“I was looking for a DTS that fit my appetite for adventure.”

I encounter God through Creation. I feel closest to him when I’m sitting on a sun soaked beach or hiking up a mountain. I love to travel, explore and see the world. I was looking for a DTS that fit my appetite for adventure.

6 years ago, when I thought of Australia, I thought of Kangaroos, Koalas and Steve Erwin. Like most Americans I had no real concepts of Australia apart from what I had seen in movies.

Then I came to YWAM Brisbane to do the Beach to Bush DTS where we were on the road for 8 out of 16 weeks before heading overseas. We traveled all over Queensland, up to the rainforest and reefs of Airlie Beach, to country towns far from the coast and surfer towns of New South Wales.

My small American perspective of Australia was shattered and my appetite for adventure had been whet.

I realised how diverse the country is and striking the landscape can be. I learned Aussie lingo and saw country towns. I saw for myself how people do life here. I had the chance to meet an Aboriginal and hear about his life, different, yet similar to my own, then watch him play the didgeridoo.

We went exploring the bush and saw waterfalls, drop bears and searched endlessly for platypus. I was encountering God through Creation and started to see life with Him was so much more exciting than I had ever imagined.

I soon realised how privileged I was to see so much of the country. As I talked with Aussies, I realised I had seen more of their country than most of them, even though I had only been in the country a few months.

As we traveled, we stayed in churches, tents and people’s homes. Spending so much time together as a DTS, we saw the best and worst of each other; we became a family. We laughed together and cried together. We played strange games long into the night, shared stories, music and life together.

I learned firsthand that my decisions and relationship with God affect other people. I learned I am not an island and how I do life affects others; a lesson I will take with me the rest of my life.

Part of our ‘outreach’ portion of the DTS was built into the Lecture Phase, so some of our weeks were focused on serving the towns we traveled to. We taught students in schools during Religious Education classes, did service projects and preached on Sundays. It was an amazing opportunity to pour into the country I was learning in.

Now leading the Pathfinder DTS, I have visited numerous National Parks and hiked the largest sand island in the world. I’ve had worship times under the stars and did team building with kangaroos watching. I’ve done treks overseas and reached out to backpackers from around the world.

I couldn’t imagine doing DTS any other way. God met me where I feel him most; on the road and in the outdoors.

-Laurinda Rapp (Pathfinders DTS School Leader)