This past week our school traveled up to Derby to be part of a DTS gathering with other schools from all over the country. All in all there were about 120 YWAMers present. The YWAM base in Derby that hosted the gathering runs Urban Discipleship Training Schools that really focuses on engaging with the community and evangelizing in the city on a daily base.
To give the other schools more of a taste of what that means, we had lectures on evangelism in the mornings and went out in the afternoons to engage in different outreaches.
I asked Sam, a DTS student from the Derby base what the aim of the gathering was: “It’s has been all about blessing the city of Derby, about going out into the streets and meeting the citizens of the city and blessing them through various outreaches, weather that would be to make them smile or to tell them about Jesus. It’s been a bit a bit of training, a bit of teaching for all of us to gain some understanding on evangelism that may be able to go out and share the gospel. Ultimately it’s been about sharing God’s love.”
Some of the outreaches we did were giving out free hot chocolates, worshiping in the streets, praying for healing and giving out bracelets with which you can easily tell the gospel. Esmari from Harpenden shared her experience with me: “We only had half an hour to do outreach so we just walked and ran into two two girls and we offered them some sweets and we told them the gospel with the bracelets. They prayed after us and accepted God into their lives. So that was amazing!”
At the end of the week we had seen about 45 people give their life to the Lord, so we truly had a reason to celebrate.
The lectures were held by Carl Tinnion from Harpenden, Rebecca Balderas from Amsterdam and Connie Taylor From Cambridge.
One of the main messages was that evangelism is not a duty but should become a lifestyle and the best way to live that way is to have a deep knowledge of the gospel and Jesus and love the way he did, basically reflecting in our life what we want to share with the world.
Caio from Harpenden said: “The main input that I had was about boldness. That you don’t need to be ashamed of men or ashamed of what people will think about you. You just go there and do it. It worked, I talked to a couple of homeless men, I talked to a teenager. It was crazy, it was awesome!”
Going out onto the streets was certainly challenging at first but we all learned and grew a lot through that.“One of the most challenging parts was stepping out in faith.” Jeremy from Harpenden told me,“That was really tough. But as soon as I stepped out I was glad I did it, I was doing the right thing now and I knew what I was doing. So that was really a big encouragement.”
Although the week was very different from usual and stretching for us, we were able to see so much fruit come from it. Lives were changed and friendships made. It was definitely one of the DTS weeks that we will remember for a very long time.