amazing opportunity to those who would like to go but because of various reasons have been unable. I am blessed to be in a season of life where I am able to go, and another way for you to be involved is by supporting me.
My DTS will start on January 15, 2018 and I need the first half of my tuition by then. Please join me in praying that all the finances come through and I ask for continued prayer support throughout my journey. If you would like to receive updates on the things happening during my DTS, please continue to check out/subscribe to my blog. (uncharted2016.wordpress.com) You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd prefer to receive updates through e-mail.
Besitos and Blessings,