Sep 7, 2022 | 4 min read | Hannah Hartman
For many years, Josiah Venture has been partnering short-term mission teams with local churches in Central and Eastern Europe to do English, Fusion, and Edge camps. Their mission involves doing evangelistic camps with the local leaders and empowering them in their service and leadership for the gospel. Rachael Davison, a Josiah Venture missionary and the International Summer Ministry Director, comments on the role mission teams play and their mission during the summer.
"Mission teams are a crucial part of what we do as Josiah Venture! Each summer we get to come alongside young Josiahs in local churches as they reach out to their peers and communities with the gospel; they bring so much energy, joy, and encouragement. Time and time again we hear from students at camp that seeing how Christians from many different countries love each other, and the unity they have, really challenges what they thought about faith, God, and the church.”
During this summer, the International Communications intern Hannah Hartman hosted episodes 31-33 on the “Josiah Venture Stories” podcast. Ryan Palmer, a member of a mission team serving in Slovenia was one of the guests (episode 33) and shared about the ministry that comes with mission teams, why they are so crucial to Josiah Venture, and how they have a lasting impact on the communities they serve.
“A huge part of mission teams is supporting the local church and the work they are doing. Our job is to participate and serve them in whatever they need. We also want to help establish the environment so that they can have deep theological conversations with students.”
Although coming to camps and serving the students is certainly crucial, the support that mission teams bring to the leadership staff at camp is invaluable. Because mission teams are only in the country for a week or two, their impact is even more significant because it shows the campers that they took a week out of their lives to come and serve. It’s a huge example for them of what it is to love Jesus, and that initiates several conversations about the love of Christ.
Not only are mission teams a ministry outward, but they’re also a ministry inward. In his episode, Ryan talks about having the opportunity to minister to the members of his own team and see how the trip impacts them long-term. He mentions that many of the students volunteer at their church or local ministry after returning home from the trip. Several decide to support missionaries, become an intern with Josiah Venture, or end up working for a missions organization.
“It helps them frame their thinking process of what it is to serve the kingdom of God and it raises their awareness of what God is doing globally. Another huge thing is just being available to be used for God’s kingdom—through actively serving in the country for a week or supporting financially and through prayer.”
Not only is the mission of mission teams outward and inward, but it also leaves a lasting impact on the students served, the local leaders, and the team themselves.
If you’re interested in hearing more of Ryan’s story and the impact of mission teams, feel free to listen to episode 33 of the Josiah Venture Stories podcast here. If you have served with us on a mission team, thank you so much for your service and for pouring into the lives of youth across this region.
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