I’ve recently come back from my pre-placement training for my ICS trip to Ghana and have also been accepted into a five month discipleship programme starting in April 2017, so I thought I’d write an update for anyone following my gap year plans.
Last week, I went up to a youth hostel in York for three days of training for ICS and to meet the rest of the team going out to Ghana in January. We were given a lot information to prepare ourselves for stepping off the plane into a very foreign situation and working environment in five weeks time. From safety information about what to do in a bomb threat, to the chances of us getting Malaria, I think that they covered every mild worry and brought out a couple of new ones…
The best thing about the training was finally finding out a little more of what my placement will involve. I am going out to Ghana with the charity International Service, but will work more closely with one of their partner local development organisations. Myself, 5 other UK volunteers and five Ghanaian volunteers will be working with the Presbyterian Community Based Rehabilitation (PCBR) charity on their LIFE Project in Sandema, in the Upper East region of Northern Ghana.
Although I still don’t know the full details of the daily work my team will be doing, our focus will be working with those who suffer human rights abuses as young people living with disabilities, aiding their integration into mainstream education and participation in their communities in general. We’ve also been told that Sandema is dusty and very, very hot. I’m talking 39 degrees C kinda hot, dropping to ‘cools’ of 30C in the evenings.. So that’ll be one challenge for sure. It was great to meet some of the others that I’ll be spending 3 months living and working with out in Ghana (hey guys), and it seems like a pretty cool team of people who are keen to make a difference. I’m getting very excited now, it’s all coming up pretty quickly.
In other news, I booked a plane ticket to Costa Rica for five months. Let me explain…
For several years now, I have wanted to do something called a Discipleship Training School with a Christian organisation called Youth With a Mission (YWAM). I met a bunch of YWAMers doing their DTS whilst serving at Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre for the Blind, and since then I’ve been drawn to doing a DTS for myself.
For those unfamiliar with YWAM, and if you’re thinking what on earth is a DTS?, then check out this video (I’m not going to YWAM Orlando, but this video is good at explaining the purpose of a DTS) https://youtu.be/ZSWmzvmWmzY:
There are Ywam bases all over the world, and I think I must have trawled through every Ywam site on the internet trying to find one that felt right for me and that did projects working on things that I am passionate about. A little while ago I stumbled across the Ywam San Jose website and quite liked the look of their base and their DTS. The dates of their April DTS also fit snugly into my very limited time frame between ICS and Uni. I waited for quite a while before deciding to apply for their DTS, as I wanted God to somehow confirm to me that this was the right path for me to be heading down. Although there wasn’t big lights in the sky saying GO FOR IT, I feel peaceful that this is the right place for me to be spending five months of my life. I am so excited to see what God will do with this time as I give Him what He desires from me most: my attention.
So Costa Rica is destination number two. I’ll be spending the first three months of my DTS training at the San Jose base, then for the second two months I’ll be off to another (unknown) destination for my outreach phase.
So that’s it folks! Ghana – Costa Rica – (pending) – Home/University…
If you’re a person reading this post thinking it all sounds a little weird and perhaps a bit crazy, but you’re also interested in understanding what I’ll be doing with YWAM, then I’d LOVE to chat with you. I’m always happy to talk with anyone who wants to know more about what and why I believe. For now, if you have any questions about anything or want to know more about YWAM or ICS then click on the Contact section at the top to drop me an email (or more likely just talk to me in person).
ps the top photo is totally not my image (wish it was). Credit to ISL.