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GoStudents keep going and going: Mission projects send 130 students to share the Gospel

GoStudents helps Oklahoma Baptist churches equip students with the task of sharing Jesus with unreached, unengaged people. Through GoStudents, many young people are trained to engage communities around the world as a “powerful witness of the Gospel.” This summer, 130 students and leaders served in eight projects across the globe.

Brian Baldwin, student evangelism and missions specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), gives a report on all eight experiences.

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with North American Mission Board (NAMB), Keleo Church and The Refuge.

• One of the teams served in a small community that was affected a vandalism attack by painting an encouraging mural over racist graffiti. Students served the community in several creative outreach experiences. Another team painted stones with Scripture and encouraging words, leaving them in random places in the neighborhood. Several people shared how the stones encouraged them.

• One highlight was helping a man who was delivering food to a food pantry. His wife started chemo treatments and said the group helping him was an “answer to prayer,” so that he could get back to his wife quicker.

Baldwin on Portland: “Our goals were to move (the two host churches) ministries forward and to share the Gospel. We had conversations in parks, helping set up events. We served a big meal in a park, helped at a local school with clean-up and different projects. It was a great experience.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with NAMB, Hallows Church and The Dwelling Place.

• Students did prayer walks which led to Gospel conversations and pointing people to partnering churches.

• One team participated in a Bible study outreach at the University of Washington (UW). Another group helped foster the relationship between UW and Hallows Church

Baldwin on Seattle: “Seattle is well-known for a lot of popular sights. It’s also well-known for people running away from traditional values. Most people there are not FROM Seattle. They moved TO Seattle, and we were running to them. We worked with homeless people in tent cities, taking supplies and the Gospel. Our students worked from sun up to sun down on most days, making the most of their time in Seattle.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with Central Community Church. BGCO has an ongoing mission partnership in Edmonton.

• Students shared the Gospel while working the International Street Performers Festival; interacted with many performers, volunteers, observers and even some of the homeless population.

• Students also served in a park with a block party and helped with community projects including making garden boxes in a large apartment complex, which led to many Gospel conversations with residents.

Baldwin on Edmonton: “This was our first time to be in Edmonton. It’s a large, beautiful city. They love their summer festivals and outdoor events. It’s very diverse with different ethnic groups living there and has about a 6 percent Evangelical population. We shared the Gospel with different performers and vendors at the festivals. It stretched our students to do this, but we had tons of Gospel conversations there. The kids came back excited about sharing their faith. One leader said it was the ‘richest personal evangelism experience’ he’s ever had while leading students.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with International World Changers and helped two churches.

• Third GoStudents trip to Seville. A partnering church has grown since first visiting Seville, as members took more responsibility for outreach. Work of GoStudents encouraged this response.

• Worked with an English camp and teen events; encouraged people to attend a church service that drew more than 50 people.

• Visited five homes of non-believers and had Gospel conversations.

Baldwin on Seville: “The International Mission Board missionary we worked with is phenominal, and with the area beign less than 2 percent Christian, the need for the Gospel there couldn’t be greater. People in the city are searching for identity, and there’s a great opportunity to share the Gospel. We did an English camp at one of the schools and developed many great relationships. We also did block parties and street evangelism. It was great to be able to serve in Seville again this year.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with International World Changers, interacted with multiple missionaries and their families who serve different cultures in Madrid.

• Distributed Bibles, Christian DVDs and Gospel tracks in the open market.

• Spent several days in a low income apartment complex that has a large Moroccan population. Students played games and did crafts and face painting with children and connected with many families in the apartment complex.

Baldwin on Madrid: “This is our second time to be in Madrid. It’s a very big city that has a cultural melting pot. A lot of refugees come to live there. We primariliy ministered to Moroccan Muslims who came as refugees there. It was a very safe place there and were received well. We relied a lot on prayer and planted seeds wherever we could.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with Baptist Convention of Latvia and IMB.

• Helped facilitate a festival at the Baptist camp of Ganibas. Served in worship services, workshops, crafts, games and sports at the camp. Team members also made a major impact of the whole event, going beyond expectations with cleaning the area and helping with tasks. Many during the festival were impacted by students sharing the Gospel.

• Worked with IMB missionary in Riga, the capital city, offering Gospel tracts. Connected with two college students who were receptive.

Baldwin on Latvia: “This is first time to take a student group to Latvia. Every year during the Summer Solstice, people leave the city and go to the countryside, stay in tents and have big parties. The Baptist Convention of Latvia provides an alternative to stay at their camp called Ganibas, which is on the western coast of Latvia. About 350 people came to the camp, and our kids were able to be a part of the festivities. The team got to share the Gospel, and people got saved. The street evangelism team in Riga stretched our students and gave them confidence to share their faith at home.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with International World Changers, Portuguese national leaders and two churches.

• Team had many personal evangelism experiences, working with families in a low income apartment complex, engaging in various social experiences and community events. The local church also was active in this GoStudents project.

• Fernando, a national, worked with the team and got to see a friend whom he has been ministering to for four years make a profession of faith at a meal the team provided. The team also witnessed to three boys at a soccer field. All three made professions of faith.

Baldwin on Portugal: “We worked in the city of Vila Real. There’s only two evangelical churches in the entire city of about 200,000 people. The need is tremendous there. We primarily worked in a low income apartment complex. We played games and recreational activities with the kids and ministered to families. We also got to spend time at a church in the town of Leomil. We served at a retirement home and were involved in the church services. We experienced several people accept Christ on this trip.”

 

 

 

 

• Partnered with International World Changers

• Worked with friends living in East Asia, serving families of a house church and at a three-day youth camp.

• Served at English camps, made connections with believing and unbelieving students.

Baldwin on East Asia: “We’ve been working in East Asia for several years and have made a great impact there. It’s also had a great impact on our students. We did some cultural exchange and English training. There were some last-minute changes with our trip, but overall, our group was able to connect with a lot people who were eager to learn about the Gospel.”

Next summer, GoStudents will increase its number of mission projects to 15, including three in-state opportunities. GoStudents also will have two projects in Mexico and Cambodia, along with visiting places the teams served this summer. For more information and to register for the 2018 projects visit gostudents.org/projects.

Chris Doyle

Author: Chris Doyle

View more articles by Chris Doyle.

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