“Where will we go?”
“What will we do?”
“Where will we stay?”
“Will I sleep on the floor?”
“Will I get to shower?”
Every outreach is COMPLETELY different from any outreach that came before. You could go to the same exact place and stay in the exact house that a previous team stayed in, but your time there will look completely different. What does DTS Outreach really look like? I can’t actually tell you what your outreach will be like, but here are 6 themes that seem to be common on DTS Outreach.
Meeting new people
This is one of the most exciting parts of outreach. Whether it is the people who are hosting your team or people you simply meet on street, you will make new friends. In coffee shops, in rug stores, in villages, or cities, I guarantee that you’ll meet new people. It’s a great privilege to get a small peak into people’s lives and to befriend people (that otherwise) you may have never had the opportunity to befriend.
Becoming REALLY close with your team
When leaving for outreach, you might assume that you will become pretty close with your team. You might think you’re close already after going through lecture phase together; however, you will most likely become closer to your team than you ever thought possible. You’ll be spending (pretty much) every single moment with them for the next two to three months! You’ll eat together, talk together, probably cry a bit together. You’ll do ministry together, pray together, see new things together. Outreach is challenging, intense, wonderful, and crazy. The people who are right there along side of you for all the insanity could be some of your best friends for life. When you hike the himalayas, sleep on wooden floors, and drink tea with strangers, all along side your team, by default you just bond.
Get Out of Your Zone
“Do one thing, every day, that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. Or, on outreach, do 10 things every day that scare you. Okay, maybe an exaggeration! On outreach you’ll be given the tools, the encouragement, and the support to do things you wouldn’t normally do, for the benefit of others and the benefit of yourself. Whether its talking in front of a crowd, playing music on the streets, or even sailing the mediterranean sea, you’ll be challenged…but in a good way!
See the World Like Never Before
Traveling on outreach gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, see beautiful things, and get a peak into life that is possibly, completely different from your own. It’s exciting and inspiring. Whether it’s the plains of Africa or the mountains of Ecuador, it’s something you’ll never forget.
You’ll Most Likely Sleep…Everywhere You Can
Because outreach is so exciting and intense, it can make you quite sleepy sometimes. You’ll learn an excellent skill: How to sleep absolutely anywhere – trains, airport floors, churches, under trees, or inside grass huts! You’ll most likely learn how to sleep wherever you are, whenever the opportunity arrives.
You’ll get to serve and love people like Jesus does
If you’re willing to be used by God on outreach, you will be. He could use you to make someone feel loved or to speak encouragement into someone’s life. He could use you to feed the poor or to clean up a community park. Since outreaches always look different, the way God uses your team will always look different. Be ready and willing for God to use your team but also to use you as an individual to reach out to people He loves. The best thing about outreach is getting to love people. New friends, your team, your leaders, you get to show God’s love to them all. When you give, give, give and feel like you have no more to give, God will fill you up with more of His love and you can give, give, give some more. You’ll have opportunities to show God’s love whether its through serving people food, cleaning someone house, playing football with kids, praying for a person, or simply listening to someone talk.
Outreach is an inspiring, insane, FUN, and life changing adventure. Don’t be nervous, pack your rucksack; lets go!
Photos by Megan Rutkowski, Lauren Malpass, and Unknown