When I was finishing school I was affronted with the ever present question, “What are you doing after high school?” Implied was the real question, “What do you plan to do with your life?” Till I hit 14 I thought I knew… or at least I had an answer for the inquirers. But one night a preacher challenged me along with a few hundred others who were there to say:
“Yes God. I will go anywhere You ask me to go. I will do anything You ask of me. My life is Yours Jesus.”
After that, I knew that all of my plans had faded into light. I was left with many, many questions. In prayer I asked God for direction and felt I was to go to a DTS or Discipleship Training School with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). But where? How? What after?
I had literally hundreds of options before me. I remembered a bilingual French / English DTS in Switzerland that I’d been told about. I thought of places I’d always wanted to go to like Australia. I considered a music DTS I’d heard about in Montana (since I’d recently started a band with my twin brother and some friends). I shuddered at the thought of a few places that I really didn’t want to go to as well… but I put all those options and hundreds of others in God’s hands during that prayer time in my bedroom.
I couldn’t shake the French / English DTS the next January in Lausanne Switzerland. The answer wasn’t what I’d expected… and wasn’t my first choice either. Nevertheless, I embraced it fully and anticipation started growing in my heart.
In another unexpected turn, my parents told me that our whole family would be going to Europe… but not Switzerland …and not in January but September – three months before my French / English DTS. Then I found out that the January DTS wasn’t going to be in French after all – just English!
Had I heard wrong? Should I go earlier and stay? Should make two separate trips? Maybe go later or somewhere else? I went back to prayer and got more unexpected directives: “Go anyway and stay till DTS. Start learning French before DTS.”
What?! But I didn’t even take French in high school! The DTS won’t even be in French! I’ll only be there for 3 months! How am I even supposed to do this without the money for the DTS or to stay all that time?
I didn’t get any more details, so I just started taking the steps that I could take. I got my first job as a waiter in a slightly dodgy Mexican restaurant and started saving up. I researched and found a French language school in the same town as my DTS. I even got offered a free ride from Sweden to Switzerland and a place to stay until my DTS started.
The answers kept coming as I took steps of obedience.
I made lifelong friends before DTS even started that I never would have met if I hadn’t started learning French. Then the day DTS began I found out that most of the students were musicians too. God was opening my eyes to the possibility that the dream I had of music and bands was a dream He had given me.
Amazing answers kept coming in many forms… revelation, wisdom, spiritual healing, gifts and provision, challenges, successes and failures… lesson after lesson in taking a step and God meeting me… over and over.
I got to play concerts with the band we formed in DTS and recorded an album for the first time. Outreach was my first tour. We played in Eastern European clubs, bars, a university, radio stations, TV studios and eventually in the national theater!
All the while, we were befriending and discipling young people who were getting saved along the way. By the time our team left, 35 of them had come together to start a new church that continues still today!
I went back to Switzerland to finish learning French and kept taking more steps of faith.
By the time I had learned to speak French fluently, I had a million answers to the question, “Pourquoi?”
I knew it was God who had said these things like: “Go to DTS.” “Record a CD before outreach.” “Start a church.” What I was really learning was to trust Him. I had already lived His answer before I ever thought to ask Him, “Why God?”