USA (MNN) — Mission Network News hires a couple of college student writers every year. As we interview candidates, we look for young people who have a passion for the Gospel, are good writers, teachable, and interested in the world of missions.
One of our writers this year is Reagan Hoezee, a journalism major at Cornerstone University. He’s also active in mentoring younger students in the youth group at Jamestown Baptist Church in Hudsonville, Michigan, his home church.
This week, the group is working with Vision For Youth in inner city Philadelphia. They join three other high school youth groups from (New York and Pennsylvania) in a kind of Summer Camp program for some of the disadvantaged children living in the inner city. “A lot of these kids have had way more difficult lives than we could ever imagine,” Hoezee explains. “They [Vision For Youth] wanted us to build relationships with them, but we do want to focus a little bit on evangelism.”
Someone taking the time to pay attention, play, and offer a safe environment is noticed by the kids, and the teams are kid magnets. Team members play games and invest some time in getting to know the kids. Then comes the storytelling, using E3 Partners’ EvangeCube. “It’s an easy way to break the ice with kids. If you pull one of those out, kids will come over and ask, ‘What is that?’ It gives us a chance to say, ‘This is the EvangeCube. It tells the story of Jesus.'”
The EvangeCube is made up of eight blocks connected at strategic points. Using a series of 6 moves, 7 panels are revealed which illustrate God’s plan for salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Quite literally, the EvangeCube unfolds the gospel of Jesus Christ … the answer to life’s greatest puzzle.
There is often a disconnect between the presentation of the Gospel and the verbal invitation to accept Christ. The EvangeCube presents the salvation plan in a concrete way. Reagan adds, “A lot of kids have a basic idea of Christianity. ‘Oh that’s heaven. That’s hell.’ It gives us a good chance to share the gospel with them and answer any questions they might have and keep their interest.”
Even for those who consider themselves novices in sharing the story of Christ, the EvangeCube bridges those gaps and can help build confidence. From there, says Hoezee, they can “focus on spending time with kids and encouraging kids in any way we can, talking to these kids about any problems they might have, sharing the Gospel with them, giving them that hope and showing them that love that they may have never received before.”
Please be praying for the ministry teams this week. Seeing some of the need and hearing some of the challenges the kids face can be overwhelming. “Pray that we would have wisdom in how to best meet these children’s needs, because a week-long trip…can’t change an entire neighborhood, but we can make a difference.” Pray that the seeds planted will grow–that those who decide to follow Christ will be connected with other local believers who can help their faith grow deep.