Hi all! My name is Emily Rice and I’m the Biola Chapter Intern. I wanted to share with you some of the amazing things that I saw happen this week during our Spring Break Biola area mission trip. I hope you find this to be an encouragement, and will join me in praising God for all that he has done and will continue to do as a result of the work that happened these past six days.
On the trip, we worked with a total of ten schools in the greater Los Angeles area. They ranged from one of the state’s largest schools, Paramount High School, with nearly 5,000 students, to the tiny private school of Ellen Ochoa Preparatory Academy with a total student body of about 300.
Sunday evening we sat together and prayed over every single school’s specific needs for the week, and boldly presented these requests in expectation for God to do incredible things. He answered in abundance, with 899 high school students hearing the Gospel through rallies and witnessing trips!
Three of our schools put on a total of eight rallies, and our team went on a total of 20 witnessing trips. Over the course of these events, 66 students recommited their lives to the Lord, and 17 decided to make first-time decisions to surrender their lives to Jesus. Just think, all of these students thought they were going to have a normal day as they headed off to class, but they walked away with the knowledge and hope of a living God!
Coming into the trip, I had no doubt in my mind that God was going to do amazing things through my fellow team members, but I wasn’t expecting these experiences to touch my own life as well. I had the opportunity to go witnessing at Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights on both Monday and Friday, and the conversations I had both of those days encouraged me that high school students are genuinely invested in thinking about spiritual issues. However, they also reminded me how pressing the need is for us to present this particular population with the absolute Truth, because they are searching to fill the void in their lives.
At Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, I met a Christian club member named Grace. She faithfully came to help out with the rallies they put on every day, even though she had no obligation to do so. As I talked with her, she told me that she had only been a Christian since last September, and was baptized just Wednesday night this week. She expressed gratitude that a lot of the students coming to the rallies were not Christians, and that as a relatively new believer it was so encouraging for her to be able to see her peers being exposed to the truth of the Gospel.
Members of the team also had faith-stretching experiences, with a mentor at Glen A. Wilson, Kayla Yoshitake, telling me that she did not expect her school to be able to have a rally in the first place. Last December they tried to put on an event but the topic they wanted to speak on, mental health, was deemed ‘too controversial’. However, after persistent prayer and appealing to the school’s administration, this past Thursday students completely packed out the media room during lunch to hear club leader Mayeli give her personal testimony regarding her own mental health in a difficult time. Campus Mentor Kayla, an alumni of Glen A. Wilson, also got to share during the same lunch period a much-needed biblical perspective on the mental health.
As I look back at all that has happened this week, I thank God that he provided for all of the seen and unseen needs. Even though events fell through, schedules changed, and life outside of the mission trip didn’t stop, it is clear to me that every person who heard the Gospel at a rally or was approached during witnessing left changed. Hundreds of students now have the knowledge of the truth of Christ, and know how to take hold of it for themselves. Let’s praise God for this and pray that the seeds planted during this week will bear fruit according to the good will of God.
Thank you for all your support and prayers this week! It’s been an incredible time as God’s power and compassion were on display all week long.