by Caroline Anderson
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — The International Mission Board (IMB) Student Team’s Stateside Summer initiative empowers students to reach the nations this summer without leaving the U.S. Students will participate in missions activities, learn about unreached and unengaged people groups, connect with missionaries, and share the Gospel with their family, friends, and in their communities.
While students won’t be traveling overseas, Stateside Summer will allow students to connect digitally with missionaries they would have served alongside in person. This program provides an alternative for nearly 2500 students who planned to serve overseas with the IMB this summer. As a result of travel restrictions due to COVID-19, continued lockdowns and closed borders, IMB summer student mission trips for summer 2020 have been canceled.
Instead, IMB missionaries will offer ways for students to be a part of their mobilization and discipleship strategies online. Missionaries will also provide information on their people groups, as well as training material the students would have received in person.
George Siler, student leaders manager at the IMB, emphasized the crucial role student volunteers play in the ministry strategies of IMB missionaries. Every year, students help advance the Gospel and enable missionaries to expand their Gospel reach. This summer will be no different.
“God is not surprised by COVID-19, nor is He stopped by it,” Siler said. “Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from serving God and others right where you are. God has given us this summer in the U.S. For such a time as this, God brought you all to serve this summer to reach our country for His name’s sake.”
Chris Mills, a state missionary with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, expressed appreciation for the IMB’s opportunities for students to serve despite the pandemic.
“Students made plans to give their summer to serve all across the globe. The challenges from COVID-19 have prevented that … or so they may have thought,” Mills said. “I’m grateful for IMB reminding students of this calling and commitment, providing Stateside Summer as an encouragement to be engaged with the nations here, while praying and being equipped to serve the nations there internationally. I’m excited to see how God will use this reassignment to make tremendous Kingdom impact across the globe!”
Summer Stateside provides the following opportunities for students: Missions Education, Digital Teams, Missions Mobilization, Evangelism, Ministry among Internationals, and virtual events.
Students who have already committed to summer trips, as well as students who have not signed up but are interested in being a part of Stateside Summer, can sign up for more information here.
Student mission trips during 2020 fall and winter breaks as well as mission trips scheduled for spring break of 2021 remain on schedule.
Students interested in Summer 2021 mission trips can apply now.
Reprinted from the International Mission Board (imb.org).
Cover Photo: “A volunteer on a short-term mission trip works with children in a village in Mozambique” (IMB photo).