Summer of Mission
Trinity is a church that values mission. It's a core part of our identity, reaching all the way back to Trinity's beginning. Trinity continues to carry on this heritage of engaging in mission, and the summer is a perfect example of that. This month, as we look to keep you "in the loop" we want to highlight some of the ways in which Trinity is engaged in mission.
Mission Team Update
Trinity has a number of ministry teams made up of staff, consistory (elders and deacons), and other lay leaders. These ministry teams provide leadership and focus to different areas of ministry. Our mission team oversees our mission partners and also our opportunities for Trinity people to go and engage in mission. One new opportunity the mission team is providing is a weekend cross-cultural experience with the organization Engage Global. This group exists to "partner with local churches in mobilizing their people to extend God's glory by engaging them in seeing churches planted among unreached peoples."
Our hope is to send a team from Trinity to Minneapolis on October 19-21. More information will be coming about this great opportunity, but keep that weekend open on your calendar.
There is something so powerful in getting out of our comfort zone, out of the "normal" that we live in day in and day out, and get to go serve and see how God is moving in other parts of the world. It's often in these experiences where God shows us things that we are otherwise blind to or calls us to greater faith in Him. These experiences also help us build real relationships with our brothers and sisters in different places and our hearts grow for the world.
Earlier this summer, Trinity sent a team to Uganda to partner with Titus and Mary Baraka and Hope Christian High School. Titus and Mary are long time ministry partners of Trinity. It has been a blessing to grow in relationship with them over the years, and to take part in their ministry.
Our Haiti team returned earlier this month from partnering with JeanJean and Kristie Mompremier at United Christians International. We have partnered with and supported the mission of UCI for over a decade, sending our first group to Haiti in 2008. Since that point in time, Trinity has sent a number of groups to Haiti to strengthen our relationship with the people and ministry of UCI.
On July 13, a group of high school students and leaders left for Jackson, Mississippi, to spend time partnering with Voice of Calvary Ministries. This is the youth group's second trip to the Delta Region of Mississippi. On July 25, a group of middle school students and leaders will head to Lawrence, Kansas, to serve with After The Harvest, Hope Faith Ministries, and Hillcrest Thrift Stores. The group will then attend Power Connection.
This last year Trinity has been living into our call to be a regional church by actively partnering with First Reformed Church of Hospers. Over the last year, we've sent worship teams to help lead at Hospers, done joint mission projects, shared preachers, and this summer we've been going through a shared sermon series on the book of James.
As we continue to hold an "open hands" posture to where God might be calling Trinity in regional ministry, the Consistory of First Reformed Church of Hospers and the Leadership Team of Trinity met together with Jason DeVries from Faith Church Dyer, Indiana, on July 9 in Orange City for the purpose of hearing Faith’s story of developing ministry with other churches. Jason helped facilitate a conversation about entering into a deeper relationship between Trinity and First and helped us understand some models that have been successful.
We reflected on Jeremiah 29:4-16 and what it means to be a church together that seeks the shalom of our region (not just our own communities). We prayed that we would be open to God’s will as revealed by the Spirit, and we listened. Everyone involved was encouraged by the positivity of discussion and we came away with more questions than answers. The spirit of the meeting was so positive that we plan to continue the discussion. Each leadership group will submit questions to each other by July 23. Our teams will have a couple of weeks to answer the questions, returning those answers to each other by August 6. Our hope is to reflect on the answers to our questions at our respective leadership meetings on Aug 13. We plan to gather again on Aug 20 to pray together and determine next steps.
Please be in prayer as both churches discern what God is calling us to next and how Trinity might live into regional ministry.
Training next generation leaders
At Trinity, we believe in empowering the younger generation to grow, lead, and serve in the church. That's why we find great value in providing opportunities for them to do so. This summer, we are pleased to walk through ministry with three summer interns: Reghan Harms (Children's Ministry & Pastoral Care), Marta Vander Top (Discipleship, Preaching & Leadership Development), Derek Alter (Youth Ministry). Not only do we see value in walking with them, but also in giving them free reign to try new things, and maybe even fail. It has given us great joy to watch how the Holy Spirit has worked through these students this summer.
Seeking to equip the younger generation is one reason why we are focusing on a college ministry this fall. While Trinity has always had college students be a part of our church, this fall we will be launching a new college student ministry intentionally focused on what Trinity can offer college students that is different from the things available to them on their respective campuses. Our desire is to see our students from Northwestern, Dordt, NCC, and other colleges growing in their faith and serving with their gifts!
Many other partners
Rudy Folkerts is traveling to Liberia at the end of July to work with the ministry One Body, One Hope. They will work with young adults, who were orphans, to begin a bamboo bike business to help provide employment opportunities. They will also build bikes for pastors who otherwise would have to walk 5 or 10 miles to visit someone.
Andrew and Laura DeBoer will soon travel to Honduras, where they have committed to teach for a year at Abundant Life Christian School in La Union. After their arrival on August 7, they will participate in training with teachers from other branches of the school in neighboring communities to help prepare them for their teaching responsibilities and intercultural interactions. Laura will serve as a 6th grade teacher and Andrew will teach 7-12th grade social studies.
"We look forward to partnering with this organization as they seek to provide local students with high quality academic opportunities while demonstrating the love of God. We would appreciate your prayers as we transition to a foreign culture and new jobs all several thousand miles from our families. We are excited to see how God works in these upcoming months and are so thankful for the support of Trinity." -Andrew & Laura DeBoer
Over the course of the summer we have many students who are serving the Lord all across the globe and in many different ways. They are all in some way connected to Trinity. Please keep the following students in your prayers as they get ready to come home: Josh Dahl, Emily Weeks, Meredith Spicher, Jeff Jeltema, Lucas Sander, Kate Staab, Maddie Godfredsen, Rachel Mercer, Anna Niessen, Haley Muyskens, Jenna Heemstra, Kelsey Lang, Megan Cleveringa, Emma Van Meeteren, Emily Wikner, Amy Tuttle, MaKayla Tjernagel, Ben Patzlaff.