Summer Missions Highlights 2021

God worked in and through our summer missionaries in incredible ways this summer! Click on the headings below to read some of the highlights.

“The girl who I have been mentoring for about 6 months reached out and asked for prayer this week. This is a huge step for her from the time I met her. She used to be very unsure about Christianity and felt that it was not a loving religion. I was very excited that she has now come far enough to ask for prayer on her own and has been seeking some encouragement from God.” -Rachel M.

“Leading worship at the Ethiopian church was so encouraging. Singing Amazing Grace to God in English and hearing others sing the same thing to the same God in a language I couldn’t understand was amazing. It was such a picture of what I have to look forward to for eternity when we get to Heaven.” – Joseph D.

“This past week, I got a call from Rebecca. Rebecca is a Sudanese Christian that I had met a couple weeks earlier at a block party that my church had put together. I had also taken her some water the week earlier.

This time she was calling me to ask her if I could drive her to CVS or Walgreens to pick up some medicine. I went and picked her up, and we got her the medicine that she needed. We also went shopping together to get her some groceries.

Back at her apartment, we got to sit together and ask questions about each other’s lives. I asked her about what she was learning from listening to the Bible. We talked about what we were learning and how God is good even in difficult circumstances. We also talked about her Muslim neighbors and how they need the gospel. She said that she prays for them to know God but that they are followers of Islam. We talked about 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and how we are called to be ambassadors for Christ.

Eventually, we closed our time together in prayer. I am hopeful to continue to spend time with Rebecca to encourage her in the Word of God and to encourage her to be willing to share the gospel with her Muslim neighbors.” – Abi D.

“This week a little boy who I have known his whole life came up to me. He is not being raised in a Christian home. He wanted to know about Jesus and wanted me to read the Bible with him. Even though he is five, I pray that he continues wants to know more about the Lord.” – Bethany W.

“A woman we have been studying the Bible with has expressed interest in coming to church and being baptized! She has been noticeably more zealous and engaged during our time in the Word over the last few weeks, and we are beginning to see fruit in her life. We are honestly ready to go baptize her in a fountain in KC if that’s what it takes! We were so encouraged by her!” – Grace S.

“This week we got a text from a woman we’ve been meeting with saying that she wants to take the next step of obedience and be baptized and part of a church! The Lord has been so faithful in this! – Grace S.

A student in my cabin told me this week that he’s been saved for a while but not yet baptized, and he felt like God was telling him to get baptized. He also told me that he had an encounter that can’t be explained by anything but the Holy Spirit. He was so excited that it gave me so much joy to talk to him about that. – Baden G.

“God really did a work in me this week. I don’t exactly know how to put it into words more than I have, but He has broken down a lot of walls that I didn’t even know were up. I’ve cried a lot, worshipped a lot, and Lord willing, I have experienced a lot of lasting change. I’m just overwhelmingly thankful for the experience. -Mckayla H.

“One of the community members of one of the churches that we were helping in Kansas City asked me about the relationship between me and the other people from our team. He asked if we truly loved each other. I was able to explain my view of love and how Jesus was a great example of selfless servant love.”  – Hayley J.

 “My friend and I met a man named Yvon this week that at first seemed open to a gospel conversation but got more defensive as the conversation went on. He was very surprised when we said that we are out sharing purely out of the overflow of Jesus’ love. He has experienced a lot of different religions in his life, and he is struggling to believe that we can know for sure that one God is the true God. He said he would pray for a sign, so I pray that the Lord would soften his heart and reveal the truth to him.” – Grace S.

“On Sunday, June 20th, my friend Rachel and I went to a Somali wedding where I met a girl and shared part of my testimony and the gospel with her. She didn’t really receive it; she simply moved onto the next topic. Please pray for the girl that heard the gospel that the Lord would use that to soften her heart towards the Truth. Pray for the friendship that are being built with our Somali friends, that we would be bold to proclaim the gospel to them and that they would hear us genuinely. – Abi D.

“I got to share the gospel with a woman I met this week. She grew up in church, and she prays and thanks God for her blessings, but she does not read the Bible and didn’t know the gospel until I shared it and explained what salvation means, the assurance of salvation once you are in Christ, and the call to obedience towards Christ. That faith without works is dead. I hope it was an encouragement to her to see other Christians loving people by doing what we are called to in the Great Commission. And I hope what I said really resonated with her heart and caused her to think more seriously about what she believes in.” – Jojo C.

“I had multiple opportunities to share the gospel to some of the young men in my group. It was very powerful because the Holy Spirit really led the conversations. One night a group of three guys and I stayed up late to encourage and talk about Jesus to a kid who didn’t know anything about our Lord and Savior.” – Cedric D.

“My friend and I had a great conversation with two girls we met on campus. They were very open to talking about the Bible and Jesus, and though they were not believers, they asked a lot of questions. We got to share the gospel with them and have been praying for them.” – Rachel M.

“My main spiritual encounters this week happened with the students I was teaching. My team had 11 students in our group, and I was partnered with one other leader. It was amazing getting that opportunity to teach those students and answer their questions while seeing their passion to learn more about Christ and His Word. I also learned a lot about being gentle and loving in teaching and sharing the knowledge God has given me. All of my interactions with them really created a great desire within me to love others in sharing the gospel with them and to love God’s sheep.” – Jojo C.

“I got to talk with a devout Muslim at the Block Party. He was in town visiting some friends from Miami. He had read “the books” (ones you couldn’t buy at Barnes and Noble, he said) which taught the correct history. How Christianity was simply invented by white people and how Islam was definitely the right religion. He wasn’t interested in me telling him about Christianity, but I was able to share some of where true hope comes from. My main point I told him was that it is possible that a sovereign God had him in KC from Miami, at a random block party, to be able to hear the good news of the gospel. He still rejected the opportunity to hear, but I pray that he would wrestle with the seeds and that others would fully proclaim the gospel to him. – Shea S.

“I was able to baptize a girl who was in my small group, and that was the most amazing opportunity that I’ve ever had in my life. I was able to have many deep conversations with young women, give my testimony, and listen to their testimonies. God is continuing to do big things in my life and open amazing doors.” – Delaney E.

“This week I was with my friend from church visiting/reading the Word with a woman in her apartment. She has often told us that, “God wants us to be happy,” which she implies means that she should have a male companion to show her affection, money, etc. However, when my believer friend was sharing her story, the woman started crying and saying that she felt like God wanted her to forgive her parents for the wrongs they had committed against her. She just kept saying, “I can’t forgive them,” and “I feel like God wants me to forgive them.” I almost started crying with her. This woman is just so hurt and has so many distorted views of who God is, but the Spirit moved in that moment. Please be praying that the Lord would continue to show her his need for him and his true character and that his rules are truly what’s best for us.” – Grace S.

“It was awesome to see God working in the kids’ lives at VBS this week! I got to have a lot of spiritual conversations with the kids, ranging from teaching the lesson, explaining something that they did not understand during the story, answering questions over supper, and listening to the two kids that responded to the invitation to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

On Thursday night, during my lesson with the older kids, I like to leave a time where they can pray and accept Christ. The two oldest kids responded this year. I talked with them about what that meant, encouraged them to keep learning more, and gave them a Bible. It was great to see a desire to continue learning more about Christ in at least one of the two kids. – Rachel N.

“This week I was talking with a student. He said that he was struggling with being able to pray in front of others. I asked why this was. He said that he didn’t really know, but he guessed that it was because he didn’t want to mess up in front of his fellow church members. I asked him if it would be alright if I started asking him to pray over meals just for the two of us, and he said yes. During the week, I kept adding in one or two people to our group each meal. By the end of the week, he was confident in being able to pray in front of others! – Adam M.

“I had a productive conversation with one individual, and I got to hear about his life, relationship with Christ, and what lead him to attend the event. He was very excited about the new ministry we had been forming and is planning on attending events that we have planned for the future. He is originally from eastern Europe and came to the United States five years ago. Hearing about his transition to a different country and learning a language he had never spoken before was extremely inspiring. He was able to maintain a strong relationship with Christ which has allowed him to complete high school and begin attending college. I was able to get his phone number and hope to continue to connect with him.” – Nathan K.

“I met a man named Tracey this week who is probably in his 40’s. He grew up in church much of his life, moving from church to church, but he was never really certain that what he was being taught was straight from God. He was never assured of his trust and faith in God.  I got to encourage him with on the sufficiency of Scripture, and I gave him a life book that covers the gospel of Mark. He was very open-minded, and it seemed like he had a good takeaway of needing to do more of his own research into Scripture instead of just taking everyone else’s word for it.” – Jojo C.

“This week I had a great conversation with my friend who has been coming to youth. We talked for about an hour, and she recognizes her need for Christ! This is a huge step, but she is not convinced she is ready. She feels like she needs to know things like how to pray right or that her life won’t change, and she’s doubting that God will accept her because she doesn’t know all of these things. I have been trying to tell her that Jesus takes us as we are, and that without him we will never live up to the standard she is trying to achieve. Please continue to pray that she realizes this.” – Kayla K.

“This week I was able to begin to disciple a senior in high school, and it was an interesting experience for me because I have never discipled someone before. This young man is a fairly new Christian and has a rough home life. He asks me a lot of questions that I don’t have all the answers to. It is just uplifting for me to see a young man who loves Jesus and wants to know Him better, and it challenges me to improve myself as well.” – Ethan C.

“This week I got to do the dishes for our dishwasher at Buffalo Wild Wings. He comes in at night and I was working all day, so I decided I was going to help him out. I was exhausted and was pretty disgusted by the amount of dishes we had, but I couldn’t get over the fact that if Jesus was standing next to me, He would have already been doing them.

Later that night, our dishwasher came in and looked at the clean sink with no dishes. The dude almost started crying and was smiling so big he couldn’t help but tell every person that walked by him how excited he was that there were no more dishes. Seeing the joy on his face was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve experienced in a long time. I realized that something is so simple as helping someone with their job even though I was exhausted is a cool way to show them you love them.

He doesn’t know I was the one who did the dishes, but everyone that was there in the morning knew I did and saw that I took no recognition or praise. I see the gears turning in their brain is there wondering why I live the way I do, and I’m excited to share with them my reason for living and I hope I have. – Derek P.

“There were many spiritual encounters this week for me. One of the first ones was after the mission team came and gave our playground a facelift. All of the kids were so excited and proud of that playground; it was such a joy to hear them playing and laughing with one another. That same night, one of the mothers of one the kids who came got saved!” – Emma L

“With our student ministry this week we had our family night on Wednesday. It was an amazing time of worship and prayer with over 250 of our families there. It was literally a packed house.

After the service we had food and fellowship outside, where I had the opportunity to meet and get to talk with one of the students’ parents. We really connected and found out that some of our pasts had some similarities; this opened the door to a conversation about salvation. There was a time when he had put his faith in Jesus, but he said that he did so because he was scared and looking back, he doesn’t feel like he truly put his faith in Jesus.

I asked him what was stopping him from truly putting his faith in Jesus. He said that he was nervous to do it because he felt that if he messed up anymore with his struggles in life, then that God would be mad at him and in a way kind mockingly say, I knew you’d mess up again.

This is where me and another brother in Christ really poured into him to tell him the truth about salvation – that if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, then we have salvation on the basis of that. We told him that our salvation is not based on what we do and do not do; that is the whole reason we need a Savior and why God gave us His son, because He wants us to have a relationship.

He listened but did not really have much to say. After talking more, he ended up leaving for the night. The night was ending and some other interns and I were tearing down. I saw his car pulling back into the parking lot. I honestly just thought that he might have forgotten something, but he came over right to me and the other brother that was talking with him. He said that when he was at home, he knew God was convicting him to truly put his faith and surrender his life to Jesus.

That night Matt surrendered his life to Jesus! It was such an amazing experience, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.” – Jackson M.

“I was able to lead one of the church youth guys in accepting Christ. It was a truly special moment. My wife was also there and she was able to help with some of the girls accepting Christ.” – David D.

“There was a kid in my cabin who was pretty ornery all week, but he surprised me by his understanding of the gospel – he accepted Christ on Tuesday night.” – Clayton H.

“I brought a friend to church with me this week. She started to feel overwhelmed, so we talked and I was able to encourage her. She felt as though she wasn’t worthy for the joy that the people at my church had and wasn’t worthy of the love they shared. I got to talk with her about how we all were so unworthy of anything, and no matter how much joy I seem to have, I am just as broken as she is.

It was such an amazing conversation, and I was so thankful to be able to share with her what God says about us and to see the ways He was moving in her heart. Pray that He will continue to use me in this relationship and in others to bring glory to Him.” – Hayley J.