There is no doubt that sending your student overseas for any length of time is challenging and requires trust in God’s plan. Each step requires faith – including signing off on the trip application, helping your student with fundraising, and dropping them off at Base Camp. As you and your student walk through this process together, there are two main categories of preparation that you can be a part of as you help your student make plans to go this summer.
As your student is preparing for their adventure, it is very likely that challenges will arise. Raising thousands of dollars over the course of a few months is not an easy task, and yet we see God provide in huge ways through students’ efforts and sacrifices. Encourage your student to be diligent to begin fundraising immediately while reinforcing that this task is a necessary aspect of being sent into the nations. Let your student be the one to organize and prepare fundraising events, but cheer them on as they work through this leg of their race.
Additionally, help your student with submitting the necessary forms and paperwork by the deadlines, while letting them take the lead in these efforts. This allows your student to take ownership of the calling God has placed on their lives.
Until your student is actually overseas, they will most likely not comprehend the significant impact that a short-term trip can make on their lives. Your student will be placed in an environment demanding spiritual discipline as they spend hours each day in prayer, training, sharing, and studying the Word of God. Our hope is that as they engage in the work, these disciplines will not be new to them.
One of the greatest ways to prepare your student before they go is to ask intentional questions about what God is teaching them. Some of these questions may be: What are you reading in the Bible this week? What is God showing you through what you are reading? What are you struggling with? Do you understand what you are reading? What are you praying about? How are you seeing God work in your life? These are just a few examples of questions that can stir a conversation and get your student talking about his/her walk with the Lord. Additionally, we want to encourage you to share with your student about what God is doing in your life. Your student will be challenged to grow spiritually this summer, so they will benefit greatly from implementing these conversations into their daily life now.
Encourage them to begin sharing the gospel with the people they interact with already. We hope that your student will learn that we are called to live a missional lifestyle, regardless of our geographical location. There may even be ways they can meet people from other countries in your community or on their school campus. Again, your student will be challenged to establish new friendships overseas in hopes of sharing the Good News, and they will thrive even more if this is not a new endeavor for them.
Finally, pray for your student consistently. Begin praying now for the team they have been placed on, the location they are being sent to, and the people they will encounter. God has ultimately placed them on this trip for His glory, and we pray with you that your student will continue to develop a heart focused on making Him famous wherever they are and whatever they may be doing.