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The Art of Packing for YWAM DTS

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The Art of Packing for YWAM DTS

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Packing for a weekend away is hard enough, add on 5 months and packing becomes a foreign art. It is common to wait to explore it until the very last minute before leaving, I call this pack-crastinating, a thing of which I too am guilty of doing. Pack-crastinating leads us to overpacking, leaving no space for those fun international gifts you so long to bring back to your family and friends. Not taking time to pack, or not knowing what to pack also leads us into a “just incase” mindset. We end up attempting to bring our whole worlds to our small 6-8 person dorm rooms. We squeeze our stuff into our allotted space, a space that consists of only a 1 1/2 foot wide closet with two drawers and bit of hanging space per person, maybe even a shared drawer under you and your bunkmates bunk bed as well. 

My point is not that our dorms should have more storage space, it’s actually so nice to have your own little nook, but that coming to a DTS means that you need to be mindful that the other 6 people in your room that are also embarking on this journey with you, probably brought some luggage of their own. I promise, you don’t need to bring everything you own, you can learn to live with less- it is actually freeing. There is a strategy of how to pack for DTS- so get ready to take some notes!

PACK YOUR BAGS: As far as what to pack in- you can pack in a either a suitcase or hiking backpack, bring what you have, but usually a hiking backpack will be better for you depending on outreach location. It also encourages you to pack less, which is a plus. 

PACKING FOR LECTURE PHASE:

The lecture phase, here in sunny Mexico, is 3 months long and is the first phase of the Discipleship Training School. During this time you will mostly be walking around base, to and from classes, going to meals, serving the campus, having downtime in your room, and doing local ministry.

You are welcome to bring that unique splash of your own style, believe it or no you don’t have to invest in Chacos right away. We want you to be you. When I say this, it does come with a couple restrictions. Because being you does not mean showing us all of you. You probably have that in mind already, but the fact that we are in Mexico and it can be warm at times, isn't an excuses for the shortest shots partnered with the smallest shirts. Be the modest-styling you that I know you are.  With both of our campuses being right on the ocean, a cool breeze is common.

With that, it may come as a shock that it can be a bit colder at night, especially in the spring quarter. If you are planning on doing a fall quarter DTS with us, late November-December is when sweater weather kicks in, so don’t only pack your summer wardrobe.

so, what should you actually pack?

  • Passport- make sure it is valid for more than 6 months from the end of DTS so you do not have any issues while traveling. 
  • toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, shampoo + conditioner, deodorant etc. 
  • 6 shirts: 4 for out and about and two for sleeping.
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 light sweater/flannel/cardigan
  • 1 heavier sweater 
  • 1 modest swimsuit & sunscreen
  • all the undergarments 
  • 1 set of sandals
  • 1 set of running shoes/close toed shoes
  • baseball hat
  • a set of clothes you wouldn't mind getting painted or dirty (maybe two if you're in the Building Hope DTS).
  • your Bible + journal
  • 1 good book other than your Bible
  • computer/camera if you have one (especially for the Photo-Storytelling DTS)
  • guitar, instrument or your art supplies if you are doing the Music + Arts Collective DTS
  • surfboard or skateboard if you are doing the Surf + Skate DTS
  • backpack for day trips
  • water bottle 
  • twin size bedding or a sleeping bag for your bunk bed

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTES FOR THE LECTURE PHASE:

  • There is a Walmart nearby if you need something. 
  • Our local Oxxo (think 7/11 is walking distance from the base) has snacks and you can also find some toiletry essentials there.
  • You can order things from your amazon to our SD offices and receive them later in the mailroom on campus.
  • You will have access to a washer + dryer. Our recommendation is that you go in on laundry soap with your new roommates once you get here. Oh and be sure to bring some quarters for the laundry machines! 
  • We do have a storage unit where you will be able to leave some stuff when you go on outreach, so you don’t need to plan on bringing everything with you into the outreach phase!
  • You can use US dollars as well as Mexican Pesos here at both our Ensenada and San Antonio Del Mar campuses and there are ATMs in town for you to be able to get cash out. 

Packing for Outreach.

Outreach, this one's a bit harder to pin down until you know exactly where you will be going. Outreach teams are decided a couple of weeks into your lecture phase, so do not panic, you will have time to prepare. Again, that’s when Amazon will come in handy, for anything location specific you may need. 

Here are some musts for the outreach phase: 

  • Passport! 
  • bug repellent
  • shoes to walk and potentially hike in
  • 3 shirts
  • 2 athletic pants, ones you wont mind hiking in
  • 1 set of nice clothes for  church services (guys: button up shirt and pants - girls: modest  dress or maxi skirt)
  • All the undergarments
  • 1 pair of modest shorts 
  • toiletries bag / baby wipes are great when you don’t have access to a proper shower.
  • flashlight/headlamp 
  • Bible + journal
  • 1 set of sleepwear
  • sleeping bag (You could wait to order one to make sure you if you need to have a thicker or cooler one depending on the temperature of where you’re going.)
  • space for cool little gifts you’ll want to bring back. Also, you’ll probably be able to replenish essentials somewhere along the way at a local market. 
  • your camera/computer if you feel comfortable (Again especially the Photo-Storytelling DTS will need to bring this one). 
  • light rain jacket or windbreaker 

THE TRUTH:

Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.
— LUKE 10:4

This verse seems extreme. None of that Jesus? but she just said something about Chacos and a hiking backpack… What Jesus is saying here is not that you sitting at home packing right now should stop and bring no material items or be unfriendly not greeting anyone on your journey here. No, what he is doing is asking you to trust Him. He is asking you to let Him be your source of provision. So, whether you're getting overwhelmed and stressing over each item or you're a pack-crastinator, stuff is just stuff and Jesus is bigger than stuff. Here’s there good news- you will survive even if you forget your flashlight. Here at YWAM less is more. People are always giving and sharing, participating in the generous provision of God. It’s a new journey and just like you’ve trusted God so far, you can continue to trust while participating in the art of packing. 

Interested in doing a DTS? Click below to to learn more about the different Discipleship Training Schools that are offered at YWAM San Diego/ Baja!



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The author, Olivia Meers is full time staff with YWAM SDB- staffing the Photo-Storytelling DTS and in the Communications department. 

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The Art of Packing for YWAM DTS
Just Say Yes: 3 Reasons to Say Yes to a YWAM DTS

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Just Say Yes: 3 Reasons to Say Yes to a YWAM DTS

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JUST SAY YES


  I absolutely love leading a Discipleship Training School with YWAM. The more I work with this program, the more I fall in love with it because I see the way the students and staff are impacted and transformed each and every time.  As I talk with students who are interested in applying and doing the school I have noticed a common theme- so many are deeply stirred by the idea of signing up for this adventure, but the voice they hear the loudest is the one telling them all the reasons why they should say no. 

Fear, Finances, Future plans and everything in between causes them to take a step back before ever taking the leap of faith.


1. Fear Turns to Faith. 

It can be so scary to give up all the comforts and convenience of home, to move to a new city or even a new country. Thinking about doing DTS often brings up all the feels, fears and anxieties within us. Is it worth it? What will happen? How will things be?  While fear is real, stepping out of our norm, however, gives us a chance to encounter God in a new way. God uses the process of us stepping out in Faith to show us more of who He is. 

Fear may be a reality that we face, but it was never meant to be in the driver seat.

Too often we allow it to hinder us from walking towards our calling and our destiny, but once we strip away our comforts and finally face our fears, we get down to the core of really trusting God. This is exactly what God was doing with the Israelites in the wilderness. After bringing them up out of Egypt, He wasn’t keeping them wandering to mess with them or to cause them to suffer.  He was stripping away their fear and slavery mentality. One step at a time, God is introducing himself as a good Father and replacing fear with faith and the identity of slavery with the identity of a chosen son or daughter. In the process of going to DTS, God reshapes our fears into faith and draws us into deeper relationship as we take his hand and take the leap. 

With unfailing love you will lead this people whom you have ransomed. You will guide them in your strength to the place where your holiness dwells.
— Exodus 15:13
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2. Financial Worry Turns to Intimate Dependence. 

Tuition costs, flights, supplies- it all adds up and I totally get it. The thoughts flood in- Where will all that money come from? I can’t afford this. I don’t want to look lazy and ask people for money. What will people think of me? It’s dangerously easy to find ourselves looking full force towards the need rather than at the One who meets any and every need we could ever have.

We are created to walk not in independence but in intimate dependence on God.

Thinking about foregoing a job and stable income to do DTS seems counterintuitive and even foolish to the wisdom of the world. In the wilderness, God was intentionally stripping away the Israelite’s ability to control and crafting trust within them. Each day they were to gather only as much manna as their household needed-nothing more, nothing less. They had to learn to trust that their only source of provision was God. The middle of the desert is a great place to learn this because they didn’t have anything else to fall back on or put their trust in. Where do you you look to as a source of provision? There’s a temptation to look towards other things beside God as our source of provision, like a job or a specific person or donor, but ultimately God is our source. Not only when doing fundraising, but in the area of all financial provision- our hopes should always be in our God. It is He who provides. When fundraising He brings us into connection with people to partner with what He wants to do. It is up to Him to touch people’s hearts. The pressure is off, all we need to do is lean in and trust. He really is faithful. 

In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.
— Exodus 16:12

3. An Unknown Future Turns to Fulfilling Adventure.

Is stressing about career and working towards success keeping you from doing a DTS? I promise you, you are not wasting your time or being frivolous by doing a DTS, even if you feel pressure to be investing in your future and your career now. DTS is the greatest investment you can make because you are not only investing in yourself, you are investing in your relationship with God and the future impact you’ll have on others. 

By overcoming fear and doubt and doing a DTS, you unlock a fulfilling adventure of discovering more about who God is, what His purposes are for you and how you can partner with God to bring heaven on earth.

is an amazing foundation for the future and a beautiful season of pressing into intimacy with God like never before. Transitioning the Israelites from slavery to the wilderness was not just about the destination of the Promised Land. It was about the process. God is deeply intentional to bring us into the process of healing, of heart transformation and of shifting our perspective and worldview into alignment with Him and who He is. God met with them there, revealed himself and brought transformation to His people. DTS is all about transitioning us towards the Promised Land of walking in our true identity, authority and calling here on earth.  Taking this risk is absolutely worth it. It is trusting the unknown future to a known God and it's the most thrilling adventure. 

And He has brought us to this place and given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
— Deuteronomy 26:9

Join us for a DTS!  YWAM San Diego/ Baja offers a variety of Discipleship Training Schools with focuses so you can grow in your passions while going deeper with God.

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The author, Tiffany Lambert, is full time with YWAM San Diego/Baja and leads the Photo-Storytelling DTS

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Just Say Yes: 3 Reasons to Say Yes to a YWAM DTS