In the Waiting: Preparing for your DTS Physically, Mentally & Emotionally
So, you’ve decided to do a Discipleship Training School, and now you’re in the midst of eagerly awaiting the start-date (and potentially also wondering what in the world you do in this “in-between” time). Through experiencing this similar feeling, and talking to others who have as well, I’ve tried to come up with some practical tools to help during this time (and to hopefully ease some of those pre-DTS jitters, too!). Keep reading to find out how you can start the preparation journey for your DTS now physically, mentally & emotionally.
With this, I’m not necessarily suggesting physical exercise (although this wouldn’t be a bad idea either - we like our hikes here on Vancouver Island), but instead, I’m wanting to list out the things that you can “physically” do to get yourself organized!
Make sure your passport is up-to-date, and take the necessary steps to update it if not.
If you are needing any sort of visa for the location you're going to, start the application process as soon as you can.
Fundraising and Finances:
If you haven’t already established how to pay for your DTS, or you’re wondering what to do to get the finances in place, this is a good action step to take. One thing could be setting up local fundraisers within your city or church where people can donate money, you could start a “Go Fund Me” page, you could begin speaking in local churches to spread the word on what it is that you’re going to be doing & how people can be financially supporting you in this, etc.
Decide ahead of time on your luggage/packing & what you want to bring to your DTS (see blog post on “What in my luggage” for more information on this).
Having a game-plan on how you’re going to arrive at the location of your DTS:
Book your plane tickets as soon as you can (or when there’s a seat-sale!)
Know what’s going to be happening when you get off the plane (i.e., making sure someone will be there to pick you up, someone to communicate with incase of delays, etc.)
If you live nearby to your DTS location, know who it is that is going to be driving you & dropping you off.
If you plan on commuting through multiple means of transportation, you could start looking ahead of time on bus schedules, when/where to get on and off, etc.
Having your “ducks-in-a-row”, or being organized ahead of time, is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. If possible, have some close family and friends come around you, that you trust, to support you in prayer, time & encouraging words for this next new adventure you’re going on!
Another thing to note as you prepare mentally is understanding what it is you’re going to do. Not only is this five to six months carved out to try something new, but it is also a time specifically to grow your relationship with God. Understanding the beauty and what it is that this time is designed for can help ease some of the waves of uncertainty you may get. Not only is the YWAM base you're going to excited, but I know God is even more thrilled to have this uninterrupted & focussed time with you.
Know that this is a short snippet of the rest of your life, and if you have anything weighing you down or holding you back, consider taking a step away from those things (cellphone, social media, video games, etc.)
The number one thing I could suggest to prepare yourself emotionally is to be in constant communication with God - He wants to take all the burdens you may be feeling about this decision, but also wants to celebrate the joy and excitement about this next step as well!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30
Another thing you could do is if you know someone who has done a DTS, chat with them about it.
Feel free to reach out to someone on our team to share your thoughts, concerns, excitement, and any other emotion you may be feeling. We’re here to talk!