I decided to do a DTS in Budapest, Hungary during a pandemic because I knew I didn’t know nearly enough about God and who He really is, also because I knew there were parts of me that only God and being in a supportive environment was going to heal, and finally, because I was looking for some adventure in my monotonous, seemly boring, life. Boy did I find all of that to come to pass; and more. In complete honesty, I think every Christian who’s really serious about finding out who God is in the present tense should do a DTS. I learned so much about God, and myself, in such a short amount of time. I got to do a lot of crazy things I never even thought about doing a year prior. When people asked me about what it was like back home during this time I always referred to it as “Christian Bootcamp” because at some points that’s what it felt like. I was pushed a lot of the time spiritually and emotionally and, on the Outreach portion, physically in ways that stretched my comfort zone or just obliterated it completely.  It’s the kind of push I needed though, to face things about myself I needed to change and things about God I misunderstood in a very direct way, to learn to trust God and his plans for me. 


At one point during the lecture phase not that long into it, I was having a hard time adjusting. Call it culture shock, or spiritual warfare, or anxiety-whatever, it hit hard over one weekend. I was sitting in the Metro of this beautiful city on the verge of tears because being here was just so hard. The people, language, money, everything was just so different and I was angry with myself that I was letting the change affect me so much. I sat in the metro on the way home calling my best friend telling her I didn’t think I heard God correctly, that maybe I misunderstood something, there’s no way it was suppose to be this hard. That night I prayed to God to help me. To ease something, to relieve something, to do something to help me adjust, and I went to sleep; sad and disappointed in myself. The next morning I woke up as usual and something just felt different. God has always spoken to me in simple ways, a feeling here, a whisper there, a sense of peace, nothing dramatic or booming like Moses and the bush; and that morning I felt it again. That peace and settlement of mind that only started happening after I laid in bed the first night and gave my life to Christ 5 years ago. It felt like a weight was off of my shoulder, like all the things I was crippled by the night before didn’t exist anymore. They did, obviously, the language in Hungary didn’t change, the money was still bonkers, but my mind was different. I started seeing the city and these people and this base differently, as something I could not only be part of but stick around for in the future

When I was asked for this blog to share a story about how God worked through me during this DTS this was the first thing I could think of. It’s not something crazy or miraculous, it’s not some amazing healing, it’s is subtle and peaceful, something I learned on this DTS is that God can be a lot of the time. A gentle hand, and a loving father.

My DTS experience was unique!

My DTS experience was unique, all of them are in a way, but I was called to do a DTS in the middle of a pandemic, which was an interesting choice. God pushed me to do this course though, every door that needed to be opened was open, things fell into place as simply as they could for me to travel half away around the world to a country I knew nothing about to spend 6 months with complete strangers. It was a wild ride and I understand now why people who do, do a DTS course suggest it to everyone they know. God’s love picked me up, reshaped me in love and, at points, a stern hand, and spit me back out ready to ride the wave for as long as I can. 

Ahleah Hook

YWAM Budapest