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Praying for the Czech Trip

In a few short days, the Czech mission team will board a plane and begin our journey to what will become a very life-changing trip.

God is going to do something BIG.

Now more than ever, we need your help! We know God is going to show up and change lives on this trip, which means: we need prayer!

If you are interested in praying for our team while we are ministering in the Czech Republic, you will find a list of prayer requests below, as well as a downloadable copy of our itinerary. Unless marked, all times are recorded in Czech time – 7 hours ahead of Central Standard Time.

Prayer Requests:

  • Safe travels to and from the Czech Republic (including driving, plane flights, bus and train rides)
  • Health for every team member – both American and Czech
  • Ability to adjust to the time difference quickly and easily
  • God’s presence every time our team members speak or pray
  • Hearts of the Czech youth and young adults to be turned towards Christ
  • Lives to be changed
  • Young people showing up to our outreaches and retreat
  • Distractions and hinderances from youth coming to our events or retreat to be destroyed
  • Favor on our team as we minister to people
  • Czech young people to experience the presence and power of God
  • Courage and boldness to step out in faith and do whatever God asks of us
  • Young people to encounter God during our Encounter Retreat
  • God’s Spirit to guide us every day
  • Fear to be overcome
  • Young people to experience a new level of hope

Itinerary:

You can download a PDF copy of our trip itinerary by clicking the link below.

[button href=”http://igniteyourcampus.com/new/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Czech-2014-Itinerary.pdf” align=”left” bg_color=”#000034″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Czech Itinerary[/button]

Updates:

Periodically throughout the trip, our team will post updates on the Ignite blog. During the last week of the trip, while at KristFest, there won’t be any updates as the team won’t have access to internet. Click the button below to see all updates pertaining to the Czech 2014 mission trip:

[button href=”http://www.igniteyourcampus.com/tag/czech-2014″ align=”left” bg_color=”#000034″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Czech Updates[/button]

 

 

Miracle Working God

Every year as we solidify the team that will give up two weeks of their summer to invest in the lives of young people in the Czech Republic, I give them a warning and a promise.

God will stretch your faith and you will see Him perform miracles.

This year’s trip has already been no different.

Up until a few weeks ago, the team was struggling to believe God would come through financially. Donations were down, plane ticket prices were up, and it was discouraging to see week after week only a few hundred dollars come in, when we needed a few thousand.

The deadline to purchase our plane tickets was quickly approaching, and we only had the money to purchase one ticket, when we needed four — it was getting very discouraging.

But God was setting us up for something amazing.

Our team pushed through in prayer, asking God to open doors to speak in churches and have conversations with family and friends. Two weeks ago, we were sitting at needing $6,000 to buy our plane tickets.

In one week, over $6,000 came in.

God performed a miracle.

We are happy and excited to announce that as of Saturday, April 26, we purchased plane tickets for all four team members!! This always gives a sense of confidence among the team members — we really are going.

We would like to thank all of you who have prayed for and donated towards this year’s trip to the Czech Republic. Because of your overwhelming generosity, we have been able to purchase the plane tickets and finalize some details of the trip.

The stretching isn’t over yet, though. While we are rejoicing in the over $6,000 God gave us in a week, the team as a whole still needs $2,000 total to cover outreaches, food, and lodging.

If you have been considering donating to the trip, there is still a need! We ask that you pray about how you can help support our team as we reach out to youth in the most atheistic country in the world.

Partner with Us

Our team still has a total of $2,000 to raise to cover food, lodging, and outreach supplies. Please pray about partnering with us to reach young people in the Czech Republic with the gospel of Christ. Click the button below to make a secure, online, tax-deductible donation today!

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Photo Credit: Angelo DeSantis (Creative Commons)

 

 

God Ideas

Every time Ignite USA takes a trip to the Czech Republic, we pray for God ideas. We don’t want good ideas — they may sound nice, but ultimately can be ineffective. We want God ideas — those that will draw young people in, give our team the opportunity to build relationship and speak into their lives, and bring about the best possible change in people’s lives.

God ideas.

Two weekends ago, the mission team had a Skype call with our Ignite Cesky Tesin leaders to talk about outreaches and the 3 day retreat we will lead, and we had some God ideas. We are still working out the specific details, but here are some of the ideas we have for the outreaches during our trip:

  1. Late afternoon workshops. These workshops will be fun and focused around an activity — fashion, dance, and sports — to draw young people in and build relationship with them. We are starting the workshops at 4pm, later than in years past, to allow those who work to make it.
  2. Dinner Cookout. Every night after the workshops, youth will stick around for dinner — cookout style. We’ll grill up some sausages, be social, and have the opportunity to talk and pray with young people.
  3. Evening events. Our evening events will combine a fun activity with a message and prayer. Each night will have a different event that leads into the message topic. They include:
    • Speed Dating / Relationships Talk. Youth will do a friendship version of speed dating, allowing them to get to know each other and us in a quick, and fun, way. We will follow up the activity with a talk on relationships.
    • Bartending / Addictions Talk. No, we aren’t going to teach them to mix alcoholic drinks, but one of our friends in Czech will do a fun non-alcoholic drink mixing. It’s very popular with youth in Czech right now. We will follow up the activity with a talk on addictions and being set free.
    • Fear Factor / Resisting Temptation Talk. The American team is putting together a somewhat tamed down version of Fear Factor, and youth will compete for some pretty nice prizes. We will follow up the activity with a talk on resisting temptation.

During the day, we will head to the town square and invite people to the events. We may also hold small leadership training sessions for the Ignite Cesky Tesin group. We are still praying for God’s ideas for our mornings and afternoons.

We invite you to be praying with us as we continue to plan the outreaches and youth retreat we will lead while in Czech. We know God wants to do something HUGE while we are there, and need His leading to make it as powerful as possible.

Partner with Us

Our team still has a total of $13,000 to raise to make this trip a reality. Please pray about partnering with us to reach young people in the Czech Republic with the gospel of Christ. Click the button below to make a secure, online, tax-deductible donation today!

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Background photo credit: innoxiuss via photopin cc

 

 

Why Do You Fundraise for a Mission Trip?

Here at Ignite, we love missions.

In fact, we encourage every student to take part in a mission trip at least one time in their lives. We believe a mission trip has the potential to change lives — not only of those we go to serve, but also those on the team. It pushes you out of your comfort zone, grows your faith, and helps you see the world in a much different way.

Our students love going on an Ignite mission trip.

But there is one part no student likes — raising the money to go.

Fundraising Misconceptions

It’s uncomfortable asking people to give you money to go on a mission trip, especially when it seems like they get nothing in return. I mean, who likes asking others for money? It can be awkward, intimidating, and down right humiliating.

That is, if you don’t understand what fundraising for a mission trip is all about.

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to fundraising for a mission trip, both for students and for their parents:

  • It’s nothing more than begging others for money
  • It’s asking people to fund something you should pay for yourself
  • It’s a sign that your family can’t provide for your needs
  • It’s getting free money without any benefit for those who give
  • It’s inappropriate to ask others for money
  • It’s wrong to go do work in another country when there are so many needs here
  • And the kicker: we don’t want the family getting uncomfortable with you just asking for money (Our students get this one a LOT).

Many parents see our form of fundraising — sending out letters asking for money — with the lens of one, if not all, of the reasons above.

And once they see fundraising letters through those lenses, it’s difficult to see anything else.

But, you see, fundraising for a mission trip isn’t about the money.
It’s about the partnership.

Missions Partnership

As followers of Christ, we are called to take his truths to the end of the earth (Matthew 28:19). It was the last charge Jesus gave to us before He ascended back into heaven, which means: it’s non-negotiable.

However, realistically, not all of us can physically go on a mission trip. There are jobs to work, bills to pay, and kids to watch.

That’s where supporting a mission team comes in.

When we fundraise for an Ignite mission trip, we aren’t asking people to just give us money so we can go do our thing. We’re asking people to partner with us — to join together with us as we plan, prepare, and ultimately go to impact lives.

Making an Impact

Financially partnering with a mission trip makes you a part of what God wants to do. You are a conduit — providing a way for others to bring His truths to the nations. And when lives are changed — God credits that life change to everyone involved: the team who went and the team who gave financially.

Those who give financially aren’t just donors. They are part of the mission team.

One day, when we find ourselves in heaven and Christ is showing us how our lives built His kingdom, there will be a number of people you never met before who thank you for the impact you made — simply because you paved the way financially for someone else to do the work of bringing the gospel to them.

That’s the power of supporting a mission team.

When we send out letters, we aren’t asking people for a handout.
We are asking for a partnership — a partnership in changing lives and seeing others come closer to Christ.

And we don’t want to deny anyone that opportunity.

That’s why we send out fundraising letters.

Partner with Us

Are you ready to make a difference in the lives of others? Consider partnering with our Czech Republic team! Each team member needs to raise $3,400 in order to cover the costs of this trip, for a team total of $17,000. Please pray about partnering with us to reach young people in the Czech Republic with the gospel of Christ. Click the button below to make a secure, online, tax-deductible donation today!

[button href=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RVPS973DUEJ7J” align=”center” bg_color=”#000034″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Donate[/button]

 

 

Czech Trip Planning Underway

Planning for our annual trip to the Czech Republic this July is underway!

This past weekend, our Ignite Czech leadership team met with trip leader Jason Vana to begin talking through ideas for the trip, including outreaches, retreat, and focus of our time there.

While this was only the preliminary meeting, and we are still praying and thinking about specific details, the goal is to go to the next level in our impact on this year’s trip. Some ideas include: Read more

Power of Love

Last week, members of our Ignite Monmouth group hosted the first ever Ignite Week — five nights of strategic events targeted at building relationships with students who have never been to an Ignite gathering.

We had a massive dodgeball game in the athletic center, a night of soda pong and card games in the student center, the first Ignite gathering of the semester with free pizza, a video game night in the student center, and capped it all off with a free chili dinner and game night at the Ignite house.

It was a very fun, exciting, and tiring week. But it was a smashing success. Within a short time, we already have new people committed to coming to Ignite every week to learn more about and encounter God.

But here’s the catch — it was all relationship based.

At no time during Ignite week did we hand out gospel tracks. We didn’t stand in the center of campus and call students to repentance. We weren’t after conversions, decisions, or trying to boost the number of students who got saved.

We simply were out to get to know students, and show them that the Christians on campus, they actually care about and love people.

And we really do.

Students who were struggling to find a group of friends on campus found a place to belong.
Others who had drifted from God found a place to come back to Him again.
Some discovered that not all Christians are judgmental, boring people.
Others even said it was the first time they felt happy since being on campus.

There is power in truly loving others where they are and for who they are.

Comforting them in their pain.
Meeting them in their routine.
Rejoice with them in their blessings.
Crying with them in their hurts.

The simple act of interrupting your day and going out of your way to interact with someone else speaks volumes — and shows others that God really does care.

We saw it last week in our Ignite Week events — and because of our love, lives have been and will be forever changed.

How are you displaying Christ’s love to others?

The Faith of Joshua

What is faith? Before my trip to Czech, I had never found a satisfying answer. I had asked around – I knew what my friends and elders said faith was. Faith was, “believing in what is unseen” or, “knowing despite all evidence something was true.” Sure, these definitions worked, but they always seemed to leave something out. I never could figure out what that something was, though.

As a result, I came to understand faith in God as, “I believe that God exists, so I have faith in God.” Faith went no farther than a belief in God’s existence – it had no effect on my actions except as a constant caution not to disobey. Faith rested solely on my shoulders…and it left my definition of faith dead.

The Czech Republic changed how I understood faith completely. When I was in Czech, my group and I were stuck in the middle of Cesky Tesin with about 20 minutes until dinner and outreaches in the local neighborhood started. It was pouring rain, and we were huddled in a tunnel waiting for it to stop. It did not look like it was going to subside. Naturally, Joshua asking God to stop the sun came to mind. After mulling it over, which involved plenty of questioning if I had enough faith, I asked God to stop the rain so that we could get back to the Church for His glory…and then I stepped out into the rain. A few seconds later, there was not a drop falling. My faith was redefined.

In an instant God had showed me that faith was not all about me. Faith is a team effort. It started with me, of course. I had to believe in something, such as God’s ability to stop the rain, but then I had to take that belief a step further and trust that God would step into the rain with me. THAT was faith – a belief that if God chose, He could do the impossible, then ACTING as if He already had.

This was the recurring theme for me the rest of the trip. The Ignite Cesky Tesin group from the church there constantly set up events without a spoken doubt that people would come. No matter how many came, they were convinced that glory would still be given to God. The administrators of Kristfest, the national youth camp, allowed Americans they did not know to preach to a crowd of 300, trusting that God would use them. A two hour car ride to Prague became a test to see how far our trust was willing to go. Time after time God reminded me that faith was no longer just a belief – it was a relational trust.

Yet through all of this, one warning stayed strong in my mind – this new faith was not a tool to justify any action or desire. God would only act in the way that would bring Him the most glory. That day in Czech, stopping the rain brought Him glory, but not every storm is opposed to our God. Only if God sees it fit to act will He act. We just need to be prepared for the outcome, whether it is what we wanted or not.

How has God expanded your idea of faith lately?

Ignite Romania Mission Trip 2013

Ignite is excited to announce its first mission trip to the country of Romania.

Ignite President Jason Vana and Board Member Brodie Clark will lead a team of students and young adults on the trip of a lifetime to Romania. We will work with Biserica Baptista Agapia Church based in the capital city of Bucharest. Ministry details are still in the initial planning stages, but will include outreaches and a retreat geared to university students.

Trip Details:
  • Dates: March
  • Cost: $2,700*
  • Ministry: Outreach and Retreat

 

Application Requirements:**
  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Must be a committed follower of Christ
  • Must submit completed application and risk/liability forms

 

Application Deadlines:
  • Trip Application: October 1, 2012
  • Passport Application Deadline: January 1, 2013***

[button href=”http://www.igniteyourcampus.com/missions/documents” align=”left” color=”blue” text_color=”#ffffff” size=”small” ]
Download Application
[/button]
 
 
The Romania mission trip is part of Ignite’s commitment to see God move throughout the world. This will be our first mission trip working in Romania.

Asterisk Notes:
* Cost is tentative and may change due to flight costs.
** Must be 18 years of age or older, provide signed risk statement and release of liability forms, and be approved by the mission team leaders.
*** Apply for your passport at any Post Office or Circuit Court Clerk Office. Cost is roughly $120, requires your birth certificate, driver’s license and social security card.

For more information or questions, contact Trip Leaders: Jason Vana or Brodie Clark.

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An Egg, A Roast and a Road Trip

God did some amazing things on this year’s trip to Czech.
More than I could ever describe in a post.

He brought 5 young people back to Himself.
He set countless youth free from believing lies that they weren’t good enough.
He encouraged them that they are called.
He set a passion in their hearts for something more.
He united people with similar burdens.
He showed them it’s okay to be broken.
He healed marriages and gave hope to the single.
He helped them walk in courage to make a difference in their world.

It was a very powerful trip.

But beyond the workshops and outreaches, beyond the youth retreat and prayer times, beyond all the ways God moved in the lives of the young people on this trip, there are three areas that stuck out the most to me.

The Egg

It’s become somewhat of a tradition during our trips to Czech. We lead a youth retreat, I get nailed in the head with an egg. Or three. It started in 2009 with a game where I was the President, and my “bodyguards” were protecting me from various projectiles: water balloons and eggs. They didn’t do so well. Since then, the youth have become more creative in finding ways to hit me in the head with an egg.

Except this year.

Instead of trying to hit me with an egg, one of the young people hard-boiled the egg and gave it to me as a symbol of the impact I’ve made in Czech, and a reminder that no matter what happens, I have made a difference in the lives of some young people around the world.

The Roast

The last night of our retreat, the youth put on a talent show. Some sang. Others put on skits. One young woman topped them all – she pretended to be me and over exaggerated my little quirks. The way I play with my ring from Poland. The way I bounce up and down on the balls of my feet. The way I talk with my hands, pray over people, and hold my bible.

I laughed so hard I cried.

The Czech culture can be very sarcastic, but when they take two days to plan and make fun of you in front of everyone, you know you’re loved.

The Roadtrip

At the end of each trip to Czech, the team spends a day in Prague doing some sightseeing, enjoying the European culture and getting ready for the plane flights home. When we leave for Prague, it’s usually the last time we see any of the youth we spent two weeks working with.

Except this year.

As we were making our way through the airport Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m., we looked up and were surprised to see five of the youth there in Prague. They made the four hour drive at night to spend roughly an hour with us before we went through security, and then drove another four hours back to their side of the country. There were many more youth who wanted to make the drive to see us one last time, but with only one car, they had to pull straws to see who were the lucky five.

You know when young people are willing to drive four hours for the chance to see you one last time, you’ve made a real difference in their lives.

That is why we go.
That is why we fundraise and plan and pray.
That is why we travel for 30 hours and deal with jet lag for weeks.

We are making a real difference in the lives of young people in the Czech Republic.

Do you know a young person interested in being part of an Ignite mission team? We have two trips planned for 2013! Get more information and download a team application on our Missions Page.

View pictures from the trip!

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Freedom Giving God

It is hard to put into words all God did the past few days here in Czech.

Friday we experienced a lot of discouragement. It was rainy and cold all day. No one was out in the Svibice neighborhood. We couldn’t be in the park playing basketball and trying to draw people out of their homes. To top it off, most of our workshops didn’t even have one person show up. I was frustrated, upset and began questioning why we even raised $3,000 a person to come.

Then God smacked me.

Later that evening, two young boys we had been praying for and connecting with randomly showed up at the youth center. We were able to play games with them, talk with them and invited them to our youth retreat. After dinner, we did a small discussion time, where I shared my story and taught about how, first and foremost, God relates to us as a Father. One of the young men left once we got done, but the other hung out a bit longer and shared his phone number with one of the Christian youth – a huge step for those who don’t believe in Christ here in Czech.

On Saturday afternoon, we had four young women show up to our Fashion Workshop wanting to talk to someone. They had been practicing witchcraft that afternoon, casting spells and trying to contact spirits. Most times when someone does that, it doesn’t amount to much. These girls had a different experience. After trying to conjure up some spirits, weird things started happening. Scratches began appearing on their bodies. Unexplainable encounters in the room occurred. They even saw some kind of spirit show up.

These girls were scared, and the first place they ran to was the church.

Members of our Czech team were able to talk with them and challenge them that the only way to have protection and authority over evil spirits is by coming under the covering of Christ. The four girls gave their lives to Christ that night – a powerful testimony to what God is doing.

Later that night, we concluded our week of outreaches with a final Showcase. Each workshop had time to show off what they did that week, we began advertising for next summer’s trip, and the American team and some of the Czech team performed the Lifehouse Everything skit.

God moved in the lives of the young people in that room.

The skit, combined with a brief message about how Christ brings us freedom from the things in life that hold us captive, touched many of them in a deep way. Some were lost in thought. Others stuck around the youth center after the showcase was done. Two young men in particular, we were able to engage in deeper conversation about God, faith and the plans He has for their lives. I was even able to pray and prophecy over one of them.

A day later, that young man posted on Facebook that he loves Jesus.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

God is stirring something deep within the Czech nation. He is changing hearts, bringing people back to Him and positioning them to see His glory unleashed.

And, for some reason, we get to be a part of what He is doing.

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support. God is moving more powerfully on this trip than any other we have led in the past, and it couldn’t have happened without you.

View pictures from the trip!

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