In July of 2015, David retired from working forty-five years in the IT world. Our grandchildren were moving away, and we were still healthy with plenty of active years ahead of us. With a wide-open schedule, one question loomed in our minds: what do we do now? We had lived typical American lives focused on our family. When missionaries came through our area, we had always been supportive but never thought about missions for ourselves. Upon retiring, we knew it was important to spend this next season of our lives serving the Lord but were still very unsure of what that would look like.

We spent the first few months of retirement traveling, getting some things done that had been on our ‘to do” list for a while, and generally enjoying a more leisurely lifestyle but always seeking the Lord for what He had for us.  We knew we needed more than travel and hobbies to keep us satisfied. A strong desire stirred within to spend some intentional time with the Lord apart from our daily lives. We desired to sit at His feet and learn from Him. In September, David had a major health scare, which distracted us for a while, but we were determined not to be deterred from God’s purpose for us.


We had friends in YWAM and had seen several of the young people from our church do a Discipleship Training School, but we didn’t think about it for ourselves.  YOUTH with a Mission?  Didn’t seem like that would be for us. However, after talking with our friends, we found our hearts burning within us more and more, so we started thinking and praying about YWAM. 


David struggled some with the decision.  He had spent his life working with computers; it was what he loved. He was afraid God would ask Him to give that up, but he also recognized that God does not give us gifts and desires to not make us use of them for His Kingdom.  Once we went to the YWAM Tyler website and saw they needed IT specialists, he was sold.


We came to visit YWAM Tyler in April of 2016 and fell in love with this place. We knew this is where we wanted to be.  DTS was the opportunity to spend time apart with the Lord, getting to know Him better.  It also expanded our vision for the ministry God is calling us to. This past year has been some of the best times of our lives, and we are looking forward to what the Lord has for us in the future.


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Candace Leatherman

Author: Candace Leatherman

Candace heard God's call to YWAM when her husband David retired in 2015. Before moving to Texas, Candace spent many years as a full time Mom and librarian. She loves reading, photography, gardening, and her grandchildren but not necessarily in that order. After completing her DTS and SOE, She now serves on staff in Administration and Mobilization at YWAM Tyler.