Trips of Vision for a Global Mission
The Minnesota District places a strong focus on global missions, equipping missionaries and organizations to reach unreached parts of the world. A significant portion of these funds are raised through Speed the Light, the Assemblies of God Youth Missions program. To ignite their passion for missions, Pastor Kirby St. John, MN District Youth Director, organizes “Vision Trips” to allow MN Youth Pastors to see the contributions of their students in action.
In November, a group of MN Youth Pastors traveled to Nigeria with Pastor Kirby and experienced the installation of multiple clean water wells. One youth pastor in particular, Pastor Ben Mailhot, from Watermark Church in Stillwater, is of Nigerian descent and has a unique passion for these mission efforts. “There’s just a certain feeling when you’re there. It’s almost like you can feel the hope, you know? It’s thick in the air.” He went on to explain that the experience these pastors shared in Nigeria spurred on a fervent passion that will continue to reach youth groups across Minnesota.
The investment in these vision trips is already bearing fruit. “The students are responding,” says Pastor Kirby, “They’re responding to the mission of bringing the gospel to these communities.” These efforts are mobilized through events like The Big Give, which is a one-night event at the end of November. The event rallies youth groups statewide to contribute to organizations such as Speed the Light, Convoy of Hope, Project 42, and Chi Alpha throughout November. At this year’s Big Give Night, Minnesota students gave a record-breaking $700,919.70! In 2023 as a whole, Minnesota students gave over $2 million, making Minnesota the #1 state in the U.S. in giving to Speed the Light.