It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! No, it’s not Christmas; it’s time to sign up for Heights Students Engage trips for 2017! We had a parent informational meeting this past Sunday for give more specifics about each opportunity (you can find more of that at the bottom of the post) and wanted to share some personal stories of life change from students who have gone on Engage Trips in the past few years. Check these out!
Mission trips not only provide you with a window to a world outside your own, but give you opportunity to put your faith in action. It seems that God is able to speak to your heart when you’re out of your comfort zone and in a place where you truly are dependent on him for direction, courage and faith to do and say things you may have never done before (i.e. lead a group, sing in front of people, share your faith, etc). Mission trips are also times when God begins to place a lifetime call on your life. At least, that’s my story!
-Annie Stevens, Heights Students 2016 graduate
Over the years I have gotten to go to Honduras twice and to Boston once with Heights Students. As a freshman I was very nervous to go to Honduras. I was very scared for my safety and had no clue what to expect. My life was changed that year. The people of Honduras are not ashamed of their faith and they have this longing to get to know more about the Lord. I have never seen people so genuine to worship. I had culture shock both years. It was such a reminder how selfish and entitled I am. I get so caught up in worldly desires and forget my mission. My mission is to share the gospel.
This past summer I got to go to Boston. Boston was so different from Honduras. Culture shock was different. Living in the South and going to church is built into our way of life. In Boston it is very uncommon for people to go to church and follow Jesus. Our team served alongside Encounter Church. We did many things like picking up trash along the side of the road. This was a neat experience because people of Boston saw teenagers picking up trash so joyfully. Even though we did not see the outcome of what we were doing, we got to water seeds.
Through these trips I have learned to live on mission joyfully and not be ashamed of my faith. The Lord will show and reveal himself to you in ways you have never before experienced. My life was changed my first mission trip. Do not do it because it looks good on you Instagram or makes you look like a “better Christian.” I encourage anyone who wants to go on a mission trip to pray about their motivation for going and to know the Lord is going to move in mighty ways, both in them and through them.
-Kallie Galvan, junior at Shelton School
In the last year I went on a mission trip to Honduras & Boston & it was honestly such a great experience where we saw God working in incredible ways. God used Honduras last year to completely change my perspective on not only Him, but also my own life. By meeting these people of economic disparity & spiritual abundance, the Lord revealed to me that He has plans so much bigger than we can ever fathom if we just trust in Him. By escaping all the distractions, God enabled me to see my own sins & also reminded how truly sovereign and merciful He is.
Boston was a very different trip & challenging because we couldn’t see the immediate fruits of our labor, but in that we were reminded God is faithful & God is good. By seeing the brokenness of our nation in Boston, God was breaking our hearts for what breaks his, so instead of feeling hopeless it brought a sense of promise. In seeing brokenness, Christ showed us His promise for good in the midst of it.
-Natalie Russell, junior at Plano East Senior High
The summer before my junior year, I took my first mission trip with the student ministry to Houston. At the time I had no idea the impact this trip would have on my walk with Christ, but looking back, the preparation process as well as the trip itself helped to mature me in my faith as well as give me an understanding of Christ’s call to missions on a believer’s life.
For almost an entire semester, the student ministry staff trained a small group of students to live for a week in a Houston apartment complex primarily inhabited by refugees and foreigners. We learned to share the gospel in new ways and situations and gained a better understanding of and respect for the different cultures we would encounter. In Houston we were confronted with real world application of these methods, going into homes to share Christ’s love with a people who desperately needed it. These methods didn’t just apply to those in Houston. In my experiences in Houston, I realized that I didn’t need to leave my home to share the gospel. Scripture tells us that our mission fields are where ever our feet fall. While those I met in Houston had great need to hear the gospel, there were many at home who I spoke with daily whose need was just as desperate.
A year later I had the chance to go to England with the student ministry to work with students who lived in a predominantly atheist society. The 12 days I spent in England had just as large an impact on me as my experience in Houston. I prepared to face students who had great opposition to the truth of the gospel, and while I did have interactions with these students, I found that the vast majority of the students I spoke with simply didn’t know what the gospel was. The urgency of my responsibility as a Christ follower to share the gospel where ever my foot fell grew only more.
My experiences on mission trips have done a great deal to help me grow in my faith. Most importantly, my experiences on the trips have taught me to be bold and proud of my faith. There has been an urgency instilled in me to share the gospel boldly and confidently, in love. I believe is something that the Lord birthed in me through my time preparing for and serving with the Heights Students on mission trips, and I would encourage anyone who is remotely considering it to do it!
-Clint Kruse, Heights Students 2016 graduate
One of the greatest privileges of our jobs is watching the Lord work in incredible ways in the lives of our students, especially in the context of Engage trips. These stories are just a few from the many of gospel transformation that has come through students taking risks to bring the gospel, both in their neighborhoods and around the world. We’re expectant for how the Lord is going to move in 2017!
Click on the links below to get more info and/or sign up for each of the Engage opportunities coming up in 2017.
- ENGAGE: HONDURAS (sign up deadline is October 23rd, 2016)
- ENGAGE: ENGLAND (sign up deadline is December 4th, 2016)
- ENGAGE: DALLAS (sign up deadline is July 2, 2017)
If you have any questions about Heights Students Engage Trips, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.