As the Bible delineates, the group traveled overseas to make disciples of Christ. The group delivered its message through the use of dramas, dances, testimonies and preaching. The second part of the trip included a visit to the leprosy colony to offer support.
“To be a Christian in Thailand is to be ostracized from everybody else because it’s a Buddhist country. So, anybody that’s a Christian there is extremely courageous to me. We met quite a few of them. And the people that are Christians and help the leprosy colony people are even more ostracized from the rest of the world,” said Michelle Smith, a participant of the trip.
The youth group included teens ages 15-18 and they could testify to the power of the experience. The group gained a great deal of insight into God’s grace, whether learning that their own shortcomings or errors were still utilized by God, or gaining appreciation of the bond developed with the children of Thailand.
“Just seeing how much prayer made a difference was probably one of the big things,” said Hannah Doan. “No matter how we felt, we knew that we had such a big purpose there. God just really reminded me of that a lot.”
Rock the Planet Youth Ministries met 12 times to prepare for the culture, language and to be ready spiritually. The group will go to Appalachia this December and then partake in stateside and overseas trips next summer.
“I was really proud of our team. There was a lot of traveling that went into this,” said Jeff Watson, pastor at Church of the Saviour. “No matter what country you go to, you see how big Christ really is.”
The funds for this trip were raised via fundraisers, the church and the community. According to Watson, the congregation has a heart for missions, and it’s been a major thrust of the church.
“Every one of us are brothers and sisters in Christ. You don’t really think to remember that you do have other brothers and sisters overseas. You should be going and helping lead them to Christ. So that was really cool,” said Katie Dunlap, participant.
Another youth member was Trey Eikleberry, who said he wasn’t sure what to do in the beginning of the trip, but saw that it all worked out in the end. As they spoke, each member was nearly combusting with the desire to share the word of God, and, of course, to rock the planet with it.
“It was definitely kind of an eye-opener for me. I can’t get over how much of a different world it was there. With everything just so modernized and so run-of-the-mill here, there it was like the exact opposite,” Eikleberry said.
Sarah Courtney was another youth involved in the trip, and explained that there’s nothing greater than witnessing other people that come to Christ for the first time. She explained a special connection she had with a young child in Thailand. Despite the language barrier and age difference, the two clicked.
“They were just so changed already, you could tell. It’s awesome just to experience the Holy Spirit raw like that, to see the ministry all come together despite anything we do,” Courtney said.
Published: August 9, 2012