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How to Raise Funds for your YWAM DTS

1. Work. Most of us have the ability to earn money by getting a job! This is a great way to save up the funds needed for your DTS, and an opportunity to take ownership by investing in your own future and what you believe God is calling you to do.

2. Believe that what you are doing is worth an investment. You are walking into a season of intense growth in your relationship with God, setting aside everything to learn about the purpose He has for you, the gifts and passions He’s planted inside of you, in order to become a person who is equipped to share the love of God in different cultures and contexts. It’s truly worth the investment, and you have to believe that before you can invite others to be part of it.

3. Put yourself out there. Share with your friends, family, co-workers, and church community about the exciting journey you are stepping into. Share your heart behind why you believe this is a key part of your life. Talk to the pastor and/or youth pastor at your church about sharing with the congregation. Make postcards or bookmarks that you can hand out with a little bit of information about what you are doing and how people can get behind you with their prayers and financial contributions.

4. Make it easy for donors to give. A lot of people don’t give to missions because they forget if there isn’t an easy way for them to do it immediately. If you talk to someone or speak at a church and people are interested in giving, you must have a simple, quick, and immediate way for them to give. Apps/websites like Paypal, Venmo, and Squarecash are fast and easy ways to give. Make sure to get something like this set up before you talk to any potential donors.

5. Be intentional about face-to-face conversations. The best possible situation for people to respond with a desire to give towards your mission is face-to-face conversation. This is a time where you can really share your heart and people can ask questions. The majority of raised funds comes not from newsletters or group sharing times, but from one-on-one realtime conversations. Make the effort and take the time to share with the people who want to be a part of what you are doing.

6. Take your passion and put it to action. Do you love photography? Cooking? Creating jewelry or other items? Take whatever you are passionate about and use it to raise funds! Something I did for a long time was make hairwraps and bracelets to raise funds. It’s a fun way to connect with people, give them something tangible to remember your mission, and a way to raise money. Some of my missionary friends host dinners that they’ve cooked, have bake sales, or even make journals to sell as a fundraiser.

7. Steward your resources well. Be wise with what you have. You can save a lot of money just by giving up your daily coffee or weekly meal at your favorite restaurant. What are some ways that you can cut your costs to put that money towards your DTS? The sacrifice you make now will be more than worth it in the future.

8. Communicate! Make sure to follow up with the people who have expressed interest or committed to partnering with you – whether through prayer or finances. Keep an organized list of those who have made contributions and those who have asked for updates during your DTS. They are just as much a part of this journey as you are and without them, what you’re doing wouldn’t be possible. So take the time to let them know how grateful you are for them, and celebrate your successes with them! Write blogs and letters, send thank you cards, and maybe even take them a gift when you return home.

9. Share your vision, rather than your need. There are so many needs in the world, and it’s easy for us to nothing about them when they aren’t personal. One of the keys of fundraising is sharing your vision with people so that they have an opportunity to personally connect with you and what you are doing. People want to connect with something that is meaningful to them – not just write a check to lower a number. Make sure you take the time to connect with people and really share the heart of what you are doing. You will see how encouraging it is to meet so many people with the same passion and heart as you do, who can’t necessarily go, but have a desire to be part of the mission by giving!

10. Understand Biblical finances. Jesus talks about money more than almost anything else in Scripture! Go to the Word and study what it looks like to live out the Kingdom with your finances. Look at the example of Paul, how he was supported by churches for his missionary journeys, and the way Jesus called His disciples to give up everything to follow Him. As you pursue this journey, whether your plan is to do missions short or long-term, make sure your understanding of finances is Biblical! This will make all the difference in the world as you do your part to fundraise, and you trust God to do what you can’t.

Happy fundraising!
If you have any questions, please send an email to dts@ywamsj.org!

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What to Pack for DTS

Packing List for coming to DTS:

What to bring, and what to leave!

Packing for DTS can be overwhelming! Not only are you going to live for 3 months in a new country, but you are going to live for 2 additional months in another different country! How do you plan for that?

I have been living out of a hiking backpack for the last 14 months in 4 different countries; I have made some good packing decisions and also some pretty bad ones. With the hope that you can avoid packing regrets, I want to share what I’ve learned with you!

1) Pack a variety of clothing

Consider what you will be doing during the DTS. You will want to have something appropriate for church as well as something you can get paint on, etc. DTS in San Jose has 3 different sections in which you will have different needs.

a) Lecture Phase – you will mostly be in a classroom and hanging out around the base. Other kitchen/cleaning duty, you don’t have many occasions where you will get dirty.

b) Outreach – what you need for your outreach will depend on the country your team goes to. For example, you would need different clothes for a Muslim culture than a Caribbean culture. Be prepared for cold and hot climates by packing clothes that can be layered. Bring versatile low maintenance clothing.

Consider each of the things you want to bring. Test it with these 5 questions (each piece should satisfy at least 3 of these):
-Comfortable for walking around but can be dressed up for an event
-Is appropriate for warm or cool weather
-Can be folded up small/doesn’t wrinkle easily
-Coordinates well with everything else you’re bringing
-Can be washed in a regular washing machine

2) What season is it in the country you are traveling to?

Temperatures in San Jose, Costa Rica are usually between 18-28C or 65-82F. Here in Costa Rica there are 2 seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season is generally from May to November. During those months in San Jose, it will likely be sunny and warm in the morning and then cool off and rain in the afternoon. The dry season is generally between December to April. The weather will be nice and sunny most days!

3) How much should you bring?

Keep it to what you can carry! You can bring everything you need in one checked bag and one carry-on. Seriously. I usually travel with a hiking backpack (that I check), a day pack that I carry on, and a purse. If the thought of living off of so little for 5 months gives you anxiety, pray and ask God to show you what He wants to teach you during this time! In the past 2 years, He has showed me a lot about living more simply. I experienced some serious liberation when I downsized my belongings.

4) Tips for saving space:

Our campus in San Jose is right in the city. It is easy to go and buy more supplies. Keep in mind things might be a little more expensive in Costa Rica than at home. When packing, I recommend you save the things you could buy here until last. If they fit, great! If they don’t, you can purchase those things here. An example of something you can buy here if you run out of space is personal hygiene products (shampoo & conditioner, laundry soap, feminine products, etc.). A sleeping bag is also something that can take up very little space OR half of your backpack depending on the type you have. If you have trouble fitting everything into your bag, looking for a compact sleeping bag might be a good option. Neatness totally counts when packing! If you fold or roll your clothes nicely, you can fit twice as much as if you just throw everything into your bag. Also, I love items that can perform a double-duty. For example, I have a sarong that I use for all kinds of things: towel, swimsuit cover-up, pillow, sheet, privacy curtain for a bunk-bed, picnic blanket, scarf, etc… Packing items like this helps me save space!

5) What’s appropriate?

Consider the culture you are coming into as well as the cultures you could be visiting during outreach. There will likely be times where all you can where are long-sleeves and/or long pants and long skirts. For certain times of ministry or visiting local churches in conservative cultures, you’ll want to have these types of articles of clothing on hand. Otherwise, just pack the type of casual, every day clothes you’d wear at home!

I hope this helps! I wish you the best with your preparation to come for your DTS! We are very excited to meet you and to see God move in your life! If you have any more questions about packing, send them to dts@ywamsj.org!