It wasn’t until I was nineteen that I actually gave my life to the Lord. I had grown up in church and had plenty of opportunities to hear about Him, but my life was transformed when I “met Jesus” and had a real encounter with Him at nineteen. I couldn’t believe that I had missed out on the awesomeness that was life with Jesus for so long. I had heard about Him my whole life, but there was something completely different between knowing about Jesus and actually knowing Jesus! I was determined that other people needed to know Him like I knew Him.
It was after giving my life to the Lord that I heard about places and people who have never heard about Jesus before. I had grown up hearing about Him all the time, but many people have never gone to a worship service, heard the name of Jesus, or even had someone pray for them. I was shocked (and I still am amazed) at the reality of our world 2,000 years after Jesus rose from the dead. There remain places where literally hundreds of millions of people in the world do not yet know who Jesus is! I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what. So I asked God, “What can I do?”
I wanted to be a part of the answer of reaching those people who had never heard His name.
It wasn’t because of a specific teaching or message that I heard about missions and the great need overseas – I just had this desire in me. I can’t explain it, and I didn’t know how to satisfy it. I just knew there was a need and I had to do something. God’s answer to the question, “What can I do?” was missions. I never had a great “call” or “the heavens split open” kind of sign, just a deep desire to fulfill God’s dream that everyone would hear the gospel. I knew I wanted to do missions but had no idea where to start.
I was in college and at the point when I needed to choose a degree, and God just kept highlighting missions. One of my closest friends and mentors knew what I was thinking through and suggested I look into a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I had no idea what it was – I just knew I needed to respond to this longing inside of me to go. I wanted to be a part of the answer of reaching those people who had never heard His name.
When you don’t know where God is leading you, continue to trust Him.
I took a semester off of school and did a DTS. It was absolutely life changing. I spent three months being trained and equipped, then two months overseas on outreach. After my DTS, I moved to Southeast Asia and volunteered with YWAM. God is doing amazing things among the nations and I have seen His dream of people hearing His truth coming true. Before my Discipleship Training School, I was struggling with what I was going to do with my life. After my time in Southeast Asia, I knew I wanted to serve overseas so I went back to my university with more clarity and motivation and finished my degree in International Studies. Since graduating, I have been serving with YWAM both in Southeast Asia and in the States. I’m so thankful for my mentor who encouraged me to pray about doing a DTS – my life has never been the same!
It is amazing to look back on my life and see how God was leading me through the various decisions I had to make. When you don’t know where God is leading you, continue to trust Him. God has always been faithful and will continue to be faithful to you as you look towards the future. For me, taking a leap of faith and doing a DTS changed my life and it will never be the same. If you are at a decision point in your own life, or feel that longing to do more, then trust Him! He may be asking you to take a leap of faith and be a part of His answer.