Valerie // 26 // Illinois, USA
Kia Ora! My name is Valerie but most people call me Val.
I was born and raised in the great city of Chicago. I have an older sister who is married and they have two adorable little boys whom I just love being an aunt too. I wish they lived closer but I see them as often as I can.
I love to cook and bake. I love to create things, and I enjoy painting and making cards for people. I love to laugh and I have some pretty ridiculous laughs that you will probably experience over the next few months. I love to play games and can be a little competitive. I love spending time with people. I love having conversations and learning about who you are and what you love. I love giving hugs and creating a welcoming environment for everyone.
I grew up going to camp, sunday school, and Awana. God has always played a part in my life. It was the year after I graduated from college when I went to Passion 2012 where God just wrecked my heart for justice. We talked about the 27 million people in the world who are enslaved and my heart knew I had to go and do something, that I could not sit idly by and just watch this happen. So that’s how I ended up on a plane bound for New Zealand to the town of Oxford to complete a JDTS in 2012. My life has not been the same since.
God completely wrecked me for the ordinary. I began to really see myself as His daughter and to experience the Father’s love. It was on my outreach in New Zealand that I discovered I have a warrior spirit. I will fight for those who have no voice or who have no strength to fight for themselves. I have been called to help stand in the gap. I went back home a different person and felt called to return to New Zealand to staff. And that’s what I did in 2013.
My heart breaks for the injustice that happens everyday all over the world. We are to stand up for those who have no voice, for those whose voice has been taken. We are called to love everyone, even the people are doing the injustice. God has shown me more of His picture of justice these past few years and I cannot wait to walk alongside you in this journey as we grow deeper in our relationship with God. I cannot wait to see how God uses each and every one of you, and how He reveals the men and women He created you to be. Get excited for an amazing adventure with your family.
Kelsey // 21 // Pennsylvania, USA
Hey everyone, my name’s Kelsey, and I am super excited for this season!
I’ve grown up in the beautiful Lancaster County, in a wonderful Christian family, so I’ve known about Jesus for my whole life. However, my relationship with Him didn’t become real and personal to me until God lead me to do the Justice DTS after graduating high school in 2012. He used this time to totally wreck me for the ordinary, and awaken my heart to who He is, and His love for not only myself, but for the people around me. After my DTS, He called me back to staff the JDTS in 2014/15, where He continued to challenge me to grow as His daughter, and also as His friend and “partner in crime” in a way. He showed me that He desires to work with me, and walk beside me in this crazy adventure He calls us to.
Some things you should know about me: I have become an aunt to the most adorable little boy whose name is Bennett, who I will gladly flash around pictures of. I love, love, love being around people, getting to know them and seeing them grow in who they are in God. I enjoy hammock-ing, playing games and guitar, and reading a good book. And I also really love being part of an adventure, seeking out waterfalls or just a spontaneous trip exploring something. My sister is my very best friend, and my parents are my inspiration.
I am so pumped for everything He has in store for this school! My heart for this is to seek out what God sees, and His heart for the brokenness around us. There is brokenness anywhere you go, whether the lady behind the counter at the store who can’t see her value or worth, or the child who is without a home, or the woman in physical bondage, being sold every night. I want to continue to learn how to reach out and bring God’s hope, love and freedom in whatever situation He might bring me to. And to take the words that God writes in Isaiah 61 seriously, GO out to the world and DO something with Him to heal His children.
So now, I’m ready to jump into this next adventure with Him and with you, as we go into this next season of the Justice DTS!
Tyler // 23 // Québec, CAN
Hello reader. My name is Tyler. I was born in Montreal to a pretty large family of six boys. My parents are Alliance missionaries to Québec where I spent my childhood and the later years of my youth. I lived in Calgary, Alberta during my teenage years.
After dropping out of university, I realized my life wasn’t going anywhere here in Canada, so I decided to go the furthest away possible to New Zealand. My dad told me about YWAM, so I gave it a shot. I liked it so much that I keep coming back. It awakened in me a passion for the world and its people. I seem to spend most of my time abroad nowadays.
The reason I staff the Justice school is that if you would ask me what part of the body of Christ I am a part of, I would say the hands. I love to serve. I am usually happy to help, especially after seeing such need in the world. Also, staffing these schools gives me the priviledge to see others passions awaken, which is exciting. YWAM is like an adventure; hard sometimes, but fun and quite rewarding.
Karla // 29 // Manitoba, CAN
I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I have always loved walking the streets and meeting new and interesting people in my city. I grew up in a home where we talked about God a lot but it was a slow process to discovering who Jesus was. As a child, and though out my teen years I battled off and on with depression. Part of this was due to a lack of purpose in my life and a lot of rejection. Thankfully, in 2009 Jesus healed me from this and I have been free since then.
It was after this God called me to YWAM and I did my DTS in England as well as a School of Worship/internship in 2010 and 2011. There, God really ignited my passion for prayer, worship and missions. I have a heart for people and I want them to know the love of Jesus. I had really wanted to stay and continue doing missions overseas but I felt God call me back home. There he asked me to be faithful and serve him right where I was until the time was right, so I have been working and serving until present. That was four years. During this time I have been involved with a house of prayer in my home city. Finally, when God asked me to come to New Zealand, I had gotten used to life and I was prepared to settle down. I fought it for a bit but he has been challenging me to dream bigger. For me to staff a Justice DTS is a great privilege as I have a heart for the people that are in need of justice as I have already worked with and met many in these situations already.
So enough of the serious stuff here is some fun facts about me:
Favorite colour: Fuchsia
Favorite pastime: Playing guitar, piano and sometimes violin
Favorite pastime with people: Playing games and telling stories.
Favorite hot drink: Caramel Macchiato
Favorite smell: Campfire
Random fact: I once gave a panicking lady a advice about what to do with her then growing grizzly bear cub while waiting at a bus stop.
Favorite verse: Colossians 3:1-4
Morgan // 23 // Missouri, USA
Hey there! My name is Morgan and I am from Saint Louis, MO. I have the most amazing parents and four younger siblings that a girl could of asked for. My 2 wonderful sisters are 20 & 12 and my crazy awesome brothers are 15 & 9. I love my family dearly and if you come to Oxford, you will most likely hear me talk about them (like a whole LOT) :)
I enjoy drinking coffee and hanging out with people! I love random dance parties and doing crafty things! I absolutely love to laugh!! Either making people laugh or laughing my self, like the real LOL kind!! I so value hearing people share their heart for things and seeing the passion come out when they speak….SO COOL!
I grew up in a Christian home where both my parents are strong believers. God has been apart of my life ever since I can remember! After high school I went to college with no real direction. It was in my third year of college that I had heard about YWAM and it was like a dart to the heart, I just knew that I wanted to be apart of that in some way! I took off a year from any kind of school to work and save up money for a DTS and the Lord showed me such favor in the whole process. I ended up at Oxford because they had a Justice school and it just so happen to start when I planned on leaving, so all the pieces lined up and I headed to New Zealand!
On my DTS, the Lord completely wrecked me (in a good way). I had known the Lord growing up, but it was like a head to heart connection making it more real. I had struggled with shame and worth before coming on my DTS and God completely showed me how He saw me: clean and valuable. I graduated from the Justice school in March of 2014. Back home I got involved in youth ministry (which is something I absolutely loved). I love encouraging people and calling out the gold in them. Discipleship with relationship are huge for me and are things that I think are so important. God had placed staffing on my heart since graduating my DTS however it was a little over a year until I returned back at Oxford. I love looking back at the whole year that I was at home in between my DTS and staffing, it was a time of such healing and restoration! I am so excited for this next season and cant wait to see what God wants to do in each of your hearts and lives. He is such a good Father!
You were made to Shine
By the Lord whos Devine
With a purpose and a Plan
He is the Great I AM
Bless you guys!!