As YWAM celebrates its 50th year, Andrew wanted to catch up with people who’ve experienced the global organization’s flagship training program, the Discipleship Training School, and see what life and faith has been like since. View other interviews in the on-going series here.
Andrew Kooman: Why did you pack your bags, get on a plane, and head to England for your DTS?
Peter Bos: During a trip to Kenya with a friend, we talked about DTS. I told him I’d never do a DTS because I hate skits and dramas. During the same trip two different pastors asked me if I wanted to be involved in missions. I kept those words in mind and pondered them often during the rest of the trip, and didn’t share them with anyone else. When I came home to Holland I found a letter on my pillow written during the trip, which contained the same question. I knew that God was calling me for missions.
In the next few months I started researching several opportunities and DTS was one of them. After some prayer and asking for council I decided to attend a DTS, but where?! That was another big nut to crack. I landed on two options, Scandinavia and England, but both had pro’s and con’s. On a Sunday my wife (then girlfriend) and I took some time to pray for someone to bring confirmation during the church service I was going to attend that evening for the location where I should go. Nothing really happened during the church service and doubt started to fill my mind. As I was thinking and doubting a lady came up to me and asked me if I was going to England.
There was the confirmation that we prayed for! So 2 weeks later I packed my bags and left on a plane to England to attend a DTS at YWAM Holmsted Manor. This was January 2006.
AK: What was the most significant lesson that you learned during your time in the school?
PB: God has called me to be a leader. I had never realized that before, but somehow it made sense.
AK: When you look back, how do you place or view your DTS in the context of your life? Why was it significant? What expectations did it meet or fall short of?
PB: I absolutely had no idea what I had gotten myself into, so really no expectations. I knew there would be a lecture phase and an outreach, that was about it. I loved every bit of it and really enjoyed living in community and learning together. I think what was hard was the transition back into normal life. DTS can become quite a “bubble” and being out in the world can be quite a challenge. I don’t think you can really prepare yourself for it, especially when you have been in a Manor where the nearest neighbours are cows, ducks and rabbits. The girls were waiting every day for Mr. Darcy to come down the drive. I guess that says it all…
It was an incredibly rich time, full of great moments and memories!
AK: Did you do any further training or work with YWAM or complete any other post-secondary education?
PB: After I finished my DTS I went back to Holland for about 1.5 years. Inge and I got married in that time and started planning to return to England. In December 07 we packed our bags for the move to England to start work working with YWAM. Inge hadn’t done a DTS yet, so she attended one and we led a team to Poland for a 2 month outreach. After that I pioneered a young leader development program called Foundational Leadership Development Course (FLDC). We did several outreaches, pastoral visits and were involved in several DTSes. Inge and I also led a DTS which started in September 09. We finished our time in England in May 2010 and returned to Holland with our son Roan.
Before I did my DTS I also got two degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
AK: What do you do now?
PB: At the moment I’m working as a Product Support Engineer/Trainer in a company that sells truck-loading equipment. Besides my job, Inge and I are thinking about starting a ministry to train and equip local young people and take them on mission trips. Mission work has impacted us so much and we want to share of what we have learned in these years with YWAM.
AK: What specific vision or purpose do you have in your life? How did you discover it and how do you mean to achieve it?
PB: I have been challenged to think differently in the last number of years. I came from a place where I often asked myself: God what is your will for my life? which frustrated me big time every now and then. Until I read Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus. He changes the question around to God, how can I give me life for your will? God has made his will known and we can be part in making that happen. He has created us and equipped us with gifts and talents. My vision is making the most of who I am (in Christ) and helping other move towards their full potential too. This is a vague statement, but it helps me not to get caught up in details..
Moving towards all there is means edging forward. Not always hallelujah but being real. Walking in openness and brokenness, and, the journey doesn’t end when I leave this place. That’s comforting I guess.
AK: What do you hope your personal legacy will be?
PB: I could write 10 sentences full of Christianese language, but that would be sad.
I hope that when I leave this place that I will have made impact in peoples lives. That people have been challenged. And that people will remember me for living a life of no regrets.
AK: What, at this point in your life, is your view of God?
PB: He is good. Good and faithful. I can’t stop thinking about that. Also that He is full of surprises. He is always the same but always uses new ways to reach people.
AK: What inspires you?
PB: Creation, but mostly water. I love the widespread waters of Holland, the waves and the quiet. I also love reading books full of deep thoughts. Books that you can’t read in one go but have to digest bit by bit. I also get excited when people pursue their dreams and make them happen..
At the moment I get inspired most by my son Roan. He is so determined and loves adventure. A great joy and inspiration to be around!
AK: What most challenges you?
PB: People painting a picture of the church that is simply not real. People getting hurt in the church. Being real. It is so easy to put up a mask, to hide away the true self and walk away in a stained glass masquerade.
I realize that these are just umbrellas for loads of thoughts which would take quite some thought and paper to share. As you might have gathered I think a lot and do need paper and space to process. That can be challenging too!