We’ve started! Endurance DTS 2013 is happening, and we’re all having an incredible time. Our school theme this year is from Matthew 22:37-39 where Jesus tells his disciples about the greatest command – to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. And the second command – to love your neighbor as yourself. We’ve taken these two commands and summarized them as “Love God and Love People” and as a school we’ve committed this season to doing our best to walking these out together. And already we’ve learned so much about how we can do that, and how challenging it is to be consistent in following these commands.
We started our first week of lecture with our friend Gordy McDonald teaching on discipleship, and giving us a basic understanding of what lies ahead in DTS for these next few months. Gordy is a former base director here at YWAM Montana, and we appreciated the opportunity to gain from his wisdom and experience. And as Gordy wrapped up teaching for the week, we headed out on our first trip together as a school – to Glacier National Park!As we prepared for the trip, we took time to practice some necessary skills for Montana living – including practicing using our bear spray. Better to plan ahead and be prepared is a common saying around our classroom and campsite!
Our first trip to Glacier was a great bonding experience for the group, and each student learned practical lessons about what they need and don’t need while camping and hiking. We went up to Logan Pass and hiked as a group one day, where we saw lots of snow and mountain goats. We did several hikes as smaller groups, which gave each person the opportunity to challenge themselves according to their desire. We ate like champions. Sushi all around. And yes, it was a lot harder to make sushi while camping than we had maybe guessed. But we had fun doing it!
We had Mike Phillips, a pastor from California (who formerly pastored in Kalispell), join us for a few days in Glacier to teach on Hearing God’s Voice. Mike shared basic principles on listening to God and discerning his voice in our lives, and started our students on the path of listening more closely for God in their own lives. Mike will continue to join us for a few lectures throughout the school, as he’s taking a sabbatical this summer and staying on our campus. We’re looking forward to more time with Mike, and more practice hearing God.
Our Glacier trip took us midway into our second week of the school, and we returned just in time to celebrate the 4th of July. We spent a day learning the basics of rock climbing, and then Dr. Ron Smith came in for a day to teach about reading the Bible and the impact it’s had on his life. Ron and his wife Judy together started the School of Biblical Studies within YWAM many years ago, and he left a strong impression on us about the value of the Word.
We spent the Saturday of our second weekend volunteering at a local adventure race – The Glacier Challenge. It’s a 50 mile, 6 leg race where participants run, mountain bike, road bike, kayak and canoe a combined distance of 50 miles. Participants can race solo, as pairs, or in a team, and it was a great opportunity for us as a school to reach out to the outdoor industry and serve in helpful ways. Two of our staff participated as a team, and the rest of our students and staff served as volunteers at transition points in the race.
Just like that, two weeks of EDTS are finished! We’ve had so much learning together and from each other, and we’re eager to see what God has in store for us next.
Click the image below to learn more about EDTS!