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Missions on the home front

Given the freedom to go anywhere in the world, youth commit to sharing the gospel at home

WINNIPEG, MB—Given the opportunity to go anywhere in the world on a short-term mission trip, the youth of Ness Avenue Baptist Church felt God leading them to forego the dream of heading overseas and instead stay at home and do missions in their own backyard.

When youth pastor Matthew Klippenstein was trying to discern what his youth could do for a short-term mission project, he came across a Facebook status of a friend who works with I Am Second.

The I Am Second ministry focuses on sharing the gospel with an emphasis on personal testimony. If the youth went on a short-term mission with I Am Second, they would have the opportunity to go anywhere in the world. It struck a chord with Klippenstein.

That was in the fall of 2012. Weekly prayer meetings combined with regular fasting ensued for the leadership team comprised of 15 youth. It took about two months before the group felt they truly discerned God’s direction in the matter.

“Eventually the group agreed that we felt God calling us to Winnipeg before we are sent anywhere else,” Klippenstein recalls. “It was quite amazing to see a group of high school students and young adults who were given the opportunity to go anywhere in the world for a fraction of the cost to do missions, choose to stay home and share the gospel in their own city.”

The youth recently wrapped up their first short-term mission project at the end of August. Many of them were stretched, says Klippenstein, “way beyond their comfort zone” but says he loved watching their obedience to God even through that.

As for next steps, Klippenstein says, “a trip to northern Manitoba and/or northern Canada may be the next step, and then a trip outside of Canada would follow. But we need to keep seeking God’s leading before we can say for sure.”



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ChristianWeek Western Correspondent

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