We can’t tell the name of the places.
In at least one case, no known local Christians are there.
“Missionaries” are just at the stage of trying to “make friends,” and “making disciples” is somewhere in the future.
Vanguard University students Niki Trueb ’16 and Kiera Husband ’16 spent 8 weeks last summer, with teams of Assemblies of God workers, in a pilot missionary project, learning missions at this earliest of stages.
They were Vanguard representatives among the 20 students from AG universities from across the nation that AG World Missions sponsored in this front-edge effort. AGWM picked up all the cost except $1500 in an experiment to help students learn how to introduce the news of Jesus where He is not known.
Practically speaking, how do you do this? Organized meetings are out of the question. Song services, “street meetings,” sermons? Not for quite awhile.
Instead, you introduce the idea that you are a follower Jesus in the first five minutes of every conversation. They spent time with Christ each day, focused on him, then talked about him. It is about Jesus.
They taught English, learned the local language, lived with their own cooking, and cold water only. And started friendships.
When the opportunity for followup questions came, they were ready. And the questions did come. In one case, it was a local leader who asked, “”Can you give me a French Bible? Who is this Jesus? Why do you believe this when I believe that?”
From Niki: My biggest takeaway is definitely the fact that I have so much more confirmation in my faith after this trip – seeing these people live such empty lives based on what we know as lies, confirmed everything I have ever believed in Jesus Christ. However, these people are also the most loving individuals I have ever met, and my heart remains on that little island, with people who I was afraid of at first but are now some of my nearest and dearest friends. I was there for 58 days and my heart definitely broke in more than 58 ways, I will never forget my time there and definitely plan on returning after school!
From Kiera: I learned how to love people without needing to use words; our actions make all the difference. God showed me the importance of loving every person no matter how different they are. Sharing the Gospel requires at times being put out. Going to Eastern Europe has showed me how big a God we serve, and the heart He has for His people. Jesus died to save everyone not just a few. When we look at people according to the worth God sees them, that makes all the difference.
Was this investment worth it, or was this just an interesting summer junket? “I left my heart there. I will go back.” That kind of evaluation suggests that it has already paid off for all.
For more information on VU’s many summer trips:
Vanguard University Global Outreach
(714) 662-5262 | email@example.com
Assemblies of God World Missions – http://worldmissions.ag.org/