This is a question I have asked myself a lot over the course of the past year. I knew what Youth With a Mission (YWAM) was. I have a few friends who have done it who said it was one of the coolest experiences they've ever had. It was just a thought for a while, but one I was too scared to dive into. Maybe YWAM was something I would enjoy, but the timing never seemed right. I'll never forget being at a worship night with an old roommate. She had done a secondary YWAM school as soon as our lease ended in August of 2019. It was February and she had just gotten back from the Ukraine on her mission trip. She came over to me and told me that she really thinks I would love YWAM and doing a DTS. That was it, my brain started moving after that, but it wasn't the right time. My roommates and I had just signed an 18 month lease that week and it would be a while before I was able to leave for 6 months. But YWAM kept showing up everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It would show up in Instagram ads. And that's when I realized they had bases that offered a photography elective. If you're here reading this, you hopefully know about my passion for photography and people. Both things that would be put to use during a DTS with a photography elective. I looked into bases that offered it and it was between Orlando, FL and Lynden, WA. Nothing against Florida, but man I love the PNW. At this point in my digging, my roommates and I were staying with friends after the dangers of the riots in Minneapolis got too close to our home in North. It wasn't until after we decided that we would not be moving back to our house due to those circumstances and were able to break the lease that YWAM became something I could actually do. God's timing worked perfectly. I'm single, back living at my parents (who are extremely supportive of my decision), with no obligations except my current job at Caribou (who are also extremely supportive of my decision). I applied. It was sort of scary to be honest, I was very honest about my experience with my church closing, and more personal experiences that occured over the amazing year that was 2020. I thank God that I was accepted into this program. I'm so excited to dive deeper into who He is, and how I can help show Jesus to others throughout my life. I'm seeking Him with an earnest heart and I can't wait to continue to grow during the upcoming months and through out the rest of the year in Washington and my outreach. I'm excited to get away from the comfort of normalacy and really push my boundaries when it comes to growing in and knowing God. This program is already blessing my life and will continue to once I actually get there and experience it.
I want to give a special thank you to those who have prayed and are praying for me through out this decision making process. With out your help I wouldn't be able to do this. I also want to thank those who are supporting me finacially through this. For those that don't know, I have to raise $7000 for schooling, housing, flights, and mission work. As a thank you for finacial support, I'm offering by donation photoshoots from now until I leave in June. If you would like more information on this, or if you'd like to donate another way please reach out by emailing me (LaurenLeaseburgPhoto@gmail.com), sending a contact form thorugh my website and clicking "YWAM Support" , or by texting or calling 612-720-4895.
I plan on updating you on my journey with blog posts here on LaurenLeaseburgPhoto.com/YWAMblog if you'd like to stay updated.