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More than 1,100 volunteer to "give a year"

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 - 3:26 PM CST

Volunteering 1 year
More than 1,000 young people crowd forward to volunteer one year of their lives to missions.

As the third World Missions Summit concluded, students responded, with 1,148 young men and women coming forward to declare their intent to give one year of their lives to missions.

Held December 28-30 at the Fort Worth (Texas) Convention Center, the World Missions Summit was a cooperative effort between Assemblies of God World Missions and Chi Alpha, the AG ministry to college students.

Themed "Because I Care," the summit gave students and other attendees an opportunity to experience what life is like in different countries, worship, eat with a missionary and pray for the nations.

Throughout the conference, the regions of Africa, Northern Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean set up interactive encounters known as Windows to the World so students could experience the smells, textures, noises and sights of that part of the world and learn about opportunities for missions.

Chi Alpha and XAi (Chi Alpha International) also conducted encounters to inform and recruit students to work with American and international students. University of Central Arkansas students, dressed up in circus and carnival costumes, paraded around the convention center urging students to attend the Chi Alpha experience focusing on the American Dream.

"The American Dream is not really what it seems," says Jennifer Schiefer, who is on staff with the University of Central Arkansas Chi Alpha. "The American Dream is rooted in self-provision and in self-service, and you cannot start down the path of self-service and end up at the Cross."

worship at TWMS
Thousands worship during the third World Missions Summit.

Those who attended the American Dream experience were ultimately asked to make a series of four life decisions in what was most important to them in life, marriage, legacy and career. At the end, they were given a new pair of glasses and asked if they were willing to trade in their life decisions for a new perspective on the American Dream.

World Missions Summit Co-Director Scott Martin says the summit wasn't only about challenging students with the motto "give a year and pray about a lifetime," but also helping them become selfless and more focused on loving others.

"It was about the circumcision of the hearts and minds of this present university student generation; the cutting away of the fleshliness of a self-absorbed culture," Martin says. "It was about every participant walking away with a knowledge of their responsibility to fulfill Jesus' mandate to reach the lost around the world."

During the Summit, Chi Alpha also announced Feed One (feedone.com), its humanitarian branch and new partnership with Convoy of Hope. "We want to partner with Convoy of Hope to give our students the opportunity to meet the real needs of children and be part of the global movement to eradicate hunger on the planet," says Boston University Campus Pastor Lynn Breitenbach, who earlier joined other campus pastors in Haiti to launch the partnership.

Second-year graduate student Nikki Nuttal from the University of Illinois says the messages given during the summit were different than what she has heard before, calling them blunt and challenging. "This is Jesus. This is the Bible," she says, echoing the tone of the sermons. "This is what it says. Take it or leave it."

American Dream
Chi Alpha presented the "American Dream," where attendees learned that the American Dream isn't all it seems to be.

Kathryn Tetley, a sociology major and junior from the University of Missouri, says God is teaching her about the different ways and opportunities she can serve.

"God's really been testing me on what I am willing to do and what I am going to do," she says.

Eurasia Representative and Vice President of Global Teen Challenge Kevin Tyler says he loves watching the students accept the baton being passed down to them.

"This is the generation that is going to get it done," he says about the students. "You can tell that God is at work."

Authors: Melanie Lynch

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