Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsVSM: Not Just For Sun and Selfies

VSM: Not Just For Sun and Selfies

In our BMA Global family, ministry happens everywhere and all around the globe, and we’re not just talking at churches, worship services and discipleship groups. Sometimes ministry happens during basketball in the park, a hula hoop game or face painting. More organically but intentionally and relationally, just like Jesus modeled. One example of that kind of ministry is Volunteer Student Missions (VSM) and, on a recent trip, 13 students and 4 adults used those exact activities and others to minister in Costa Rica.

Jairo Bonilla coordinates the work there with the help of Luis Ortega (not to be confused with Lifeword Director of Operations Luis Ortega here in the States). One of the many ways Luis serves is by managing VSM teams that host Bible schools for children. The VSM Costa Rica team was blessed to have him as a local contact, interpreter, “transportation director” and so much more. One thing is for certain — he is a great example of godly leadership.

Well before the team left from the States, they met at VSM weekend in the spring for team building, security training, dos and don’ts on the mission field and cultural education. Team Costa Rica decided to use David and Goliath and Daniel in the Lions’ Den for their skits, then leaders purchased supplies for the props and decorations. In one week, they held four Bible schools at two churches and a community center.

The team spoke very little, if any, Spanish, but there didn’t seem to be a language barrier as I watched these young high school and college students find the shyest, smallest or most scared children and make them feel special. There were fist bumps, hugs, high-fives and water balloon fights that left children breathless and laughing. And I watched the children as they listened to the story about a giant who was defeated and a lion whose mouth was shut, both because of a loving “Dios” (God).

Despite the language barrier between us and the children, it was clear that the story captured their attention. Seeds were planted that day, and the gospel was shared, but only God knows what will take root.

VSM is not a vacation. It’s the life-changing fulfillment of a calling to serve. Every student on the team understood that it was not about selfies, which there were plenty of when the children noticed our cell phones and wanted to see themselves in a photo.

As summer winds down and VSM trips conclude, BMA Global personnel like Angela Rice and Margaret Anderson are already planning 2024 trips. If you’re considering joining one, don’t hesitate to let us know so you can experience the amazing things God can do with construction paper, a sword made out of balloons and a plastic slingshot. For more information about VSM opportunities in 2024, visit letsgovsm.com.

Holly Meriweather
Holly Meriweather
Holly Meriweather is the lead writer for the Baptist Missionary Association of America. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org or BMAMissions.org.