This month I wanted to take some time to tell you about our mission trip to Cleveland, OH this summer. Megan and I along with Josiah VonBerg will be taking 10 students on a week-long adventure to the inner city of Cleveland. Did you know that there are over one hundred different languages spoken in Cleveland? Most people don't think of this city as being so diverse but it is one of the top 5 depositories for refugees in the country. There is a great need for Jesus in the city of Cleveland so our goal is to help in any way we can.
The C&MA makes it a priority to bring the gospel to the darkest places on the globe. A lot of times these nations are overseas in cities that have never heard of Jesus but sometimes they're within a day’s drive from us. The short term sending agency for the Alliance is called Envision and Cleveland is one of their many sites.
Envision Cleveland seeks to partner with local churches in the city to reach those that don't know Jesus. Some of the ministries we have an opportunity to take part in are refugee ministry, VBS, health clinics, sports camps, construction work, beautification, and urban gardening. Obviously we won't be able to do all of those in one week but as the weeks draw closer we will know more about what we'll be doing and how the students can use their gifts and talents to best serve the city and God.
We thank God that there are so many teens in our church that have a desire to look past themselves and help others. I think this trip will not only benefit the city of Cleveland but will have a huge impact on our students as well. Our prayer is that they take this experience and bring something back with them so they can serve their own communities. Safety is something that is often prayed for when traveling and we definitely want students to be safe but I would encourage you to pray not just for safety but for these kids to truly be willing to say "Yes" to Jesus.
Jesus said that "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. "For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? - Luke 9:3-25.
This past week during both worship services, you should have received a card reminding you to pray for an individual student who is going on the trip. I want to challenge you to put the card somewhere where you'll see it every day and it will remind you to pray. As much as we need prayer support many of these students still have some money left to raise so please consider how God may lead you to give.
It is our desire to not only bring students to Cleveland but to be able to meet a financial need while we're down there as well. Envision Cleveland has done a great job meeting needs in their community by giving out bicycles to refugees but they're discovering that some of these bikes are getting stolen. Envision Cleveland has asked us to consider raising an extra $1000 to pay for bike locks for these refugees. So please pray about how you can partner with us to reach this community in need