As the end of our third week at YWAM comes to a close, our DTS have continued to pursue a deeper knowledge of the personal God by studying His Character (defined as His moral attributes), His Nature (defined as His natural attributes), and His Ways (defined as His personality). YWAM has a modular teaching philosophy, which means that each week we focus on one topic with one (usually visiting) teacher. Our professor this week was Peter Warren, a YWAM veteran and leader who has both a profound knowledge and a powerful personal testimony of who God is, especially as revealed in the Bible.
Throughout our weekday class sessions, Peter presented the character of God to us in a very systematic and organized way, with so many quotes and Bible passages to provide a solid foundation. Honestly, my brain is still reeling from all the information! He used a lot of his own personal stories and life experiences as a testimony as well– many of which he shares in His book, When The Shooting Stopped, which is one of the required readings for our class.
Even though Peter has a deep knowledge of Scripture and is a talented orator, what impressed me the most about him was his humility and approachability. Instead of being intimidated by hard questions, he was willing to admit when he didn’t know something. He also was very clear about dividing facts from opinions, encouraging a fellowship mentality by inviting us to discover truth alongside him.
How to sum up all the other happenings? In our Discipleship Training School, every student has been wrestling with their own personal baggage and presuppositions about God. We are constantly soaking in so much head and heart knowledge. Through it all, my lifeline is worship– both personal and corporate.
Every weekday morning, we start our mornings with an hour of corporate worship (with the entire base). I am also in the Worship Elective, which meets for 2 hours every Monday and Thursday. AND there is also a prayer room (with a piano) where I can run at any time of day to process. LOL! I am also so thankful for my student body, who share such a love of worship — even those who are not pursuing leadership in worship. Take a listen:
Many of you know that before I left Miami, one of my prayers/desires for YWAM was that I would find fellow worship leaders and Jesus lovers who shared my love for songwriting. I am so happy to report that this prayer has been answered! Our Worship Elective is centered on worship leadership AND songwriting, with all students being challenged to write songs, even if they have no prior experience. Before the end of our lecture phase (ending this December), we will have written one individual song focused on High Praise (worshipping God and declaring His character) and one collaborative song focused on Intimacy with God (more personal and heart-focused).
It’s not difficult to admire God’s creativity and artistic touch on this campus. Our 198 acres include sandy walking paths, secret forest trails, a large lake, and rolling fields. Every evening at dinner, we eat in the golden glow of the setting sun and often walk down to the lake for the full view.
I am enjoying the journey. We only have about 6 weeks remaining on the Orlando base before our outreaches begin. Our DTS leaders felt a unique call for our school to not only pursue overseas outreach, but also participate in ministries locally and within the United States. Because of this call, we will be finishing our lecture phase about 2 weeks early to team up for national outreaches before Christmas break. Then in the new year, Lord willing, we will continue on to our overseas outreach.
As always, your support and prayers continue to comfort me. Stay tuned for more updates. Thank you for reading!