By Stephanie Cates
From July 10 to August 8, twenty young adults will undertake one of the most significant journeys of their lives. Participants from all over the United States, from California to Virginia, will come together and embark upon Da’ Mission, a one-month intensive theological experience serving the people of India. Over the past 6 months, these participants have been preparing for their time in India through cultural research, language studies, prayer, and introductory assignments designed to familiarize them with one another, and with the country of India. Facilitated by SLAM (Students Living a Mission) Da’ Mission is designed to awaken the minds and open the eyes of those who wish to experience God in ways that perhaps they have never experienced him before.??
During the summer of 2008, I participated in my first Da’ Mission experience (then coined Global Internship). It was along the streets of San Juan Tequaco, Guatemala, and within the slums of Olongapo City in the Philippines that I experienced the heart of God in ways that I never had before; in turn, I found myself. Staring into the eyes of parents who could not feed their children, conversing with girls who were forced to choose between feeding their children or giving their bodies over to prostitution, and holding children plagued with diseases due to the lack of clean water opened my eyes to a world that was not right. The extreme need surrounding me, coupled with Jesus’ teachings on my responsibility to love my neighbor, broke me, humbled me, and left me with a profound responsibility to join God in pursuing his desires for the world.
Starting this weekend, these twenty participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves into a world of need, and discover the heart of God. My prayer is that those on Da’ Mission embrace this opportunity to become students of God, and learn to see the world through his heart for humanity.