Over 200 years ago, pioneer missionary Robert Moffat looked across the vast expanse of South Africa with its thatch-roofed huts and said, I have seen the smoke of a thousand villages; villages that are without Christ, without God, and without hope.
Today, Africa and the other continents all continue to need Christ. That's why each summer, dedicated YOM team leaders step up to minister internationally, bringing hope as they serve.
Dr. John Reese and his wife, Beth, that desire to reach the lost has led them to head up seven Youth Outreach Ministry (YOM) mission teams to Ghana in the past nine years.
Opportunities to witness for Christ abound in Ghana, whether it be in the nation's only shopping mall in the capital city of Accra or in a remote village accessible only by foot or four-wheeler, said Dr. Reese.
During their mission trip this summer, each of the 16 team members participated in services in 8 different local churches, 4 private schools, and various outreach ministries. Over the course of 16 days, they were able to interact with 3,760 Ghanaians and see over 230 people accept Christ as their Savior. Through the years, Dr. Reese has seen over 1,000 Ghanaians accept Christ during these short-term mission trips.
Meanwhile, Coach Craig Lewis and his wife, Cheree, were busy helping coordinate the first YOM mission team to Natal, Brazil. While in Brazil, the team taught ESL, gave health screenings, and held sports clinics.
Aside from teaching middle schoolers volleyball and basketball, the team also played two adult basketball scrimmages against local teams. We were thankful for the Lord's protection over the athletes and for the opportunity to fellowship and share the gospel with the teams said Coach Lewis.
Nursing faculty Cheree Lewis was thankful for the team's opportunity to share the gospel with the local children as well. The team members visited a home for children whose parents were in prison or otherwise unable to take care of them.
Many of these children have nothing to their name, and yet the joy and excitement they showed to the team members touched everyone, she said. The team helped the children make wordless bracelets to share the gospel with them. Several team members commented how they will never forget their experience with these children, said Mrs. Lewis.