Helen and I find ourselves in a new season with SBS wrapped up, and summer upon us. We did not get much of a break with Helen moving into running the kitchen, and me trying to do what I can as my collarbone mends. Though SBS is over until September, we have a new group of students bringing life to our campus: YWAM Turner Valley is running a new DTS program this summer – a “Mountain Venture DTS” (Discipleship Training School). It’s a privilege to serve this group in practical ways, and while doing so, I get to observe what God is doing in their lives. For the first time in my YWAM experience, I am not directly responsible for the spiritual development of a group of students, which means I can really focus on caring for their material needs, while getting to see how God brings this group together for the purpose of their growth in community.
Helen and I recently had the opportunity to spend a week with the DTS students, as the second week of their adventure DTS entailed a five day mountain camping trip; we were invited to come along to prepare meals for them so they could focus on their lectures. God really used this time of shared experience to draw the students closer to each other. He did this by giving them opportunities to be vulnerable with each other – both staff and students – whether it was sharing the trials of backwoods camping (like a bear coming through the campsite) or being brutally honest about their testimonies of the journey God has had them on. I can so often be afraid to share my story, yet very few things are as freeing as telling the story of your journey to others and feeling heard. The surprising part of vulnerability in Christian community is that it makes me stronger as I see what God is doing in the lives of others – it allows me to see that I am not walking alone. I am surrounded by brothers and sisters walking a similar journey. Satan would want me (and you) to walk alone because even he knows the body of Christ (and its members) is strongest when it is connected, and the life blood of the Spirit flows through it. My hope for our DTS students is that they will continue to walk in openness being vulnerable with each other:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:1-6).
YWAM Turner Valley’s Discipleship Training School (staff and students).