Single brothers and sisters are advancing the gospel of Christ by using their time, talents, resources, and hearts to strengthen and encourage the churches around the world. Last year, SURGE traveled to five cities in Europe. Several disciples who went shared about their experiences in the articles below.
This year, SURGE Singles Missions will be visiting Latin America from October 20-31! SURGE will join disciples from all over Latin America at the “Conferencia De Las Americas” in Lima Peru from October 20-23. Then we will go in groups of seven to 10 singles to three different churches: Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Medellin, Columbia, and Asuncion, Paraguay. Each group will stay with disciples, have great times of fellowship, invite people for a special Sunday invitation service, and have fun with singles from the local church! If you have any interest in joining the SURGE 2016 trip to Latin America, please email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connected through Christ and SURGE
Amery Stapleton, Northern Virginia Church of Christ
When I first heard about the SURGE trip I was excited. I love to travel and I was going to be in Europe over the summer, so I wouldn’t have to alter my plans too much. I am sorry to say that I was only thinking about myself in my initial decision; I was already going to be in Europe, I wanted to go on a mission trip, and I am a natural introvert so I wanted to grow in fellowship. There was an overwhelming sense of “I” as I was embarking on this trip.
What I wasn’t expecting is how much I would be helping others, or how much my decisions would revolve around whether I was encouraging those around me. From the first day of the trip my concern was for those around me, making sure my roommate and I connected, helping brothers find a store. There wasn’t a need to worry about whether I was being introverted or social because there was an immediate since of family within our group and we naturally wanted to take care of each other.
We checked on each other, prayed with each other, ate with each other, shared our faith with each other. It was great encouraging others as we broke off into pairs. It was also a learning experience, taking notes on how people interacted with strangers and eventually got them to stop and listen.
I very much enjoyed the trip. I had never been on a mission trip before, so I did not know what to expect. It was a pleasure to experience the overwhelming hospitality from the disciples we visited (I went to Prague, Zurich, and Munich) and to see God work in our group as we shared our faith. I made connections with disciples in Europe as well as new friends in the States. I especially liked the deep conversations I had with practical strangers because we had one thing in common: Jesus. On the first day in Munich, a sister from Germany pulled me aside to talk and pray with her. That was an important example for me on what it truly means to be open. I also loved that this trip helped me to get to know a variety of people in my own church. There truly is something to traveling with people that builds a deeper relationship.
Adventure, encouragement, and friendship
Viktor Peña, San Juan Church of Christ
This has been one of the most exiting and encouraging church trips for me. I really enjoyed every single part of the mission trip. The cities, the food, the brothers and sisters from the American continent, and the European ones were just amazing. Getting to know all of them and see their persevering hearts really made me happy.
I thought this trip was going to be more of a solemn thing (because I’ve never been on a mission trip before), but we had a bit of everything; tours, fun, chat, fellowships, prayers, evangelism, worship singing, sermons, etc. It was completely more than what I expected. From this trip I really liked how everyone took care of each other in many aspects: socially, spiritually, physically, etc., and how genuine our friendships became with each other after meeting for the very first time.
I was impacted by the giving spirit brothers and sisters from Sofia, Bulgaria. They may have little, much less than us in America, but they gave practically everything they could to make us feel at home and welcomed, and they achieved it. I felt extremely loved by them and I am so grateful for that.
One of the major take-aways for me would be the new friendships with brothers and sisters that I made. It is so hard to build real relationships in this world. Friendships that really care about you and walk by your side in the spiritual path is not easy for me.
This whole thing also encouraged me to want to be more committed to God. I’ve only been a disciple for five years now, and these last four years have not been easy at all. Lots of struggles, lots of differences, challenges, and disappointments. The SURGE trip reinforced my faith and desire to keep trying to follow my beliefs in Jesus. I’m so thankful that I was able to go on this trip.