YWAM Leadership DTS

Hi everyone! I would like to share a bit of my heart with you. I have recently been accepted into the YWAM Leadership DTS program in Belize this October (2017). YWAM stands for Youth With A Mission and it is a missions organization dedicated to raising up today's youth for the one purpose of knowing God and to make Him known. They have bases and staff in almost every part of the world. A DTS stands for Discipleship Training School and it is a six month journey of finding and growing our identity in God all while seeking His heart and serving in His kingdom.

The purpose of a DTS seeks to bring us into a more intimate relationship with God. It also gives us an opportunity to discover our passions and our part in this life that God has given us. The course is a full-time program that lasts six months. It consists of two parts: a lecture phase and an outreach phase. In the lecture phase, we learn more about God and His word from leaders from all over the world. We will learn not only from lectures but also from community living and practical training in the local cities and around the base where we will be living. The outreach phase focuses on applying what we learned in the classroom through an intense, cross-cultural experience where the locations are specifically prayed for during the lecture phase of the school.

As many of you already know I recently lead a team with my father TJ Smith to an island in the Caribbean called Mayreau. It was a two week short term trip and it was the first team I have ever helped Co-lead so it was a huge step of faith for me but I was totally prepared for whatever God wanted to do, little did I know he had quite the surprise for me. Going into the trip I really had no expectations for the trip, I just went with an open mind and an open heart. Previous to going on the trip I had been praying a lot about my direction in life- where God was leading me. I was attending OSU in the nursing platform and everything was going okay but I just didn't feel like I was where God wanted me to be, So I was continually seeking His guidance.

Before leaving for the trip I just asked God that he would reignite my passion for missions and instill in me His heart for the nations. Our first night on the island we were at the base sitting in the dining hall, going over base guidelines and rules as I had a thought that I have never once had before. I thought to myself "You should be a staff member here" and for those of you that know me know that my mind went in a million different directions and my heart followed. I immediately knew that this was from God because it was not something I had ever though about before. I took the thought and began to pray about it for the next couple of days on the island and as the days went on I felt like I wasn't getting anything so I told God that if he wanted me to take a step of faith and start the process of becoming staff on the island base to send me a dove, something that would give me no chance to deny it. That night I got my sign, not only did I get it, I was literally hit in the head with it. God has a funny sense of humor some times.

Anyone that knows me knows that my whole life doves have been a thing for me, they have always been a sign of peace and confirmation throughout my life so that night as our team came back from the beach we were getting ready for bed brushing our teeth and then the boys in the boys cabin behind ours started screaming and running out of the cabin so all of us girls rushed to our balcony to see what was going on and they were all like "theres a bird stuck in our cabin!" so as everyone is freaking out my dad catches the bird and sets it free and it flies across the yard and literally plows right into my face then perches itself on the bench beside me for a minute before flying away. It wasn't just any bird, it was a dove. My dove. My sign. Now if that isn't a neon flashing sign of confirmation then I don't know what is!

So back to my upcoming DTS, it is a requirement for all YWAM staff members to have completed a DTS. After I complete my full DTS in Belize it is my intention to continue praying and seeking God's heart in the process of me going on staff at the base in Mayreau. I know that this is a lot at once but I am just trying to take it day by day trusting that God will provide and that He will fulfill his promise of equipping the called. I know this is where He has called me so I am stepping out in faith, knowing fully that He will not let me fall. I am asking for lots of prayer as I start this next journey in life. I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your lives to listen to my heart and to where God is calling me next, I would also like to ask you to continue to pray about partnering with me as I take this next step in life, whether that is by helping me fundraise the necessary money or by partnering with me in prayer. I couldn't do any of this without your help, support or prayers, so THANK YOU.
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Makayla Smith 
Marysville, OH

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