We have been in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since Saturday afternoon, and from the moment we arrived, we have been in ‘Go mode’, as our team had the opportunity to experience something outside the normal attractions that students tend to see. On Sunday, we had the chance to serve and worship with two different congregations in the city. While some got to worship, others actually served in the children’s ministry.
Mission trips tend to be unpredictable, and this year’s Mission Arlington experience is no exception. One thing that has become clear is that God truly put these teams together with a purpose in mind.
On our team, for instance, one of the adults we have is a perfect example. God has gifted Tina Falkner with a unique international experience as a missionary that immediately made her an important asset. A family walked up to the group and each of them knew little English, but what they did know was Arabic. Let’s be honest: there isn’t a great backup plan to communicate with someone who speaks Arabic. God knew who needed to be where, and having Tina around was a great example. Another great adult example of leading well is Lea Ann Norton, who spent an entire session talking to a teenage girl about her doubts of God and life.
A beautiful sight to see on these types of trips are the mentor relationships that high school students have on middle school students. In particular, our high school junior girls group of: Caitlin Boles, Abby McClellan, Abby Batterson, and Sydney Steiner have been outstanding in not only including younger students, but also guiding them throughout each day. Each girl has been willing to do whatever is needed and is best for their team. On the guys side, perhaps we have no greater example of God gifting a student in a more intentional way than Phoenix Hylton. While Phoenix has never been on a mission trip before, he has looked and acted like a mature veteran leader as he has used his athletic ability and joyful personality to engage a lot of younger guys.
Our apartment complex assignments this year have been harder than a year ago. God is doing a work in some very difficult environments and we really need prayer on how to navigate them. Please pray for us as we deal with heat and constantly changing circumstances to who visits our team and how to adapt.
More updates to follow as God guides us through this great ministry opportunity.
~ Alan Greenwood
2017 FSM Focus: Live in the Light
Happy New Year! It’s a new year and we are excited to see what God has in store for FSM. As we enter into a new chapter in God’s story together, we want to take time to acknowledge what the focus for FSM is going to be. Our focus this year will revolve around calling students to live in the light. We want students to live their lives in the light – allowing Christ to change each area of who they are.
To kick off 2017, the first passage of scripture we’re reading will be John 1:1-5, which includes – “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The truth of who Jesus is should change who we are. We want students to be changed by living in the light. The opposite of light is darkness. Darkness is defined as the absence of light. In our city and in our schools, there is an absence of light. Our world at times is consumed by the darkness that comes from life contrary to what God intended. Darkness is overcome, however, when light shines through it.
This goal is not attainable on our own. Our efforts can only get us so far. Because of this, we have prayer requests geared toward every area of FSM. CLICK HERE to download our 2017 Prayer Guide. Here is what we want you to join us in praying for in the lives of our students:
If a student gains anything from their time in our ministry, we want the top priority to be that they come to personally know Jesus. (Matthew 4:19) At this stage of their life, students begin to develop and form a foundation of who they are going to be moving forward. We want them to allow God to shape them into a person who loves Him with all their heart, soul, and mind.
(Matthew 22:36-37) We realize there will be challenges. To that, we pray that students will be receptive to what God has in store for their time while in FSM. When these are at work, life gains purpose, because this is what students were created for.
I believe that 2017 is an opportunity to reset our focus on what is most important. For FSM, it’s an opportunity to be set free to be who God created us to be. This year, let’s live in the light, allowing God to shape us into people that know Him, love Him, and serve Him.