Years ago I began dreaming about Servant Life helping both our global partners and also deepening relationships with college students, churches and campus ministries throughout the country. As I just scratched notes in my journal and Evernote and prayed about what it could be, I continued to go back to the instructions from Jesus just before he ascended into Heaven that we find in Acts 1:8:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
As time passed and we talked as a team, with partners, and with various college students, we prayerfully came to the conclusion that we would launch a new option allowing for college students and young adults to serve for longer periods of time each summer with one of our (currently) 10 global partners. The A1eight Project was born.
- Experience disciple-making in a global context for their entire summer (project lengths range from 6-12 weeks).
- Explore and learn through various missions related resources.
- Become a part of a small team that serves alongside a missionary serving on the field.
- Lead and host short-term teams that come to serve with you in your context.
- Are a part of advancing the gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission.
This summer we have two pilot teams serving in Guatemala and Toronto for the entire summer. It has been a joy to hear weekly updates from them as they serve with short-term teams, learn from missionaries on the field and engage locals, both in villages in Guatemala and on college campuses in Toronto. The diversity of our world is being engaged with the gospel daily.
Here are a few snapshots from some of the updates:
From the Toronto team – “We have been able to sit down in these conversations (with mostly Chinese students) and intentionally walk through the gospel with them, and while some have been less receptive to it, there have been a few who are very interested and want to learn more. Eddie* came to church with us this last Sunday and Emma* asked for a Bible and we were able to get her one, so that was exciting. Guang* and Emma have also voiced an interest in coming to church with us on Sunday as well. God is good!”
“Overall the Lord has continued to remind us of our need for Him and has graciously been showing us how He is moving here in Toronto. We ask that you continue to pray for our work on campus, the church, and the kid’s camp. Please lift the students that we are meeting with one-on-one that their interest in the gospel would continue to grow into a profession of faith. Finally, pray for our team that we would go into this next week of camp with the same joy and attitude of the first one and not allow comparison to corrupt how we view the importance of this next week.”
(* Names changed for security)
From the Guatemala team – “This week was great to have a Servant Life team and to see a full week. We were able to go to Zone 7 this week which is an area in Guatemala City, to do a VBS in a school. The team split up and did Crafts, Recreation, and a Bible lesson. There were about 320 kids 1st-6th grade. On one of the days, a few of the kids on the team shared their testimony with the older kids and many older boys prayed to receive Christ. It was an awesome sight to see.”
“Please pray for the people of Veremina whom we visited and spent time with this week, for their physical needs as well as spiritual needs. Pray that the children there, as well as all over Guatemala, will come to find Jesus as their Provider and their source of worth instead of worldly possessions, gangs, or prostitution.”
Our A1eight Project teams have experienced some great weeks. They’ve also had their fair share of challenges. Serving through international missions is incredible, but hard. You can’t always tell from an Instagram or tweet that there are tough days. It’s important in those difficult times to remember who God is and why He has you where he does. Guatemala team member, Elizabeth, has this to say about following The Lord in the midst of the hard days:
“This week was different in many ways. We were all three able to experience what the ministry looks like at Camp Calvary and be in a village that does not have many type of christian influences. It was a week that I could tell God was working in great ways in the area, but that also meant that Satan was working just as hard to stop all the good that was happening. This week was hard, but it was also good for us to go through. It brought us closer as a staff and as interns. We learned how to be flexible and adapt to the team and their needs whatever that might be. We were exhausted from days in the sun and long nights of prep work for VBS, but I think we would all agree that it helped us truly rely on God for strength and patience. God was at work this week and He is always in the end successful no matter how defeated and frustrated we might feel.”
The Lord has done incredible work during this pioneer summer of The A1eight Project. Please join us in praying for those our teams have come in contact with and that they will finish their assignment well. We are expectant for future summers!
If you’d like more information about the A1eight Project, check out our website or find us on Twitter/Instagram: @A1eightProject.
– J. Roger Davis, Executive Director of Servant Life
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