May 14th, 2017
Havre, Montana, United States
Summary: Since my last update, I have successfully made it back from Africa alive, finished up my DTS in Ireland, and returned to America. Since being back in America, I have been in a six-week leadership school at YWAM Montana called DTS Equip. This school focused on training up staff and leaders for DTS, we worked on our character as well as learning practical skills. Now I am back home in Havre, I am making plans to leave for Europe on Thursday. I plan to spend the next two months there, praying, traveling, meeting new people, spreading God’s love, and figuring out what my next step is, in life.
More in depth
My life since September has been an absolutely incredible ride. I have traveled to new and fascinating places, met incredible people, and I have grown in my relationship with God. My DTS (Discipleship Training School) rocked my world, it helped show me who I am in Christ and gave me a much broader perspective on the world. I have seen things in the heart of Africa that many people in America only ever see on TV. Some of these things broke my heart. Seeing children who are disfigured due to malnutrition, people living in houses that are smaller than the average american bathroom; meeting people who have nothing but a small bowl of leaves to feed a family of 6, yet are more grateful for it than the average American is over a bountiful thanksgiving feast. Yet I saw something there that I had heard rumors about, but couldn’t fully believe until I was there in person. Joy. Amidst the disheveled neighborhoods and dirt floors, we found smiles and sparkling, dark brown eyes. Genuine joy that I hadn’t experienced before and never expected to find in this most unlikely of places. I was overwhelmed by these smiling, too thin faces.
I truly feel a calling to go back to Africa for long-term missionary work. I initially thought that I would be going back to Africa right away this year. Over the last 6 weeks at this leadership school, God has really shown me that even though Africa is where he wants me eventually, there is more he wants to do in my heart, before I go. He has shown me that while I could go back right away and he would use me, without more work in my heart, I wouldn’t survive for more than a couple years before burning out. So, the plans I had for this year disappeared as God spoke to me. As I pray about when to go back, I keep hearing 5 years. I do believe that it will be at least 5 years before I begin full time long-term missionary work in Africa. Unless God tells me otherwise With that, I am praying about where I am supposed to be spending my time in this upcoming year, and the years to come.
So, hopefully beginning this Thursday (if things work out), I will be leaving for Europe. There I will be staying with various YWAM bases, joining in on ministries and classes with them and really having a lot of time to pray and get God’s heart for what he has for me in this upcoming season. One of the things I will be doing in Europe will be an 18 day prayer walk in Ireland. It is a walk of reconciliation known as the “border walk.” This will be with the base I did my DTS at, YWAM Rostrevor in Northern Ireland. During this walk we will walk 200 miles across the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I am very excited not only to reconnect with my friends there, but also to take that time to really dig into God more and gather his heart for me. The next couple months I am very excited about, and I am praying that God really will give me a clear direction for the next season.
I just wanted to briefly write this out, to let you all have a vague idea of what I am up to these days, and that I am actually still alive. I am planning on writing some level of an update each week, usually on Sundays. This won’t be possible every week, due to not always having internet. On the whole though, I will be doing my best to update this once a week.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,
- Julius Trotter (AKA AJP)