At the beginning of 2018, a new adventure will begin for many. People from around the world will gather together to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS). Each student arriving will have different goals. Some simply want to know God more because they’re hungry for a deeper walk with Jesus. Others will come with a desire for fresh perspective. They want to experience God in a new way and within a different culture, seeing the beauty of His creation in this world. Then there will be those that need change. Life has beat them up; choices haven’t always been the best; wounds have left them internally bruised. They’re longing for more. No matter the reason, DTS is a great opportunity for fulfilling one’s heart desires.
For three months, students will gather in a classroom to be taught truths from God’s Word, with the goal of knowing Him. Seasoned teachers will spend hours interacting with the students, encouraging each one in their journey. Revelation always happens within the four walls of those classrooms.
Everyone is encouraged each day to have a quiet time. It’s not unusual to see students retreating to the same tree out in the field or to the cozy corner in the prayer chapel for these intentional moments with God. For some, these times are the most pivotal of the whole school.
The cafeteria is a bustling gathering place for everyone on the campus. From one side of the room, laughter will explode from a large group eating a meal together, while on the other side, two people will be having deep, meaningful conversation as they eat their food together. Something very holy happens around those round tables in the Paris Fellowship Center.
All throughout the week, fun interaction will occur. Students will gather to play games or roast marshmallows around a fire pit. Spontaneous walks around the beautiful grounds or movie nights in the classroom will invoke much joy. Memorable conversations will be had in the dorm rooms late into the night. Momentous trips to town will be planned, and the weekly Whataburger outings will be a must. Friendships that last for a lifetime will be etched into each one’s experience.
The corporate times of prayer and worship that will happen throughout each week will also be a key part of the school. During these times, stories will be told from people all over the world, which will not be easily forgotten. For many, the intercession times are what’s remembered most. Not only will students learn to pray for the things that’s on God’s heart, they’ll often get to be part of how God answers. Prayer and worship are powerfully effective and an intricate part of YWAM Tyler.
Finally, the final two months will be spent on outreach. It’s the icing on the cake really for most. After months of getting to know Jesus, students then get to go into all the world and make Him known. From street evangelism to mercy works projects (and everything in between), the Gospel is shared in word and deed, resulting in disciples being made. It’s a beautiful picture honestly.
DTS is something I believe everyone should do at some point in their lives. There’s no way to really predict all that will happen during the next five months of this school. However, I can say with confidence, each person will encounter God and their life will forever be changed.
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