Monday morning an excited group of young people piled out of #9, ready to begin our first full week of classes. We were joined by a DTS from Norway. After a short time of singing and rejoicing together we lined the chairs and prepared for three compelling days of teaching from Carl Tinnion, co-leader of YWAM Harpenden. Carl spoke on grace, the blessings God has given us, and how our entire lives should be an outpouring of these gifts upon others. Our team was riveted by his contemporary interpretation of the story of the women caught in adultery, found in John 8, describing the merciful and loving heart of God towards those in need. He spoke on the destruction we all have experienced in our lives, and how the command of God is to restore and make whole again that which is in the process of being destroyed. This challenged us, along with other stories, to describe the heart of God to others, not by neat, bullet-pointed sermons, but by caring for the hurting people around us in the way the way that Jesus ministered.
The end of the third day of Carl’s teaching found our DTS touched and impacted, many of us with an entirely different and exciting outlook on our call as a Christian. Yet the week was only half over. On Thursday morning Ina Steyn began speaking about truly knowing God and learning how to grow spiritually. It was an emotionally exhausting yet rejuvenating two days as we learned to discern our spirit and how the covenant of God in our lives gives us access to His peace, joy, and love.
Our week was full of mind-boggling teaching, sometimes to the point of distress as we wondered what in the world we had done with our lives previously, but there were always hours of fun to look forward to. After each day, the Norwegian DTS would pile into the noisy lounge with us, loading our five couches to their max capacity, and adding yet another dialect to our varied bunch. Intense games would ensue, often ending with melodramatic gestures of disappointment as a victor glowed triumphantly. It was difficult to part as the week drew to a close, to connect with another team and share times of laughter, prayer, and spiritual growth together.