DTS is over, and I can hardly believe it. The last month went by like a train, and although it hit me really hard, it was amazing. It’s kind of hard to adjust to Canada, and there are so many friends I had to leave behind, but that’s okay because it was so worth it.
Osaka was interesting. I think I had some silly notion that it was going to be easier than Thailand because it was in Japan, which I’d already had experience in, and at least I knew some of the language, but nope! It was still quite challenging, just in different ways.
The first few days we mostly worshiped and did prayer walks around the area, which was the less intense part of outreach. After that, we had preschool ministry and university ministry. I helped out at an English immersion preschool run by YWAMers, which uses a Montessori style of teaching. On the second day there, I discovered that the preschool was founded by my mom’s friend, who worked with her in Hawaii before I was born. I knew she worked in preschools in Japan, but I had no idea it was Osaka. I got to meet her, which was pretty awesome.
Our university ministry involved sitting in universities, studying Japanese and waiting for God to point out people for us to talk to. Some people ended having some really great conversations and even forming friendships. Unfortunately, no one got pointed out to me, but that’s alright. I still enjoyed it, and it was cool to see God work.
The last three days we had an especially busy schedule, getting up before the break of dawn and coming back late, with a two-hour commute each way. We were working with another preschool that was very similar to the other one, and with a church that runs an international café once a week next to it. I really enjoyed talking to people at the café, and surprising myself by having some pretty lengthy conversations with a mixture of limited Japanese and English!
Osaka was wonderful, though tiring. I think the best part was building relationships, both with my teammates and the people we were working with. I was also able to deepen my relationship with God, and when things got really hectic, it turned into an opportunity for me to walk away from all my worries and focus on him.
The final week of DTS went by too fast. There was a final lecture called “Destiny and Calling,” which was basically a review preparing us for life after DTS. I tried to spend as much time as possible hanging out with people. We had a fantastic graduation ceremony, with worship and speeches and commissioning. It didn’t really hit me that it was over until I walked away from my friends to get on the plane, and realised I was suddenly very much without a single person from either YWAM Tokyo or my DTS.
DTS has been an amazing experience for me. I’m so, so glad I stuck through all the time it took to come. God has done great things in my life and my heart, and I’ve learned more in the past five months than in any year of my life. I will treasure the memories I made for a long time. I already loved Japan and the Japanese people, but now my love has grown, so much that I will be kind of surprised if God doesn’t bring me back. We have yet to see what God is going to do in that country, and I get really excited thinking about it. I believe I will return someday, so I look forward to it!