Changed Lives Near and Far
It seems like just last week we sent out the first Servant Life team of the summer to Guatemala, but before long we will have sent out more than 50 teams to serve around the world in 2017! We wanted to take time to pause and reflect on what the Lord has done so far in the past few weeks.
This summer we have had churches serving in locations such as Bulgaria, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Memphis, New York City, Toronto, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. These groups have been the hands and feet of Christ as they engage in ministry opportunities such as day camps and children’s festivals, food distribution and home visits, and worship services and Vacation Bible Schools.
One church from North Carolina was excited to serve domestically this summer, hoping to strengthen their church’s missional emphasis by providing a trip to serve and proclaim Christ in Memphis. The youth leader shared with us, “(It) was an amazing experience, especially as this was the first missions experience for the majority of our group! We saw nine people give their lives to the Lord!”
In the Dominican Republic, it was very evident that God was not only making himself known among the Dominicans, but he was also changing the lives of this American team. This youth minister from Texas was excited for the way the trip had changed his students’ perspective; “Students experienced what is was like to minister in an area where people do not have all we have. Their eyes were opened to the world outside of our US bubble.
One group leader was returning with her church for a second trip to Bulgaria. She captions one of her social media posts with details from their full day of ministry, which concluded in a church service:
“Today we played with beautiful Roma children, increased our Bulgarian vocabulary, painted in the elementary school and the church, cleaned the trash up off the streets in the community surrounding the church and ate amazing food (gyros, palchinca, banitsa, princess, etc). But the best part of the day was distributing food to people on the street who live in the community but don’t attend the church. As we gave food, we heard their stories and prayed over them. We told them about the church and invited them to come. As I watched our team take turns leading these prayers, I was reminded that God ordains simple moments and uses them in amazing ways.”
Our A1eight Project interns (that you can read more about HERE) have provided help to our missionaries this summer and have enjoyed meeting and serving with many of these groups mentioned! Please pray for these college students who have been serving in a foreign context for the last six weeks, that the Lord would give them strength to finish well through the end of the month. In New York City, the interns have been helping teach english and ministering to many refugee families. In Guatemala, they have helped with Vacation Bible Schools, home visits, light construction, and neighborhood block parties. Both groups are also giving leadership to every Servant Life team who serves in New York City or Guatemala.
We praise God for the life change that is happening in these countries both in the hearts of nationals and hearts of American students serving them! We covet your prayers as we will continue to have teams on the ground over the next few weeks.
As you look ahead to 2018, we would love to connect you to a mission trip that is a great fit for your student ministry. Our 2018 dates are available here, or you can reach us by phone (800.772.2615) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that one of our team members can give you more information about any of these trips.