Michael and I have been sitting on an exciting secret for the last eight or so weeks. I can guess what you’re thinking, and no, it’s not that kind of secret. As we finally got to spill the beans at staff meeting yesterday, we figured it was time to share with friends and family who haven’t heard the news…we’re leading DTS this summer!
For those who have any experience with YWAM, “DTS” will be familiar language for you. For those of you who aren’t YWAMers, DTS stands for Discipleship Training School. If you’ve ever known anyone who went to go do something with YWAM, it was probably DTS. DTS is the introductory program for YWAM. All YWAM staff have done DTS, and (almost) all SBS students have done DTS. It consists of 12 weeks of lecture, and 8 weeks of outreach. For the last three years, YWAM Turner Valley has been running a Mountain Venture DTS. This has meant that the 12 weeks of lecture have included hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, ropes courses, camping, and white-water rafting, in addition to teaching on topics such as Hearing God’s Voice, the Father Heart of God, the Cross and Sin & Repentance, Biblical Worldview, and Evangelism. The heart of DTS (and YWAM) is for students to get to know God, and make Him known. The 8 weeks following lecture phase is all about making God known in the nations.
So are we still doing Titus Project? Very much so – in fact, we leave for Titus Project outreach on Saturday! We’ll be taking three participants to Southeast Asia to teach and preach the Truth of God’s Word! We get back and wrap up our very first Titus Project in mid-April…and then the next adventure begins: leading DTS for the very first time.
As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been incredibly busy for us. We’ve been pioneering a program, getting ready to go overseas, while contacting guest speakers for the summer. While it might seem strange that we would lead Titus Project and DTS in the same year (and I admit, it’s pretty unorthodox!), it’s actually a really perfect fit. Our hope is to inject the Bible into DTS in a BIG way – to get our students excited about God’s Word, to equip them to study it for themselves, and to approach topical teachings through the lens of Scripture. Of course, the Bible has always been a part of DTS at YWAM Turner Valley, but we’re excited to bring the world of Titus together with the world of DTS.
Though we will be leading the DTS, we will not be going on outreach with the DTS in the Fall…but we will be going on outreach. We will be doing a short “pastoral visit” to the DTS, to support them as a team, foster team unity, and to relieve the outreach leaders or a few days. This will be in late-October. And of course, with the knowledge that we’re heading to Asia in the Fall, we’re already thinking of ways we can make the most of the trip. We’ve been asked to consider teaching on a relatively new SBS in Southeast Asia, I (Helen) will be part of a Leadership Team outreach planned over two weeks in November, and we may even try to squeeze in a holiday in a location a little further flung than Canmore 🙂 Goodness knows we will not have too much vacation time in the next little while!
- February 11-April 8 – Titus Project outreach in Thailand and beyond…
- Mid through late April – Wrapping up Titus Project and evaluating the program to improve it for 2018!
- May – We are both teaching on YWAM Turner Valley’s SBS, and Helen has a busy month with Leadership Team projects.
- June-July – DTS staff training, and the beginning of DTS on July 10!
- July-September – DTS lecture phase
- October-November – Outreach in Asia (may include SBS teaching opportunities, a holiday for us(!) and a Leadership Team outreach for Helen; will include a pastoral visit to the DTS)
- November-December – Get ready for Titus Project 2018!
- January 2018 – Our SECOND Titus Project will begin!
We’re excited about the year ahead, but we also have a deep sense of needing to lean into God through it all. He has called us and will not leave us or forsake us, and we must trust in Him. Pray with us for a new level of trust in the Lord!