Updated: Jun 3, 2019
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. --Acts 4:12
After months of preparation, and a lot of prayer, we were finally ready to kick off the first EY2S summer! Right before the first group of student missionaries came, the EY2S staff trained together in preparation for the coming weeks. UDM graciously partnered their interns with EY2S, and Jeff recruited additional three interns exclusively for EY2S.
Each week, a different local church from different areas in Hampton Roads (Grace Community Church in Chesapeake, Avalon Hills Bible Church in Virginia Beach, and the Norfolk East Church, in Norfolk) would send their student missionaries. During those three weeks, the students spent every morning in quiet time with God and a brief time of worship.
Afterwards, students and interns would pack up and drive to the home of Denise and Felton Woodson, where we built them a back deck. This back deck was important because Denise wanted to use it to host a Bible study. Students tried out power tools, painted the front porch, built a gate, and landscaped her backyard over the course of the 3 weeks. Not only did the students serve, but they learned about leadership as they led their own worksite teams.
Denise and Felton had a neighbor across the street that they had been witnessing to prior to the summer. Robert was sick with cancer and spent most of his time at home. When we met Robert, the student missionaries and interns wanted to minister to Robert. Daily, groups would go over to his house to pray with him and sing “Let Us Adore.” Robert, touched by the outreach of the student missionaries and the love and compassion that they showed to him, received Christ. We were overjoyed and praised the Lord for his great gift of salvation! Later that summer, Robert died and went to be with the Lord.
In the afternoons, in partnership with Young Terrace Recreation Center, the student missionaries would lead a Vacation Bible School. Featuring story time, crafts, music, games, and snack, the VBS had 60 kids in attendance. Not only were the kids hearing the gospel, but they received the love of Christ through the students missionaries and interns.
After the completion of the EY2S mission trips, UDM hosted the annual 1 Died for All Basketball Camp at Norfolk Christian School. Several of the interns and student missionaries volunteered at the camp with EY2S founder Jeff Montgomery. Students were challenging themselves to live out the gospel in the weeks immediately following their mission trip.
The last event of the summer was a mission trip to Buffs Bay, Jamaica. Jeff, with UDM staff and interns, journeyed out into the Atlantic to help run a Christian camp with 120 youth in attendance. The camp was a huge success, with several of the campers coming to Christ because of the camp's focus on the Bible and building relationships. These two focal points became a part of our core values as we at EY2S grew as an organization.
The first summer was done! We were so excited with all that the Lord had done in such a short time. But we continued to prayer as we sought to be led by the Lord in all our steps.