How Outreach Changed My Life
Outreach In a Nutshell:
My outreach was in Lebanon – in Beirut and in a smaller village called Damour. The first part of outreach, we were trained in how to share the gospel with people from a Muslim background. In Damour, we helped with children’s ministries, we prayed for people on the streets, visited the homes of the refugees and mainly worked in a school for Syrian refugee children. While working in the school, we learned about the background of the children and really grew to understand their hearts. We were teaching them in English and Math, and also leading chapel times where we got to share the gospel with the kids each day. At first, I was really intimidated by this. But then I started getting more comfortable and learned to use fun activities and visuals to teach them Bible stories and truths about Jesus. Through that, I myself really grew and became more confident. This transformed me because as I prepared to teach the kids, I grew in my understanding of Scripture, and it changed the way I lived and read the Bible. I wasn’t just reading the Bible anymore, I was taking it in in a new way that became more alive and gave me a deeper understanding.
Personal Growth on Outreach:
Since going on outreach, I’m more confident speaking with people who don’t speak the same language as me. My views of people from the Middle East, especially refugees, has totally changed. Before outreach, my perspective of the Middle East was just war and constant conflict. I thought that all the people were mean, and I thought they hated Americans or anyone that wasn’t part of their culture. As far as refugees, I thought they were people who left their countries just for a better life. I didn’t realize that they were being forced to leave, or that they would lose their life if they didn’t. Now that I’ve spent time with them, I see that they are such a warm and welcoming people. They want to know you, and they want to share their story, their culture, and their background with you. They’re so hungry for truth and for real hope. They’re ready to hear about Jesus and give their lives to Him.
My Goals Now Compared to Before:
Before DTS, my only goals were to get high, make money and look good. That was it. I was a very lost, unsatisfied person. I was angry and emotionless. But DTS and outreach completely changed my life. My dreams and goals now are to learn and grow more in the Word and to learn more about the culture of Lebanon, because one day I want to go back, I want to be part of what God is doing there. I want to see people coming alive for Jesus in Lebanon, and see a fire start there, an explosion of Jesus and His truth.
The most challenging part of outreach for me was disciplining myself to make time to spend alone with God every day. This was a challenge because we worked really hard in ministry, and we were preparing chapels and worksheets for our school teachings every day, and at the end of each school day we were pretty tired. The other challenge was just living in close quarters with everyone. You couldn’t hide from conflict or confrontation, so I was challenged to confront people and work things out in my relationships with my outreach team members. I’ve learned how to work better with people, to be a team player, to forgive, and not hold offenses. I’ve truly learned to become slow to anger.
The Best Part of Outreach:
My favorite part of outreach was all of us as a team living together, being a family. Every week just being able to talk with each other about what we were going through, praying for each other, and walking through everything together. We were all so real with each other. Even though we didn’t all have the same struggles, we all had different things we were dealing with, and we were there for each other. That was something that I never really had in my life. To feel comfortable talking about what I was going through with others, and to feel like I was accepted and not judged.
To anyone who is thinking about doing a DTS, I would say go and get out of your comfort zone. Even if you’re scared, you should do it. It’s so much better than you can even imagine.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, or check out the DTS page on our website here: https://ywamsj.org/en/dts/