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God is Moving: REACH 2022

REACH 2022 & Short-Term Programs Staff

On the evening of November 18, 2022, eleven REACHers gathered together with their close friends, family, and some Rosedale International (RI) staff at Rosedale Bible College. During a time of celebration and commissioning, they shared about the experience of discipleship training school (DTS) and the approach of outreach.

Marking a full return to post-pandemic rhythms, both 2022-23 REACH teams will complete their outreach overseas. Making up Team Senegal are Ethan (OH), Emily (PA), Lily (OH), Mackenzie (OH), and Isaac (PA). Leading them is Connor (PA), a REACH alum who traveled to Zambia in 2018 before returning to serve as RI Facilities Intern in 2020. Leading Team Albania is Ellen (OH), part of 2021’s Team Albuquerque. She’s thrilled to lead her own team—Lance (OH), Megan (DE), Julianna (PA), and Seth (WA)—this year.

Team Senegal. Ethan, Lily, Isaac. Emily, Mackenzie, Connor (TL).

Team Albania. Megan, Lance, Ellen (TL), Julianna, Seth.

These three months have been a transformative season of spiritual healing and growth.

Since arriving at the Rosedale International Center (RIC) in August, these young believers have dug deep into many different aspects of faith. They’ve invested in various Columbus outreaches and taken prayer walks in the neighborhoods surrounding the RIC. They’ve fasted, prayed, and studied the Bible together. They’ve learned about spiritual warfare; the fruits of fear and pride; expecting the Holy Spirit; rediscovering the Bible; and resolving conflict—among many other topics. And though intense and difficult at times, these three months of DTS have been a transformative season of spiritual healing and growth.

“I am learning how to trust God with my heart,” shared Julianna. “I’ve seen so much growth in my walk with Christ. God is using this season for good, and I can’t wait to keep listening to what he wants me to do!” Lily echoed this sentiment: “God is moving in big ways in this group! He continues to love and guide us through the ups and downs and shows his love for us through each other.”

As they’ve grown in their individual relationships with God, the REACHers have also grown in their interpersonal relationships with each other. “I’ve been learning how to be a better team member—how to communicate my needs,” Megan reflected. “I’ve been learning how to care for and love my teammates in the ways that are best for them.”

What do the next six months hold for them?

As this article moves through the final stages of editing, the REACHers will board the first of several planes as they make their way to their outreach locations. By the time of this article’s publication, they will have just set foot in Senegal and Albania. As they step into outreach, what do the next six months hold for them?

Ellen, Seth, Lance, Julianna, and Megan will spend their time in Albania working closely with a young church plant. They will worship with this congregation weekly, and will volunteer with their children’s and youth activities. In addition to this, they will build relationships through an afterschool program and make effort to engage with the local community. They hope to tend to the seeds planted by previous REACH teams.

While Team Albania builds on the work of past teams, Team Senegal will break new ground as the first REACH team to serve in Senegal. Connor, Lily, Isaac, Ethan, Emily, and Mackenzie will partner with local believers in a rural community. They will work to build relationships with the local children through various volunteer opportunities, and will spend time developing friendships with families in a nearby village.

As these eleven REACHers take their first steps into the great new adventure of outreach, they ask that you would lift them up in prayer. Sudden immersion into a new culture is never easy, especially with language differences. Ask for a smooth and quick transition, for ease of language learning, and for humility and courage. Pray for the teams as they continue to learn to live together; ask for unity, love, and understanding between them. Ask that God would be close to each of them, and continue to work in and through them. Above all, ask that he would be glorified.

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