By Maria Castillo

The Discipleship Training Course team gathered for three hours a night, two nights a week for two months! Six of us, plus our dedicated teacher, Amy Off, were forever changed by this class. Before I made the final decision to take this course, Amy called me and said, “Maria, I was reviewing some of the teachings, and the best way to describe the material is “really rich.” I took the plunge.

United in our common desire to “see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and to follow Him more nearly” (as the song Day by Day from Godspell says), we came each night, expecting that He would show us “great and wondrous things in the Word that we knew not yet,” and each night we received. The amazing thing about the class was that while our goal was to know Him better, through the process, we came to know ourselves better, and in the best way possible; we learned to view ourselves and each other as the Lord God designed us and views us, unique and with a divine purpose. But I wasn’t to stop there!

The next phase for me and for Mee Mizrahi was to take this message on a Missions Trip to the Dominican Republic with a group called Building Homes, Building Relationships. For six days in a town called Los Cocos, our team constructed two homes and ministered to the children in the neighborhoods where we built. It was my first missions trip. What an experience! As I ministered to some of the children and to some of the teens working with us, I experienced so many special moments of revelation that echoed the teachings from DTC. I’d look at the people, living in a difficult environment and see the light of God shining through their circumstances.

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Everyone on our team wanted to spill forth the message that each one of the children and adults we met was fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves them and wants to be their Father. I came back from this trip with an insatiable desire to return. In the meantime, I’ve looked for opportunities to speak life into my students at the university by telling them of a God who created them for a unique and divine purpose. Thinking back to Amy’s description of the course, I say “It was rich, indeed!”