My name is Emily Riggs. I'm an 18-year-old homeschool graduate from Nashville, Tennessee. In January, I'm taking a gap year to work overseas at an orphanage for a few months. When I return, I'll head to college, where, at the moment, I'm hoping to get degrees in Special Education and Social Work. My dream is to one day permanantly work in Eastern European orphanages to help better the lives of orphans who have special needs. This blog will be my way to stay connected to everyone back home throughout my adventures.
YWAM was founded in 1960 by Loren Cunningham, who had a vision of sending wave upon wave of young people as missionaries into the world. Today, YWAM is a global non-profit organization with more than a thousand bases all over the world. Each one is run differently and has a unique focus, but they generally follow the same structure and basic principles. There are several levels of training at YWAM, the most common being a DTS, or Disciple Training School. The DTS has two phases: Lecture and Outreach. The Lecture Phase involves seminars from the staff and guest speakers from around the world, mostly focusing on hearing God's voice and evangelizing. In the Outreach Phase, you are sent to a different YWAM base (usually in another country) and work solely on mission work. Each phase usually lasts 3 months, so six months in total.
My DTS is called Compassion, and it focuses on helping orphans. The Vinnytsia base actually primarily focuses on orphans and does the DTS on the side. During the Lecture Phase, we will be serving in orphanages, visiting the baby hospital, connecting with homeless people and combatting human trafficking. This will continue into the two-month Outreach Phase. We will pray and ask the Lord to show us where that location will be.
The base is run by David and Tetyana Yarbrough, who used to go to Belmont Church. This summer they'll be visiting Nashville and I'll meet with them for the first time. After that, I'll have more details about the DTS and the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe. Vinnytsia is located in Western-Central Ukraine, located under the red dot. At the moment, it's not being affected by the fighting. They just wrapped up their 2016 DTS a few days ago with no problems, as far as I know.
If you'd like to donate to help me go on this trip, please click here.