As some of you might remember, a few years ago Zeroe4 went to a Discipleship Training School in Tokyo with YWAM/Youth With A Mission. This year I am doing the same, although mine will be slightly different, as it is a Fall/Winter DTS, and it is both in English and Japanese simultaneously, which is really interesting.
It’s been four weeks, and it took me quite a while to process the idea that I am, in fact, in Tokyo. I’ve been wanting to go to this DTS for years, but last year the base took a year off, and they didn’t have a DTS this spring like I thought they might. Not to mention that I got my application in late (my procrastination game for the references we needed was really strong) and they put me on a waiting list, only accepting me less than a month before the start of the school. It has been quite the ride, but here I am.
After I got accepted, I was almost a little paranoid that something would go wrong; I would get sick, or the money for the school wouldn’t go through. But instead, everything went more smoothly and easily than I expected, though not without a few setbacks. I had hoped to finish an online class I was working on, but I decided to drop it after the first week of the DTS because it was so draining and it wasn’t very likely I’d pass it anyways at that point. It was disappointing, but a pale one when compared to the reality of being in this DTS after waiting for it for so long. I see this as a beautiful example of God’s faithfulness to me.
The first week was orientation week, which meant that we still really had no idea what we’d gotten ourselves into and we had especially had no idea how full our schedules were going to become once we began our lectures. We went over information about life in Japan and in the DTS did some fun activities and got to know each other a bit. There are sixteen of us, comprised of seven Americans, four Japanese, two Canadians (myself included), one Kiwi, one Dutch, and one Norwegian. I’ve found them all to be amazing people, and I’m so glad to have met them. It’s especially wonderful to know the Japanese students, who have been incredibly patient with my broken Japanese, and their faith in God is inspiring. Speaking of which, we had a night where everyone gave their testimony, and I was in awe of everything that God has done in the lives of my fellow students.
In the past, I’ve been in several Christian environments that were, sadly, not exactly healthy. I was a little worried that this would be another one, but I was relieved to find that this is not the case. The staff are constantly building each other up, and the students are encouraged to do likewise. There isn’t any gossiping or cliques. It’s wonderful.
The second week, I started to realise exactly how hectic my life was going to become. There are three different outreaches the students are involved in, and mine is on Wednesday night, which means that I only have Monday and Friday evenings completely off in addition to the weekend, and sometimes other things are organized on Monday evenings. We have lectures every morning. The first week was on the Father Heart of God, the second was Worship, and the third was the Lordship of Christ. They’ve been very intriguing, and God has been teaching me a lot through them. Being so busy has been tiring at times, but I’ve been enjoying myself thoroughly, so that balances things out.
Living in Japan has been amazing. I’ve learned a lot of Japanese through immersion and help from the Japanese speakers around me. I already knew that the Japanese culture was polite, but actually experiencing it is completely different from just knowing it. I really love the Japanese people, and I have a great respect for their culture. I’m excited to learn more Japanese! Another thing I’ve really been enjoying about Japan is the food. I love many of the snacks they have here, and my friends and I go to Mister Donut probably too frequently for our own good.
The only thing I haven’t enjoyed quite so much is the streets. They’re so narrow, and if it isn’t a busy city street, people don’t stick to the sidewalks very much. It’s a little scary. I’ve only gotten lost once so far, and a few days ago I took the trains alone and it took me forever to get home after taking the wrong train. Other than than, though, I feel very safe here.
After almost four weeks, I have this weird feeling that I’ve been here a very long time, even if I’m still adjusting to everything. I do miss my friends and family a lot, but mostly I’m really happy to be here and I’ll probably be really sorry to leave. God has really been working in my heart, healing places where I’ve been hurt and revealing areas that I need to work on. I’m really excited to see what he will do!