We are all very excited to announce our Virtual Student Summer Missions programme for Summer 2021. There’s a lot of specific information available to you here on the website on the Short-Term Projects page. However, I’ll just give you a bit of background for this project. As most of you know, for many years we’ve had missions projects during the summer months for Christians, during their years of university studies, in order for them to participate in meeting various needs for our missionary work and ministry here on-field. We’ve been doing this a long time and we’ve had scores of people to come through these programmes, many of whom are now serving in missions or full-time ministry in local churches, even to this day!
Sadly and due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we felt the need to cancel Summer 2020’s on-field projects as well as this year’s summer projects. We really agonised over these decisions, as it was certainly NOT what we wanted to have happen. But given all else, it felt like there was no good choice and option to move forward with on-field projects. This is pretty unprecedented for us. In the over 25 years we’ve been doing projects like this, I can remember no other time where we were forced, due to circumstances beyond our control, to cancel summer projects two years in a row.
Consequently, we felt the strong direction from the Lord that just because we couldn’t do what we usually do, it didn’t mean that we couldn’t do anything at all. And suddenly, the Lord gave us a clear vision for how to move forward, and we’ve been working prayerfully and diligently ever since in trying to put this vision “on paper” in order to share this information with all whom God might be calling to respond in obedience.
We really had two needs in mind for student projects this summer. First, we were thinking about a number of really practical, “real-world” needs that we have, which if provided would push our ministry forward in some really rapid and dramatic ways. So, there is a real “on-field” need on our part. Secondly though, we were really thinking about the students themselves and just how disappointing and devastating it has been for many of them not to be able to travel to so many different areas of the world right now in order for them to follow in obedience to their call to give their summers to the work of overseas mission. For a lot of these students who were probably planning since arriving at university to serve in summer missions each year, this makes two summers that they’ve missed being able to do that. We wanted to give them a strategic and “real-world” opportunity to be involved in missions, albeit from home and online. We were also thinking of another type of student for whom the pandemic, as horrible as it’s been, might actually provide them the opportunity for missions service, perhaps for the first time in their university careers. I say this because there are a lot of students each year, who would love to do overseas missions service during the summer, but because of work, or school, or family situations, simply aren’t able to go. We’re thinking about these students as well with this programme. Finally, we’re also lowering the age for these projects to include mature, talented and motivated, secondary school students in their final years.
We have all sorts of ways for students to use their fields of study, talents, interests, and passions in specific ways to help us with some really strategic needs. There are about 30 different teams that run a wide range of interests. And because these projects are often really specialised, we feel that there might be an opportunity for students to earn some academic credit for their involvement.
Again, the details are to be found here on the website. In the meantime, if you are in secondary school or high school, university, Bible college, seminary, technical school, or a recent graduate in this age range and want to give a chunk of your summer to missions service—please, check out the information and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!! For people who know or work with young people like this, please send them the links and let them know about this opportunity. Thank you so much for your help!