Monday, February 20, 2006

SPACE 2006 9th grade missions

Happy to announce that a 9th grade leader team is up and official. This team will be attending the Sonlife Merge conference, held in Baltimore on the campus of JHU. It looks to be a great week of building some experience in students about sharing their faith in their own culture.

JessWhitt and JessSutr are the two leaders that are running everything for this trip. These two gals are great and will totally make it a great week for everyone involved. Let me tell you a bit about them.

Both of them have been consistent, quality leaders with a group of middle school girls for a number of years. This past fall, both of them made the jump to high school, along with the girls they had been working with, a pretty cool transition.

JessWhitt was part of the class of 03, and was actually on my team when I went to SEMP in the summer of 2000. Those were the days. She also has a great career ahead of her in a hair salon. I hear she is a pro at dying hair - which I may take her up on later this year. Last summer, JessWhitt was also on a team of young adults from GCC that went to Uganda. Some wild stories out of that trip.

JessSutr was on the Guatemala lead team this past summer. [That is her on the left in the white.] She helped lead a large team of young adults to help out with an orphanage there, staying there for about four weeks. It was definitely not an easy trip and I believe the leaders learned a great deal about sacrifice and leading. Good but tough experience.

So two key pieces of experience that this leader team has already. First, they are in the context of their students already. As opposed to sending kids to a mission agency to get a mission experience, the students on this team will be able to process their experience within the context of leaders that know them well, will be around them all year long, and have already served, listened and mentored them. Secondly, they have cross cultural experience. As we look at the end goal of students being prepared for world wide missions, having a set of leaders take a group of students through Merge with a DNA including crossing cultures is a fabulous luxury.

The first next step is to gather some other leaders to help with this team, a next step that I will be involved with. After that, its getting the info to the kids and their parents, having kids apply, raising support, etc.

Like all the other teams this coming summer, I just about burst when I think of these leaders.

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