For those of you in YWAM, do you remember the first week of your DTS? What you felt and experienced as you spent your first days in a YWAM community; the excitement, adventure, and forming time that was? Or maybe for some it was uncomfortable and even though God worked in your life you didn’t walk away with the best experience. The DTS continues to be the gateway to our mission and a place where we see incredible fruit of people becoming and growing as disciples of Jesus! DTS students are a precious gift to us, a source of life and fresh vision as God speak through even the youngest recruit. DTS staff and leaders are in that way the gatekeepers of YWAM, in a key position to walk alongside of those who will join and lead this movement!The DTS resource team in Central Europe is committed to help train, equip, and be a resource for DTS in our area. We do this by helping to equip DTS staff and leaders through DTS Workshops or staff training, and by gathering DTS leaders to partner together and network across and outside of Central Europe. The team is made up of Mirjam and Chris in Serbia, Vane in Budapest, Steve in Macedonia, Jarod and Bexi in Croatia, and myself in Romania…along with some others who serve in different capacities.Together we can do more! That’s something we are seeing as God is leading locations to collaborate and strengthen partnerships across the region. This is especially helpful as our DTS’s are not large in numbers, and sometimes a small team will need extra staff. So God has provided: staff from Bulgaria and Slovakia to come to Budapest to staff, from Czech to Croatia to work with DTS, even a YWAM ship in Greece serving as a location for a DTS to operate, and more!Testimonies from DTS’s in our region:For the first time in many years we have a collaborative DTS between two ministries in Romania: ELS Ministries Cluj and YWAM Iasi. During this DTS I learned two important things: the power of partnership and the courage to take steps that require a greater faith in God! We can see the blessings of working together, of sharing resources from each location, and the richness of differing values and ideas. And the blessings of trusting God when we feel that our resources are not enough. Even as we’ve moved from place to place, and will do outreach in Cluj, Athens and Tanzania, God has been more than faithful to provide the resources needed!
From Andreja in Slovenia:As soon as I was introduced to YWAM, God began putting dreams in my heart about having YWAM in Slovenia. Those dreams were about pioneering YWAM in Slovenia and receiving teams. l started to pray and ask God what that would look like. I kept praying and a Bible verse came up that helped my heart trust in God: "Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God" (Jeremiah 11:4) ... Fast-forward: I did my DTS in Kona and staffed one year there and then I came home to Slovenia, not knowing what I was going to do but still sensing that something with YWAM would happen in Slovenia.In August 2016, I received three similar emails from YWAM Amsterdam, Norway and England, all from people I didn't know. They each found me on Facebook the same week (separately) and they all had the same questions. They had prayers and desires to see God moving in Slovenia. Out of that, we had our very first YWAM Gathering in Slovenia, in March, 2017. l was absolutely amazed at how God orchestrated everything, people responded to this gathering and came from all over Europe. I was encouraged by this momentum and realized that God prepared all of it and had been working in the hearts of others through my prayers. Because of the gathering in March an outreach team from YWAM Split, Croatia decided to come to serve in Slovenia for two months over the summer. lt was an absolute joy to receive them. Hopefully the first of many!
I cannot fully explain just how joyful and fulfilling it was in trusting, waiting and obeying God, to then see the fulfillment of His word. God certainly prepared this team, way before I knew them. My encouragement to everyone is: keep trusting God for the dreams He has put on your heart. Whatever He started, He will finish. Trust at all times and wait for His perfect timing. He will provide for what He has called you to do and He will make Himself known.
Arlen Stoltzfus with Tabita Huluban and Andreja Klinc