Some things have been in the works for a number of months that I have not been at liberty to discuss publicly on the blog… well, now I can! Though I have posted little things here and there through Facebook, I can finally let the cat out of the bag (someone want to give me a history report on that phrase?) and give you my “Three-For-Thursday” of three big announcements for Youthmark!
Before I get to the three-for-thursday, let me start by saying if you are a Youth Pastor/Director or a volunteer in Youth Ministry, we’d love to have you join us this year in training your students for Mission51! We believe in and want to provide wonderful one week mission experiences, but we emphasize the other 51 weeks of life that mission needs to take place as well. Some groups join us for a full Youthmark Mission Venture, whereas others already have a mission trip they are doing, but join us for the training process through our Mission51 materials (including curriculum, spring retreat and foll0w-through materials). Perhaps this is something you should do as well?
Okay, I needed to start there to give a little background, then on top of that we realize many of our churches will be joining us in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada or in a small town in the continental U.S. However, we realize that mission is not just here… it is “there” as well. It truly is Anywhere and Anytime. Therefore, I give you our BIG announcements…
- Costa Rica! We are so excited to dip our feet deep into the International waters in offering trips to Costa Rica! One major element and reason for Costa Rica is that as an organization we want to always emphasize Mission51 (everything we do “there” should be done “here”). Quite simply, we want our participants sharing the Gospel and Serving. Well as we live out the great commission and make disciples in the uttermost areas, we will be able to do this without a major language barrier. English is taught through ninth grade in Costa Rica. Picture it, we’ll have students in C.R. hoping to practice their english, while we have our students hungry to share the greatest news ever (JESUS) with our native tongue! While in C.R. our teams will be helping an about-to-launch Church called “The Bridge.” We’ll serve the local community in San Jose, but also reach out to the poor in the rural areas, even out as far as the beautiful coast!
- Mexico! This last year we ran a test-market of about 220 down to Mexico through a local denomination. Mission51 training and a partnership with Mexico Caravan Ministries proved to be a wonderful tag-team (not to mention the great youth and youth leaders from ConvergeNW). So, just a week or so ago I went down to Mexico and met with the leadership of Mexico Caravan Ministries and we formed an alliance. I’m very excited for our teams to be trained by Youthmark, but then have the expertise of MCM on the ground with them as they build three homes for three needy families, have a unique customized team experience and then do a final one-day work project as a team. This is going to be awesome!
- Spring Trips! We’ve had a number of requests over the last few years for spring-break mission options. With our international options now available, we’re able to offer both Mexico and Costa Rica as Spring Break options! So now we’ll be able to offer international trips in both the Spring and Summer and then ALL of our trips during the summer!
I am so excited about the future of Youthmark. I truly LOVE my job/calling. Just today, while talking with my local network on the south-east side, I found myself in awe of the work of the Lord as I heard Youth Leaders testifying about what God is doing in raising up young people with a passion for the lost. I really hope that no-matter where groups go on a mission trip, that they emphasize the 51 weeks outside of the mission! Let’s be on mission all the time!
I hope we see many Youth Pastors come and check out this Mission51 stuff and hear about all our Youthmark Mission Venture options (not just Mexico and Costa Rica) at one of our FREE lunches. Register for a lunch by clicking here.
Now… let’s live out Mission51!
P.S. If we don’t have a lunch near you, this shouldn’t stop you from inquiring about a YMV or Mission51 materials! In fact, it may be time to have a lunch near you, we just need people on the ground pushing it with us! Let’s talk!