Youth in Mission continues on despite world situation

Students across the country and even around the world are hearing their least favorite word when it comes to field trips and vacations –“cancelled.”

From journeys to Washington to excursions overseas, many organizations, from schools to churches, are putting the ex-nay on le voyage. The political turmoil and state of unrest throughout the world proves to be the cause.

So what about Youth in Mission, a ministry of Nazarene Youth in which college students (including 39 from our school) are sent around the world to minister for eight weeks in the summer?

No postponement here so far. In fact, applications were turned in fearlessly this fall, selections ready by Christmas and preparations made since. Students seem more interested in rearranging their sock drawer than backing out on this trip, and continue to raise all of the funds required to pay their expenses.

"I did not know that other schools were canceling their trips to wherever they are going. My opinion is that I would never not go," Candace Sperry, junior, said.

"The world may be in war, but I feel that if I happen to die on my mission, at least I am dying doing what the Lord called me to do. I am really not afraid. I could die anywhere at any time. If it is my turn to be taken to see my Father, then let it be. My mission site is Washington, D.C., and someone brought up that being in the U.S. during the summer is probably the worst place to be. That did make me think about my decision, however, I am happy to do what needs to be done, despite the circumstances. I do not want to live my life in fear; I want to do what God called me to do, even if that means dying in the process of proclaiming His Word," Sperry said.

Many students also place a large amount of trust in the YIM organization for their safety.

"I feel completely confident in the Youth in Mission program. Last year I was intending to go to Madagascar, but due to political strife and riots, they cancelled the site and sent each of us elsewhere. I firmly believe they are closely watching the international situation and use the utmost discretion. We can't live in fear of the future, so we must continue on trusting in the Lord," Mindy Brooks, junior, said.

Zina Zander quotes Joshua 1:9 in response to the situation, "Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

It seems most, if not all, are quite eager to be given this opportunity.

"People feel very unsure of their lives and what lies ahead. What better time to evangelize and share that everyone can have a certain future if they have life in Christ?" Stephanie Henson, senior, said. "I think Youth in Mission would have to tell me not to go for me to back out."

Other students look to support from their family as reason enough to stick with it.

"I am so excited about this opportunity that nothing could change my mind-short of the trip being cancelled that is. My parents have been very supportive and that makes it easier. I really feel like God is opening the doors for this summer, so I trust that He'll be looking out for me; He never sleeps, nor does He slumber!" Sonya Burrell, junior, said.

Martin Fowler sums up what Youth in Mission participants can really use from the student body: "Please pray for us. We need all the help we can get!"