As you know our main focus on being here is the Justice DTS.
The January 2018 DTS finished in mid-June. We arrived back in NZ 10 days before the students came back from outreach, just enough time to get over the jet-lag and prepare for the final week of the DTS.
For this DTS we had the full responsibility and leadership of things. This was a lot of hard work, and required a huge investment from us in time, energy, prayers and emotion in the months before the DTS and then during the DTS. We were excited to implement things that are part of how we feel God is taking this DTS forward, the vision God has given us for the DTS and the leadership He has placed on us for this.
So this looked like; corresponding with students, booking speakers, organising all the practicalities and ins and outs of the day to day running of the DTS (which we didn’t realise quite how much that was until we got started!), supporting and training our staff, doing teaching for staff training/ orientation week with students/justice workshops/outreach preparation/debrief week, leading prayer and worship times, and many other things. Obviously we couldn’t have done the DTS on our own and were so thankful to have 3 incredible staff to help run the show!
It was a lot of hard work, but so rewarding and worth it, to see God at work in these students and to see them have an increase in their awareness of different injustices around the world and what they can do to bring change.
This DTS was a huge success on many levels, but most importantly we saw God do significant things in each of the student’s lives. Here’s just a few testimonies from the students…
“Before DTS I knew my identity but didn’t know fully who I am in God. Through DTS God has revealed to me that I am special, unique and that I am needed. I can now laugh without the fear of the world on my shoulders because I am His”
“Before DTS I always felt restless and unsettled. I always looked to the future, or somewhere else other than the present. I found myself in a power struggle with God on who was in control of my life. My favourite quote is from Mark Batterson, he says ‘we stopped staring at the stars and started staring at ceilings’. God has brought me peace and rest during this time. I have let Him take control. His ways are so much higher and better than mine. Instead of being trapped by the ceilings of my own plans I’m living in the freedom of my Creator’s”
“I have struggled a lot over the years with self image. But from this time with the Lord I have gained this self confidence that doesn’t just puff me up but that builds me up to see myself the way God sees me. God has spoken truth over my heart and It is from this place that I am able to speak truth over others from my revelations from the Lord”
Being part of providing an environment where students can come from around the world to spend 5 month’s encountering the God of the universe, and seeing Him bring healing, and change lives, is humbling and a huge honour for us.
We are already in the process of planning for leading the next Justice DTS. As always it will look different with a different group of students, but we are praying and expectant for God to do big things again during the next DTS. If you know anyone who you think may be interested please send them over to the DTS website – justicereachnz.org/dts/