For many people, taking a gap year means working some sort of 9-5 to gain life and professional experience, or traveling to another country to be exposed to a foreign culture, or going on a mission trip. For me it meant a hybrid of all three. In the height of the senior year college application frenzy, I applied and got accepted to my top choice University, but my true excitement came when I applied and was accepted to do a DTS in Tijuana, Mexico with YWAM San Diego/ Baja.
After spending 12 years in the public school system, I was ready for a shift in experience… and scenery!
When the time came, I got on a plane, headed to Mexico! You may be wondering, why did I choose to do a gap year? Going straight to school seems much more practical, right? During my final semesters of High School, while I was preparing to launch myself into college, I felt called to do something different.
I felt called to give the Lord space, a window, or a season in my life that had His fingerprints on it, and not just mine. I loved school. I loved choir and theater and going to football games and youth group, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was an untold adventure that God wanted to take me on.
Before throwing myself into college life and career preparation, he wanted to have my full attention. I believe God wanted to spend this season with me and what I thought was just a gap, became a bridge into my adult life.
I was once told you have to learn who you are, before you can know what you want to do… Yeah, take a moment to let that sink in. To be frank, I may have read that on the inside of a bottle cap, but hey, in my season of DTS this inspirational quote was truly brought to life.
During my DTS lecture phase, I experienced the redemption, freedom and hope that the Lord wanted to implement into my life. My identity in Christ was strengthened and I felt alive and ready to head out on the adventure of outreach. When the time came, we went to Europe to work with refugees and I could see God’s faithful hand as he met people where they were at.
It was after I had worked to deepen the roots in my identity as a child of God that I felt Him whispering to me, while we were at a town square in Amsterdam, “the harvest is plenty, and the workers are few,” (Matt 9:38). It wasn’t just a nice sentiment, God was placing a calling on my heart. A call to share the good news of what He’s done for us. You have to learn who you are, before you know what you want to do.
Since my DTS I have been able to travel to 6 other countries doing just that. This is the unknown adventure He was calling me on all along. I am so thankful that I took that gap year that God was tugging me towards. I had no idea the transformation that would happen, but I am so thankful it did.
So I leave you with an invitation. Not only an invitation to a Gap year with DTS, but an invitation to a season of God speaking into your life, and service to Him. An invitation to a gap that becomes a bridge to whatever adventure He wants to bring you on next. So are you in?
Written by Kirsten, who is on staff and works with our Discipleship Training Schools and in the Communications Department.
YWAM San Diego Baja offers Discipleship Training Schools, University of the Nations secondary schools, Homes of Hope, Mission Adventures, and many more local ministries in Baja California, Mexico. At YWAM San Diego Baja, we believe that God’s Word should be put into everyday practice. Through discipleship and evangelism, we seek to know God and to make Him known.
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