The idea is simple: take Christians out of their familiar environment and place them in a location where the vast majority of people do not believe as they do. This helps the students see what the world is like from a non-Christian viewpoint; it takes them out of their bubble and out of their comfort zones. Then, we teach them how to respectfully and graciously interact with others on campus or our on the streets and we set them loose.
We've taken such trips since 2010, going to such diverse areas as UC Berkeley, Salt Lake City, and Dearborn Michigan (a predominately Muslim community). The results are astounding. Kids learn not only to support their own worldview, but they see how atheists or those with different faiths are not equipped to answer the hard questions themselves. We don't pull punches on these trips, either. For Berkeley, we brought in Richard Carrier to address the kids, as well as a couple of notable atheists. In Michigan, we brought in a Muslim apologist. In Salt Lake, we went to the center of Mormonism at the Temple Square and interacted with the missionaries assigned there.
In each outing, I've seen our students become more confident and more assured that the Christianity they hold is true, it not only holds its own against these different worldviews, it offers a much better explanation of how the world works. These kids now know how to answer questions on matters like moral absolutes, the Trinity, the exclusive claims of Christianity and so much more.
Another amazing aspect of the trips is the ongoing witnessing opportunities the kids have. Students will continue conversations they started by e-mail after they return home. I've talked with kids who have continued to witness to those they've met for over a month afterward! The ministry opportunities are great.
This year, we are heading to Manti where thousands of Mormons come to witness the Manti Miracle Pageant, which reenacts the trek of Mormons for Missouri to Utah. We will be on the streets each night, talking with Mormons and asking them if they believe that joseph Smith was a prophet and why. Check back here as I provide daily update.
If you or your church is interested in participating in an Apologetics Missions Trip, just drop me a note at Missions@comereason.org and I'll be sure to get back to you. To support such trips, please click the donation button at the bottom of this post.For now, I will leave you with a letter I received from Skyler, a young girl who participated in our Dearborn trip last year. She writes:
I thought you might find it interesting to hear an update on what positive outcomes have come from last year's trip to Dearborn. I have made good friends with two different Muslim girls whom I met there. I have an opportunity to go back to Dearborn next month with Ministry to Muslims. While I am there I am planning to hang out with my Muslim friends that I met there last year on our trip.
Aside from that, through the connection of some of the Christians we met in Dearborn I have made more connections to various ministries in the Arab world and have now received a brand new opportunity to go to Lebanon, which I am prayerfully pursuing. Please be encouraged in your ministry, and know that God is truly using it in mighty ways.
Last year's mission trip to Dearborn has completely changed my life in the most glorious of ways! I am praying that God will continue to use these trips to positively affect the Kingdom in many more ways.
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