Here at Bay Area Community Church, our mission is to make passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. Our heart is that we would equip those in our church to go share Jesus with their neighbors, but also to those in God's great big world. Scripture gives us a pretty clear charge:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." - Acts 1:8
There exists the charge to step out of our comfort zone and share Jesus' truth. One we do that is by working with our global partners in sending short term missions teams to assist with global ministry efforts.
This past summer, Bay Area challenged the church body to "make the trade," where families and individuals were challenged to trade a week of vacation for a short term missions trip. 150 people responded and many teams were sent out to serve in Poland, Ghana, and El Salvador. They evangelized in schools and colleges, worked at children's centers, let students at a student leadership camp, prayed over cities, and helped our global partners build community, in addition to many other projects.
While the work of the trips is key to our global partners, it also influences the lives of the goers. Friendships were forged, passions were discovered, and Jesus is known more deeply.
Kim Mitchell, participant in El Salvador Team 2, describes her experience as, "When we left the US, we were 37 people who sort of kenw each other and when we left El Salvador, we were a family."
Jake and Nicole Gingrich, team members of Poland 2 team, grew in their faith as they partnered with Tomek and Damaris Otremba's ministry. Nicole explained, "There were a lot of really great memories. The most powerful was God answering prayer very specifically. There was a lot of spiritual warfare surrounding the Otremba's and [some of their ministry partners]. I prayed for angels to surround Kasia's [Damaris' friend] daughter one night; the next morning Kasia told me that her daughter woke in the morning and told her that she had angels watching over her the previous night. She was not afraid anymore. Talk about God's powerful presence."
The impact of God's work in the 150 has taken root both globally and at home. God has been glorified as He worked mightily in the lies of those who chose to "make the trade."