by Riley Wall
Joshua Chapter 1 talks about the beginning of crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land that God had promised to the Israelites, but this was something that they were going to have to fight for. In many ways, last year’s Harvest DTS felt this way; it was a school that we had been believing for, for a while, but when we were 3 weeks from the school starting up we only had 2 students. The minimum was 5 students to be able to run this school. “God, how could you bring us all this way to only have the school cancel from lack of students?” was a question we had all been asking, but nevertheless we still felt the peaceful assurance that God was going to provide even when things were looking bleak.
During this waiting time we had done all that we could do and all that was left to be done was just sit, pray, and trust for them to come. Finally, the weekend before our due date came and we had only 3 students. Things were looking bleak. How could we possibly get the remaining 2 students so our school could run? Sure enough we were still peaceful about it, though at this point many were beginning to doubt whether or not the school would run. By the time the due date for the school came we had our final 2 students apply, a husband and wife from a nearby community that was interested in taking this 5 month course.
This wasn’t to be the end of our faith moments, however. Though the school was to run, this was going to be the first ever Harvest DTS, so things were still to be tested. We (the staff) were a new team of four working together like this for the very first time, with myself being brand new to staffing, Sanal and Minal being seasoned school leaders from India, and Aleisa a well experienced YWAMer from the States who had previously worked with YWAM in Australia. We went through trials with one another, learning how differently we all operated, how different our needs were from one another, and learning how to best support each other. There were many hiccups along the way, but in the end what matters is: What did God accomplish?
There was so much good that came from this school. During this time there were 4 baptisms that took place. During our local outreaches in lecture phase we had people give their lives to Jesus, many people got healed, and confidence was built. On outreach we saw many people give their lives to God and get healed there too! It was an experience not soon to be forgotten.
When the Israelites took the Promised Land, they were the first of their people to take this nation that God had promised to them. Things were hard, with wars breaking out, impossible situations, and unfaithful people making things difficult, but God was faithful to them in this time of hardship. Joshua and the Israelites were forerunners that were to accomplish the goals God set before them in order to establish a Nation that would one day bring the saviour for Humanity. They didn’t know this, however; all they could see was, “This is hard, and why are we here? We should just go back to Egypt, it’s easier there!”
Whilst things may be hard in the beginning as forerunners establishing the things that God has called us to, it’s important that we remember that there is something greater that God has in store, whether that is for us, or if that is for those who will come after us.
DTS tends to be a lot of this: doing a school where you are challenged with Scripture, learning new things about yourself, and hopefully discovering what God is calling you to next. This can be challenging at times because it often brings a lot of change (many people hate change), and later when you go on outreach into a nation that hardly knows who God is and begin sharing the Gospel there, it can be exhausting, feel meaningless (especially when people don’t give their lives to Jesus), or even be stressful when we think that it’s up to us to save the world. This is when we have to remember that we are simply forerunners who are making the way for the next person. Forerunners plant seeds, they initiate things, and most importantly, when they are doing these things they have to be constantly looking to God! Being a forerunner is an extremely important role and is something that as Christians we are all called to be. How are you being a forerunner?
Harvest DTS (ywamturnervalley.org/hdts) is Turner Valley’s newest Discipleship Training School, with an emphasis on evangelism & outreach in Turner Valley, Calgary, and the surrounding communities. The next school begins in April of 2020.