Friendships that Last a Lifetime: Why I Love My YWAM DTS

(by Ellie G., Children at Risk DTS student from Great Britain)

These last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of learning and fun! It’s insane how much these 50 people that I’ve only known for 7 weeks feel like family. God has truly blessed me with friends here with whom I feel safe to be totally me.

We recently drove to Oklahoma for the YWAM Go Conference to connect with other DTSes from all over the US. After 14 hours crammed in a bus, we were super excited to arrive at the sprawling New Life Ranch complete with horses, a lake with canoes and a giant bouncy pillow!

YWAM DTS Highlights from the Go conference

We spent our afternoons horseback riding, canoeing and playing messy camp games involving shaving cream, cheese balls and egg roulette!

The GO Conference Games were incredibly fun… and MESSY!

Our mornings and evenings at the GO Conference were filled with teaching, worship and prayer intended to “energize a generation to GO to the least reached and most vulnerable.” We had powerful lessons from Fred Markert and Colleen Milstein. I learned so much about the missions movement from them and heard stories of miraculous things God is doing around the world (especially in countries closed to Christianity).

The best part of the week was when 9 friends from my DTS got baptized in a river. I even helped baptize my friend Connor! Watching these world changers and God-lovers with hearts for the poor and excitement for Jesus step into the freezing, murky waters and declare their commitment to Jesus is a moment I will never forget! I just wish you could meet them all!

YWAM Madison DTS Baptisms in a River at the Go Conference in Oklahoma

And if I haven’t convinced you already that my friends here are amazing, here is one last bit of proof. After we got back from the GO Conference, I told them how much I love “Bonfire Night.” Even though they were exhausted from the long drive, they took me to a thrift store to get clothes and make a “Guy” so we could celebrate this English tradition of Guy Fawkes Day together. As I looked at my friends around the bonfire that night, I realized that even though I was half-way across the world, I still felt right at home.