Source: Gleaner Online
[July 9, 2007] There is a disturbing trend in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Today 61 percent of American young adults who were active in church as teens, are now disengaged. Each year young faces disappear, taking with them their joy, energy and talents. Many of these young people do not find their home in other churches—they are facing the world alone spiritually—with tragic consequences. This painful reality is compelling a diverse team of young adults from across the country to devote their energy and resources to engage this missing generation.
These young adults are spearheading an exciting new initiative called Cruise with a Mission (CWM). CWM is an innovative project by and for young adults ages 18–35, which combines a vacation and spiritual retreat with active and meaningful mission projects. CWM found reality with Andrews University’s Center for Youth Evangelism. “God is totally moving,” shares Genevieve Koh, a young adult pastor in Southern California. “This mission will accomplish far more than we can imagine.”
Cruising Dec. 16–23, from Tampa, Fla., to Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, 500 young adults from all over the world will collectively spend 7,500 hours engaging in construction, medical work, children’s ministry, and acts of kindness.
Where most of the world sees a tropical tourist realm, Caleb VinCross, CWM graphic and Web designer from Renton, Wash., sees real needs. “We are turning the tables on our self-centered tourist culture and using it instead to touch the people living in its shadows with the love of God!”
In addition to serving people in the ports, Steve Hemenway is excited that CWM is “a fresh, fun and exciting opportunity for young adult Christians to grow in their spiritual walk” through workshops, dynamic worship, and small groups—programs designed to establish a safe place to discuss questions, struggles, ideas, and hopes with other young adults.
“CWM is intentionally wholistic; a spiritual retreat, a social network, and a mission trip all in one place,” says Renee Stepp, the on-ship programming director from Berrien Springs, Mich. Tara VinCross, CWM director from Renton, shares her vision for her young adult peers to make a difference in the world. “We see CWM as a catalyst for life-transformation, resulting in a way of life consumed by God.”
“We have a vision for the future of the Adventist church,” encourages Nissa Anderson, a young adult volunteer in Seattle, “we challenge each other as emerging leaders to create a spiritual unity of young adult believers living love through servanthood.”
We ask for your support, through participation, prayer, encouraging a young adult to find out more about CWM, or by contributing financially to help provide a way for a young adult to participate in this amazing opportunity.
To get involved please visit http://www.cruisewithamission.org/