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?
God had plans bigger than my imagination.
It’s true that I could have saved some money on plane tickets by staying in the US and serving God here. However, I didn’t choose to do my DTS for any other reason than I felt that’s where God wanted me to go. If I had not done my DTS where and when I did, I would have missed out on the friendships I made and the experiences I had.
I experienced first-hand that God is trustworthy.
This may not be true for you, but I grew up without ever feeling I ‘needed’ God. I never wondered where my family would get the money to pay the bills. I had countless people supporting me as I grew up. My car broke down once and TWO people came to get me.
DTS creates a space for dependence on God. When my anxiety got the best of me, Jesus was the one I turned to. He was my best option, and that is where some of my greatest experiences in faith and trust in God have come from.
I gained perspective I couldn’t get in my home country.
God called me to go to a different country and I’m so glad I stepped out of my ‘bubble’. I learned to rejoice in diversity and to celebrate cultural traditions that are not my own! This gave me a greater picture of God's love for the world and how to communicate with people who differ from me. He created us with differences so we could learn from each other.
Through traveling and living abroad, I've had heart wrenching moments with Christ. These moments have radically changed my life and the way I think. They've created in me a wellspring of love for the Father and His children. I’ve learned what I never could have learned from a book, or even from a story someone told me. These are experiences I didn’t have in my home country.
Have you had your heart changed by God through international travel? Leave a reply below and tell us about it!