YWAM-Tyler-Family-Missions

MOVING. I couldn’t believe it when my parents told me we were moving. My family and I were living in a beautiful, mountainous valley in North Carolina at the time. The view of the Smoky Mountains from our house was breathtaking. Relocating to Texas with my parents did not sound like a good idea to a stubborn eleven-year-old like me - especially when I heard we were going to be missionaries and live in tight quarters for a season.

I don’t think any kid, or adult for that matter, likes everything they’ve known to be taken away from them. Being introduced to new places, people, and cultures isn't easy either. There’s a word for this ~ CHANGE, and who likes change? Not me! Yet, I’ve discovered through my own experiences: change can be good. As a result, I've learned five vital lessons during my journey here at YWAM Tyler.

  • Be Trusting ~ I was mortified when my parents first told me we were going to move to YWAM Tyler. I loved my home and church. Why did we have to move? I was scared of what my future in Texas held. Honestly, I didn't think my parents knew what they were doing, and I thought God was being pretty cruel. I struggled with doubt a lot; however, now I see God's providence for us throughout this whole journey. He provided the funds to come to YWAM, a new house, a great school, awesome friends, supportive family, and the list goes on. At first glance, I would've never thought coming to YWAM would be what's best for me; yet now, looking at it with a deeper perspective, it's the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned God has my back, and trusting Him is key to growing in a relationship with Him. 

  • Be Courageous ~ Overcoming shyness was a large obstacle for me to conquer. I am an introvert, and I tend to stick to myself when I’m around other people. However, I've discovered if you want to have a good time and grow while you’re at YWAM, you’ll want some buddies along the way. In order to make friends, you have to be a friend. I learned how to be courageous by not letting shyness control my interaction with others.

  • Be Flexible ~ Getting used to new foods was a challenge for me. Food in the cafeteria wasn’t like home cooking. While my parents did their school, I sure did miss my mom and dad’s delicious meals, but it's hard to be a picky eater at YWAM Tyler. My time here has been great for exercising flexibility in my diet. I even discovered a few new foods I like! 😉

  • Be Thankful ~ At every YWAM campus, there are dormitories for families and individuals to live in. The rooms my family and I lived in were definitely smaller than our old house. Everybody in our dorm was required to share one kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and a large living room. Bedrooms between families were separate but right next to each other. Living in small quarters took awhile to get used to, and I didn't always like not having my own space. However, staying in a family dorm during the school was important because it was a good way to get to know others. I learned very quickly that instead of being critical, I needed to be thankful for how God was providing for us.

  • Be Open ~ At YWAM Tyler, making friends with older people is inevitable. This base is multi-generational, with singles, married couples, and families everywhere. Whenever I sit down in the cafeteria to eat, there is always a wide variety of ages around the table. I learned it’s important to not shut down any opportunity of friendship with older people. In fact, it can be a good thing to have an older person in your life (who’s not a parent) to counsel and mentor you. I have made amazing relationships with people who are twice, and even three times, my age, and I value them so much. One of my closest friends at YWAM is in her twenties, and our relationship wouldn't be like it is now if I hadn't been open to older people like her. 

I wish I had learned these five lessons before coming here; I might not have been so afraid and critical of my parent's decision. Through my own experiences, I hope to help other kids prepare for their time at YWAM Tyler. In order to thrive, it's good to be prepared. It’s not always going to be a smooth, easy road, but it’ll be one you won’t forget. God is going to show you and your family incredible things here. Don't be afraid. Instead, trust God. 😀

If your family wants to get to know God TOGETHER, this is a great place to come! 

Learn More

If you want to read more about families in missions, check out these posts.

Adventures in Family Missions

The Two P's of Family Missions Training

Audrey Fish

Author: Audrey Fish

Audrey was born in Thailand in 2004. Adopted by American parents at three weeks old, she's been a third-culture kid all her life. She's currently a sophomore at Christian Heritage School and has aspirations to someday graduate from Baylor University. Audrey loves spicy food, making films, writing short stories, and playing sports.