by Global Outreach Summer Missions Teams
All summer, Cedarville teams have traveled north, south, east, and west to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through sports, vacation Bible schools, and youth camps. Relive the faith journey of some of our short-term teams in this Summer Diary. To learn more about these trips, or the missions efforts of all 25 summer teams, visit cedarville.edu/CUGOblog.
June 28 - Italy
We recently returned from two weeks serving and being blessed by the sweetest group of kids at Centro Evangelico Isola, a camp run by Joe Hunziker and his family. The camp is located in Isola near Gran Sasso Italia, the highest mountain in the Apennines. It's such a beautiful place, both because of the ever-present reminder of God's creation always in the background and the wonderful people we had opportunity to interact with and serve alongside.
Though many camps offered at Isola are Bible camps, they cannot teach Christianity here as they could in the United States. The English camp where we served is offered only for unchurched kids, so it was even more different from the norm. Our main focus was to love the kids and show Christ in how we lived - definitely a very different kind of missions trip than most of us were expecting.
We learned how dedicated the camp is to building a strong connection with the surrounding community, whether through inviting families for fellowship and meals or offering local people access to their soccer field. This connection is how they seek to spread Christ's love to everyone around them, not just the kids. And of course, everyone at the camp seeks to serve and love these kids as much as possible, to connect with them and with their families and to be a Christlike influence in their lives.
God blessed us with such a wonderful opportunity, and I think I speak for all four of us when I say that we wouldn't trade the experience for anything! God is definitely at work, even in places like small-town Italy, a place that we may not consider as starving for Christ. They really are, and we're so thankful for ministries that are dedicated to satiating that need, and we're thankful for hearts that are so burdened to reach these people with the Gospel.
July 23 - Germany
This last week was the English-speaking day camp at Crossway International (in Berlin, Germany) for children in sixth grade and under. By the end of the week, 104 different children attended. The theme was "Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus." Each day's lesson focused on the way Jesus rescues us from various situations in life. By the end of the week, and because of the clear Gospel message presented on Thursday, at least 12 of the kids wanted to talk one-on-one with us about what salvation means, and four of them proclaimed Christ as their Savior!
August 2 - Czech Republic
We just finished our third full day of camp, and we are having a blast! It's amazing to see God work through all the different activities and people here - through English classes, afternoon workshops and games, evening activities, and hike day (we survived!). We have been able to explicitly share the Gospel with them during evening talks and discussions. God has also given us several neat opportunities to share our testimonies with students and answer their questions during meals, hikes, and bonfires!
August 2 - Bolivia
We have had an excellent week installing water pumps and recording instructional videos in Vacas, a rural area near Cochabamba. The instructional videos will be placed on YouTube for people in Bolivia and around the world to help them build hand-operated pumps. The team has also participated in church services, provided Bibles, and encouraged members of three churches. We have greatly enjoyed learning about Bolivian culture and meeting with members of the communities, pastors, and fellow believers in Christ.
It is amazing to see how God has used the engineering talents of Serving in Mission (SIM) missionaries and others to provide water to numerous rural families but also how God has used the missionaries to provide spiritual water to the people. The churches in the Vacas area are thriving. God is clearly working in the hearts of the people, and they have a strong hunger for God's Word.
August 3 - Germany
Teen camp was a big success, and many young people were impacted by God's grace. The camp took place in the evenings with dinner, a game or activity, and a worship session, including a short message on the book of Daniel. Around 35 to 40 teenagers attended every night.
Thursday and Friday, we had the opportunity to really build relationships and start conversations with the kids. Many had never heard the Gospel, and we were able to explain to them the Good News clearly and directly.
God also provided the opportunity to continue serving in other ministries, including playing with kids at refugee camps, helping paint a Christian library, and witnessing to university students in the city. God was at work in every aspect of our ministry, and we know He isn't done in Berlin yet.
August 3 - Costa Rica
We kicked off our first full day in San Jose, Costa Rica, with a soccer training session on the field of a Nazarene university. It didn't stop raining for the duration of training, and our goalkeepers were treated to a pretty intense mud bath.
The afternoon was filled with the joy of smiles, soccer, and piggyback rides. Our team visited an elementary school in San Jose and joined the children for recess. The children adored the game time, but we pray that our biggest impact could be in the Good News that was shared through two team testimonies and the "Wordless Book" message from Coach Jonathan Meade.
On Sunday, we played University of Costa Rica (UCR), ranked in the top three in the country, at their game facility. We shared a meal with their team at a missionary's house. During that time, our goalkeeper Lauren shared her testimony through a translator. Praise the Lord that Hannah and Taylor individually prayed with a girl from the UCR team afterward, and she accepted Christ! Many of the other girls were asking good questions. Their coach shared his testimony as well, which was a huge development because his team did not know he was a believer.
We are fervently praying that the Good News we shared would grow. Thank you for your prayers and being part of our team from afar!