Students Come Back From Mission Trips Changed

A member (left) of Resonate Church based in Washington State shares a meal with a young East Asian man. Over the past three years, Resonate has sent more than 80 students to partner with IMB workers and other teams in East Asia. IMB photo

Pastor Keith said when he looks across his church and identifies the highest-impact individuals, the ones who are highly evangelistic disciple-makers, they have some unifying factors. One of them is that they’ve spent time in East Asia.

“They come back, and their perspective on their life and on the world is completely changed,” noted Keith, who serves as lead pastor of Resonate Church, a Washington State-based church with campuses in Idaho and Oregon. “They see lostness where they had just seen regularity, and they see themselves as missionaries more than when they left.”

Over the past three years, more than 80 students have participated in Resonate’s partnership with International Mission Board workers in the East Asia region. Students travel there to serve for 10 weeks in the summer or two weeks on Christmas break.

“We put them into a college campus and by being in that context, their lives are radically changed,” Keith said. “To be able to say ‘I’m here for a specific reason for a short time’ develops that courage muscle. As they try stuff there, the receptivity of college students begins to create an optimism that gets carried home with them. It builds a courageous spirit, and that permeates their identity.”

It also makes a lasting impact on the East Asian students they meet while they’re there. “We’ve seen 13 college students decide to make a decision for Christ,” Keith said. “There are four house churches that have been started in the past year or so.”

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Source: Baptist Press