Healthy Soul/Living Out Your Faith/My Life/Teen Life/Witness and Evangelization “Why Summer Missions?” Former Missionaries on Why You Should Answer the Call by Jay Martin Throughout Jesus’ time on Earth, He gave a lot of instructions that were pretty straight and to the point. “Be not afraid.” “You shall not kill.” “Let down your nets.” And my personal favorite, “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:12). Jesus gave all of these commandments and many others during His 33 years running the streets, but He chose one message in particular to be His final one: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” This message from Matthew 28 is called the Great Commission and was spoken by Jesus right before He ascended into heaven. Out of all the things Jesus could have said, He chose this to be the ultimate ‘mic-drop’ moment, and for good reason. No matter how much money you make, how powerful you become, or how many awards or trophies you receive, no cause can compare to the mission of making disciples of all nations. Everything else will turn to dust; but the reward of embarking on the adventure Jesus outlined in the Great Commission yields fruit that is everlasting. Adventure is out there. The Great Commission, like the other instructions from Jesus, is very straightforward. It doesn’t say, “Go, therefore, and just be a nice person” or, “go, tell people about me, but water down the parts that are hard to hear.” It’s a clear call that requires a clear response. You can’t go halfway, with one foot on the dock and one in the boat; you’re either in the boat or in the water. Are you hesitant about that first step though? Do you not quite know where to even start? Have you felt a tug to a greater calling but are unsure of how to respond? Life Teen’s Summer Missions program is a real, tangible way to say YES to the Lord, and accept the call to make disciples of all nations. For a few weeks at a summer camp in Georgia, Texas, or California, you have the chance to serve on Summer Staff and lead teens closer to Christ by journeying with them through a week of camp filled with adventure, growth, and glory. Calling all Catholic college students! This isn’t your typical summer camp experience. Those who are bold enough to answer the call are in for the experience of a lifetime. But while the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few. That said, we are still looking for more men to apply to serve on summer staff at Life Teen’s 2018 summer camps. There are so many reasons for why you should apply and experience a life-changing summer through Life Teen summer missions, but don’t just take my word for it — listen to these guys who have lived it: Men of God, rise up. “As a teenager, there were things and people always wanting my attention. The people that made the biggest impact on my life were the men that were convicted in their identify as a son of God. That is exactly what being a summer missionary did for me. Living in an environment that relies on daily prayer, intentional community, and a focused mission is what the Lord used to bring me to that conviction of my identity. That is what young men need to see today, men who are confident in who they are in the Lord, and bold in proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of shiny things wanting their attention, bring them the light of the world, Jesus Christ.” -John Michael Schmidt, Ole Miss “Take a step. This phrase was the invitation the Lord called me with. Asking out of love to trust Him and to serve Him. Taking the step to apply for Summer Staff has changed my life. It has set huge building blocks in my faith life, helped me to have a personal relationship with the Lord, and is shaping me into the man I am becoming in Christ. Be bold.” -Casey Johnson, University of Louisiana at Lafayette “After applying and going into the summer, I felt like I was not enough of a “man” to be a great summer missionary. These insecurities were quickly squashed though as the community that mission life provides is one of belonging. No matter who you are or what you do, the men’s community will love you for your uniqueness.“ -Dillon Duke, University of Houston “Just because you don’t hear your mom calling you to dinner doesn’t mean she isn’t calling you; it means you need to get those headphones out of your ears and actually listen to her. In the same way, Jesus is calling you, whether you hear it or not. God called me, and before I knew it, I was 6 weeks into giving myself to God through intentional relational ministry. All in all, I can confidently say that I am a better man because I listened to Jesus calling me to dinner, erm, I mean summer missions. So take the headphones off, because Jesus is calling you. Will you answer boldly?” -Zac Wierschem, Marquette University “For years, I kept my faith to myself as my own experience. My friends and family didn’t understand what it meant for me to be involved in the Church. After my summer missionary experience, I realized that my faith is to be shared not only with the teens and parishes I met, but with everyone I come in contact with, starting with my family. Through summer missions, I decided to share my experience with my family and ask them to join me on my faith journey. I went from going behind my parents’ backs to apply to be a summer missionary, to sharing with them my encounters with every teen and every other missionary. With this my family went from being reluctant to support me, to my mom fully funding me the next summer when I went back to serve again.” -Brennan McNamara, Franciscan University of Steubenville “The world needs more holy and authentic men of God. Summer missions is founded upon two main things: relationship with Christ and relationship with others through community. Community creates accountability, which helps men to focus on prayer and focus on living the life we were all created to be. Living in a community of men focused on Christ is beneficial because it creates an “all in this together (cue Troy Bolton)” mentality. Life Teen missions is not the community that anyone should simply want — it is the community that all young men simply need and desire.” -Aidan Campolettano, Providence College “As a teen and young adult, I struggled to live authentically and found myself trying to find my identity. I thought I could find it in my friends, in the things we did and in whatever it took to be considered the “cool kid”. Through summer missions, as a camper and a missionary, God took off the mask I placed on myself, and told me who I was. And, He revealed to me the authentic life waiting for me, if I only answered, ‘YES’.” -Mark Vela, Texas A&M The choice is yours. Over the past ten years, we’ve seen tens of thousands of teenagers at our camps. Think about all of those parishes, and how many schools and campuses those teens are now walking around. Think about the impact a generation of teenagers living their life for Christ can have. Summer staff applications are due on Sunday, November 1st at 11:59 pm. You have the opportunity to change the world, one middle schooler or high schooler at a time. Will you answer the call? The choice is yours.