Missions & Outreach News
Native Young Life: Standing Rock Reservation: Jessica Campbell
After many years of serving the youth of and providing Christian leadership on the Standing Rock reservation, Jessica Campbell has felt God’s call to leave that service with Native Young Life and work full time with her church in Bismarck, North Dakota. The church area is growing and Jessica feels “that God has re-positioned me in this place (the church) as they are growing so vastly and He wants someone with a heart for and understanding of Native people as a part of this team.”
Please pray for Jessica as she moves into this new phase of her life and of serving Christ. Pray also for Native Young Life and the youth of Standing Rock that the work Jess started can continue. Please pray also for the Missions Committee as they examine the ramifications of this change of leadership so our church can continue the long tradition of service to the Native people of Standing Rock.
Jessica recently shared this update on her Facebook page and would like it shared with the Good Samaritan community. Jessica writes:
Ten years ago, I found myself deciding between accepting a job as a church youth director in Pennsylvania or moving across the country to a reservation in North Dakota. At that moment, I don’t think I fully grasped how my life would change over the years to come. The words “come and see” echoed in my heart and mind as I asked myself the question, “ten years from now, which story do you want to tell?” Ultimately I decided that ten years later, I wanted to tell the story of radical trust, cross-cultural ministry and reconciliation that a move to Standing Rock would unveil.
In the almost 18 years since I first set foot on the Standing Rock Reservation I have been privileged to experience ministry here in so many ways. My first encounter here as a high school student experiencing short-term mission led to my initial stirrings of a call to youth ministry, which I explored as a college summer staff intern at St. Gabriel’s camp. I then led students I was serving in Pennsylvania in their short-term experiences here as a trip leader before I made the leap and moved to North Dakota. I began my life on the reservation by working in the community and volunteering with Young Life for almost six years before coming on staff in 2014. I could pick any of those milestones and say, “it feels like just yesterday.”
God has been so faithful in my time serving Him on Standing Rock. I have experienced devastating losses (numerous students and community members, my health, my father, and our dear friend Terry Star) and unmatchable joy (walking with students in faith, being adopted in as family, YL75, winning the 2016 Bully Cluster March Madness, and being stretched and developed to new levels). To be a member of the North Star Region of Young Life and the Standing Rock Episcopal Ministry Community has been one of my life’s greatest joys.
Over the last year God has been calling me to a deeper trust of him and an expectation for Him to move in new ways. These desires of my heart have developed in the most unexpected way (isn’t that ironic) over the last months as I was asked to consider a position with my church in Bismarck, off the reservation. An initial hard “no” to the thought of off reservation ministry softened as I spent time in prayer, conversation, honest contemplation, weeping and wrestling with God. On March 20, I will begin in my new position at Evangel Assembly of God and our amazing volunteer leaders will continue to do what they do so well on Standing Rock without me. I pray that you will all continue to see the Native students in our region and love and support those who do the hard work of walking through life with them, not only on Standing Rock but in the new areas being developed on reservations throughout the North Star Region.
I am unbelievably grateful for the story I get to tell of the last ten years and abundantly hopeful that the story we will all tell ten years from now of God’s faithfulness in our lives and the lives of teens in our region will be so much greater then we can ask or imagine.
In Christ, Jessica Campbell
FOCUS is an evangelistic and discipleship ministry to middle school and upper school teenagers, primarily those who attend private schools, but all teenagers are welcome to FOCUS activities. FOCUS in the Philadelphia and the surrounding region conducts weekly on-campus Bible study meetings plus one all area Tuesday night meeting. FOCUS also has fall and summer out-of-town overnight programs which provide more intensive opportunities to share the Gospel.
Prayer is requested for Tom Price, the Area Director of FOCUS Philadelphia as he shoulders many new responsibilities in light of the retirement of former Area Director, Richard Gwathmey. FOCUS requests prayer for needed volunteers in this region and for student leaders to form prayer groups in every school where FOCUS has on-campus meetings. Please also pray for God’s continued blessing of financial resources for this ministry and for a successful Spring Fundraiser on April 22th.
Pricie Hanna is Good Samaritan’s contact person and advocate for FOCUS. For more about FOCUS, its volunteer needs, and other activities, contact Pricie.
Diane Gibson: Short-Term Medical Missionary to the Philippines
Diane Gibson will be serving on a medical-missionary trip to the Philippines, April 21-29. She leaves Philadelphia for Los Angeles, Thursday, April 20, and she and the full group will fly to Manila Friday/Saturday. Please pray for Diane:
- Pray that Diane and her colleagues will be able to tend to the physical needs of those they will serve in the clinics … and that they will be able to share the gospel message of God’s love.
- Pray also for Diane’s father and son while she is out of the country.
Short-Term Missionary Trips/Projects
A missionary trip to India, conducted by CCO, will include Hannah Schmitt, Brooke Scott, and Brandon Fornio. This India trip will be May 10 – 31 and will be led by Kylie Roberts. They are raising funds through a “Candle Sales” project. Kylie will report on this at the 9:00 and 11:00 services this Sunday. They will also have a table in the atrium for more information and to help anyone place orders. You can check details, as well as place an order, here.
Hannah Johnson will be working in needy areas of Philadelphia, June through August, on projects organized by the “Center for Student Missions.”
People on such trips always appreciate knowing they are surrounded by the prayers of their church family!