Year For God is an opportunity for Christians, 18+ to take a year out to train in missions work and serve God in a different culture. The year includes both training and practical outreach. Each location offers a slightly different flavour of training and outreach so check out the locations page for specific information. The year is made up of the following (you can get more information by clicking on each section).
- Orientation – [1 Week in the UK]
- DTS (Discipleship Training School) – [3 Months Lecture Phase on location + 2-3 Months Outreach on location/neighbouring country to location]
- Placement – [5-6 Months on location]
- Debriefing – [1 Week in the UK]
During the year you can have 3 weeks holiday that you may want to use to rest, explore your location further or travel to neighbouring countries.
And that’s the year! “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” [2 Peter 3:8] So remember a true Year For God lasts a lifetime!
Living in a new culture can be a very stretching as well as an exciting experience. We aim to prepare you as thoroughly as we can during the YFG Orientation week, which is held at the YWAM Derby base in England.
Topics covered include;
- culture shock,
- health tips,
- relationships in missions,
- and maintaining your relationship with God and home.
It’s a great time to get to know others going to your location, meet some of the previous Year For God participants and to take time to personally prepare for the year.
Comments from previous YFG trainees:
“Orientation week is a time that equips you, and helps you start the adjustment to the new culture you’ll be stepping into. It gave me confidence, it answered my big and little questions. It really steadied my feet.” Georgia, YFG India
“Orientation week was the foundation for the year. I can’t count the amount of times we came back to the teaching. It made the transition much easier/smoother.” Emily, YFG Uganda
“Year For God orientation week prepared me practically and spiritually beyond my expectations. Put simply, before orientation week I was not ready to go, but after I felt ready and prepared and have been grateful for this week all through my year.” Jonathan, YFG Singapore
“Orientation was essential to my smooth transition into a different culture. It prepared me well and filled me with confidence.” Lucy, YFG Uganda
“A great week to get enthused, equipped and excited for the year ahead.” Peter, YFG Uganda
“It was a fantastic week, meeting other students who have a similar heart and desire as yours, becoming support for each other during our year as you share an experience.” Lizzie, YFG Bolivia
The DTS (Discipleship Training School) is YWAM’s foundational programme and is the required training for anyone working with the charity. The DTS is a beneficial foundation for a lifetime of following Jesus and aims to equip Christians to spread the truth and strengthen their faith. It is run on location and you will be learning alongside nationals as well as people from several other nations. The structure is as follows:
- Lecture Phase (3 months) with visiting and resident teachers experienced in ministry in the field, small groups, intercession, worship and local ministry.
- Outreach Phase (2-3 months) may be in the same or a neighbouring country. This is an opportunity to get experience in evangelism and missions in a cross-cultural context.
The DTS Lecture Phase
The study topics of the DTS lecture phase include:
- The Christian and God (Faith in Christ, Praise and worship, The nature and character of God, The Father heart of God, Grace, Repentance, Intercession)
- Guidance (Understanding the Holy Spirit, hearing God’s voice, knowing God’s will)
- The Bible (Effective personal study, Bible application)
- The Christian and the enemy (spiritual warfare, temptation)
- Relationships for the Christian (Family, relationships)
- The Christian at work (Gaining a heart for the lost, evangelism, world missions)
The DTS Outreach Phase
The 2-3 month DTS outreach is where you share your faith to those in need of His love, truth and freedom. You get to apply the lessons learnt in the lecture phase, and see God move in you and through you. Every outreach is different, but the main focus is evangelism. You could find yourself working with local churches, serving the poor and needy, doing children’s or youth work and even preaching & teaching.
You can find out more about DTS at the YWAM International website (opens new window).
Following the DTS Outreach, the 6 Month Work Placement makes up the second half of the year. This is where you get first hand experience of missionary life, as you serve alongside long-term missionaries. There are a wide a variety of possible projects available to each participant to get involved with, such as, caring for street children, healthcare, youth or children’s work, evangelism, teaching English to name a few… there is something for everyone! Opportunities vary between locations.
At the end of the year, all YFG participants return to the UK for the Debriefing Week, which is held at the YWAM Derby base in England. The aim of debriefing is to give you tools to process your experience and set apart some time to do this. During the week there is teaching on topics such as re-entry, reverse culture shock, telling your story and opportunity to give feedback and to think about the future.
Comments from previous trainees:
“I am and I feel so much better prepared for re-entry and it amazed me to look back and see how much God did in each of our lives during YFG.” Samuel, YFG Uganda
“This week helped me to slow down and to prepare for a smooth landing into my home culture. I was able to bring my year on the field to an end and started getting ready for the things to come.” Elli, YFG India
“Debrief week gave me a better understanding of what God did in me during the year. It also helped me process and I now feel ready for a new season.” Alice, YFG Uganda
“Debrief made me feel normal. You experience all kinds of shocks and emotions upon returning home, and it reassured me I was normal. It equipped me to process the past year and gave tips on how to not only fit back into home culture, but to continue living in Kingdom culture.” Georgia, YFG India
“A special time of reconnecting, recharging and readjusting back to culture. Priceless.” Peter, YFG Uganda
“Debrief was fantastic. I can’t actually imagine how missionaries survive without one”. Lucy, YFG Uganda
“It was a great time coming back together with the other YFGers, swapping and sharing stories, laughing and crying together; a time of reflection and preparing you for your rest of your years with God.” Lizzie, YFG Bolivia
“Debrief week was amazing! It helped me understand why I was struggling being back home and strengthened my faith. I was so grateful for this part of the programme, and it was invaluable to the successful completion of my Year For God.” James, YFG Uganda