One of the more remarkable parts of ministry is the opportunity given to lead college students on mission trips both here and abroad. I have led many trips in the last five years and it continues to be one of the most transformative events in not only my life, but in the lives of the students I have the privilege of serving with. The college students that I have had the opportunity to lead and to serve with on various trips have always been impacted in many ways, and they return from those trips and continue to be agents of change in their communities. Not because anything I have done, or because of the trip itself. But rather, because I believe God does some amazing things in our lives when we choose to submit ourselves to His call of service: serving one another, serving others, and serving Him. This submission doesn’t have to come on a mission trip, and I hope that is not the only avenue that some see as the opportunity for such a relationship, but a mission trip seems to most often have all the elements that make for the right mix. Being out of one’s comfort zone. Service. Intensity. Teamwork. Etc, etc.
Throughout the year we try to provide the students of The Quest with many opportunities for service and outreach, both in the Los Angeles community and around the world. One of the really exciting opportunities we have this year is a Spring Break trip to the city of Manaus, Brazil, which is part of Northern Brazil and the capital of the Amazonas State.
I will be taking 15-20 college students with me for a little over one week, as we live for five days on a boat on the Amazon River, rafting down the river as we reach villages with the gospel and medical supplies, and as we continue to develop and form new relationships with our partner ministries and churches in that region.
This region has a thriving church that we are beginning to form partnerships with as our church has made several trips over to them in the last year. The church we will be working with, Manaus Presbyterian Church has an attendance of about 5,000 people weekly, with church services Thursday through Monday nights.