Summer 2018 GoStudents projects were notable in several ways. This is the first year for Oklahoma projects to be included. Students were able to serve close to home by traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma City or Lawton to participate in local missions. This was also a milestone year for GoStudents because participation doubled to 280 students across the 13 projects.
“Many people may not know that GoStudents was started as an opportunity to let a young man or young woman from any size church and any type of church in our state to be able to experience international missions,” said James Swain, Equipping Team leader of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “With the help of our leadership, and of Brian Baldwin being a key part of that and Nick Atyia before him, we have changed to a strategy where we are working with national partners and our International Mission Board (IMB) in reaching communities and spreading the Gospel in ways that will help their strategy.”
“This was the largest group of GoStudents participating in its history,” Brian Baldwin, GoStudents director, said. “Our purpose in GoStudents is to create awareness of unreached, unengaged people groups, equip for readiness by educating and training in the Gospel, and to go in obedience to be witnesses throughout the earth.”
Here is a glimpse into each trip, how many participated in the project and the partnering organization with each trip.
The Portland team learned how mission work is not just a one-week trip, but a continual “living on mission”
“Missionaries in Portland were on mission 24/7. Mission work wasn’t just a trip; it was living it out all day every day,” Joshua Pollock, youth pastor at Seminole, First, said.
The Portland project had 15 participants and partnered with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and local church planters.
The Seattle team engaged the community by partnering with the people of the Hallows Church and the Dwelling Place Church.
“Seattle is really tough ground, but we were definitely able to make some progress for the Gospel,” Garret Biliske, youth pastor at Pocasset, First, said.
The Seattle project had 25 participants and partnered with NAMB.
/// Edmonton, Canada
The Canada team in Edmonton shared the Gospel through block parties and by helping Church in the Valley pass out flyers to help the community find a local church.
“Students came out of their shells, and by the end of the trip the excitement for sharing the Gospel was contagious,” Louie Campbell, youth pastor at Glenpool, First said. “Everyone worked incredibly hard and made a Kingdom impact in Edmonton.”
The Canada project had 23 participants and partnered with NAMB.
The Portugal team served in Villa Real with the only Baptist church in a city of more than 200,000 people.
“The majority of our work consisted of serving in low income apartments. We got to play games with the children who lived in the apartments and share our testimonies with them,” Jace Marrow, youth pastor at Fort Cobb, First, said. “God opened a door for the church to serve in this city more.”
The Portugal team had 14 participants and partnered with the IMB.
/// Madrid, Spain
The Madrid team’s focus was working with Moroccan Muslims. The team spent many evenings prayer walking throughout other boroughs where Gospel work has been difficult to do or where the missionaries are wanting to begin to work.
Through a movie night, one team leader was able to start a Gospel conversation with three Muslim fathers who had brought their children.
The Madrid team had 15 participants and partnered with the IMB.
/// Seville, Spain
The Seville team supported the local missionaries through an English camp.
“The missionary we worked with had a hard time attracting teens before GoStudents arrived, but this year, we had around 30 at the camp,” Todd Cameron, the Seville team coordinator, said.
“As God gave us the opportunity, we shared the Gospel with those who would listen,” said Josh White, student pastor at Broken Arrow, Arrow Heights. “Even with the overwhelming darkness covering Seville we were able to plant long term seeds for God to use to build His church. We were honored to serve Him in that way.”
The Seville team had 17 participants and partnered with the IMB.
The Latvia team made great friendships together as they were able to serve the Latvian people.
“We were able to connect to the kids and even minister to them although the language was different,” said Phil Dietz, Bixby, Evergreen Community pastor, said.
“The students were such an awesome, caring and responsible group, that I personally would take them anywhere else in the world,” said Jay Heffron, pastor at Blanchard, Open Door.
The Latvia team had 15 participants and partnered with the Baptist Convention of Latvia.
The Cambodia team traveled across the world to help provide the Khmer people’s physical need of water in hopes of fulfilling their spiritual need of God’s unquenchable love.
“The missions team partnered with local nationals to build a concrete rainwater collection tank to provide for an entire school of 200 elementary students,” shared Zac Workun, student pastor at Tulsa, Southern Hills. “Already, since June, we have reports from the missionary team that classes and clinics have begun and families are finding healing and hearing the Good News!”
The Cambodia team had 15 participants and partnered with the IMB.
/// East Asia
The East Asia team experienced growth, the Spirit and faith on their project.
“First, many of our students grew more confident as they engaged people in a different culture. Second, when we taught about Easter in the English camp, the Spirit created interest and attention in the locals like we experienced at no other time. Third, after learning about the death and resurrection of Jesus, several local children chose to place their faith in Christ,” Ray Anderson minister of missions and evangelism at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs.
The East Asia team had 35 participants and partnered with the IMB.
Reports on the Oklahoma trips can be read in a recent Baptist Messenger article from August 2, titled “GoStudents stay and serve in Oklahoma”. The Tulsa team had 22 participants and partnered with the Mobile Missions Network. The Oklahoma City team had 21 participants and partnered with Mission Norman. The Lawton team had 33 participants and partnered with M28 ministries.
Report on the Belize trip can also be read in a recent Baptist Messenger article from August 16, titled “GoStudents builds up believers in Belize.” The Belize team had 30 participants and partnered with the Belize Baptist Convention.
To learn more about GoStudents, visit GoStudents.org.