Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
"Whew!" Lizzy said. "One, two, three, four, five … and six!" All her Youth Venture participants had arrived safely at their flight's gate. Navigating an airport can be a stressful experience in itself, but doing it while also trying to keep track of six teenagers is a whole other thing.
However, airport navigation wasn't the biggest concern on her mind. Along with the six North American Youth Venture participants, three Colombian team members would join them in Peru. Mennonite Mission Network offers Youth Venture as a summer service experience for young adults 16 to 22 years old to discover the work that God is doing in the world.
Group leaders Lizzy Diaz and Juan Pacheco Lozano were a little worried about how these young people from different places and countries would get along, or even communicate. Some spoke Spanish, and others English, but only a few spoke both languages.
However, once the whole team was together, they soon found ways to communicate with one another and work together at the projects put before them.
Over the two and half weeks in Peru, they assisted with children's ministries, a painting project, and a youth camp for around 45 youth from Iglesia Cristiana Menonita (Mennonite Christian Church).
"This experience challenged me to think about how serving comes in different ways," said Bizayehu Bomberger, one of the participants from North America. "There is always room to serve and show God's love to others."
Francisco Javier Nates, a participant from Colombia, shared that he was inspired by the speakers and testimonies at the camp. "I learned that it doesn't matter how big your dream is if it comes from God's hands."
"Juan and I feel very lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity to lead such a great group," said Lizzy. "Each participant was talented, willing, fun, and inspiring in their own way! It made the experience all the more meaningful!"
Pray that the Holy Spirit may reveal opportunities to God's people to learn to know and collaborate with one another.
Pray that youth would feel called to serve with Youth Venture. Spots are still open for this summer. Application deadline is Apr. 1.
Embodying the church, part 2:
A reason to believe
This short reflection is part two of a four-part series contributed by Joshua Garber, who serves with his wife, Alisha, and their son, Asher, in Barcelona, Spain. The Garbers will lead a Youth Venture team this summer. His series explores four core elements that light the way for faith communities as they engage in how to be the church today.
By Joshua Garber
We need to give people a reason to believe by reflecting Christ in our own lives and community. A hallmark of post-modernism is the idea that everyone carries their own truth. If, as Christ's followers, we profess we've been shown a better way, then we must be willing to back that up with practical examples. Otherwise, we're met with the sentiment, "Well, that's nice for you." Paul said it best: "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
- Who do you regularly encounter? What would Jesus do if he met them? Do that thing.
- Engage in discipleship. Who is shaping you? Who are you shaping?
- Study the life and ministry of Christ closely [read and re-read the Gospels] so you know what you're supposed to be reflecting.
Keep up-to-date with Alisha, Asher and Joshua at www.WorthwhileAdventures.org.
The freedom to serve
<img alt="Faith in Action" src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2018/Beyond_FIA_Mar_C18-013.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />