January 2011 | Following Jesus, A Reunion, and A New Year with Real Life

A Word from the Director

Learning to Follow
Jesus in Juarez
| Seth Barnes 

Seth shares a story of following Jesus’ model of
discipleship during a short-term missions trip in Mexico:

A number of years ago, on a
missions project in Juarez, I was translating for a small group of
students.  This was their first time and
they were a little worried.  “How do
we know who to talk to?” they asked me.

“Well, let’s stop and ask God
what we should do,” I replied.

When we had finished praying, we
looked up and saw a white truck approaching them on the bumpy dirt road.  “Let’s pray for the driver of that
truck!” one of them said.

So we prayed, “God, we ask
that you would reach out and touch the driver of that white truck.  Help us to share the love of Christ with

We noticed that the truck had
stopped, so we walked up to it…

Find out what happened in Juarez.


Upcoming trips:

Short-term Missions
for Youth Groups

You haven’t missed your opportunity to go on missions with
us this summer!

Take your students outside the U.S.:

Or within the U.S., in urban or rural areas:

  • Kenya
  • Ireland
  • Peru
  • Haiti
  • Appalachia
  • Philadelphia
  • Rio
    Grande Valley
  • New

Click here for our complete listing of opportunities.

Real Life Missions

We have several short-term missions opportunities for 18-22
year old young adults coming up:

If you’d like to have someone call or email you about our
youth group trips or Real Life program, fill out this form and we’ll get in

Stories from the Field

Missionary Returns to
Bolivia to See Loved Ones After 20 Years
| Kristen

As brief as a short-term missions trip can be, the
relationships formed can make a deep, lasting impact. Some of us, years after
going, can still remember the names of the people we meet overseas, like Connie
Rock, one of our staff, did: 

Doña Antonia is a beautiful, dear
woman who lives in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. She runs a kiosko — a
tiny store — from her house, and at one time, served sandwiches de huevo (egg
sandwiches) to the students from the nearby boarding school for missionary
kids. When the school closed, she sold her freezer because of the decrease in
business. But she didn’t move.

One morning while we were in
Bolivia, we found her. Twenty years had passed since she’d seen Connie but they
knew each other immediately…

Click here to read more of Connie Rock’s reunion with Doña

Where’s the Nearest
Strip Club?
| Jennifer Zilly

A week ago, we sent of an all-women’s Real Life team to
Nicaragua; before their departure, they spent several days in Gainesville and
Atlanta, Georgia for training.  Jennifer
Zilly tells us what happened as she and the team bonded in Atlanta:

Exhausted and unprepared for the
freezing cold temperature, I hit the dark streets with my new sisters wearing
only a thin hoodie and my favorite pair of jeans. The only directions we were
given were to hand out sack lunches to homeless people and see if there were
any hurting people roaming the streets that we could pray for. . .

Go to the team blog to find out where exactly they were led
to go and do that night

I Used To Be Saved
| Kaitlyn Althouse

Kaitlyn Althouse shares how confusion over a seat assignment
on an African bus ride turned into ministry early on during her Real Life trip.

…Either way I realized something
important: I needed to talk to the woman next to me. I mean, isn’t that why I
was in Africa?! God had given me nine hours with this woman for a reason. 

We started talking and the
conversation flowed so naturally. I could truly feel the presence of the Holy
Spirit as he gave me the words to say. The moment was so powerful…

Click here to find out more about Kaitlyn’s conversation
with her fellow passenger