What does the Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) here in Lausanne, Switzerland look like? If you want to read more in depth about lecture phase, you can check out the website at ywamlausanne.com. Within YWAM there is something called the University of the Nations, it is a school with different tracks and classes located at different YWAM bases around the world, hence the name. DTS is the foundation where everyone starts, but many people just take a DTS.
Ultimately every DTS is about reassessing beliefs about who God is, and who we are as people, individually and as a community. It's about taking the time out of life and being able to figure out what you believe and how you want to live it out. Three months of lectures are more personal and community learning, and the last two months are serving others.
Here's a glimpse into a typical weekday here at YWAM Lausanne:
6:45-8:30am - breakfast, and then we meet as a DTS class for prayer, worship, or a devotional. We have personal quiet time, reading our bible or writing is typically what people do in that time.
8:30-9:30am - a mix of prayer or worship, both as a DTS or entire YWAM Lausanne community depending on the day of the week.
9:30am-12:30pm - we have lectures by a visiting speaker. The first week we had speakers from Sweden, Egypt, and Switzerland (all staff from here). The second week we had a speaker video conference in from Colorado Springs, as well as a speaker from Australia (who is the head of YWAM ships). Last week, the third week, we had a speaker who is an American but who has lived in South Africa for many years. Definitely an international mix. Around 11am we have a tea and coffee break with fruit, vegetables, or sweet biscuits depending on the day of the week.
12:30-1:30pm - lunch! There are a few other schools going on here (a 9 month Bible school, Leadership School, and Community Development School), so it's fun to be able to talk to other students and hear what they are learning. We also connect with other people who are staff or visiting.
1:30-3:00pm - Practical ministry time. This is when we do our work duties around the chalet. Everyone is assigned a different team for the duration of the DTS. Not only does it keep tuition and room and board cost low, it is a great time to do something active while letting everything settle in your brain from the morning's lectures. I was assigned to the lunch
3:00-4:00pm - Free time! Usually during this time I nap, do homework, or take a break for some fresh air to walk in the woods nearby. There is a very large park right across the road that has many walking trails, so even if it's just a 15 minute walk it clears the mind.
4:00-6:00pm - Depending on the day or week this time changes. In the past three weeks we have had either a lecture or free time, and on Wednesday's we always have local outreach where we go to the city center of Lausanne to share the love of Christ. This past week we split up into groups, sang worship songs, gave away hot chocolate, and just conversed with people on the street. It's amazing how much music and singing can brighten up a place.
6:00-7:00pm - Dinner time! There are people from many different cultures here, so they provide something familiar for all tastes. Just an idea of some of the foods we have had these past three weeks: Korean bibimbap, Brazilian chicken salad, American chicken nuggets and hamburgers, Indian chicken curry, German inspired pork stew, and so much more.
7:00-9:00pm - Again, depending on the day of the week this changes. Usually one of the nights we have a lecture, once a month we will go and serve at a refugee center close by, Thursday nights are the YWAM Lausanne community meeting, and Friday nights we go do something active!
The weekends are free to explore or travel, some students plan on traveling to Rome for a weekend coming up. On Sunday we go to the church of our choice, so today I went to a service which is in French, simultaneously translated to English. In the worship songs they switch back and forth from French to English. Once a month we have our work duties on the weekend, but otherwise we can use the days however we want. Typically I rest, workout, explore, journal, do homework, or write blog posts!
It's quite a full schedule here, packing in as much as possible for the three months we are here to make the most of the time, but I am enjoying every minute of it.
In the next few days I will be posting photos of life here at YWAM Lausanne, and some interesting things about living in Switzerland, stay tuned!