While living in South Africa and about to lead a field assignment to Nepal, God asked me to give away the last of my money so that one of my students could go. So, I paid the rest of her fees, and she was able to go on her field assignment. After that, I thought, 'But how will I pay my field assignment fees? The due date is tomorrow. I know my bank account is empty, and nothing is coming in for another three weeks. How will I pay?'
Sometimes, a spur of the moment decision turns into a life-changing event. At least, that was the case for a woman named Rose. My name is Carl, and I used to live in Australia. My friend and I decided to take a trip down the coast during one of our vacation weeks. While we were traveling, someone recommended a small town that was slightly out of the way. We didn’t really want to go since it was slightly out of our way, but we had a free day and decided to check it out.
The Field Assignment phase of the Discipleship Training School is oftentimes trainees’ favorite part! It can also be the most challenging. Here are some pro-tips from someone who’s been on outreach a time or two.
Learn as much of the language as you can
You may not be fluent, but even those basic phrases like “where is the bathroom” go a long way. Another great one to learn is, “What is your name?” and “How do you say…?”
By learning how to ask for words in another language, you can engage with the person you’re with, laugh a lot, and learn a little more along the way!
You want to learn more about God
You’ll spend the first 12 weeks of DTS learning about God, and how you and others fit into His plan. Then you’ll spend the last 8 weeks learning how to apply those things on your field assignment!
You want something life changing
Maybe you know that there’s something more for you, but can’t quite figure out what that something more is. Many people leave DTS with a better understanding of their passions and how they can use them to serve the Lord.
DTS is an exhilarating adventure. A lot can happen in the five months you’ll be here, including traveling internationally for the field assignment! Packing for such an adventure can be overwhelming; what do you need to bring? What should you leave at home? Is there something you’re forgetting?? Let me help you out:
Our team had split into 2 smaller teams to preach the Gospel in a small village on a mountain. In this part of Asia, every village or region has their own language. We needed two translators. One translator spoke both the national language and the village language. The other translator spoke the national language and English. Confusing, I know!
Townsville, Australia is home to a major army base, and it’s also where I did my DTS. Down the block, Flinders Street contains strip clubs, bars, and nightclubs. Fights pop up every few feet, and drinking and drugs abound. Naturally, my DTS team decided this was the perfect place to do ministry.
I did my DTS in 2017. My field assignment was in Australia with the goal of reaching youth. As I was preparing for my DTS, I heard about 101 reasons why I should stay home (or in my home country) to grow in my relationship with God and do missions. So why did I do my DTS field assignments abroad?
When I was 18 years old, I got on a plane by myself to do what God wanted me to do: a Discipleship Training School. Being in another country without my family or friends was terrifying. I was with a group of strangers I had only just met, I didn’t have cell service, and was far away from my family. I had to manage my own money, figure out how to navigate a new city, and live on my own. It was crazy, it was scary, and I thought about staying on the plane and going straight home.
Have you ever gotten one of those slightly ridiculous, spontaneous ideas stuck in your head, and all of a sudden you do it? There’s a saying for that: “If you’re feeling froggy, jump!” It means that if you’re feeling bold, just do it.
Doing a Discipleship Training School is a huge decision that also has a financial cost. There can be a lot of anxiety around making such a big decision. Five months feels like a long time to spend on something that could be the wrong decision for you.
So how do you decide if this is the right choice for you?