For the past 2 days, I have spent time with 70 students and leaders from Grace Church on a retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. This retreat was different than almost any other retreat I have been a part of. In fact, all the staples you find on a typical retreat were noticeably absent this week: games, team competition, bonfires, s'mores and t-shirts.
No, this retreat had a single-focus; preparation for summer mission trips. This summer our student ministry will be sending out 3 different teams to 3 different locations.
1 - From June 7th-15th, a team of 14 will go to Managua, Nicaragua. This team will partner with a community church to do evangelism in schools, community outreach, sports events and lead multiple church services. Additionally, this team will lead a weekend retreat for youth leaders in Nicaragua. The goal of the retreat is to help equip the leaders with strategies for effectively ministering to their churches and communities.
2 - From June 20th-25th, a team of nearly 50 students and leaders will spend a week in Allendale, South Carolina. Allendale County is one of the poorest counties in South Carolina where that average household income is $19,000 annually. During this trip, our team will lead a day camp for the local Boys and Girls Club, do construction work on a local church, and participate in various events to connect with people in the community.
3 - From July 10th - 17th, a team of 30 students and leaders will travel to Eleuthera, Bahamas. Partnering with Mike and Shannen Fastzkie, our team will lead a a vacation bible school, a day camp for special needs students and help with local construction projects.
As diligent as our teams worked in preparation this weekend, I know they will continue to work just as hard from now until the time their trip is complete. I am excited to see how God will use all of this to shape our students, spread the gospel and bring glory to Himself.
National Review Children's Books
4 years ago