Changing the World One Moment at a Time

Staff Writer: Mayson Cambron

People are constantly saying that they wish the world was a better place. In today’s age, shootings feel commonplace. Natural disasters continue to occur. Terrorism is real. People all around the world are hurting; there is no denying that there is a need for more love, kindness and light.

With this need in mind, a movement has begun to encourage students to get out into the world and make it a better place. First Baptist Church of Woodstock’s High School Ministry (FBCWHS) has placed a spotlight on four different people groups that they want to care for.

During the first week of April in 2019, teams will be sent out to the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, to Ericeira, Portugal, to Toronto, Canada, and even to Huntington, West Virginia.

Each trip is vastly unique and will affect a different culture, language and region of the world. FBCWHS is encouraging students to consider which trip they feel led to serve on. The Nepal, Portugal, and West Virginia each had groups go serve in April of 2018, however, this will be the first team taken to Canada.

The goal of the mission trip to Portugal was to go out and share the good news of Jesus with the people, as well as to help with children during Ramada Baptist’s Vacation Bible School. One of the afternoons, the team was evangelizing in Ericeira when they met a group of teenagers.

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Students from FBCW with Portuguese teens they and encouraged on the trip.

“All we did was walk up to them in love. We put any awkwardness, fear, or judgment aside and just said ‘Hi! We’re American; can we talk to you guys?” said Kaitlyn Whitney, currently a student at the University of Alabama, who went on this mission trip last year. Whitney had no idea that this conversation would turn into an afternoon of sharing the gospel, answering their questions about God, as well as laughter and singing.

Whitney also shared, “The most dumbfounding thing from this day was that we made lifelong friends in a matter of hours. If only everyone was intentional about walking in love, I bet this world would be a brighter place.” At this moment, the world changed for Whitney and for each of the teens she got to encourage.

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Matching friendship bracelets that Whitney, a few of her team members, and the Portuguese teens bought after meeting on the first day Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Whitney

On the other side of the globe, the mission in Huntington, West Virginia, was to go and be a source of hope to this broken and needy town. Throughout the week, the team spent time prayer walking and encouraging the people that lived there. One of the days on the trip was dedicated to spending time with a ministry called Rebuild. This ministry is run out of a home in a poor neighborhood full of hurting people.

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The West Virginia team sitting on a railing showing their team shirts after a long day of serving the community. Photo Courtesy of Kelly McDonnell

The couple that runs this ministry was feeling particularly disheartened on Easter Sunday because they wanted to spend it with their family and friends. Seeing their hurt, the team rallied around the couple and lifted them up in prayer.

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The mission team outside of Rebuild Ministry. Photo Courtesy of Renee Law

“This really hit me hard because this family took time out of their Easter and instead of eating with their family, they sacrificed their comfort and time to serve the people of Huntington,” said Joey Martindale, a student on the West Virginia team. This family is devoted to encouraging the people in this town, but sometimes even encouragers need encouragement. In that moment of prayer and encouragement, the world changed for the Law family and for Martindale.

Each of these trips has made an eternal impact not only on those being served but also on those who were acting as the hands and feet of Jesus. While one week may not be able to change all of the evil in the world, the world was certainly changed for each of these people groups.

The more students that take a week out of the year to go out into the nations and to speak of grace, love, and truth, the better place the world will become. This is why FBCWHS is pushing mission trips. Their goal is for 100 students to sign up and take part in changing the world on spring break this year.

“Mission trips are a great way for students to learn about the world around them, about different religions, and even about other cultures” stated Mark Cambron, the leader of the Portugal team. For all of those students that want to be a part of bringing some good into the world, there is still time to sign up. Mission trip applications opened online on Wednesday, Sept. 26 on the student ministry’s website. So, for all of the students that want to see a change in the world: Go out and be the change.

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Portugal team picture taken moments before going out to care for people. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Welch

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