GoStudents is all about raising up a generation to complete the task of sharing Christ with a lost world. It’s a tool churches can use to help their students embrace an “on-mission” lifestyle. Every student should experience at least one, if not many, mission trips in their key developmental years. These projects provide opportunities for them to share their faith with different people and in new ways.

“It felt incredible to get back to somewhat of a normal summer mission program,” a GoStudents participant said. However, several of the previously-scheduled projects (Portland, Edmonton, Calgary, Latvia, Cambodia and Africa) were canceled because of COVID-related issues.

This summer GoStudents is not only tracking back to the pre-COVID number of participants but has actually reached 400 participants, which is the highest number of engagement yet! There were 14 projects in the following locations: Tulsa, OKC, Lawton, Seattle (twice), Utah (three times), New York City (twice), Belize, Peru, Portugal and Spain. The total number of participants over the past eight years is as follows:

2015: 79 | 2016: 118 | 2017: 138 | 2018: 283 |
2019: 322 | 2020: 0 | 2021: 250 | 2022: 400.

Everyone did an amazing job again this year.  Several made professions of faith, and the students’ lives were impacted. The missionaries and church planters have expressed to us how thankful and helpful the teams were to their ministry areas! Here’s what some of the participants said about this summer:

“We shared the gospel with more than 500 people in a single day!” —Mo Skelton

“On the trip, God confirmed in my heart that I am to be a missionary, and we celebrated multiple salvations!” —Lydia Hall

“One of my anxious students took a bold step and got to use his Spanish to help lead two men to Christ!” —Logan Easom

“I feel like God showed me that I do more than I think I do.” —Trinity Clark

“I made the best godly friendships I’ve ever had. On this trip I really felt God calling me into missions.” —Caitlyn Huggins

“I was able to help lead four kids to Christ!” —Gabriella Dover

“I got to pray over a Peruvian my same age, and we stayed connected after the trip.” —Alyssa Hughey

“This was the first time I have shared the Gospel with someone!” —Zoye Gossen

“I got to show the Gospel by spending the day with an autistic student.” —Jack Glover

“I felt as if the Holy Spirit took control of my words and I led two kids to Christ!” —Riley White

“We got to see 21 people pray to receive Christ at our village.” —Brooke Brumley

“We had one student lead another of our youth group to the Lord on the first night!” —Josh Lewis

GoStudents in Peru

The three Oklahoma projects allowed middle school students to participate and gave those who couldn’t afford the bigger trips an opportunity to serve with GoStudents. Most of the Oklahoma participants had never been on a mission trip, which gave them a great start in their mission experience.  It helped them understand that missions can be done in our own state.

GoStudents is planning to return to the same locations next year and adding Broken Bow and Miami. By filling these new projects, and the ones we had to cancel due to COVID, we expect our participation to be around 500 next year. This is a big deal and is only made possible because of the faithful gifts of Oklahoma Baptists to the Cooperative Program, as well as through the support of the Missions Offering at Falls Creek.

GoStudents in Belize

This summer’s offering totaled $97,940 over the eight weeks of camp which was up nearly $12,000 from last year, and 100 percent of this money goes to missions. It offsets next year’s GoStudents trip costs and helped provide two new ultrasound machines for Hope Pregnancy Centers in Oklahoma.

We’re so thankful to the Lord for all the lives that were impacted in and through GoStudents this summer. For many, it was a milestone that will shape their worldview and priorities for the rest of their lives. It’s our prayer that GoStudents will continue to send more students to engage the lost in our own state and around the world!

Visit oklahomabaptists.org/gostudents/projects to learn more.