Rachel Pate, a freshman at Auburn University Montgomery, shares in a new blog post about her experience serving as a One Mission Student during spring break in New York City.
This March, Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM) of Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) took a spring break mission trip to New York City.
I was one of the students who went, though I was a bit of a last-minute addition. The trip went through the Metro New York Baptist Association, and when we arrived on Saturday night we picked mission tracks to work with for the rest of the week.
There were eight tracks of varying kinds from which to choose, and I and two other girls from AUM ended up in the Strange Love track. We spent our week working with New Beginnings Church in Brooklyn.
While there, we did a lot of community outreach to help the church make connections. We also spent a few hours each morning on a street corner about seven blocks from the church talking to women.
These women are either illegal immigrants or victims of human trafficking, and the church we worked with has a strong ministry of building relationships with these women and helping the women get out of bad situations.
The church also has English as a Second Language (ESL) classes offered to these women free of charge in which the Bible is the main textbook.
Serving had a huge impact on me. I was able to serve in New York City using the skills God has given me. God moved in the people I and others witnessed to, but He moved most clearly in our hearts.
We who were supposed to be going and changing and discipling were the ones who came back most changed and discipled. The leaders — whether our campus minister, Lee Dymond, or the pastors of our respective churches — invested in us in ways that made it hard (if not impossible) to come back the same person I was when I left.
God used this trip to show me where I’m supposed to be this summer, as I’ll be returning to Brooklyn for five weeks.
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to go back and build and nurture relationships with the church and the community. I’ll be teaching the church’s ESL class and translating between mission teams who come in over the summer and the women with whom the church works.
More than anything, I’m so glad I went on this trip and had the opportunity to grow in my confidence in God and the Gospel, because those are the keys to witnessing.
The things I learned while in Brooklyn about myself and how to share the Gospel with others don’t just apply to Brooklyn. They apply to every day of my life wherever I may be or go.
The spring break mission trip was an amazing opportunity to grow and help others do the same, and I’m so glad I went.