My DTS was a bit different than your average DTS. First off, our base is still in the pioneering stages, making it a whole different experience in itself. We didn’t have a big or fancy, developed base by any means; in fact, as students, we didn’t even have an apartment or set place for lecture as our school was in the planning stages. This is where the idea to be mobile first came about. The apartment did come through, but we also remained mobile. We were 8 students, 7 staff and we were the Go Germany DTS 2014/15. What does this mean exactly? So yes, we started in Berlin, we had an apartment and we did do a few of our lectures in the small cozy room we also call our office… and dining room… and prayer room… and meeting room… It really is a great room. Multi functional as the room was and efficient as our group was, we would proceed with lecture phase, shortly after our arrival, by traveling throughout Germany, base to base in two, very jam-packed cars. We changed location approx. every two weeks and although this came with it’s obvious challenges, it was also an amazing experience that I feel incredibly privileged to have had. We saw so much of Germany, including 6 different YWAM bases, by whom were incredibly blessed. Each of the DTS’s we joined took us in as if we were there own students and we got to meet so many amazing people. We were constantly told, that we ourselves were a blessing to each group we joined, and that alone was a far greater blessing than anyone knew.
Being based in Berlin and traveling throughout Germany for 3+ months, definitely expanded the place in my heart that this country already had, but there was one experience in particular that changed the way I viewed the country, as-good-as forever. To start off our tour, we would join in on a prayer walk celebrating 25 years of a reunited country (German Unification Day) and to pray for continued unity between former East and West Germany, a new spiritual awakening and hope. The entire prayer walk was spread out over 37 consistent days of praying, averaging from 15-20km a day, along the former, inner-German border, that separated East from West. We joined for 3 days and boy were we in for a surprise. Like many experiences in life, we saw the good, the bad and the ugly. Thankfully the good outweighed the ugly at the end of the day… or at the very least, the end of the 3 days. I don’t know what you think of when I say prayer walk, but I do know that whatever picture I had in my head, was not the picture I was in. Let me help you with the illustration a bit… rain… no, downpour, for practically the entire 15km. When it wasn’t raining, it felt like it still was, because we were so wet to the bone already. Forrest… and more forrest. Path? What path? Through the trees and up the mountain we go! Did I say mountain? Oh good, cause I really mean mountain. No turning back. In fact, the one day as we prayed before going out again, someone had shared that they were reminded of a well known German song, with lyrics that translate, “This way won’t be an easy one, this way will be rocky and tough.” Let’s just say that days route fell nothing short of the impression this person had. We survived and there was ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Difficult as it was, God was with us through it all, protecting, motivating, encouraging, speaking. I mean, I’m not kidding, there were moments I thought I would just sit there, in the middle of the forrest, in the middle of nowhere, and just die there alone instead of continuing. But I didn’t. Each night, we would arrive in a different town, where we would spend the evening. The second town we arrived in, was a particularly memorable experience. As we walked into the town, led by the torch (as we were the whole walk) there were people waiting to greet us. Seriously, waiting. They waved out of there windows and read about us coming in the local newspaper. Then, our group was split into smaller groups and we were taken in by people of that community. We were blown away by there hospitality. The next morning, as we enjoyed the most beautiful breakfast spread I think any of us had ever seen, we were all trying to make each other jealous by comparing stories of where we had slept and what we were fed for dinner. My personal favourite jealousy-inducing story, was that of my luxurious shower. I mean it was not just warm, but the shower head held itself! It doesn’t get better than that. (Actually eventually it did, when we got to a base that had a shower head with flashing lights in it. True story. But anyway…) What was just as rewarding as all the hospitality we received, were the stories we heard while we were there. The night we arrived, they had set up a night, where a couple people spoke who had also walked next to the same border line we were- but not while the wall was down. Suddenly, I had a very tangible idea of what we were thanking God for and still praying for.
I really did think I knew, or that I at least had an idea. But the combination of the stories I heard, along with what God was speaking to me as I prayed, made me realize just how little I actually knew before. Firstly, the freedom Germany walks in today is no small miracle. Simultaneously, the heaviness and bondage that many people, and dare I say Germany as a whole, are still living in, because of they’re history, is also no small struggle to be disregarded. The prayers we prayed were valid and so necessary and I think this is the first time I really felt and understood the freedom we have in Canada. We hear it all the time, “Our true North, strong and free”, but now I get it and I have such a desire to feel that same peace and freedom, standing in Germany. A freedom where you are free from the heaviness of a tragic past. A freedom where you can really enjoy the gift of freedom you have; no bondage. A true freedom that we could never earn, but that Jesus promises.