We just finished our second week of school in Chiang Mai! It has been exciting being part of this “learn/live” community.
Other than daily classes, our weekly schedule includes sessions of worship, intercession, YWAM Chiang Mai gatherings, visits to missionaries living in this province, one-on-one mentoring, and work duty.
A rare Pizza night!!!
Living in community
Communal living with 8 other classmates has been very interesting. We come from 4 different nations – Thailand, Taiwan, America and Singapore. Some conflicts are inevitable as 4 cultures live together, but we see it as part and parcel of the team-building phase. it has been fun doing many things together – attending class, cooking, eating, cleaning, exercising… We are learning how to accommodate and respect each other as we live together in such close proximity in what we call the “base”, which is our shared accommodation in Chiang Mai.
A key principle that we are learning to practice daily in communal living is to prefer others. “Work duty”, an integral part of our DTS, really challenges us in this! Managing our residential and learning space is a shared responsibility, and everyone is assigned different duties to be done daily. This includes a lot of cleaning and cooking. For Jason, he has to wake up extra early every day to prepare breakfast for everyone in the base. Sheryl’s work duty is to wash the dishes and clear up after lunch and dinner with two other ladies. Although the tasks are quite simple, it’s staying faithful in the mundane that is key. Through the work duty, God is moulding us to serve others with joy, especially when it’s not the most convenient or when it sometimes go unnoticed.
An evening 5km walk with one of our Thai classmates, New.
Discipleship Training School in Chiang Mai started off with a few days of orientation. It was a good start of getting to know our classmates better and being oriented to the details of our school.
One of the highlights was an amazing race around Chiang Mai city. As usual, each station required us to finish a task as a team. Other than the time spent together with our friends, what made it extra meaningful was that before going off to the next stop, we’d pray together for the country of Thailand, the city we are all placed in for this season. We prayed for God to show us his vision for the land and for him to bless this country. So it was like an amazing prayer race!
Another highlight was prayer for the persecuted church. Somehow intercession here is made really interesting 😉 In the middle of the night, we all heard knocking on our doors. All of us were woken up, blindfolded in the darkness and led to a vehicle in confusion. It was an activity to stimulate the life of our brothers and sisters living in closed countries who perpetually live in uncertainty and alarm. When we finally understood what was going on, we wrapped up the time by asking God what is on his heart for the persecuted church and praying for them.
We were quickly launched into the first topic of the lecture phase, which is on the character and nature of God. Although it may seem like a topic that is elementary, it was so refreshing to go right back to the fundamentals of our faith. To conclude the week, we watched The Shack together. What was taught during the week really came alive in the movie, especially with regards to the issue of God’s goodness and justice vs suffering in this world.
All of us have gone through difficult circumstances in life, and for some of our classmates had it exceptionally difficult. The movie opened up our hearts to glimpse into to the Father heart of God and how he loves his children, which set the stage for the following week which was focused on this exact topic.
The second week was a deep journey to understanding God’s heart as our Father, and the wounds that block us from his love. It was an emotional week of healing from wounds of our past and we thank God for giving us breakthroughs in our personal journeys with Him.
For both topics, we had the privilege of learning from 3 distinguished speakers who taught with such a gentle yet firm faith in God’s unchangeable character. We are looking forward to more!
With our classmates, staff and speakers for week 2, Les & Sandi Hokyu.
Our DTS staff often like to remind us that “DTS is like a honeymoon with God.” Being a married couple, we can resonate with that comparison. It’s a time set aside to fully focus on our intimacy with God. Many things could unwittingly become a distraction, and we learnt that even the question of “What shall we do after DTS?” can draw our attention away from the focus. We are still learning what it means to rest in our Father’s love, and to enjoy His love as His child. Committing all our worries, concerns, and insecurities to Father God is our ongoing challenge as well.
We would also like to share a thanksgiving; we have fully raised the finances we need for the DTS season! We are very grateful for God’s provision, and we are encouraged by all of your giving, both in prayer and in finances. We are reminded of this verse:
We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps.
And in our own experience, we can make our own budget, but the Lord determines our finances!
- Wisdom and grace for us to build deep and meaningful friendships with our classmates. We are thankful for this community that God has placed us in!
- Deeper intimacy with our Father God who loves us. Pray that all the knowledge we gain will translate into heart understanding and transformation.
- Not to let our daily worries get in the way of our receiving from the Lord.
Thank you for praying for us!