Week 1 - Orientation
What’s your name? Where are you from and why did you choose YWAM DTS Vancouver?
These were the most asked questions on our first week at DTS Fall 2016. Our class has 11 students (two are married to each other) from Germany, Sweden, Canada, USA, and the Philippines. We were so excited to hear each other’s reasons for choosing DTS Vancouver. Some wished to see orca whales and bears, others wanted to play hockey (two from the group will do hockey outreach), some had been encouraged by their youth leaders, and others just wanted to learn more about God. Our common thread was to the desire to walk deeper in our relationship with Him.
During Orientation Week we had to fill out information sheets, submit insurance and medical documents, get our photos taken, study orientation binders, and sign up for chores and school duties. At the YWAM Center all the students – including those from the Chronological School of Bible Studies (SBS) – work as a team by making coffee, washing up after meals, setting up the classroom, putting chairs and tables away, or serve on the worship team.
We also had a sneak peek of what it’s like to "live in community": share a living room, bathrooms, the kitchen and even study tables. Try to imagine the languages during mealtime!
“Karl, can you make Swedish meatballs this weekend?”
“Danke! Ivana, that fried rice tastes so good.”
“Can you pass the dimsum, Shin-ae?”
“Kumusta?! Do you know where the soy sauce is, Ntaluu?”
It’s wonderful to see how each person and culture is unique and special, and that God made us that way.
We have two homes for staff and students from DTS and SBS: Napier and Parker Houses. The Parker House is a 25-minute walk from the YWAM Center and for the Napier House it takes 5 minutes. If you visit us on Monday evenings you’ll hear the whine of vacuum cleaners and the smell of bleach because we’ll be sweeping, wiping, dusting and putting our Houses in order. These activities build character, discipline, a heart for service, and stewardship for the things that God has provided.
This week we also learned that YWAM Vancouver’s history and legacy is about pioneering ministries. Since faith and adventure play a huge role in YWAM, we were sent on a Scavenger Hunt to Downtown Vancouver! Our mission: to find landmarks in downtown Vancouver, figure out the public transit system, but most of all have fun. We discovered that Vancouver streets are laid out in grids, a Compass card can be used for the Skyway trains and buses, “Granville” is both an island and a street, and that “double-double” at Tim Hortons means “two sugar and creamers.”
We arrived towards the end of summer and were greeted with sunshine, blue skies, and trees shifting into autumn colors. It was a beautiful time to soak in God’s presence while praying outdoors. The “normal” temperature has been a shock for our Filipina classmate though! All in all, these experiences are the start of a journey to walk in love and faith with Jesus, and to grow deeper in our relationship with Him.