Youth on the Move
Steve Ranney, Pastor
If you were with us in worship in the middle of June, you participated in commissioning some of our youth as they prepared to leave on a couple of trips that were designed to help them grow in their relationships with God and connect with people that God loves in other parts of our world. We sent them on their way with our love and offered our prayer support as they traveled. What follows are excerpts from a letter written by one of our youth, Sheryl Ocampo, describing the experiences she had, connections she made and some of the encounters she had with God.
“…our main objective was to connect students with Cru in their local high schools, known as Student Venture in Ecuador. It was only with the help of local Student Venture staff that we were able to communicate God’s love so effectively. I am confident that this movement will continue to grow long after we leave Ecuador and that the Lord will continue to do amazing things overseas.
I saw God working in the lives of students since our first day of Gospel presentations. In the first school we visited, Cinco de Junio, I was pulled aside by a student after class. The young boy introduced himself as John and explained that he had come to Christ at a young age. However, his faith gradually weakened as he got involved with the wrong crowd at school. John explained that he had a desire to strengthen his relationship with the Lord but felt that he was not worthy of God’s love and could not be accepted by his Christian peers. I ended up talking with John all throughout lunch, and we even exchanged social media handles so that we could continue the conversation after I left Ecuador. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to reassure my brother in Christ of God’s unconditional love. It is experiences like this that make mission trips worthwhile.
Going into this trip I was unsure of what to expect, and I was nervous about how God would use me to spread His Word in Ecuador. However, my anxieties were quickly appeased as I met the team I would be working with, made up of both American missionaries and Ecuadorian Cru members. I saw God in the warm smiles of my new friends, and I experienced His love in the incredible hospitality of Ecuadorians. I was able to experience something truly amazing — I saw people from different cultures unite to worship a single God. This is a lesson I will take back with me to the United States: God’s love surpasses all boundaries and reaches all people!
Thank you so much for supporting me in this journey. Thanks for the prayers, the financial support, and all the words of encouragement. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to impact the lives of my international peers and to grow in my personal walk with the Lord.
Sheryl Ocampo ”
To hear more about this trip and Triennium, please join us in worship on August 25 (and don’t forget to sign up for the End of Summer Picnic that follows inmediately after).