MOBERLY – Summer is supposed to be teenagers’ time off, but for a group of students from Crossroads Baptist Association it has been go go go.
Bonnie Carter has been leading the association’s student summer missions team for nine years, and this summer has led ten students from around the area on mission locally, in Branson, Omaha, Neb. and Winnipeg, Canada. Nine are high school students, and one is a collegiate summer missionary through the Missouri Baptist Convention.
“I absolutely love it,” Carter said. “My heart is for teenagers to see that God has a plan for them now, not just in the future. They’re amazing to work with. They have taken up the challenges of working with different churches and different children. They’ve tackled everything God has thrown at them with an excitement and a heart to serve. ”
There aren’t many ministries where a student can hit each point of Acts 1:8 in one summer: Jerusalem (local), Judea (state), Samaria (national) and ends of the earth (international), but the Crossroads team does that. They will help churches in the association lead nine Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) and led the student track at the mb125 conference in Branson in June. They just returned from a construction and VBS mission trip to Omaha and just left for a week of ministry with a partner church in Winnipeg.
“It’s worked out to two VBS’s a week, one in the morning and one at night, teaching class, leading music, running recreation and teaching crafts,” she said. “They do get tired, but even when they’re tired in the van on the way to the next church they always come alive when we get to the church. It’s neat watching them transform.”
The Crossroads Baptist Association Student Summer Mission Team was originally made up of Acteen girls, but it has evolved over the years to include mb125 since its beginning, out-of-state trips in 2009 and the partnership in Winnipeg in 2011. This is the first year to include guys on the team.
“It’s been a huge plus,” Carter said. “The kids in our area don’t see a lot of positive male leadership. We’re really seeing a difference in the way the kids respond to the team.”
The team has seen fruit each summer through their VBS ministry, and this summer has been no different.
“We’ve seen five salvations so far this year,” Carter said. “And we’re watching the team grow every day with the Lord, too.”
Koonce earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2005.