This week while Renee is away in Kenya leading the Springforth team on an international mission trip, I (Jacqueline) thought it would be appropriate to do a little reflecting on the benefits of local mission opportunities, specifically Tidal Impact (TI). Did you know that 2017 marks the 9th Tidal Impact? I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the last 5 events and I love this event! I think that TI offers something unique that no other local mission opportunity (that I know of) presents for us here at home.
Here are 3 reasons why all Atlantic Baptists can celebrate Tidal Impact:
1. We partner with the local church
The philosophy of TI is simple: a host church (in the host region) partners with a team from away (vising church) to do ministry together for the week. The visiting team has the privilege of partnering with a host church to help them in their local mission. It’s a great opportunity for our churches to join God in changing Atlantic Canada one neighbourhood at a time. The host church gets to plan, coordinate and facilitate ministry that helps them to advance the mission that they believe God has called them to. There’s opportunity for everyone to get involved: service project, meal prep, baking, billeting, coordinating drives, etc. It’s an exciting time in ministry where we see students (grades 6 – 12) working inter-generationally with adults of all ages and other organizations to serve God and love His people. This stuff really excites me!
Volunteers, primarily from our local churches, are the members of the local area planning teams that look after many of the logistics for the event: rallies, community ministry opportunities, food drive coordination, Dive Deeper afternoon (focuses on spiritual disciplines), fun event, group suppers, etc. They have been meeting regularly, planning and coordinating for the past 10 months to help make this event possible. We could not do it without their support and dedication!
2. We get to serve right here in Atlantic Canada
I love that global travel has been made easy for many people; this means that it’s easier than ever before for our churches to partner with CBM (and other agencies) to send teams to be involved in short term mission work. This is highly educational for us and formative in our worldview. It’s also very inspirational as we see how we, Canadian Baptists, can make a difference in our world by supporting some of the work that is being done globally. As I write, Renee is leading a team with 14 students (including my daughter) in Africa where they will participate in the work being done in Kenya through Kamp Tumaini (connected to the Guardians of Hope Program) in a local high school.
One of the things that I love about Tidal Impact is that it is affordable, accessible and an exciting opportunity for hundreds of students to serve right here in Atlantic Canada. I can’t wait to hear stories about how NS has been impacted from Truro to Port Mouton as 740+ students intentionally live out their faith over that whole entire area for a full week. One of the emphasis of the week is to impact the local community so every group will spend time serving outside the walls of the church – breaking into the community. Wednesday evening is the food drive and we’ll collect thousands of pounds of food for the local food banks. We’ll be cleaning up garbage, ministering with seniors and shut ins, partnering with local agencies helping the marginalized and doing random acts of kindness. When the event is over, the local church gets to build on those relationships and has a wonderful opportunity to be salt and light in their community.
3. The students get to give and receive at Tidal Impact
Tidal Impact offers a unique experience where students can serve all day and 4 evenings in the week, they can go to the rallies to join the bands as they lead us in worship and hear amazing speakers challenge the students about ways that God may be calling them to enter into a deeper relationship with Him. We’ll celebrate stories of ways that we have seen God at work throughout the week. We’ll celebrate communion together at the rally on Thursday evening – always a moving and significant part of the week for students.
The leaders, many of whom are volunteers that have taken a week of vacation to bring their youth group to Tidal Impact, have had the amazing opportunity to disciple and mentor their teens leading up to TI and now they get to model what it looks like to serve Jesus as they serve with their students for the week. They get to unleash their students and watch them do amazing things.
The students will be stretched in new and healthy ways as many are doing things that they have never done before. Students will be engaging people in the community in many different ways. They will knock on doors and invite local residents to donate to the local food banks. They may have opportunity for one-on-one conversations with people that they meet on the street, in parks, in seniors’ homes and maybe even pray for them. They will love community children as a number of churches host children’s ministry programs in the mornings. They will build relationships with people in marginalized communities. All of the students will be stretched in some way as they serve in TI.
The Win of TI
The biggest win of Tidal Impact is that these students, leaders, and volunteers are focusing on and pointing people to Jesus for the whole week. I’m confident that anytime we interrupt our daily lives and immerse ourselves in Jesus for a whole week, He will show up and honor our act of service and we will be changed. Statistics show attending Bible camp and participation in short-term mission are the two most significant factors in a believer’s faith journey. I’m thankful that the CBAC and its member churches see the value in this event and continue to dream about ways to build relationships with the people in their community during Tidal Impact and welcome these students to join them for the week.
We are so blessed to have our Atlantic Baptist Women’s groups partner with every participating team in Tidal Impact. They have been praying for these teams as we prepare and they will pray for us every day of the event. There is opportunity for personal connection with their prayer groups as special prayer needs arise. Thankful for these ladies and their faithfulness in prayer!
Tidal Impact is July 22 – 29 and the rallies are being hosted in Halifax and Bridgewater, NS.
If you’re in the host church region than check to see how you could help your church or another church near you who may be hosting a team from away.
If you’re outside the host church region then you can pray. Pray for safety as we travel, serve and commit ourselves to a week on mission in NS.
Follow us on social medial (looking for #TI2017) for stories and photos.
After the event, ask your students what they did, what they learned, how they saw God at work in the community and what they sensed God stirring in their lives during Tidal Impact.
Tidal Impact is such an amazing event. It’s one of my favorite ministry highlights for sure. Over these years, we’ve heard countless number of stories about how participants have been impacted and grown in their faith journey. We’ve heard many stories of people who were served, visited, ministered to who have been blessed by the ministry of a Tidal Impact team. We know that thousands of people (approx. 15,000) are provided a meal through their local food banks because of the food drive that happens during this event. It’s an encouragement to the local church, the visiting team and also the community. God is already at work in Atlantic Canada. We are so privileged to be able to partner with Him in Nova Scotia this summer and celebrate all that He is doing in neighbourhoods all across Atlantic Canada.