By Stephen L France
It’s been just under two months since I returned from the Youth With a Mission Discipleship Training School; the activity that 'FATHER' had on my life is still ‘ringing’ throughout my entire being—probably will for the rest of my days on Earth.
In case you don’t know about this institution, Youth with a Mission was set up in 1960 and is a global organisation—part of the University of Nations. Its primary purpose is to disciple believers into fulfilling the Great Commission—specifically speaking, inspiring young believers to fully receive their Christ-like identity and spread the Word of God abroad.
Although the aforementioned video shows the fun side of the outreach abroad, there's no doubt in my mind that this was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
It was also one of the best commitments I could have made - not in a happy holiday kind of way like this video might portray, but in recognition that what God showed me while out there in unknown territory was needed for the transformation of my mind; to learn more about selflessness, humility, teach-ability, and meekness in the face of life.
This journey was a huge step of faith, landing me first in Salem, Oregon, where myself and thirty other students learnt profound teachings about God, over the course of three months in different weekly modules.
Step of Faith
When I say this was a step of faith, I mean that I did barely any research on YWAM, knowing very little of what was to come.
The lecture topics had titles such as:
Hearing God’s Voice Journeying through the Bible Relationships and Identity Father Heart of God Forgiveness and Repentance – that was an especially challenging week And Fear of the Lord
That’s to name a few, as this lecture period was set across eleven weeks.
I was staying in a bunk house with 18 other guys and there was consistent communal worship, prayer, and street evangelism throughout the course of the lecture phase.
After the initial three-month lecture phase in Oregon, we spent two months in our chosen international locations abroad.
For my option, we ventured to two countries.
I can’t mention one of the locations by name for sake of security. But my second location was Nepal.
In the different countries, we prayed for people, worshipped with them, and built relationships with non-believers.
We saw prophesying come to fruition, witnessed healing take place, and experienced deliverances.
Renewing of the Mind
The major transformation I relished was further heart-felt surrender to the Lord, mainly in the form of submitting my future geographical location.
This was completely unexpected and very much unlike me; I recall when Operation Mobilisation founder George Verwer visited EEC (my church); he asked if anyone would be interested in jumping on one of his outreach ships, travelling the world and spreading the word of God.
My answer was clear: an extremely strong NO emitted from every fibre in my body.
Now...that answer would be very different, because God has taken me even deeper, showing me that my life is HIS, not by some horrible force, but as a great privilege to serve HIM wherever I’m needed.
This renewing of my mind in this area would take a long time to explain. Wisdom itself dictates that I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend how God does this miracle of transformation of our soul, but if anyone wishes to talk to me in further detail about this, please feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m very happy to answer questions and I respond quickly to emails.
In future blogs over the impending months, I will unravel what God did through the YWAM DTS and beyond as it’s not only a lot to process, it’s difficult to relay in simple, wholesome, constructive words.
I will produce these follow-up blogs as and when God prompts me.
Bless all who receive this word and thank you to everyone for the prayers and support that made this ambitious journey a reality.
I greatly appreciate the church—both EEC itself and our fellowship in Christ—for the aid that allowed me to press into the Kingdom even further.
If you’re interested in some more reading about how this experience came to be, here is a list of seven things I never thought would happen in my life: https://stephen-l-france.com/7-things-i-never-thought-would-happen-in-my-life/
Visit me here: https://stephen-l-france.com/