Equipping Local Disciple-Makers to Reach Their Own Country
The story unfolds in a location officially declared a “Muslim country”. Yet over the centuries, there has remained a small, faithful population of followers of Jesus. They could be inspired and better equipped to reach their own country. Many of these believers are zealous for more of God. Opportunities for training are treasured…and rare.
One day Alice*, a local YWAMer, was approached by a brother in the Lord. He was among those fervent believers. He came to her with an urgent request. “We have heard some of the teachings of Loren Cunningham, the leader of Youth With A Mission. Please, you must invite him to come to speak to the Christians in our nation!”
A challenging, yet unrealistic request
Alice was pleased that the man was eager to learn more of the Lord’s ways. She was glad to hear that he was keen on making disciples. Unfortunately, it was a completely unrealistic plan. A public gathering with such a famous, high-profile Christian leader would be dangerous. It would be dangerous not only for him, but local people who attended the event would likely be in greater danger.
Yet Alice was eager to encourage her brother. He had such zeal to know more of God. What could be done locally? She got together with her teammates to talk and pray about what to do. Of course, it was fantastic that the man wanted to grow as a faithful and fruitful disciple. No doubt, that would be one of the greatest gifts the team could give to their host country.
How could they further equip local believers to become mature disciples of Christ? Further, how could these ones go on to make new disciples? Certainly, this would meet a great need in a land with so few believers.
Going back to the foundations of Youth With A Mission
An idea came to Alice and her team: “Why don’t we run a discipleship training course? There are short versions of it. This would make it more accessible to people who are working or studying. Perhaps there will be enough interested people to make a fruitful and viable course.”
There are creative options for passing on the essentials of YWAM’s DTS (Discipleship Training School). The basics of discipleship can be taught to every believer. There was no need to “call in the experts”. Of course, we honor and value the input of the many spirit-filled and anointed teachers and leaders in the DTS. And we are blessed with extraordinary teachers in YWAM globally. God honors those who follow His call to serve through training others. After all, the best disciples are those who make other disciples. And then they make other disciples, so on, and so on. That is how a movement to Christ begins.
The time is now!
All this sounded good, but for believers in this country, doors seemed to be closing right and left. More laws were being passed that restrict the activities of followers of Jesus. The team prayed in earnest for teachers and trainers who would to be willing to come. For those who were willing to come, another hurdle—so they prayed further for the issuance of their visas.
Would help be on the way?
The YWAM team also asked the Lord for more team members. There would be many roles to fill for practical support. In response, the Lord called believers with exactly the right skills and abilities. Trying to pull together a live-in training course is no small task. No surprise, God provided all they needed. How deeply grateful they were.
What about women?
Women enjoy very few freedoms in the nation. Local Islam was becoming something of a “tightening noose” for them. The irony of this did not escape the team. Naturally, there they were—planning to train and equip both men and women leaders!
Planning a forbidden course made possible by a faithful brother.
Phones and emails were not secure enough to use. One man took on the role of “courier”. He served the team by personally taking messages back and forth. This faithful man also served as an “interface” between the workers from the West and the local people. Needless to say, he was a valuable resource.
But where could they safely run the course?
This training of disciples required a good location. Trainees and staff would need rooms to live in and classrooms to learn in. Of course, security was going to be an important, constant consideration as well.
It seemed good at first to have the course out of town, in the countryside. But the comings and goings of the believers would be quite noticeable. And they knew poor security was not only a problem for participants, but could be risky for the local churches.
Once again, in His goodness, the Lord provided the best! Just when housing was becoming an urgent need, God sent a man to them with an offer of a perfect property to use. The team wept for joy.
The first Discipleship Course began!
At last, it was time for the Discipleship Course to start. There were eighteen participants! It was a huge amount for a country like this. These were mature, committed believers, sent on their pastors’ recommendations. They were truly chosen by the Lord! Passionate to grow in knowing God and making God known.
Thank the Lord for YWAM’s Discipleship Training Schools. Over the decades, millions have been trained all over the world. Effective DTSs produce disciple-makers. They have helped raise up missionaries, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and innumerable Kingdom workers. Workers reaching their own nations. Workers going from the nations to the nations.
Want more of the story?
This is only half of the story. To read the rest and learn similar stories, check out the book. In Spite of Me – Learning to Hear and Obey God’s Voice by Cordula Dombrowsky is available on Amazon.
Yes, read the stories. But consider your own life. The author is very honest about her personal weaknesses as well as her strengths. Take heart! Whatever your skills, or lack thereof, the Lord will use you to His glory if you are open and ready to obey Him!
*Not her real name