Mission trips bring these three pieces together to bring about life-change. When a student goes on a mission trip, they have the chance to step away from their normal, day-to-day life for a bit so that they can see more clearly how Jesus is working in their heart.

Our middle school students have had the chance to be on mission twice this summer. On our Columbus Mission trip, we saw 25 students go and spread the name of Jesus in Columbus through serving meals and praying with people in the Polaris Mall. In addition, we saw 29 students who served here in Wayne County during our Middle School Weekend to be the hands and feet of Christ by landscaping and improving the exterior of a half-way house. They had the opportunity to step away from daily life to see how they can make an impact on the people around them.

One of our students, Hayden Ringle, has already seen the effects of how living out a mission can change someone’s life. “I’ve loved helping others out. It’s taught me how to control my temper and I feel kinder, more respectful,” he said. “I’ve realized serving is such an important part to being a follower of Christ. It’s made me more humble. And it’s been great working with my friends in Columbus and Wooster. Serving has brought me closer to Christ, for sure.”

Through the two trips that he’s been on, Hayden is realizing exactly what James meant when he wrote “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (James 2:18) The way we serve, the way we show love to others by meeting the needs of the community around us is the way that others can know how our lives have been changed by faith in Jesus Christ.

One of the biggest takeaways we want any student who goes on a mission trip to understand is that leading a life on mission is more important than just going on a mission trip. We’ve seen this carried out as multiple students from the trips are considering baptism, getting involved with serving on Sunday mornings, and are excited to head back to school so they can share with their friends and invite them to Grace Students!

The mission trips may be over, but the life change will last forever!

Sean Snyder, Grace Students Intern