By Ryan Fast,Teen Missions
As someone whose primary mission is to disciple teenagers, I’ve made the following observations:
- Teaching a teen how to share his faith is like climbing to the top of a skyscraper using only the stairs–it’s a long trip!
- Getting a teen to share her faith is like strapping on a parachute on the teen and telling her to jump off the top of that building she’s just climbed.
- Asking a teen to engage in making disciples overseas may sound like fun, until the teen’s chute doesn’t open and the sidewalk at the base of the building he or she has just jumped off is fast approaching.
This summer I experienced my 9th full-length summer mission trip with teenagers; the destinations were the countries of Mongolia and South Korea. Starting in the swamps of Florida, our team of 23 trained beside nearly 700 other summer missionaries in some of the most primitive and challenging living conditions imaginable. Upon completion of our training we traveled to Mongolia, where our team drove out into the countryside and, with no access to electricity or running water, we set up and ran a similar training camp for young Mongolian Christians. Sound crazy? Trust me, it is. But do you know what happened? The Kingdom of God unfolded before our eyes. We saw young people come to Christ as truths from the Bible were taught, translated, and lived out. We saw a group of young Mongolians complete the discipleship training and take the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ on mission trips throughout their country! As if this weren’t enough, we then traveled to South Korea to teach English Training Camps. I stood amazed as American teenagers, using the Bible as their format, taught English to interested Koreans and rejoiced as we saw people come to Christ and become connected to the local church.
While there were times this summer when I wasn’t sure that the parachute was going to open, it always did. From traveling safety to transformed lives, from changing the weather to changing a teenager’s heart, I witnessed God do miracle after miracle and expand His kingdom to His glory again and again.
But this story isn’t done; in fact, for most of the people in it, the journey’s just begun. Taking teens on mission for Jesus is not just transformative, but it is bustling with potential as they have the rest of their lives sitting in front of them to continue to be a witness for Jesus, both here at home and to the uttermost ends of the earth.
Ryan Fast (http://www.teenmissions.org/staff/florida-staff/fast/) works for Teen Missions Int’l and coordinates the Students on Mission seminar track for Mission ConneXion, attended by nearly 200 in 2014. Interested in learning more about how you can send out your youth as missionaries? Visit: www.teenmissions.org and/or register for the upcoming 2015 Student ConneXion event at http://www.missionconnexion.com.