If you were to close your eyes and think about the REACH program, you would probably envision participants sharing the love of Jesus in various settings, countries, and cultures around the globe. You would be right. Cross-cultural outreach is a major component of REACH, and has been since the program began. Outreach to a different culture, however, is just one part of the program. RI’s vision for REACH is not the simple pursuit of an overseas experience, but for God to transform young people and use them to transform the world. That vision can take place anywhere that there are hurting people who need to experience the love of Jesus.
Given the continued impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of future travel abroad, we have been seeking God’s will for the upcoming REACH teams. After much prayer, we have decided that for the 2020-21 REACH training, all outreach locations will take place within the U.S. We aren’t backing down from our call to reach out to “the ends of the earth” and are only considering this local focus a temporary shift. It’s one that we are excited about, and we believe that God has big plans to transform this year’s REACH participants as they sacrifice, learn, pursue Jesus, and share the love and hope we have in him.