“The best way to find yourself,” Mahatma Gandhi said, “is to lose yourself in the service of others.” We started this week with a work day. After breakfast and morning worship in the chapel with a visiting DTS from Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, who are staying on base with us for the week, we split up into groups to go and bless the base. Most of the DTS trainees and staff went to clean BB Hall, our campus cafeteria, and a few of us went to rake leaves for Jesus. Growing up in a big family I spent countless weekends doing yard work. One scripture that always helped me when I didn’t feel like spending another Saturday raking leaves was Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.
This weeks lecture topic was the Holy Spirit, but since we didn’t start lecture until Tuesday, we had an extra day to process and appreciate all we took from Freedom Week. There is an obvious heightened sense of relationship within the school. The prayer we received about God’s original design for us has brought many trainees a sense of peace in who they are. Original design has gifted self acceptance and with that comes unity within the school. There is more freedom in self expression, more freedom in laughter; there is more freedom during worship. The staff have also evidently benefited from being reminded of their own original designs. It’s a beautiful thing to see our mentors persevere to grow and fight and become, to be reminded that DTS graduation will not hold all the answers. “Truth isn’t information.” Our speaker, Paul told us this week, “Truth is a person.” We will never really be done learning until after we’ve left earth and met Jesus and explored all the nooks and crannies of Heaven, yet still we keep on.
Kinship within the school continues to grow and deepen and it’s such a sweet sight to see. We get to sit in lecture and debate deep things with these people, but we also get to laugh together. We’ve had two themed days so far; we dressed up as anything that started with the letter S and Terrible Dressed Tuesday. DTS is a time for sprouting and stretching but also for shrieks and snorts.
DTS is also a time for the Holy Spirit. Paul opened the week with “He’s chosen to wear you as his perfume”. By that he was emphasising how much love and preference God has for each and every one of us. God loves us and wants us to rest in him. “Sin is exhausting. Rest is easy. Rest doesn’t even need to know what’s coming.” Following Jesus means giving up our worldly sense of security, and relying solely on Him. God is up in Heaven so it can seem like we’re left alone down here in this broken world. As Michele Bachmann said, “He left his Spirit with us until we join him in Heaven.” Encounters with the Holy Spirit are different for everyone but our wide variety of experiences with him aren’t better or worse. When you read a piece of scripture and it jumps out to you, when something really hits home, that’s the Holy Spirit working. When you are able to comfort someone when you feel like you’re at a loss for words; when words of wisdom and biblical truth just seem to flow from your mouth, thats Him working through you. “He’ll do extraordinary things in your life, because that’s who he is.” Paul emphasised this week that the Holy Spirit working through you does not translate to your degree of ‘holiness’. We are all humans and therefore all imperfect. He uses the broken to save the lost.
“The Holy Spirit is about love and life, not rules.” -Paul Hopkins