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REACH UPDATE: Discipleship Training School, So Far

By Eric Wengerd

Greetings from the Rosedale International Center! This year’s REACH discipleship training school (DTS) is going quite well so far. Two full weeks have gone by (and likely more by the time you read this), and most of us are not only getting into a pretty steady routine, but also getting to know each other better and better.

The first week of DTS was a frenzy. When the REACHers arrived in late August, they came to live away from home (a first for many), surrounded by people they had never met. They processed policies, schedules, and new names right from the beginning; they ventured into new outreaches, dove into reading plans, and learned to lead worship. There was definitely a lot to figure out and a lot to adjust to.

However, ever since the second week began, the REACHers have gotten more settled in. It’s easier to know what to expect. For instance, every week’s general structure looks about the same: every morning Monday through Friday, right after breakfast, participants spend an hour of quiet time alone with God, memorizing scripture, praying, or reading their Bibles. At 9:00 a.m., a speaker comes to the RIC and teaches for two to three hours. In the afternoons and evenings, teams take part in required weekly activities like outreach, intercession, work projects, exercise, times of discussion, and even fun times. On the weekends schedules are more lax and there’s deliberately less to do. Sundays in particular are meant to be restful; in fact, everyone is required to have a few hours of alone time after church on Sundays.

Things are now running normally, and going pretty well. The individual teams are spending more time together, bonding more, and being an active part of outreaches throughout Columbus. “We’re genuinely excited about everything happening here in DTS. It’s a time of intense growth for everyone who goes through it."The Canada team, for instance, goes to an outreach called the Star House. Star House is a drop-in center for youth and some adults, and the team has a great opportunity to just sit down and start conversations with people who aren’t always open to talking. “It’s a really dark place,” the team leader noted, “but that outreach has the potential for a lot of light to shine through us. It’s hard, but it’s good.”

As we begin this season of REACH, everyone here could use a ton of prayer. For one, we need the Holy Spirit to work in us and to love through us no matter what we do. Teams can always use prayer for unity and for good bonding times with each other and with the people they meet at outreaches. Second, there’s been some spiritual warfare going on and it definitely appears that our enemy isn’t letting anything happen easily. Third, teams have a lot of activities some days, and it’s not always easy to keep energy levels high and attitudes good throughout the week.

We’re genuinely excited about everything happening here in DTS. It’s a time of intense growth for everyone who goes through it. It’s bound to be a great time as teams learn and train to go out into the world and share the Good News.