Sharing Jesus awesome for mission team

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Where the Lord leads the Youth/Adult Northside Baptist Church Mission Team, they will gladly go.

And, they will go in faith.

On May 30, eight members of the church will leave for Todmorden, England where they have been invited to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to an area where many people, especially the youths, know nothing about the Good News, said Ramona Dunn.

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"We will be going into the schools and talking to the students about Jesus," Dunn said. "I think it is rather ironic that in 1776 people left England to come to a new world where they could worship as they please and now we can't talk about Jesus in our schools, but we can over there."

Dunn said the mission team will be faced with several challenges in sharing the gospel in the city of 15,000 people.

"Only 7 percent of the population of England can be found in a Christian church on any given Sunday," she said. "So, most of the people we will be carrying our message of faith to might not be very receptive."

The base church for the mission team has seen a recent decline in membership

— from 200 a few years ago to 20 today.

"We will teach Bible school at several different churches," Dunn said. "We'll share the gospel through songs, skits and puppet shows. We hope to be able to reach the young people that way."

In addition to Bible schools, which are called Holiday Clubs, the mission team will go into different areas of the city on prayer walks and also go door-to-door sharing their faith.

"We have been told to keep our message very basic because many of the people know nothing about the gospel," Dunn said.

Cliff Matthews, church pastor and a member of the mission team, said the probability is that only one in 10 of the people they meet will have any knowledge of Jesus.

"The culture there is very liberal and many may not take our witness seriously," Matthews said. "We will let our personal witness speak for us and have faith that the spirit in which we go will cause them to wonder why and that they will ask. Then, we will be able to tell them."

The real challenge facing the mission team could be with the homeless youths who frequent the Acorn Center.

"From what we've been told there are many homeless teenagers in England," Dunn said. "The Acorn Center is a place where they can go for a shower and food. We want to take the warmth and love of Jesus to them and pray that they will receive it."

The Northside mission team has faced challenges before and they are looking forward to those that await them in England.

Last summer the team traveled to Alberta, Canada where they conducted Bible school for more than 120 young people each day.

Five of the eight members of the mission team to Canada are on this team bound for England.

"Once you go on a mission trip you can't wait to go again," said Faye Johnson. "As soon as we got back from Canada, we were looking forward to the next mission trip. We were invited back to Canada, but we prayed about it and let God lead us."

Laura McLendon is new to the mission team. She listened to what others had to say about their trip to Canada and asked, "Is there a place for me?"

"I want to do my job," she said. "I want to do what the Lord wants me to do."

All members of the mission team said they believe that God has called them to be a part of the team and willingly and enthusiastically accept the challenges of taking his love and his message to a distant place.

"Sharing Jesus is an awesome thing," they said.

Team members

expressed appreciation to all of those who supported their fundraising efforts and also supported them with prayers and encouragement.

"So many people are a part of this mission trip," said Dunn. "Although they won't go to England with us, without their support, it would not be possible for us to go. We want to thank everyone who has helped to make this trip possible."