This May, 180 students and staff gathered at our annual Summer Missions Launch for 3 jam-packed days of preparing and praying before going to the world on summer missions trips. This year students were sent to Desert Rain, East Asia, Denmark, and Peru, as well as a local CREATE mission trip in Guelph, ON.
What was your tipping point?
For all of these students, there were a lot of moments that led up to them being at Summer Missions Launch, getting ready to go on a mission trip. Moments like when they first heard about the mission trip opportunity. Moments when they seriously considered the barriers they had to going on missions. Moments of quietness and prayer, talking it over with God. Moments when others encouraged or challenged them to seriously consider going.
In talking to the students at Summer Missions Launch, we were interested in learning “What was your tipping point? What happened that made you say ‘yes’ to going on a mission trip? Was it a sermon or message? A private moment with God? A story you heard? A statistic you came across?”
Here’s what some of the students had to share:
What was your tipping point for going on a mission trip this year?
Rachel: I didn’t go [on a mission trip] in my first or second year. I think it was a good thing, because God was teaching me a lot of things in that season about really loving him and loving others. In my third year, I really wanted to go and was thinking this might be the time to go. I was really praying about it, because I felt like there were a lot of things holding me back – I could do school, or I could do this, or my family doesn’t want me to go on a mission trip yet… so I was praying with a friend at Summit, and as we were praying I saw clearly “Go. Peru.” As much as I could try to reason out of that, it was pretty clear what God was asking me to do. So that’s when I started the journey of applying and support raising, and now I’m here going to Peru!
What was your tipping point for going to East Asia?
T.H.: I had someone that kept reminding me of it, but I never actually took it to heart of what it meant to be a missionary or evangelist. So, he asked me to take some time to just pray. Some of the things that really helped me is that during my quiet time, I thought about the things that I was scared of – security reasons, it’s far away and I need to get a visa. And what I realized was all the things that were stopping me were my own personal desires and wants. I realized it wasn’t what God wanted me to, it was what I wanted to do. So, to discern that was hard for me. I had to surrender it all.
What was your tipping point for going to East Asia last year?
Paul: My DG leader challenged me to go and he went through a pros and cons list with me. I like those kind of things because it helps me look at it in a very logical format, thinking “what reasons do I have not to go?” When I heard about the different mission trips, I was looking through them and I saw East Asia, and it was a country I lived in for 8 years before coming to Vancouver. So, I had a lot of experience with the people and culture, and saw for myself the spiritual need they had for Christ. I think that was the major tipping point, that I felt a call to go to East Asia and to reach my own people.
What was your tipping point for going on the CREATE mission trip this year?
Paul: One thing I always enjoyed doing with the creative interests that God has given me is in writing. I used to write a lot of short stories, poetry, fiction pieces, and recently I grew to appreciate and write more blog style articles. I had the privilege this year of writing for my school’s newspaper at UBC and that was very rewarding and I thought, “Oh, I really enjoy doing this!” I wanted to see how this interest that God has given me can be used to give back to him and to glorify him.
What was your tipping point for going on the CREATE mission trip?
Mandy: When I was at P2C PLUS, I went to the Creative Communications info session and that’s where I learned about CREATE and the summer internship. After that I forgot about it for a bit. Then in late January I was looking for a job in the summer to gain experience, learn more about design, and start building my resume. It’s really hard to find jobs when you’re first year. In the midst of all that searching, I got an email asking if I wanted to learn more about the CREATE mission trip and if I wanted to participate in it, and I was so surprised because it was at that time that I was looking for design experience and she just happened to email me, giving me this opportunity to learn more design, apply my skills and be able to serve this summer. When I first heard of it I was skeptical because I didn’t know if that’s what I wanted to do with my summer, or if I could gain better experience in Ottawa doing other stuff. So, for a long time I was just praying about it and asking close family and friends. It ultimately came down to if I wanted to spend my summer doing something that would serve myself and be for my own personal gain or if I would humble myself and go serve in Guelph instead. So, that’s what pulled me towards doing CREATE.
What was your tipping point for going to Desert Rain this year?
M.M.: The whole reason I entered into York was because I thought P2C was only at York, so I was like, “Lord, let me into this International Development program so I can go to P2C and go on missions and do all these things!” But when it came to missions, God kind of slowed me down, even though I was eager and desired to go. He just said, “Wait. Let me repair your heart first. Let me fix you before you go out.” So even though I desired so badly to go last year, he just never opened the doors until he repaired me in some areas, which now make me capable to love others freely and understand the gospel much more clearly. And with that he opened the doors to missions, to DR specifically. I’m Ethiopian, so my parents are immigrants and I’m first generation, so I always grew up biculturally, and that had a huge impact on the way I see the world. With DR, I noticed a lot of similarities with the people group and the cultural climate. I think that’s what drew me closer. God gave me compassion and love for these people because it felt like they were family. It’s like I was looking at my mom, or dad, or brother, or sister.
What was your tipping point for going on the Denmark mission trip?
Daniel: In first year, I didn’t necessarily consider missions something that could be done when you’re a student. So, coming to university it wasn’t something I was thinking about. The first time I was exposed to the idea of a mission trip with students was at Summit in my first year. Throughout the next month I continued to think about Denmark and prayed about it all the time. I think through that God grew a heart in me for Denmark and Danish people. And I continued to hear stats about how Danish people are like our society in how our culture is going postmodern. And there’s, like, no Christians there to share the gospel, and it broke my heart for the nation. So after some consideration and last minute deciding, I decided to apply for Denmark. I’m excited to go and see how God is at work there!
Reaching the world together
It is so encouraging and inspiring to see students from all over Canada gather together at this event to be trained and to pray together before being sent to the world. Although the mission trip teams are going to different countries, they are all united in vision and mission: to change the world by helping students discover Jesus.
Pray for these teams, that they would love God, love their team, and love their new friends.
*some names have been changed for security reasons
Photos taken by Maddie Garcia