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missions opportunities for college or youth, individuals or teams!

23 May

Below, you’ll find some great, urgent opportunities to share with your college or youth students, or to consider for a team from your ministry.

First, we’ve already had the chance to see great opportunities for your students or you to consider, including:

A couple of notes on those:

  • There are lots of spots available for the Journeyman program, despite recent rumors. (Sadly, those rumors led to not filling all the available spots they had last time!) So encourage your juniors, seniors, or recently graduated students to consider applying!
  • If you’re interested in the upcoming Discovery Trip, you need to let them know right away – as in, early this week.

Now for some additional (and urgent need) opportunities! (And see below for a few additional details.)

YOUTH NEEDS

Sports / Recreation Ministry: South America

A 5-day trip for individuals or teams up to 10 people. (Could possibly take larger teams, but that will increase transportation costs.) Latest arrival 12-31-2011.

High School Youth Exchange: East Asia

A 10-day trip. The latest a student or group could arrive is in May of 2012. Up to 10 people could go together.

COLLEGE NEEDS

Students Reaching Students: Middle East

Must take place pretty immediately. A 14-day trip for individuals or teams up to 6 people.

Peace Connection: Middle East

This is a 15-day experience, and the last openings for this trip are in early September, 2010. If sending a team, 4 to 12 people is a good range.

Alpine Whitewater Kayaking Evangelism: Eastern Europe

A 7-day trip that needs to be taken this summer or early fall. For individuals or teams of 2 to 7 people.

Hands for Graham Festival: East Asia

A 10-day trip for individuals or teams of 3 to 8 people. Needs to be taken this year, with the latest arrivals in mid-December, 2010.

University Ministry: South America

A 5-day trip for individual collegians or teams up to 10 people. (Could possibly take larger teams, but that will increase transportation costs.) Latest arrival is 12-31-2011.

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Of course, the IMB has all sorts of additional opportunities for you, your students, and your ministry to connect with and participate in God’s work around the world. They’re also great at helping resource you to lead your students in better understanding God’s heard for the nations.

And this could even including sending students (particularly college students, in this case) to São Paulo, to participate in the very sorts of partnerships with Zoe Church that we got to this week!

So if you want to know more about any of these trips, other opportunities, resources, speakers for a missions event, or any other missions-related things, just email studentteam at imb.org, or call 800-789-4693.

another opportunity for your students

21 May

Another key American in our work this week has been Chris Black, who has been serving here in São Paulo for nearly two years as a “Journeyman,” one of the IMB’s amazing opportunities for recent college graduates. Many of your students may be seeking God’s will following college graduation, and this generation especially is interested in opportunities like these! Could you let your students know about “J-man”?

When I began to sense God leading me to something other than graduate school after my soon-approaching college graduation, serving as a Journeyman was not something I had in mind. I had been overseas before and served on various short-term trips, but I never imagined myself serving for two years in a foreign country.

But I sought hard after what the Lord wanted me to do, and through various events I found myself completing the application for the Journeyman program. Nearly eight months later, after graduating from the University of Georgia, I stepped off the plane into what was to be my new home: São Paulo, Brazil.

Since I came from a small town in the mountains of Northeast Georgia, a booming city of over 20 million people was quite a change! However, the adjustment to a new culture and language came more quickly than I expected, and I soon found myself falling in love with the people to whom God had sent me.

Spending many of my days on college campuses meeting students and hanging out late into the night at coffee shops throughout the city were activities that became my passion. Hearing young people share with me the struggles of loneliness and emptiness they so often faced broke my heart, and those conversations fueled my desire for them to know the only One who can truly offer life in abundance. Students were searching for truth, and there was no one to share with them the story of the only Man who could offer hope.

The Journeyman program has provided me the opportunity to share with these young people the love that can be found only in Jesus. With only two months left with the people I have grown to call family and in the city which has become home, I am confident that this experience has shaped my heart and mind in an invaluable way. The task is before us. We have been called to go to all nations and make disciples. The command was never “come and and see,” but “go and tell.” We cannot wait for those who do not know Christ to come to us. We MUST go to them.

For much more about Chris’s experience, point your students to his blog: chrisblackchrisblack.blogspot.com.

one opportunity for your students

20 May

Ethan Lee has been one of several Americans who has been most helpful here, because of his past experiences with the Zoe Church. And it’s clear that the Zoe members are fond of this Georgia boy. I asked Ethan to share how and why he connected with Zoe the first time – and it’s how some of your students could get involved in God’s work here or around the world through the IMB.

24 million people! And 1 million college students! Coming from a small town in South Georgia, I asked myself, what have I gotten myself into? A life changing experience, that’s what!

Welcome to São Paulo, Brasil! I served here in São Paulo for 5 months as a Hands On Missionary. My journey began when I decided as a sophomore at Valdosta State University that God was calling me to serve Him through the IMB’s Hands On program.

Following God’s call, I stepped into a world of BIG city, BUSY streets, and BUSY people!

But as busy as the people of São Paulo are, I met a people group more loving and receptive than I have ever seen before. While in São Paulo, I became a part of the body of Christ known as Zoe, a church reaching out and serving the college students of São Paulo, Brasil. This included going on college campuses, meeting at coffee shops, or going wherever these students wanted to go – to be a part of their lives! I made relationships with Brasilians while serving them AND while serving along side them to reach the needs of São Paulo.

While in São Paulo, I was able to be a part of the body of Christ and follow Christ’s commands to GO and to serve! My Hands On experience is one that shaped me and taught me what it is like to serve as an international missionary, but it also taught me how to better serve the people that God has called me to serve now, back at Valdosta State University.

My question for students is similar to what I asked myself when I first came to São Paulo: “What does God want YOU to get into?”

Hands On allows students to take short-term missions opportunities all over the place! If you’re interested in knowing more about the Hands On program, just ask! Contact Mike (the head of IMB Students) via email at mlopez at imb.org.

Thanks to Lesa Close for the pic.

you aren’t here? what about Southeast Asia?

19 May

If you’re a college minister or youth minister, or you know somebody who might be interested in a trip like the one I’ve been blogging about, you should read on! Or pass this on to someone you know! (And move fast, because the deadline is extremely soon – see below.)

The International Mission Board (with International World Changers) is hosting its next Discovery Trip to Southeast Asia! The trip will take place this summer, from July 26th through August 5th.

As a Discovery Trip, this is a trip for ministers interested in possibly partnering your ministry with what God’s doing in Southeast Asia. This is the trip for you – as the leader – to discover this particular mission field. That’s why it’s called a Discovery Trip!

The IMB reports about this cool place:

Frankly, [this nation] is one of those places that has been hard for us to raise up volunteers. … [W]e want to say, “If only they knew of the incredible opportunities to serve, the joy of meeting these people, and the chance to join God in His work here!”

Remember, we’re talking about a true hands-on experience. You’ll be doing much more than “observing.” You will be participating in the very kinds of ministry that your students will get to do, if and when you come back! (I can definitely testify to how completely PARTICIPATORY this trip has been.)

Some highlights:

  • It’s to a country so awesome that I can’t name it here. (But I do know where it is!)
  • It’s even cheaper than this trip was. Only $650, because the IMB is able to seriously subsidize this thing.
  • Discover TWO cities, not just one! You get to spend a few days in these major cities, both of which have over a million and a half residents.
  • Even further away than this trip was. Obviously. And did I mention how cheap it was?
  • Connecting with other college & youth ministers. That’s one of the coolest “unsung blessings” of this trip.
  • English is used widely there! Lots of opportunities with college students there! …including many students from other nations who study there!

But here’s the deal: This trip’s sign-up deadline is just about here. Officially, it’s Friday the 21st – before we’ll even be home. Fortunately, the guys at the IMB have agreed to hold registration open for a very short time. (But that means something like a week, not a month.)

I know that usually we like to have longer to make decisions like this. But why don’t you pray about it and just see what God says? He can communicate with you as quickly as needed.

And if you are interested at all, you should go ahead and let the IMB know. They can send you the full details (including the actual location), and put you on the list of possibles. To do that, or simply to ask questions, contact George via email at gsiler at imb.org.

I can tell you, this Discovery Trip thing is a phenomenal experience. I hope my blogs have done it some sort of justice, but there’s no way we can relate how beautiful God has been. And I bet He’s willing to move on the Asian continent, too!