This year, Assemblies of God Youth Ministries is hosting a week-long outreach in Anaheim and the surrounding communities called “Reach Anaheim.” The ministry of AIM (Ambassadors in Mission) sponsors youth mission trips all throughout the year, but once a year, during National Youth Convention, students, parents, leaders, and local churches come together to serve the city. This year, 73 participants are partnering with four Assemblies of God churches.
Community Bridge Church, Newport Mesa Church, North Hills Church Brea, and His Place Church will all benefit from this mission trip. To accomplish everything AIM has this week, they have partnered with Global Passion and the SoCal Network.
Global Passion specializes in putting together short-term mission trips to places tourists will not go. Their expertise in ministry and travel is used to prepare and train students and leaders for the field. Darryn Fisher, chief operations officer of Global Passion, says, “The goal of what we’re doing is equipping students to serve the city of Anaheim.” Fisher went on to say, “This will allow them to go and impact their cities back home for Christ.”
AIM was founded on the belief that every student should engage in a cross-cultural ministry experience. As students serve the least and the lost, their faith is strengthened. As students participate in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, they are emboldened for lifelong ministry. When students spend time out of their usual context, they are challenged to believe God for more and to be an active part of the expansion of God’s kingdom.
This week in Anaheim these students have full schedules! A typical day starts at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and Gospel-Centered devotions. The rest of the mornings and afternoons are filled with training and serving opportunities.
Students are offering training in working with children, garbonics, human videos, evangelistic ice-breakers, and much more. (Garbonics is rhythm based music on unconventional instruments, and human videos are a combination of musical theatre, drama, interpretive dance, and American Sign Language.) Students take this training and go to serve at Mega Sports Camp, block parties, and outreaches to parks, the beach, sports fields, and more!
Participants end the day by attending the National Youth Convention services, also being livestreamed on Facebook and on livestream.com. These evening services are not merely a way to fill time in the week-long schedule; rather Fisher says, “It’s about pouring out and then coming back to be poured into. You can’t give what you don’t have.”
While this model helps illustrate what a day might look like for “AIMers,” each church has a different schedule. Global Passion works with each church to serve their unique needs. The National AIM trip places a strong priority on serving the local church.
As AIM looks ahead to next year, they are excited to announce three more national AIM trips on top of the trip coinciding with National Youth Convention in Houston. During the summer of 2018, AIM will be partnering with Global Passion to take students to Alaska, Fiji, and Panama. Typically, students can only participate in AIM mission trips hosted by their church or district, but now students across the nation will be able to join any of these three mission trips.
Students will partner with missionaries Mark and Heidi Zweifel in Alaska, and that trip will be from June 22 to July 2. This team will begin the journey of reaching 100 villages in the area who have never heard the gospel.
Global Passion has planted churches in villages across the Fijian islands in coordination with the Fijian Assemblies of God. From July 11-24, students will help these churches with evangelism through house visits, school assemblies, church services, and even outdoor crusades.
Finally, students will also have the opportunity to partner with Gerritt and Tara Kenyon in Panama from July 23-30. The Kenyon’s feel called to minister to the youth in Panama, so students will help them put on evangelistic youth conferences.
For more information or to partner with AIM and Global Passion on one of these trips, please contact Global Passion at email@example.com.
AIM is doing something completely new next year, but this week God is moving in the lives of students in miraculous ways. Pray this week for the students on the Reach Anaheim trip that they would be Spirit-Empowered as they serve the people of Southern California. Pray that leaders will be inspired to reach their own communities with the skills and strategies they learn. Finally, pray that students would become Personally-Responsible for the mission of God.
Students frequently hear what it means to share the gospel, but when they get a chance to take part in it, the experience is unforgettable. The Holy Spirit is doing an incredible work in the hearts of students and leaders. These students will not fully know the incredible impact being made this week until they reach the other side of eternity.