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Category Archives: Summer Missionaries

Family Mission Trip/Summer Missionary Video Testimonies – Summer 2014

Check out this video highlighting UBC on mission this summer.  July 19-25 we served alongside East Boulder Baptist in Boulder, CO as we continue to extend the work of the Gospel in Boulder through church planting, during our annual Family Mission Trip.  We led a VBS & Arts/Sports camp serving around 60 kids in the Boulder County community.  Hear about the highlights from our trip, future strategy of our efforts to see Gospel-centered churches planted in Boulder, as well testimony from Anna Ramsey, member of UBC, as she plants her life in Boulder for the future of our church planting efforts.  Read more about our vision for church planting in Boulder HERE, as we partner alongside The Well & East Boulder Baptist.

 

We also sent out some of our own college students on mission to partner alongside The B Family (UBC members), who are serving with the IMB along the Amazon.  Paul Ussery & Gabe Llewellyn, students at the University of Arkansas, and among our UBC college ministry spent forty days in Colombia being discipled by Mr. B, as well as ministering alongside him in the various villages he is working among to see the Gospel go forth.  Read more about our strategy in Colombia HERE, as well additional blog posts found on our Missions Blog.

Samantha Burgess, a student at Ouachita University, and a member of UBC’s college ministry, served with NAMB as a summer missionary in suburban Atlanta with various Hispanic ministries.

Hear from these students and the impact this summer had on their lives, as the Holy Spirit empowered them make disciples of the nations.

 

Written by Ryan Martin

 

Samantha Burgess in Atlanta – July 2014

photoI hate goodbyes. And I’ve had to say a lot of them the past few days. Goodbyes are only hard because of the friendships you made, the memories created, and the life you shared together for a short time. A week ago my goodbyes weren’t going to be too bad. I had already said goodbye to the kids at the apartment and I was ready to go home, but then this week happened.

This whole past week was spent with the Hispanic church Pozo de Esperanza (Pozo for short) doing outreach ministry to the surrounding neighborhoods. Monday was a preparation day and by the end of the day my expectations were not super high for how the week was going to play out. But then on Tuesday, I was blown away when I walked into the gym and it was filled with loud screams, moving bodies, and flying soccer balls. This mission project has looked like so many different things throughout the summer, as we have been planning it, but it was awesome to see it happen exactly as God had planned it from the beginning. Tuesday we had about 35 kids and then on Wednesday we only had five and two of them didn’t show up until the very end. It was a little discouraging to say the least, but I learned the many different ways that God works. My mom texted me that evening and asked “how did God work today?” My first thought was that He hadn’t, but then I was reminded of the promise in Isaiah 55:11 that says God’s word will not go out in vain, but it will accomplish its purpose. Although God hadn’t worked in the obvious way through large numbers, He was definitely working. God was working when He brought those five kids to us that day, He was working in the church through teaching the youth how to serve their community, by unifying the body, and He was working in so many more ways that I may never know. The next two days averaged about 15 kids and parents who stayed to watch their kids. On Saturday there was a free karate camp and then a block party. Both went really well and helped establish trust between the community and the church.

I loved getting to know the people at Pozo more and seeing the way they take care of each other, are so ready to serve, love on the kids, and love the Lord. Their lack of planning can be frustrating at times and a lot of the week was chaotic and unorganized, but their passion and love challenged me. Despite the sad goodbye, I am so thankful I got to know and love them even more this week. Please pray that the Word of God will continue to fulfill it’s purpose in the lives of the families that participated last week. Pray for Pozo de Esperanza that they will be able to continue this outreach ministry throughout the year and that the heart of the congregation will grow in love for the people in their community.

Overall this summer has been so rewarding. I have learned so many different things, some of which I probably won’t realize until after I get home. I am flying home today, and I can’t wait to see many of you in the upcoming days. Thank you again for all of your prayers this summer. Please continue to pray for the city of Gainesville, GA and for the continuation of what God is doing there.

Written by Samantha Burgess

 

Colombia – Summer 2014

Here is a summary of UBC’s summer missionaries Paul Ussery and Gabe Llewellyn, along with FBC Fayetteville’s David Tougaw from the perspective of our partner Mr. B.  I know ‘T & B’ were grateful to have these guys serve alongside them in their ministry along the Amazon.  We look forward to future opportunities with our college students serving with our international partners, during summer terms like Paul and Gabe have experienced.

3 Borders Experiment

This summer I got the privilege of discipling 3 young men from Arkansas, Gabe, Dave, and Paul.  We had many adventures over the 40 days that we spent together in what I called the 3 Borders Experiment, but I wanted to take this update to highlight these 3 young disciples.


Paul Ussery–Psalms 1 speaks of a tree planted in by streams of water which yields fruit in season and shose leaf does not wither.  Paul was and is that tree on our team.  Nothing can shake Paul because he is grounded and has placed his life on the solid rock.  I was often amazed at the words of wisdom that flowed out of Paul.  He is a young man mature beyond his years and has a life of ministry to look forward to.


Gabe Llewellyn–Gabe is one of those rare people with the leadership gift.  He reminds me so much of Peter.  The first one (and only one) to get out of the boat to walk on water.  He might be the first one to sin (cut off an ear or deny the Lord), but he’s also the first one to repent and follow.  I grew to love Gabe like a little brother and see a life that will multiply the work of the Lord in mighty ways.  I pray that he leads many to follow in the footsteps of the Lord.


Dave Tougaw–Dave, much like King David, has a heart for the Lord.  Dave’s personality is contagious and his passion for Jesus is evident.  God is still very much forming Dave into a man after His own heart and I pray that God continues to cultivate a passion in Dave for the hurt and lost in this world.

I learned so much from these 3 guys and it was a privelege to serve on the same team as these guys for 40 days.  Over and over again, I saw the Lord use our gifts to minister to each other and to others.  Thank you guys for being who you are and for always having the desire to learn and grow.  I love you each dearly.

Written by TB

 

Samantha Burgess in Atlanta – July 2014

photo 1One week from today, I will be home. There are so many things I am looking forward to about coming home: seeing my family and friends, going to church, eating real food, and being able to drive. But, there are also a lot of things I am going to miss here. I’m going to miss the little smiling faces that run to give us a hug every day, the friendships I’ve made here with my partner and the churches we’ve worked with, and the craziness of the Latino culture.

We said some sad goodbyes this past week. Yesterday at the apartment church they brought a cake for us and gave us cards that the kids had all signed. It was sweet and we both were slightly emotional. I am so glad that the apartment church we started is going to be continued by some locals once we leave. Pray that the church will thrive and that the seeds that were planted this summer will continue to grow and produce changed lives. Pray for the people leading the apartment churches to be able to build relationships with the people quickly and for more people to join them in leading the after school programs.

This week is the long-anticipated ‘Around the Globe’ project. As of this morning we were unsure of how everything was going to happen, and even rightphoto 2 now it is still a little iffy but, surprisingly I am not worried. It is all going to work out exactly how God has planned it. The goal of today was to pass out flyers and to plan for the rest of the week. Only four youth from the church showed up but, there is a local church who is also doing a mission week with their middle school and they joined us today and will come again tomorrow to help pass out flyers. It was cool to see how their leaders were teaching their youth to evangelize. The kids took turns explaining what was going on at the church and several groups got to pray with some of the people they met. We also got a story teller which was a huge answer to prayer. She is going to tell the story every day with some help from the puppets. Even if we don’t get any more people to help, the ones we have are going to be great. Pray that kids will show up tomorrow and that their hearts will be changed by the gospel. Pray that everything will go smoothly even though we still feel unprepared.

Thank you again for your continued prayers. Pray that this last week will be the best one yet despite our tiredness and the uncertainties. I am trusting that God is going to do great things this week.

Written by Samantha Burgess

 

Samantha Burgess in Atlanta – July 2014

photo 2The Lord is so faithful. Whenever I write in my prayer journal I try to come up with different names for God, but I always end up coming back to Faithful. His faithfulness in my life never ceases to amaze me and it includes so many different attributes. He is faithful every day to cause the sun to rise, feed the birds, and clothe the flowers. He is faithful to provide everything I need both physically, monetarily, and spiritually. He is faithful to me even when I am unfaithful to Him. This weekend He was faithful to provide the strength and rest I need to finish these last few weeks here.

When I came home last Wednesday night, a part of me wished that the plane ride was a one way trip. Life at home was so normal and easy and comfortable and I was tired—physically, mentally, and spiritually. But, church on Sunday was the reminder I needed of Who is in control. Like the disciples during the storm, my faith has been small. I haven’t trusted God’s plan for the Around the Globe project. I haven’t trusted that He has me where I am for a specific purpose. And I haven’t trusted that He will provide for me spiritually in the midst of these challenges. But, like pastor Mike said, small faith in a big God doesn’t make sense. How can I trust the God who controls the winds and the storms only halfway? My prayer yesterday as I flew black to ATL was that God would make these last three weeks different from the past seven—not by changing the circumstances, but by changing my heart. I want to seek His word and be satisfied and trust that what I am doing in Gainesville is not being done in vain.

Today, God was faithful to answer my prayers. I was able to rest in Him, not because of my own strength, but by His grace. We were able to be productive today and we have a plan for what to do tomorrow. We also changed the plan for the Around the Globe project. Instead of doing an overnight, everyday missions project, we are only going to do stuff in the afternoons and the evenings. This will cut down significantly on the cost of the project and it will be easier for people to participate on such short notice. We still don’t’ have any people yet, but I am trusting that God will provide. Pray that the new photo 1structure of the project will bring in people who want to participate. Please pray for the week itself that we will be able to reach the neighborhoods around the church and start building relationships with them.

The kids in the afternoon were good as always. They are definitely the highlight of my day. This week is an important week as we are getting to the climax of the Ten Gospel Truths. We have been walking them through the gospel and this week and next we will be talking about Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Pray that God will speak through us in a way that is accurate, clear, and understandable for them. Pray that their hearts will be open to the truth of the gospel and that they will come to a saving relationship with Christ.

Thank you again for your prayers. I pray that you also will see God’s faithfulness in your own life this week and that like 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, you will be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain”.

Written by Samantha Burgess

 
 

Samantha Burgess in Atlanta

It was another good week! The highlight of the week was the cookout we had Friday night.  We had originally put on the calendar to haveimage a service project and a sleepover with the youth from the Hispanic church.  The sleepover didn’t end up working out, but we were able to do the service project.  We had a cookout at Harrison Square apartments where we are on Wednesdays.  It was cool to get to combine our work with Pozo de Esperanza with our work in the apartment complexes.  We had about 70 people come from the apartments, and a good number of adults came too.  We didn’t have very many youth, but it was still good to have them see what is going on right down the road from them and to be able to serve the people there.  I love each of the kids at Harrison Square.  They are all so sweet.  Several of the girls convinced me to get in the bouncy house with them—something I haven’t done in a long time.  It was cool to see the relationships we have been able to build with the kids.  Please pray that God will work on the hearts of the people who came Friday night and that more will come on Wednesday.  Pray that God will call someone to establish a permanent Bible study in Harrison Square once we leave.  Also pray for the kids at the apartment complexes, that the gospel message they are hearing each week will pierce their hearts and that they will surrender their lives to Jesus.

imageAlso, we need all the prayers we can get for this mission project at the end of July.  We still don’t have anyone signed up.  This past week we have gone around visiting with different churches and telling them about the project, but most churches are too busy or too skeptical to do something so short notice.  I feel better about the week itself, but we just need people to participate!  Pray that people will want to participate and that we will have faith that God will do great things that week, despite what it looks like now.

This upcoming week looks like it will be a little less crazy and maybe a little more restful.  I have the opportunity to go home for the 4th of July, so I will leave Wednesday evening and return Sunday.  I am looking forward to seeing my family, and worshipping with UBC on Sunday.  Thank you for your continued prayers.  I look forward to seeing many of you this weekend!

Written by Samantha Burgess

 

Samantha Burgess in Atlanta – June 2014

Today I have been here five weeks and have officially made it to the halfway point. Time is a weird thing. It feels like I haven’t been herephoto 1 for very long at all and yet it feels like I have been here for forever. I sometimes wonder how I am going to make it five more weeks and then I wonder how there can only be five weeks left. One thing that is fast approaching is the ‘Around the Globe’ mission project. It is four weeks away and we don’t have anyone signed up, we don’t know many of the details, and all we can really do is wait.

The challenge is that projects like this are typically started six months to a year in advance and we got started only two months in advance. Another challenge is that we don’t know any of the churches here and so a lot of times our emails and attempts to communicate fall on deaf ears. But I am learning to trust God. He knows who is going to come, and what is going to take place, and most importantly what lives are going to be impacted for the Kingdom. Pray that we will have wisdom as we work out all the details for the project. Pray that we will be able to get things accomplished even under the time constraint. Pray for the people that will be involved that week–both for the missionaries to develop a heart for local missions and for the people we will be ministering to to be open to the gospel.

photo 2Another challenge has been learning to work on the Hispanic time table. Hispanic culture revolves around the moment right now, and not so much the moment tomorrow. It has been a test for my structured, organized, scheduling brain to relax and trust that things will happen as they happen. We had an event on Saturday called the “Summer Splash”. It was for the youth and children at church, but it was also for the surrounding neighborhood. We had about 50 people come, which wasn’t as big as I was hoping, but it was still a good turnout of both church members and neighborhood families. Marianna and I had organized eight stations with different water games and then we had a homemade slip-n-slide and a water balloon toss. It was difficult to get volunteers to help with the stations and so several of the stations went untouched. But, the slip ‘n slide and the water balloons saved the day. And in the end, despite the last minute, unorganized chaos of the day, it turned out to be a fun time of outreach and fellowship. Now we have a sleepover and service project to plan this Friday that we just started on today.  I know it will come together like the Summer Splash did, and everything will be alright Last Tuesday, we had a movie night with the youth. We introduced them to the Emperor’s New Groove, and despite it being a “white person” movie (as they called it), I think everyone enjoyed it.

Tomorrow we are having Bible study with them. Please pray that their hearts will be open as we learn from Francis Chan how to “surrender”. Pray that the sleepover and service project will come together and that more youth will come. Pray that the power of God’s love will surpass all boundaries and that we will be able to build relationships with them.

Thank you again for your continued prayers. Despite the difficulties and frustrations, God has shown himself to be faithful again and again. No matter how much planning we are able to do (or not do), God is using your prayers to multiply our efforts more than we could ever do alone.

Written by Samantha Burgess