1. New Friends

God has blessed me with so many new friends, and I love each individual in this DTS! They are all so fun and open. It feels like we all came into this season knowing that we would be pushed and challenged together. As a family we face each new challenge, encourage and pray for one another, and just focus on God through it all!

Who would think that a bunch of young people could come together, supposedly ’randomly,’ and just instantly love each other so much?! It’s only possible because God is the focus and He orchestrated this whole thing, praise Him! Coming here to DTS has been easy for me, in part because everyone is so close already, and we are all going though this in support of each other!

2. Hurdles exercise

The topic of our first week at DTS was Recognising God’s Voice. Our speaker had an exercise for us where she wrote a list of ‘hurdles’ we may face, lies that prevent us from hearing God’s voice, and she asked us to choose the ones we struggle with and write down why. The two I chose were fear and shame, and then we all had to get up and share about those things.

Now this was only our second day of class, and we all hardly knew each other! But hey, we are all gonna be living together for the next few months so why not? It’s a great way to get to know everyone really fast! So people started sharing deep stuff and I think almost everyone was crying by the end of it, and now we are all so much closer for it!

3. Hike through Deception Pass

All the students on the adventure theme DTS  went on a hike through Deception Pass at the end of our first week. When we arrived we all climbed out of the cars to see this beautiful, sunny, ocean beach. I immediately got my camera out and started enjoying the scenery. After relaxing on the beach for a while we were all gathered up to head out on the hike, so we packed up and took off. The forest is where I feel most at home and closest to God, and while we were walking through the woods, I just got this peaceful and joyful feeling come over me.

When we got to the highest point on top of the cliff where we could see for miles out in the ocean, we all paused to hear a testimony of one of our leaders. She shared a few beautifully honest stories of how God has shown parts of Himself to her through nature. Her challenge to us was to pay attention on our way out of the woods, to ask God to reveal himself in a new way to us through His creation. She had us grab something that signifies this, whether it be a twig, a stone or a leaf… whatever it was, it just had to be significant to us.

While she was sharing these stories, a dense fog came in from the ocean and completely enveloped everything. It felt like God was just hugging everyone. Fog has always been one of my favourite aspects of nature, and it is significant in my relationship with God (but that is a story for another day). So, the fog was what God used to show me a part of who He is. He showed me His peace, but also how He is a mystery to us. Another thing that God showed me on the way through the woods was when I was standing under this huge Redwood tree, talking with a couple of the girls. The word ‘sturdy’ just popped into my head, so I looked at the tree for a while and thought about how tall it was and how deep the roots must be, and in that tree I got a glimpse of how sturdy my God is.

Written by Shennae McBride