“Your DTS is a five-month chunk of your life–but you still should take it one day at a time. Every single day go after what God calls you to. Spend heaps of time with God. Spend heaps of time with people. Suck the life out of every single day.” –David, YWAM School of Evangelism graduate, Australia
Well, here I am in Newcastle, Australia. This is the first “real day” of Discipleship Training School (DTS). I went exploring along the streets today–Newcastle has a lot of old architecture, brick architecture, towering trees, murals, boutiques, shops with hot bread, antiques, and art galleries. There’s even a Woolies (an Australian grocery store chain) within walking distance. Aussies are kind and genuine.
The Lewis House/YWAM center/hostel/place/dorm, is home. It’s a large, Victorian-style brick building. One finds closets that are rooms, doors that lead to nowhere, stained glass, colorful hang-out spaces and an ancient staircase with a wooden banister. There’s even a donated piano. Once you start exploring you eventually give up comprehending the place and just call it home.
And who stays at Lewis House? School of Evangelism and DTS students, a few Newcastle University students, some retired steel mill workers, and YWAM staff. It’s packed, but it’s good. My room has two bunk beds, two small wardrobes and some shelves. Most of my roommates are Canadian (as well as about half of the 40 students), though one is from Maine/New York. There are also students and staff from Switzerland, Finland, Alaska, Hawaii, Germany, Norway, Korea, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico on the DTS.
We had a basic orientation regarding the history of Australia, the local slang and culture. We talked about wholeheartedness, and getting our hearts right with God before diving into these next few months. All the staff are passionate about God, worship, missions and young people. I’m going to learn so much, and it’s the perfect place to retreat to and grow and have fellowship and then outreach.