Jacob Davis, a student currently finishing up the lecture phase of his YWAM Ships DTS, hails from Winfield Kansas. He grew up without a christian upbringing, which meant he knew right from wrong but not about God.
Last year Jacob was in Teen Challenge, a faith-based facility that helps individuals of all ages overcome life-controlling problems and addictions.
Coming out of that, Jacob knew he had a heart to serve people and help those in need. He just didn’t know what that would look like. As he was looking for ways to incorporate that into his life, he heard about Youth With A Mission (YWAM). After checking them out on the internet, and particularly finding YWAM Ships Kona, he just knew.
“I could feel that was what I needed to do. What geared me towards YWAM was the team aspect of it, the accountability and having people support me.”
His relationship with God before coming to do his Discipleship Training School (DTS) was pretty rocky. With Teen Challenge being very disciplined in its program, Jacob felt that YWAM was a good next step for him in learning how to live out his newfound faith.
“I was confident in God and who He was but I didn’t know how to act it out in my life because I had been closed off for so long.”
Teen Challenge would always ask him what he was going to do once he was done with their program. Jacob thought he would get a job and get involved with his church. He never wanted to be a preacher. He didn’t want to be what he calls a “preacher person”.
Jacob explains how his relationship with God now is phenomenal.
Since starting DTS, his thinking has changed from how he can fit God into his life and whatever he’s a part of, to making God his whole life and figuring out where everything else fits in.
“I’ve realized through coming here, that is our job: to share His word, who He is and love on people. There’s no better fulfillment. That’s what God wants us to do. Now I just embrace it. I want to serve God my whole life; wherever I go and wherever He tells me to go.”
Coming to do a DTS has many surprises as well as challenges. For Jacob the thing that surprised him most about DTS was the community.
“Everybody loves God. It’s saturated here, in a good way. I’m able to talk to people about my doubts and questions and they don’t attack me for it. You can have open conversations about God and it’s not weird. We are all here for the same reason: to get to know God and His plan for our lives.”
A big challenge for Jacob during the DTS lecture phase is what he chooses to do with his free time. For him, the classes are amazing but what he feels will really change people the most, including himself, is what you do outside of the classroom. That is his biggest challenge.
During DTS lectures, students will hear a variety of subjects from many speakers with different backgrounds.
When Grant Ozment, leader of DTS’ at the University of the Nations, spoke about discipline, Jacob realized it was something he needed to hear.
“He challenged me to want to gain the discipline of waking up early and seeking God before I do anything else. That’s what separates the good christians from the great ones. It’s what you do with the details, the little moments.”
As outreach approaches, Jacob can’t help but get excited about traveling to the Czech Republic and then onto Greece. The team’s focus will be working with refugees. Jacob is not only excited about what he’s going to learn from the people there but also about building relationships with them.
“I want to know who they are, their heart behind their struggles and the things they’ve gone through. There are so many things to learn from other cultures. We can sometimes be narrow-minded and want to put our culture on everything else. God is a part of every different culture.”
Once Jacob completes the outreach phase of his DTS, he plans to go home, connect with people about what he’s been a part of in YWAM and chat about his plans for the future.
“I want to go to Ireland and help pioneer a school with a few of the people I’ve met here. Once I heard about the school, it weighed heavily on my heart and as long as it stays on my heart, I’m going to take a step of faith and go for it. That’s the vision.
I’ve been challenged to dream bigger. I want to do something of significance.”
For anyone thinking of doing a DTS, Jacob’s advice is to just go it.
“The best thing you can do with your time is seek a relationship with God and He will make everything work. Whatever doubt you’re having, let go and go after God.”
By Jaime Gomez
Port YWAM Kona Communications Staff
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