By Ellie Wendt, student at ASU Downtown –
Photos by Kayla Becton, student at ASU Downtown –
This past October, Christian Challenge took part in Impact, serving the community of Yuma. Impact is held once every two years with a purpose to come alongside churches to serve the community and provide college students with experience and exposure in mission work.
A total of 127 college students attended Impact, along with 27 campus missionaries and church leaders. Sixteen campuses were represented, from universities to community college campuses.
Christian Challenge contacted Don Vickers, director of evangelism/missions in Yuma Association, about the possibility of holding Impact in Yuma. He talked with area churches, as well as four across the border in Mexico, and opportunities were developed for students to serve in 13 mission projects.
Projects included planting new churches, conducting park events hosted by the church, and going door-to-door to share the gospel and invite people to attend church services.
This opportunity provided many students, including me, a chance to truly act upon our faith in a way that is tangible. Being able to reach a community by sharing my values and beliefs in a way that encourages and uplifts others not only impacted that community but also affirmed my own faith.
What makes Impact so empowering is the fact it provides students the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones, such as serving in new and diverse communities, sharing the gospel for the first time or experiencing a cross-cultural encounter. These experiences provide students with a new perspective of what it means to be a servant of Christ and a chance to act on their faith publicly.
The hours spent in the hot Arizona sun going door-to-door to people’s houses and inviting others to church were long yet rewarding. Being able to partner with local churches in order to meet the needs of the community challenged students to put others’ needs before their own and serve willingly despite the long hours and discomfort.
The gifts of Arizona Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program helped fund this event. The result? Impact strengthened students’ faith through the opportunity to partner with Yuma churches to serve the community in a way that inspired and provided valuable experience.