Today we are interviewing Calvin who is a husband, dad and digital designer. He did his original Community Transformations DTS at YWAM Kona Hawaii and went to Sweden and Finland on outreach. He considers himself “bi-vocational” meaning part of his time is focused on ministry projects and the other part is focused on work projects. Enjoy this interview and may it encourage you as you pursue God beyond the base!
What was it like returning to “normal life” after your DTS? What were struggles? How did you overcome them?
After my initial DTS, I staffed Awaken DTS’s in Kona for a bit then led a team to Spain for 2 years. My wife and I had our first child and that changed everything for us.
At the time we were living with all singles in a giant house in Barcelona. It worked for a bit. We had worship nights downstairs while Maddox slept upstairs (he now is an excellent sleeper!). We realized we needed to reevaluate how we wanted to “do ministry” and live our lives for God.
This led us to a time outside of full time YWAM. We bought a house in South Carolina and developed a few businesses.
The first thing I struggled with was the lack of life-giving Jesus-centered community. It felt isolating especially since I worked from home as well. Being gone from home for so long, most people had their rhythms of life set and it was hard to try and enter into to their world’s again and try to relate.
I brought my concerns and prayers to God. I was then invited to a two year old’s birthday party. It was there I met another freelancer who does photography and he became a great friend and part of my core community to this day. Then another friend moved to the area that had done a similar program like DTS in Mexico. He had started a bible study and invited me to join.
Each time we read a section of the bible and discuss it. Then we usually have prayer and worship time. It’s been awesome to find and be a part of a hungry group of people going after God!
What do you wish you know now that you didn’t know upon returning home after your time with YWAM?
Life slows down. In YWAM, so much is happening and we hear stories from all over the world. To be out of it and live in a completely different rhythm of life is challenging at first!
There is a beauty to slow down however. It made me slow my own soul down as well. Inside YWAM, we are always doing amazing “god stuff” including prayer and worship, teachings, outreach etc.
I used to sit and enjoy my coffee, study my bible, pray and worship for 1-2 hours in the morning. Now I’m in a different season, I’ve had to grapple with how do to maintain “spiritual” rhythms in a 9-5 work life and now with 3 kids!
I realized I needed to enjoy the seasons and relationships that God has for me, because really this life is short! I realized that life with God can be holistic. I can include him in my work, with my kids and wife, and with my community. It’s helped me see God in areas I maybe wouldn’t have before like in business.
What did you get at your DTS that has followed you and informed your day-to-day life?
Experiences with God that are like monuments in the ground! I can look back at and see God is living and active and worth pursuing with my whole heart. Also, I received a framework on how to base my decisions and how to understand how to live (this came from DTS teachings, experiences and bible study while in YWAM and to this day).
My DTS and YWAM experience was what I needed to open my eyes to the greater world and get a bigger vision of what he is doing around the world and not just in my home church. It also gave me confidence to walk in what I believe.
Whether I am in another country on mission or building a website, I do it for the Glory of God and try to be open to his voice. It can be hard in the day to day grind but the more I do it, the more I see him working in and through me.
What things are bringing you the most joy in your friendship with Jesus?
Currently, I enjoying Jesus through my kids! They have such pure joy. We have dance parties and go on bike rides. As a father, I’ve learned so much about the Father’s love for his kids. I love hearing my daughter hug and kiss me at night and say, “I love you daddy.” I think this is something the Heavenly Father desires from us—our pure love expressed to him.
Can you suggest any awesome music, ministries, resources that have helped you after leaving base life?
I have a spotify “Worship” that I keep updating with new songs. It really helps me as I design during the day to have worship music to center me on Jesus. Here is my playlist for others to enjoy as well: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1mywL7Z7NWh21qR7x2sghq?si=JRq6VfR9SHyZbLCT2xBwMw
YWAM Beyond or YWAM does not necessarily endorse the opinions or resources stated in these interviews. They are solely the thoughts and experiences of the individual being interviewed.