As summer drew to a close, Rosedale International (RI) began returning to familiar fall rhythms. Young men and women from all corners of the country and beyond the border converged on the Rosedale International Center (RIC), excited for what the remainder of this year and beyond could hold. This is REACH 2021: three teams of young believers eager to learn about Jesus and teach others about his love.
In many ways, REACH 2021 marks a return to normal for Rosedale Internationals’ Short-Term Programs (STP). While REACH 2020 operated mostly within an onsite bubble, this year looks more like programs from times past. Once again, participants are learning from outside speakers, attending local churches, and serving the community through outreach programs and prayer walks.
God has begun to move in their midst, lifting fears and pouring out his love and presence.
These young men and women have followed the call of Christ into an intense season of spiritual learning and growth. Already in the three short weeks since their arrival, they have dug deep into sessions about spiritual warfare, expecting and accepting the Holy Spirit, and intimacy with God. “I’ve been really encouraged by the REACHer’s openness, vulnerability, and willingness to allow the Spirit to work through them,” shared Phil, Short-Term Programs Facilitator. In response to this openness, God has begun to move in their midst, lifting fears and pouring out his love and presence.
Leading the REACH teams are Olivia (IN), Javan (IN), and Kurt (OH). Each has a unique journey to REACH—three examples of trusting God’s guidance over their lives.
Olivia joined RI staff in January of 2021 as Community Outreach Intern. When Paige asked her to lead a REACH team, however, Olivia wasn’t surprised. “When I accepted the intern position [in June of 2020], I had a sense that they would ask me to become a team leader.” Although she was sad to leave internship early, Olivia trusted God’s leading. She is excited to lead Danae (IA), Anna (SC), Sophia (OH), and Ellen (OH) to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In contrast, Javan knew nothing about REACH until July of this year. He had returned home in June from serving in South Africa when plans for another outreach suddenly fell through. At a loss for his next steps, Javan fasted, prayed, and waited for direction that seemed never to come. As he waited, STP Directors Isaac and Paige stepped out in faith, asking God to provide a third team leader. And when Javan called RI to make a connection, they offered him the position. “I called out of the blue, not knowing about REACH. But immediately I knew—this is why I don’t have direction. I felt like God had ordained it.” Javan will lead Reid (OH), Sierra (IN), Aimee (ON, Canada), and Dylan (NM) as they serve in Phoenix, Arizona.
Kurt, a REACH alum, traveled to Greece and Cyprus with his team in 2016. Earlier this year, during his final semester of Bible college, Isaac and Paige reached out to ask if he had interest in leading a REACH team. Kurt felt initially unsure about accepting the position—but after spending time in prayer, felt strongly called to do so. Now, he is following that call to Albania and leading Cameron (MO), Lizzy (MD), and Grace (OH) in their callings to do the same.
The REACH class of 2021 is walking together as they grow in faith and surrender to God’s guidance over their lives. As they continue to learn in the rich greenhouse environment that REACH provides, we ask you to walk with them in prayer. Pray that God would pour his blessing over each participant as they seek him. Pray that they would remain open to the work of the Spirit. Pray that they would have the courage and boldness to step out in faith, to ask questions, and constantly strive for closeness to Christ.