Minnesota teens gave $1,695,765 to Speed the Light (STL) in 2020 — a remarkable total that defies logic in the middle of a national economic recession and global pandemic. It exemplifies an unshakeable commitment to missions in the heart of students. Most student ministries didn’t meet for a majority of the year, and some of the traditional anchors of collaborative giving, such as Summer Camp, were cancelled or modified. Yet a strong end of year push lifted overall giving total nearly on pace with last year’s record of $1,822,194.
Many student ministries played a part. There were 57 churches who gave $1,000 or more. Some churches like Wadena AG ($1,582) broke that barrier for the first time in recent years. Many of them had 2020 totals that exceeded 2019 like Bethel’s Rock ($54,196) and Casino AG ($10,325).
Eleven Minnesota churches were in the top 25 in the nation with Willmar AG ($315,977) leading the way in the state and nationally. Willmar was one of the virtual sites for the 30 for Freedom run, which was sponsored by Venture, a local organization with Minnesota ties and global reach. With a focus on anti-trafficking and food security, they became an official Speed the Light Partner in 2020. Hundreds of runners participated on July 4th raising $202,141 for Venture and fellow partners Free International and Project Rescue.
Students rallied around a number of other projects. They helped provide wells for clean water near churches and multiple villages in Kenya and Chad through WorldServe International. They helped Convoy of Hope provide worldwide disaster relief. They partnered with LIVE|DEAD to plant churches among unreached people groups, and also provided vehicles and equipment to our many Minnesota missionaries across the globe.
Kids ministries faced the same challenges as student ministries in 2020. Limited weekend services and cancelled events didn’t stop kids from giving. Churches gave $238,571 to BGMC this past year.
We’re grateful for the pastors and leaders across Minnesota who keep missions at the forefront in the hearts of the next generation.