5 Essentials For your DTS Outreach
You're in the coming to the close of your lecture phase and you are in a constant state of awe at who God is. You've seen Him radically heal and provide, and you're so excited to go on outreach! You can’t wait to walk out all you’ve learned, share testimonies, spread the Gospel, and see people come to Christ.
With all this anticipation, you go to your room to pack one backpack for three whole months. The key is packing light, especially if you will be trekking to unreached peoples. You begin to wonder where you can cut corners -- you gotta have room for souvenirs for your grandma and your best friend -- so you choose to bring only two shirts, scrap your coffee grounds, neglect your comfort food. Huge sacrifices, right?
Now you sit before your mangled room and wonder what you truly need to bring with you overseas. Here are a handful of essentials that you should keep in your pack:
A Bible. This seems a bit obvious, but those times alone in the Word is what keeps you spiritually fed. His living Word brings peace and comfort when needed most. It is the key for life and the key to ministry. We operate out of our intimacy and time spent with Him. A Bible is 100% necessary to pack!
A Journal. Not everyone is huge on journaling and it may seem unnecessary to keep one. This often rang true for me while I was on my DTS outreach. I found myself journaling about minuscule things. I recorded the tiniest memories, scribbled frustrations, and wrote out prayers. The majority of my time I spent writing, I just wanted to simply relax. But now, a year later, I visit that journal and I am so grateful that I wrote stories and kept a timeline.
A Yes In Your Heart
A Yes In Your Heart. You will probably learn a lot about this during your DTS, but this is an essential for all ministry. Without a willingness to do whatever God is calling you to -- even if it's not your favorite thing or your gifting -- you will find many days challenging. Be flexible and be willing to be the Lord's hands and feet in everything!
Reliable Gear. It's tempting to just buy whatever is cheapest, but you also want durable gear that will last you three months. Remember that God loves to provide abundantly for His children! You can get that perfect backpack and warmest down coat! Make sure you do lots of research and get good shoes, too. Shoes are really important with the amount of walking done on outreach.
Baby Wipes. Maybe it's a bit awkward, but these are a game changer! In many cultures, toilet paper is not considered necessary, so you will be grateful for your handy wipes when you find yourself in a pickle! For those outreaches that are in more remote locations, water for showering is either not available or ice cold. Baby wipes provide a much-appreciated “shower” to get yourself smelling as-good-as-new(ish).
Madison is on staff here at YWAM Yosemite, where she did her DTS in 2016. She loves reading, the outdoors, and art. She's passionate about seeing young people answering the call God has on their lives. She also really likes cool shoes. She's from Michigan so she has pretty good balance on ice.