So, you’re thinking about doing a DTS! This is awesome, God is about to take you on a beautiful journey full of sweet times, learning more about God, and who He made you to be!
Maybe you’re excited, maybe nervous? To help calm the nerves and give you some helpful information, here are the five biggest questions I had before my DTS!
1. WHAT EVEN IS A DTS?
A DTS, or Discipleship Training School, is a five-month program through Youth With A Mission (YWAM). The school is two parts, a 12 week lecture phase, and 8 week cross-cultural outreach phase!
We spend lecture phase on one of our campuses here in Mexico, either in San Antonio del Mar, or Ensenada! For 12 weeks of the lecture phase we are in a classroom setting, learning from speakers from all around the world about different themes like Hearing the Voice of God, the Nature and Character of God, Fear of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit! Then, after we’ve learned more about God and we’ve pursued knowing Him more, we move out to make Him known!
On the outreach phase, we spend 8 weeks travelling with a team to another culture for an evangelistic outreach! You and your team will travel and do a variety of things, depending on where you go, but in any case, get excited! God could take you anywhere, from sharing the love of God by building homes in Nepal, evangelizing in Hungary, hosting children’s programs in Brazil and everything in between!
2. WHO ELSE WILL BE THERE?
In our DTS’s we have students from many different backgrounds, nations, and ages!
Students come from all over the world! I remember one night at dinner, we soon realized that each person sitting at the table was from a different nation! You will have classmates and make long lasting friendships with people from all over the world. This is a super fun part of the DTS, maybe next year you’ll visit a friend for Christmas in New Zealand or a summer trip to Colombia!
3. DO I KNOW ENOUGH? AM I READY?
If you are thinking this, you are not the only one, trust me!
Jesus calls us to Him, exactly as we are, with no requirements except being open to learn from Him! Don’t worry about what you do or don’t know, you’re here to learn. So come hungry to learn and you will be ready! Along with being in class, you will get to spend time being involved in and learning about local ministries, intercession, worship, evangelism, and many other activities! You will learn and grow alongside the staff and the campus community. It is amazing season to grow in the Lord.
4. WHERE EXACTLY AM I GOING?
Our base, YWAM San Diego/Baja, is one base with three locations! We have offices in San Diego, and two campuses with schools and ministries in two different cities here in Baja California, Mexico!
If you’re doing your DTS at our San Antonio Del Mar campus, you’ll be about 30 minutes from the US border between Rosarito and Tijuana. If you’re going to our Ensenada campus you will be about an hour and a half drive south of the U.S. border! Both Campuses are located near the beach.
5. WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
What do I wear?
This was a HUGE question for me, and honestly, I didn’t do it right! To avoid the regret, here’s my best packing advice:
Don’t get too ahead of yourself like I did! Outreach was definitely on my mind while packing and boy, was I shocked being the only one wearing Chaco’s in the classroom! While these are awesome for hiking, they are not so comfortable to wear in the classroom. Pack for the lecture phase as well as the outreach phase. For the first 12 weeks, you will be in a classroom setting, so whatever you would wear to class, bring that. Also remember that space is limited, so limit what you bring, but bring things to layer and mix, it can get chilly near the coast.
Depending on when you come and do your DTS, the weather changes! Bring a light jacket, but leave the boots at home! (Pro tip: Bring a bathing suit, the beach is nearby for study breaks at both campuses!)
Toiletries? There is a Walmart nearby both campuses, so don’t worry about packing so many bottles of your favorite shampoo, you can get it all here! Save the room in your bag for something better!
How about for Outreach? If you have a hiking backpack, bring it! You’ll have time before outreach to prepare and finalize what you will bring. There is a storage unit where you can leave a bag throughout the outreach phase.
Don’t forget to bring a Bible and a notebook, but remember, anything you forget you can buy here- except your Passport! Whatever you do, remember to bring your Passport! It should have validity for more than 6 months from the time of your return home date.
BEFORE YOU COME TO DTS:
Ask yourself these questions before your DTS, write them down, and re-answer them afterwards! Be as honest as you can, and keep them to read later!
Why am I doing this?
Who is God to me right now?
Do I have any dreams? What are they?
What do I want God to show me?
What do I want out of this school? What do I want to learn or gain?